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coast. The road from Mexico to Acapulco is furrowed by four very deep and remarkable longitudinal vallies, so that the traveller is continually ascending and descending,exchanging alternately a cold climate for one excessively hot. On the contrary in travelling from Mexico to Vera Cruz, a distance of 180 miles, there is on the whole no descent till you approach within 80 miles of the coast; it then becomes rapid and continued, being 6, 800 feet in the space of 45 miles, and 1000 mere in a further distance of 24 miles. It is the difficulty of this descent, which makes the transportation of flour from the table land to Vera Cruz so expensive, ihat it cannot be sent to Europe in competition with that of the United States. A superb causeway, however, was commenced several years since, along this eastern declivity of the Cordillera, by the merchants of Vera Cruz, and when it is completed will have the most happy influence on the prosperity of the whole kingdom of New Spain.

Mines.] More than nine tenths of all the silver in the known world is derived from the mines of Spanish America, which produce according to the estimate of Humboldt, 43,500,000 dollars annually; and of this sum New Spain yields about two thirds. Yet notwithstanding this immense produce the theory of mining is very imperfectly understood, and all the operations are conducted io the most unskilful and extravagaot manner. The richest mines are those of Guanaxuato, in the intendancy of the same name ; Catorce, in the intendancy of San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas, in the intendancy of the same name; Real del Monte, in the intendancy of Mexico; and Bolanos, in the intendancy of Guadalaxara. The silver mines are a source of immense wealth to their proprietors. In one instance, a single seam yielded to its owner in six months a nett profit of more than 3,000,000 dollars. But money thus rapidly gained is as rapidly spent. The working of mines becomes a game whieh is pursued with unbounded passion. The rich proprietors lavish immense sums on quacks, who engage them in new undertakings, and the money sunk in a rash project, frequently absorbs in a few years all that was gained in working the richest seams. The quantity of gold annually delivered into the mint of Mexico is about 5,000 pounds. There are also mines of copper, lead, iron, lin, antimony, arsenic &c; but they are Bot diligently worked, the great pursuit being after gold and silver.

Commerce.] The commerce of New Spain with the mother country is carried on almost entirely through the port of Vera Cruz. In time of peace, Humboldt estimates the annual value of ibe exports from that place, ai 21 millions of dollars, and the imports at 15 millions. The principal exports are gold and silver in coin, bullion and plate, to the value of 17 million dollars; cochineal, 2,400,000; sugar 1,300.000, &c. The imports are bale goods, including woo'leps, cotions, linens and silks, to the value of $9,200,000; paper, 4,000,000; cacao, 1,000,000 ; quicksilver, 650,000.



Boundaries and Extent.) Guatimala is bounded on the N. lry New Spain and the Bay of Honduras; E. by the Caribbean sea ; S. E. by the isthmus of Panama or Daries, through wiich it is connected with South America ; and S. W. by the Pacific Ocean. It extends on the coast of the Pacific from Punta Gorda in about lat. go to the Barra de Tomala in lat. 16° 12' N. a distance of 770 miles; and on the Gulf of Mexico from 10° to 18° N. lat. It contains about 390,000 square miles.

Divisions. This country is divided into the six following provinces : Chiapa,

Vera Paz,


Costa Rica. Face of the Country. A ridge of mountains is supposed to pass through the whole extent of this country from S. E. to N. W. connecting the Andes of South America with the Cordilleras of Mexico. The continuity of the range, however, has never been accurately ascertained. No spot on the globe is so full of volcanoes as this part of America. There are at least twenty known to be constantly in action, and the eruptions of some of them are occasionally terrible.

Bays.1 The bay of Honduras is a very large body of water lying between the province of Honduras on the south, and the peninsula of Yucatan on the west. The gulf of Anatique is at the bottom of the bay of Honduras. The gulf of Dulce is still farther inland, and communicates with the gulf of Amatique through a narrow strait. The gulf of Popaguyos is on the west coast of the province of Nicaragua. The gulf of Tehuantepec is further north, in the narrowest part of the isthmus which separates the guif of Mexico from the Pacific Ocean.

Sea Coast.] The coast of Nicaragua bordering on the Pacific Ocean is almost inaccessible in the months of August, September and October, on account of the terrible storms and rains; and ju January and February, on account of the furious northeast winds called Papagayos. 'The gulf of Tehuantepec is also visited with hurricanes from the northwest, which are exceedingly inconyenient for navigators. The approach to the exiensive coast of the bay of Honduras is attended with imminent danger, on account of the reefs and keys which are abundantly dispersed along it, and occasion numerous shipwrecks.

Lakes and Rivers.] Nicaragua lake is 140 miles long and corers an area of nearly 10,000 square miles. It discharges its waters at its S. E. extremity through the river San Juan into the Caribbean sea. It is of immense depth and navigable for the largest vessels. The lake of Leon lies N. W.o: Nicaragua lake, and communicates with it through a short river.

The most important rivers are the Rio Hondo which falls iolo the bay of Honduras under 18° 30' N. lai.; the Balize or Main, which joins the same way about 60 miles farther south, and is navigable for 200 miles; the Bluefields which falls into the Caribbean sea near the parallel of 12° N. lat. ; and the Rio San Juan which forms the outlet of Lake Nicaragua. The Rio San Juan is abont 100 miles long, and with little expense might be made navigable through its whole extent. If this were done, a canal of only 10 or 12 miles across tbe isthmus which separates lake Nicaragua from the Gulf of Papagayos would open a water communication between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

British Territory.] The British claim the country called the Mosquito shore lying along the northern and eastern coast of the province of Honduras. The number of white setilers, however, is very small; the territory is occupied almost exclusively by the Mosquito Indians, a warlike tribe of about 5,800 souls, who are strongly attached to the British, and bitterly opposed to the Spaniarıls. The principal British settlemeni, and indeed alnjost the only regular establishment they have in this country, is ibe town of Balize, on the peninsula of Yucatan, near the mouth of the river of the same pame. It consists of about 200 wbite inbabitante, 500 people of color and free blacks, and about 3,000 negro slaves. The sole occupation of these settlers is the cutiing of mahogany and log-wood, with which the forests abound.

Soil and Productions. The soil in general is extremely fertile, producing the sugar cane, cotton, indigo, cacao, maize, &c. in abundance. The British territory on the bay of Honduras has a tine soil, capable of producing all the richest products of tropical climates, but it has hitherto been celebrated only for its mahor. any, and log-wood, no attempis having been made at cultivation.

Chief Towns.] Guntimala, the capital, is on a small river near the coast of the Pacitic Ocean, in lat. 14° N.' The city was origindily built in a beautiful valley on the declivity of a mountain at whose summit was a volcano. In this situation, in the year 1751, it was overwhelmed by an earthquake. Notwithstanding this awful calamity, the surviving inhabitants rebuilt their favorite al.ode ; but another and more tremendous convulsion again destroyed the devoted place in 1775, the greater part of the inhabitants being at the same time buried in the ruins. The city has since been rebuilt on the spo! where it now stands, which is 25 miles to the south of the old town. It is a magnificent place, a dorned with churches, monasteries and a university. Popula. tion about 40,000.

Chiara de los Indios is the largest Indian town in Gratimala. It is in the N. W. extremity of the country, on the isthmus of Tehuantepec, about half way between the gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean.' It has about 20,000 Indian inhabitants, who are rich and enjoy many privileges. The celebrated Las Casas, the apostle of the Indians, was ihe first bishop of this place, and his memory is still dear to the inhabitants.

Cindad Real is 36 miles E. of Chiapa. It is the see of a bishop and contains about 3,000 inhabitants. Leon is situated at the N. W. extremity of the lake of the same name, on a plain pear a volcano, which has caused the town sometimes to suffer tom earthquakes. The number of houses is 1200, and the population about 8,000. Its port, Realejo, is on ihe coast of the Pacific Ocean, at the mouth of a small river, abont 20 miles distant. It is fortified, and has a good harbor.

Population.) The number of inhabitants is unknown. Humboldt supposes that it is the most populous part of Spanish America. Large districts, however, in the eastern half of the country are thinly inhabited by tribes of savage Indians. The whole population does not probably exceed 1,500,000, of whom two thirds are supposed to be Indians in a state of dependence on the Spaniards, like the Indians of New Spain.

Government and Religion.] Guatimala is subject to the government of a captain-general, who is appointed by the king of Spain. He is entirely independent of the viceroy of New Spain, being responsible only to his Catholic Majesty. The religion is the Roman Catholic, under one archbishop and six bishops.


Situation.] The West India islands lie between Florida and the northern coast of South America. They extend from go 53' to 28° N. lat. and from 59° 30' to 85° W. lon. Trinidad is at the southern extremity ; Barbadoes at the eastern, Maranilla reef at the northern, and Cuba at the western.

Divisions.] These islands are divided into four principal groupes as follows :

1. The GREATER ANTILLES, viz. Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica and Porto Rico.

II. The Bahamas, or LUCAYAS ISLANDS, consisting of all the i linds lying north of Cuba and Hispaniola.

III. The CARIBBEAN ISLANDS, consisting of Trinidad and all the islands north of it, till you come to Porto Rico.—The Caribbean islands are subdivided into 1. The Leeward islands, consisting of Dominica and all the islands north of it. 2. The Windward islonds, consisting of Martinico and all south of it. The five most western of the Leeward islands, viz. St. Thomas, St. John, Santa Cruz, Tortola, Virgin Gorda, and their dependencies, are also called Virgin islands.

IV. The Lesser ANTILLES, consisting of the islands lying along the coast of South America, west of Trinidad, viz. Margarita, Tortoga Saluda, Orchilla, Buen Aire, Curacoa and Oruba.

Total Pop.

Ex cat and Population. The following table shows the ex tent and population of all the important islands. Islands. Sq. Miles. Whites. Mulaitoes and

Blacks Cuba

54,000 234.000 198.000 432,000 Hispaniola 30,000 30,000 500,000 530,000 Jamaica

6,400 30,000 330,000 360,000 Porto Rico 4,140 80,000 20,000 100,000 The Bahamas

5,500 3.923 11,396 14,318 St. Thomas

550 4,500

5,050 St. John

180 2,250

2,430 Santa Cruz


2,223 29,164 31,387 Tortoia 90

10,000 Virgin Gorda 80

1,500 6,500

8,000 Anguilla 30

800 St. Martin 90

6,100 St. Bartholomew 60

4,000 4,000

8,000 Saba 10

1,600 Barbuda 90

1,500 St. Eustatius


5,000 15,000 20,000 St. Christopher 70

4,000 21,000 25,000 Nevis


1,000 10,000 11,000 Antigua

2,102 33,617

35,739 Montserrat

1,000 9,750

10,750 Guadaloupe 675 12,747 102,092 114,839 Deseada

300 600

900 Mariegalante 90

1,938 10,347 12,385 Dominica

1,594 24,905

26,499 Martinico

9,206 87,207

96,413 St. Lucia

1,290 15,350

16,640 St: Vincent

1,450 22,500

24.000 Barbadoes 166 16,289 65,650.

81,939 Grenada



31,362 Tobago

900 15,583

16,483 Trinidad


2,261 24,984 28,477 Margarita

5,500 6,500

14,000 Curacoa

1,200 7,300




450,000 1,600,000


Very few of the original inhabitants are now to be found. In Margarita there are about 2,000; in Trinidad 1200 ; in St. Viacent 500, and a few more are scattered over the other Caribbean islands.

Possessors.] Cuba and Porto Rico belong to Spain ; St. Thomas, St. John and Santa Cruz to Denmark ; St. Martin, Saba, St. Eustatius and Curacoa to Netherlands; St Bartholomew, to Swe. den; Guadaloupe, Deseada, Mariegalante and Martinico to France; and Margarita to Caraccas. The eastern part of Hispaniola belongs to Spain, and the western part is independent. The south

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