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United States Department of State / Index to the executive documents of the House of Representatives for the second session of the fiftieth Congress, 1888-'90
(1888-1889)

Chili [Chile],   pp. 172-198 PDF (10.6 MB)


Page 192


FOREIGN RELATIONS.
doors; it is a common thing to see the street doors open at night. There
is a custom-house, post-office, an iron pier 1,000 feet long by 50 wide,
and a military band performs on the plaza, near the pier, in the even-
ings. Nearly all the towns here with a few thousand inhabitants have a
band, and the Chilians are remarkable for their wonderful aptitude at
learning to play on instruments. I have seen two companies of artil-
lery drilling in the park at Santiago to the bugle notes of two little
boys on horses, whose little legs scarcely covered the horses' backs.
   The chief mill in Chili for the manufacture of woolens and cloth is
 located at Tome. It employs at times as many as five hundred harnds,
 and the army and police of Chili are supplied with cloth from its looms.
   From Tome I returned to Talcahuano and took steamer for the south,
 calling first at Coronel, a coaling port with large coal mines. From
 there I went to Lota, one of the most noted places in Chili. It belongs
 to Sehora Cousifia-the entire port, with extensive coal mines, several
 mills for the manufacture of common glassware, plain and fancy tiles,
 red and yellow bricks and iron-work, and about 100,000 acres of land.
 In the mines and works over two thousand men are employed through-
 out the year.
   The park which surrounds the chief dwelling, or rather castle, which
 is now being rebuilt, contains from 300 to 400 acres, and is one of the
 most beautiful perhaps in the world. It is on a high cliff about 200
 feet above the ocean, which incloses it on three sides. Nature has done
 much for it, but art, money, and labor have done more; grottos, lakes,
 ravines, arbors, chain suspension bridges, everything that is rare in
 pdlants, shrubs, trees, flowers, birds, or animals that could be had in
 any part of the world is to be found here.
   The mines here, like all the coal mines in Chili- extend under the ocean,
and the quality of the coal in all is similar. It is rather soft, of poor
beating power, with a heavy smoke, something like our coal in the Ohio
valley. At present it is delivered on board of vessels in the harbor at
$10 a ton, the highest price it has commanded for years; the lowest it
has ever brought was $4.75, and the average price is from $6 to $7 a
ton ofl_4000 kilograms, (about 2,100 pounds). English coal sells at pres-
ent in Valparaiso at £2 2s. a ton of 2,240 pounds, equal to about $19
of
Chilian paper currency. From Lota I went to Lebu, another coaling
port rather prettily situated, and from there to Valdivia, the seat of the
much-talked-of German settlement in Chili.
  The population of the town is between 5,000 and 6,000, mostly Germans
and their descendants, while that of the province of Valdivia is about
33,000, and similar in character to that of the town. While the Ger-
man colonists are highly appreciated, the fault found by the Chilians
with the Valdivia colony is that it continues German in sentiment,
language, ant national feeling, rather than Chilian. I am inclined to
think, however, that this is more in appearance than reality and that
prosperity and freedom will in time make good citizens of them.
  Valdivia is noted ifor its lager beer, large-quantities of which are ship-
ped to all parts of Chili; also for its apple cider, the only place in Chili
where it is made and for its sausages and hams, which sell at Santiago
for 50 cents a pound. It is also noted for its rains; the saying is that
it rains thirteen months in every year in Valdivia.
  The steamer on its trip south delivered large quantities of general
merchandise at all the ports touched, but nothing to denote it came
from the United States save a quantity of burning fluid. On her return
trip from Port Montt to Valparaiso she took large quantities of sawed
lumber, potatoes, wines four large scow-!oads of lager beer in barrels
192


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