VERA CRUZ, Mexico, the most important port on either coast of the republic of Mexico, on the Bay of Campeche, and the Mexican Railway, about 200 tniles from Mexico City. As the spot whereon the Spaniards first set foot on Mexican soil, it possesses exceptional interest. The history of the °Heroic City* dates from the landing of Cortez, on 22 April 1519. It was not until 1615, almost 100 years later, that the title and privileges of °city* were bestowed by Philio III. Here the republic was proclaimed on 22 Dec. 1822, by Santa Ana. The city was bombarded by the United States forces in 1847. It had been assaulted by the French in 18313, and again in 1861. In 1914 United States troops occupied the city for many months to maintain order and protect American lives and property. The expenditure of $25,000,000 by the government in improv ing the harbor the area of which is 570 acres; the building of four railways —the Mexim the Interoceanic, the Veracruz and Pacific and the Alvarado, to its doors; the excellence of its steamship service and the recent establishment there of headquarters for its lighthouse service, by the federal government, have made the city a very important element in the commercial and industrial growth of the country. The an
nual imports and exports exceed $90,000,000 value. At a manufacturing and wholesale point the city is rapidly advancing. It is par ticularly noted for the manufacture of cigars. Lage quantities of ore, chicle, dye woods and hides are exported. The principal buildings are the federal custom house; the.new headquarters of the lighthouse service; the church of San Francisco; the old churches of San Domingo and San Augustine, now occupied by a firm of wholesale merchants; the Hospicio Zamora; the military hospital; the Hospital of San Sebastian, and several extensive cigar manu factories. The famous fortress of San Juan de Ulua occupies a conspicuous position near the entrance to the harbor. The Alameda and several fine plazas provide breathing places for the public. In one of these is a bronze statue of Don Manuel Gutierrez Zamora. There are military barracks in a remote section. The financial institutions of the city are the Mercan tile Bank, with $2,000,000 capital, the Veracruz Banking Company, a branch of the National Bank and an agency of the Bank of London and Mexico. Pop. about 42,000.