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schools in the kingdom, and in 1862 this number had increased to 933. Of these 588 belonged to the male sex, and 345 to the female, being 23,563 of the first, and 12,412 of the last-35,975 in all of persons educated at the expense of the State. Chili devotes ONE-TENTH of its revenue to public instruction-[long applause]-and there existed a President who was elected in 1851, having adopted as the platform of his canvassing this single principle, "Popular education." [Loud cheers]
In the progress of steam locomotion Chili stands so high that you will be surprised on hearing that only four countries-the United States, England, France, and Germany possess greater extent of railroad, taking into consideration the size of the respective countries, Chili possesses at present six main lines of railways.
The northern one connects the port of Caldera with the silver regions of Copiapó, and was the first ever built in South America (1850,) previous to the erection of the line of Panamá, which has, like the last, an extent of fortyseven miles. The second is that of Carrizal, twenty-four miles in length. It has been built by Americans and native capitalists for bringing to the sea-shore the rich copper ores of the interior.
The third is much more important, as it runs south from La Serena, the capital of Coquimbo, and is intended to connect with that between Valparaiso and Santiago, a distance of about five hundred miles south. Of this line ninety miles are complete, and as many in course of progress.
The fourth is the famous railway between Valparaiso and Santiago, over immense mountains, built at an expense of twelve millions of dollars. It was laid out by the eminent American civil engineer, Allen Campbell, now residing in this city in a very high position, and completed, as a contractor, by another American of great enterprise, and generous heart, Henry Meiggs. This line extends for more than 135 miles over a rough country, and is considered a work inferior to none for its boldness and solidity.
The fifth line extends from Santiago, through the inland valleys and over level ground, to San Fernando, a
distance equal to that between Valparaiso and Santiago, but, passing through a highly cultivated plain, it has cost only half the amount of the last. A distinguished American engineer, Col. Walter W. Evans, now of this city, was the builder of this railway. And as in passing I mentioned the names of some Americans prominent among us, let me pay a tribute of respect and affection to a noble and intelligent man, a real embodiment of the most characteristic qualities of the American people-to Hon. Thomas Horace Nelson-the last Minister of the United States in Chili, and who has gained the sincere affection of my countrymen, both by his personal and official attainments.
Lately, grants for four new branches of railroads were made by the Legislature, and the line going southward from Santiago will be extended this summer to Curicó, at an expense of nearly $1,500,000.
The purpose of the government is to build a central line between Santiago and Concepcion, on the banks of the Biobio, a distance of about 600 miles, of which, there are 150 completed, the whole of the country having been carefully surveyed. The actual value of the railways of the country, which measure nearly 500 miles, is $30,000,000, and it is thought that an the expense of less than that amount, a complete line of rails will be run from La Serena to Concepcion, (a distance of more than 1,000 miles,) and all within the course of ten or fifteen years.
When this great work, to which the country and Congress have lent their utmost support is completed, Chili cannot but be the best organized and best protected against internal or foreign foes of all other countries. Lines of telegraph run parallel to all the railways, and the very day war was daclared against Spain orders were given to extend the magnetic wire from the northern to the southern extremity of the country, which work has been undertaken with unabated energy. And that, gentlemen, has been the answer of the country to the piratical assault of the Spanish Admiral. He wished to put a gag in our mouths by shutting the doors of the country, and the country has used the inextinguishable voice of steam and electricity to carry all over the land her will, her dignity, and the resolution of opposing Spain to the last breath of life. (Applause.)
I wish to impress upon the minds of the thinking men, who have honored me by listening to this long and wearisome lecture, the importance of the commerce of Chili, in order to show how little has been done by the American people, and, I must say, by the American Government, to develop the interests of this nation in those far but rich countries. The value of goods imported into Chili in 1864, according to official statistics, was $18,867,363; and would any of you believe that in this commerce, of which you might have as good a share as any other nation, England is represented by forty-three per cent., while the enterprising, the prosperous and active people of the United States, with their enormous, crowded, and countless manufactures, stand only in the proportion of five per cent? But that is a fact, according to late official returns, and I may add, as far as my personal knowledge goes, that there exist in Valparaiso, among hundreds of large European houses of commerce, only three American firms-that of the old and respectable house of Alsop & Co., and those of A. Hemenway & Co. and Loring & Co.
The exports of Chili last year were to the value of $27,242,853, leaving in our favor a balance in trade of more than $8,000,000.
The internal commerce of the country, which is free to all flags (hear, hear,) amounted to $28,896,783, being an increase of $12,199,862 over that of 1861, and reaching in its whole extent, and without taking into consideration the commerce in transit to the Argentine Republic, Bolivia, and Perú, which amount to many millions, the sum of $75,005,000.
The public revenue of the present year was calculated before the war at $10,000,000, and as the foreign debt of the Government, always faithfully paid, is less than $8,000,000, it can be said that no country is in better condition as to finance. Now, if we take into consideration that the nation owns more than half the railways, and is free to sell that part to individuals, it could further be said that Chili has no foreign debt whatever. I think it necessary to add that paper was there unknown as official currency. But lately war has obliged the banks to make
a paper issue of $4,000,000, guaranteed, nevertheless, by more than twenty millions of coin and other securities.We have been obliged, at the same time, to raise in England a loan of six millions of dollars for war purposes, and an equal amount of money was to be collected in the country.
Such, ladies and gentlemen, were the conditions and prospects of Chili when a man, whose name the world had never heard before, came one morning, surprising our good faith, and taking cowardly and villainous advantage of the defenceless condition of our shores, to stop that marvelous march of progress, and overthrow in a minute the work of so many years of patient industry and honesty.
THE WAR WITH SPAIN.
One word more upon the question of this war, and I have done.
Who understands the causes of this war between Chili and Spain? I think nobody, not even myself, as there never was in the history of nations a war so groundless and ridiculous as this is on the part of Spain.
But as the causes of this difficulty have never been properly understood, and as the day before yesterday one of the leading and most influential papers of this city expressed a wish that no sympathy should be bestowed upon us, on the ground that the facts were not yet fully known, I will endeavor to put them before you in their full light, begging of you one moment more of patience.
On the 24th of April, 1863, a day of sad record for America, both North and South, Admiral Pinzon, on the part of Spain, seized the Chincha Islands, belonging to Perú, and declared in a public manifesto that in doing so he revindicated the property of Spain, as there was only a state of truce with Perú since the truce of Ayacucho in 1824.
At such an extraordinary avowal, the whole of South America rose in alarm, and stood like a single man by the side of their attacked brother. They acted, it is true, in their own behalf at the same time, as they might also be "revindicated at any moment, especially Chili, the nearest neighbor of the invaded country, and the people who had twice stood by Perú in her fight for liberty, the cause of the two countries being one.
A warm feeling of sympathy was consequently awakened in Chili in favor of Perú. The press violently attacked Spain; volunteers went over to Perú; and coal was declared contraband of war for both parties, as it was impossible to provide with means of attack the very enemy that was preying like a highway robber on our coast. And I ask you, gentlemen, what country on the surface of the earth would have acted otherwise? Would you ? Would you restrain your press on the affairs of Mexico, and deny your sympathies for the institutions and the men of a country which in some respects forms a part of your own? Besides, as I had occasion to develop fully, at an address I delivered a few days ago at Panamá, and which many of you probably read in the New York Herald of last week, there was no ground whatever, in the presence of the most stringent principles of international law, not only for a war, but even for a diplomatic rupture.
PERÚ TO STAND BY CHILI IN WAR ALLIANCE.
But as only a pretext was needed, as soon as the difficulty between Spain and Perú was settled in such a disgraceful manner, that the whole country rose against the traitors with the blush in their face, Pareja undertook to ask explanations of our Government for the legitimate acts and for the innocent sympathies shown to our suffering brothers. And let me pause a moment in my narrative, to inform you, in the joy of my heart, that the noble revolution of Perú triumphed by its national force with little bloodshed, at the gates of Lima, on the 5th of November last, as we have just heard by the steamer arrived this evening from Aspinwall.
Thanks to God, there are no more traitors in America ; and I take upon myself to declare, as a friend of Generals Canseco and Prado, the President and the leader of that glorious protest against Spain, that Perú will now stretch out to Chili the hand of a brother, and repay the sacrifices to her cause. Yes, gentlemen, I feel authorized to declare in this responsible place, that the new Government of Perú is bound by the most solemn pledges of nations to declare war, immediate and active war, against Spain.
Such is the fact at this very hour, and you may rely upon it, as I come to this country from the head-quarters