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Several publications have been lately made in Washington and New York upon the actual war between Chili and Spain. But as most of these papers are official documents, interesting only to a limited number of readers, we have considered it useful, for the more general information of the people, both in the United States and in England, to reprint from the daily journals some pieces of a more popular character.
We have, consequently, given preference for this purpose, to the lectures and addresses delivered on several occasions by Mr. Vicuña Mackenna, a public writer of Chili, and to some of his essays published in that country, and which bear directly on the political intercourse maintained by that country with the United States.
In accordance with this idea, we publish in this pamphlet the following papers:
I. A lecture delivered by Mr. Vicuña Mackenna at the TRAVELER'S CLUB OF NEW YORK, on the night of the 2d December, 1865, on the "Present Condition and Prospects of Chili," which gives a general idea of this country so little known abroad, and introduces in the proper place the pending conflict with Spain.
II. A letter addressed by Mr. Vicuña Mackenna, in his private character as a citizen of Chili, to the Editor of
the "Epoca," a leading journal of Madrid, and which was published, with some editorial comments, on the 2d December, 1865.
III. An address delivered by the same author at a public meeting in Panamá, held on the 9th of November last, and intended to explain the origin, character, and probable issue of that obnoxious question.
IV. The proceedings of a general mass meeting which took place in New York on the night of January 6, 1866, and was got up with a view to exhibit the sympathies of the American people for the South American Republics, and especially Chili.
V. A short description of a political banquet offered, on the 6th of December, to the Press of New York, and to the Spanish-American diplomatists residing in this city, together with some remarks made by Mr. Vicuña Mackenna at the monthly meeting of the Union League Club of New York, on the night of the 14th of December, on the Telegraphs of Chile; and lastly
VI. A short biography of Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States, written in Chili, with the purpose of exhibiting the feelings of the Chilean nation towards the United States in the hour of her most critical trials.
In the form of an Appendix, we publish some other documents relating to the main subject of this pamphlet.
REPUBLIC OF CHILI,
ITS PRESENT CONDITION AND PROSPECTS.
(An outline of her Geography, Geology, Social Manners, Political Institutions, Mineral and Agricultural Wealth, Commerce, Statistics, Public Education, Rail-Roads, and Hints on her present War with Spain.)
A LECTURE BEFORE THE TRAVELER'S CLUB OF NEW YORK,
Last Saturday evening, December 2d, 1865, a select and numerous assembly of ladies and gentlemen met at the elegant apartments of the Traveler's Club of New York, on special invitation, to hear a lecture on Chili by Hon. B. Vicuña Mackenna, special envoy of that republic to the United States. The lecturer having been introduced by Mr. Dunbar, President of the Committee of Directors of the Club, proceeded to deliver his lecture in the following terms, in the English language:
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: I am afraid I have undertaken an enterprise beyond my abilities in addressing you "The Present State and Prospects of Chili," my beloved country. It is true that I have been accustomed to address large assemblies, but this is the first time I have dared to speak in the presence of ladies, or in a language not familiar to me. But I have surrendered myself to the kind invitation of the Traveler's Club, and undertaken the duty of serving my country in the best way possible for a foreigner in a hospitable land, and to that kindness and indulgence that is always the accompaniment of beauty and talent.
Permit me now, as an introductory remark, to point out to you some of the more peculiar topographical features of Chili, and which, I hope, will explain to you many facts and particular traits of our nation as a people, and as a prominent member of the family of South American Republics.
PECULIAR GEOGRAPHICAL POSITION OF CHILI.
In the first place, Chili has its boundaries laid out, as if by the hand of God, for forming a single nation, a people of a peculiar and defined character, a family, I dare say, of good and noble citizens. Chili has no neighbors, properly speaking. Its limits are almost impassable to all nations. On the east the lofty Andes, covered with eternal snow; at the north the desert of Atacama, a wilderness of six hundred miles, where neither man nor animal, nor even the hardiest of plants can live; on the south the boundless plains of savage and unknown Patagonia; on the west, its only vulnerable side, the mighty Pacific Ocean.
To this particular and almost isolated geographical position of Chili, and to its mountainous formation, have been attributed, by both the historian and the philosophical naturalist, the love of liberty and independence exhibited by her sons-a feeling which appears common to all peoples who live by themselves and for themselves. To the same causes may be ascribed that boundless patriotism of my countrymen, developed in such a unanimous and earnest manner on the very day when old and fast-decaying Spain unfolded her flag-so many times beaten by us-in new defiance of our honor and our power. (Hear, hear.)
UNITY OF RACES.
In the next place, Chili enjoys the great privilege of unity of race. Far from tropical climates, we did not incur that great calamity of greater nations-slavery; and, at the same time, the Spanish conquerors, finding in the proud and brave Araucanians and Promacas, the natives of the land, a race worthy of theirs, became intermixed with them in such a manner that to find in Chili an Indian or a negro is a thing next to impossible. In fact, small negroes are brought from Lima to be kept in the largest houses of Santiago as an ornamental piece of furniture. It is owing to this that, although we are only two