1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/San Luis Potosí (state)

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SAN LUIS POTOSÍ, a central state of Mexico, bounded N. by Coahuila, E. by Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas and Vera Cruz, S. by Hidalgo, Querétaro and Guanajuato, and W. by Zacatecas. Area, 25,316 sq. m. Pop. (1900) 575,432. The state belongs wholly to the high plateau region, with the exception of a small area in the S.E. angle, where the tableland breaks down into the tropical valley of the Panuco. The surface is comparatively level, with some low mountainous wooded ridges. The eastern part borders on the Sierra Madre Oriental, where there are extensive forests. The mean elevation is about 6000 ft., insuring a temperate climate. The state lies partly within the arid zone of the north, the southern half receiving a more liberal rainfall through the influence of the “northers” on the Gulf coast. The rainfall, however, is uncertain and the state is poorly provided with rivers. The soil is fertile and in favourable seasons large crops of wheat, Indian corn, beans, and cotton are grown on the uplands. In the low tropical valleys, sugar, coffee, tobacco, peppers and fruit are staple products. Stock-raising is an important industry and hides, tallow and wool are exported. Fine cabinet and construction woods are also exported to a limited extent. At one time San Luis Potosí ranked among the leading mining provinces of Mexico, but the disorders following independence resulted in a great decline in that industry. The Catorce district has some of the richest silver mines in the country. Other Well-known silver mining districts are Peñón Blanco, Ramos and Guadalcázar. The development of Guadalcazar dates from 1620 and its ores yield gold, copper, zinc and bismuth, as well as silver. In the Ramos district, the Cocinera lode is said to have a total yield of over $60,000,000. Railway facilities are provided by the Mexican Central and Mexican National lines, the former crossing a corner of the state and having a branch from the capital to Tampico, and the latter passing through the state from N. to S. The capital is San Luis Potosí , and other towns, with their populations, are: Matehuala. (13,101 in 1895), a mining town 20 m. E. by W. of Catorce, with which it is connected by a branch railway; Catorce (9547 in 1895), an important mining town 110 m. N. (direct) of San Luis Potosí (capital) and 8 m. from its railway station on the Mexican National; at an elevation of 8780 ft., Santa Maria del Rio (8440 in 1900), 37 m. S.E. of the capital; Venado (5750 in 1895), 45 m. N. of the capital; Rio Verde (5759 in 1900), an agricultural centre with a national agriculture experiment station in its vicinity; Soledad Diez Gutierrez (5730 in 1895), near the capital.