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By Mary Ashley Townsend

Mary Ashley Townsend was once a novelist, newspaper columnist, and poet laureate of latest Orleans who made numerous journeys to Mexico along with her daughter Cora over the past 20 years of the nineteenth century. She gathered her impressions of many elements of existence in that country—flora, fauna, structure, humans at paintings and play, model, society, food—and wrote approximately them in the course of a time while few girls engaged in solo shuttle, less the pursuit of go back and forth writing. Her amassed paintings was once nonetheless in development whilst she died in a teach coincidence in 1901, and was once by no means published.

Renowned Latin Americanist Ralph Lee Woodward Jr. chanced on Townsend’s manuscript, besides a few of the author’s own papers, within the precise Collections department of Tulane University’s Howard-Tilton Library. as well as annotating the textual content, he has written a serious creation to the paintings that gives very good historical past information regarding the writer and areas the paintings in its ancient and cultural context.
Townsend’s writing offers an strange female viewpoint on Mexico as she describes the rustic through the center years of the Porfirio Diaz dictatorship, a pivotal time in Mexican historical past. even though Townsend doesn't delve seriously into politics her observations of people’s lives offer a necessary resource for social historians of the period.
Here and There in Mexico will make new contribution to the sphere of Latin American reviews and to the trip literature style, either as a major resource for historians and as a well-written account of a southern woman’s impressions of Mexico in the course of an important interval in that country’s improvement.

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Here and There in Mexico

Mary Ashley Townsend used to be a novelist, newspaper columnist, and poet laureate of recent Orleans who made numerous journeys to Mexico together with her daughter Cora over the last 20 years of the nineteenth century. She amassed her impressions of many features of lifestyles in that country—flora, fauna, structure, humans at paintings and play, style, society, food—and wrote approximately them in the course of a time whilst few ladies engaged in solo trip, less the pursuit of trip writing.

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His features, marked with an air of profound and even stern meditation, never relaxed and were framed in a faultless pair of mutton chop whiskers. His attitude was one of military exactness. He held salver at a “present arms,” and wore his white apron with the dignity of a Grand Master. A more solemn face was never seen not even on the shoulders of a fashionable undertaker. Its expression 24 Down the Mississippi from New Orleans suggested dirges, requiems and a general High Mass singing through his brain for the ¤sh, ®esh, fowl and other sacri¤ces offered up to the altar of appetite represented by the bounteous table.

The entrance to the jetties brought all the passengers on deck. The stupendous work disappoints sight-seers who fancy they are to ¤nd much of it visible above water. The little that can be seen conveys no idea whatever of the magnitude and value of the noble work which has linked the name of Down the Mississippi from New Orleans 25 Captain Eads with one of the most important enterprises of the world. Statistics declare that since the construction of the jetties the depth of water in the channel at the bar has increased from 12 and 18 feet to 26 and 30 feet.

They are numerous, but as of old it was said, all roads lead to Mexico. Nor, would I have the reader suppose that these lines of travel lead through one uninterrupted grandeur of Eden, where the ®owers always bloom and the orange trees grow. They do not. Much of the loveliness of the scenery depends upon the time of year, whether it is winter or summer, whether it is seed time or harvest, whether the soil is fertile or not, whether it is dusty or damp. Our little party, consulting about the route to be chosen for our second trip to Mexico, selected the river and Gulf line of travel starting from New Orleans, as affording us the day trip down the Mississippi, and a peep at some of the Mexican ports on the Gulf coast between Bagdad and Vera Cruz.

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