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afterwards taken by the French, it was again confirmed to the British, in 1783. Kingston is the capital. This island was nearly desolated, in 1812, by the eruption of the Souffrier Mountain, which had remained quiet for a century.
7. St. Lucia St. Lucia, a few miles north of St. Vincent, is 25 miles long, and 12 broad. It consists of plains well watered with rivulets, and hills abounding in timber, and has several good bays and commodious harbors. There are two high mountains, by which this island may be known at a considerable distance. St. Lucia was alloted to France in 1763. In 1803 it was taken by the English, and confirmed to them by the treaty of Paris, in 1814.
8. DOMINICA. Dominica, situated between Guadaloupe and Martinique, is 31 miles long, and 16 broad. It is an assemblage of lofty, clustering mountains, of which several are volcanic. The forests abound with rose-wood and other ornamental trees. The coffee produced here is of a choice quality. Roseau is the present capital of the island.
9. MONTSERRAT. Montserrat is a small, oval-shaped island, containing about 30,000 acres of land. The climate, soil, vegetable and animal productions, and commerce, are similar to those of the other islands of this group.
10. ANTIGUA. Antigua, a few miles northeast of Montserrat, is 21 miles in length, and nearly the same in breadth. The soil is chiefly a black mould, but in the dry season, there is neither spring nor rivulet in the island. The inhabitants, therefore, carefully preserve the rainwater. The chief staples are sugar, cotton, wool, and tobacco. The principal town is St. John's, which stands on the northwest coast, and rises on a steep acclivity from the sea. Falmouth is a port on the south side of the island.
11. Nevis. Nevis consists merely of a conical mountain, more than 20 miles in circumference, rising abruptly from the sea. Charlestown is the capital.
12. St. Kitts'. St. Christopher's or St. Kitts', separated by a narrow channel from Nevis, is little more than 15 miles in length, and 4 in breadth. The interior of the country is a rugged mass of precipices and barren mountains, the loftiest point of which is Mount Misery, which is an extinct volcano, and rises to the height of about 3,710 feet. The soil upon the plains is extremely productive. This island, with Montserrat, Nevis, Antigua, and the Virgin İsles, form one government, the governor generally residing at Antigua. The chief town is Basse Terre, on the south coast.
13. VIRGIN ISLANDS. Tortola is the principal of the group called the Virgin Islands, belonging to Great Britain. It is about 18 miles long, and 6 or 7 broad, and produces excellent
sugar, cotton, and rum. The Virgin Islands are the most barren in the whole West Indian archipelago. Besides those already described, there are some other small islands, and several bays. Two of the principal of these are Barbuda and Anguilla. The latter island is noted for its wild cattle, which have multiplied greatly in the woods of the interior. 14. BAHAMAS. The Bahama or Lucayos Islands lie in a line stretching from S. E. to N.
W. about 700 miles, and extending from 21° to 28° N. latitude, and from 71° to 81° W. longitude. There are 2 extensive sandbanks in these seas ; the Great and Little Bahama Banks. The Keys or Cayos are rocks or sand islands, scattered in great profusion over this part of the ocean.
Their number is computed at 700. The Bahamas in general are badly supplied with water, which, however, is found by digging to the level of the sea. A few places consist of a rich soil, but in most parts it is light and sandy. The principal products
are cotton, salt, turtle, fruits, mahogany, and Picture of one of the Vessels of Columbus.
dye-woods. Turks' Islands are famous for
their salt ponds, which annually yield more than 30,000 tons of salt for exportation. New Providence is the seat of government, and ab
* The principal islands or groups, in passing from the southern to the northern extremity, are the following, &c.
1. Turks' Islands 5. Crooked Island Groupe 9. San Salvador 12. Andros
13. Lucaya or Abaco 3. Heneagas 7. Watlings
14. Bahama. 4 Mayaguana
8. The Exumas
sorbs nearly all the trade of the group. Nassau is the chief town. Guanahani or Cat Island, called by Columbus San Salvador, is celebrated as the spot where Columbus first landed in the new world. The Bahamas were the haunts of pirates, buccaneers, and freebooters, till the conclusion of the American war, at which time they became the resort of many loyalists from Carolina and Georgia.
15. BERMUDAS. The Bermudas, or Somers Islands, form a cluster of small islands in the Atlantic Ocean, in number about 400, but for the most part so barren that they have neither inhabitants nor name. They are 200 leagues distant from Cape Hatteras in North Carolina, which is the nearest land to them. The largest of these islands are St. George, which is 4 or 5 miles long, and 2 broad. St. David, Cooper, Ireland, Somerset, Long Island, Bird Island, and Nonesuch. On the first there is a town containing about 300 houses, which is the metropolis. The group is so surrounded with rocks that it is difficult for any ship to enter the roads without an experienced pilot. The climate is salubrious and delightful; and the fields and trees are clad in perpetual green. The tempests and hurricanes are, however, sometimes tremendous. The numerous woods supply timber for ship. building, which, with navigation, is the principal employment of the inhabitants. These islands were first discovered by Juan Bermudez, a Spaniard, in 1522 ; in 1609, Sir George Somers, an Englishman, was wrecked here, and, after his shipwreck, formed the first settlement.
1. MARTINIQUE. Martinique or Martinico, is about 50 miles long and 16 broad. It is very uneven, and intersected in all parts by hillocks. Three mountains rise above these smaller éminences. The highest bears the marks of a volcano. The principal productions are sugar, coffee, cassia, cotton, indigo, cocoa, ginger, &c. There are numerous bays and harbors. The chief towns are Fort Royal, the capital, with 9,000 inhabitants, and St. Pierre, with 18,000. In 1794 this island was taken by the British, and restored to France in 1802. It was again taken in 1809, and restored in 1915.
2. GUADELOUPE. Guadeloupe is about 70 miles long, and 25 at its greatest breadth. It is divided into 2 parts by a channel from 30 to 80 yards broad. This channel runs north and south and communicates with the sea by a large bay at each end ; that on the north is called Grand Cul de Sac, and that on the south Petit Cul de Sac. The part of the island east of the channel, is called Grande-Terre, and is about 120 miles in circumference. Point à Petre, in this division, is the principal town, with 15,000 inhabitants. The west part is subdivided by a ridge of mountains into Capesterre on the west, and Basse-Terre on the east. This part is also 120 miles in circuit. In many parts the soil is rich, and not inferior to that of Martinico. Its produce is sugar, coffee, rum, ginger, cocoa, logwood, &c. This island has been repeatedly taken by the British. It was restored to France in 1814. It was restored to France in 1814. Mariegalante, a few leagues
, southeast of Guadeloupe, is 42 miles in circumference. There are several extraordinary caverns here, one of which is capable of holding several thousand persons. The climate is unhealthy. Grandbourg is the capital. Northeast of Guadeloupe is the small dependent isle of Deseada, which is principally a mountain, with a table-land on the summit. It produces considerable quantities of cotton.
Dutch POSSESSIONS. St. Martin is about 5 leagues in length and 4 in breadth, and is chiefly valuable for its salt pits. It belongs in part to France. St. Eustatius rises from the ocean like a pyramidal rock, a few leagues north of St. Christopher's. It is one of the finest and best cultivated islands of all the Carribees. Tobacco is its chief product. It was taken by the English in 1801, but restored to the Dutch in 1814. Curaçoa is situated 75 miles from the coast of Caracas, and is 30 miles long and 10 broad. It produces sugar and tobacco, but its soil is not fertile, and it is dependent on the rains for its supply of water. several good harbors, and the inhabitants are chiefly engaged in trade with the Spanish possessions of South America.
Danish Islands. St. John, though a small island, is particularly noted for a fine harbor, which is capable of containing the whole British navy. It has also a number of salt ponds. St. Thomas is another little island lying near Porto Rico. The principal town is St. Thomas, which stands at the bottom of a deep bay, surrounded by lofty bills.
Santa Cruz, a few
leagues south of the 2 former islands, is about 24 miles long and 10 broad. Its climate is salubrious, but the water is unwholesome. The soil is fertile. Almost every spot of ground is in a high state of cultivation. The capital of this island is Christianstadt, which is one of the handsomest towns in the West Indies.
SWEDISH ISLANDS. The only island belonging to Sweden is St. Bartholomeu, which is about 15 miles in circumference. It is very fertile, and produces sugar, cotton, tobacco, indigo, and cassava, but there is no water, except what is supplied by rains. The coast is surrounded with rocks, and is difficult of access, but there is a good harbor at Gustavia, which has 10,000 inhabitants. The island was ceded to Sweden by France, in 1785.
1. Boundaries and Extent. South America is bounded N. by the Caribbean Sea ; E. by the Atlantic Ocean ; S. by the Southern Ocean; and W. by the Pacific Ocean. It extends
; from N. lat. 12° to S. lat. 56°, and from 350 to 82° W. long., having an area of 6,900,000
2. Mountains. Three systems of mountains pervade South America. Of these the Andes is the longest and loftiest, stretching through the whole length of the continent, from Cape Froward, the southern extremity of Patagonia, to the Gulf of Paria and the Isthmus of Panama, where it is connected with the great mountainous chain of North America. The Andes in some parts branch off into several chains, which are particularly described in the accounts of the sepa
rate countries; and in Bolivia, they reach the enormous height of from 24,000 to 25,000 feet. Their general course is along the shore of the Pacific Ocean, about 150 miles inland. The whole chain of the Andes is subject to violent earthquakes, and from Cotopaxi to the Southern Ocean, there are no less than 40 volcanoes in constant activity, some of which are the loftiest in the world. The other mountainous systems are the Parima Mountains, constituting several chains in Venezuela and Guiana, and the mountains of Brazil, also consisting of several chains of no great elevation.*
3. Plains. The great chains of the Andes divide South America, from lat. 90 N. to 520 S., into three immense plains, shut up on the west by a huge rampart of mountains, but open towards the Atlantic Ocean on the east. The most northern is the plain of the Orinoco, consisting of level tracts or llanos, covered with reedy plants and a few scattered palms. Further south is the great woody plain of the Amazon, to which succeeds the vast flat of the pampas, presenting a prodigious expanse, covered with coarse herbage, and thronged with countless herds of cattle.
4. Rivers. The great breadth of the eastern slope of the Andes, caused by their distance from the Atlantic shore, has its natural effect upon the size of the rivers. Gathering the accumulated waters of the extensive regions which they drain in their long courses, the Orinoco, the Amazon, and the Plata, seem to bring no tribute tide to the ocean; but, in the depth and
* Comparative Elevation of Mountains in South America.
Republic of the Equator. 11. Cotopaxi (volcanic) 19,000 7. Pichincha (do.)
13. Antisana (do.)
12. Sierra of Santa Martha 19,000
14. Chilian Range .
breadth of their channels, and the volume of their waters, resemble inland seas. No part of the world is more completely intersected by navigable streams, or more bountifully watered.
5. Deserts. The deserts of South America are less extensive than those of the eastern continent. The Desert of Atacama, between the Andes and the ocean, extends, with some interruptions, from Tarapaca, in Peru, to the vicinity of Copiapo, in Chili, embracing the narrow, maritime strip of Bolivia. It is about 450 miles in length, and is sandy and sterile ; in this region it never rains. There is a similar desert strip in the north of Peru, called the Desert of Sechura, about 75 miles in length. The Desert of Pernambuco, in the northeastern part of Brazil, is of greater extent, and consists of hillocks of moving sand, interspersed with some verdant oases.
6. Climate. The three zones of temperature which originate in America from the enormous difference of level between the various regions, cannot by any means be compared with the zones which result from a difference of latitude. The agreeable and salutary vicissitudes of the seasons are wanting in those regions that are here distinguished by the denominations of frigid, temperate, hot, or torrid. In the fiigid zone, it is not the intensity, but the continuance of the cold, the absence of all vivid beat, the constant humidity of a foggy atmosphere, that arrest the growth of the great vegetable productions, and, in man, perpetuate those diseases that arise from checked perspiration. The hot zone of these places does not experience excessive heat; but it is a continuance of the heat, together with exhalations from a marshy soil, and the miasmata of an immense mass of vegetable putrefaction, added to the effects of an extreme humidity, that produces fevers of a more or less destructive nature, and spreads through the whole animal and vegetable world the agitation of an exuberant but deranged vital principle.
The temperate zone, by possessing only a moderate and constant warmth, like that of a hothouse, excludes from its limits both the animals and vegetables that delight in the extremes of heat and cold, and produces its own peculiar plants, which can neither grow above its limits, nor descend below them. Its temperature, which does not brace the constitution of its constant inhabitants, acts like spring on the diseases of the hot region, and like summer on those of the frozen regions. Accordingly, a mere journey from the sunimit of the Andes to the level of the sea, or the reverse, proves an important medical agent, which is sufficient to produce the most astonishing changes in the human body. But living constantly in either one or the other of these zones, must enervate both the mind and the body, by its monotonous tranquillity. The summer, the spring, and the winter, are here seated on three distinct thrones, which they never quit, and are constantly surrounded by the attributes of their power.
7. Minerals. The mineral kingdom is rich in precious productions. In Brazil, diamonds are found of the largest size and greatest abundance, but they are inferior in quality to those of the East Indies. Gold is found in mines, and in the sands of many rivers ; the silver mines of Bolivia are among the most productive in the world, and platina has been found in various places. Tin, quicksilver, copper, and other useful metals are abundant, and salt is found in great plenty
8. Vegetable Productions. The vegetable kingdom in South America offers the richest abundance and variety. The most remarkable trees are the palm, cocoa, banana, and cinchona. On the shores of the ocean the mangrove abounds. Upwards of 80 species of palms, equally distinguished for their beauty and size, and for their various uses, furnishing wine, oil, wax, flour, sugar, and salt, are found here. In the Brazilian forests, there are no less than 259 species of wood useful for carpentry or dyeing. Fourteen species of the cinchona, or Peruvian bark, are collected in different districts. The guaiacum, or lignumvitæ, exudes a valuable gum, which, as well as its wood, possesses important medicinal powers. The caoutchouc, or gum elastic, also called India rubber, is the milky juice of several plants found in Guiana, Brazil, and Buenos Ayres. It is obtained by making incisions through the bark, and is then spread, while in its viscous state, over a mould, and dried in a thick smoke. It is now so extensively used for making shoes and cloth, as to form an important article of commerce. Cacao, vanilla,
, maize, aracatscha, and potato, are also natives of South America, as are also the cassava, from which tapioca is prepared, and the capsicum, whose pods yield the Cayenne pepper.
The cow-tree is found in Venezuela, and derives its name from the singular fact of its juice resembling milk. When an incision is made in the trunk, the juice issues out in great abundance, and is drunk by the inhabitants. This vegetable milk does not coagulate nor curdle like animal milk, but in other respects has an astonishing resemblance to it.
In the region of the palms, the natives cultivate the banana, jatropha, maize, and cocoa.