Nuevo Leon - Encyclopedia

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NUEVO LEON, a northern state of Mexico, bounded N., E. and S.E. by Tamaulipas, S. and S.W. by San Luis Potosi and W. and N. by Coahuila. Pop. (1900). 3 27,937; area 23,59 2 sq. m. Nuevo Leon lies partly upon the great Mexican plateau and partly upon its eastern slopes, the Sierra Madre Oriental crossing the state N.W. to S.E. A branch of the Sierra Madre extends northward from the vicinity of Salinas, but its elevations are low. The average elevation of the Sierra Madre within the state is slightly under 5500 ft. The general character of the surface is mountainous, though the western and south-western sides are level and dry as in the adjoining state of Coahuila. In the N. the general elevation is low, the surface sandy and covered with cactus and mesquite growth, and hot, semi-arid conditions prevail. The eastern slopes receive more rain and are well clothed with vegetation, but the lower valleys are subtropical in character and are largely devoted to sugar production. The higher elevations have a dry, temperate, healthful climate. There are many rivers and streams, notably the Salado, Pesqueria and Presas, but none is navigable within the state, though many furnish good water power. Agriculture is the principal industry, the chief products being sugar, barley, Indian corn and wheat. Rum is a by-product of the sugar industry, and "mescal" is distilled from the agave. The gathering and preparation of "ixtle" fibres from the agave and yucca forms another important industry, the fibre being sent to Tampico for export. Stock-raising receives considerable attention; there are about a score of large cattle ranges, and there is a considerable export of live cattle to Texas and to various Mexican states. Considerable progress has been made in manufacturing industries, and there are a large number of sugar-mills, cotton factories, woollen mills, smelting works and iron and steel works. The state is well served with railways, the capital, Monterrey, being one of the most important railway centres in northern Mexico. The Mexican National line crosses the northern half of the state and has constructed a branch from Monterrey to Matamoros, and a Belgian line (F. C. de Monterrey al Golfo Mexicano) runs from Tampico N.N.W. to Monterrey, and thence westward to Trevino (formerly Venadito) in Coahuila, a station on the Mexican International. The other principal towns are: Linares, or San Felipe de Linares (pop. 20,690 in 190o), 112 m. by rail S.E. of the capital in a rich agricultural region; Lampazos, or Lampazos de Naranjo (7704), 96 m. by rail N.W. of the capital; Cadereyta Jiminez, Garcia, Santiago and Doctor Arroyo, the last in the extreme southern part of the state.

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