This work embodies the observations of the Author on Mexico and her people, made while traveling as one of the party of the Hon. Wm. H. Seward, in 1869-70.
Through the kind partiality of Mr. Seward, and the liberality of the Government and Citizens of Mexico, the Author undoubtedly enjoyed greater facilities for seeing the country and its inhabitants, than have been accorded to any other traveler for many years.
I have endeavored to give an impartial description of what I saw and heard in that land of wonder and romance, avoiding neither the lights nor the shadows of the picture.
I had been familiar with the people of Mexico, a portion of their country, and much of their history, for many years; had sympathized with them in their noble struggle against invasion, and the infamous attempt of European rulers to subvert free, government and plant despotic institutions on the soil of America; against the bigoted, superstitious and intolerant party of conservatism, which steadfastly opposed the education of the masses and all progress; against slavery, and the remnants of monarchical institutions handed down to them as a part of the curse of Old Spain, and was prepared to make many allowances for errors and short-comings, in view of the obstacles in the way of the country's progress, and the trials through which the nation had been called upon to pass.
The journey was in many respects the most remarkable one on record. No private citizen—whatever might have been his former station in life—ever received such an ovation as was given to Mr. Seward, by the people and Government of Mexico. From the Pacific to the Atlantic,—over a journey of some twelve hundred miles,—it was one grand triumphal march, and all classes and parties joined in the demonstration.