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 Front Cover
 Title Page
 Preface
 Main














Title: A narrative of life and travels in Mexico and British Honduras
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00080964/00001
 Material Information
Title: A narrative of life and travels in Mexico and British Honduras
Physical Description: 80 p. ; 14 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Duval, B. R.
Publisher: Clemmitt & Jones,
Publication Date: 1878.
 Subjects
Subject: Description and travel. -- Mexico
Description and travel. -- Belize
Spatial Coverage: North America -- Mexico -- Caribbean
North America -- Belize -- Central America -- Caribbean
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00080964
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 05216095
oclc - 5216095

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Title Page
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Preface
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Main
        Page 5
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JAMES M. CLIFT
RICHMOND. VA.


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A NARRATIVE





FE AND TRAVELS'





iWXICO AND BRITiQNBtR


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PREFACE.


It has frequently been suggested to me
that I ought to write an account of my
trip to the countries, from which I have
just returned, as a means of making some-
thing for the support of my family, as
well as affording useful information con-
cerning those beautiful lands; and I now
undertake to comply with those sugges-
tions.
But, as I can spare very little time, I
shall simply aim to relate such things as
I would tell in a social circle, and in the
same style; hoping that some good may
be done, as the readers shall see the great
religious privileges they enjoy, compared




4
with the people of Mexico, and their con-
sequent obligations to God for a free Bi-
ble in our native tongue.
I am sorry that my want of means
causes the price to be higher than it other-
wise would be.
B. R. DUVAL.
PETERSBURG, July 11, 1870.



j








A NARRATIVE


OF

LIFE AND TRAVELS
IN
MEXICO AND BRITISH HONDURAS.


On the first of December, 1864, I was living
about twenty miles south of Petersburg, Vir-
\ ginia, near Stony Creek Depot, sawing lumber
and grinding corn, at a large steam mill; but
before night nearly everything I had was
stolen, or burned up, and in a few hours I was
reduced from a comfortable independence to
real destitution. But I did not repine, but
exerted myself to the utmost, to support my
family and pay my debts; and soon after the
Surrender, I went to work and fixed up the
Ssaw mill, and hoped that at current rates, I
might yet be able to saw lumber enough to pay
out. But lumber soon fell to a price, not suffi-


A






cient to pay expenses; and as soon as I saw
this, I went to a most honorable lawyer, and
asked him to make a deed of the most equita-
ble character, and sell me out, for the benefit
of my creditors. This was done, and we re-
ceived only the allowance, made by law, to in-
solvent debtors.
This was in May, 1866, and I was at a loss
to know what to do. I could hear of no place
where I could be supported, as a preacher, and
my presiding elder told me that he knew not
what to advise, as the times were such that he
hardly knew how to advise himself.
About this time, I had seen accounts in the
papers of a settlement of Southern people in
Mexico, under the auspices of such men as
Capt. Maury, Gen. Price, and others of high
character; and these accounts stated that the
whole number amounted to 5,000. From one
of these publications I inferred that there was
no Methodist preacher among them, and I felt
that there was the place for me, if I could get
there; and it certainly seemed providential,
when I found a friend who would advance me
the necessary amount. My deliberate judg-






ment, formed after much earnest prayer and
the cheerful concurrence of my family, then
was, that it was my duty to go to Mexico, and
my hope was that I could support my family
by working as a surveyor, for which I had
prepared myself, and preach gratuitously to
my countrymen till I could organize a church.
Accordingly, on the 22nd day of May, I
started from Petersburg, with Mrs. Duval and
three daughters and a son, for New York, to
take passage by steamer Manhattan, for Vera
Cruz, by Havana.
The weather was very pleasant, and soon af-
ter getting into the Gulf stream, we saw a
beautiful phenomenon, of which I had never
heard. It was late in the afternoon, and the
atmosphere was misty, and there appeared
over a great part of the sky hundreds of rings
just the size of the sun, very bright, and clearly
defined. The sight was very novel and beau-
tiful, and the surgeon of the ship told us, that
he had only seen it a few times, and then only
in the Gulf stream.
I was very much pleased to see the children
so much interested, in looking at the flying fish,






the nautilus, the beautiful dolphins, with their
colors changing like chameleon, the sea birds,
and other things seen only on the ocean.
There were several very agreeable travelers
on board, and one of them was especially kind
to us. He was a Spaniard, who had a large
wholesale house in New York, and was going
to Havana. Having heard our history, he
feared that we should have hard times in Mex-
ico, and having seen that we had four children,
corresponding in age and sex with his four
children, that he had left in great comfort at
his country seat near New York, he showed
our children the four buttons on his wristbands,
which contained the likenesses of his children,
and wept bitterly, saying, that he felt very
much for us. After awhile he told me that
before he reached Havana he would give me
a letter to a friend in Vera Cruz, which he
knew would do me good. And indeed it did,
for it contained an order, for fifty dollars in
gold. As he was about to leave the ship, in
Havana, he shook hands with me and Mrs.
Duval, most cordially, and kissed all the child-
ren, as affectionately as if they were his own,
and was too much affected to speak.






This kind-hearted man, and several others
of his nation, have satisfied me that there are
many who are not protestants whose actions
look more like the christianity of the New Tes.
tament than the actions of many who boast of
their evangelical faith.
The time of our stay in the beautiful harbor
of Havana was too short to give us a chance
to see much of this famous city, but the church
in which the remains of Columbus are depos-
ited was pointed out to us, and awakened pe-
culiar thoughts in our minds. What wonderful
results have followed from the enterprise of
that great man! And how different would
have been the history of the world, if Colum-
bus had discovered land twenty degrees fur-
ther north.
We reached Vera Cruz at night, after a pas-
sage of four days from Havana, and anchored
near the famous castle of San Juan D'Ulloa.
Next morning we entered the renowned city of
Vera Cruz, a walled city of about 10,000 in-
~ habitants. We were struck with the great po-
liteness of the people of all classes, and espe-
cially of the officers of the custom house. Ar-






rangements had been made by the government
for the encouragement of persons coming into
Mexico to settle, and our railroad fare was
only one-fourth of the usual rates.
The weather was extremely hot, and the
yellow fever had just commenced its annual
work, and we hurried up the country next
morning on the imperial railway. This great
railway is the work of an English company,
and is intended to connect the city of Mexico
with Vera Cruz, about two hundred and fifty
miles off, but was only complete forty-seven
miles to the first mountains, and has a very
good grade, over ground, at first low and
swampy, then sandy and somewhat rocky, but
all very barren.
One coach was filled with Nubian soldiers,
with their rifles, and a small brass howitzer on
each side, fixed on a pivot at a window. These
are very good soldiers, of warlike Mahometan
tribes, of upper Egypt, and have been famous
in Napoleon's wars in the Crimea, and in Lom-
bardy. They are very black, but very tall,
and very different in appearance and charac-
ter from the African race in the Southern







States. They always attend the trains, especi-
ally to guard great quantities of silver, sent
down from the city of Mexico to Vera Cruz,
on the way to Europe.
In about three hours, we reached the termi-
nus of the railroad, and took an ambulance for
Cordova, where we arrived before night. We
were then 75 miles from the coast, and in full
view of the peak of Orizaba, which is 17,400,
feet above the level of the sea, and is always
covered with snow, to the amount of about
500 acres, cooling the air, very perceptibly, for
fifteen miles around.
On the Sunday after reaching Cordova, I
called on the alcade, or mayor, and told him
that I wished to preach that afternoon at the.
Confederate hotel, according to invitation.-
He said, "Very well, you have perfect liberty,
according to the decree of the Emperor Maxi-
milian. I told him that I was aware of that,
but that I wished to pay my respects to him,
and let him know my purpose. Accordingly,.
I preached at the appointed hour, and kept it
up during the three months that we lived in
Cordova. However, none but Americans at-





12

tended, as the mass of the people are Roman
'Catholics,
At this time, there was great anxiety in Cor-
dova, on account of about thirty Americans,
who had settled below Gen. Price's colony, and
had been captured and carried off prisoners
by a band of Liberals, as they were called,
and who were opposed to Maximilian. The
Liberals made heavy charges against the Amer-
icans, and, no doubt, some of the Americans
were guilty; but after a few weeks nearly all
the Americans returned, having escaped or
.been released; and then they tried to get Max-
imilian to indemnify them for all their losses;
and having failed in this, they commenced try-
ing to get back to the States.
The approach of the rainy season, together
with the uncertainty of Maximilian's continu-
ance in power, caused the work on the railroad
to be suspended, and I could find nothing to
do, till I got a small wagon and a pair of mules
for a piano which had been given one of our
daughters, and which she wished to sell.
With this wagon I hauled freight from the
depot to Cordova, 25 miles, and to Orizaba, 40







miles, and thus I made out for awhile, till the.
roads became so bad that the mules got stuck
in the mud, so that I had to pay $1.50 to be
hauled out of a mudhole, and after going about
100 yards, I stuck again, and had to pay $2.00'
more.
It was then getting very sickly at Cordova,
while it was very healthy in Orizaba, and we
removed to Orizaba, which is a very beautiful
place of about 20,000 inhabitants. Here we
were very pleasantly situated, the climate be-
ing delightful, and cool enough for a blanket
every night. The market was very well sup-
plied with meats and vegetables, at fair prices.
The onions were the finest I have ever seen.
Green corn could be had a great part of the
year, and the quantity and variety of vegeta-
bles were very great. But the fruits exceeded
the vegetables. Oranges were very abundant
and delicious, and I could get choice ones, for
121 cents a hundred. Pineapples also were
very abundant, and at Cordova, I bought choice
- ones for two cents each, and sometimes one cent
each, perfectly ripe and delicious. The fruits
were too numerous for me to learn all their
names.






But at Orizaba, as at Cordova, I could find
but little to do, and we had hard work to live.
I got some hauling to do, but not enough to
feed us.
One morning, Mrs. Duval told me that we
had nothing to eat, and no money, and asked
what we should do. I said that I did not
know, but that there was time enough yet for
the ravens to come before breakfast, and that
I would do all I could and trust to Providence,
as we had done so often before. I then took
my case of surveying instruments, and started
out: to find a Texan, who could talk Spanish
battel than I could, to get him to pawn the in-
qtruments for some money. I went into the
street, and turned up, and less than 30 steps, I
met my Texan friend, and asked him if he
could raise me some money on the case of in-
atruments; and he said "yes." I asked when;
and he said "some time to-day." "But" said
I, "we have no breakfast, and I need money
now. Can't you lend me a dollar?" "Yes"
says he, handing me out two half dollars. I v
turned immediately round and went home.
On meeting my wife at the kitchen door, I said







"Agnes, the ravens have come already;" and
having called two of the children, I sent one
fur beef, and the other for bread, and in due
time we had a good breakfast.
In one of my trips, I went over the great
mountains that enclose the high table lands of
Puebla, and it took about half a day to reach
the top of the ridge, where the road crosses.-
The elevation was about 9 or 10,000 feet, and
the climate very cool, requiring two or three
blankets at night. After descending a little, I
came to a great valley, intersected at right an-
gles by another large valley, and near the in-
tersection were the buildings of a great estate,
employing about 300 laboring men. Indian
corn was the principal crop, and I think I saw.-
more corn at one view, than I have ever seen
elsewhere.
This corn was very good indeed, and I
should think, from a view that I had of the
field, from the side of the mountain, that the
corn field in the long valley must have been
4 seven or eight miles long, and nearly two miles
wide, besides the short valley, which was richer
land, and, I should think, contained at least






1,000 acres. What can be done with all this
corn, one may ask.
The toll-gate keepers at Orizaba report that,
on an average, 800 mules pass evey day in the
year. The corn raised on the great estate of
Esperanza, can only furnish a small part of the
amount required for these mules, and it is the
lowest down the road of all the great corn
plantations. The manager told me that he
paid the 300 Indians 378 cents a day for each
day's work, and that with this money they had
to buy food, clothing, and everything for them-
selves and their families. I supposed the prof-
its on sales to the Indians must be 100 per
cent., and then I should call the labor cheap.
In this valley I saw the plant called maguey,
from which the Mexican drink called pulque is
made. The plants are about six feet apart, and
when about four years old, a flowering stalk
begins to shoot up, and soon after it gets above
the leaves, which are eight or nine feet high, it
is cut out about one foot above the ground, and
a large round hole containing about two gal- '.
lons is scooped out and becomes filled twice a
day with a thick, milky fluid, that oozes from




17

the enormous leaves. Barrels are placed at
proper intervals, to be filled with the juice thus
obtained. At first the pulgue is sweet, but
Soon ferments like cider, and makes a very nu-
tritious and pleasant drink, but if allowed to
ferment too much, it becomes intoxicating; and
vast quantities of it are distilled into rum
greatly to the injury of the Indians, who are
very fond of strong drink.
The plant, while furnishing the pulque, is
dying all the time, and in five or six months
dies and soon decays, and other plants then
come on so as to keep up the supply. The
Leaves of a large plant are about fifteen inches
wide, and seven or eight inches thick at the
ground, and taper in width and thickness to a
point, which is a very stout and very sharp
spike, that is greatly dreaded by cattle, and
this instinctive dread leads to the use of this
plant for fencing. Two rows of the maguey
plants are set out five or six feet apart, and
when they are only one foot high, the cattle
Spread them too much to pass over them.
At an elevation of 5,000 feet these plants
will grow, but they will not come to such ma-
2






turity as to make pulque, until you reach an
elevation of six or seven thousand feet. On
the mountains nine or ten thousand feet high,
they grow spontaneously, but are unproductive.
The pulque is much relished in Orizaba, and
is brought on the backs of mules, in goat skins,
and sold like cider.
The vast amount of hauling done on the
backs of animals in Mexico, is a remarkable
feature of the country.
Pack saddles are fastened on the mules, very
securely, and such large mules as the regular
muleteers use, are loaded with four hundred
pounds each; two hundred pounds on each side. i
The bales of cotton sent up from Vera Cruz,
weigh two hundred pounds each, and one bale
is put on each side of the mule. Four boxes of
wine or brandy, one dozen to the box, are also
put on each side of a mule for a load, and other
things in proportion.
I have seen, many a time, one hundred or
more of these mules in a drove, led by a mare,
partly white aud partly black or red, with or r
without her colt. About two o'clock the drove
stops for the day, and the mare takes her place







at the end of the line, as directed by the driv-
ers. The mules all form in line, as soldiers,
and the packs are taken off and put just op-
posite the mules, and then the saddles, and now
when all the mules are stripped, a pop of the
driver's whip gives the signal to the mare and
she trots into the river or creek, and while they
are drinking a long cloth is stretched out for
a trough, and supported by forks and long
ropes, with their ends pinned to the ground by
stout iron pins, and this trough is then filled
with cut-up wheat or barley-straw and corn
poured all over it. When the mules have done
" drinking, the driver's whip pops the signal to
the mare and she leads the mules to dinner.
Two hours before day the mules are fed
again, and at daybreak they are led to water,
and then to their places in line, each one oppo-
site his own pack. If any one has been care-
less and taken the wrong place, the driver's
whip reminds him of his error, and he hastens
to his proper position. They are then saddled
" and loaded, and the mare, with her little tink-
ling bell, leads the way.
If a contractor engages to do a certain job of







masonry, he employs the owner of a drove of
donkeys to haul the stone, the sand, and the
water, and all are hauled on the backs of the
donkeys, and in many cases it is better than to
haul in ox carts, or wagons, for the mountains
where the lime and stone are found, are too
steep and rocky for wagons, and the banks of
the rivers or creeks are also too steep for any
sort of vehicles.
And even planks are hauled from the moun-
tains on the backs of mules, one end being se-
cured to the pack saddles, and the other drag-
ging on the ground. Large timbers cut and
hewn in the mountains are dragged down by
oxen.
The great wagon trains, that haul heavy ma-
chinery, have twenty-two mules each to a
wagon, and a very large washer is put on each
end of each front axle. A very strong hook is
attached to each washer, and when the twenty-
two mules cannot pull the wagon, a string of
twenty mules from the second wagon is at-
tached to one axle; and if the forty-two mules >
cannot pull the wagon, another string of twenty
mules (four abreast, as all are,) is attached;






and if they are not enough, more are attached,
until, sometimes, 122 mules are pulling at one
wagon.
I have seen sixty-two, myself, but as they
succeeded, the other sixty were not attached
though the train consisted of twenty-five wag-
ons, of twenty-two mules each. The mules
are always four abreast, except the trains that
carry silver, in which they are always two
abreast, and twelve to each wagon. I have
seen thirty-six of these specie wagons in front
of my door at once, twelve mules to each, and
all loaded with nothing but Mexican dollars;
Sand escorted by a strong body of French sol-
diers.
These French soldiers were quartered near
us, in both Cordova and Orizaba, and we saw a
good deal of them on the road, having met
them frequently; and we heard our country-
men, who had known them for years, speak of
them, and from all I have seen and heard, I re-
gard them as very superior troops. In camp
they were very quiet and well behaved, and
we were pleased to have them near us; and
their politeness to us, on meeting them in the





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no more. I saw him riding out daily for a
week or two, and thought he would get off be-
fore we could, but as all our countrymen were
preparing to go away, and our principal friends,
particularly General Bindman and his family,
urged us to hasten away, and gave all the help
they could afford, we started off also.
We stopped in Cordova the first night, and
saw General Price and family, and we felt very
sorry to leave such noble and kind hearted
friends.
The next morning we left Cordova before
day, and a little before sunrise we looked back
and saw the snow on the summit of mount
Orizaba as deep crimson as the clouds in the
east. As the sun rose the color of the snow
faded, just as the clouds faded, till the snow
assumed its usual dazzling whiteness. It was
a grand sight. Five hundred acres of crimson
snow more than three miles high!
Soon after breakfast we came to Mr. Fink's
coffee plantation, of one hundred acres. I
learned from him that the annual yield of cof-
fee is from one thousand to twelve hundred
pounds an acre, and that at the lowest estimate,







allowing three cents a pound for expense of
cultivation, packing, husking, &c., and thirteen
cents a pound for the cash price at his door,
there is a clear profit of ten cents a pound, or
one hundred dollars an acre.
The coffee berry is very much like the black-
heart cherry, but with scarcely any stem, each
berry containing two grains. The berries are
planted whole, in ground well worked up, and
a scaffold about three feet high is made over the
bed, and covered with large leaves, so as to pro-
tect the young plants from the sun until they are
two or three feet high, when they are set out in
rows eight feet one way and nine the other, and
kept free from bushes, weeds, &c., until they
are three or four feet high. They are then cut
down with a sharp knife, about six inches from
the ground, and four or five sprouts spring up
around the little stumps, and are allowed to
grow about five feet high, when the tops are
cut off to keep the trees from growing too high.
The next spring these beautiful bushes will
Sbe covered with very fragrant white flowers
that perfume the whole atmosphere, and these
are soon followed by green berries, that soon






become pink, and then deep purple, and then
they are ready for gathering. They are then
dried in the sun, daily, until dry enough to put
away without danger of moulding, and in the
following March, when the weather is very hot
and dry, they are dried thoroughly and beaten
in a trough until the grains are separated from
the husk, and after being winnowed and picked
over, they are ready for market. This is the
Mexican way of preparing the coffee berries.
The Brazilian way is said to be quite differ-
ent. There they strip off the berries from the
twigs, the unripe as well as the ripe, and soak
and work them up in water until the pulp is
washed from the grains, and then the grains
are dried till ready for the bags.
In some places where the heat is very great,
the woods are trimmed out, so as to leave only
enough trees to shade the coffee bushes, and the
coffee plants are set out so as to have the ben-
efit of the shade. This was the case with Mr.
Fink's plantation. In other places, suitable
trees for shade are planted among the coffee
bushes, while in other places, where the heat is
less, the coffee needs no shade.







A coffee plantation will bear a full crop in
four years from the setting out of the scions,
and will last twenty or thirty years. I heard
an old gentleman say that he knew one, in
southern Mexico, that is forty years old.
The chocolate beans are raised from trees,
planted in the shade, like the coffee trees; and
the profit of raising them is said to be greater;
and well made chocolate is justly considered a
great luxury.
About five miles before we reached the rail-
road, an axle of our wagon broke, and we .had
to ask help of some French troops, who took
my family in their wagons, and, with the ut-
most kindness and politeness, carried them to
the hotel, and thus saved us from spending a
night in the mountains, exposed to the Liberals,
who were only held in check by their fear of
the French.
A three hours' ride on the railroad brought
us to Vera Cruz, which is, in November, a very
pleasant place. The houses are generally two.
stories high, and the roofs are flat and covered
with a very hard mortar, which turns water
perfectly. If the streets were bridged, one






could walk almost all over the city on the tops
of the houses. Much work is done on the
house tops, and chickens and turkies are raised
as in a yard, and in November and the winter
months no place could be so pleasant for sleep-
ing as the housetop.
The porters in Vera Cruz are a remarkable
set of men. They wear felt hats, with enor-
mous brims that reach over their -shoulders,
and I have seen them with three or four hats
on at a time, so that the brims made a soft pad-
ding on the shoulder, which had to sustain the
weight of four hundred pounds. A gentle-
man told me that he knew a porter to carry a
box of hardware, weighing between seven and
eight hundred pounds, and I have seen enough
to make me believe it. They are more Spanish
than Indian.
After I had been in Vera Cruz a few days,
the agent at the depot told me that I would
have to take away my baggage, as they were
clearing out the warehouse, to make room for
Maximilian's baggage, which was expected the
next day. I then felt confident that he would
soon leave Mexico, and I was very much sur-







prised to learn that he had yielded to the
entreaties of representatives of the priests and
property holders of Mexico, and returned to
the capital.
While I was truly sorry to learn his subse-
quent fate, I was not at all surprised. I saw
and heard enough to satisfy me that he was
one of the most kind hearted rulers in the
world, and that he had most fully identified
himself with Mexico, and that according to his
ability he labored for the good of Mexico. In
Vera Cruz, Cordova and Orizaba, where his
authority was supreme, we had better order,
better laws, more certain justice and much
lighter taxes than I have any hope of seeing
again while I live.
I think that the want of political ability as a
statesman was the one great want of Maxi-
milian. Marshal Bazaine may have had the
ability, but Maximilian would not be advised
by him. I think that the Empress Carlotta
had the ability, but though she was the most
accomplished princess of Europe, and even be-
loved by Maximilian's enemies, he would not
take her advice.






Maximilian was exceedingly fond of horses,
-and I think that if he had loved them enough
to confine himself to them, and to give her the
reins of the people, while he held the reins of
the horses, it would have been a wise distribu-
tion of power, and the very salvation of Mex-
ico.
That the enemies of Maximilian were desti-
tute of principle is evident from their opposing
the claims of General Ortega, a white man and
a gentleman of literary, military and legal
merit, and the Chief Justice of Mexico, and, as
such, the constitutional President of Mexico
until a new election should be held. But they
trampled on the Mexican constitution, and
helped a blood-thirsty half-Indian to usurp the
office constitutionally belonging to the honored
and accomplished General Ortega.
The mines of Mexico are wonderful for silver
and gold. Three thousand mines have been
already discovered, but only one hundred and
fifty are worked, and yet these produce about
$20,000,000 a year.
A traveler in Mexico says that two poor
Indian brothers lived in a little town in






northern Mexico, on the borders of a stream,
and that one of them tried to buy a quart of
Indian corn one morning, but could not get
Credit for it. That night there was a great
rain, and the banks of the stream were over-
flowed, so that the surface of the earth opposite
the town was washed off. The next morning
the brothers, looking across the swollen stream,
saw some pieces of silver on the bank, and
swam over and picked up a good deal, and laid
claim, according to Mexican custom, to the mine
thus discovered; and then they had silver and
credit enough.
During that year the mine produced $280,000
and the poor Indians did not know what to do
with it. They made very little change in their
living, as to dwelling, clothing or eating, and
really had no use for so much money; but one
of them filled a bag with dollars on a feast
day, and called the people together and scat-
tered the dollars among the crowd. It was
a very novel amusement and vastly enter-
taining to the people, who must have regarded
the poor Indian as a most eloquent actor and
entitled to hearty applause. The Indiam him-






self was greatly delighted at the performance
of the people, and repeated his original per-
formance on subsequent festivals.
It cannot reasonably be expected, that Mex- *
ico should flourish, while the Christian Sabbath
is so little regarded. On Sunday morning,
many of the people go to the cathedrals and
churches, for a little while, but nearly all day
the stores are open, and in the cities, the after-
noons are devoted to chicken fights, bull fights,
and gambling. Even the priests are gamblers.
One of them frequently passed our door in Cor-
dova, on Sunday at three o'clock, going to the
bull fight, with a fighting chicken under his
arm, and a bag of dollars in his hand.
And yet, it was understood that these same
priests would impose severe penance on any
who might be known to have read the Bible.
While we lived in Cordova, one Sunday a
little before dinner, the son of our landlord
stopped at our door, and seeing one of our
daughters reading in a New Testament, half
English and half Spanish, asked her what
book she was reading. She invited him into
the room, and handed him the book. After he




33

was seated he opened the book at the four-
teenth chapter of the Gospel of John, "Let
not your heart be troubled," &c., and read the
SSpanish with the most intense interest. He
was too much absorbed to notice anything
around him for nearly an hour; when his
mother, seeing him so deeply interested, asked
him what book he was reading, but he did not
hear her, till she raised her voice and called
out "Francisco, Francisco," when he looked to-
wards her, and answered. She asked him
"What book are you reading?'" He said, "It is
most beautiful." "What is it?" she asked.
SHe then turned to the title page, and read the
name, when she immediately said, "You ought
not to read that book, for if the priest should
hear of it, he would impose very heavy pen-
ance on you." He replied, "I did not know it
was wrong to read this book, and you never
told me it was wrong."
Now, here was a youth of about twenty, who
was charmed with the first chapter he had ever
read in the New Testament, while many in our
own country seem scarcely to value our great
privileges.






On a trip I once made, I had an Indian
driving the wagon, and I took out my Testa-
ment and read the twenty-fifth chapter of
Matthew to him, in Spanish, and at its close, he
said it was beautiful, very beautiful." I then
talked to him in Spanish, and asked him how
the Mexicans felt when they died. He said
they were very sad, but bore it as well as they
could. I asked if he ever knew a Mexican to
die happy, and he said he never heard of such
a thing. I told him that, in my country, it
was often the case among our people that the
dying person was exceedingly happy, while all
others in the room were weeping. He was
amazed at it, and could not understand how it
could be. I asked him if he was sure that he
loved God with all his heart, and was sure that
God loved him as his child, would he be sor-
ry to go to live with God, if God should call
him. He said, "No." I said, if you do not
know that God loves you, and feel that you
love him with all your heart, you will be
afraid to die. But my people, when they felt
that they were sinners, and that God was an-
gry with them, prayed till they felt that the







Holy Spirit had come into their hearts, to fill
them with joy, and to make them know that
God had pardoned all their sins, for the sake
of our Lord Jesus Christ, and then they loved
God, so that they were not afraid to do their
duty, and were not afraid to die.
Miguel was astonished at all this; and this
talk increased my desire to be useful to the
Spanish race, which has sent so many martyrs
to the Kingdom of Heaven. I had hoped to
preach, in Spanish, to tens of thousands of
the Mexicans, and to see thousands of them
converted, and to hear hundreds of happy con-
verts shouting, in old fashioned Methodist
style, the highest praises of our glorious Re-
deemer; but these joys are not for me but for
some others, who shall bear the glad tidings of
the gospel to the people of Mexico.
The religion of the Bible has never pre-
vailed in Mexico, and I cannot think that this
country, so rich in minerals, so delightful in
climate, so grand in scenery, with its rich table
lands, so elevated and healthy, will much
longer suffer a famine of hearing the words of
the Lord."






Old Spain, as well as New Spain, can now
receive the Gospel freely, and in both countries
the Bible circulates without authorized opposi-
tion; and the lands where the Bible and its
readers were burned for heresy are now receiv-
ing the morning rays of the Sun of righteous-
ness. And who knows, but in the coming
reign of the Messiah, in Mexico, as it was in
Jerusalem, "a great company of the priests
may be obedient to the faith."
The first steamer that left Vera Cruz for
New Orleans, after our arrival, charged more
than we could possibly raise, and when a New
Orleans steamer unexpectedly came to Vera
Cruz, with freight, we were unable to procure
passage in her, without pledging our baggage
for our fare. At last, the matter was arranged,
and we took passage in the Alliance, and after
a stormy voyage, we entered the Mississippi
just as a furious norther set in, and darkened
the heavens over the Gulf. As soon as we
reached New Orleans, I went to the office of
the New Orleans Christian Advocate, where I
learned that the Louisiana Conference would
meet in Baton Rouge in about a week, and I
determined to try to get there.







I then called on a commission house, to which
I had a letter from General Hindman, but the
gentleman was absent from the city, and I
could get no help towards getting my baggage
released. I then asked a very accommodating
clerk in the house, if there were any Virginia
merchants in the city, and I asked to be directed
to them, if he knew any. He kindly went
with me to several whose relations I knew, and
also to others whom I knew nothing of; and
they kindly loaned me about two hundred
dollars, and I immediately settled with the
captain, and we went on board a river boat, on
our way to Baton Rouge. We had a very
pleasant trip, and found a very good home, and
experienced great kindness from our people and
preachers during the Conference.
Bishop Payne presided, and very kindly in-
troduced me to the Conference, as one whom
he had known for about twenty years. I stated
my case to the Conference, and asked to have
a circuit assigned me, as I wished, above all
things, to be engaged in the Methodist minis-
try.
I was sent to the Delhi circuit, which had






not had a preacher for years, having been
ruined by the war, and repeated overflows of
the Mississippi. Our traveling expenses from
Baton Rouge came to $70, and after spend-
ing a month on the- circuit, and preaching
around at the principal appointments, the
brethren made an effort to raise something for
my necessities; and after trying out of the
church, as well as among the members, they
only raised $25.36, less than half the traveling
expenses, for which one of the brethren had
bound himself.
I saw that I could not live there. What
should I do? I thought that I might make
something by lecturing on Mexico, up in Mis-
souri, or other places, beginning at Memphis;
and I started out, hoping to make enough dur-
ing the winter to support me on the circuit the
rest of the year. When I got to Memphis, I
found that no interest was felt in Mexico, and
the expenses, such as room-rent, lights, fuel,
taxes, &c., would probably be more than the re-
ceipts.
I then thought I would continue my trip,
preaching and soliciting help for my circuit, as







a missionary field, as it really was; and leaving
some kind friends in Memphis, I did myself
the great pleasure of calling on my venerable
friend, and first presiding elder, Rev. Moses
Brock, who gave me my license to preach
thirty-five years ago. This was a memorable
visit. I never can forget it. But this most re-
markable man has, since my visit, been taken
to his reward, and it is with the warmest emo-
tion that I hope to meet him, with the rest of
the heroes of the gospel warfare, in the weary
pilgrim's home.
In Jackson, Tenn., I met an old friend, Rev.
Amos W. Jones, president of the Female Col-
lege at that place, and had some very happy
meetings with the brethren. They were very
kind to me there, as also at Brownsville, on the
way to St. Louis. The thermometer was below
zero when I reached that city, and I soon found
my way to the hospitable dwelling of my old
friend, Rev. Dr. W. A. Smith, where I was
most kindly received by all the family, who
were surprised to find me so much out of my
latitude.
For several weeks I attended meetings at







the Centenary church, of which Dr. Smith was
pastor, and enjoyed the services very much. I
was in a very happy frame of mind while in
St. Louis. The remembrance of former happy
times, and of recent dangers and privations,
and the considerations of present want, and
the glorious prospects of eternal blessedness so
wrought upon me, that it was one of the hap-
piest seasons of my life.
One night I was going to church through one
of the finest streets of the city, and saw on each
side brown stone mansions with marble steps
and costly windows, and all the signs of wealth,
while I was shivering with cold because of the
threadbare raiment. I wore; and I commenced
repeating to myself:
No foot of land do I possess,
No cottage in this wilderness,
A poor wayfaring man;
I lodge awhile in tents below,
And gladly wander to and fro,
Till I my Canaan gain.
Nothing on earth I call my own,
A stranger to the world unknown,
I all their goods despise;
I trample on their whole delight,
And seek a city out of sight,
A city in the skies.





41

There is my house and portion fair,
My treasure and my heart are there,
And my abiding home;
For me my elder brethren stay,
And angels beckon me away,
And Jesus bids me come.
I come, thy servant, Lord, replies,
I come to meet thee, in the skies,
And claim my heavenly rest;
Now, let the pilgrim's journey end,
Now, 0 my Saviour. brother, friend,
Receive me to thy breast.
My heart was so transported with joy at the
contemplation of these heavenly views, that I
envied not the owners of these fine houses, but
felt that I would not give my interest in that
S "house not made with hands, eternal in the
heavens," for all the things of this earth.
I continued my trip up the river to Jeffer-
son City and Glasgow, and preached in both
places, and was very kindly received by the
brethren. In Glasgow I found some of my
old acquaintances, and felt more like I was in
Old Virginia than anywhere else, and was very
liberally assisted.
S When I returned to St. Louis I found that
I could not get enough to support me on my
circuit, and I tried to get a circuit where I






might make out the rest of the year, though
it might be one thousand miles from my family;
but I could find none. The brethren in St.
Louis, and the other places named, have my
hearty thanks for their kindness, and but for
their goodness we must have suffered very
much.
Having spent about a month in Missouri, I
went down to New Orleans, and, at the sugges-
tion of Dr. Keener, I went to the dedication of
the new Methodist church in Houston, Texas,
and on my return I was delayed by high water,
so as to miss the boat to Delhi.
This gave me most unexpectedly a spare week
in New Orleans; and as there was a great deal
of excitement on the subject of emigration to
Brazil, Venezuela, and British Honduras, I
went around and made enquiries about all these
places. Two persons offered to pay my fare to
British Honduras, and one of them offered me
great assistance, if I should like the country
and determine to settle there. When I consid-
ered that, in a few months, the supplies I had
received during my trips would be exhausted,
and that the flat lands, on the Mississippi,







were all under water, and that there was a
very poor chance of support from a circuit,
now more like a lake than a cotton field, I
thought it was my duty to accept the offers of
my friends, and make a trip to British Hondu-
ras to look at the country.
Accordingly, I went up to see my family,
and found the country, with very few excep-
tions, navigable for large boats, and after a few
days' preparation I started to the Mississippi in
a little skiff made of plank, and after two days'
paddling over the public road, which we could
scarcely touch with our paddles, I reached the
great river, a distance of forty miles, and took
a boat for New Orleans.
After a few more days I started, in the
steamer Trade Wind, for British Honduras,
about nine hundred miles from New Orleans.
About twenty emigrants were on board, and
we had a pleasant trip of about six days, end-
ing in the harbor of Belize, the capital of the
colony.
Belize is a pleasant town of about seven
thousand inhabitants, of whom about three
hundred are English, Scotch, Americans and







.other white people, and the rest are of African,
Spanish and Indian races. The African race is
much the most numerous, and nearly all the
common laborers are of that class.
Some of the houses are very handsome, espe-
cially the governor's house, which is built of
mahogany, and the Wesleyan chapel, which is
built of brick and mahogany, with pine floors
This was built mostly by funds sent from Eng-
land, for the use of the Wesleyan missionaries,
who have a flourishing society and mission
school, nearly all of the African race. There
are two churches, served by ministers of the
church of England, a Scotch Presbyterian
church, a Baptist church, and a Roman Catholic
church, all very well attended.
Sunday are more rigidly kept in Belize than
in any other town I ever knew. Nothing but
medicine is sold on Sunday. Even milk is not
allowed to be sold.
There are several very large wholesale stores,
and as the import duty is only about ten per
cent., goods are cheap, especially linen, woolen, >j
and very light summer goods. There is no
license charged for selling anything except a






license of $200 a year for selling intoxicating
drinks. There is a revenue or excise tax of
one cent a pound on sugar made and used in
the colony, and a similar tax of forty-seven-and-
a-half cents a gallon on all rum made and used
in the colony.
These are all the taxes I ever heard of in
Belize. Those who consider a national debt a.
blessing, and heavy taxes a luxury, would have
great complaints against British Honduras.
The houses of Belize look odd for want of
chimneys, as the weather is so warm that no
fires are needed, except in the kitchens.
The markets are very well supplied with fish,
turtles, lobsters, clams, conchs, &c., of good
quality, and very cheap. The vegetables and
fruits of the tropics are very plentiful, though
much dearer than in Mexico, and the butchers'
meats cannot be praised for quality nor price.
Soon after reaching Belize, I joined a party
of Southerners, and made a trip up the Belize
river, at the mouth of which Belize is situated,.
Sin a large boat, called a pitpan, with an awning
or cover, sufficient to shelter six persons from
the sun and rain.






The pitpan is dug out of a large tree, of ma-
hogany or Spanish cedar, about forty-eight feet
long, about forty inches wide, and nearly flat on
the bottom, and about eighteen inches deep in
the middle, but getting more shallow toward
each end, where the depth is only about four
inches, and the width about two feet. The
timber is trimmed off the bottom to correspond
to the depth of the boat, and thus for about four
feet from each end it is out of the water.
This style of boat is the best for dragging
-over the shoals and for steering rapidly, so as to
shun the rocks and trees, where the descent is
rapid; for the steering is done with paddles at
both ends, which is the only practicable way in
a narrow and swift current, and especially a
crooked one.
The first seven miles we had no banks, but
swamps, and then low banks, liable to overflow
and only good for cocoanuts and mangoes, until
we had gone twenty miles, when the banks be-
-came higher, and good for pasturage.
For the nextsixty miles the lands improved,
till they became suitable for corn, sugar, and all
tropical fruits. After getting about eighty miles





47

above Belize, all the lands are very rich, and
especially suited to sugar, and all tropical pro-
ducts of rich limestone soil, and on the hills
and mountains coffee can be raised.
In all this region the pasturage is very supe-
rior, and any amount of cattle and hogs could
be raised.
About one hundred and forty miles above
Belize the northern and southern branches
unite, and about three miles above the fork, on
the northern branch, is the place which I se-
lected for my home.
All the lands in this region, until you go off
from the rivers to the pine ridges, are exceed-
ingly rich, and suited to sugar cane ard coffee;
the hills and mountains to coffee, and the low
lands of the valleys to sugar cane. These
lands also are well suited to indigo, smoking
tobacco, rice, corn, and all tropical fruits and
vegetables; and cotton grows very well, but the
worms might destroy it.
Nearly all this country is covered with small
i mountains and valleys, and well supplied with
good water by the rivers and creeks.
The low grounds, where vegetation is very






luxuriant, are very much annoyed by mos-
quitoes and other flies, but if the space of
twenty or thirty acres, on some high land or
hill, is well cleared and kept free of everything
except fruit trees and short grass, the wind will
keep all such annoyances away, and make your
home very pleasant.
From sunset to sunrise the climate is most
delightful, and towards day cool enough for a
blanket, and always cool enough for thin cover-
ing, and for a hearty appetite as soon as you
get up in the morning.
From all I could see and hear, I was satisfied
that this region was very healthy, and it would
be a very pleasant home for me if we could
have enough society, and with this view I re-
turned to Belize, and made arrangements with
Governor Austin and other parties to furnish
land on long credit and at low rates to me and
as many of my countrymen as might settle
about me.
By the next steamer I returned to New Or-
leans, and wrote a piece for the New Orleans
Orescent, detailing the observations I had made,
and offering to answer such questions as might






be propounded by persons feeling an interest in
British Honduras. I immediately wrote to my
family to prepare to come down to New Or-
leans that we might go out to Honduras as soon
as we could make the necessary arrangements.
The interest in Honduras became so great,
that it was called the Honduras fever," and
"Honduras on the brain." About two hun-
dred letters were written to me anid duly an-
swered, and many of the writers said most posi-
tively that they would go to Honduras as soon
as they could sell their cotton and wind up their
affairs, and several asked me to select their
places near my own. Under these circum-
stances I fully expected to have a plenty of
neighbors for the support of a school and for
religious and social privileges, and by the terms
of my contract with the proprietors of the land
I should have been remunerated for all the land
I should have settled up for them, but not at
the expense of my countrymen.
When my family arrived in New Orleans, I
was negotiating for passage on a sailing vessel,
as being much cheaper than the fare on the
steamer, and we were detained two weeks, dur-
ing which we enjoyed the hospitality of a kind
4




50

friend. The first vessel I had engaged disap-
pointed us, after taking some of our freight on
board; and it was well for us, as she had a ter-
rible trip of it.
The next one was a very small schooner, of
only 241 tons, and after we had put our freight
and baggage on board, and she was ready to
sail, the custom-house officers prohibited the
captain from carrying passengers, as the vessel
was too small. But we had already put our
things on board, and paid a part of the fare.
After some consultation, the captain told me to
take my family ten miles down the river, and
have a light on the bank, till he should drop
down the river and take us on, about nine
o'clock at night.
According to this arrangement we left New
Orleans in an omnibus, at about four o'clock, on
our way to British Honduras, and stopped on the
bank of the river, and at dark made a light and
waited for the schooner. About nine o'clock we
saw her coming, and soon she came to the shore
with a pretty hard thump, which, however, did
no harm to the schooner, but stirred up a
mighty quarrel between the captain and the
owner-the latter having given the order which






produced the confusion. The owner had hired
the captain, and had come only as a common
sailor, and had no right to give an order. Both
were drinky, and the quarrel soon came to
blows, and the powerful fist of the owner soon
bruised the eyes of the captain and knocked
out one of his teeth, which he never could find.
The captain then took the vessel's papers and
jumped on shore, swearing that he would return
to New Orleans that night. The owner then
cooled down, and begged the captain to go on
to Honduras, but he vowed that he would not,
and soon he was lost in the darkness. We
Wondered how this matter would end, and the
cook and some others went to look for the cap-
tain, but having failed to find him, we returned
to the schooner and fought musquitoes till day,
when the captain appeared and told the owner
that on our account he would go on. The
owner made many acknowledgments and prom-
ises of good behavior, and we started alqag
down the river. mHORMa
The captain still feared that we mightie '
stopped at the forts at the mouth of the river,
and taken back to New Orleans. But we passed
out into the gulf safely, but passed into the







midst of a great storm, which treated our little
schooner as a mere plaything, like a cork upon
the waters. It was a serious time, and our ves-
sel was in bad trim, having a deck load of
plank, piled up so high as to be very much in
the way. The captain said this plank must be
thrown overboard, and the beautiful flooring
plank was soon floating in the Gulf, till there
was a string of it, a mile long, I suppose.
But the storm still continued, the waves
pouring down the hatches, at times, for we
could not keep them closed all the time, and
the pumps going. My wife, though she had
been a great deal at sea, and once had been
for fifty days out of sight of land, said she
thought we would never see land again.
But we were all calm, and I expressed the
hope that our prayers would be answered, and
that we should escape this danger. I felt no
fear myself, except for my family. I enjoyed
the presence of my Saviour, and felt that heav-
en is as near the Gulf of Mexico as any other
place. The noise of the roaring winds, and
the plashing of the waves, would have drowned
the words of prayer, if we could have assem-
bled in one place. So we had to pray in our







hearts, and hold on to anything suitable, to
keep from rolling about.
After about two days, the storm subsided,
and now we had another trouble. There was
no quadrant, sextant, nor chronometer on board,
and how could we navigate, with nothing but
the compass? None on board but myself had
ever been to Belize, and seen the headlands on
the way, and the captain thought the only safe
chance was to guess at the direction of Cuba,
whose western headlands several of us had
seen, and to keep far enough North to avoid
getting on shoals in the night, and when we
could see the mountains of Cuba, to steer South,
keeping the island to the East of us.
When the day dawned, the mountains were
in full view, and we steered South, about six
miles from the land, till to our astonishment we
found that we were sailing over rocks, not four
feet from our keel. And the knowledge that
the owner of the vessel was a desperate pirate,
(and probably another one on board also,) did
not increase the comfort of our reflections.
But our captain immediately took the helm,
and bore off from the land; and after about







half an hour, we were relieved of the painful
sight of rocks near the keel of our vessel.
About nine o'clock at night, we passed the
light of Cape San Antonio, and knew we were
in the Carribean Sea. The sea ran high, but
the wind was steady, and sometimes for an hour
at a time, all hands went to sleep, having fas-
tened the tiller with a rope; and thus our little
vessel navigated herself. The current from the
Carribean Sea into the Gulf of Mexico is al-
ways strong, and sometimes more so than at
others, according to the strength of the trade
winds. We found it very strong, and made but
little headway against it, but after a voyage of
eleven days, we started to go through the Keys
into Belize, without a pilot, and got aground on
some soft mud, but as our vessel was so small
we pushed off with poles, and soon came up
with some fishermen, who were nearly done
fishing, and for a bucket of ship biscuit, took
us into the harbor.
The next day I rented a house and moved
into it, and commenced fixing up a little steam-
boat, with the assistance of the governor and
merchants of Belize, and some of our country-
men, but not having the means necessary to







make it a success, though I took it nearly one
hundred miles up the river twice, it did not
answer the purpose, and I took my family up
to the place I had chosen in a pitpan, with a
cover.
The current was so strong, that it took us
twelve days to make the trip, and we had rain
every day but one.
We found a plenty of houses, such as they
were, at our new home, it having been settled by
an enterprising Spaniard, who traded with the
Indians, and made rum, until his conduct ex-
cited the suspicions of the government; and he
then fled to Guatemala, where he was detected
in a conspiracy to rob and murder; and to pre-
vent being executed, hung himself.
The houses, like all others in that wilderness-
country, are made of posts, or forks, support-
ing a frame of poles, well tied together with
vines, (found abundantly in the woods,) and
covered with a very thick roof, of bay leaves,
like the palmetto leaves, (but a great deal
larger,) and affording perfect protection against
the sun and rain. The walls are made of poles,
two or three inches in diameter, tied to hori-
zontal poles, which are tied to the posts, and






the spaces of about three-fourths of an inch,
left between the poles for the tie-vines, give
light enough, without windows. The floors are
of good solid earth, and suit very well for a
fire, in rainy weather, wherever you choose to
make it.
But floors of this sort, afford a nursery, and
dwelling place, for countless numbers of fleas,
as we found to our great annoyance. Neither
cold nor hot water, would destroy them, nor
anything else we tried; but after we had had
four sheep staying in the house, every night,
for a week, we found that these nimble insects
had more than their match, when they got tan-
gled in the greasy wool; and our regard for
sheep has greatly increased. Those who have
dogs, and hogs in warm climates, ought to have
sheep, as an antidote for fleas.
Another singular insect annoyance, in Hon-
duras as well as Mexico, is the negua, which is
very M uc like a small flea. It burrows under
the toe-nails, and finger-nails, causing great
itching; and in about twenty-four hours, a lit-
tle sack is formed, full of eggs, and if then
picked out, with a needle, the itching soon
ceases, and the little sore is soon cured; but if





57

neglected for several days, it makes a very dis-
agreable sore, especially in young children,
who are very restless, while you are picking
"out the sack; and little children are more
troubled than grown people, because their feet
are more tender, and generally more exposed.
Another annoyance is the beef-worm, which
comes from an egg, deposited in the flesh by a
kind of fly, and which sometimes grows to be
nearly an inch long, and is much larger at the
bottom than at the top. The remedy is to put
some fig juice or other mucilage, on a small
piece of leaf tobacco, and stick it on the place
for some half hour, to deaden the worm, and
then squeeze till the worm pops out. It is very
hard to squeeze it out otherwise, and if it is al-
lowed to grow large it is very painful.
Another annoyance is the army ant. These
little insects are not like the fire ants, stinging
like fire; but formidable for their prodigious
numbers. They seem to have engineers among
them, who lay off the track for their march,
4 generally about twenty Jeet wide, and within
which they keep. Their numbers are such that
they completely cover the ground and every-
thing else in their track. They will pass





58

through one room and frequently there will be
none in the other room, nor in the other corner
of the same room. They go up on everything
on their track, all over the top of the house,
and among the leaves that cover it, and then
the sound is exactly like the sound of snow
falling on leaves: and every lizard and other
living thing in the roof, hurries away. They
go down into every rat hole, and snake hole,
and every snake, and rat, and mouse, that is
old enough to escape, dashes off. The very
young ones are stung to death. And the na-
tives say, therefore the snakes are so scarce.
In about four hours the whole army has
passed by, and done no harm, but has been a
great "terror to the evil doers" that live in
holes; and has set an example of honesty that
is not often followed by so-called Christian
armies.
There is another kind of ant, very large and
numerous, that live on leaves, and have large
cities under ground, the excavations from which
are piled up into a large mound overhead, about
four feet high and twenty feet across. The tracks
to and from the mound are about four inches
wide, and beaten down hard and smooth; and







in the tracks near the mound, the ant eater
(something like the raccoon) makes a hole; and
as the ants tumble in, helps himself with great
apparent relish.
The spotted tiger and the brown tiger are
seen in the country, and frequently kill oxen
and hogs, but very rarely attack men. Foxes
sometimes, and opossums frequently, destroy
fowls, if they are not properly secured. Al-
ligators are found in all the rivers, but rarely
do any harm.
Game is very abundant. Deer, antelopes,
wild hogs, and various other quadrupeds, are
frequently shot by good hunters. There is a.
very large bird, called currasow, about the
size of a turkey, that is equal to the turkey in
flavor, and far more beautiful, and when do-
mesticated is very tame, and is at the head of
the feathered tribe. I had a beautiful pair of
them, that I brought as far as New Orleans,
but I was afraid I would lose them, if I at-
tempted to bring them to Virginia in the winter.
There are also wild turkeys, and some other
large birds; and parrots in flocks of one hun-
dred or more; maccaws, or parrot hawks, as
some call them, mostly red, but partly blue,






and under the body yellow, and all three colors
of the very brightest hue. Their tails are about
two feet long, and they are the most brilliant
birds I ever saw, but their voices are as harsh
as their plumage is showy. They are taught to
speak like parrots, but are not as safely handled.
The most remarkable animal I saw in Hon-
duras is the tapir, or mountain cow. It is about
as much like a hog as a cow, and weighs, gen-
erally, about four hundred pounds, and the
meat is very good. It spends a good deal of
time in the water, with only its head sticking
out. It has a very tough skin, and makes its
way through thorny bamboo thickets without
regarding them, and goes down the steepest
banks of the river. Its upper lip, like the pro-
boscis of the elephant, can be extended so as to
take hold of a tree, or a dog, and the hoofs of
its forefeet are very formidable, when it is pro-
tecting its calf. If it finds a camp fire in the
woods, they say it will scatter it with its fore.
feet and put it out, while all the rest of the
animals are afraid of fire.
We frequently heard the cries of baboons
near our house, though I did not often see them.
I saw one that the natives had killed to eat,






and they said it was very good; but it looked
too much like a child for my use.
But I never refused to eat the iguana, a very
large kind of lizard, living entirely on leaves,
especially sweet potato leaves, and about four
feet long. One is equal to a hen, in quantity
and quality.
Soon after reaching our homes we employed
some Indians to clear away the bushes around
the house, and to cut down the woods for a
cornfield, and to fix up our houses, as several
had requested me to do, and I went down to
Belize to meet those whom I expected. But I
found none of them, and this I did four times,
when I heard that soon after I left New Or-
leans the army worm had been more destructive
than ever before, and that some large fields did
not produce a single bale of cotton.
I planted a crop of corn, and a very large
crop of plantains and bananas, so that we
should not fail to have enough to supply all
who might come. But those who had lost their
cotton could not come, and no family ever came
but that of my son-in-law. He got a job of
surveying, and divided his wages with us, and
instead of sending the money, he bought us in






Belize, soap, cotton cloth, powder and shot,
and such other things as the Indians needed,
and I took some of the youngest children with
me and went to the Indian towns and sold
these things, and traded for hogs, Jowls, and
other things.
One of these towns, where there were as
many Africans as Indians, was about four miles
off, and contained about forty houses; the next
was eight miles, with about seventy houses; the
next, ten miles, with about thirty houses; and
the last on that side of us, two miles further,
with about twenty houses. These last three
were almost entirely Indians, speaking the
Maya language, the principal language of Cen-
tral America, and very few among them could
speak Spanish. On the other side of us, near
the border of Yucatan, was another town
twenty-four miles off, of about eighty houses.
When ready for a trip I would take one or
two of the children, each of us carrying a part
of the goods in a bag, made of twine like a
seine, and fastened to a band two inches wide,
which came over the shoulders and was sup-
ported by the forehead, so that the weight
rested on the back, and the bearer walked






something like the Grecian bend of the ladies.
We took with us a pair of blankets, and some
coffee and provisions, and some matches in a
quinine bottle, that they should not get wet,
and some shavings of fat pine, to start a fire
quickly.
When night overtook us near some water-
course, we used whatever shelters we found
convenient, or did without, according to circum-
stances, and after cooking and eating our supper
and kneeling in family prayers together, and
mending the fire, we swung our hammock to
trees, or lay down on the blanket, and slept till
About day, when we commenced our prepara-
tion for the day's journey, taking only a little
coffee'and a little piece of bread or sweet potato,
until our regular hour of breakfast, which was
nine o'clock.
Having sold what we could, and traded for
some hogs and fowls, we would start late in
the afternoon, so as not to drive the hogs more
than two or three miles before night, that they
Might not be too much fatigued. We drove
the hogs, by tying a rope to one hind foot, and
using a long switch, very gently. At first it
was very hard to get them started out of town,






and we had to drag them around, several times,
but after we got started they did better, and
the next morning we generally had but little
trouble, unless we came to logs in the path, too
large for them to jump over. When they
came to a fork in the narrow path in the woods,
we kept the rope tight, and as soon as we saw
any disposition in the hog to take the wrong
path, we held him till he turned his head to-
wards the proper route, and then the rope was
slacked, and he went ahead right.
It was a very troublesome business at first,
but we soon became trained to it, and learned
it very well. The old hogs sometimes fought,
and it was dangerous to drive them., I took
charge of such myself, and as I always carried
with me (as all the men in the country do,) a
stout knife, or sword, about thirty inches long,
called a machete, I was prepared to defend
myself.
The mode of scalding the hogs so as to get
off their hair, was to wet one side with water,
and holding a blazing bay leaf over the wet
hair till it would slip easily, to scrape clean
with knives, and then to turn the hog over and
scrape the other side in the same way. I then






assisted the children to hang the hog up, and
they preferred to do all the rest. I did not
like the sight of flowing blood, and the child-
ren only asked me to help to hold the hog till
one could stick him, and then they claimed the
right to do all the rest, except the hanging up.
The bones were all cut out, and the rest of the
meat could then be preserved by salt and
smoke, however warm the weather.
When we brought fowls, they were brought
in two story baskets, on our backs. The loads
we carried were generally about one-third of
our respective weights, but I have carried more
than half my weight-about twenty-five fowls,
the most of them grown hens.
Fowls are frequently carried in rolls, each
fowl rolled up in a large leaf, and tied like a
roll of paper. I once saw five turkeys, rolled
up and fastened to an upright board about ten
inches wide, heads reversed, carried on a man's
back. I wished then that I was a painter for
a while, that I might sketch off that- turkey-
< show.
In those trips, we were frequently caught in
the rain, and one night especially, we were
5






without shelter, and it rained hard for hours,
but still the children slept soundly. As soon
as light appeared, we started for home with the
hogs, and felt no injury from our drenching.
The Indians are a very inoffensive race.
They have no organization, except that in each
town they elect an officer, called the alcalde,
who dispenses justice and checks disorder.
Generally they are very honest. I have known
a dozen of them to spend the night where we
had a whole washing of clothes hanging up,
and they did not take a single piece, and in-
deed I never knew an Indian to steal any
clothes. Even in the town of Belize, we left
clothes hanging all night out of doors, exposed
to the street (for we had no enclosure around
the yard,) and nothing was ever stolen. They
are a small and weak race of people, but do as
much work for the money paid them as the
generality of laborers. They receive twenty-
five cents a day and rations, or $ 5 a month
and rations, which consists of about half pound
of pork and seven plantains, or an equivalent
of corn, a day; while the Africans, or Creoles
as they are called, get $8 or $9 a month, and
require flour for a part of their rations.






The Indians are very expert in the use of the
machete, which they use for cutting grass and
bushes, and even small trees, using the ax only
for large trees. They dig post-holes for build-
ing houses with the machete, and I saw two of
them dig a grave with machetes, using turtle
shells to throw out the earth. They use no
plow, nor hoe, nor spade in working or plant-
ing their crops. Corn land is prepared by cut-
ting down the bushes and trees in the winter,
and just before the rainy season sets in, about
June 1st, fires are kindled about noon, when
the dew is all off and the wind quite high,
over this patch of leaves and bushes, and in a
few minutes the flames reach to the tops of the
surrounding trees; and the bursting of the sap
from the thick stems sounds like the discharges
of small arms in battle, and can be heard for
miles.
When the burning is over and the coals are
extinguished, but little is left, except the
stumps and the large logs; and the Indian
swings a little bag of seed-corn at his side, and
takes a convenient pole, trimmed like a chisel
and throws it into the ground like a javelin,






and then stands it up and drops four or five
grains of corn under its heel, and draws it out.
If the earth falls on the corn, and covers it
sufficiently, no more is done, but if necessary,
the corn is covered up with the foot.
The rows of corn are about five feet apart,
and we would consider that it was planted too
thick, but they prefer to have it thick, some
say, to prevent suckers from shooting up. The
corn grows very fast, and if the bushes were
chopped down, when it is a month old, it would
be an advantage, but it is rarely done, and gen-
erally there is no cultivation whatever, and yet
there is a heavy crop made. When the corn is
nearly three months old, it is customary to bend
'down every stalk, just below the ears, to pre-
vent the corn from falling down in the wind
and rain, as well as to make it more difficult
for the raccoons to get at it. As soon as it is
hard the Indians carry it home on their backs,
and use what they need for themselves, and
feed the rest to their hogs and fowls, which are
the only things that bring them money.
After the first crop is taken from the land it
is much more difficult to clean it up for another






year's crop, than it is to clear the same quantity
of land by burning, and a new cornfield is made
the next year, and the same field is not used
again, until there is enough vegetation on it to
make a good burning. Yams, sweet potatoes,
cymblins, and pumpkins, are planted in the
cornfield, and yield abundantly.
The cahoon palm is great tree. Its leaves
sometimes reach the enormous length of forty-
five or fifty feet, and are nearly ten feet wide,
and one of them is nearly as much as a man
can lift. The stems are larger than a man's
leg, and are used for making fences to keep out
S oxen, as well as for walling in houses. The
tree bears annually about three bunches of nuts,
nearly a barrel on each bunch, and the nuts
are about the size of a hen's egg, and requiring
an ax to crack them. The kernel is about one
inch and a half in length, of an oval shape,
and tastes almost exactly like cocoanut, only it
is tougher and drier. It makes a very fine oil,
nearly equal to olive oil.
The India rubber tree is very beautiful; with
large round leaves. When the bark is cut the
juice spurts out as white as milk, but soon turns






black. It is collected from the tree while stand-
ing, but frequently the tree is cut down, and all
the juice is collected in a few days, from the
different cuts made along the body. The juice
is then poured into a trough, and a strong so-
lution of alum mixed with it, to curdle it, and
the next day it is poured on boards, slightly in-
clined, that the whey may run off. The curd
is then beaten, and trampled, and formed into
large cakes, and dried on a scaffold for several
days, until quite hard, when it is ready for
market.
There is not much of it in the region where
I was, but it is found in great abundance far-
ther south, on the coast of the Spanish, Hon-
duras, and still farther south to the river Ama-
zon. The trade in India-rubber turns out as
much money, and as much sickness and death,
as any trade I have heard of.
The mahogany business was formerly very
extensive on the Belize river, but nearly all the
works there have been abandoned, as also to a
great extent in other parts of the colony, and i
sugar-making is taking the place of it. There
are several reasons for this: It is much more






expensive to get the remaining mahogany,
which is distant from the rivers, than it was to
get that which was near the water; and there
are places in Mexico and Spanish Honduras
where it is much more accessible than in British
Honduras, and then the price of it is much less
than formerly.
Cabinet-makers have substituted other kinds
of wood in its place to a great extent; and the
British government, which formerly used it very
extensively for boarding up its ships of war,
because it does not splinter as other kinds of
wood, and kill men when balls are shotthrough
it, has a great deal of it on hand, and has no
use for it in iron ships, which are now the
fashion.
It was a great business once, and employed a
very great capital, and thousands of laborers.
At all suitable places on the rivers, where the
banks were high, houses were built, a large ox-
pen was constructed, and all around the houses
a large clearing was made for pasturage.
Wide, good roads were made, and very power-
ful trucks, with solid wooden wheels, about two-
and-a-half feet in diameter, and nearly a foot






thick, were furnished with seven pairs of large
oxen to each truck.
Large quantities of fat pine wood were col-
lected for torches, as it was too hot for the oxen
to haul in the heat of the day. The hunters
found the trees, and the cutters opened the way
for the trucks, the trees were cut down and
squared, some of them four or five feet square,
and as soon as the dry weather had hardened
the roads all was excitement. The grass cut-
ters, two to each team, climbed the breadnut
trees, and broke off the twigs, full of very
thick mucilaginous leaves, and sometimes
gathered one hundred and fifty bundles of
this superior fodder from a single tree, and
brought them generally in boats up or down
the river. The oxen devoured their fodder,
which is sufficient to keep horses or oxen fat
while at work without anything else. The
oxen, preceded by the torch-bearers, hauled the
great timbers to the bank, to be tumbled into
the river for passage to Belize by the next
flood. The experienced captains and their ae- i
sociates kept everything busy among the
seventy men who composed the gang, until






the first heavy rain wound up the hauling busi-
ness for the year by turning the roads into mud.
Each log was branded, and when the flood
carried them down the river they were caught
by an enormous chain stretched across the
river, twenty miles above Belize, which is about
the head of tide-water, and when they were let
through this boom, as it is called, they were
rafted together, and floated down to Belize,
where they were drawn up on the yards, and
nicely hewn over, and then floated to the ship
and stored in the hold, all the vacant places
being filled up with cocoanuts in the husk.
S Very large profits were formerly made by this
trade, but very little is made now.
Logwood and fustic, for dyeing purposes, are
also exported, and I think a factory for pre-
paring extract of logwood would be one of the
most profitable investments that could be made
in the colony. Cocoanuts are raised on the
sandy beaches, all along the coast, and about
two hundred nuts are obtained annually from
Each tree. You see them of all sizes on the
trees at the same time, from the bloom to the
full grown nut, and they fall when they are ripe.






They are used for feeding hogs and fowls, and
for making oil as well as for eating.
As no settlers came to our neighborhood, and
the surveying had ceased, our circumstances
became very straitened, and we suffered much
for want of such fare as was required, especially
for want of flour and butcher's meat. We had
not the means to buy a cow, and we had to live
mostly on hog meat and corn bread, and the
vegetables and fruits of the country. But we
needed variety of food, and we could not have
our health and strength, for want of suitable
diet. We had chills and fevers, and frequently
we had no quinine or other medicines. But I
am satisfied that our sickness was owing much
more to the diet and exposure and fatigue, than
to the climate, and that if we had had the
means and suitable society, we should have
been healthy and happy, and in five years,
when coffee trees were bearing, we should have
been very prosperous.
But after having been two years in the
wilderness, fifty miles from the nearest white
family, with no prospect of society, I began to
think about trying to return to Virginia. My






brother had written to me from Richmond, urg-
ing me to return, and quoting some kind mes-
sages of my friends, and I wrote to him that if
I could get the means I should like to return,
and enter the Conference, at its session, in Rich-
mond, November 10th, 1869.
After writing this letter, I reviewed our life
in Honduras, with feelings of lively gratitude,
for the deliverances from danger, and especially
for the preservation of our little son, when he
was lost, and spent the night in the thick forest;
and again when he was washed out of a boat in
the river, by the violence of the current, which
washed the boat under water, and under some
limbs and logs, that held it out of sight, so
firmly that about ten Indians were required to
get it out, and kept under until he was nearly
drowned. We had not as much as a dollar to
pay our way down to Belize, and the boatman
charged us $15, but consented to take our old
chairs, tables, and some other things for our
fare. I concluded to go to Belize, and trust
to the providence of God for our return to Vir-
ginia. When we got to Belize, a kind gent!e-
man loaned us the use of a new house, which






was very convenient, and I sold a piece of In-
dia-rubber belt and a few fowls, and got a few
-dollars to keep house on.
But no letter had come from Richmond, be-
cause the steamer Trade Wind had been lost in
the Gulf with all the mails soon after leaving
New Orleans, and we had to wait about six
weeks, till a new steamer was put on the line;
and on the 11th of November I received a let-
ter, in which a kind friend authorized me to
draw on him in Richmond for $100, to pay my
way to Richmond, while my family could re-
main in Belize, two thousand miles off, till I
could get assistance to send for them. By re-
turn steamer I came to New Orleans, and sent
my family a little money, but a kind merchant
in Belize learning how little it was, gave them
fifty dollars in silver, which is the currency of
the country. As soon as I got to Wytheville,
in Virginia, I found the stationed preacher,
whom I had baptized in his infancy thirty
years ago, and spent a very pleasant time with
him and the brethren, and I preached at night,
and received material aid very liberally.
In Lynchburg, Richmond, Petersburg, Nor-






folk, Portsmouth and Suffolk, I met many old
acquaintances and friends, who kindly helped
me, so that I sent on the means to pay the fare
of my family from Belize to New Orleans,
where they kept house as economically as pos-
sible at a place I had provided for them.
But then it was necessary to provide for their
living in New Orleans, and to procure their
thick winter clothing, without which it would
be dangerous to come to Virginia in the winter
after so long a residence in a hot climate; and
the fare by steamer from New Orleans to Balti-
more, the cheapest and most pleasant route, was
Another considerable item. I went to Baltimore
to see about the matter, and there and in Alex.
andria received some help, and then I went to
Mecklenburg, Virginia, among my old friends,
to whom I preached in '38 and '39, and where,
but for their poverty, I could have obtained all
I needed in a few days.
The agent of the steamer in New Orleans
was so kind as to wait for the fare till I should
be able to send it, and my family, escorted by
an American friend, came on the steamship
Cuba in February, and I met them in Baltimore
and took them to Charlottesville, to the house






of a friend, whose kindness has furnished more
than half the expense of our return to Virginia;
and may this friend, and the other who paid
my passage, and all others who have helped us,
be abundantly rewarded by the Father of mer-
cies.
After nearly two weeks, spent in the very
pleasant family of our friend, we came to Pe-
tersburg, where we thought it best to live on
account of the schools for the children and the
cheapness of house rent. After a search of some
days I found a suitable house, and rented it;
but we had no furniture, and only three dollars
to start on. But the kindness of friends again
appeared, for one loaned us a bed, and another
a bedstead, and another, another bed, and an-
other a bedstead; another, chairs, another, ta-
bles; another gave us a cooking stove, another
a load of wood; so we commenced housekeep-
ing, and before the three dollars had quite
.gone, a friend whom I had not seen for thirty
years came to see us, and gave me $5 in gold.
Before my family arrived I had tried to get i
some ministerial work, and had made enquiries
in four presiding elders' districts, but I could
hear of none; and my friends Hummer and






Laurens, general agents of the St. Louis Mu-
tual Life Insurance Co. had given me work with
them, and promised me some assistance in ad-
vance. Before I had used this last $5 this help
Same, and I started on a trip to Gatesville,
Edenton, Elizabeth City and other places, where
the people were generally too hard run to in-
sure their lives, until the next crop shall come
in. As soon as I discovered this, I determined
to operate as an evangelist, or missionary,
preaching among my friends as much as my
circumstances will allow, and depending on
their help, until I can find some ministerial
work, that will be suitable to my condition.
When that will be I cannot now see. I am in
debt for advances I have received from several
friends; for some house rent, and several
months schooling of my children. I have no
furniture worth naming; our supply of cloth-
ing is very limited, and what I wear is not
worth giving away, having done good service
before it was given to me. I have no horse, no
watch, nor even the means to move our things
to another part of the town, much less to a cir-
cuit. But on the other hand, we have reason
to be thankful to our Heavenly Father, that we






have had a full average of the world's comforts,
and no deaths,.and but a little sickness in my
immediate family, for twenty years; and con-
sidering the benefits of our observations and
experiences in foreign lands, especially to the
children, we do not regret our course, for the
last four years. I have never had a thought of
regret all this time. I have prayerfully tried to
find out what was my duty. I preached wher-
ever I could, in Belize as well as in Mexico;
I distributed tracts, where I could find men
who could read them, and exhort them to serve
their God, and to meet me in Heaven, which
some of them, with tears, promised me they
would do.
The most pleasing employment I could have
on earth, would be laboring on a circuit with
twenty-four appointments in four weeks, as
Mecklenburg circuit was in 1838, and seeing
such times as we had that year.
In conclusion, I earnestly pray that the
writer of this little book, and all its readers,
may so live, that we all may have "an abun-
dant entrance administered unto us into the
everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour
Jesus Christ. Amen."




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