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roses, hops and the Missouri currant grew in great profusicn, and 80 much entangled that it was difficult to pass through them. The bottom lands are narrow. But the author thinks if cultivated they would afford provision to supply a respectable number of operatives at the copper mines which are distant about eight miles from the stream. Game, consisting of black-tailed deer, bears, turkeys, quails, &c., are abundant in the valley of the Rio Mimbres, and in the copper mine region. An excellent forest, however, consisting of two species of pine, and two species of evergreen oaks, seems to be the most interesting and valuable feature of this region. This range of forest extends from the Gila eastward about fifty miles; but lies, as we believe, north of the lands lately acquired. We copy the following remarks of the author at the close of the third day after leaving the copper mines :
The country passed over in the last three days is barren and uninteresting in the extreme. As we toiled across these sterile plains, where no tree otiered its friendly shade, the sun glowing fiercely, and the wind hot from the parched earth, cracking the lips and burning the eyes, the thought would keep suggesting itself, is this the land we have purcchased, and are to survey and keep at such cost? As far as the eye can reach, stretches one unbroken waste, barren, wild and worthless. For fifty-two long miles we have traversed it without finding a drop of water that our suffering beasts would drink; nor has there been grass enough since we left the copper mine region for more than a smail number of animals, such as our own.”
“The animals noticed seem to have partaken of the wildness of the country they inhabit. An occasional herd of antelopes is seen galloping in the distance, unapproachable by the hunter, for the want of a tree or shrub behind which he may advance. Lizards of various hues and graceful shapes glide about with inconceivable swiftness. A startled hare throws up its ears, and bounds out of sight. The prairie dog gives a shrill cry of warning to its fellows, and drops into its burrow. The only things that do not seem terror-striken, are the so called horned frogs. They, as if conscious of the security afforded by their own hideous ugliness, sullenly remove themselves out of the way of the horses' hoofs, and regard the passer with malicious eyes. The vegetable presents scarcely more of interest than the animal world. The flowers are almost entirely of that most unbecoming of all hues, yellow-varying from sulphur color to orange—and glaring in the bright sun light. One becomes sickened and disgusted with the ever-recurring sameness of plain and mountain, plant and living thing. But if the day's travel is trdious, it is almost compensated by the glory of the night. In this clear dry atmosphere, without cloud or haze, moonlight
and starlight have a splendor of which dwellers upon the sea-side cannot conceive.”
This may be regarded as a general description of that part of the Mesilla purchase, lying between the Rio Grande and the Rio San Pedro, a tributary of the Gila.. : The point on the Rio San Pedro first reached by Commissioner Bartlett was on the parallel of latitude 31° 51' 31"; Longit. west from Greenwich 110° 11' 41“. He says:
"The stream much resembled the Pecos in appearance, though much smaller, was here about twenty feet across, about two feet deep, and quite rapid. The water, though muddy, was pleasant to the taste. The valley of the San Pedro near our camp was anything but luxuriant. It consists of a loam, which if irrigated might be productive ; but as the banks are not less than eight or ten feet high, irrigation is impracticable, except by digging a canal a very long distance. The grass of the vicinity is miserably thin and poor, growing merely in tufts beneath the mozquit bushes, which constitute the only shrubbery, and in some instances attain a height of ten or twelve feet; low hills approach within a mile of the river, on the cast side, and on the west within a quarter of a mile.".
About three miles further south, however, the party succeded in finding grass sufficient for their animals.
From this camp, Mr. Bartlett set out in search of Santa Cruz, & town about forty miles distant, in a southern direction, for the purpose of procuring provisions. Having no guide, the party wandered among the mountains and defiles about two weeks before it reached the town. Our author says:
"Santa Cruz is one of the nine presideos, or military posts, on the frontier of the State of Sonora. It was formerly a place of considerable importance, with about fifteen hundred inhabitants; but at present its population does not exceed three hundred. It possesses a fine valley and bottom land of the richest soil, and is irrigated by a small stream bearing its own name, which has its rise in springs about ten miles to the north. It is admirably adapted for the raising of cattle and horses, as well as of all kinds of grain.”
We regret that Mr. Bartlett has not given the latitude of Santa Cruz. From its location on the map and its supposed distance from the camp on the Rio San Pedro, we conclude that it is within the limit of the late purchase, though it must be very near the line. The valley of Santa Cruz river whose source is but a short distance north of the town is perhaps worth all the rest of the Mesilla purchase for agricultural purposes.
The author's lively description of the Santa Cruz valley is quite refreshing to one after following him for many hundred miles through sterile plains and rugged mountains. Of this valley he says:
“A few miles brought us to the Puerta, or gate in the mountain; pursuing which, we emerged into a very broad and open plain of remarkable beauty. From the elevation where we first saw the valley, the prospect was exceedingly picturesque. Around us grew the maguay, the yucca, and various kinds of cacti, together with small oaks ; while beneath us, the valley spread out from six to eight miles in width, and some twelve or fifteen in length. Une like the desolate and barren plains between the mountain ridges, which we have crossed between the Rio Grande and the San Pedro, this valley was covered with the most luxuriant herbage, and thickly studded with live oaks; not like a forest, but rather resembling a cultivated park.”
In his rambles between the camp on the Rio San Pedro and Santa Cruz, Mr. Bartlett passed through a beautiful valley watered by a small stream, but we are not informed whether this stream is a tributary of the San Pedro or of the Santa Cruz. He says :
"The valley for the last ten miles of our march resembled an old and highly cultivated place, from which the people and their habitations had suddenly disappeared. Large cotton-wood trees and willow bushes lined the stream, while here and there in little groves were beautiful oaks and large mezquit trees; for the latter, although adapted to every soil, becomes a large tree in rich soil like this. It seemed that each grove, as we approached it, must conceal some dwelling place and cultivated grounds; but in reality all was solitude, and there was no evidence that a furrow had ever turned the virgin soil, or a seed had ever been sown there.”
Ile says nothing of the width of this valley, but we infer that it is quite narrow.
Notwithstanding the valley of the San Pedro is represented as being sterile at the place where Mr. Bartlett crossed it, yet it is probable that it may be more fertile in other parts. The valley of the Babocomori, one of its tributaries, crossed by Mr. Bartlett, is described as being from a quarter to a half a mile in breadth, and covered with a luxuriant growth of grass. The stream is about twenty feet wide with willows and large cotton-wood trees growing on its margin.
In a summary view of the route the author states :
6sFrom San Antonio to Fredericksburg [69–67 miles) the road is very stony a portion of the way, the remainder good. The soil is excellent. Wood, water and grass are always found at conven
ient distances, and in abundance. The soil continues of a good quality until the San Saba is reached; [137 miles from San Antonio] from that river to the north fork of Brady's Creek it is not so good. The grass is generally light to the latter place, with less wood and water, though enough for parties travelling. We now begin to get on the great table-land of Texas, where there is little rain and a poor soil. Several small streams emptying into the Colorado or the Concho here intersect the road, on the immediate banks of which there are a few trees. But the intermed. iate country is destitute of timber, save a very few small oak or mezquit. The grass too is poor, except near the water courses. On leaving the head waters of the Conchos, nature assumes a new aspect. Here trees and shrubs disappear, except the thorny chapporal of the deserts; the water courses all cease, nor does any stream intervene until the Rio Grande is reached, three hundred and fifty miles distant, except the muddy Pecos, which, rising in the Rocky Mountains near Santa Fe, crosses the great desert plain west of of Llano Estacado, or staked plains. From the Rio Grande to the waters of the Pacific, pursuing a western course along the 32d parallel, near El Paso Del Norte, there is no stream of a higher grade than a small creek. I know of none but the San Pedro and the Santa Cruz, the latter but a rivulet losing it. self in the sands near the Gila, and the other but a diminutive stream scarcely reaching that river. At the head waters of the Concho, therefore, begins that great desert region, which, with no interruption save a limited valley or bottom land along the Rio Grande, and lesser ones near the small courses mentioned, extends over a district embracing sixteen degrees of longitude, or about a thousand miles, and is wholly unfit for agriculture. It is a desolate barren waste, which can never be rendered useful for man or beast, save for a public highway. It is destitute of forests, except in the defiles and gorges of the higher mountains or on their summits. Along the valley of the Rio Grande, which is from one and a half to two miles in width, there grow large cotton-wood trees and a few mezquit; but between this river and the north fork of Brady's Creek there is no timbered land.”
Now, admitting that the region of country described by Mr. Bartlett affords a route as level as could be desired for the construction of a railroad, still, in an economical point of view, intelligent, practical men must doubt the practicability of making a railroad across a “desert region” a thousand miles wide; which with such slight interruptions “is wholly unfit for agriculture.” Other conditions and appliances besides a level surface are neces. sary to make a railroad upon terms that will render it profitab le to the builders. · There is no point between the Gulf of Mexico and the mouth of
aste, while highway: higher moun
the Gila from which the line could be supplied with iron. And, after a careful examination of Mr. Bartlett's description of the country, we conclude that there is not sufficient timber within one hundred miles of a line of road located between the parallels of 31° and 32° north latitude to construct it; this would be the case for at least one thousand miles of the route. And it
be CODfidently affirmed that a supply of bread and grain sufficient to feed the number of hands and teams which must be employed on the work, iť prosecuted with reasonable speed, could not be obtained within two hundred miles of the line, after leaving the sources of the Colorado of Texas. Nor is it practicable, according to the facts stated by Mr. Bartlett, to increase, to any considerable degree, the productions of that region. He has shown that as much land is already in cultivation in the valley of the Rio del Norte as can be supplied with water. There are three towns in the valley of the Santa Cruz containing in all about seven hundred inhabitants, which comprise the population of the valley; and the following extracts will show how little prospect there is of increasing the agricultural products or population in that region. The author states :
“As an example of the uncertainty of crops from artificial irrigation in this country, I will mention a circumstance which occur. red at Tubac. The preceeding fall after the place had been again occupied, a party of Mormons in passing through on their way to California was induced to stop there by the representations of the commandante. He offered them lands in the rich valley, where acequias were already dug, if they would remain and cultivate it; assuring them that they would find a ready market for all the corn, wheat and vegetables they could raise, from troops and from passing emigrants. The offer was so good, and the prospect so flattering, that they consented to remain. They therefore set to work, and ploughed and sowed their lands, in which they expended all their means, anticipating an abundant harvest. But the spring and summer came without rain : the river dried up; their fields could not be irrigated, and their labor, time and money. were lost. They abandoned the place,” and proceeded to California.
The author relates another instance in the ruins of a large rancho known as Calabasa.
“This Calabasa, I was told by Leroux, was a thriving establishment when he visited it twenty years ago,
A large tract of land was then under cultivation, and herds of cattle were reared on the adjacent hills. But the stream did not furnish a sufficient quantity of water to irrigate it, without cutting off entirely the towns