Spreading the news

Periodicals helped promote Poinsett’s message that South America provided opportunities for economic expansion. For example, The Port-Folio reported that Poinsett’s descriptions of Mexico “excite our curiosity concerning her character and prospects.” Mexico’s advantages included “…its proximity to the United States,…a population of nearly seven millions; a territory capable of maintaining many times that number;…a fine climate and fruitful soil’ rich and various productions; sea-ports of easy access; the possession of inexhaustible mines of precious metals are circumstances which powerfully attest our attention” to the people in South America.[1] These periodicals promoted the opportunity for the United States since the inhabitants of Mexico have been under the thumb of Spanish colonizers. The New York Religious Chronicle emphasized the message of wasted wealth due to poor administration and freedom was shared pointing to the number of living in poverty “who have no permanent place of abode, and no ostensible means of gaining a livelihood. After passing the night…sometimes in the open air, they issue forth in the morning like drones to prey upon the community, to beg, to steal, and in the last result to work.”[2] 


The New England Galaxy and the United States Literary Advertiser emphasized that despite the bleak picture of the situation in Mexico, the people of Mexico were overcoming their apathy due to their long struggle for independence “but they are still under the influence and direction of the priests. [This makes them] merely laborers without any property in the soil.”[3] Ultimately, Poinsett argued that Mexicans needed to emancipate themselves from their colonial and Catholic heritage.


[1] “Notes on Mexico.,” The Port - Folio (1801-1827); Philadelphia, December 1824. 1.

[2] “MEXICO: A Recent Work of Mr. Poinsett,” New York Religious Chronicle (1824-1825); New York, July 3, 1824.

[3] Hon Joel R. Poinsett, “National Character of the Mexicans,” The New - England Galaxy and United States Literary Advertiser (1830-1836); Boston, July 16, 1824.