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Boundaries and Extent. 1 Guatimala is bounded on the N. by New Spain and the Bay of Honduras; E. by the Caribbean sea; S. E. by the isthmus of Panama or Darien, through wich 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 aboot 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 13° N. lat. It contains about 300,000 square miles.
Divisions. This country is divided into the six following provinces : Chiapa,
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. 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 Amatique is at the bottom of the bay of Honduras The gulf of Dulce is still farther inland, and communicates with the gulf of Amatique throngh a narrow strait. The gulf of Papagayos is on the west coast of the province of Nicaragua. The guif of Teluantepec is farther porth, in the narrowest part of the isthmus which separates the gulf of ivexico 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 in
Jangary and February, on account of the furious northeast winds called Papagayos. T'he gulf of Tehuantepec is also visited with hurricanes from the northwest, which are exceedingly inconvenient for navigators. The approach to the extensive 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 arul Rivers.] Nicaragua lake is 140 miles long and coyers 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. of Nicaragua lake, and commuoicates with it through a short river.
The most important rivers are ihe Rio Hondo which falls inte the bay of Honduras under 18° 30' N. lat.; the Bulize or Main, which joins the same bay 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 about 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 the 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 Houduras. The number of white setilers, however, is very small; the territory is occupied almost exclusively by the Mosquito Indians, a wariike tribe of about 5,000 souls, who are strongly attached to the British, and bitterly opposed to the Spaniards. The principal British settlement, and indeed almost the only regular establishment they have in this country, is the town of Balize, on the peninsula of Yucatan, near the mouth of the river of the same name. It consists of about 200 wbite inbabitants, 500 people of color and free blacks, and about 3,000 negro slaves. The sole Occupation of these settlers is the cuting of mahogany and log-wood, with which the forests abound.
Soil and Productions. I The soil in general is extremely fertil-, producing the sugar cane, coiton, indigo, cacao, maize, &c. in abundance. The British territory on the bay of Honduras has a fine soil, capable of producing all the richest products of tropical climates, hus it has bitherto been celebrated only for its mahog. any, and log 19ood, no attempts having been made at cultivation.
Chief Towns.] Guntimala, the capital, is on a small river near the coast of the Pacuic Ocean, in lat. 14° N. The city was orig. inally 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 sorviving inhabitants rebuilt their favorite aliode ; 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 spot where it now stands, which is 25 miles to the south of the old town. It is a magnificent place, adorned with churches, monasteries and a university. Popula. tion about 40,000. · Chiara de los Indios is the largest Indian town in Guatimala. 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 lodian inhabitants, who are rich and enjoy many privileges. The celebrated Las Casas, th a stle of the Indians, was the tirst bishop of this place, and his memory is still dear to the inhabitants.
C'indad Real is 36 miles E. of Chiapa. It is the see of a bishap 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 from earthquakes. The number of houses is 1200, and the population about 8,000. Its port, Realejo, is on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, at the mouth of a small river, about 20 miles distant. It is fortitied, and has a good harbor.
Population. The number of inhabitants is unknown. Humboldt supposes that it is the most populous part of Spanish Ameris ca. 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.
WEST INDIES. .
Situation:] The West India islands lie between Florida and the northern coast of South America. They extend from 9° 53' to 28° N. lat. and from 59° 30' (o 85° W. lon. Trinidad is at the southern extremuty ; 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 :
I. The GREATER ANTILLES, viz. Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica and Porto Rico.
II. The Bahamas, or LUCAYAS ISLANDS, consisting of all the islands lying north of Cuba and Hispaniola.
IM. 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 porth of it. 2. The Windward islands, consisting of Martinico and all south of it. The five most western of the Leeward islands, viz. St. Thomas, St. John, Santa Cruz, Tortota, 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 Tortuga Saluda, Orchilla, Buen Aire, Curacoa and Oruba.
Ectent and Population. The following table shows the extent and population of all the important islands. Islands. Sq. Miles. Whites. Mulattoes and
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 30,000 20,000 100,000 The Bahamas 5,500
3,923 11,396 14,318 St. Thomas
5,050 St. John
2,430 Santa Cruz
2,223 99,164 31,387 Tortola 90
10,000 Virgin Gorda 80
8,000 Anguilla 30
800 St. Martin 90
6,100 St. Bartholomew 60
8,000 Saba 10
1,600 Barbuda 90
1,500 St. Eustatius
20,000 St. Christopher 70
10,750 Guadaloupe 675 12,747 102,092 114,839 Dreseada
900 Maciegalante 90
96,413 St. Lucia
16,640 St. Vincent
24.000 Barbadoes - 166
Very few of the original inhabitants are now to be found. In Margarita there are about 2,000; in Trinidad 1200 ; in St. Vincent 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 helongs to Spain, and the western part is independent. The south
Western part of St. Vincent belongs to Great Britain, and the bortheastern part is independent. Jamaica, the Bahamas and all the other islands belong to Great Britain.
Religion.] A majority of the whites in these islands are Roman Catholics ; all ihose in Cuba, Hispaniola and Porto Rico are of this description, and a majority in all the islands settled by the Spaniards and the French. In those settled by the Dutch, Danes, Swedes and English the Protestani religion is established. In the English islands the Wesleyan Methodists have been employed for some time with much success in instructing the slaves. In 1816 there were 36 missionaries of this denomination. The Moravians had also, in 1816, 15 missionaries in the different islands.
Climate.) Edwards divides tbe West Indian year into four seasons of very different length. The spring commences with the month of May. The first periodical rains set in about the middle of the month ; they come from the south, commonly fall every day about noon, and break up with thunder storms towards evening, creating a bright and beautiful verdure, and a rapid .nd Juxuriant vegetation. They continue about a fortnight. Summer commences about the first of June. The weather is now dry and settled, and pot a cloud is to be seen. The heat is insupportable in the morning till about 10, when the sea breeze sets in and blows with great force and regularity from the S. E. till late in the evening. During its prevalence the climate in the shade becomes tolerable Ai this season the clearness and brilliancy of the heavens by night, and the serenity of the air produce the most calm and delightful sensations. About the middle of August the diurnal breeze begins to intermit, and the atmosphere becomes sultry and suffocating. During the remainder of the submer, which
may be considered as lasting till the latter part of September, coolness and comfort are sought in vain; instead of a regular breeze from the sea, there are faint breezes and calms alternately. The rains commence in the beginning of October. The heavens pour down cataracts, and the earıh is deluged. These violent rains last through the greater part of Novemier. The hurricane season comprises ihe months of August, September, and October. About the first of December a considerable change is perceived in the temperature of the air, and a new season commences which lasts till the end of April. The weather is steadily serene and pleasant, and the temperature cool and delightful. This lasts till the month of May, and is to the sick and to the aged the climate of paradise. In the large islands there are some exceptions to these remarks.
Soil and Productions.). The soil is in general very fertile. Sugar is the capital object of agricultural altention. The articles next in importance are cotton, indigo and cofice, and aller them cacao, ginger, allspice, arnotto, aloes, pimento, cloves and cinna
Maize, yanis and sweet potatoes are also extensively raised in the ficid for home consumption.