Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/432

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418
THE FOUR CHIEFS OF TLAXCALA.

White Hills, has nearly all disappeared, and the loose and gravelly soil has been so washed by the rains of centuries, as to make it impossible to trace with any certainty, its original outlines. There are still, any number of old churches, scattered here and there all over the wide landscape; but where the one hundred thousand people, who inhabit the little State of Tlaxcala, live, is more than I could see.

The present town, which is mostly Spanish-built, is situated on the flat between the heights, and may contain five thousand people, I should say at a venture. It has many buildings unquestionably dating back to the days of Cortez, and is a place no intelligent traveler in Mexico can afford to omit visiting.

The Governor of Tlaxcala, an intelligent gentleman, apparently of pure Indian blood, with his staff of officials, welcomed Mr. Seward, and escorted the party to the State Palace, an unpretending Old building, in which the Congress or Legislature meets. This building, poor and plain as it is, contains priceless treasures for the antiquarian and student of history.

In the hall of Congress, I noticed portraits, rudely painted in oil, of the four Chiefs of the Republic of Tlaxcala after they had been converted to Christianity. Each has the prefix "Señor Don" before his name, and a Christian name before his unpronunciable Indian surname. They are in full, Indian costume, and by the side of each is his coat of arms. From the mouth of each issues the words he pronounced at his baptism. One says "Viva Jesus!" another Viva Maria!" another "Viva Jose!" and the last "Viva Joachin!" In costume and general appearance they would pass for Navajo or Mojave chiefs of the present day, and I