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tlement of foreign emigrants. There are living now in those regions, in happy condition, more than two thousand Germans. According to the census of 1855, there were in Chili 6,600 Germans, 1,247 English, 1,196 French, only 769 Spaniards, and 571 citizens of the United States, about 20,100 foreigners in all. But in ten years this number has doubtless been doubled.
There is another consideration of importance connected with our population. There do not exist in Chili idle classes. All people are obliged to work to get their living, and they work hard indeed in the deep bottoms of the copper-mines of Atacama, in the northern extremity of the land, and in the inexhaustible coal-fields of Lota and Coronel, which by their extent and accessibility are not surpassed by any in England or France.
At the same time, the regular army of Chili is comparatively small, and is kept occupied (as was yours before the war) in protecting the frontiers against the invasion of the wild Araucanian Indians. But we possess, in fact, a national army of more than 80,000 men, both horse and foot, registered on our military roll, and which could take the field, as they have already done in some measure, at the first warning of the country's danger.
The benevolent institutions of the country are worthy of a particular study, as they exhibit the general disposition of the Chilians to practice the virtues of hospitality. To avoid, however, minute explanation on this subject, I should recommend you to read a chapter consecrated 'to this matter by Dr. Baxlay, a well-meaning traveler, who visited Chili two or three years ago, and has just published an interesting book on South America.
PRINCIPLES OF SELF-GOVERNMENT.
The public institutions that belong properly to the organization of self-government, work in Chili with as perfect ease as is exhibited so gloriously in this country. The rights of associations, the liberty of the press, the irresponsibility of the opinions of the representatives of the country in Congress, the liberty of conscience, that last conquest of progress and justice, the trial by jury, the privilege of habeas corpus, and, in fact, all the modern liberties and franchises of democracy, are in full and active operation in our country.
I might as well add, apropos of the press, that although we have no papers so interesting as those of New York, we nevertheless publish some of the largest and best edited journals of South America, and some as old as are printed on the Southern continent. The Valparaiso Mercury, and some interesting and active political papers as the Ferrocarril of Santiago, a magnificent journal kept up in the French style of publication.
This is, gentlemen, the general condition of the country at large, but there are yet three questions to which I request your patient attention for a few minutes, as they are the foundation of the actual civilization of nations ; first, the public education of the people ; second, the extent of the railroads, and third, the extent of its commerce and interchanges with the other countries of the world.
Chili has pursued a most steady course in educating its own people, knowing that therein consists the true support of democracy and self-government. Her Institute or University of Santiago, is considered the most important of South America, and more than a dozen learned European professors have been engaged for the purpose of spreading the knowledge of the highest branches of science. At an expense of more than $100,000 the Chilian Government maintains an Astronomical Observatory, the only one existing in the Southern hemisphere, and has consequently done great service to modern astronomy. There existed in 1862, the last epoch of the official statistics now in my power, 5,792 students of professional careers, most of them in the National Institute of Santiago, and in the provincial lyceums-every province having an institution of this kind for herself. In 1810, in the good old times of mother Spain, there existed only two public
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 Coquinibo, 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