The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 22, July 1918 - April, 1919 Page: 20
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
tors of the latter eighteenth century, a scientific seaman of the
type of Cook and Laperouse, favored the further development of
Acapulco as the Spanish naval base for the Northern Pacific and
as a great commercial port.' For these purposes he held it much
superior to San Blas. "No one can deny," he said, "that Aca-
pulco has great advantages which are found together in very few
ports of the globe."10
Humboldt, who saw the place in 1803, thus describes the har-
bor, which he called "the finest of all those on the coast of the
gTeat ocean,"11 and again, "one of the finest ports in the known
world" ;12 "The port of Acapulco forms an immense basin cut in
granite rocks. . . . I have seen few situations in either hem-
isphere of a more savage aspect, I would say at the same time more
dismal and more romantic. The masses of rocks bear in their form
a strong resemblance to the dentilated crest of Montserrat in Cata-
lonia. . . . This rocky coast is so steep that a vessel of the
line may almost touch it without running the smallest danger,
because there is every where from 10 to 12 fathoms water."13
Gabriel Lafond de Lurcy said of the port and its surroundings:
"This bay forms the finest and safest port along the entire
Mexican coast. It is immense, and extends over three leagues in-
land, with a, width of about one league. The anchorage is every-
where excellent, and a ship, is everywhere sheltered from all the
winds, for it is surrounded in all directions by mountains, which
close it almost hermetically, and even shut out the view of the
sea. The whole aspect is sombre and wild, and inspires a pro-
found melancholy. The shore that rims the bay offers the very
image of chaos."14 Another French navigator- of the same period,
Abel du Petit-Thonars, writes of the location of Acapulco:
"Some lofty mountains serve it as ramparts to west and north. To
'Malaspina and Bustamante, Viaje politico-cientifico alrededor del mundo,
(Madrid, 1885), 451. The voyage covered the years 1789-94.
0lbid., p. 131.
"Political Essay, I, Int., XXXIV.
2Ibid., IV, 55.
"Ibid., p. 56. "The Bay of Acapulco contains in its vast extent but one
shallow, which is not 40 metres in depth, and which has the name of St.
Anne, because it was found out in 1781, by the unexpected loss of the ship
Santa Ana belonging to the trade of Lima." Ibid., p. 58.
4"Voyages autour du monde, (Paris, 1843), 88.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 22, July 1918 - April, 1919, periodical, 1919; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117156/m1/28/: accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.