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According to the report of the war department, presented to Congress, August 4, 1858, the standing army amounted to 2,193 men, being 463 less than the number required by law, and not including 469 pensioners and 48 military scholars. The officers of the army consist of 4 generals of division, 8 brigadier-generals, 6 colonels, 27 lieut.-colonels, 48 majors, 100 captains, 18 adjutants, 64 lieutenants, and 74 ensigns; total, 349. The existing police force amounted to 2,323 men, requiring for their support an annual expense of $461,449. An increase of 771 men, with an expense of $128,002 is proposed. The civic guard or militia consists of 40,466 men, viz.—682 artillery, 24,331 infantry, and 15,453 cavalry; the marine, of 2 corvettes, 3 brigantines, 1 frigate, and 1 war steamer, the whole mounting 71 cannon.
Lately, the differential duties on goods from the United States, Great Britain, Brazil, and other principal commercial countries, have been abolished. A new tariff was introduced May 8, 1851, and amended in 1865. Under Montt's administration, a civil code has been given to Chili, tribunals of commerce established, a discount and deposit bank founded in Valparaiso, and a bank to advance money on real estate, opened January 1, 1856.
The Mint of Santiago, which is considered the finest public building in South America, having cost upwards of a million of dollars, emitted in gold and silver coin, from January 1, 1850, to January 1, 1858, $18,103,877, comprising in this sum the recoinage of the old money excluded from circulation. In August, 1858, the amount emitted was about $61,000. To create a greater abundance of the circulating medium, a measure had been recently introduced into the legislature, authorizing the executive to purchase gold and silver bullion at the prices current in the market. A further relief in the money market was expected from another measure pending before Congress, authorizing Government to warrant the bills of the Credito Hipotecario, and to modify this institution. Efforts to promote the prosperity of the country are visible in every direction. The most prominent project before Congress was the establishment of towing steamers in the Straits of Magellan, and its accomplishment would bring Chili one thousand five hundred miles nearer to Europe, America, the West Indies, Brazil, and to almost all the other countries of the globe. Government has authorized the foundation of an anonymous society for mutual insurance against fire, under the name of the Union Chilena. The establishment of a Chilian Lloyd was contemplated, and a chamber of commerce was created at Valparaiso. Foreign skill is liberally used. Engineers and artillery instructors have been sent from France, and the metallic life boats of Francis from the United States. The merchants of Valparaiso proposed to devote $250,000 per annum to the establishment of steamers connecting that city with Monte Video and Buenos Ayres, and there was every probability of the realization of this project. Agriculture was beginning also to receive a fuller share of attention. In order to prevent the scarcity of breadstuffs, felt at the end of 1856, owing to an excess of exportation agricultural statistical offices were to be organised in the provinces, noticing beforehand the approximate consumption of grain in each locality, recording its annual production, so as to make it easy to take in time preventive measures to remove an extreme scarcity.
The construction of a powerful breakwater to protect the harbour of Valparaiso from the north winds, has been planned by order of the Government, and it is believed that it will be carried out at the expense of ten millions of dollars. The construction of another breakwater on the left bank of the river Cachapoal was proposed. New regulations for the sale of Indian lands in the State of Arauco had been brought forward, with the view of civilizing this State and of putting a stop to the collisions with the Indians on the frontier. Thus we find the utmost zeal prevailing to push on the progress of the country. Nor were charitable works neglected. Beside other institutions in various parts of the country, there were in Santiago fortyseven sisters of charity, intrusted with the management of the several establishments in that city, independently of a central home, wherein one hundred and fifty girls are educated. Four sisters of Providence were to take charge of of the Concepcion foundling hospital. In the Santiago lunatic asylum, ninety-six patients were accommodated in August, 1858.
Among the newspapers, we noticed the Mercurio, of Valparaiso, the oldest of South American papers; the Patria, of the same city, a remarkably well edited liberal paper ; the Independiente, an able organ of the clergy in Santiago and the Ferrocarril, undoubtedly the most influential and widely-circulated journal in South America. Almost every town has one or two papers, and the printing of books, particularly school books, is quite a flourishing trade. The first printing office was established in Chili in 1812, by an American of the name of Hævel.
According to the able writer of the article “Chili,” in the New American Cyclopeedia, out of which much of this description has been extracted, suffering the necessary corrections, the Chilians “ are more enterprising than the inhabitants of most of the South American States, ane the hacendados, or planters, and merchants often accumulate large amounts of property. With the exception of those destined for the learned professions, they have generally but little education. The men are usually robust, and although to the casual observer would appear wanting in muscular development, Lieut. Gilliss affirms that they possess much more strength than the men of other nations. He was more than once surprised by seeing men far from robust in appearance, take a load of 350 to 400 lbs., and trot off with it for half a mile without complaint. The women have fuller and rounder figures, and are generally pretty. They seem to have more intelligence and higher aspirations for intellectual culture than the rougher
EMIGRATION AND COLONIZATION.
Having given in this hasty sketch of the republic of Chili, the necessary facts and figures to make it sufficiently known to the general reader, there only remains for us the pleasanter task of addressing a few passing remarks to the class of emigrants for whose benefit this little work has been expressly prepared.
* We are sorry not to give a more minute account than that already offered in the historical sketch of Chili, of the famous Araucanian Indians, of whose ascendancy the people of Chili feel so justly proud.They alone, of all the American tribes who came in contact with the Spanish or Portuguese invaders, have maintained their independence, notwithstanding a war of extermination was waged against them for a century and a half, in which all the appliances of civilization, all the bravery of the ablest commanders and the most experienced and veteran troops were brought to the work of their destruction. Aptly named the Ishmaelites of the new world, the best armies of Spain were powerless to drive them from their mountain fastnesses, or to subjugate them to the foreigners they hated. In this protracted contest, which ended in 1724 with the acknowledgment of their independence; the bravery, patriotism, and humanity of their leaders; the valor and devotion of the troops ; the burning love of country, which led even the weaker sex to undergo the severest hardships to rid themselves of their foes, all constitute a heroic page of history.
Among the many advantages offered by Chili to emigrants from all nations, is the mildness of the climate, which makes its valleys some of the most delightful spots in the world. This circumstance explains the fact, noticed by Humboldt and other travelers, that foreigners once settled in that country even for a few months, always show a great reluctance to leave it, and prefer it to their own native lands.
Another powerful inducement to emigration has generally been the fertility of the soil, and its adaptation to European agriculture. Emigrants to tropical or semitropical countries in South America'have found the climate a great drawback to their settlement, advancement, and even to their health. But in Chili, where the extraordinary extent of the country affords every variety of temperature, all the products, usages, and labors of Europe are met with, and so readily, that new comers may consider themselves at home after a few weeks' residence.
There is yet another peculiar advantage for foreigners in the physical structure of the country. It is true that it is the farthest land of South America, so far that a long sea voyage intervenes; but, as a compensation rarely met with, the emigrant, as soon as he finds himself on shore, is already in the midst of the country, and needs not to make a long land voyage, as is the case in the United States, Brazil, and even on the Rio la Plata. There are no inland distances, and consequently the inconvenience, expense, and fatigue of traveling, as well as the expenses of settlement, are avoided.
The well-known hospitality of the people, is a virtue to which there is not a single traveler, no matter how strongly prejudiced against Chili he may be in every other respect, who has not paid the warmest testimony. Those dreadful diseases which afflict mankind, the yellow fever, cholera, and other pestilences, are entirely unknown. The general order of the public administration, the frankness of the national character, and particularly the freedom of conscience and the liberty and free exercise of all creeds, which has been granted lately (July, 1865) by the laws of the nation, are indeed strong inducements to emigrants as the richness of the silver, gold, and wonderful copper mines of that highly-gifted country.
Protestant churches were built in Valparaiso as far back as 1835. A respectable American merchant, G. G. Hobson, Esq., chief, at that time, of the well-known house of Alsop & Co., was the originator of that reform which has now assumed the character of a cherished institution of the country.*
But all has not yet been said on this matter. Notwithstanding so many natural reasons and interests to provoke a spontaneous current of emigration to that highly-favored country, the government has always endeavored to increase the settlement of emigrants and colonists by offering the most liberal inducements.
During the ignorant and hateful dominion of Spain, foreigners were looked upon with jealousy by the public authorities, and the laws interfered to prevent their permanent residence and even their visiting the country.
* A correspondent of the “New York Tribune” thus describes, under date of Jan. 15th, 1865, the inauguration of the first public Protestant Church in Santiago:
“ The opening exercises were held the first Sabbath of the new year. The Rev. David Trumbull, from Valparaiso, preached the opening discourse from Rev. iii. 2- Be watchful and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to-day.' It was an able discourse, forcibly pronounced. The room was full: among others were seen the Hon. T. H. Nelson, our Minister, and the Hon. W. T. Thompson, the British Minister. This was a very gratifying feature, since it gave to the enterprise the influence of the representatives of the two most powerful Protestant nations. The press have generally made a kindly notice of the opening services, and not the least sign of dissatisfaction has yet been shown.
"The Protestants have come forward with great unanimity in their support. The first week all the pews were rented. " The Ferrocarril of Santiago thus noticed this event :
'Union CHAPEL. Last Sabbath took place the inauguration of the first Protestant Chapel in Santiago with the accustomed solemnities. Although, for some time past, the Protestants of Santiago have had a place for worshipping, yet it seemed that their growing necessities, and the ample protection of the present law for building churches and founding schools, demanded that they should enlarge their institutions, presenting them to the public, and not concealing them in some out of the way place. The new Chapel is sufficiently commodious, and is found in Calle Moneda No. 150, and is under the direction of the Rev. Mr. Gilbert. There were present at the ceremony some 200 persons among whom were found the Hon. T. H. Nelson, and the Hon. Wm. Taylor Thompson, the Captain and other officials of the British man-of-war Columbine, and many other English, Americans and Germans.'
“ Invited by his co-religionists of Santiago, the Rev. Mr. Trumbull preached the opening sermon.
“This thing has not been done in a corner, and no opposition has manifested itself. It all speaks highly for the Chilians. They are becoming a liberal people, and for a long time they have had the credit of having had more illiberality than has really existed. But for the last three years public opinion has made great progress in the subject of religious liberty."