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The St. Francis, a still longer river, waters Brasil, and enters the Atlantic in the eleventh degree of south lati. tude.
952. Spanish 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. Perú. The territory of Peru extends from Ter. ra 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 proa duce all the tropical fruits in abundance, with the cultivated 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 along 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.
955. Paraguay. West of Peru and Chili, is the extensive 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 numbers 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 Care thagena 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 10 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.
it are covered with convents, churches and other houses. The streets are strait, and the town supplied with water by an aqueduct. The inhabitants are gay indolent, given to pleasure, and to religious ceremonies. The Portuguese men generally wear clokes and swords; and the females, who have dark eyes and animated countenances, adorn their heads with tresses, tied with ribands and flowers. The whites in Brasil are about 200,000, and the blacks three times as numerous.
959. French and Dutch Possessions. The French possess in South America, a territory of about 350 miles by 240 in extent, which, from the chief town on the small isle, Cayano, is called Cayenne. This town contains about 1200 inhabitants, but most of the country remains in a state of nature. The country produces and gives name to that species of pungent pepper, cayenne, which is common at our tables. North west of Cay. enne is Guiana, which belongs to the Dutch. Its extent is about 310 miles by 160; the chief towns are Paramaribo, on the west bank of the river Surinam, containing about 400 houses--New-Middlebury, Demarara and Berbice. The white inhabitants are not more than 2000, and the principal exports are cotton, coffee, sugar, rum and melasses.
960. Amazonia and Patagonia. Between Terra Firma on the north, and Paraguay on the south, and between Peru and Brasil, is a large tract of 1400 miles by 900 in extent, called Amazonia, from a name improperly imposed upon the Maranon, because some warlike females, like Amazons, were found along that river. This terri. tory remains in possession of the aboriginals. The south point of South America also remains in possession of the natives, under the general name of Patagonia. This territory extends about 1100 miles from the southern extremity. Beyond the point of the continent are several islands, called Terra del Fuego, or land of fire, separated from the continent by a channel called the Strait of Magellan, as that navigator first discovered and passed through it. The southern point of this land, called Cape Horn, is near the 56th degree of south latitude.
961. Aboriginals. The conquered and unconquered countries of South America, contain numerous tribes of the aboriginal inhabitants, who, in color, persons and features, have a near resemblance, but whose languages, manners and modes of life are diversified. The Patagons in the south have been represented by navigators as a race of giants, but this is not true. They are strong, muscular men, but no taller than the English. In the warmer regions of the continent, the natives are less muscular, but well made persons, and they resemble the Indians of North America, in all the essential characters of savages.
962. Animals. The most useful domestic animals, horses and cattle, have multiplied in South America bea yond all computation. Mules, being very useful for transportation over the cliffs and precipices of the mountains, are raised in great numbers, as are sheep and goats. The indigene animals worth notice are the llama, lama or runa, a species of small camel, used to bear loads under a hundred weight ; the guanaca, larger than the lama, used also for burden ; the jaguar and cogar, the tiger and lion of America; the condor, the largest bird on earth ; and serpents of 30 feet in length, which will swallow a calf or a deer. The earth is peopled with quadrupeds, serpents and insects; the air and trees with birds and monkeys, and the seas and rivers with fish, many of which are peculiar to this continent, and which it would require volumes to describe.
963. Islands of South America. The principal islands near the coast of South America, are the Falkland Isles, in the Atlantic, in the 52d and 530 degrees of south latitude, inhabited by a few Spaniards the island of Terra del Fuego, already mentioned ; Juan Fernandez, in the 34th degree of south latitude, in the Pacific, 390 miles west of the continent, which affords good harbors, but is not settled by Europeans-Chiloe, an island 140 miles in length, near the western coast, which is peopled by the Spaniards-Georgia, a cluster of barren islands, east of Terra del Fuego and many smaller isles, which are visited only by seamen for the sake of catching seals.
CONCLUSION. 964. General Views of the Structure of the Globe. In casting our eyes over a map of the earth, we are struck with the admirable variety of land and water, and the singular distribution of each over the surface of the globe. One of the most remarkable facts is, that the two great continents are extended in length from north to south, instead of a direction from east to west. By this happy arrangement of the great divisions of the earth, the land and the ocean run through different latitudes and climates, and render navigation practicable almost from pole to pole. This structure seems intended by the allwise author of the globe, to facilitate a commercial intercourse between the inhabitants of different latitudies; to enable the navigator to convey with ease and little ex. pense, the productions of one climate to the inhabitants of another. Had the continents been extended from east to west, the commerce of the world must have been more restricted to the same climates, and to an interchange of similar productions. To crown this admirable arrangement, the two principal continents, while they run into cold, icy, innavigable regions in the north, terminate on the south in navigable regions, so that ships pass round them, and interchange the commadities of both, with reciprocal benefit to distant nations.
965. Seas and Rivers. To the advantageous direca tion of the continents, which seems evidentiy intended to favor an intercourse between all the inhabitants of the earth, we may add the position of the seas, rivers and lakes, which offer the means of navigation into the heart of the continents, by which the inhabitants of the sea coast and of the interior interchange commodities at a trifling expense. The spices of Asia, the ivory of Africa, and the gold and diamonds of South America, are easily conveyed to the heart of Russia or of Canada ; while the furs, the iron, and the timber of the north, are borne on the waves to the center of Africa and China. By this facility of communication, men not only enjoy many conveniences which their own country does not afford, but they have obtained a security against famin,