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STATISTICS OF OREGON.
(From letters of ISRAEL MITCHELL and ACHILLES DE HARLEY.)
Each of the three great divisions of Oregon have their peculiarities. The east is almost a desert, destitute of timber, burnt by excessive droughts, and the soil is wholly of volcanic formation, lava, leached ashes, lime, &c. The Blue Mountains, however, have much good land and timber, and will some day no doubt be inhabited by a healthy and happy people. Middle Oregon is a good soil in general, and the best grazing country, I suppose, on earth. Though apparently not half so luxuriant as the prairies of the Mississippi valley, the grass is more nutritious, and in many places it is so thick as to form a mat, which, to a person walking through or over it, seems like walking over a bed; and there is one kind as salt as brine. Timber, however, is scarce; much of the country will lie waste, but it will pasture millions of stock; and even now many of the Indians count their horses by hundreds, if not by thousands.
The middle district is bounded on the west by the Cascade Mountains, which are covered with a timber of which you can have no idea. Pine, red, yellow, and white fir, hemlock, spruce, cedar, &c., rise in straight and uniform trunks from the height of one hundred to one hundred and fifty feet, in many instances, to the first limbs, and then tapering from one hundred to one hundred and fifty feet to a sharp point. At other places the limbs commence nearer the ground. The most remarkable undergrowth is the vine maple. It grows in bunches, each bunch containing five or ten shoots of the size of a man's thigh. They grow ten or fifteen feet high, then turn down, and grow into the ground again, branch out again, and so continue the process, rendering it impossible to pass through on horseback, and sometimes even on foot. I have literally crawled through them, and not been on the ground for hundreds of yards, and sometimes have not been able to see the ground, so thick is the undergrowth below, nor see any object thirty feet from me on any side. These cases are not common, though there are many places of miles in extent, in the neighbourhood of the most dense settlements we have, where the foot of the white man never trod. So you need not be surprised when I tell you that Western Oregon has never yet been to any great extent explored, most of the travel from place to place being by water.
The great valley of the Walamette (pronounced Wa-lam-ette, accenting the second syllable) is a most beautiful prairie. There is considerable timber, and what are here termed fern openings and oak openings. The fern openings are where the fire has killed the greater portion of the timber, and the fern has grown up to the detriment of all other herbs and grasses. The oak openings are covered with grass, as with you. There is very little waste land in West Oregon-even the mountain lands are a good soil, free of rock, and seldom very steep. Like all mountain countries there is much good water; mill sites abound. The quantity of sawing timber is immense. There are many places where, I verily believe, 1,000 logs may be cut from an acre that will average 500 feet to the log. Now, for a moment, cast your eye to our market. China, Australia, and all the islands of the Pacific, are almost destitute of timber, and rely alone on Oregon for supplies. Our facilities for manufacturing are unrivalled on earth. Our stock is raised and fatted with less labour than that of any other country. A state of health and energy unknown in the Mississippi valley is experienced by our inhabitants, and we might and should be a happy people; but the variety of tempting lucrative employments that present themselves, make it difficult what to choose or where to locate, and there is a continual change of business. There is a great want of capital, and little competition. Were I able to give you the num ber of our producers, our exports would exceed belief. I will state, however,
that they exceed $500 for every able-bodied white male citizen in Oregon. 1 know of more than 15,000 barrels of flour having been shipped, 5,000,000 feet of lumber, 1,000 barrels of salmon, and a large quantity of butter, cheese, &c. The products of 1848 more than doubled that of any former year, and those of 1849 would no doubt have exceeded it had not the gold mania broke out and nearly depopulated the whole country. About three-fourths of the whole population of Oregon are gone to the mines. Some, however, have returned to cultivate their farms, most of whom intend to go back again. The quantity of coin and gold in the country has become so great that every thing is uncommonly high. A good labouring man gets $50 per month. Large farms are deserted, and even mills lay idle.
The following is the account given of the INDIAN TRIBES in Oregon.
1st. The Makaw, or Cape Flattery Indians, are warlike, occupying the country about Cape Flattery and the coast for some distance to the southward, and eastward to the boundary of the Halaam, or Noostlalum lands. They number about 1,000 souls. They live by fishing, hunting, and the cultivation of the potato.
2d. The Noostlalums consist of eleven tribes or septs, living about the entrance of Hood's canal, Dungeness, Port Discovery, and the coast to the westward. They are warlike, and their relations with the white inhabitants of Oregon and with the Hudson's Bay Company are doubtful. They live by fishing, hunting, and the cultivation of the potato. Their numbers are: males, 517; females, 461; children under ten years, 467; slaves, 40; total, 1,485.
3d. The Soquamish are a warlike tribe of Indians, whose relations with the whites and with the Hudson's Bay Company are friendly. They occupy the country about Port Orchard and neighbourhood, and the west side of Whidby's Island. Males, 150; females, 95; children under 12 years, 210; slaves, 64; total, 519. They live by labour.
4th. The Homamish, Hotlimamish, Squahsinawmish, Sayhaywamish, and Stitchassamish, are peaceable tribes, numbering about 500, who subsist by fishing and labour. They reside in the country from the Narrows along the western shore of Puget's Sound to New Market.
5th. The Tuanoh and Skokomish tribes reside along the shores of Hood's canal. They number about 200, are peaceable, and subsist by fishing and labour.
6th. The Squallyamish and Pugallipamish are situated in the country about Nesqually, Pugallippi, and Sinuomish rivers. Males, 200; females, 220; children under 12 years, 190; slaves, 40; total, 550. They are peaceable and friendly, and live by labour and fishing.
7th. The Sinahemish is a peaceable and friendly tribe, subsisting by labour, fishing, and hunting. They live on the Sinahemish river (falling into Posses sion Sound) and the southern extremity of Whidby's Island. Males, 95; females, 98; children under 12 years, 110; slaves, 30; total, 333.
8th. The Snoqualimich are a warlike tribe, part of whom are hostile to the whites. They occupy the country along the Snoqualimich river and the south branch of the Sinahemish river. They subsist by fishing and hunting. Males, 110; females, 140; children under 12 years 90; slaves, 8; total, 348.
9th. The Skeysehamish occupy the country along the Skeysehamish river and the north branch of the Sinahemish. They number about 450; are peace. able and friendly, and subsist by fishing and hunting.
10th. The Skadjets are a peaceable and friendly tribe, living by farming, fishing, and hunting. They reside in the country on both sides of the Skadjet river, and on the north end of Whidby's Island. Males, 160; females, 160; children under 12 years of age, 180; slaves, 10; total, 506.
11. The Nooklummie live around Bellingham's bay. They are a warlike people, subsisting by farming, fishing, and hunting; and their relations with the white inhabitants of Oregon and with the Hudson's Bay Company are doubtful. Males, 60; females, 50; children under 12 years, 90; slaves, 22; total, 222.
12. The Staktomish inhabit the country between Nisqually and Cowlitz and the head waters of Chehaylis river. Males, 50; females, 56; children under 12 years of age, 80; slaves, 18; total, 204. This tribe is peaceable and friendly, and subsist upon roots and fish.
THE ISLAND OF CUBA.
(The following interesting statistical account is taken from sources entitled to credit.)
This island is now a great object of interest, not only to the American people, but to all the world. Half a century ago, the Chevalier de Marbois foretold that Cuba could never remain a colony, being worth more intrinsically than many a European kingdom. The development of the resources of that island, in spite of a bad administration of execrable laws, has sufficed to call atten tion to the system existing in the "Queen of the Antilles."
From a work on Cuba-that of Turnbull, usually considered the most authentic and the most reliable authority-we are induced to make the following digest of the principles which appear to actuate the government of the island. The vast extent of Cuba, the largest island of the western hemisphere, has made it necessary to divide it into civil, judicial, military, and ecclesiastical jurisdictions. The civil jurisdiction is divided into two provinces, with separate governors, altogether independent of each other in theory. The eastern extremity of the island is under the charge of a governor of Santiago de Cuba, while the western is under the control of a captain general de San Cristobal de la Habana. In civil functions these two officers are altogether distinct and independent, though in military affairs the first has an ex officio command. It has sometimes happened that the gefe of the eastern end has had no rank, the troops being commanded by an officer purely military. The captain general must, however, whatever may be the army rank of the first officer of the forces, be second only to the orders of the Spanish crown. At Matanzas, Trinidad, Puerto Principe, and Cienfuegos, are also officers, with the title of gobernador, or GOVERNOR, the duty of whom, however, is merely judicial. Subordinate to these are the capitanes a guerra, relics of the old contests with the aboriginal inhabitants. The captain general is the supreme military authority of the whole island, and chief of the real audiencia, the seat of which is the city of Havana. In every city of the island there are also perpetual courts, known as ayuntamientos perpetuos, and in the rural districts jueces pedaneos, appointed by the local governors. The latter are rather commissaries of police than judges, being charged with a general surveillance of the law and order of their districts.
The ayuntamiento of Havana once consisted of four corregidors. This number was afterwards increased by two, and ultimately to eight, a commissioner promoting the crusades and another officer having been added. The commissioner residing in Spain, in 1834 and 1835, eclipsed the magnificence of the representatives of first-rate powers, and his deputado in Havana left all the Cuban noblesse far behind him. Ultimately Havana became a city, and the corregidors were raised to twelve, one of whom was the alferez, real or royal standard bearer; a second the chief alguacil: the third an officer of the Santa Hermandad, so celebrated by Gil Blas; a fourth the public administrator; a fifth holds an untranslatable office as Receptor de Penas de Camara; and VOL. III.-DEC., 1849.
a sixth is the keeper of the archives, treasures, &c. Several of the corregidors hold their office by hereditary right, among whom is the Padre de Menores, who, however, has no deliberative voice.
At present, therefore, the ayuntamiento of the Havana consists of twelve Corregidores; two Alcaldes ordinarios, elected annually; two Alcaldes de la Santa Hermandad, also elected annually; one Mayor provincial; one Alferez Real; one Alguacil Mayor; one Sindico procurador del comun, named by the corporation to serve for a year, beginning and ending at the same dates with the term of service of the Alcaldes. In former times these officers were chosen by the inhabitants at large; but latterly the system has degenerated into a sort of self-election by the permanent members of the ayuntamiento. Besides these there are a Mayor domo de proprios, an Escribano, and other subordinate functionaries.
At the meetings of this body the captain general presides; in his absence one of the three Tenientes Letrados, or subaltern chiefs, and in their absence, also, one of the Alcaldes ordinarios. On the admission of the members of the corporation, they are bound to take the same oath which is administered to the Spanish military orders of Santiago, Alcantara, and Calatrava, which is, to defend the purity of the Conception of the Holy Virgin.
The secular tribunals of Havana are, that of the captain general, assisted by the auditor de guerra in military affairs, and in civil matters the Asesores generales. The Alcaldes generales have also cognizance of civil and military disputes, and even the ayuntamiento has original jurisdiction in cases where the res in lite is less than $300 in value. In such cases this body proceeds on instruction from its own subordinates, the Tenientes Letrados and Alcaldes ordinarios.
There is also a commercial tribunal, consisting of a prior, consuls, a consultor, and an escribano, whose jurisdiction extends only to mercantile affairs; but before any one can address himself to this tribunal, he must first go before the Juez Avenidor, whose duty is like that of the Judge de Paix in France, to endeavour to conciliate the parties and prevent litigation.
The name Cuba is an aboriginal one, and was in use when Columbus discovered the Island in 1492. Cuba is the most westerly of the group of Islands known as the Antilles, and not only the largest in the Carribean Sea, but larger than all the other West India Islands together. Its greatest length, following the curves, is 800 miles; its breadth is very irregular, varying from 135 to 25 miles; and it is estimated that there are, on its coast, at least fifty ports and anchorages, safe and easy of access. Of these, the harbor of Havana is the finest in the world. The entrance is very narrow, but opens into a magnificent bay, capable of accommodating a thousand ships of the largest class, and there is at all times such depth of water, that vessels of the largest tonnage come up to the quay.
The island is traversed through its whole length by a range of mountains, some of which attain the elevation of 8,500 feet; and the interior is well watered by numerous fresh and rapid streams, which take their rise in the mountains. These streams abound in fine fish, and formerly brought down in their beds no inconsiderable quantity of gold dust. The shores are low and flat, and this peculiarity is presented, that along the line of coast, there are innumerable lagoons, which, during the spring tides, are filled with sea water, from which are collected large quantities of salt, for the consumption of the inhabitants.
The climate of Cuba is dry and warm; the seasons are divided into rainy and dry; and the warmest months are July and August, when the mean temperature is from 80 deg. to 82 deg. The general range of the thermometer in summer on the lowlands is 90 deg. to 95 deg. Fahrenheit; the coldest months are January and December, when the cold is represented to be 10 deg. less than under the equator. There is an alternation of land and sea
breezes, which, in the dry season, render the weather cool and agreeable. The coast is considered unhealthy, the interior the reverse. Travellers speak in the highest terms of the interior of Cuba, and depict in glowing language, the beauty of the scenery, the verdure of the foliage and herbage, and the soft and balmy character of the atmosphere. The elevated position of the interior, its salubrious air, and perpetually genial climate, attract valetudinarians from all parts of the world."
The area of Cuba has been estimated at 37,000 square miles. The popu lation is estimated at 1,400,000; of which, 610,000 are whites, 190,000 are free coloured, and 600,000 slaves. The imports in 1847 were $32,389,119, of which $7,049,976 were from the United States. The exports during the same period were $27,998,770, of which $12,394,877 were to the United States. In 1848, the number of arrivals at its ports was 3,740, and the number of clearances 3,446. The amount of American tonnage employed in the trade with Cuba is 479,673 tons.
Cuba has 195 miles of railroad completed and in successful operation, and 61 miles in the course of construction. About two-fifths of its surface are cultivated. Of the remaining three-fifths, now unused, one is probably worthless, leaving one-half of its agricultural resources undeveloped. The climate is so genial that it yields two crops a year of its productions. It also abounds in materials for manufacturing purposes, and its mountains contain mines of copper which are worked to considerable advantage.
At one time the island of Cuba yielded to the Spanish crown a net revenue of four millions of dollars. At present, perhaps, it is not so lucrative a possession. The trade from Cuba to the Baltic is very great, and most of it is - carried on in American bottoms.
COMMERCE OF ASIA.
The trade of Europe and America with Asia is already immense, and must, by the laws of human intercourse, increase at a very rapid rate. We propose to exhibit some of the particulars of the trade with Asia.
The following table comprehends the ships, tonnage, and men, employed by Europe and the United States in the import trade with the Pacific:
We see at once that
The outward bound or export trade is about the same. this is already a very great commerce. The British trade is mainly to the East India company's possessions-to Mauritius, to New Holland, and to China. The United States' trade is in the South Seas and to China. The Dutch trade
is chiefly with the islands of Java and Sumatra. Let us now proceed to value, and see if we can approximate the value of the Asiatic trade by sea.
The following are the imports into Great Britain from beyond the Cape of Good Hope, taken several years since: