National Geographic : 1896 Feb
GEOGRAPHIC NOTES cubic feet, and the tunnel is finished for a length of 32,140 feet. The grand drainage canal is nearly 30 miles long. Surveys have been completed for a cable road to connect the Interoceanic Railway with the summit of Popocatepetl, ascending from the ranch Semacas, on the northwest side. The railway is mainly for the transpor tation of sulphur from the volcano, but it will be available for tourists. Work has been commenced on a line from Baroteran, on the Mexican In ternational Railroad, to Laredo, Texas, and thence to Mier, Mexico, on the bed of the Gould railroad, graded about ten years ago between these points. The government has modified its tax on minerals, which now amounts to 5 per cent of the value of silver and gold. It is divided into a federal stamp tax of 3 per cent and a coinage tax of 2 per cent. Mexican smelters operating under governmental concessions are not liable for the coinage tax on silver extracted from low-grade lead and copper ores. CENTRAL AMERICA NICARAGUA. A telegraph line has been built between Acoyapa and Rama. The work on the railway between Rama and San Ubaldo, 178 miles, began July 28, 1895, and should be completed in two years. THE Nicaraguan government has extended its monopoly of native dis tilled spirits to its Atlantic coast districts, except to the free port of San Juan, and imposes corresponding duties on foreign spirits. SOUTH AMERICA THE Emperor of Brazil once gave a concession to an Englishman to open the channel connecting the Orinoco with the Amazon, and the latter was to have the exclusive right to navigate the waters for a term of twenty-five years as a reward for his enterprise, but for some reason or another the contract was not carried out. THE bronze statue of George Washington erected by Guzman Blanco at Caracas is believed to be the only statue of the Father of his Country outside the United States. The inscription upon it states that Washing ton " Filled one world with his benefits and all worlds with his name," a unique tribute to his greatness that was probably written by Blanco himself. DURING the visit of Bolivar to the United States he spent a day at Mount Vernon, where, placing his hands reverently upon the coffin of Wash ington, he made a solemn vow to devote his life to the liberation of his country. Reaching his native land, he became active in the revolutionary propaganda and soon had to seek refuge in Europe. Fifteen years later, however, after a struggle to which that of our revolutionary fathers offered no comparison, he sat in the capital of Bogota, the founder of five repub lics-Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia-the last having been named in his honor. At that time the states were consolidated under a single government, with Bolivar as president. After having for the fourth time been elected president he was driven from the country and died in exile.