To speak of mining in newly independent Mexico is to speak of silver. And silver, historically abundant in the Real del Monte-Pachuca district, was the object of the Company of Adventurers in the Mines of Real del Monte. Organized in response to a plea by Pedro Romero de Terreros for help in rehabilitating his famous family's once-rich properties, the English Real del Monte was led by men convinced that the application of English capital, management practices, and technology to those ruined mines and mills would reap them a profit and would revitalize the new nation's most promising industry.
The adventurers were to be disappointed. The story of the English company is one of financial disaster: the loss of more than $5 million between its beginning in 1824 and its dissolution in 1849. Yet this failure was ironic, for upon the foundations of the English company was built a modern concern that yielded great rewards to Mexican and American successors to the hapless Englishmen.
A full account of a single risky venture, this inquiry is a microcosm of early foreign economic penetration into the Mexican mining industry. It offers specific solutions to poorly understood historical problems concerning the wave of capital that flowed from Great Britain into Latin America upon the disruption of the Spanish Empire, problems hitherto treated only in generalizations.