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The blacks have mostly embraced christianity under Moravian Missionaries. St. Thomas, in the 19th degree of north latitude, is about 9 miles by 3 in extent. St. Bartholomews, in the 18th degree of north latitude, is about 15 miles in circumference. It belongs to Sweden, but being settled originally by the French, its inhabitants are mostly l’rench and Irish Catholics. St. Joustatius in the 18th degree of north latitude, is a mountain of 29 miles in circumference, rising out of the ocean. It belongs to the Dutch, of whom there are 5000 on the island with 15,000 slaves. 943. General View of the West Indies. The climate of the islands is nearly the same, being extremely hot, but the heat is mitigated by the sea breezes. Some of the islands have nearly a level surface, as Barbadoes ; but most of them contain hills and mountains, and several of them are volcanic. The productions in all are nearly the same. The most valuable articles are sugar, coffee, cotton, tobacco, melasses, rum, cocoa, pimento, dyeing woods, with numerous other useful commodities, and all the tropical fruits. These are their exports, for which they receive English and India goods, provisions of all kinds, horses and mules, lumber, candles, &c. This chain of islands is subject occasionally to most tremendous hurricanes, which spread destruction by sea and land. 944. Trinidad, Curaso and Cayenne. Trinidad is an island near the coast of South America, about 100 miles by 20 in extent. It was originally settled by the Spaniards, but has been conquered by the English. It is a fertile island, but a small part only is yet cultivated. Curaso, situated about ten leagues from the Spanish coast, is about 30 miles long, and 10 broad, and belongs to the Dutch, who took it from the Spaniards in 1632. It is naturally barren, but Dutch industry has made it productive. Cayenne is an island of 16 leagues in circumference, separated from the continent by two rivers. It belongs to the French, who possess also the province of Cayenne, on the main land. Its produce is arnotto, coffee, cotton, sugar and cocoa.
945. Mexico. Mexico, or New Spain, is that part of the continent which lies around the Gulf of Mexico, which deeply indents the land south of Florida. It extends from the istmus of Darien to an undefined limit on the north, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. This country was conquered by Cortez in 1521, and still remains in possession of Spain. It is generally broken and mountainous, but contains much fertile land, and numerous large rivers. The most populous parts of Mexico are within the tropics, where the earth produces every plant usually found in similar latitudes; and the domestic animals introduced by Europeans have greatly multiplied. The mountains abound with gold, silver, and other metals. Mexico is divided into provinces and governed by a viceroy.
946. City of Mexico. Mexico, the capital of the province, is situated on islands in the lake Tezcuco, in the 20th degree of north latitude. It was the seat of the Mexican Kings before the conquest, and still contains 200,000 inhabitants. The buildings are of stone, and the public edifices magnificent. The floating gardens on the lake are a singular curiosity, being constructed of willows and marsh plaints, twisted and united, and covered by light bushes, on which is spread earth to a sufficient depth. These gardens, are of different sizes, and cover the lake with floating fields, filled with plants, for the use of the city.
947. Situation and Extent. South America extends in length from Darien, or about the 12th degree of north latitude, to the 54th degree of south latitude, a distance of 4600 miles. Its bredth from the 35th to the 80th degree of west longitude, is about 3000 miles. It is surrounded by the ocean, which is called the Atlantic, on the east, and the Pacific on the west; except a narrow neck of land at Panama, which is not more than 45 miles wide, called the istmus of Darien, by which North and South America are conhected.
948. Mountains. The Andes constitute the most ex
tensive and lofty chains of mountains on the globe. They extend nearly the whole length of South America, and generally within a hundred miles of the western coast. The highest peak is that of Chimborazo, a hundred miles south of Quito, which rises more than 20,000 feet, almost 4 miles above the level of the sea. The highest summits are always covered with snow, even under a vertical sun; and many of them are volcanoes which frequently eject immense masses of stones and ashes, with rivers of burning lava. These eruptions are also attended with violent earthquakes which shake the neighboring country, overwhelm cities, and rend vast chasms in the towering Andes. 949. Rivers. The Maramon. The rivers in South America, correspond, in magnitude, with the majesty of the mountains. The Maranon, which has its sources on the eastern side of the Andes, receives a vast number of subsidiary streams, until it becomes the largest river on the globe. For a great distance from its mouth, vessels sail on this river out of sight of land, and before it mingles with the ocean, under the equator, it opens to a bay of 150 miles wide. Its length, including its windings, is about 3300 miles. 950. The Paraguay. The second river in South America is the Paraguay, called also the Plate, or Silver river. It is formed by the Paraguay, the Pilcomayo, the Parana and Urucuay, with many lesser rivers. Its principal streams originate in the mountains of Brasil, and running south and east, it enters the Atlantic in the 36th degree of south latitude, after a course of about 2000 miles. Its navigation is rendered somewhat dangerous by islands and rocks, but ships ascend 1200 miles to Assumption. This river at its entrance into the ocean opens to a bay as broad as that of the Maranon. 951. The Oronoke. The Oronoke is the third river in size in South America. It is composed of numerous rivers which spring from the Andes and from streams in the south, which are said to connect this river with the Maranon. After a winding course, it enters the Atlantic, south east of Trinidad. Magdalen, a river of 600 ** in length, runs north to the sea near Carthagena.
The St. Francis, a still longer river, waters Brasil, and enters the Atlantic in the eleventh degree of south latitude. 952. Shanish Dominions in South America. The king of Spain possesses the northern part of South America, called Terra Firma; the western part or Peru and Chili, and the territory on the Paraguay. This vast country is divided into many provinces, audiences or missions, over which is a viceroy or governor. The whole population of Spanish America is estimated at 9 millions of souls; and the yearly product of the mines is about 17 millions of dollars, but the expenses of working them absorb nearly the whole amount, 953. Peru. The territory of Peru extends from Terra Firma about 1800 miles along the western coast of South America to latitude 25 degrees south. A great part of the sea coast consists of barren sands or inaccessible rocks; but other parts of Peru are fertile, and produce all the tropical fruits in abundance, with the cultiwated grains of Europe. In this territory are the mines of Potosi, the richest in America, which a man discovered by pulling up a shrub as he was rising a hill in pursuit of a deer. The chief town is Lima, near the sea, which contains 50,000 souls. Here is found the Cinchona, a tree which affords the Peruvian bark, so much used in the cure of intermitting fevers. The Spaniards are mostly indolent and unenterprising, making use of slaves to cultivate the earth. 954. Chili. South of Peru lies Chili, extending akong the coast 1260 miles to the 45th degree of south latitude. The climate is temperate and the soil generally good. In Chili, as in all South America, horses and cattle, which were introduced by Europeans, have multiplied to such a degree as to fill the forests, and thousands are killed solely for their hides. A fat ox in Chili may be purchased for 4 dollars. Fowls, wild and domestic, are in abundance, and the tropical fruits as well as cultivated grain, grow in luxuriance. Here are also mines of gold, silver, copper, tin, quicksilver and lead; and gold in large quantities, is washed down from the hills by the streams. The chief town is St. Jago, AA '
955. Paraguay. West of Peru and Chili, is the ex. tensive territory of Paraguay, said to be 1500 miles in length and 1000 in bredth; bounded by Brasil on the east and Patagonia on the south. This territory is watered by the Paraguay and its auxiliary streams; and affords most luxuriant pasturage. It sends to Peru vast inumbers of cattle, horses and mules. The chief town is Buenos Ayres, on the south side of the Paraguay, in a pleasant situation ; a town well fortified, and containing 30,000 inhabitants.” The Spaniardsand creoles are said not much to exceed 100,000 souls. The inhabitants are mostly natives, many of whom under the influence of the Jesuits, have embraced christianity. 956. Terra Firma. The northern division of South America, called Terra Firma, extends along the Atlantic about 1400 miles, and from the ocean to the equator, about 700 miles. It comprehends several governments. The climate is sultry, and from May to November the country is deluged with rain, attended with a continual succession of thunder. The interior country is very fertile, and covered with luxuriant herbage, but in many places is very insalubrious. The principal exports are sugar, tobacco, cotton, coffee, fruits and dyeing woods. The chief towns are Panama on the Pacific Ocean, and Carthagena and Caraccas on the Atlantic. > 957. Brasil. Brasil, a territory on the east side of South America, belonging to Portugal, extends from three degrees north of the equator to the 33d degree of south latitude, a length of 2400 miles, and from the ocean to Amazonia and Paraguay west, about 700 miles. The climate is temperate and the soil rich, producing sugarcanes, maiz, tobacco, cotton and indigo, and all the tropical fruits, with Brasil wood for dyeing, mohogany, fustic and ebony. The woods are filled with cattle, which are killed solely for their hides; these being a considerable article of export. Among the exports are also diamonds, gold, ipecacuanha, indian pink and jalop. 958. Chief town and inhabitants. The principal town is Janeiro or St. Sebastian, on a bay which affords a fine harbor. It is protected by a castle, and the hills behind
" Taken by the English, July 2, 1806.