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TAMPICO.

were absolutely forced to rise in the night, and dress ourselves before we could sleep. The fourth—but no, I will save a few miseries to qualify some future page of enjoyment.

As late as 1825, the site of the present town of Tampico was solely occupied by a few Indian huts, and the feeble commerce carried on in the port was concentrated at the Pueblo Viejo, or Old Town, situated on the shore of a shallow lagoon a few miles distant, in the state of Vera Cruz. The difficulty of approach, added to the heavy dues exacted for all goods crossing into the state of Tamaulipas on their road to the interior, seems to have directed the attention of the merchants and other speculators to the present site. And truly no possible position could have been better chosen, as it is nearer the bar, situated on the main river, with sufficient depth of water to admit vessels of burden to anchor close to the town, and, moreover, commands an unimpeded interior navigation for one hundred and twenty miles up the country. Were it not for the annual visits of the yellow fever, and the irremediable difficulties which the interposition of the bar imposes upon the merchant, there is no doubt that Tampico would become the most flourishing port in New Spain. As it is, vessels are frequently detained four or five months; being blown off and on by the frequent severe gales, before they can unload and get inside the bar; and held prisoners as long, before they can cross it again.

The new town is built in regular squares, upon the narrow and depressed termination of a rocky peninsula, at the lower extremity of a cluster of lakes which empty their waters into the gulf by the river Panuco. The houses have no pretension to uniformity in their style of architecture. The European merchant builds substantial stone stores and dwelling houses, according to the fashion of his country. The American runs up his flimsy clap board edifices. The Mexican of Spanish descent exhibits his taste and his knowledge of the climate by low thick walls, gayly painted and flat-roofed habitations, with internal courts; and the