Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/245

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WE left Queretaro early on the morning of Nov. 12th, and, passing through the battle-field, of El Cemetario, around La Cruces, and San Francisquito, with their loop-holed and shattered walls, ruined outworks, and surrounding hamlets, deserted and desolate, ascended a long hill, from the summit of which, we obtained a glorious view of the white-walled city and the lovely valley around it. Our road led us, nearly all day, through a very broad and rich valley, covered with corn-fields stretching out to the very horizon, well cultivated and very productive. The haciendas of the proprietors of these vast estates, each a strong-walled fortress surrounded by the hovels of the laborers like ancient feudal castles, formed a very picturesque feature of the scene.

At 2 p. m., we had made forty-two Mexican miles, and reached the fine old Mexican town of San Juan del Rio, where we were received and entertained in the most hospitable manner, by Señor Don Antonio Diaz y Torres and his amiable and accomplished wife, at their beautiful city residence. The municipal authorities welcomed Mr. Seward with addresses and music, and Señor Don Ramon de Ybarrola, a young civil engineer, proprietor of the great estate of Galindo, in the vicinity, made a brief "felicitation" in English.