Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/532

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ities: so that the peninsular can hardly be called a first class, quiet place to live in. Nevertheless, the roads are good, the country is improving, and the State has more to show in the way of exports—the product of her soil—than any other in the Republic.

The annual receipts of the Custom-House at Sisal, amount to four hundred thousand dollars, and the export of hemp—the best article of the kind now produced in the world—amounted in 1869 to eighteen thousand bales of four hundred pounds each. This hemp is mainly raised around Merida, and the industry—which is a new one—is fast extending, and bringing prosperity and happiness to the State. Sisal has a population of all colors, ages, sexes and conditions, of one thousand, all told. A great swamp and laguna extends miles up into the interior, in the rear of the town, and the place is not specially noted for its salubrity.

Mr. Brennan and my old San Francisco friend, Lever,—who was a captain in the Volunteers during our civil war, and afterwards a member of the famous "American Legion of Honor," and a Lieutenant Colonel in the Mexican Army,—now U. S. Mail Agent on the Cleopatra, went out on the laguna shooting ducks, ibises, flamingoes and—Heaven knows what not,—and had a glorious time, returning well laden with spoils,—all of which were spoiled by the heat of the weather, next morning.

Groves of tall, graceful cocoa-palms, and rank luxuriant cane-brakes, give a peculiar tropical charm to the place as seen from the harbor. We saw but one carriage in the place. It was a private coach, with wheels and bed as heavy as that of one of our great lumber wagons, and had a little inclosed cab-like structure, for