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Consists of nineteen members, elected for five years, representing ten provinces.
THE HOUSE OF DEPUTIES
Consists of eighty-two members, elected for three years, representing thirty-five departments.
Foreigners require ten years' residence to obtain citizenship, if unmarried; six years, if married; three years, if married to Chilenos.
According to present calculation, the militia force of the republic. reaches forty-five thousand : forty battalions of infantry, eighty squadrons of cavalry, and eleven companies of artillery.
Agreeably to the constitution, in time of peace consists of three thousand men: eight companies of foot and horse-artillery, two regiments of cavalry, and three battalions of infantry.
Consists of the Brig Achilles, twenty guns; Schooner Colocolo, eight guns.
The late war with Peru has increased both the army and navy to
the following, in round numbers: eight thousand troops, six thousand of whom are still in Peru, but about to return; two thousand in Chili, with officers complete, all under the command of General Bulnes, nephew of the President. The navy, increased by capture and purchase, consists of, and now in service, four ships, two brigs, two schooners, and a new forty-four gun frigate, expected daily from France. During the time of our visit, June, 1839, the President, in his message, resigned the extraordinary powers conferred upon him, and recommended a reduction of the army to a peace establishment. Since that time he has been succeeded by his nephew, General Bulnes, who from all accounts retains the high reputation and popularity he gained in Peru. From G. G. Hobson, Esq., United States’ Consul at Valparaiso, and our countrymen resident there, we received every kindness and assistance, and from them we derived much information respecting the country. To the former I feel myself under many obligations for his great kindnesses, and the attention he gave to our business, the warm interest he took in the Expedition, and the manner in which he forwarded our views, and aided in procuring the necessary supplies. To him I feel bound to acknowledge my indebtedness for much valuable information, and the many agreeable hours spent in his family will long be remembered. He not only stands deservedly high with our countrymen, but has the respect and high consideration of the Chilian government. An American cannot but feel proud of such a representative abroad. Our departure from Valparaiso was delayed for some days, owing to the non-arrival of the Sea-Gull, and the prevalence of north winds and calms, together with fogs. These often prevent vessels from sailing in the winter season. During this time, one morning as the fogs lifted, a brig was discovered in a dangerous situation near the beach of Concon; boats were immediately despatched to her relief; she proved to be the English brig Superior; the master was found dead drunk on his cabin-floor She was towed to the anchorage, and placed in safety. Lieutenant Craven was left at Valparaiso, to take command of the Sea-Gull when she should arrive. After a delay there of some months, he joined the Pacific Squadron, and was transferred to the Schooner Boxer, Lieutenant-Commandant Nicholson, which vessel made strict search for the Sea-Gull in all the places she could have possibly met with disaster, in conformity to the orders of Captain Clack, then in command of the Pacific Squadron. I cannot resist the opportunity when speaking of Lieutenant Craven, s
to refer to his praiseworthy conduct in being instrumental in saving the crew of the Chilian vessel of war, the Monteguedo, that came near being lost. By his exertions, seconded as they were by the officers of H. B. M. ship Fly, they were rescued from a watery grave. It gave me great pleasure some time afterwards to receive the highly complimentary notice of it by the Hon. J. K. Paulding, then Secretary of the Navy, which will be found included in Appendix XXXIV. On the 17th of May, the United States' ship Falmouth, Captain M’Keever, arrived from Callao; and it is with much satisfaction and pleasure I refer to my meeting and acquaintance with this officer, whose liberal views, and the aid rendered the Expedition, were of essential service in forwarding our duties. The manner in which the aid was given, rendered it doubly welcome. As before mentioned, the Flying-Fish arrived on the 19th, having left Orange Harbour on the 28th of April, in company with the SeaGull. At midnight, the Sea-Gull was last seen. Shortly afterwards, it began to blow in strong squalls, and rapidly increased to a gale; by half-past eight of the 29th, it was “blowing furiously.” At one o'clock, False Cape Horn was made under the lee, when Passed Midshipman Knox determined to run for a harbour. At 4 P. M. they anchored under the south point of Scapenham Bay, where they dragged their anchors, and were obliged to remove to Orange Bay. There they anchored, and rode out the remainder of the gale, which lasted with violence until the morning of the 1st of May, on which day they again took their departure, and shortly afterwards fell in with a whaler, who seemed not a little surprised to find a New York pilot-boat off the Cape, and to have an interrogatory put to him, to know if he wanted a Cape pilot. Although I felt some uneasiness about the Sea-Gull, I did not apprehend that she had met with accident. The time that has since elapsed, and the careful search that was made, leaves no doubt of her loss, and a strong belief that all on board perished in that gale. Nothing since that time has been heard of her. How, or in what way, disaster happened to her, it is impossible to conjecture. I had the greatest confidence in the officers who had charge of her; they were both well acquainted with the management of the vessel. Their loss and that of the vessel, were a great disadvantage to the Expedition, which was felt by me during the remainder of the cruise, these vessels being well calculated for the southern seas, particularly in the low latitudes, though much exposed in boisterous weather. They were principally intended to be engaged with the boats in surveying operations, and were well adapted to that service.
Messrs. Reid and Bacon were among the most promising young officers in the squadron, and I was extremely well satisfied with the performance of their duty in the vessel. The crew consisted of fifteen persons. Passed Midshipman James W. E. Reid was the son of the late Governor Reid of Florida. He was a native of Georgia, and entered the service in September, 1831. He was ordered to the Exploring Expedition in 1837, and appointed to the command of the Sea-Gull, one of the tenders attached to the Expedition, previous to sailing, in August, 1838. Passed Midshipman Frederick A. Bacon, entered the service in May, 1832. He was a native of the State of Connecticut, where his highly respectable relatives reside. He joined the Expedition in 1838, and was attached to the Sea-Gull, previous to leaving the United States. Both of these young officers brought with them into the Expedition a high character, and, during the short period which they were attached to it, they were distinguished for their devotedness to the arduous service in which we were engaged. Their deportment was that of ardent and zealous officers, and of upright and correct gentlemen. Mr. Bacon left a widow and one child. In the family of Mr. Reid there has been a remarkable fatality during our absence. His respectable father, the Governor of Florida, and three or four other members of his family, have since died. During our stay at Valparaiso, the Chilian army was daily expected to arrive from Peru, and all were rejoicing over its success. All opposition to the existing administration had died away. The manner in which the government of General Prieto had carried through its plans, both of war and peace, had met with the approbation of all parties. One of the first acts of the government was to restore to their ranks, Generals Pinto, Borgono, and others, whose conduct had been extremely praiseworthy, though opposed to the government for the last eight years. They, although believing themselves ill used by it, discouraged all attempts at revolution, preferring to suffer themselves, rather than be instrumental in producing changes. Attention was now paid to the building of custom-houses, and other public works at Valparaiso, and elsewhere. The whole seemed to have given a fresh impulse to every thing in Chili. Those who had been at all doubtful of the stability of the government, lost their fears, and became its warmest supporters, while happiness and joy seemed to reign every where. The Congress met on the 1st of June, when the President delivered his annual message, resigning the extraordinary powers with which he had been clothed in January, 1837. All Chili will bear testimony, foreigners as well as native born, that in no one instance has he abused them, but so conducted himself, and his administration, as to entitle him to the thanks and rewards of a grateful country. Chili, with such rulers, and so moderate and energetic a government, must rise rapidly in the scale of nations.