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profit of $11,000, after putting aside a reserve fund of $10,000. Six months afterwards (Jan. 30, 1863), a new dividend of $17,760 was paid, thus making, in little more than two years, a net profit of $38,760, or 32.38 per cent. of the capital.
Now, comparing the capital, the extent of the line, the priviliges, the subvention, and, above all, the monopoly of the English company, some faint idea may be arrived at of the splendid inducements offered by the South Pacific trade to the enterprizing capitalists of the United States, engaged in supporting rival lines on the north side of that ocean.
The Governments of Chili and Perú have always offered the most liberal terms to new companies for the establishing steam navigation in the Pacific. In 1853, Mr. Henry Griffin obtained the promise of a subvention of $60,000, during the terın of ten years, for a line of steamers which was to make eight voyages annually between Valparaiso and Liverpool round Cape Horn, or rather through the staits of Magellans.
Lately (1865), the Chilian Congress sanctioned a law to appropriate $100,000 yearly to encourage another enterprize of the same kind, gotten up by French and English capitalists. But the war with Spain has put a temporary check to this important enterprise which will give new life to the prosperous English (not American) steam navigation companies in the Pacific.
The following table gives the tariff of passage by the Pacific Steam Navigation Company, together with the maritime distances between the several ports visited by its steamers. The average of the tariff per mile is 7 cents for passengers, $1.42 per ton for freight between Panamá and Valparaiso, according to the following table :
PACIFIO STEAM NAVIGATION COMPANY'S PASSAGE TARIFF.
Distances in maritime miles.
Ports south of
240 248 238 465 603 663
Passage, Ist Olass. $25 25 30 30 55 60
PACIFIC STEAM NAVIGATION COMPANY'S PASSAGE TARIFF.
Ports north of
Distances in maritime miles.
175 195 293 316 388 433 498 676 705 820 856 926 1007 1067 1209 1400 1410 1516 2026 2236 3071
Passage. 2d Olass. $12
12 15 17 17 22 22 50 54 65 65 65 75 75 80 85 85 90 120 126 220
10 12 10 12 10 12 10 12 12 12 10 12 12 18
The agriculture of Chili forms the greater part of the wealth of the nation; and it not only maintains a robust people, who live cheaply and comfortably, but, owing to the low prices of food, affords facilities for working, at a small expense, mines that otherwise would not be productive. The immense exportation of mineral products depends chiefly upon the agricultural resources of the country, and at the same time yields from the exportation of its principal articles, viz., flour and wheat, an amount of several millions.
The husbandry of the country was not, up to within the last ten years, of the highest character. The soil of
the arable portions is very fertile, and will yield, even of the cereals, from thirty to sixty fold; but, with the exception of a tolerably skilful system of irrigation, the farmers und planters were ignorant of improved methods of agriculture. Their ploughs were the rudest and most uncouth instruments imaginable, only scratching the earth to the depth of two or three inches; of subsoiling, the application of manures, underdraining, and the rotation of crops, they knew nothing; and the stubborn adherence of the peons, like that of ignorant laborers everywhere, to old methods, handed down from one generation to another, was a most effectual barrier to any considerable improvement. Still, with all these drawbacks, so fertile is the soil, and so much is it enriched by the detritus brought down by the mountain streams, that agriculture is a very profitable pursuit.
Lately, however, great improvements have been introduced, particularly by wealthy farmers who have visited Europe, and enterprising young men who have devoted themselves to the study of practical as well as scientific agriculture, both at home and abroad.
As far back as 1842, a normal agricultural college was established by the Government at Yungay, a suburb of Santiago, and has been carried on up to the present day, at an expense of nearly $130,000. Improved cattle, splendid breeds of horses, all kinds of foreign trees, shrubbery and grasses, agricultural implements of every description, and machinery, have been obtained by that useful institution, and have afterwards found their way to the large farms, the chacras, and the quintas.
Several manufacturers of agricultural implements, both in England and the United States, have sent their agents to Chili with successful results. The agent of the wellknown Pitt's thrashing machine succeeded in setting up thirty or forty steam engines in less than six months, in the latter part of 1858 ; and there is now in Valparaiso an American house (Rose, Innes & Co.) which makes a business of importing agricultural implements to the amount of several hundred thousand dollars yearly.
The farms are usually very large, frequently comprising several thousand acres, and herds of cattle, five, tenor twenty thousand in number, are pastured on the elevated plains and tended by the rough huasos, till the period for their slaughter arrives. The hacendados, or planters, usually reside in the cities, leaving their plantations under the care of mayordomos or overseers, and only visit them occasionally. The largest plantations in the country are those of La Compañia and Las Canteras, the latter with an area of over 200,000 acres. Smaller estates are called chacras and also haciendas, and the small farms are called quinta. The daily wages of laborers vary from twenty-five cents to thirty-seven cents, and in harvest time amount to fifty cents. In the northern part of the country, the
people are far more industrious than in the southern region, where few laborers are to be found above the age of twenty-two. As soon as the young men marry in the southern provinces they yearn for independence, and live upon a little patch of land, which is generally presented to them by the planters. This class of laborers are attached to the plantation, and are called inquilinos. In return for this the land and accommodation granted to them, they are bound to assist the planter during the rodeos (cattle fair) and the trillas (threshing season).
A large part of the soil of Chili is uncultivated ; but, when capable of tillage, is so fertile, and yields crops so abundant, that large quantities of cereals and meats are exported, as already seen, to Australia, Peru, England, and other countries. The two provinces of Atacama and Coquimbo, do not grow a sufficiency of grain or cattle for home consumption ; but the other thirteen not only supply themselves and these, but exported in 1850 $2,693,545 worth of cereals, and in 1857 $2,242,354. The wheat crop of 1850 was estimated at 11,250,000 bushels; the number of horned cattle at 1,125,000, and 281,250 were slaughtered that year. Charqui, or beef dried in the sun, forms a considerable article of export, as well as of home consumption.Santiago, Valparaiso, Concepcion, Ñuble, and Chiloé are the provinces which export the largest quantity of agricultural products. The principal grains grown are wheat, barley, oats, and maize; rye does well, but is not grown, because there is no demand for it. Beans are a very large and important crop, and peas are extensively cultivated. In the southern provinces, potatoes of excellent quality are raised. Ñuble, Concepcion, Valdivia, and Chiloé produce large quantities of timber and lumber.
According to the last agricultural statistics of the country, the quantity of fanegas of corn and vegetables produced (every fanega being equivalent to three bushels), was in 1862, as follows :
1,150,122 The quantity of liquors and wines produced by the famous vines of the several provinces in 1861, is estimated in the following figures by arrobas, a liquid measure equiyalent to more or less than four quarts of the English system:
1,656,703 The great diversity of climate, from the sunny and serene tropical valleys of the north to the moist hills of Concepcion, produces such a variety of grapes that all the famous wines of Europe can be easily manufactured, from tbe lacrima christy, which is made from the vineyards of Mount Etna in Sicily, to the light claret wines of Bordeaux, or the stronger red wine of Portugal. During the