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THE present little work comprises two parts under separate titles. The first contains a physical description of Chili with statistical data up to the present time. The second relates to the actual war between that country and Spain.
Although in the last part of this pamphlet some idea of Chili is given to the general reader, we deem it important to go still further into details, in order that a country so admirably fitted to benefit emigrants may be better known.
For this purpose we give, in this preliminary part of our little work, a more minute description of Chili, paying particular attention to its geography, climate, agriculture and mines, and especially to the various laws, privileges and colonies which have been established in that generous and well-governed country, in order to favor the introduction of emigrants from all nations and of all religious creeds.
The lecture upon Chili, which we publish in the second part, given at the Travelers' Club, by Mr. Vicuña Mackenna, was of a pictorial, rather than a statistical and positive character. Consequently, we shall endeavor to supply that deficiency, but in such a way that one part will complete the other, without useless repetition.
With these few explanations, we have tried to condense, into a few pages, such important information as would make of this little pamphlet a real vade mecum or easy guide for emigrants.
POSITION AND LIMITS OF CHILI.
CHILI lies west of the Andes, and between the parallels of lat. 23° and 55° 59' S., having a coast line of about 2,270 m., and a breadth varying from 200 m. to 40 m. Its area is variously estimated by different geographers at 146,300 sq. m. (Lieut. Gilliss), 348,000 (Abbé Molina), 170,000 (Lieut. Strain), and 240,000 by German geographers. Chili is bounded N. by lat. 23° S., which separates it from Bolivia, E. by the Andes, which form the dividing line between it and the States of the Argentine Confederation, S. and W. by the Pacific Ocean. It includes in its territory all of Patagonia west of the Andes, as the Argentine Confederation does that portion lying east of those mountains.
POPULATION AND POLITICAL DIVISIONS.
According to the latest census, taken in the Republic on the 19th of April, 1865, Chili is divided into fifteen provinces, with a population of 1,814,218 inhabitants; but making the usual allowance of ten per cent. for the number omitted, the actual population cannot fall short of 2,000,000.
In this proportion the Indians are not included. Those belonging to independent tribes form a community of some 30,000 souls.
The emigrant settlement of Llanquihue, where 2,000 German agriculturists live in prosperity, and the military settlement of Magallanes, are included in the full amount of the population-the latter having only 195 settlers.
The names of the provinces of Chili (which will be seen plainly marked on the accompanying map), their capitals and the population of each, are shown in the following table:
This census shows an increase in the population of 375,098 over that of 1854, and of 730,417 over that of 1843. In the course of nature, the population of Chili will double every twenty-five years; but the current of emigration which has commenced to flow into the country, and which will be much greater after the war with Spain is over, will undoubtedly make her one of the most populous Republics of South America.
The climate of Chili is one of the finest in the world. Being in the south temperate zone, its summer answers to our winter, December, January and February being the hottest months. During three months little or no rain falls, and the thermometer sometimes rises to 90° or 95° Fahrenheit; but the sea breeze at night cools the earth, and renders the temperature refreshing. The mean temperature of the winter months at Valparaiso is 54°,
at La Serena 54.8°, at Santiago 49°, at Valdivia 46.8°. The highest temperature known at Santiago is 90°, the lowest 47.5°. At Valparaiso, the highest mean point in summer, in three years' observation, was 78°, the lowest 62°, and the annual mean 70.8°. At Coquimbo, the mean summer temperature was 63.6°, and the entire range only 16.8°. At Concepcion, the mean summer temperature at 3 P.M. was 73.5°, the mean for the year about 56°. In Valdivia, the mean summer temperature is 60°, that of the year 55°. At Santiago, the average number of hours during which rain fell in the year, during 26 years' observation, was 215, or about nine days. Further south, the quantity of rain is somewhat greater; the island of Chiloé having a very moist climate. Toward the north, on the contrary, the rain diminishes in quantity, and on the desert of Atacama seldom or never falls. As a result of this equable and uniform climate, trees, fruits and flowers of both tropical and temperate regions flourish well. In some parts of the country the deciduous trees seem to forget to disrobe themselves. "The native palm and pine of Araucania," says Lieut. Gilliss, "the chirimoya of tropical America and the medlar of Japan, the magnolia of Florida and the olive of Asia, may all be found within the compass of a garden, not less luxuriant in their proportions and ever verdant foliage than under the climes of their origin." The atmosphere is remarkably clear, especially at night. Indeed, so great is its superiority in this respect over that of the Cape of Good Hope, which was selected by English astronomers for their observations, that it is estimated that a 6 inch achromatic at Santiago is fully equal to a 12 inch one at the Cape. The crescent of Venus was more than once seen with the naked eye by astronomical observers.
The surface of Chili is greatly diversified. Beside the Andes, which form its Eastern border, and which, unless we except Ecuador, maintain a higher mean of elevation and shoot up into more lofty peaks here than in any other part of their course, there are two other ranges, of less elevation indeed, but occasionally rising nearly to the level of perpetual snow, which traverse portions of the narrow