New Orleans: Gateway to the Americas

Mercurio, 1913

Mercurio was a Spanish-language magazine published by the New Orleans Progressive Union. Its pages were filled with articles of cultural, political and commercial interest to its readers in the United States, Cuba, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. A. E. Pradillo, former Mexican Consul General at New Orleans, served for many years on the magazine's staff.

Among Mercurio's advertisers were local businesses interested in exporting their products to such Spanish-speaking parts of the world. The advertisement displayed on this panel appeared on the back cover of the magazine's March, 1913 number. W. J. Martinez & Bros., a manufacturer and wholesale dealer in boots and shoes, had its origins in New Orleans during the 1820s. By 1869 it had a customer base extending from the southern U.S. into Central America.

[Mercurio, March, 1913]

A still more gratifying feature of this tour of inspeciton was the question put to both large and small establishments: "Are you filling any orders for Mexico, Central America, South America, or the West Indies?" The reply was generally in the affirmative--especially for Mexican and Central American ports. The introduction of steam transportation within the last few years between those ports and New Orleans, more particularly the Central American ports, has undoubtedly been the chief factor in this happy improvment. It will certainly be very widely developed with the increase taking place each year, in the number of steamships that are to run between New Orleans, Matamoras, Tuxpan, Tampico, Vera Cruz, Truillo [sic] Balize and Puerto Cortez, to say nothing of Venezuelan and Cuban ports. The establishment of a line of steamers between our city and Jamaica, Porto Rico, and other West Indian islands would complete their new field for commercial enterprise in the Gulf of Mexico and the Carribean [sic] Sea so long sought by our most far-seeing merchants as one that, once established under their control, could not be wrested from them. Then our manufacturing industries would enter upon a career of activity and development and prosperity commensurate with the great extent and vast resources of these tropic lands to which we have so long been aliens. And not only as regards the progress of New Orleans, but we dare affirm that any act of American diplomacy which puts our country in friendly relations and commercial reciprocity with Mexico and the Central and South American countries will be of invaluable benefit to every vital interest of American industry.
[John E. Land, Pen Illustrations of New Orleans, 1881-1882 (New Orleans, 1882)]

Introduction | Aguardiente de caña, 1770 | Imports, 1822 | Price-Current, 1845 | Minatitlan, 1852 | Steamships, 1854
Cotton Exposition, 1884 | The Logical Point, 1885 | El Nopal, 1885 | Bananas, ca. 1919 | Mercurio, 1913
Cuyamel Fruit, 1917 | La Voz Latina, 1936 | Del Sud, 1938 | deLesseps S. Morrison, 1946
International House, 1950 | Garden of the Americas, 1957 | International Trade Mart, 1964
Coffee, 1965 | Victor H. Schiro, 1965