The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 17, July 1913 - April, 1914 Page: 189
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British Correspondence Concerning Texas
On his first expedition against Mexico, Cortes touched at Coz-
umel, then an inhabited island, and the ruins of buildings erected
by that Commander are said to, be still visible on its E. N. E.
portion.-Its length is estimated at about ten leagues-its breadth
at the widest part, about five, and it is distant about fifteen Miles
from the Mainland.
The outside, or Eastern, coast of Cozumel is represented as iron-
bound and inaccessible; the Southern and Western sides are said
to have a firm, accessible beach, with deep and tranquil water,
where "Vessels of any draft may anchor, within a Cable's length
of the Shore".- About three leagues from the Southern most
point of the Island, lies "a fine Bay, well land-locked, having deep
water inside, with a bar of nine feet water, at the entrance." The
whole Coast abounds in fresh water springs. The larger division,
towards the South, is "completely covered" with a dense mass of
valuable forest timber, and brushwood. The lesser division,
towards the North, consists of "low Marshy ground mixed with
small lagoons." The arable land is a rich, West Indian Soil,
"suitable," (says an agent sent to examine it)-for the Culture
of Sugar, Coffee, Cotton, &c. in a fairly healthy climate, where
frost is never known and every inch of ground is covered with
thick forest of the tallest trees, among them, Teak, Cedar, and
dye stuffs,-with two excellent harbours, "Brutus Cove," and
Easy to be defended and offering many advantages for Ship-
ping, Cozumel is said to be well adapted for the establishment of
a Commercial Nation; possessing local facilities for supplying
Southern Mexico, the Bay of Honduras and Colombia, and, in a
measure, commanding the passage between Yucatan and Cuba.
On Arrowsmith's Map of Mexico, Cozumel is placed about two
hundred Miles North from the Capital of the British settlement
at Honduras, and about fifty Miles South from the little island of
Mugeres, which is estimated to be about three leagues in length,
possesses hardly any agricultural value being chiefly composed of
sand, but it is said to. Command a harbour of ample extent and
great security, having "not less than three and a half fathoms of
water at the entrance." A Vessel, once inside, cannot well be dis-
covered, "the land surrounding the Bay, or Harbour, being high
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 17, July 1913 - April, 1914, periodical, 1914; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101061/m1/193/: accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.