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main land on the west, and the island of Trinidad on the east; iš 25 leagues long by 15 broad, and every where afforús anchorage and protection for the largest vessels. It receives the waters from several of the mouths of the Orinoco, and communicates with the ocean by two outlets, one at the N. W. point of the island of Trinidad, and the other at the S. W. point of the same island.
Face of the country.) The northern part of the country is monntainous, being occupied by the chain of Venezuela, a branch of the Andes which comes from New Granada, and afier proceeding for some distance in a northeasterly direction, at last turns to the east, and runs along the coast, continually diminishing in height till it terminates on the gulf of Paria, opposite the island of Trinidad. The whole country south of the mountains consists of immense plains, which stretch out for hundreds of miles ia length and width, comprehending nearly the whole country watered by the Orinoco and its branches. The district along the banks of the Orinoco in the lower part of its course, extending 200 leagues from its mouth, and in some places 30 leagues broad, is annually overflowed in the rainy season, and nothing is then discoverable but here and there a hillock, and the tops of the tallest trees.
Lakes. Lake Maracaibo in the N. W. is 200 miles long and 70 broad, and communicates with the gulf of Maracaibo through a narrow strait, which is well defended by strong forts. It is easily navigated by vessels of the greatest burden. A large lake, called lake Parinia, is frequently laid down on the maps a little to the east of the sources of the Orinoco,but its dimensions and even its existence have never been ascertained.
Rivers.) The numerous small rivers which rise on the northern declivity of the chain of Venezuela fall directly into the Caribbean sea, and are generally navigable only for a few miles. All the rivers which rise on the southern declivity of the same chain are tributaries of the Orinoco, except the Guarapiche, which falls into the gulf of Paria.
The Orinoco, the great river of this country, has already been described. Its principal tributaries are 1. the Curoni, a large river from the south, the navigation of which is obstructed by falls one league from its mouth; 2. the Apura, which rises on the borders of New Granada, to the south of Lake Maracaibo, and after pursuing an easterly course for 170 leagues, during which it receives from the north numerous navigable and wide spreading branches, discharges itself impetuously into the Orinoco through many mouths ; 3. the Meta, which rises in New Granada, on the eastern declivity of the mountains, noi far from Santa Fe de Bogota, and flowing N. E. joins the Orinoco 30 leagues below the cataracts of Atures.
Climate. The towns on the coast, which enjoy a regular land and sea breeze, and those near and on the mountains have a milder climate than would be expected from their tropical situation. The temperature of the city of Caraccas is delightful
throughout the year. The rainy season lasts from April to No. vember, and during this period all the rivers are in a state of inundation, and the low plains become temporary lakes.
Soil and Productions.] No country in America can be compared with Caraccas in the fertility, of its soil, and the variety and richness of its productions. All sorts of colonial produce are raised here in greater abundance than in any of the West Indies, and of a far superior quality. The cacao of Caraccas brings a price in commerce twice as great as that of the Antilles ; tbe indigo is inferior to none but that of Guatimala; the tobacco is said to be worth as inuch again as the best which Virginia or Maryland affords ; the coffee would rival that of Mocha if the same care were used in its preparation. Besides these articles, cotton and the sugar cane are successsully cultivated; the forests yield dyewoods, gums, rosins, medicinal plants, and beautiful timber for ihe cabinet maker and shipwright. The plains to the south of the mountains are covered with immense herds of mules, oxen and horses. The pearl fishery was formerly carried on in the straits between the island of Margarita and the main, but it is now abandoned, the bank having been exhausted.
Chief Towns.) Caraccas, the capital, is situated among the mountains near the northern coast, in a valley elevated 2,900 feet above the level of the sea. It is regularly laid out, and contains a universitv, and several churches, hospitals and monasteries, The population in 1802 was estimated at 42,000, of whom one fonrth were whites, and the rest negroes, Indians and mulattoes, In consequence of its elevation the city enjoys a delightful temperature throughout the year, but this advantage is counterbalanced by its exposure to earthquakes. one of which, in March 1812, destroyed many houses and buried 12,000 persons in the ruins.
La Guayra, the port of Caraccas, is on the coast, 7 miles north of the city, in an unhealthy situation, being surrounded by lofty mountains which exclude the breeze. The harbor, though more frequented than any other on the coast, is open to the wind and continually agitated by the surge of the sea, which renders loading and unloading extremely inconvenient, and sometimes impossible. It is regarded merely as a shipping place for the capital, and is well defended with forts and batteries. The population is 6,000, of whom two thirds are in the garrison and the guaboats. The road to Caraccas passes over a lofty mountain, on the summit of which are two forts.
Porto Cabello, situated on a peninsula 30 leagues west of Caraccas, is the commercial emporium of a considerable district. Its harbor is one of the best in America, being deep, spacious, completely protected from the surge of the sea and from every wind, and well defended by several forts. The inhabitants, 7,500 in number, are principally employed in commerce and navigation, and have been heretofore extensively engaged in the contraband trade with Curacoa and Jamaica.
Valencia is delightfully situated in a beautiful and fertile plain Bëar the western bank of a lake of the same name, about the
leagues south of Porto Cabello. All the produce from the inte rior, which is shipped at Porto Cabello, passes through this town. The population is 8,000.
Maracaibo is on the western bank of the lake of the same name, near its ouiiet. The harbor has a bar at its mouth, over which vessels drawing more ihan 12 feet of water cannot pass. The population is 25,000, more than half of whom'arc whites.
Cumana is situated near the mouth of the gulf of Cariaco, on an arid and sandy plain, about a mile from the sea. The houses are low and lightly built on account of the fregnent earthquakes, one of which, in 1797, destroyed four fifths of ihe city. The inhabitants, 18,000 in number, are principally engaged in commerce, navigation and the fisheries. Barcelona, 10 leagues west of Cumana, on the small river Neveri, aliont 3 miles from its mouth, is surrounded by extensive plains which abound with horned catile. The population is 14.000, half of whom are whites.
St. Thomas, the chief town in Spanish Guiana, and capital of the new republic of Columbia, is regularly laid out on the south bank of the Orinoco, 90 leagues from its mouth, and contains 7,000 inhabitants.
Inland Navigation.) By means of the Orinoco and its tributary streams, all the country south of the mountains enjoys an easy communication with the sea. This river forms a natural channel for the conveyance to the ocean, of the cattle and produce raised on the banks of the Apura and its wide spreading branches. By means of the Meta also, a navigable communication is opened into New Granada, almost to the very foot of the Andes. The flour, and other productions of an extensive district near Santa Fe de Bogota, are conveyed to market by the Orinoco in preference to the Magrlalena. The navigation of the Orinoco is soinewhat difficult on account of the islands and rocks with which it abounds, but there is no insurinountable obstacle till you arrive at the cataracts of Atures, 30 leagues above the mouth of the Meta.
Population.] The population in 1301, according to the estimate of Depons, was 728,000, of whom about 136,000 were whites, 218,000 negro slaves, 291,000 freed men, and the remainder Indians. In 1822 the whole population may be estimated at more than 1,000,000, without including the tribes of independent Indians.
Indians.] Most of the Indian tribes in this country have been
ought into suhjection to the Spaniards, and have become partially civilized by the labors of the Catholic missionaries. They are allowed to live in villages by themselves, and to be governed by magistrates of their own choice. The principal
. Indians remaining unsubdued are the Goahiros, who occupy a tract along the coast to the west of the Gulf of Maracaibo, extending for more than 30 leagues. They are about 30,000 in number, and often make inroads into the neighboring settlements. They trade with the English of Jamaica, from whom they receive arms and clothing. The Guaraunos. who inhabit the islands formed by the mouths of the Orinoco, are about 8,000 in number. Their inde
peudence is secured by the nature of their country, which during ane part of the year is inundated, and in the other so infested with insects as 10 be uninhabitable to all except the natives. The Caribs occupy the coast of spanish Guiana, beiseen the mouths of the Essequebo and the Orinoco. They have been troublesome neighbors to the Spaniards, lụt it is supposed might be subdued without much difficulty: Besides these įribes, all the country on the Orinoco above the cataracts of Alures, and indeed all the immense tract between the sources of the Orinoco and those of the Amazon, are inhabited by nations of sayages, who have hitherto resisted all the efforts of the Spaniards 10 civilize or subdue them.
Religion. The religion is Roman Catholic, and the number of priests was formerly excessively numerous, but of late years military distinctions, and the honors and emoluments of civil life have drawn away great numbers of the young men from the clerical office. The donation of lands and other property to convents and churches, was formerly carried to such an extent as very seriously to affect the prosperity of the country, and the government was obliged to interfere and prohibit it.
Government.] Previous to the late revolution Caraccas was a colony of Spain, and the government was entrusted to a captaingeneral, who resided at Caraccar. In 1811 the inhabitants revolted from the Spanish yoke, and declared themselves independent. The mother country, however, afterwards succeeded in estabJishing her authority, but the revolutionists have recently again expelled the royal troops, and Caraccas is now united with New Granada under one government, and the whole country is styled the Republic of Columbia. Its independence, however, has not yet been acknowledged by any civilized nation.
Education.) Under the old government the system of educą. tion was wretched in the extreme. Scarcely any provision was made for the establishment of schools, and those which were established were conducted on the narrowest principles. So late as the year 1803 there was no printing press in the whole country. Within a few years new modes of thinking and more liberal principles have prevailed. Works in foreign languages, particularly the French and English, are now imported and read with great avidity.
Commerce 1 The principal exports are cacao, indigo, tobacco, coffee and cattle.' The imports are inanufactured goods of almost every description. The contraband trade is carried on to such an extent by the foreign colonies in the neighborhood, that it is impossible, from the custom-house returns, to form any estimate of The real value of the imports or exports. The Duich in Curacoa have been engaged in thiş trade for nearly two centuries, and the English have recently prosecuted it very extensively from Trinidad,Jamaica, and Guiana ; and such are the fircilities ar forded by the vicinity of these colonies, by the long extent of coast, and by the navigation of the Orinoco, that the government find it wholly impossible to suppress it.
Island.) The island of Margarita lies off the northern coast, in lat. 11° N. and lon. 64o W. and is separated from the continent b} a strait eight leagues wide. It contains 350 square miles. The soil is sandy and unfit for cultivation. The population is estimate ed at 4,000, of which number 5,500 are whites, 2,000 Indians, and 6,500 slaves and free people of color. Assumption, the capi tal, stands near the centre of the island. The principal port is Pampatar, on the S. E. side of the island, and it is here at all the fortifications are erected, which are deemed necessary for the defence of the island.
Situation and Boundaries.) Guiana is a large tract of country, extending on the coast from the mouths of the Orinoco to the mouth of the Amazon, a distance of 1,100 miles. It is bounded N. by Caraccas, from which it is separated by the river Orinoco; E. by the Atlantic Ocean ; S. by Brazil, from which it is separated by the rivers Amazon and Negro; and W. by New Granada, from which it is separated by the rivers Cassiquiari and Orinoco.
As the Negro and Orinoco unite by means of the Cassiquiari, this whole tract is a real island, entirely separated by water from the rest of the continent." .:
Face of the country.] The coast of Guiana is rendered almost inaccessible by dangerous banks, rocks, quicksands and bogs, with prodigious bushes so closely internoven as to be impenetrable. Along the sea shore, and for a considerable way into the interior, the country presents an extensive and uniform plain, of unequalled fertility. It is covered with thick forests, even to the water's edge, and the coast is so low and dat, that nothing is seen at first but the trees, which appear to be growing out of ibe water As you advance into the interior, towards the sources of the rivers, the country rises into mountains, covered with immense forests, and interspersed with rich and fertile vallies.'
Climate The climate is milder than that of any tropical country inhabited hy Europeans. Though situated in the torrid zone, the heats are tempered by cooling breezes, which regulardy blow from the sea, from 10 o'clock in the morning to six in the evening. The nights are damp and foxgy. The year is divided into two dry and two wet seasons. The long rainy season 'commences about the middle of April, and continues till the first of August, and is succeeded by the long dry season, which lasts till the middle of November. The second wet season begins about the middle of November, and continues till the end of January; the short dry season then commences, and continues till the middle of April; and thus is completed the revolution of the year. The range of the thermometer on the sea coast, during the dry season, which is reckoned the hottest, is from 84o to 90°, but in general