Abbildungen der Seite

Oregon City, last fall. They were purchased for the California market at $15 per bushel (a year previous they commanded only $5 per bushel). Seedling peaches, last season, sold at $5 a bushel. Fine ones, of the cultivated varieties, ten cents to twenty-five cents a piece. Pears 371 cents to 75 c. each. It is not probable that these prices will be paid this year.

Grapes are also successfully cultivated. Cuttings are brought in quantities from California ; and the price of California grapes has usually been from 25 c. to 50 c. per pound. They far exceed the Catawba and Isabella grapes in every respect.

It is unresessary to particularize other fruits usually cultivated in gardens. It will suffice to say, in growth and production they meet the expectations of the most sanguine cultivator.

Unquestionably, Oregon is destined to be “a great country for fruit.' From the summits of some of the buttes along the Willamette valley you may now behold hundreds of farms checkered with the white and pink blossoms of promise. In a few years the number will be increased tenfold. What a scene, with its background of heavy, dark, fir forests of timber, perpetually snowcapped mountains and roaring water-falls. There is beauty in your wide, extended prairies, and, doubtless, much can truthfully be said in their praise; but they afford not that glorious variety of scenery found on this long neglected

“Land of the forest and the rock,

Of dark blue lake and mighty river,
Of mountains reared on high to mock
The storm's career and lightning's shock;
My own green land for ever.”



Valley of the Amazon: Its Commerce, &c.

The cpening of Japan, and the river Amazon to the commerce of the world, by means peaceable in their nature, should such be the result of the expeditions set on foot by the late administration, will constitute one of the brightest chapters of American history since the days of the revolution. The Japan expedition was an imposing enterprise, fitted out and carried on at great expense to the nation ; but while the attention of the civilized world was attracted by its movements, two officers of the American Navy, Lieut. Herndon and Lieut. Gibbon, with no armed escort, and with no better means of transport than hired mules, crossed the Cordilleras, and, separating on the eastern side, the former embarked on the river Ucayali, a tributary of the Amazon, and after a voyage of many months in open boats reached the Atlantic. So little notice was taken of this expedition that but very few even of our own people were aware of its existence until the enterprise was accomplished. And yet we are persuaded that it will be the means of opening, at an early day, the broadest and in many respects the richest valley of the whole earth to the settlement of civilized men, and to the commerce of the world.

This expedition awakened a more lively interest on the part of the Peruvian and Bolivian governments, in respect to the commerce of the Atlantic, and startled the selfish and jealous mind of the Brazilian emperor, who hastened to neutralize and counteract any movement on the part of Peru and Bolivia towards opening their ports to foreign commerce. These republics, however, have had the sagacity to repudiate the policy to which he aimed to commit them and their ports on the tributaries of the Amazon have been declared open to the commerce of the world.

The adoption of this measure on the part of these governments secures to all nations, having treaties of commerce with them, the right to enter the Amazon, and pass through the dominions of Brazil into their respective territories. This we regard as a clear principle of national law recognized by the best authorities. We trust, therefore, if Brazil should persist in refusing her consent to other nations to navigate the Amazon, that the United States will cease to respect an unjust claim set up by her in violation of national law, and if necessary, send a sufficient force to protect our commerce with the people owning the upper Amazon and its tributaries.

By Lieut. Herndon.

My report would be incomplete were I to fail to bring to the notice of the department circumstances concerning the free navigation of the river that have occurred since my return from the valley of the Amazon.

These circumstances are clearly the result of my mission, which appears to have opened the eyes of the nations who dwell


the banks of the Amazon, and to have stirred into vigorous action interests which have hitherto lain dormant. They have an import

ant and direct bearing upon the question, whether the United States may or may not enter into commercial relations, by the way of the Amazon, with the Spanish American republics; who own the headwaters of that noble stream.

The government of the United States had scarcely begun to entertain the idea of sending a commission to explore the valley of the Amazon, with a view to ascertain what benefits might accrue to its citizens by the establishment of commercial relations with the people who dwell upon its banks, when the fact became known to Brazil. That government, thus awakened to its own (more apparent, however, than real) interests, immediately cast about for means to secure for itself any advantages that might arise from a monopoly of the trade of the river.

She accordingly dispatched to Lima an able envoy, Duarte da Ponte Ribeiro, with instructions to make a treaty with Peru concerning the navigation of the Amazon; and, this done, to proceed to Bolivia for the same purpose, while the Brazilian Resident Minister in Bolivia, Miguel Maria Lisboa, was sent to the republics of Ecuador, Venezuela, and New Granada, so as to secure for Brazil the navigation of all the confluents of the Amazon belonging to Spanish South America.

Da Ponte succeeded in making with Peru a treaty highly advantageous to his own government. It is styled “A treaty of fluvial commerce and navigation, and of boundary," and has the following articles relating to steamboat navigation:

" Article 1. The republic of Peru, and his Majesty, the Emperor of Brazil, desiring to encourage, respectively, the navigation of the river Amazon and its confluents by steamboat, which, by ensuring the exportation of the immense products of those vast regions, may contribute to increase the number of the inhabitants and civilize the savage tribes, agree, that the merchandise, produce, and craft, passing from Peru to Brazil, or from Brazil to Peru, across the frontier of both States, shall be exempt from all duty, imposts, or sale duty, (alcabala,) whatsoever, to which the same products are not subject in the territory where produced, to which they shall be wholly assimilated.

Article 2. The high contracting parties, being aware of the great expense attending the establishment of steam navigation, and that it will not yield a profit during the first years to the shareholders of the company destined to navigate the Amazon from its source to its banks (litoral”) in Peru, which should belong exclusively to the respective States, agree to give to the first company which shall be formed a sum of money, during five years, which shall not be less than $20,000 annually for each of the high contracting parties, either of whom may increase the said amounty if it suits its particular interests, without the other party being thereby obliged to contribute in the same ratio.

The conditions to which the shareholders are to be subject, in consideration of the advantages to be conceded to them, shall be declared in separate articles.

The other conterminous States which, adopting the same principles, may desire to take part in the enterprise upon the same conditions, shall likewise contribute a certain pecuniary quota to it.

The 5th clause of the 1st of the separate articles alluded to above declares that the company to be formed shall arrange with both governments touching the respective points on the river Amazon, or Maranon, to which the steamboats shall navigate, &c., &c.

Article 3d, of the separate articles, declares that the agerts of the Imperial Government, with those of the government of Peru, duly authorized, shall establish the enterprise (“contrataran la empresa) upon the terms indicated in these articles.

The persons undertaking the enterprise shall agree with the said agents touching the mode and place in which they shall receive the stipulated sums.

Both governments, in their respective territories, shall take care of the observance of the conditions agreed upon.

Immediately upon the conclusion of the treaty, and before the exchange of ratifications, Brazil gives a practical illustration of the wisdom of a remark attributed to her wily minister in Lima, which was probably intended only for Peruvian ears, and directed rather at another government than his own, viz: "that it was not expedient for a weak nation to treat with one more powerful than itself; because, in the interpretation of treaties, the stronger party always enforced its own construction, and the weaker, as invariably, went to the wall.”

By a decree of the Emperor, of date August 30th, 1852, Brazil gives to Ireneo Evangelista de Souza, one of her own citizens, the exclusive privilege of the navigation of the Amazon for thirty years, and arranges with him touching the respective points on the Amazon, or Maranon, to which the steamers shall navigate.

In the mean time, however, a new minister, Don Manuel Tirado, [more awake to the interests of his country than the framer of the treaty,] takes charge of the portfolio of foreign affairs of Peru. He thus writes to the Brazilian minister of foreign affairs: "MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, LIMA,

January 20, 1853. SIR: I have the honor, by direction of my government, to inform your Excellency that it has understood, by a communication from Don Evarista Gomez Sanchez, our Consul General, charged with the exchange of ratifications of the treaty celebrated in this capital on the 23d of October, 1851, with the Senor Da Ponte Ribeiro, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of his Majesty, the Emperor, that said exchange probably took place in Rio Janeiro, on the

Said commissioner informs me, at the same time, that the gov- . ernment of his Majesty has conceded a privilege in favor of Don Juan [Ireneo'] Evangelista the Souza for the establishment of navigation by steam of the river Amazon, under the stipulations of a contract celebrated by authority of his Majesty, approved in his decree of the 30th of August of the preceding year.

Said privilege defines the course of the lines which are to be established; the first to run from the city of Belen, capital of the province of Para, to the town at the mouth of the Rio Negro, capital of the province of Amazonas; and the second to continue on from this last city to Nauta, a town situated on the Peruvian banks.

The establishment of said navigation by steam upon the Amazon is a point agreed upon in article 21 of the treaty; as also the annual subsidy of $20,000 by each one of the governments for the * space of five years in favor of the company that will undertake the enterprise; conditions to which this government is bound, and which it is desirous of fulfilling.

This government, then, being aware of the contract celebrated with the above mentioned Don Juan ['Ireneo'] Evangelista de Souza, it is fit that I should say to your Excellency that, as according to article 3d of the separate articles of the treaty, the contracts for navigation should be made by agents duly authorized by both governments (the government of his Majesty having initiated the formation of an enterprise to this effect, and having also reference to that part of the course of the river belonging to Peru, moved, without doubt, by the desire of hastening the attainment of the great objects to which this navigation is destined,] this government cannot but hope that that of your Excelency will deign to inform the company organized in Rio Janeiro that, as respects the Peruvian shores, the conditions of navigation, its course and extent, and the obligations relative to Peru, cannot be considered as existing or efficacious, except for the five years agreed upon by the treaty, and by the celebration of an agreement or contract with the same government whence these obligations may arise.

There being no evidence up to this time that our Consul General, Commissioner Don Evarista Gomez Sanchez, has been consulted in the agreement; and it being believed that, at the date of it, he was not in Rio Janeiro, your Excellency will see how proper it is to make to you this anticipation in furtherance of the realization of that internal navigation which, for so long a time, has yearned for a decided and efficacious protection on the part of the States who share these fruitful waters, destined to open to the world new objects of speculation and of traffic, and to give to commerce and civilization one more field for their efforts.

In the mean time, as, according to the advices of the same Consul General, the first trip of the new steamers is to be made in the

« ZurückWeiter »