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THE author is indebted to Mr. Van Buren, late Pres ident of the United States, for the opportunity of presenting to the public the following pages. He considers it proper to say, that his diplomatic appointment was for a specific purpose, not requiring a residence at the capital, and the object of his mission being fulfilled or failing, he was at liberty to travel. At the time of his arrival in Central America, that country was distracted by a sanguinary civil war, which resulted, during his sojourn there, in the entire prostration of the Federal Government. By the protection and facilities afforded by his official character, he was enabled to accomplish what otherwise would have been impossible. His work embraces a journey of nearly three thousand miles in the interior of Central America, Chiapas, and Yucatan, including visits to eight ruined cities, with full illustrations from drawings taken on the spot by Mr. Catherwood. Its publication has been delayed on account of the engravings; but on one consideration the author does not regret the delay. Late intelligence from Central America enables him to express the belief that the state
of anarchy in which he has represented that beautiful country no longer exists; the dark clouds which hung over it have passed away, civil war has ceased, and Central America may be welcomed back among republics.