A Letter From Tampico

Charles Joseph Latrobe visited Mexico in the winter of 1834.  He wrote of his first impressions of Tampico in a series of letters published as The Rambler In Mexico.

The first thing we experienced, which considerably surprised us on placing foot in the town, was the great difficulty of finding a shelter :and we were in the end fain to put up, all three, with a small room in the secondstory of a square, ill-built, open, wood barrack, the ground floor of which served as a billiard-room and gambling house to the pie-bald population of Tampico de las Tamaulipas.

The second thing which quite horrified us, was the difficulty of procuring food wherewith to satisfy the appetites of three able-bodied gentlemen just from sea. Eggs we found were rare, meat was rarer, bread the rarest of all; and, except at certain hours of the day when it was doled forth in most apologetic morsels, could not be had for love and money.

The third thing in my list, which nearly petrified us, was the cold. Lying under the tropic of Cancer, we were absolutely forced to rise in the night, and dress ourselves before we could sleep.

The fourth —but no, I will save a few miseries to qualify some future page of enjoyment.