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vessels 22,357 tons. Tonnage dues on all vessels entering the port, 15 cents per ton, except vessels-of-war, English mail steamers, and the expected "Central American Transit Co.'s" vessels, which are exempted.
In regard to currency and exchange, they remain unchanged. That is, we have no rates of exchange, and the currency remains as it has been for many years past, being reckoned in dollars and cents, counting 100 cents to the dollar. As there have been few or no shipments to the United States the past year, there can be no rate of freights given. All kinds of merchandise are received into the port. There are no bonded warehouses or sanitary regulations. None of our citizens are engaged in any other than mercantile or mechanical pursuits, and no intelligible tabular statement of the consumption of the staple products of the United States, or of any other country, can be made.
The attempt at mining, by an American company, near the pueblo of Libertad, in the department of Chontales, a year or two ago, proved an entire failure, and the parties have abandoned the enterprise.
Some efforts at cotton culture have been made for a couple of years past; but thus far very little progress has been made. On the other hand, the cultivation of indigo, coffee, and cocoa, during the same period, has considerably increased.
Belize.—GeoRGE RAYMOND, Consul.
MAY 6, 1862.
Enclosed I send you tariff rates adopted by the settlement of British Honduras by act of assembly.
SCHEDULE OF duties, duES, AND TAXES FROM THE 1ST DAY OF MARCH, 1862, TO THE 28TH DAY OF FEBRUARY, 1863, inclusive, vIZ :
Malt liquors and cider, per imperial gallon, or per six reputed quart bottles....
Necessaries, regimental and navy, free.
Silver ore, free.
Spirits, cordials, and liquors, per imperial gallon, or per six reputed
Spirits and cordials, excise, at per imperial gallon
Soap, per hundred weight.
Sugar and candy, per 100 pounds
Sugar, excise. per 100 pounds..
Tea, per pound.
Tobacco, per 100 pounds..
Do...cigars, per 1,000.
Tortoise shell, unmanufactured, free.
Turtles, live, free.
Vegetables, fresh, and fresh fruits, free.
Wines in bulk or bottle, per imperial gallon, or six reputed quart
Wood-lumber, per 1,000 feet.
Do... shingles, per 1,000 ...
And on all articles not herein before specifically enumerated, two and a half per centum ad valorem duty, to be calculated on the amount of invoice with charges and freight.
DUES AND TAXES.
On every wheel of carts, carriages, and drays, kept and used in
On every dog kept in the town of Belize..
On vessels of every class entering from any port or place beyond the colonial limits, and not within the limits defined for the granting of coasting licenses, for each man, cook, and apprentice, to be paid at the time of entry.
On all decked vessels and bungays of five tons and upwards entering from seaward-that is, from any port or place beyond the colonial limits, but within the limits defined for the granting of coasting licenses, and not possessing such coasting license for each man, cook, apprentice, or boy, to be paid at the time of entry On all decked vessels and bungays of five tons and upwards entering from seaward-that is, from any port or place beyond the colonial limits, but within the limits defined for the granting of coasting licenses, and possessing such coasting license per month, per man, for the average crew, payable annually by the owner or consignee on the 1st day of March, or on the first entry or clearance thereafter, either for the whole of the twelvemonth commencing on such 1st day of March, or for so much of a twelvemonth as may at such time have to run before the following 1st day of March, and to be chargeable against the wages of the
On all decked vessels and bungays of five tons and upwards regu-
On every license to sell by retail spirits and cordials, such licenses to include wines, malt liquors, and cider:
On every license to sell by retail, wines, malt liquors, and cider:
For lying alongside any public wharf or landing place for a longer period than twenty-four hours between any two voyages for each day or part of a day:
On every bungay or boat under five tons..
If about five and under ten tons
If above ten and under twenty tons
If of twenty tons or upwards....
[To be collected by the searchers of customs.]
On each barrel ..
STORAGE OF GUNPOWDER.
And on small packages proportionally.
COMAYAGUA AND TEGUCIGALPA.-WILLIAM C. BURCHARD, Consular Agent. The colony in this department which is being formed under the auspices of a company in the city of New York, and of which I have had the honor to inform you in previous communications, has recently been augmented by the arrival of a number of immigrants from the State of California. The Americans now settled here have some three hundred thousand coffee trees under cultivation, and it is probable that the number of plantations will be considerably increased during the ensuing year.
New placers of gold have recently been discovered in the immediate vicinity of the lands belonging to the colony. The natives, by a rude, primitive mode of washing, are at present taking out from three dollars to twelve dollars per day to each digger, and there is no doubt that by the employment of the machines now in use in California large results might be realized. The immigrants beforementioned are experienced miners, and they are now making preparations to visit these newly discovered placers, and give them a thorough examination.
The interior of Honduras, and particularly the district known as the valley of Olancho, is, without doubt, one of the fairest and richest portions of Spanish America. Its position, about midway between the Atlantic and Pacific, and girdled by an almost unbroken chain of mountains, renders it extremely difficult of access; and hence, its commercial relations are very limited. There are no wagon roads, and no means of introducing merchandise from either coast into the interior, except by pack mules.
During the past year an effort has been made to open a new communication with the Atlantic coast by means of one of the rivers which drain the Olancho valley. The New York Navigation Company have now a steamboat on the river Tinto, and a wagon road projected from the head of navigation to the towns of the interior. Should this enterprise prove successful, Olancho will ere long become as famous for its coffee, sugar, and cotton, as it is now for its herds of cattle.
PANAMA. ALEXANDER R. MCKEE, Consul,
NOVEMBER 20, 1862.
I have the honor to enclose herewith statistical information of commercial movements at this port for the year ended September 30, 1862.
Panama and Aspinwall being free ports, no regulations are maintained in regard to imports and exports; no official statistics exist; and the only recourse left to obtain information assimilating correctness is by personal inquiry among merchants, shippers, and agents of steamships, and the Panama railroad. The imports into Panama consist of manufactured cotton, flannels, tobacco, boots, shoes, ready-made clothing, &c., hams, pork, flour, lumber, hardware, queensware, &c., &c., f om the United States and England; silk goods, wines, liquors, prepared fruits, and vegetables, from France; and, although free from duty, they maintain a price nearly double the original cost, owing to high freights, house rent, and the destructive nature of the climate. The exports are hides, deer skins, cocoa, pearls, pearl shells, &c., &c. The only bank in the city is that of Messrs. Perez & Planes. Bills of exchange on England, sixty days' sight, have been recently sold at one per cent. premium; on New York, twenty days' sight, twenty and twenty-two per cent. discount; on Paris, ninty days' sight, at par and one per cent. discount. Merchants draw upon England and France, and purchase supplies in the United States, thus increasing trade in that direction. American gold maintains a premium of from three to five per The money, weights, and measures are, by law, based upon the French decimal system.
The lands of the Isthmus, although well adapted to the growth of corn, sugarcane, rice, grazing, &c., are almost wholly neglected, the natives cultivating only enough to afford home supplies. Small quantities of coffee and cotton are produced. Landed proprietors turn their attention mainly to cattle-breeding, which yields them a clear profit of at least fifteen per cent. per annum. Sugargrowing is more profitable, but requires greater outlay and is more dependent on the uncertain supply of labor. An enterprising naturalized American of German birth has recently opened a large sugar plantation in the district of Chepo, (near this city,) and is now erecting American-built machinery for manufacturing sugar, molasses, rum, and cocoa oil.
POPULATION AND INDUSTRY.
The population of the city of Panama is estimated at 12,000, the whole state at 150,000. The residents of the interior are principally employed in agriculture. Those of the city are either shopkeepers or dependent on the railway traffic for employment. No mining operatives or factories exist, nor are there any public works in progress or contemplation, except those necessarily connected with the railway and steamship companies. The great importance of the transit across the Isthmus to the trade of the United States and Europe, and ports on the Pacific, Central America, and Mexico, is manifested by the great increase in commerce since the opening of that road; and its usefulness is likely to become vastly increased in proportion as the facilities it offers are understood and appreciated.
The local or commercial tax law, and the fear of the enforcement of the socalled liberal government making paper money a legal tender, and compelling citizens to take it for supplies, depresses trade, and has caused some business houses to close.