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 Until within the past few years, Mexico was a country not easily reached from the principal cities of the United States, and our relations with it were by no means intimate. Since the completion of the railway from the frontier of Texas to the heart of the most northerly of the Spanish-American republics, there has been a rapid development of commercial and social relations between Mexico and the United States, and the tide of travel from one country to the other is steadily increasing year by year. These circumstances have led the author of "The Boy Travellers" to believe that his young friends everywhere would welcome a book describing the land of the Aztecs, its history and resources, the manners and customs of its people, and the many curious things to be seen, and adventures passed through, in a journey from one end of that country to the other.
In this belief he sought the aid of his and their friends, Frank and Fred, immediately after their return from Australasia. Ever ready to be of service, the youths assented to his request to make a tour of the Mexican republic, in company with their guide and mentor, Doctor Bronson, and the result of their journey is set forth in the following pages. It is confidently hoped that the narrative will be found in every particular fully equal to any of its predecessors in the series to which it belongs.
The methods on which the Boy Travellers have hitherto performed their work have been adhered to in the present volume. In addition to his personal acquaintance with Mexico and travels in that country, the author has drawn upon the observations of those who have preceded and followed him there. He has consulted books of history, travel, and statistics in great number, has sought the best and most accurate maps, and while his work was in progress he consulted many persons familiar with Mexico, and was in frequent correspondence with gentlemen now residing there. He has sought to bring the social, political, and commercial history of the country down to the latest date, and to present a truthful
[Pg vi]
 picture of the present status of our sister republic. The result of his efforts he submits herewith to the judgment of his readers.
Many of the works that have been consulted are named in the text, but it has not been convenient to refer to all. Among those to which the author is indebted may be mentioned the following: Bishop's "Old Mexico and her Lost Provinces," Griffin's "Mexico of To-day," Haven's "Our Next-door Neighbor," Charnay's "Ancient Cities of the New World," Squier's "Nicaragua" and "Central America," Wells's "Honduras," Stephens's "Travels in Central America, Chiapas, and Yucatan," Baldwin's "Ancient America," Wilson's "Mexico and its Religions," Abbott's "Hernando Cortez," Prescott's "Conquest of Mexico," Ober's "Travels in Mexico," Geiger's "Peep at Mexico," Gooch's "Face to Face with the Mexicans," Chevalier's "Mexique Ancien et Moderne," and the hand-books of Janvier, Conkling, and Hamilton.
As in the other "Boy Traveller" volumes, the author is indebted to the liberality of his publishers, Messrs. Harper & Brothers, for the use of engravings that have appeared in previous publications relative to Mexico and Central America, in addition to those specially prepared for this book. As a result of their generosity, he has been enabled to add greatly to the interest of the work, particularly to the younger portion of his readers, for whom illustrations always have an especial charm.
T. W. K.
New York, June, 1889.

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