Page:A Study of Mexico.djvu/27

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17
EXPERIENCES OF BAYARD TAYLOR.

Mexican), and to have found an adequate supply of even these at times very difficult to obtain; to sleep without shelter or upon the dirt floors of adobe huts, or upon scaffolds of poles, and to have even such scant luxuries impaired by the invasion of hogs, menace of ferocious dogs, and by other enemies "without and within," in the shape of swarms of fleas, mosquitoes, and other vermin; but, in addition to all this, he was robbed, and left bound and helpless in a lonely valley, if not with the expectation, at least with a feeling of complete indifference, on the part of his ruffianly assailants, as to whether he perished by hunger and cold, or effected a chance deliverance. And if any one were to travel to-day in Mexico, over routes as unfrequented as that which Bayard Taylor followed, and under the same circumstances of personal exposure, he would undoubtedly be subject to a like experience.

In August, 1878, Hon. John W. Foster, then United States minister to Mexico, writing from the city of Mexico to the Manufacturers' Association of the Northwest, at Chicago, made the following statement concerning the social condition of the country at that time: "Not a single passenger-train leaves this city (Mexico) or Vera Cruz, the (then) termini of the only completed railroad in the country, without being escorted by a company of soldiers to protect it from assault and robbery.