Skip to main content

Full text of "Personal Narrative of Travels to the Equinoctial Regions of the New Continent During the Years ..."

See other formats


This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 

to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing tliis resource, we liave taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for in forming people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http: //books .google .com/I 


\ c V a i\ '--^ 






DURING THB YBAR8 1799—18049 















W, FOpk, PriDler, 67, Cbancery Lane, 






Llmnoii Del Fao, or the eastern part of the Flains 
(Llanos) ofVenezuela. — ^Missions of the Caribbees. — 
Last abode on the coast of Nnera Barcelona^ Cuma- 
na, and Araya -.-.-..-i 


Explanations - - - - - - ^^ 1S8 

A — ^Population of Continental America ... 1S9 

B — ^Area of the same ...... 143 

Relation of the Population to the Extent of Surface - 18i 

Productions ........ 200 

Commerce and Public Revenue .... 21O 

The Practicability of a Water Communication between 

the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans discussed - - 230 


A — Antiquities^ &c. of the Aboriginal inhabitants of 
America --.-.--. 316 

B — Relative Population by the Square League of the 
American States^ and the States of Europe^ Asia^ and 
Africa 335 

C — State of the Catholic Missions in Spanish America 
Sketch of the Native Tribes of ditto - - - 347 

I> — Population of Buenos Ayres - - - . 363 

£— Popuhition of the United States^ N. A. - - 367 

F — On the Boundaries of the Spanish and Portuguese 
States 378 

G— On the Physical Properties of the Cow Tree - 386 

• • ■ * 


OF VOL V!. PART 11. 


Sketch of m Geognostie View of Sooth America^ on 
the North of the River of the Attaaons, and on tli^ 
East of the MeHdian of die Sierra Nevada' de 
Menda - - - - ;. ^ . • 391 


Configuration of the Country. — InequJEditieaof UieSoiL 
Chains «nd OroUpa ^ Molintaihs. — ^Ridges of Fto- 
tition.^-^-Piains or Llahee * - - - - 393 


General Partition of Lands. — Direction and Inclina- 
tion of the Layers.— Relative Height of the Forma- 
tions above the Level of tlie Ocean ... 575 


JNTature of tlie Rocks. — Relative Age and Superpo- 
sition of the Formations.— Primitive^ transition^ se- 
condary^ tertiary^ and volcanic Soils ... 507 

1. Co-ordinate Formations of Granite^ Gneiss and 
Micaslate ^ ..... . 600 

2. Formation of Clayey-slate (Tiionschiefer) of Mal- 
passo - .. . . . • . 613 

3. Formation of Serpentine and Diorite (Greenstone 

of Juncalito) • - - - • •> ^ 615 

4. Granular and micaceous Limestone oflSieMofTos 

of San Juan -....;.. 616 


6. Felspathic Sandstone of the Oroonoko - - 017 

6. Formation of th^ Sandstone of the Llanos of Cala- 

bozo -.•----• 618 

?• Formation of compact Limestone of Cumanacoa - 024 

8. FormatioQ of compact Limestone of Oaripe - 826 

9. Sandstone of Bergantin - . - . . 429 

10. Gypsum of the Llanos of Venezuela - • 030 

11. Formation of Muriatifierous Clay (with Bitumen 

and Lamellar Gypsum) of the Peninsula of Araya 632 

12. Agglomerate Limestone of Barigon^ the Castle of 
Cumana^ and the ^cinity of Porto Cabello - - 638 

13. Formation of Pyrozenic Amygdaloide and Phono- 
lite, between Ortiz and Gerro de Flores - - 642 

Observations made to verify the progress of the Horary 
Variations of the Barometer in the Tropics, from 
the Level of the Sea to the Ridge of the Cordillera 

of the Andes 662 

Mean Height of the Barometer in the Tropics, at the 

Level of the Sea - - - . . .. 773 
Mean Temperature of Cumana. — Hygrometric and 
Cyanometric State of the Air .... 777 
L Observations of M. De Humboldt » - 781 

II. Don Faustino Rubio - - 793 

Additional Note on the Height of the Lake of I>ncara- 

gua above the Level of the Sea ' r * ''^ 

; BOOK X. 


Passage from the Coast of Venezuela to the Havannah. 
— General View of the^ Population of the West 
Indies, compared with the Population of the New 
Continent, with respect to the Diversity of Races, 
Personal Liberty^ Language, and Worship - - 801 

i • 

• *, 



Ths scene to which this volume chiefly 
relates-^the Republic of C^utnlna— -hay- 
ing become an object of such deep and 
general interest, the publishers have plea- 
sure in at length presenting it to the public. 
The French original had been delayed by 
circumstances over which the editor had 
no controuL The succeeding portion, 
which will comprise an account of the 
island of Cuba, and a part of the Journey 
into the Cordillera of the Andes, is already 
in the press^ and proceeding with all possi- 
ble expedition. The Author having, in the 
course of the work, brought under his re- 
view almost all branches of the Sciences, 
purposes to give, at the conclusion of the 
whole, a classed table of contents, or me- 
thodical index, for the facility of reference. 


The present volume comprehends, be- 
sides the Personal Narrative of the tra- 
vellers. The History, of the 'Nations of 
Carib race; a g0iie]:9l' view of the Popu* 
latioh of'Spstaiish America, arranged ac* 
cc»rding to difference of colour, of lan- 
guages, and of religion ; a discussion of the 
great problem of an Oceanic Canal, or of a 
Water Communication between the South 
Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, with reference 
both to its utility and the obstacles which 
local circumstances may present to its exiecu* 
tion ; a comparison of the more ancient Mo* 
Qumentsof the Aboriginal Inhabitants of both 
Americas; a Geological View of South Ame* 
rica on the north of the river of the Amazons, 
with a general account of the ramifications 
of ih^ knots of mountains which occur in 
the Andes from Cape Horn to the Polar 
Circle; a memoir on the Horary Variations 
of the Barometer within the Tropics, both at 
the level of the ocean, and on the summit 
of the Cordillera of the Andes; and a com* 
pressed view of thermometric, hygrome- 
trie, cyanometric, and electrometric obser- 
vations made in the low equinoctial re* 

With this volume are given, a general 
map of the Republic of Columbia, drawn 
from the latest scientific observations and 
discoveries ; and a map of the Geography 
of the Plants of Chimborazo^ indicating 
the elevation at which they are respectively 

iMMoivTManU lilL'tf 

• 4. 








Uanos Del PaOy or the eastern part of the Plains 
(Llanos) of Venezuela. Missions of the Ca- 
rihhees. Last abode on the coast of Nueva 

i* Barcelona^ Cumana^ and Araya. 

It was night when we crossed for the last time 
the bed of the Oroonoko. We purposed to rest 
near the little fort of San Rafael, and the next 
Horning at daybreak to beg^n our journey 
through the steppes of Venezuela. Nearly six 
weeks had elapsed since our arrival at Angos- 
tura; and we earnestly wished to reach the 
Mast, in order to find a vessel at Cumana, or 
It Nueva-Barcelona, in which we might em- 
Ivk for the island of Cuba, and proceed thence 
vol*. VI. ji 

to Mexico. After the sufferiags to which we 
had been exposed during sereral months, by 
sailing in small boats on rivers infested by mos- 
chettoes, the idea of a long sea-voyage had some 
charms for the imagiaatioD. We meant to 
retam no more to South America. Sacrifidog 
the Andes of Peru to tlie Archipelago of the 
Philippines, of which so little is koowo, we 
adhered to our old plan of reipakting a year 
in New Spain, proceeding in the galleon from 
Acapalco to Manillfl^ and returning to Europe 
by the way of Bassora and Aleppo. It appeared 
to u8, that, wheu we had once left the Spanish 
possessions in America, the fell of that ministry, 
which with noble confidence had procured us 
sneh ontimited permissions, could not be pre- 
judicial to the execution of our enterprise. Our 
minds were agitated by these ideas during our 
monotonous journey across the ste{^es. No- 
thing enables us better to endure the little con- 
trarieties of life, than our attention being en- 
gaged by the approaching accompUshment of 
a hazardous undertaking. 

Our mules waited for us on the left bank <^ 
the Oroonoko. The collections of plants, and 
the different geological series, which we had 
brought from the Esmeralda and the Rio Negro, 
had greatly augmented our baggage ; and, as 
it would have been dangerous to lose sight 
of our berbals, we expected to make a veiy slow 


journey aorots the Llanos. The heat was ex- 
cessiyej on account of the reverberation of the 
soil, almost eveiy where destitute of plants. 
The centigrade thermometer however .during 
the day (in the shade) was only from thirty to 
thirty-four d^rees, and at night from twenty- 
seven to twenty-eight degrees. Here therefore, 
as almost every where within the tropics, it 
was less the absolute degree of heat, than it's 
duration, that affected our organs. We were 
thirteen days in crossing the steppes, resting a 
little in the Caribbee {CaroSbes) missions, and 
in the little town of Pao. I have given al- 
ready* the physical picture of those immense 
phuns, which separate the forests of Guyana 
from the chain of the coast. The eastern part 
of the Llanos, through which we passed, between 
Angostura and Nueva Barcelona, wears the same 
savage aspect as the western part, by which 
we came from the valleys of Aragua to San 
Fernando de Apure. In the season of drought, 
which it is here agreed to called summer , though 
the Sun is in the southern hemisphere, the 
breeze is felt with greater force in the steppes 
of Cumana, than in those of Caraccas ; because 
these vast plains, like the cultivated fields of 
Lombardy, form an inland basin, open to the 
east and closed on the north, south, and west, 

* Vol. ir, p. 290—415. 
B 2 

by hii^h chains of [)riiiuti\e mountains. Tnt'or- 
tunately, we could not avail ourselves of this 
refreshing breeze^ of which the Llaneros (the in- 
habitants of the steppes) speak with rapture, 
it being the nuny season north of the equator ; 
and thbagh it did not rain in the steppes, the 
change in the declination of the San had long 
caused the action of the polar currents to cease. 
In those equatorial regions, where you can find 
yoiir course by observing the direction of the 
clouds, and where the oscillations of the mer- 
cury in the barometer indicate the hour almost 
as well as a clock, every thing is subject to 
a regular and uniform type. The cessation of 
the breezes, the beginning of the rainy season, 
and the frequency of electric explosions, are 
phenomena, which are fouqd to be connected by 
immutable laws. 

At the confluence of the Apure and the 
Oroonoko, near the mountain of Sacuima, we 
had met with a French farmer, who lived amid 
his flocks in the most absolute seclusion*. This 
was the man, who in his simplicity believed, 
that the political revolutions of the old world, 
and the wars which have been the consequence, 
were owing solely ^^ to the long resistance of the 
monks of the Observance." We had scarcely 
entered the Llanos of Nueva Barcelona, when 

* Vol. T, p. 077. 

Ibr "S again found a Frenchman, at whose house 
bii *t passed the first night, and who received 
DS vith the kindest hospitality. He was a 
native of Lyons ; had left his country at a very 
tariy a^ ; and appeared extremely indifferent 
to all tliat was passing beyond the Atlantic, or, 
as they say here, disdainfully enough for Eu- 
rope, " on the other side of the great poo!" 
[^ (dei otrv ladn del diarco). Our host was em- 
1;^ flayed in joining large pieces of wood by means 
of a kind of glue called guayca. This substance, 
need by tbe carpenters of Angostura, resembles 
the best glue extracted from tbe animal king- 
dom. It is found perfectly prepared between 
the bark and the alburnum of a creeper* of 
tbe Ditoily of the combretacea;. It probably 
resembles in it's chemical properties birdlime, 
tlie vegetable principle obtained from the bei'- 
lies of the mtstleto, and the internal bark of 
tbe holly. An astonishing abundance of this 
tidi glutinous matter issues from the twining branches 
'fe I of the vtjitco de guoyca when they are cut. 
t I Tbos, we find within the tropics n substance 
in a state of purity, and deposited in peculiar 

* Ciimbrelnm gaai/ea. Xl might be thought, that the 
a»mt of chignminier, giren by Imttintsta to the ditTerent ipe- 
ciet of comfarelDiii, has an aUusion to this glutinous matter; 
Int the name is derived from rhigoama (combrctum )axani, 
jIM.), a word ofthc Galibi or Carihbcc language. 


organs, which id the temperate xone can be 
procured ooty by the procestes of ul •. 

We arrived on the third day at the Caribhee 
missions of Can. We observed, that the gronnd 
was less cracked by the drought in this coantry 
than in the Llanos of Calabozo. Some 8bow«« 
bad revived the vegetatioD. Small gramina, 
and especially those herbaceous sensitive plants, 
that are so useful in fattening half-wild cattle, 
formed a thick turf. A few kA palms (corypha 
tectorum), rfaopalas-f- (chapaTro\ and malpig- 
hias X '^th coriaceous and gloesy leaves, arose 
at great distances from each other. The humid 
spots are reco^ized at a distance by groups of 
mauritia, which are the sago-ta«es of those conn- 
tries. Near the coast this palm-tree constitutes 

• Vol. T, p. 286. 

t The protewcee mre not, like Ibe arancarw, an exclusive- 
ly Mutheni form, {Kotxebue, Jtrar, vol. lit, p. Ifl.) We 
fimnd tbe rfaopala complicmU, and tiw r. obovaU, i« 2° SO' 
and in 10° of oorth latitude. See onr Nov. Gcn., vol. ti, p. 

X A neigfabonring gcDus, byraonirna cucD/Zaiic/bitir, b. /a>- 
T^oUa near Matagorda, and b. ropatmfolia. The Euro- 
pean planten, who rrom tbe feeblest analo^es believe, that 
thejr find every where tbe plants of their uwn country in tbe 
vegetation of the tropics, call the malpighia, o/cDmo^M (cork- 
tree), no donbt on acconnt of ihc aiberviu bark of tbe trunk. 
This bark coDtaios tannin ; aad in another malpighia (byrso- 
nima moureilu), which is tbe febrifuge tree of Cayenne, the 
quinquina, ur cinchonin is supposed, not without reason, to 
exist united with ihc tannin. 


Uk whole ire&ltti of the Guai'aon Indians ; and 
it it somewhat remai-kable, that we had found 
H sgain one haodred and sixty leagues failher 
fonth, in the midst of the forests of the Upper 
OrooBokoi io the savanoahB that surround the 
grmnilic peak of Duida*. It was loaded at 
this season with enormous clusters of red fruit, 
naembling the cones of 6r8. Our monkeys 
were extremely fcmd of this fruit, which has the 
taste of an overripe apple. These animak, 
placed with oar baggage on the backs of the 
males, made great efforts to reach the clusters, 
thai were suspended over -Iheir heads. The 
^in was nndaiating fr<Hn the e£fect of the 
mrage'^ ; and when, after travelling for an 
hoar, we arrived at these trunks of the palm- 
U«e, which appeared like masts in the horizon, 
we observed with astonishment bow many things 
we c<mnected with the existence of a single 
plant. The winds, losing their velocity when 
in contact with the foliage and the branches, 
aocnmolate sand around the trunk. The smell 
oi the firnit, and the brightness of the ver- 
dure, attract from afar the birds of passage, 
wUch delight in the vibrating motion of the 

* Tbe morichi, like the sagus Rumpbii, is a palm-trte oftht 

nartka (rol. iii, p. 278 ; vol, iv, p. 334 ; vol. v, 50, &5H, and 

7M) ; not a palm-tree t^lht eoatt, like tbe chamxrops humi- 

tii, ike ootmnon cocoa-tree, and tbe lodoicea. 

+ Vol. ii, p. 196 i iv, 327. 


branches of the paln^tree. A soft murmuring 
is beard aroQod ; and overwhelmed bv the heat, 
and accustomed to the melancholy silence of 
the steppes, we fimcy we enjoy some coolness 
at the sligfateM sound of the foliage. If we 
examine the soil on the ride opporite to the 
windy we find it remains humid long after the 
rainy season. Insects and worms *, every where 
else so rare in the Llanos, here assemble and 
multiply. This one tolitary and often stunted 
tree, which would not claim the notice of the 
traveller amid the forests of the Oroonoko, 
spreads life around it in the desert. 

On the 13th of July we arrived at the village 
of Cari^y the first of the Caribbee missions, 
that are under the monks of the Observance of 
the coU^ of P!ritu:|:. We lodged as usual at 
the convent, that is with the clergyman. We 
had, beside our passports from the captain- 

* What are those worms (loul in Arabic), which captain 
LyoD, the fellow-traveller of my brave and nnfortODate 
fnofld Mr. Ritchie, found in the pools of the desert of Fei- 
xan, which served the Arabs for food, and which have the 
taste of caviare f Are they not insects' eggs, resembling the 
aguauiie, which I saw sold in the market at Mexico, and 
which are collected on the surface of the lakes of Texcuco ? 
{Gaxeta de Utteratura de Mexico, 17M, vol. iii, No. 26, p. 

t N'** S'* del Socorro del Cari, foooded in 1761. 

X These missionaries are called padres mittumerot OUenHm- 
tes del Coiegio de la Purmima Omcepdon de Propaganda Fide 
en la Nueva Barcelona, 


general of the province, recommendations from 
the bishops and the guardian of the missions 
of the OrooQoko. From the coasts of New 
California to Valdivia and the month of the Rio 
de la Plata, a spaee of two thousand leagues, 
every difficulty of a long journey by land may 
be surmounted, if the traveller enjoy the pro- 
tection of the American clergy. The power 
which this body exercises in the state is too well 
established, to be soon shaken by a new order 
of things. Our host could scarcely comprehend, 
^ how natives of the north ' of Europe could 
arrive at his dwelfing from the frontiers of Bra- 
zil by the Rio Negro, and not by way of the 
coast of Cumana.** He behaved to us how- 
ever in the most afiable manner, and showed a 
curiosity somewhat importunate respecting us, 
which the appearance of a stranger, who is not 
a Spaniard, alwajrs excites in South America. 
The minerals, which we had collected, must 
contain gold ; the plants, dried with so much care, 
must be medicinal. Here, as in many parts of 
Europe, the sciences are thought wortliy to oc- 
cupy the mind only so far as they confer some 
solid benefit on society. 

We found more than five hundred Caribbees 
in the village of Cari ; and saw many others in 
the surrounding missions. It is curious to ob- 
serve a nomade people, recently attached tx) the 
soil, and difiering from all the other Indians in 


tiidr physical and iDtelleotual powers.. I hme 
no where seen a taller, race of men (from five 
feet nx int^es, to five feet tea inches*), and 
of a more colossal statnre. The men, whi^ is 
common in Americaf, are more clothed than 
the women. The latter wear only the guajuoot 
or jterixoma, in the fiwm of a band. The men 
hare the lower part of the body as &r as the 
hips wrapped in a (ueoe of hloe cloth, so dark as 
to be almost black. This drapery is so am|4e, 
that, when the temperatore lowers toward the 
evcsing, the Caribbees throw it over their shonU 
dert. Tbdr bodies being tinged with onotoXt 
thdr tall figures, of a reddish copper-cok>«r, 
with their pietaiFesque drapery, projecting from 
the horison of the steppe against the sky as a 
back ground, resemble antique statues of bronze. 
The men cut their hiur in a very characteristic 
roimn^ i like the monks, or the chiUren of the 
chtnr. A part of the forehead is shaved, which 
makes it appear extremely lai^. A large tuft 
of hair, cut in a circle^ be^ns very near the top 
of the head. This resemblance of the Carit^eea 
to the monks is not the result of living in the 
mi^ons ; it is not owing, as it has been errone- 

' From file feet nioc iachei to six Tect two, Eogluh, 

f See above, vol. v, p. 362. 

t Roto*, obtained from the beta orellana. Tbia (Mint u 
called in Caribbee kchd. 


OQsly assorted, to the desire of the natives to 
imitate their masters, tlie fiithers of the order of 
Saint Francis. Hie tribes, that hate preserved 
thdr savage independance, between the sources 
of the Carony and the Rio Branoo, are dis- 
tinguished by the same cerquillo de Jrmles^ 
wiiich the first Spanish historians* at the time of 
the discovery of America attributed to the na- 
tions of Caribbee origin* All the men of this 
race, whom we saw either during our voyage 
on the Lower Oroonoko, or in the missions of 
Pbritoo, differ from the other Indians not only 
by their tallness^ but also by the regularity of 
tbeir features. Their nose is not so largc^ and 
less flattened ; the chedc-bones are not so high ; 
and their physiognomy has less of the Mongul 
cast. Their eyes, darker than those of the 
other hordes of Guyana^ denote intelligence, I 
had almost said the habit of reflexion. The 
Caribbees have a gravity in their manners, and 
something of sadness in their look, which is 
found for the most part among the primitive 
inhabitants of the New Worlds The expression 
of severity in their features is singularly in- 

* " Regio ab iooolis Caramaira dicilur, inqoaviroa simul 
*' et foBoiiiias statura aiunt polcherrimos ease, nudoa tamen, 
*' capilHs aore tenus sciasis mares, (oBiiiiaas oblonj^is. A Ca- 
'* ribibus, sive Canibalibas, camiom humanarum edacibasj 
*' origioem traxisse Caramairenses existiinaot** Petr. Mar' 
tyr, Ouan. (1633), p. 26. D 0t 26 B. 


creased by the rage they have for dying tbeir 
eyebrom with the juice of the caroto*, en- 
larging them, and joining them together. They 
often mark the whole fiice with black spots, 
in order to i^ipear more savage. The magis- 
trates of the place, ^e Gmemador and Uie 
Mcadesy who alone have the privilege of carrying 
long canes, came to visit us. Among them 
were some young Indians from eighteen to 
twenty years of age, the choice dqwndiog solely 
on the will of the missionary. We were struck 
at finding among these Caribbees pmnted with 
amotta the same (urs of importance, the stiff 
mien, and the cold and disdainful manners, 
which are sometimes to be met with among 
people in «fiBce, in the old continent. The 
Caribbee women are less robust, and nglio* 
than the men. On them devolves almost the 
whole burden of domestic labours, no well as 
those of the fields. They asked us with ear- 
nestness ftir pins; which, having no pockets, 
they placed under the lower lip, piercing the 
skin, so that the head of the pin remmned with- 
in the mouth. The young girls are dyed with 
red; and, except the £iMi;uco, are naked. Among 
the different nations of the two worlds the idea 
of nudity is altogether relative. A woman in 
some parts of Asia is not permitted to show the 

• See vol. iv, p. 518. 


end of ber fingers ; while an Indian of the Carib- 
bee race is &r from considering herself • as 
naked, when she wears a guafuco two inches 
broad. Even this band is regiutled as a less 
essential pdrt of dress than the pigment^ which 
covers the skin. To go out of the but without 
being painted with amotta^ is to transgress all 
the rules of Caribbean decency. 

The Indians of the missions of Kritoo at- 
tracted still more our attention on account of 
their belonging to a nation, which by it's daring*- 
ness, it's warlike enterprises, and it's mercantile 
spirit, has exerted a great influence on the rast 
country, ' that extends from the equator toward 
the northern coasts. We found traces every 
where on the Oroonoko of the hostile incursions 
of the Caribbees, which they pushed heretofore 
from the sources of the Carony and the Erevato 
as far as the banks of the Ventuari, the Atacavi, 
and the Rio Negro ^. The Caribbean language 
is consequently the most general in this part 
of the world ; it has even passed (like the lan- 
guage of the LfCnni-Lenapes, or Algonkins, and 
the Natchez or Muskoghees, on the west of the 
Alleghany mountains) to tribes which have not 
the same origin. 

When we cast a look on that swarm of 
nations spread over both Americas to the east 

♦ Vol. ?, p. 204, 209, 300. 


of the Cordilkras of the Andet, we fix our 
attentioD particnlarty on those, who, having 
long hdd the sway over their ndgfabonra, have 
acted a more important part on the stage of t&e 
world. It is the object of the histortao, to 
gronp facts, to distinguish masses, to ascend to 
the common sources of so many migra^ns and 
popular movements. Great empires, the regu- 
lar oi^nization of a sacerdotal hierarchy, and 
the culture which this organisation fevors in the 
first age of society, are found only on the high 
rooontsdns of the west. At Mexico we see a 
vast monarchy eoclosing small republics; at 
Cundinamarea and Pern, real theocracies.- For- 
tified towns, highways and large e^fices of 
stone, an extraordinary developement of the 
feudal system, the separation of casts, convents 
oi men and women, religious congregations fol- 
lowing a discipline more or less severe, very 
complicated divisions of time connected with 
the calendars*, codiacs, and astrolc^ of the 
enlightened nations of Asia, are phenomcina, 
that in America bekmg to one region only, the 
long aftd narrow Alpine band, which extends 
&om tturty degrees of north latitude to twen- 
ty-five degrees south. The flux of nations in 
the ancient world was from east, to west ; the 
Basques or Iberians, the Celts, the Germans, 

• See the note tl U Ihc cad of ihe niiilli book. 


and the Pelasgians, appeared in succeesioii. In 
the Neir World similar niigratioQs flowed froin 
north to 8oatb. Among the nations that inha- 
bit the two hemispheres^ the direction of this 
moirement followed that of the mountains ; but, 
in the torrid zone, the temperate table-lands of 
the Cordilleras exerted a greater influence on 
the destiny of mankind, than the mountains of 
Asia and central Europe. As, properly speak- 
ings civilized notiooa only have a history, that 
of the Americans is necessarily no more than 
the Instory of a small number of the inhabitants 
of the mountains. A profound obscurity enve- 
lopes the immense country, that stretches from 
the eastern slope of the Cordilleras toward the 
Atlantic; and, for this very reason, whatever 
in this country relates to the preponderance 
of one nation over others, to distant migrations, 
to the physiognomical features which denote 
a foreign race, excite in us a lively interest. 

Amid the plains of North America, some 
powerful nation, which has disappeared, had 
constructed circular, square, and octagonal for* 
tifications ; walls six thousand toises in length > 
tumuli from seven to eight hundred feet in 
diameter, and one hundred and forty feet in 
height, sometimes round, sometimes with seve- 
ral stories, and containing thousands of skele- 
tons. These skeletons belonged to men less 
slender, and more squat, than the present infaa* 


tutaDts of tiioU oouDtnes. Other boaes, wrap- 
ped in furies resembltog those of the Sandwich 
aDd Feejee islaods, are fouod io the natural 
grottoes of Kentucky. What is become of those 
nations of Louisiaua anterior to the Ltami- 
Lenapes, the Shawanese, and perhaps even to 
the l^ous (Nadowesaes, Narcotas) of the Mis- 
souri, who are strongly mungolixed; and who, 
it is believed, according to their own traditions, 
came from the coast of Asia? In the pkuns 
of South America, as I bare elsewhere observed, 
we scarcely find a few hillocks (cerrog hechos 
a mono), and no where any woriu of fortifi- 
cation analogous to those of the Ohio. On a 
vast space of ground, however, at the Lower 
Oroonoko as well as on the banks of the Cassi- 
qoiare and between the sources of the Essequi- 
bo and the Rio Branco, there are rocks of gra- 
nite covered with symbolic figures. These 
sculptures denote, that the generations extinct 
belonged to nations diferent from those, which 
now inhabit the same regions. There seems 
to be no connection between the history of 
Mexico, and tbat of Cundinamarca and of Peru, 
at the west, on the back of the Cordilleras ; 
but in the pkuns of the east a warlike and long 
ruling nation displays in it's features, and it's 
physical constitution, traces of a foreign origin. 
The CaribbeeS preserve traditions, that seem 
to indicate some ancient comiuunications be- 


tween the two Amertcas. ' Such a phenomenoa 
deserves particular attention^ whatever may have 
been the degree of barbarism and degradation, 
in which all the nations of the plains of the 
New Continent were found by the Europeans 
at the end of the fifteenth century. If it be 
true, that savages aire for the most part degi*ad- 
ed races, remnants escaped from a commcRi 
shipwreck, as their languages, their oosmogonie 
fobles^ and a crowd of other indications seem to 
prove, it becomes doubly important to examine 
the paths, by which these remnants have been 
driven from one hemisphere to the other 

The fine nation of Caribbees now inhabits but 
a small part of the country, which it occupied 
at the time of the discovery of America. The 
cruelties exercised by the Europeans have made 
them disappear entirely from the West India 
islands, and the coasts of Darien ; while, sub- 
jected to the government of the missions, they 
have formed populous villages in the provinces 
of New Barcelona and Spanish Guyana. I 
believe the Caribbees, who inhabit the Llanos 
of Piritoo, and the banks of the Carony and the 
Cuyuni, may be estimated at more than thirty- 
five thousand. If we add to this number the 
independant Caribbees, who live west of the 
mountains of Cayenne and Pacaraymo, be- 
tween the sources of the Essequibo and the 
Rio Branco, we shall no doubt obtain a total 

VOL. Vf. c 


of forty thousand individuals of pure race, on. 
mixed with any other race of natinB. I dwell 
the more od these obaerrations ; because, previ- 
ously to my travels, the Cuibbees were men- 
tioned in many geographical works as an ex- 
tinct race *. Unacquunted with the interior 
of the Spanish colonies of tiie continent, these 
writers supposed, that the small islands (tf Do- 
niinica, Guadaloupe, and Sunt "Tmcent^ had 
been the principal abodes of this, nation, of 
which all that remains throoghont the whole of 
the eastern West India islands are skeletons "f* 
that are petrified, or rather enveloped in a lime- 
stone containing madrepores. According to 
this sappodtion the Caribbees must have dis^- 
peared in America, as the Guanches in tbe'ar- 
chipelago of the Canaries. 

Tribes, which belong to the same people, re- 
cognise a common ori^o, and call themselves by 
the same name. That of one horde is generally 

* Polil. Esuy, Fol. i, p. 83. 
t These skeletons were discotered id 1805 bj' Mr. Cor- 
tes, whose intereitJDg geological observations I have already 
had occauoa to montion (rol. iv, p. 41, 43). Tbey are eo- 
cbased in a formation of madrepore breccia, which the Ne- 
groes call with great simplicity the rnatonrg of God almighty ; 
and which, as recent as the travertin of Italy, envelopes frag- 
menls of vases and other works of man. Mr. Dauxion L.a- 
vaysse, and Dr. Konig, first made known in Europe this phe- 
nomenon, which has so much excited the attention of geolo- 
gists. (Phil. Tr. 1814, pUte 3 ; Cuvitr, Oum. fots., vol. I, 
p. Ixvi.) 


given to all the rest by the neighbouring nations ; 
sometimes also the names of places become the 
denomitmtidns of a people, or these appellations 
take rise from an epithet of -derision, or the for- 
toitous alteration of a word ill-pronounced. Tlie 
name of Caribbees, which I find for the first 
time in a letter of Peter Martjrr d'Anghiera* is 
derived fi^om Cklina and Caripuna, the / and p 
being transformed into r and h. It is indeed very 
remarkable, that this name, which Columbus 
heard pronounced by the people of Haiti f*, 
was found at the same time among the Carib- 
bees of the islands and those of the continent. 
From the word Carina, or Calina, has been 
formed Galibi (Caribi) ; a denomination by 
which a tribe is known in French Guyana^, 

* Fetr. Mart. Epitt. ad Pomp. Lttuni (Non. Dec. 1494) 

Lib, yjl. No. 147, /o/. xxxv j and Ocean,, Lib, I, foL 2, ^. 

According to tbe Caribbee pronunciation, balana and panmoj 

the sea, are confounded together, 
f Fcro. Col., Cap, 34 ; in Churchill's Coll., vol. 2, p. 53tt. 

IJerera, Dec, /, p. 34. 
4: The Galibis (Calibitis), the Palicours, and the Aco- 

quouas, have also the custom of cutting the hair in the manner 
of the monks ; and of applying bandages to tbe legs of their 
children, in order to swell the radscles. They have the same 
predilection for green stones (saussurite), which we recogniz- 
ed among the Caribbee nations of the Oroonoko (vol. v, p. 
383). There exist besides in French Guyana twenty Indian 
tribes, which are distinguisEed from the QalibiSy though their 
language proves, that they have a common origin. Barrh-e, 
France (quin.f p. 121, 2S0. LeacaUier, sur la Guyane, p. 78. 


of a much more diminutive stature than the 
inhabitants of Cari, but speaking. one of the 
Tiameroos dialects of the Caribbean tongue. The 
inbabitatits of the islands are called Calinago in 
the language of the men; and in that of the 
womettj Callipinan. This difference in the lan- 
guage of the- two sexes is more striking among 
the people of the Caribbean race, than aovoQg 
other American nations (the Omaguas, the Gna- 
ranis and the Chiquitoes), where it applies only 
to a small onmber of ideas, for instance, the 
words mother and child. It may be conceived 
that women, from their separate way of life, 
frame particular terms, which men will not 
adopt. Cicero* observes, that ancient forms 
are best preserved by women, because their situ- 
ation in society exposes them less to those vicissi- 
tudes of life (changes of place and occupation), 
which tend to alter the primitive purity of the 
language among men. But the contrast in the 
Caribbee nations between the dialect of the two 
sexes is so great, that to explain it in a satisfac- 
tory manner we must have recourse to another 
cause; and this may perhaps be found-)- in the 
barbarous custom, practised by those nations, of 

• Cicero, de Orat., Ith. Ill, cap. xii, ^ 45, ed. Ferburg. " Fa- 
cilius eoim miilieres incorruptam aotiqaitatem conserranl, 
quod multorum sermooii experles ea tenent semper, qus pri- 
ma ilidiccrunt." 

t See above, vol. t, p, 293 and 420. 


kiUing their male prisoners, and carrjring the 
wives of the vaoquished into captivity. . When 
the Caribbees made an irruption into the archi- 
pelago of the West India islands, they arrired 
there as a band- of warriors, not as planters 
accompanied by their families. The language 
of the female sex was formed by degreesyas the 
conquerors contracted alliances with the foreign 
women; it was composed of new elements, 
words distinct from the Caribbee words*, which 
in the interior of the gynseceums were trans- 
mitted from generation to generation, but on 
which the structure, the combinations, the gram^ 
matical forms of the language of the men exerted 
their influence. What then took place in a 
small community we now find in the whole 
group of the nations of the New Continent. 
The American languages, from Hudson's bay 
to the straits of Magellan, are in general cha- 
racterized by a total disparity of words joined 
with a great analogy in their structure. They 
are like different substances clothed in analo- 
gous forms. If we recollect, that this pheno- 
menon comprehends one whole side of our pla- 
net, almost from pole to pole ; if we consider 
the assimilations, that exist in the grammatical 

* The following are examples of the difference between 
the language of the men (m), and the women (to) ; i$ie, 
oabao m., acaera w. ; hum, ouekelli m., eyeri w. ^ 6ut, irheu 
ni., atica w. 

forms (in Uie geadera applied to the three per- 
soas of the rerb, the reduplicati^oB, the frequen- 
tatives, the duals) ; it will appear highly as- 
tonishing, to find a uaiforra tendency ia the 
developement of the understanding, and lan- 
guage among so coosiderable a portion of the 
human race. 

We have just seen, that the dialect of the 
Caribbee Tpomen, in the West India islands* 
contiuned the vestiges of a language that was 
extinct. What was that language ? Of this 
we are ignorant. Some writers have thought, 
that it might be that of the Ygueris, or primi- 
tive inhabitauts of the Caribbee islands ; others 
have perceived in it some resemblance to the 
ancient idiom of Cuba, or to those of the Ania- 
cas, and the Apalachites in Florida * : but 
these hypotheses are all founded on a very im- 
perfect knowledge of the idioms, which it has 
been attempted to compare. 

In reading with attention the Spanish authors 
of the sixteenth century, we see, that the Caribbee 
nations then extended over dghteen or nine- 
teen degrees of laljtade, from the Viigin islands 
en the east of Poittnico to the mouths of Uie 

• Labat. Foy.. vol, vi, p. 120. RocAtfort, p. 32fl. BiU. 
Unto., 1817, p. 366. Is the word Igneru (Ij^eris ?) a oor- 
ruplion of Eytrit, which, as we have just seen, signifies man 
in the dialect of the Caribbee women ! This employment of 
the word man is irry common in ethaographic names. 


Amasoti. Aaotbev prolongation toward the west^ 
aloog the coast ehdn of Santa Martha and 
Venefiraela, appears less certain. Gomara, how* 
ever, and the most ancient historians, give the 
name of Caribana, not, as it has since been 
done^ to the country l>etween the sources of the 
Oroonoko and the mountains of SVench Gu- 
yana*, but to the- marshy phuns between the 
months of the Rio Atrato and the Rio Sinn. 
I have been on these coasts myself in going 
from the Havannah to Porto Bello; and I 
there learned^ that the cape, which bounds the 
gnlf of Darien or Uraba cm the east^ still bears 
the name of Punta Caribana. An opinion pre- 
vailed heretofore pretty generally, that the Ca- 
ribbees of the West India islands derived their 
origin, and even their name, from these warlike 
people of Darien. '' Inde Vrabam ab orientaii 
prehendit ora, quam appellant indigenes Can- 
bana, unde Caribes insuiares originem habere 
Qomenque retinere dicuntur." Thus Anghiera^ 

^ The map of Hondius, of 1&90« which accompanies the 
Latin edition of the narrative of Raleigh's voyage. In the 
DqIcIi edition {Nieime Caerie van het goudrycke landt Gui- 
^ma), the Uanos of Caraccas, between the mountains of 
Merida and the Rio Pao, bear the name of Caribana. We 
may remark here, what we observe so often in the history of 
geography, that the same denomination has spread by de- 
grees ftom west to east. 

t Petr. Mart., Dec. 2, iib. 1, p. 26 B, Dec* 3, li6. 5, p. 
64 J. 


expKMM tumwlf in hu Ocemdquat. He had 
been told by a nephew of Amerigo Vespaed, 
that thence as for as Uu moiry monBtaios 
of Swat Martha all the natifes were '* e genere 
Caribium, velCanibalinm."! do not deny, that 
real Caribbees may have had a settlement near 
the gnlf of Darien, and that they mtty have 
been driTen thither by the easterly cnrrtnta: 
but it may also have happened, that tiie Spanish 
nangators, little attentive to languages, called 
every people of a taU stature and ferodoas cha- 
racter Caribbee and Cannibal. Still it is by no 
means probable, that the Caribbees of the is- 
lands and of Parima imposed on tbemselTies the 
name of the region, which they had originally 
inhabited. - On the east of the Andes^ and wher- 
ever ciTilization has not yet penetrated, it is the 
people who give the name to the places where 
they have settled •. We have abeady had oc- 
casion several times to observe, that the words 
Canhheet and Cannibab appear significattt ; that 
they are epithets, which allnde to valour, 

* Theie namea of places can be perpetDated only wbora 
tha.natioDS micceed inunediatdy to f aeh other,Bnd where Um 
tradition is uainterrupled. Tbas, in the prorince of Quito, 
many ol' ibe summits of llie Andfta bear naEoes, which be- 
JoDg neither to the Quichua (the langoage of the Iocs) nor 
to the ancient language of the Panisjri, goveroed by the con- 
thocando of Lican. 


strength, and even superior inteliigeace *. It 
is worthy of , remark, that, at the arrival of the 
Portoguese, the Brazilians designated their ma- 
gicians by the hameof earatievf. We know, that 
the Caribbees of Parima were the most wander- 
ing people of America ; perhaps some wily indi- 
viduals of that nation acted the same partj as 
the C/ui^aift^ of the ancient continent. The 
oames of nations ace easily annexed to particu- 
lar professions ; and when, in the time of the 
Caesars, the superstitions of the east were intro- 
duced into Italy, the Chaldeans came as litUe 
from the banks of the Euphrates, as our Egyp- 
tians or. Bohemians, (who speak a dialect of 
India) came from the banks of the Nile or the 

When the continent and the neighbouring 
islands are peopled by the same nation, we may 
choose between two hypotheses ; supposing that 
the emigration has taken place either from the 
islands to the continent, or from the continent 
to the islands. The Iberians (Basques), who 
were settled at the same time in Spain and in 
the Mediterranean islands;};, afford an instance of 
this problem ; as do also the Malays, who ap- 

• Vespacci says : " Charaibi magiue sapientiaB viri.** 
Gryn, Nov. Orb,, p, 145. On the word cannibal, see vol. v, 
p. 425. 

f Laet, p. 543. 

; IVilhelm von Humboldt , Urkewohner HiMpanien$, p. ^f^. 


pear indigenous in the peninsula ot Malacca, 
»Dd ia the district of Menangkabao in the 
island of Sumatra*. The . archipelago of the 
great and little West India islanch forms a 
narrow neck of landi broken parallel to the 
isthmus of Panama^ and heretofore joining the 
peninsula of Florida to the north-east extremity 
of South America. It is the eastern shore of an 
inland sea, which may be considered as a basin 
with several outlets. This singular configuration 
of the land has served to support the difibrent 
systems of migration, by which it has been at- 
tempted to explain the settlement of the natiiMis 
of the Caribbean race in the islands, and on the 
neighbouring continent. The Caribbees of the 
continent admit, that the little West India is- 
lands were anciently inhabited by the Aroacas^, 
a warUke nation, the great body of which is still 
found on the shores of Surinam and Berbice. 
They assert, that the Aruacas, with the excep- 
tion of the women, were ail exterminated by 
some Caribbees, who came from the mouths of 
the Oroonoko. They cite, in support of this 

* Crawfard, lod. Archipel., vol. ii, p. 371. I make use 
of the word indigenous, autocthoni, not to point out a fact of 
creation^ which does not belong to history; but simply to 
indicate, that we are ignorant of the amtodham haTing been 
preceded by any other people, 

t Arouaques, The missionary Quandt (Nacirichi von Suri- 
nam, 1901 f p. 47) calls them ^raaacka. 



tradition, the traces of analogy, wbicb are ob« 
served between the language of the Aruaeaa 
and that of the Caribbee wooaen ; but we most 
recollect^ that the AniacaSi althongb tiie ene« 
mies of the Garibbees, belonged to the same 
branch of peopte ; and that the same nmifitnde 
exists between the Aruack and Caribbee Ian* 
giiages, as between the Greek and the Persian, 
the German and the Sanscrit According to 
another tradition, the Caribbees of the islands 
eame from the south, not as oonqneroni, bat on 
being expelled from Guyana by the Aniaeas, 
who ruled originally ever all the neighboiuing 
nations. Finally, a third tradition t, which is 
much more general and more probable, makes 
the Caribbees arrive from North America, and 
indeed from Florida. A traveller, who has col- 
lected whatever relates to these migrations from 
north to south, Mr. Brisiock, asserts, that a 
tribe of Coofachites (Confachiqui) had long 
warred with the Apalachites; that the latter, 
having yielded to that tribe the fertile district 
of Amana, called their new confederates Carib- 
bes (that is valiatit strangers) ; but that, in 

* The profince of Confachiqai, subject ill 1541 to a 
woman, is become celebrated by the expeditfoo of Heroando 
de Soto to Florida. (Her, Dec. 1, p. 81.) Among the 
nations of the Uaron tongae, and the Attakapas, the supreme 
authority was also often conHded to women. Charitooix, 
vol. V, p. 3&7 ; FUsau, p. 186.) 

conseqnenee of an altercatioD on tbeir religioas 
rites, the ConfiichitM^aribbeeB were driTeafrom 
Florida.' They went first to the Yocayasor 
Lucayes islands (to Cigateo and the ndghbonr- 
ing islands); tbeoce to Ayay (Hayhay, now 
Santa Cniz)^ and to the little Caribbee islands ; 
and lastly to the oootinent of Sooth' America *. 
It is believed, that this event tof^ place toward 
the year 1 100 of oor eera ; but in this estimatimi 
it is sapposed, as in certain fables of the cast, 
"that tbe sobrietyand innocent : mannerB of 
savages" aagtnent.the mean term of a gene- 
ration to one hundred and eighty or two hun- 
dred years, which renders the indication of a 
fixed epoch altogether imaginary. In the course 
of this long migration, the Caribbees had not 
touched at tbe larger islands; the inhabitants 
of which however, believed also, that they came 
ori^nally. from Florida-f. The islanders of 
Cuba, Haiti, and Boriken (Portorico), ware, 
according to the uniform testimony of tbe first 
conguistadores, entirely different from the Ca- 
ribbees ; and at the period of tbe discovery of 

* Roehefort, Hiri. da AnliOet, vol. i, p. 326— S53 ; Gar- 
da, p. SS2 ; BobertttHif Book lij, note 69. Tbe cuqjectDre 
oriatber Oili, that th« Caribbees of (be coDtiDeot may have 
come from the i>land> at the time of the fiist contjural of tbe 
Spaniard! [Saggio, vol iii, p. 204), is coDlrary to all that the 
first hiGtoriaaa relate. 

t Herera, Dee. 1, p. 23-i j iJ«. 2, p. isa. 


America, the latter had^ilready abandoned the 
group of the little Lucayes islands ; an archi- 
pelago, in which an astonishing variety of Ian- 
gaages prevailed, as always happens in lands 
peopled by shipwrecks, and by fugitives *. 

The dominion, which the Caribbees so long 
exercised over a great part of the continent, and 
the remembrance of their ancient greataiess, 
have inspired them with a sentiment of dignity 
and national snperiority, which displays itself 
in their manners and their discourse. ^ We 
alone are a nation,"* say they proverbially ; '^ the 
rest of mankind (oquUi) are made to serve us." 
This contempt of the Caribbees for their ancient 
enemies is so strong, that I saw a child of 
ten years of age foam with rage on bdng called 
a Cabre or Caver e ; though he had never in 
his life seen an individual of this unfortunate 
people^, who gave their name to the town of 
Cabruta (Cabritu) ; and who, after a long re- 
sistance, were almost entirely exterminated by 
the Caribbees. Thus we find among half savage 
hordes, as in the most civilized part of Europe, 
those inveterate animosities, which have caused 
the names of nations, that are enemies, to pass 

* '^ La genie de las islas Yucajas era (1492) mas blanca 
y de major policia que la de Cuba y Haiti. Havia mueha 
divenidad de ienguas/' Chmara, Hist, de Ind,, fol. xxi. 

t Sea above, vol. y, p. 161, 204, 209, and 681. 


bees), who are descended from Negroes and tru 
~ Caribbeea *. Hie barbarous haUt of flattenin 
the forehead is fonad among several national 
that are not of the same race ; and has bee 
observed recently as far as in North America 
but nothing is more vague than the conclasioi 
that some conformity of customs and mannei 
proves an identity of origin. The traveller, wh 
observes the spirit of order and submipsion, the 
prevails in the Caribbee missions, can scarcel 

* These unhappy rcmaina of a people heretofore poverfa 
were hanished, in 179fi, to the island of Ratlam, in the b« 
of Uooduras, because they were accased by (he Englii 
gofcmment of having connexiona with ihe French. Anab 
minister, Mr. Lcscal tier, had proposed (1760) to the cuart' 
Versailles, to invite the red and black Caribbeet from Snii 
Vint ent to Guyana, and employ them as free men in the cu 
tivatioii of the Uod. 1 doubt if (heir number at that perio 
amounted to six ihouaand; the island of Saint Vincent cob 
taining in 1787 not more than fourteen thousand iohabilaiit 
ofall coloun. (Le$caUier, tur la Gufanefianeaite, p. 47.) 

t For iiutuoe, the Tapoyranas of Guyana (Bnrren, | 
238), theSolkeekaorUpperLouisiana(H'akJ(enaer, Conwyr 
p. 683). " Los ladies de Cumana," says (iomara (^Hrtt. t 
Ind., hi. xlv), " aprJeUn a los niSoa la cabe^a muy blandi 
pero mucho, entre doa almohadillas de algodon para ensai 
char los la cara, que lo tienen por bermosnra. Las donselli 
van de todo punto desnudas. Traen aenogilea muy apretad( 
por debaxo y encima de las rodillaa, para que los muslos 
pantorillas engorden mucho. Dan las naviax i. los piarbe 
liombres sanctos y religiosos. Los reverendoa padres toraa 
aquel Irabiijo y los novio!i sc quitan de .toupcrlm, qiieia 


persuade himself, that he is among cannibals. 
This Americaa word^ of a somewhat doubtful 
signification^ is probably derived from the lan- 
guage of Haiti, or that of Portorico ; it has 
passed into the languages of Europe, since the 
end of the fifteenth century, as synonimous with 
that of anthropophagi. £daces humanarum 
camium novi heluones anthropophagi/ Caribes 
alias Cam'bales appellati,'* says Anghiera, in the 
third decade of his Oceamcs^y dedicated to 
pope Leo Uie tenth. I have little doubt, that 
the Caribbees of the islands^ when a conquering 
people, exercised cruelties toward the Ygneris, 
or ancient inhabitants of the West Indies, who 
were weak, and little warlike ; but we must 
also admit, that these cruelties were exaggerat- 
ed by the first travellers, who heard only the 
narratives of nations that were the ancient 
enemies of the Caribbees. It is not always the 
vanquished solely, who are calumniated by their 
contemporaries ; the insoleuce of the conquerors 
is avenged also by augmenting the list of their 

We were assured by all the missionaries of 
the Carony, the Liower Oroonoko, and the Llti- 
nos del Cari^ whom we had an opportunity of 
consulting, that the Caribbees are perhaps the 
least anthropophagous nations of the New Conti- 

• Dec. 3, lib. 3, p. 40, B. 


nent They extend this asBertlon event to tbe 
iftttepeodant hordes who wander on the e&st 
of the EsmeraldBj between the sources of the 
Rio Branco and the Eflseqnibo. We may ood- 
ceive, that tbe fary and despair, mth which Uie 
unhappy Cariblyeea defended themselves against 
thQ l^uiiards, when in 1604 a royal decree* 
dtMlored ttaem slatte, may Ua^ contrlbnted to 
Ike repnthtibn Ifaey have acquired of ferocity, 
Tbe first idea of attacking this nation, and de- 
jffiTing it x>f liberty and of it's natural tigfats. 
Is owing to Cht^riidpher Oolumbus'f-, wiro, bdng 
a man of the fifteenth i^ntury, was not always 
90 humane, as he is said to be in the eighteenth 
from hatred of his detractors. Subsequently 
tbe licmctado Rodrigo de Figueroa was apprant- 
ed by the cooft in 15^, to decide which <tf 
the tribes of South America might be regarded 
asofCaribbeerace, or as cOTifriiaJ^; atad which 
were GuatiaosXt tti&t is, Indians of peace, and 

* I* Dati erant in prsdam Caribei ex di[Jom«te nfpio. 
HisHis eit JohaDoea Poociua qui Caribnm terras depopulotu 
el in aerritatem obacneoos homioum roratores redigat." Petr, 
Mart. Ocean., Dte. 1, lib. p. 26, A ; te Dtc. S, lib. vi, p. 67, 
C. Oomara, Hut. de Ind. ta\. cxzix. 

t iVAv MtinM, Hilt, da Nuevo Mondo, p. 190. 

% I had some trouble io diacuvering^ the origin of this dc- 
DOtnination, become bo important froni tbe fatal decreet of 
Figueroa. Tbe Spanjab historians ofteo employ tbe word 
guatiao to deaigaate a brancb of nations. " La isia Marga- 
rita entrc las islas de Carjbes y de Indioi Gualiaot, amigos 


friends of the Castilians. That ethnographic 
piec^ called el auto die Ftguerooy is one of the 
most carious records of the barbarism of the 
first canquistadares. Never had the spirit of 
system served more effectually to flatter the 
passions. Our geographers do not distinguish 
more arbitrarily in central Asia the Mongul 
fi*om the Tatar nations» than Figueroa traced 
the limit betireen the cannibals and the Oua^ 
Haos. Without any attention to the anakigy of 
languages^ every nation^ that could be accused 
ai having devoured a prisoner after a battle^ 

de 1q0 CaatdkiKw^ qoe Mtan mai mdeUmte de la iila Esppiftola. 
Eq lo mas arriba de la oo8ta;.de Tierra firme havia una provin- 
cia que ae deciaParacuriay la qaal era de Guatiaos que no son 
Caribes.'* Herera, Dec. % p. 258 ; Deed, p. 210. Becomiog a 
guoHao of anj one appears to me^ to hare signified in the lan- 
guage of Haiti conclading a treaty of friendship. In the 
West India Islands, as well as in the archipelago of the 
Soath Sea, names were exchanged as a token of alliance. 
^ Joan de Esqnivel (1602) se hice Guatiao de Cacique 
Cotobanama ; el qual desde adelaute se Uamo Juan de Es- 
qaiv^y porqne era Hga de perpetua amistad entre los Indies 
trocarse los nombres : y trocados qucdaban Guatiitos, que era 
tanto come confederados y herooianos en armas. Ponce de 
Leon se hice Guatiao con el poderoso Cacique Agueinaha.*' 
Herera, Dec. 1, p. 129, 169, 181. One of the Lucayes 
islands, inhabited by a mild and pacific people, was hereto- 
fore called Guatao (Laet, p. 20); but we will not insist 
on the etymology of this word, because, as was obserred 
above, the languages of the Lucayes islands difiered from 
those of Haiti. 



was arbitrarily declared of Caiibbee race. The 
infaabitaate of Uriapari (of tbe peni^isala of Pa- 
ria)were named Caribbees; theUrioacoes (settled 
OQ the banks of the Lower Oroonoko, or Uri- 
Ducu), Gaatlaos. All the tribes, designated by 
Figneroa as Caribbees were coademaed to sla- 
very ; and might at will be sold, or exterminat- 
ed by war. In these bloody stru^les, the Ca- 
ribbee women, after the death of tbeir has* 
baodSi defended themselves with such despe- 
ration, that, Anghiera says*, they were taken for 
tribes of Amazons. The odious declamations of 
a Dominican monk (Thomas Hortiz) cootribot- 
ed to prolong the misfortones, that weighed on 
whole nations. However, amid the cmeltiea 
exercised toward the Caribbees, it is consoling 
to find, that there existed some courageous men, 
who caused the voice of humanity and justice 
to be heard. Some of the monks embraced an 
opinion different from that which they had at 
first adopted-f*. In an age when there could be 
no hopes of founding public liberty on dnl 
institutions, an attempt was made to defend 
at least individual liberty. "That is a law most 
holy {ley sanctissima)," says Gomara, in 1551, 
*' by which our emperor has prohibited the 
reducing of the Indians to slavery. It is just, 

• Ocean., Dee. 3, lib. is, p. 63, D. See also al» ne, vol. v, 
p. 3»4. 

t Gomara, Hitt.dt M., M. \\x. 


that meoy who are all born free^ sboald not 
beocHne the slaves of one another.'* 

We observed with surprise, daring our abode 
in the Caribbee missions^ the facility with which 
young Indians of eighteen or twenty years of 
age, when raised to the employment of algua^ 
cU^ or fiscal^ harangued the municipality for 
i^hole hours. Their enunciation, the gravity of 
their deportment, the gestures which accompa- 
med their speech, all denoted an intelligent peo- 
ple capable of a high degree of civilization. A 
Franciscan monk, who knew enough of the Ca-- 
ribbee language to preach in it occasionally, 
made us notice in the discburses of the Indians, 
how long and harmonious the periods were, 
without ever being confused or obscure. Parti- 
cular inflexions of the verb indicate previously 
the nature of the object, whether it be animate 
or inanimate, one or many. Little annexed 
forms {suffuva) mark the gradations of senti* 
ment ; and here, as in every language formed 
by an unshackled development, the clearness 
arises from that regulating instinct *, which cha- 
racterises human intelligence in the various 
states of barbarism and cultivation. The whole 

* IVtUiam von Humboldt^ on the comparative Study of 
Languages, and the different Epochs of their Development, 
1821 Cu> Gerraaa)^ p. 18. See ako, vol. iii> p. 272 ; and 
Tol, V, p. 296. 

village assembles on holidays before the churcb, 
after the celebration of mass. The yoang girk 
place at the feet of the missiODary &ggotB of 
wood, bunches of plantains, and other provision 
of which he stands in need for his hoosehold. 
At the same time the gwemador, the,)&ca( and 
other mnntciijal officers, allof whom are Indians, 
exhort the natives to labonr, proclum the occn- 
patiions of the ensuing week, reprimand the idle, 
and, since it must be told, severely cudgel the 
untractable. The strokes of the cane are re- 
cdved mth the same insensibility with which 
they are given. These acts of distributive jus- 
tice appear very long and frequent to travellers, 
who cross the Llanos in their way from Angos- 
tura to the coasts. It were to be wished, that 
the priest did not dictate these corporal punish- 
ments at the instant of quitting the altar, and 
that be were not in his sacerdotal habits the 
spectator of this chastisement of men and wo- 
men ; but this abuse, or, if the reader prefer 
the term, this want of propriety, arises from the 
principle oo which the strange government of 
the missions is founded. The most arUtrary 
civil power is strictly connected with the rights, 
which the priest exerts over the little commu- 
nity; and, although the Caribbees are not 
cannibals, and we woold wish to see them treat- 
ed irith mildness and indulgence, it may be 
conceived, that energetic measures are some- 

tifoes neowB^y, ^ mi^^i9 WiquMUty in this 
rifting society^ 

The difficplty ^f fi^ip^ the Caribb^eig to the 
Boil is 80 mncl) ^he greater^, ^ they have been £cir 
Hg» \n the h^bit of ^r^^diog ^n the rivers. We 
have described aboye this active people» at onoe 
OQiQipercial ^nd wfurj^^e, ocpupi^ iq th^ tra^ 
qf slaves, an4 carrying ffMS^baqdise from the 
QoafftS of Putch Quyfipa to the bas^n of th^ 
Amazon. Tkfi travelling C^ribbeef were fJ^ 
Bplf harians of equipppti^ America ; i^ccordinglj 
the necessity of counting the objects of their 
little trade, and transmitting intelligence, ha4 . 
led them to extend and improve the use of the 
quippoes, or, as they call them in the missions, 
the cordon cilhs con nudos *. These quippoes or 
knots are found in Canada-)*, in Mexico (where 
Botgrini procured some froip the Tlasc^Itecks), 
in Peru, in the plains of Guyana, in central 
Asia, in China, and in India. As rosaries, they 
are become objects of devotion in the hands of 
the Christians of the east ; as swanpans, they 
have been employed in the operj^tions 0/ ipanvial 
or palpable arithmetic by the Chinese, the Ta- 
tars^ and the Russians %. The independant Ca- 

* Vol. V, p. 860. 

i Caulin, p. 333. 
t f^iewB of the Cordilleras, and American Manumentif vol. 
i, p. les ; ii, p. 146. Od the quippoet found »t the Oroono- 
ko, among the Tamanacks^ see Giii, toI. ii^ p. • The 


ribbees, iHio inhabit the country to little knovn 
between the sonrces of the Oroonoko, and those 
of the rivers Esseqnibo, Carony, and Farima*, 
are divided into tribes ; and, like the nations 
of the MisBonri, Chili, and ancient Gennaoy, 
form a political confederation. This system is 
the most suitable to the spirit of liberty, which 
prevfuls in those wariike hordes, who see no ad- 
vantage in the ties of society bat for common 
defence. The pride of the Caribbees leads them 
to withdraw themselves from every other tribe ; 

qnippoea of slriogs of the oations of Upper Loouiaiw an 
called wampum. {Joh» FUtoH, HuL or Knotncky, p. lOSi 
Charltvoir, Uitt. <U la Nottv. Rantx, vol. v, p. 306 { Itpag* 
de Pratt, Hitt. de la Louitiana, rot. ii, p. 196.) Aagbier» 
relates (Ocean., Dec. 3, Hb. 10, p. 65, D.) a very canons 
fact, ffhicb bocids to prove, that the IraTelling Caribbeea had 
■ome idea of boond books, like those of the Mexicans aod 
oar own. I have elsewhere made known (Views of the 
Cordilleras, vol. i, p. 174.) the carious discovery of roils of 
paintings fonnd on the banks of the Ucayale, among the 
PsDoes. The Peruvians had also, beside the qu^poa, 
hieroglyphical paintings limilar to those of Mexico, but ru- 
der. (Garcia, Origen de lot JndUu, p. 01.) Since the con- 
qnest painted pages have been nsed by tfaein for confession. 
Perhaps the fagitire Caribbee, who came to Darien from the 
inlaad couotry, and of whom Anghiera makes mention, had 
had an opporiuuity of seeing at Quito, or at Cundinamarca, 
some Peruvian book. I employ, like the first Spanish tra. 
vellers, the word book, since it by no means presumes the use 
of aJphabelical writiug. 

* Kio Branco, or Kio de Aguas Blancas, 


eveD from those, to whom from their language 
they, have some relation. 

They claim the same separation in the mis- 
sions ; which seldom prosper, when any attempt 
is made, to associate them with other mix- 
ed communities, that is with villages, where 
every hut is inhabited by a family belong- 
ing to another nation, and speaking another 
idiom. The chiefs of the independant Ca- 
ribbees are hereditary in the male line only^ 
the children of sisters being excluded from the 
succession. This is founded on a system of mis- 
trust, which denotes no great purity of man- 
ners ; it is the custom of India, of the Ashantees 
(in Africa), and among several tribes * of the 

* AmoDg the Hurons (Wiandots) and the Natchez, the 
succession to the magistracy is continaed hy the women : 
it J8 not the son who succeeds, but the son of the sister, or of 
the nearest relation in the female line. This mode of suc- 
cession is said to be the most certain, because the supreme 
power remains attached to the blood of the last chief; it is a 
practice that ensures legitimacy. (Filson, p. 183.) I have 
foaod ancient traces of this strange mode of succession, so 
common in Africa and in the East Indies, in the dynasty of 
the kings of the West India islands. ** In testamentis autem 
qoam fatae sese habeant intellig^amns : ex sorore prima pri« 
mogenitam, si insit, relinquunt regnorum hsredem j sin minus, 
ex altera^ vel tertia, si qx secunda proles desit : quia a suo 
aangaine oreatam sobolem cam certum est. Filios autem 
uxomm aaarum pro non legitimis habent. Uxores dacant 
qaotquot placet £x uxoribns chariores cum regulo sepeliri 
patiuntur.'' Petr. Mart, Ocean,, Dec, 3, lib, ix, p. 63, B. 


savages ai NorUi America. The yoqqg chiefs, 
like the youths who are deffirous of narryiiig, 
are sabjected to the most extraordiitary ftsts 
and peqances. They are purged with the fruit 
of some of the eupborbiaceie ; are sweated va 
stoves ; and take mediciuea prepared by the 
iHorirris or Piackest which are called iu the 
transall^hanian couutries war-physkk. The 
Caribbee marirrit are the most celebrated of aU : 
at oQoe priests, jugglers, and phyMcians^ fhey 
traosmit to their successors their doetriac; th^r 
artifices, and tbe regwdies they employ. The 
latter are accoaipaaied with layiag ou oi hands, 
apd certain gestures and mysterious practices, 
which appear to be coDuected with the most 
anciently known processes of animal magnetism. 
Although I had opportuniUes of seeing many 
persons, who had closely observed the confed- 
erated Caribbees, I could not learn wfa^her 
the marirrit belong to a particular cast. It is 
observed in North America, that, among the 
Shawanese*, divided into several tribes, the 
priests, who pre:)ide at the sacrifices, must be 
(as among the Hebrews) of one particular tribe, 
that of the Meqitachakes. Whatever may be 
hereafter discovered in America respecting a 

* people that tame frtun Florida, or from the Soulli fifco- 
watieuj, toward ihe Nor lb. {ArchtEol. Amer., vol. i, p. 275 } 
Histor. Trans. orPlii!., vol. i, p. 28. 69, 77, 83). 


sacerdotal cost appears to me cakuliAed to ex- 
dte great interest^ od aoeount of those priest- 
kings of Peru, who called themselves the chil- 
dren of the Sun ; and of those sun-kings among 
the Natchez^ who involuntarily recall to mind 
the Heltades of the first eastern colony of 
Rhodes*. In wder to study thoroughly tlie 
Banners and customs of the great Caribbee 
nation, it is requisite to visit the missions of the 
Uanos, those of the Carony, and the savannahs 
that extend to the South of the mountains of 
PkLcaraymo. Ttie more we learn to know them, 
say the monks of Saint Francis, the more we 
lose the prejudices, which prevaU against them 
in Europe, as being more savage, or, to use the 
simple expression of a lord of Montmartin, as 
being less liberal than the other tribes of Guy- 
ana^. The language of the Caribbees of the 
Continent is the same from the sources of Rio 
Branco to the steppes of Cumana. I was fortu^ 
nate enough to procure a manuscript, contain- 
ing an extract, made by father Sebastian Gar- 
cia, of the Oramatica de la lengua Caribe del 
P. Fernando Ximenes. This valuable manu- 
script has been used in the researches made by 

* Diod. lib. V, § 66 ; Clavier, vol. i, p. 28S. 

+ <' The Caribbees are tall and plump ; but are little dki- 
posed to^he liberal, for they like to feed od human flesh, 
Kiards, imd crocodiles/' (Descript. g6i. de VAm^kiuepar 
Pierre d*Amiy, Seigneur de Montmariin, 1600, p. 118.) 


Mr. Vater *, and latdy on a more compr^n* 
sive plan by my brotber/Mr. I^lliam de Hum- 
boldt, on the stracture of the American Ian- 

On quitting tbe mission of Can, we had some 
difficulties to settle with our Indian muleteera. 
They had perceived to our great astonishmenl, 
that we bad brought skeletons with us from the 
cavern of Atamipe-f-; and they were firmly 
persnaded, that the beasts of bnrden, which car- 
ried " the bodies of their old relations^" would 
perish in the journey. Every precaution we 
had taken had been useless ; nothing escapes 
the penetration and the sense of smell of a 
Caribbee, and it required all the authority of 
the missionary, to forward our baggage. We 
had to cross the Rio Can in a boat, and tbe 
Rio de agtia clara, by fording, I might almost 
say by swimming. Tbe quicksands of tbe bed 
of this river render the passage very difficult at 
the season when the waters are high. The 
strength of the currents seems surprimng in so 
flat a country ; but the rivers of the steppes are 
precipitated, 'to use a fine expression of Pliny 
the younger J," less by the declivity of their 

" MithridaUt, vol. iii, p. 686. Father Gili had no know- 
ledge of this maouscript. Saggio, vol. iii, p. 410. 
t See above, vol, v, p. 615—23. 

XEpat., lib. viii, ep. 6. " Clittimnus non lori derexiUle, 
aeH ipsft sui copia cl i|uaGi pondere impellitiir." 


course, than by their abundance, and as it were 
by " their own weight.** We had two bad sta- 
tions, at Matagorda and at Los Riecetos, before 
we reached the little town of Pao. We met 
every where with the same objects ; small hots 
constructed of reeds, and roofed with leather ; 
men on horseback armed with lances guarding 
the herds ; herds of cattle half wild, remarkable 
for their uniform colour, and disputing the pas- 
turage with the horses and mules. No sheep or 
goats are found on these immense steppes! 
Sheep do not breed kindly in equinoctial Ame- 
rica, except on the table-lands above a thousand 
toises high, where their fleece is long, and some- 
times very fine. In the ardent climate of the 
plains, where the wolves give place to jaguars, 
these small ruminating animals, destitute of 
means of defence, and so slow in their move- 
ments, are unable to preserve themselves in great 

We arrived on the 15th of July at the Funded 
donor Villa del Pao, founded in 1 744, and placed 
very fitvourably to serve as a commercial station 
between Nueva Barcelona and Angostura. It*s 
real name is el Omcepcion del Pao. Alcedo, La 
Cruz Olmedilla, and many other geographers, 
have mistaken it*s situation ; confounding this 
small town of the Llanos of Barcelona either 
with San Juan Bauptisto del Pao of the Llanos 
of Caracoas» or with £1 Valle del Pao de Za- 


rate *. Though the weather was cloa^, I suc- 
ceeded in obtainiog some hdghts of > Centauii, 
Benring to determioe the httitade of the place ; 
which is 8° 37' 57". Some altitudes of the Sud 
gare me 67° 8' 1*2" for the longitude, supposing 
Angostura to be 66° IS' 21". The astronomical 
determinations of Galabozo ■[■ and Concep- 
cifxi del Pao are sufficiently important to the 
geography of this country, where, in the midst 
of savannahs, fixed points are altogether waot- 
ing. Some fhiil-trees grow in the vicinity oi 
Fao, which is^araredrcumstance in the steppes. 
We even found some cocoa trees, that appeared 
Tory Tigorons, notwithstanding the great dis- 
tance ofthe sea, I lay some stress on this last 
«bservaUon, because douhts have recently been 
started respecting the veracity of travdlero, who 
assert, that they saw the cocoa tree, which is a 
pabn lof the there, at Tombuctoo, in the centre 
of Africa X- It happened to us several tiroes, to 
see cocoa trees amid the cultivated spots on tbe 
banks of thc'Rio Magdalena, more than a hun- 
dred leagues from the coast. 

Five days, which to us appeared very tedious, 
jbrought ns 'from Villa del Pao to the port of 

* Caulin, p. 343. Depons, vol. iii, p. 209. 

f See Above, vol. iv, p. 377. 

t Accordiag to the report of the sailor Adams, and that 
of hadjee Talub Ben Jelow, iaFitzdarencc's Route acrou 
loiiia, p. 4M. 


Naeva Barcelona. As we advanced^ the tky 
became m6re serene, ttbe soil more diaO^y, and 
the atmosphere more fiery. The heat> from 
which we suffered, is not entirely owing to the 
temperature of the air, but is produced by the 
fine sand mingled with it, that darts in every 
direction, and strikes against the fiu^e of the 
traveller, as it does against the ball of the ther- 
mometer. I never observed however the mer- 
cury rise in America, amid a wind cfsand^ above 
45*6° cent. Captain Lyon, with whom I bad 
the pleasure of an ihterview on his return from 
Moorzonk, a|^>eared to Bie also indined to 
Ihiak, that the temperature of ^y-two degrees, 
which is so <rften felt in Ferzan, is produced in 
great part by the grains of qtmrtz suspended in 
the ^mosphere. Between Pao, and the village 
of Santa Cruz de Cachipo, founded in 1749, and 
inhabited by five hundred Caribbees *, we pass- 
ed the western elongation of the little table-land, 
known by the name of Mesa de Amana. This 
table-land forms a point of partition between the 
OiYionoko, the Guarapiche, and the coast Of 
New Andalasia. It's height is so inconsidera- 
ble» that it would scarcely be an obstadte to the 
estaUUshment of an inland navigation in tins 
part of the Llanos. The Boo Mano however. 

* The popnlatioa, in 1764, w«s only one hondred and 
twenty soals. Cauimf p*'M2. 


vhich flows into the Oroonoko above the 
eace of the Carooy, and which D'Ao' 
know Dot on what authority) has marked 
first editioD of his great map as issuing fr 
lake of Valencia, and receiving the waters 
Guayra, coold never have served as a i 
canal between two basins <tf rivers. Nc 
cation of this kind exists in the step 
great nnmber of Caribbee Indians, wh 
inhabit the missions of Piritoo, were settl 
meiiy at the north and east of tbe table- 
Amana, between Maturin, the mouth of I 
Arco, and the Gnarapicbe ; it was by the 
uons of don Joseph Careno, one of tb< 
enterprising governors of the province ' 
mana, that a general migration of indep 
Caribbces toward the banks of tbe Lower 
noko in 1720 was occasioned. 

The whole of this vast plmn consists, 
have shown above *, of secondary form: 
wtucb toward the South rest immediately 
granitic mountains of the Oroonoko. 1 
tbe north-west they are separated by a i 
band oi transition rocks -f from the pri 
monntuns of the shore of Caraccas. This 
dance of secondary rocks, which cover v 
interruption a space of more tlian sever 

• Vol iv, p. 384—7. 
f Vol, iv, p,27e— 82. 

sand square leagues (reckoning only that part of 
the Uanos, which is bounded by the Rio Apure 
on the Souths and by the Sierra Nevada de Me- 
rida and the Paramo de las Rosas on the West), 
is a phenomenon so much the more remarkable 
in that region of the globe, because in the whole 
of the Sieri-a de la Parima, between the right 
bank of the Oroonoko and the Rio Negro, there 
is^ as in Scandinavia, a total absence of second* 
ary formations. The red sandstone, containing 
some vestiges of fossil wood (of the fomilyof 
monocotyledons), is seen every where in the 
steppes of Calabozo ; farther East it is overlaid 
by calcareous and gypseous rocks,^ which con- 
ceal it from the research of the geologist. 
The marly gypsum, of which we collected spe- 
cimens near the Caribbee mission of Cachipo, 
appeared to me to belong to the same formation 
as the gypsum of Ortiz. To class it according 
to the type of European formations, I would 
range it among the gypsums, often muriatife- 
rous, that cover the Alpine limestone, or zech-- 
stein. Farther North, toward the mission of 
Ban Josef de Curataquiche, Mr. Bonpland pick- 
ed up in the plain some fine pieces of ribband 
jasper^ or Egyptian pebbles. We did not see 
them in their native place enchased in the rock ; 
and are ignorant whether they belong to a very 
recent conglomerate, or to that limestone which 
we saw at the Morro of New Barcelona, and 



•whiiA is not transitioii limestone, though it ooii> 
tuns beda of schistom juper (kie$elscltt^er). 

It is impomble to cross the steppes or savm- 
naha of South America, vithoat iodulgiogthe 
hop^ that science will one day profit from the 
many adrant^es they offer, above any other 
region itf the Globe, for measariog the degrees 
of a terrestrial arch in the £reotion of a 
meridian, or perpendicalarly to the metidistn. 
Thar great extent from east to wnt (would 
rendra* the measurement of fiome decrees ot 
longitude extremely easy ; and this c^ralioD 
would be very intepesting with respect to the 
precise knowledge of the figure ef the Eartli. 
Tbe UanM of Venezuela are thirteen degrees 
east of the ftlaces, where, on the one ade, the 
IF^och aeademiciaos, by triangles restinif on 
the summits of the Cordilleras, and on the other, 
MasOD and Dixon, reaonncing (in the plains 
<^ Penns^ania) the aid of trigonometry, cducu- 
ted-their measurements ; and tbey are aeaily on 
Hie same parallel, which is a very important 
circumstance, as thfe tablfrJland of India, betmen 
the Jimma«nd Madura,- wfaich was the theatreof 
OekmelLambton'scateetlent operations. Wfaat- 
erer doubts may yet be entenwned eoac^oii^ 
the precision of instrameots, the errors of tibtet- 
vatioDs. and the influence of local attractions, it 
would be difficult in the present state of our 
knowledge, to deny the inequalities of the flat- 

tening of the Earth. When a, more intimate 
coDnexioa is establidied between the free go- 
veraffients of La Plata and Venezuela, advan^ 
tage wiU no doubt be taken of the public traiv 
qoillity^ to execute on the north and south ^ 
the ^uator, in the Uanos and the pampas, the 
Bieasnrements we propose. The ilanos of Pao 
and Calabozo are nearly under the same jneci- 
dian as the pampas south of Cordova ; and the 
difference of latitude of these plains, ajs smooth 
as if tbey had been levelled by a long abode 
of the •waters^ is forty-five degrees. These geo*- 
desic and astronomical observations woqlH cMt 
little, on account of the nature of t'»*. places. 
In 1734 La Condamine* showed how much 
more useful and expeditious it would have been, 
to have sent the academicians into the plains 
(perhaps somewhat too woody and marshy), 
tiiat extend on the south of Cayenne toward the 
caofluenee of the Rio Xingu and Amazon, than 
to b^ive compelled them to struggle, on the 
t^le4and of Quito, with coM, with tempest^, 
and with the eruptions of volcanoes. 

The Sfpanish American govevuments ought 
not to consider the projected operations in the 

•^ Fcjf.f ^ fEqtuit.f p. 104 And WL if we were to seek 
hr « GOfuitry entirelj flat and open, ui$der the equator iUHf, I 
tbonld ptefer the plains extepdin^ioatb of the chain iif the. 
«io«ntains of Pacamymo, toward the mouth of the Rio 
BraocOf to those which ha^e been. noted by M. dehi Conda^ 
ame. See ahore, rol. t, p. 789 and 861. 

E 2 


tianos, combined with the obflerratioiM of the 
peDdalum, as iateresting to Gcience akrae ; Xhtj 
are at the same time the principal bases of maps, 
without which any regnlar administration of the 
afiairs of a country is impossible. Hitherto this 
has been necessarily limited to a simple astrono- 
niical sketch ; this being the surest and most 
ready means on a sarface of large extent. At> 
tempts have been made, to determine the loogi- 
tade of certain points on the coast and in the 
interior in an absolute manner ; that is, by celes- 
tial phenomena, or series of lunar distances. 
The most important places have been fixed 
according to tbe three coordinates of latitude, 
longitude, and height. The intermediate poinU 
have been deduced ckronometricallj/ from the 
principal points. The very uniform movement 
of the chronometers in the boats, and the 
strange ioflexions of the Oroonoko, have facili- 
tated this connection. By bringing the chro- 
nometers to the point of departure ; or by ob- 
serving t^ce, going and coming, at an interme- 
diary point, joining the extremities of the chromh 
metric lines* at two places very distant from each 

* I meaa by this eitpression, perhipa improper, tb« Inei 
tbat naite poiats, the longitude of which bas been detennined 
b; meitDs or the cbrooometer, and which are cooseqneotlj 
dependant do one another. It is oo the proper dispusitioo of 
these line*, that the precision of a measuremeot merely a»- 
tronomicat dei^ods. 


other, and the podtion of which is foaaded oil 
dMolute or simply astronomical phenomena; 
we are capable of estimating the sum of the 
errors that may have been committed. It was 
thos (and no determination of longitude had been 
made before me in the interiour) that I coa- 
neoted astronomically Cumana, Angostura, Es- 
oeralda, San Carlos del Rio Negro, the Great 
Cataracts, San Fernando de Apure, Portocabel- 
lo, and Caraccas. These determinations contain 
within just limits an area of more, than ten thou- 
sand square leagues. The system of the positions 
on the shore, and the valuable results of the plans 
executed by the maritime expedition of Fidalgo, 
have been joined to the system of the positions on 
the Oroonoko and the Rio Negro by two chro- 
nometric lines, one of which crosses the llanos of 
Calaboso, and the other the llanos of Pao. The 
observations on the Parima present a band, that 
divides into two parts an immense extent of 
land (seventy- three thousand square leagues) of 
various kinds, not one point of which had till 
then been astronomically determined *• These 
labours, which I undertook with feeble means, 
but according to a general plan, have furnished, 
I venture to flatter myself, the first astronomi- 
cal basis of the geography of those countries ; 
but it is time to multiply them, to improve them, 

• Sec abof e, yol. v, p. 788^ note f* 


and abore alf to substitute for them, where 
cnltivation of tbecouatryperinit8» trigoBonw 
operations. On tbe two boilers of the Ua 
that extend like ft g^ilf from tbe delta <^ 
Orooooko to the bdowt moustaios of Mer 
two granitic cbains, toward the north and 
Ward the south, stretch parallel to the eqas 
These ancient coasts of an interior bam 
visible from afar in tbe steppes, and might m 
to establish signals. Tbe Peak of Gnaobi 
CocoUar, and Tnmiriquiri, the B«rgaatla, 
Morros of San Juan and San Sebastian, the i 
lerai that bounds the llattoa like a rocky w 
the little Cerro de Florts which I saw at C* 
bozo, and this at a moment when the mm 
was almost null, will serve for the series 
triangles toward the northern limit of the plai 
A great part of these summits is visible at 
same time in the Uands, and in the cnltira' 
stripe of the coast. Toward the south the g 
nitic cbains of the Oroonoko or tbe Parima < 
a little distant from the borders of the step 
and less favorable to geodesic operations. 1 
mountains however, that rise above Angosti 
and Muitaco, the Cerro del nrano near O 
earn, the Pan de Azucar, and Sacuima n< 
the confluence of the Apure and the Oroonoi 
may be very usefal ; especially if the angles 
taken in cloudy weather, so that the play 
extraordinai-y refractions over a soil stron: 

beaked may not disfigura or dUplace Uie smn- 
mitB of mountains aeon under angles of too 
little altitude. Signals by firing gunpowder, the 
reflection of which toward the sky is distinguish* 
ed at such a distance, will be of conndmibla 
assistance. I thought it might be useful to 
mention in this place what I had derived from 
my knowledge of the localities, and my study 
qS the geography of America. Mr. hanz, a dis<^ 
Anguished geometrician, who unites with an 
extensive knowledge of every branch of mathe^ 
maiics the practical use of astronomical instruiii 
ments, is at present employed in improving the 
geography of those qouutries ; aod in executiug» 
under the auspices of the free government of 
Venezuela, a part of the projects, to which in the 
year 1799 I in vain called the attention of the 
Spanish ministry. 

We rested on the night of the 16th of July in 
the Indian village of Santa Cruz de Cacbipo^ 
This mission was founded in 1749 by the union 
of several Caribbee families ; who inhabited the 
inundated and unhealthy banks of the Lagune- 
tas de Auachcy opposite the confluence of the 
Zdr Puruay with the Oroonoko. We lodged at 
the house of the missiouary*; and^on examining 
the renters of the parish, we saw how ra* 
pid a progress the prosperity of the community 

libd made, owiog to bis zeal and inteltigence. 
Since we had reached the middle oS the steppes, 
the beat had increased to such a degree, that we 
should have preferred travelling; no more dur- 
ing the day ; but we were without arms, and the 
llaniu were then infested by an immense number 
of robbers, who assassinated the whites that fell 
into their bands with an atrocious refinement of 
cruelty. Nothing is more deplorable than the 
AdministruUon of justice in the colonies beyond 
sea. We every where found the prisons filled' 
with malefactors, on whom sentence is not 
passed till after waiting seven or eight yeare. 
Nearly a third of the prisoners succeed in mak- 
ing their escape ; and the unpeopled plmns, 
filled with herds, afford them both an asylum 
and food. They commit their depredations on 
horeeback, in the manner of the Bedoweens. 
The inaalubiity of the prisons would be at it's 
height, if they were not emptied from time to 
time by the flight of the prisoners. It often 
happens also, that sentences of death, tardily 
pronounced by the audiencta of Caraccas, can- 
not be executed for want of a hangman. In 
these cases a barbarous custom prevails, which 
I have already mentioned, of pardoning one cri- 
minal on the condition of his hanging the others. 
Our guides related to us, that a short time 
before our aixival on the coast of Cumana, 
a Zambo, known for the great ferocity of his 


manners, determined to screen himself fromr 
pnnishment by becoming the execotioner. The 
preparations for the execation however shook 
his resolntion ; he felt a horror of himself, and^ 
preferring death to the disgrace of thns savings 
bis life, called again for his irons, which had 
been struck off. He did not long suffer deten^ 
tion^ and underwent his sentence by the base- 
ness of one of bis accomplices. This awakeningof 
a sentiment of honour in the soul of a murderer 
is a psychologic phenomenon worthy of reflection* 
The man, who bad so often shed blood when 
stripping the traveller in the steppe^ recoiled at 
the idea of becoming the passive instrument of 
jostice^ to inflict upon others a punishment, 
which he felt perhaps he himself deserved. 

If, in the peaceful times when Mr. Bonpland 
and myself had the good fortune to travel 
through both Americas, the llanos were even 
then the refuge of malefactors, who had com- 
mitted crimes in the missions of the Oroonoko, 
or who had escaped from the prisons on the 
coast, how much worse must this state of things 
have become in consequence of civil discords^ 
and amid that sanguinary struggle, which has 
terminated by giving liberty and independance 
to those vast regions ! Our wastes and heaths 
are but a feeble image of the savannahs of the 


New Continent, which for the space of eight or 
ten thousand square leiqgues are smooth as the 


sur&ce of the sea. The immeiuity of their 
extent inanres impniuty to vagabonds ; for titey 
are better concealed in ^e Bavannahs than in 
oor ntountains and fwests ; and it is easy to 
ooacdv^ tbat the artifices of a European police 
could not be easily pat to pracUce, where Uiere 
are travellers and no roads, herds and do herds- 
men, and farms so solitary, tbat, notwithstaod- 
ing the powerful action of the mirage, several 
daya^ journey may be made without 
^pear within the boriaoo. 

In traversing the llanos of Caraccas, Barce- 
lona, and Cumana, which succeed each other 
firom west to east, from the snowy mountuns of 
Merida to the Delta of the Orooneko, we ask 
ourselves, whether these vast tracts of land 
be destined by Nature to serve eternally for 
pasture, or the plough and the spade of the 
labourer will one day subject them to coltiva- 
tion. This question is so much the more impcw- 
taut, as the llanos, placed at the two extremities 
of South America, are obstacles to the political 
union of the provinces they separate. They 
prevent tbe agriculture of the coast of Vene- 
zuela from extending toward Guyana, and tbat 
of Potosi toward tbe mouth of the Rio de la 
Plata. The interposed steppes preserve with 
the pastoral life something rude and wild, which 
separates and keeps them remote from tbe 
civilization of countries anciently cultivated. 


It is for the same reason, that in the war of 
iodependaiice, they bave been the theatre of the 
stragj^le betweeD the hostile parties, and that 
the inhabitants of Calabozo bave almoet seen 
the &te of the confederated provinces of Vene* 
znela and Cnndinamarca dedded nnder their 
widls. I could wishy that in assigning limits 
to the neir states, and to tbdr subdivisions^ 
there may be found oo cause to repent here^ 
uftet having lost sigbt ctf the importance of the 
llanos^ and the influence they may have on the 
disunion of communities, which important com* 
mon interests should bring together* The step* 
pes would serve for natural limits, like the seas^ 
or the virgin forests of the tropics, if armies 
could not cross them with a facility so much 
the greater, as they furnish in their innumera* 
ble troops of horses and mules, and herds of 
oxen, all the means of conveyance and subsis- 

In no other part of the world are the confix 
gnration of the ground and the state of iVs 
surface marked by stronger features; and no 
where do they act more sensibly on the divisi- 
ons of the social body, already divided by the 
original difference of colour, and by indiindual 
liberty. It is not in the power of man to change 
that diversity of climates, which the inequalities 
of the ml produce on a small space of ground^ 
and whdeb give rise to the antipathy <^ the inbo^ 


iHtanta of tierra calietUa for those of tierra fria ; 
an antipathy foaaded on the modifioatioiu of 
character, faabits, aad manners. These moral 
and poUtJcal e£fect8 are manifested especially 
in coantries, where the extremes of boght and 
d^ression are most striking. There the monn- 
UUQs and the low lands have the greatest mass 
and extent. Such are New Grenada or Condi- 
namarca. Chili, and Pern, where the language 
of the inca furnishes many happy and nataral 
expressions to denote this climatic oppoutioii 
of constitution, inclinations, and intellectual 
faculties. In the state of Venezaela on the cxxa.- 
tiary, the matdaneros of the lofty mountains 
of Bocono, Hmotes, and Merida, form hnt a 
very slight part of the total population ; and the 
populous valleys of the chain of the coast of 
Caraccas and Caripe are but three or four hun- 
dred toises above the level of the sea. It hence 
results, that in the political union of the states 
of Venezuela and New Grenada under the name 
of Columbia, the ^reat mountain population of 
Santa-F£, Popayan, Pasto, and Quito, has been 
balanced, if not entirely, at least more than 
half, by the addition of eight or nine hundred 
thousand inhabitants of t^rra caUenie. The 
state of the surface of the soil is less immutable 
than it's configuration. We may conceive the 
.possibiUty of seeing the marked oppositions be- 
tween the impenetrable forests of Guyana, and- 


the Uanos destitute of trees and covered with 
grass^ in time disappear : but what ages must 
pass, to render any change sensible in the im- 
mense steppes of Venezuela^ Meta^ Caqaeta^ 
and Buenos Ayres ! What we have seen of the 
power of man struggling against the force of 
nature in Gaul^ in Germany, and recently, but 
still beyond the tropics, in the United State^, 
can scarcely give any just measui*e of what we 
must expect from the progress of civilization 
in the torrid zone. I have mentioned above 
how slowly forests are made to disappear by 
fire and the axe, when the trunks of trees 
are from eight to ten feet in diameter; and 
when in falling they rest one upon the other^^ 
and their wood, moistened by almost continual 
rains, is of an excessive hardness. The planters^ 
who inhabit the Uanos or pampas^ do not ge- 
nerally recognize the possibility of subjecting 
the soil to cultivation ; it is a problem which is 
not yet solved in a general view. The savan- 
nahs of Venezuela have not for the most part 
the same advantage as those of North America^ 
which are traversed longitudinally by three great 
rivers, the Missouri, the Arkansas, and the Re4 
River of Natchitoches ; the savannahs of Aran- 
ra, Calabozo, and Pao, are crossed in a trans- 
verse direction only by the tributary streams qf 
the Oroonoko, the westernmost of which (the 
Cari, the Pao, the Acaru, and the Manapire) 

bam T«T little mter to -the season of drongfat.' 
Hiese itreama scaredy flov at all toward the 
north ; so that io the ceatre of the steppes thete 
mmauiB vast tracts of Umd (bancat and me$ts) 
ftigbtAilly parched. The eastern pula. ferti- 
lized by the Portugaesa, the Masparro, and the 
Orivante, and by the tritHitaiy streams, vbich 
are very near each other, <tf these thre6 rivers, 
are the most susceptiUe ni cultivB^a. The 
ami is sand mixed vitb day, coveriag a bed 
of quarts pebbles. The vegetable mould, the 
printripai soarce of the nutrition of plants, is 
every where eatremely thin. It is scarcely aug- 
mented by the fall of the leaves ,- which, thoagh 
less •periodieai in the forests of the torrid sone, 
takes i^ace however, as in temperate cUmates. 
During itboasands of ^ars the Uaaos have been 
destitute of trees and hrnshwood ; a few scat- 
tered palms in the savannah add little to that 
liydivKt of carbon, that esobractive matter, wtuch 
(aoeordiDg to the expaiiBents of Saassun^ Da- 
vy, and Braconnot) gtves fertility to tiie wuL 
l%e sodal pteots, that almost exclusively prs> 
^onunale in the steppes, are >mo«ocotyledmiB ; 
md % lis 'known iiaw much grasses impovoiA 
the^soil, into which iheir roots with ofese fibres 
pmetrate. This action of the killingias, paspa- 
IniM, and condiri, which form tbe tur^ is 
everywhere the same; bnt wbere the rock is 
veadylo'pieroe the earth, this varies according 


as dt reBte on red sandstene, or on compact lime- 
stone and g3rpsnm ; it vaiies according as peri- 
odical inundations have accumulated mud on 
the low^r grounds, or as the shock oi the waters 
has carried away from the small elevations the 
fittle soil that covered them. Many solitary 
cultivated spots already exist in the midst of the 
pastures, where running water, and tvAs of the 
maaritia palm, have been fonnd. These fiums, 
sown with maize, and planted with casaavay 
will multiply coraiderably, if an increase of the 
trees and shrubs be effected. 

The aridity and the excessive heat of the 
mesM^ do not depend solely on the state of 
their surftM», and the local reverberation of the 
soil ; thdr climate is modified by the adjacent 
r^ons, by the whole steppe^ of which they 
form a part. In the deserts of Africa or Arabia, 
in the Uanas of South America, in the vast 
heaths that reach from the extremity of Jutland 
to the mouth of the Scheldt, the stability of 
the limits of the desert, the savannahs, and the 
downs, depends for the most part on their im*- 
mense extent, and the nakedness these plains 
have acquired from some revolution destruc^ 
tive of the ancient v^tation of our planet. 
By their esttent, theii* coBtinuity, and itheirmass, 


* little taUe-landBy'toiiby parts more elevated thm ^Ae 
roK of itbe'iteppe. 


they oppose the JDroads of cultivatioD, and pre- 
serve, like inlaad gulb, the stability of thar 
boundaries. I will not touch npoa tbe great 
question, whether iu the Sahara, that Mediter- 
ranean of moving sands, the germs of organic 
hfe are increased in our days. In proportion as 
our geographical knowledge has extended, we 
see in the eastern part of the desert islets of 
verdnre, oases covered with date-trees, crowd 
t(^;ether in more numerous arctupelagoes, and 
open thdr ports to tbe caravans; but we are 
ignorant whether the form of tbe oases have not 
remained constantly tbe same since the time 
of Herodotus. Our annals are too incomplete 
and too short, to follow Nature in her slow and 
progressive progress. From these spaces en- 
tirely bare, whence some violent catastrophe 
has swept away the v^table coverbg and tbe 
mould ; from those deserts of Syria and Africa, 
which, by their petrified wood, attest the changes 
they have undergone ; let us now turn our eyes 
to the Ikmos covered with grasses, to tbe dift- 
cusuon of phenomena that come nearer the 
drcle of our daily observations. The planters 
settled in the steppes of America have formed 
respecting the possibility of a more general 
cultivation the same opinions, as those wbidi 
I deduced from the climatic action of these 
steppes considered as surfaces, or continuous, 
masses. They have observed, that downs en- 


closed within cultivated and wooded land resist 
the labourer a shorter time than soils alike 
circumscribed, but making part of a vast surfoce 
of the same nature. This observation is in fact 
extremely just, whether the soil be covered with 
heath, as in the north of Europe ; with cistuses, 
mastic-trees, or palmettoes,i as in Spain; or 
with cactuses, argemones, or brathys,as in equi^ 
Doctial America. The more space the associa- 
tion occupies, the more resistance do the social 
plants oppose to the labourer. With this gene- 
ral cause are joined in the llanos of Venezuela 
the action of the small grasses, that impoverish 
the soil ; the total absence of trees and brush- 
wood ; the sandy winds, the ardour of which 
is increased by the contact of a surface, that 
absorbs the rays of the Sun during twelve 
hours, and on which no shadow is ever project- 
ed, except that of the stalks of the aristides, 
chanchuses, and paspalums. The progress, which 
the vegetation of large trees, and the cultivation 
of dicotyledonous plants, have made in the vici- 
nity of towns, for instance around Calabozo 
and Pao, prove what may be gained upon the 
steppe, by attacking it in small portions, enclos- 
ing it by degrees, and dividing it by copses, and 
canals of irrigation. Perhaps the influence of 
the winds, which render the soil sterile, might 
be diminished, by sowing in the large way, 
as on fifteen or twenty acres, the seeds of the 



psidium, the croton, the cassia, or the tatnariad, 
which prefer dry and open spots. I am &r 
from beHeriog; that men will ever canse tbe 
saVaDDshs to cfisappear eatirelyrand that tbe 
llanos, nsefol for pastarage and tbe commerce 
of cattle, will ever be cultivated like the vallies 
of Aragna, or other parts near tbe coast of 
<^raccas and Cantanft : bat I am 'persuaded, 
tbat in th6 lapse of ages a considerabte portion 
of these plainsj ander a government fiivonible 
M industry, will lose the savage aspect they 
have preserved since tbe Brst conquest of the 

These progi'essive changes, this increase of 
population, will not only augment tbe proisperity 
of those countries, but will also exert a benefi- 
cial influeDce on their moral and political state. 
The llanos form more than two thirds of tbat 
partoftbe ancient capitania general of Caraccas, 
which is situate to the nortb of the Oitkonoko and 
the Rio Apure. Now, in times of civil troubles, 
the vast steppes, by their solitude, and the abun- 
dant subsistence they offer in their innumerable 
herds, serve at once as an asylum and support 
to a party, tbat is desirous of raising tbe stand- 
ard of revolt. Armed bands (guerillas) may 
maintain themselves, and annoy the rear of the 
inhabitants of the coast, among whom civili- 
zation and agricultural wealth are concentred. 
If the Lower Oroonoko were not sufficiently 


defended by the patriotinn of k itobost and 
warlike po|)ulatiotl, the present state of the Uanos 
iponld, retader the effkcta of a foreign . in vasioti 
on the wes^n coasts donbly daikgerons. The 
defence of the plains- is^ intiinately: eonneefied 
witli that of Spani^ Guyana ; . tod» in speaking 
above ^ of the strategic Impdrttooe of the 
oiOuths (jf the Qroonoko^ I have shown , that 
the ntimeronS' fortresses and batteries, whidi 
have been raised along the northeim coast froikt 
Cumana to Carthagena, are not the real ransi- 
parts of the United Provinces of Venezuela. Tt 
this important political view may . be added 
another 6t not less conseqoeneey and still more 
permanent. Ati enlightened government cakb- 
Dot see without regret, that the habits of a 
pastoral life, which cherish idleness and a vagar- 
bond spirit, previail in more than two thirds 
of it's territory. That part of the population 
of the coast, which flows annually toward the 
Uanos, to fix itself in the. lutta^ de ganado^, 
and take care of the herds, makes a retrogade 
step in civilization. How can it be doubted, 
that the progress of agriculture, and the multi-' 
plication of villages where there is running wa- 

♦ Vol. V. p. 709—16. 
f A sort of farm composed of sheds, that serve as a dwell* 
ing for meo (kateras^ or peonei para el rodeo), who take care4>f 
the half-wild herds of cattle and horseo) or rather inspect 



ter, would lead to a tenable melioration in the 
moral state of the inhabitants of the steppe? 
Softer manners, a taste for a sedentary way 
of life, and domestic virtues, would penetrate 
into them wilhagricnltural labours. 

After three days' journey, we b^;an to per- 
ceive the chain of the mountains of Camana, 
which separates the Uanos, or, as they are ofken 
called here *, " the great sea of verdure," from 
the coast of the Caribbean sea. If the Bergan- 
tin be more than eight hundred toises high, it 
may be seen supposiug only an ordinary refrac- 
tion of one fourteenth of the arch, at twenty- 
seven nautical leagues distance -f-; but the state 
of the atmosphere long concealed from us the 
majestic new of this curtain of mountains. It 
appeared at first like a fog bank, which hid the 
stars oear the pule at their rising and setting ; 
by degrees this body of vapours seemed to aug- 
ment, condense, take a bluish tint, and become 
bounded by sinuous and fixed outlines. All 
that the mariner observes on approaching a new 
land presents itself to the traveller on the bor- 
ders of the steppe. The horizon begins to en- 
large in some part, and the vault of the sky 
seems no longer to rest at an equal distance on 
the soil covered with grass. An inhabitant 
of the Uanos is happy only when, according 

* " Los lanns ton como un mar dr i/nhat." 
t Vol. ii, p. 206 i anil iii, p. 01 . 


to the simple expression of the eouotry, '^ he 
can see every where well aronnd him.'* What 
appears to us a covered country, slightly tindu- 
lated, with a few scattered hiUs, is to him a 
frightful region bristled with mountidns. Every 
thing is relative in our judgments on the ine« 
quality of the ground, and the state of the 
surface. After having passed several itiontbs 
in the thick forests of the Oroonoko, in pbu!^ 
where you are accustomed when at any distance 
from the river, to jee the stars only in the se* 
nith, as through the mouth of a well, a journey 
in the steppes has something in it agreeable 
and attractive. The traveller feels new sensa- 
tions ; and, tikethe Uanero^ enjoys the happiness 
'' of seeing well around him.** But this enjoy- 
ment, as we ourselves experienced, is not of 
long duration. There is no doubt something 
solemn and imposing in the aspect of a bound- 
less horizon, whether viewed from the summits 
of the Andes or the highest Alps, amid the 
immensity of the ocean, or in the vast plains 
of Venezuela and Tucuman. Infinityof space, as 
poets have said in every language, is reflected in 
ourselves ; it is associated with ideas of a superior 
order ; it elevates minds, that delight in the calm 
of solitary meditation. It is true also, that every 
view of an unbounded space bears a peculiar 
character. The view enjoyed from a solitary 
peak, varies according as the clouds reposing on 


tbe pltun extend in laven, are cxHiglomerated io 
groujK, or preieat to tbe astonttbed eye through 
bn»d openinga the habitations of flian, the 
labour of the fidds, or the rerdaat tint of tbe 
aerial'oceaD. Ad immense sheet of water, aiu- 
mated by a thoagand various betags even to ii^ 
otioost depths, ohanging perpO^vally it's colour 
and k's aspect, movable at it's sw^ce like the 
demept that agitates i^ charms the ioiagiDatioa 
in long voyages by seai but the 4tuty and 
crenoed steppe, during a grea,t part of tbr yew, 
dejects tbe mind by It's nnchanjpog monotony. 
When, afto* eight or ten days' jonrn^, the tra- 
velln- becomes aocostomed to the play of tlie 
min^, and the brilliant verdareof a few to^ls 
of'^nuritia • scattered from league to league, 
he fittls tbe want of mote varied impressions ; 
^ wishes to see again the great trees of the 
tropics, tbe wild tush of torrents, or hills and 
valhes cultivated by the hand of the labourer. 
H unhappily, the phenomenon of tbe deserts of 
Africa, and tiiat of the llanos or savannahs of 
the New Continent (a phenomenon the cause of 
which is lost in the obscurity of tbe first history 
of oar planet), filled a still greater space, nature 
would be deprived of a part of the beautiful 
productions, which are pecnliar to tbe torrid 
zone -f. The heaths of the north, tbe steppes of 

* Fan palm, sago-lree of Guyana. 
+ In cakiilalinft froin mapK ronslructcd on a very larg« 


the Wolga and the Don, are soaroely pH^j^p m 
species of plants and aniinala, than arft twfflity^ 
eig^t thousand sqaare leases of fla^r^op^^bs, 
that extend in a semicircle from l|ort^H9^ : \o 
sonth-west, from the mouths of the Oroonoka^ 
the banks of the Caqu^ai and the Patmoayo, 
beneath the finest sky of the- globe, ftndr in thc) 
cUinate of plantains and breadfraii; trftes. Tiift 
influence of the equinoctial diiiif^l^, inrery ?fbc!19 
else so vivifying, is not felt in pdaoes^ wbeiff tbf 
great associations of grtiouaea have alfficfft^ fKr 
eluded every other plants From the view ^fil^: 
gronnd we might have believed, we wave in %h^ 
temperate zone, and even still farther tayftiicl* 
the north : but a few scattered palma, and, at 
the entrance of the night, the fine constellations 

scale, I found the llanos of Cumana, Barcelona, and Carac- 
eas^ from the delta of the Oroonoko to the northern bank of 
the Apare, seven thousand two hundred square leagues ; the 
Uanos between the Apure and Putuma^o, twentyrone thou- 
sand leagues; the pamp€» on the norlh-west of B,uenos- 
Ajrea, forty thousand square leagues; the pampas south 
of the parallel of Buenos- Ay res, thirty-seren thousand square 
leagues. The total area of the Uanos of South America^ 
coyerod with gramina, is consequently one hundred and five 
thousand two hundred square leagues, twenty leagues to an 
equatorial degree. (Spaia has fideon thousand of the same 
leagues.) The great plain of Africa, known by the name of 
Sahara, contains ten thousand square leagues, including the 
scattered oases, but not Bornou or Darfour. (The Medi- 
terranean has only about eiglity-uine thousand square leagues 
•f surface.) See above, vol. iv, p. 314. 


af the southern sky, (the Centaur, Canopua, and 
the innumerable nehulse with which the Ship 
is resplendent,) had not reminded us, that we 
were only eight decrees distant from the equa- 

A phenomenon, which had already fixed the at- 
tention of Deluc, and which in these latter years 
has exercised the sagacity of geolo^sts, occupied 
us much during our journey across the steppes. 
I allude, not to those blocks of primitive rocks, 
which occur, as in the Jura, on the slope of time- 
stone mountains, but to those enormous blocks 
of granite and syenite, which, iu limits very dis- 
tinctly marked by nature, are found scattered in 
the north of Holland, Germany, and the conn- 
tries of the Baltic. It seems to he now proved, 
that, distributed as in radii, they came, at the 
time of the ancient revolutions of our gk^, 
from the Scandinavian peninsula toward the 
south, and did not primitively belong to the 
granitic chains of the Harz and Erzgeberg, which 
they approach, without however reaching their 
foot *. Born in the sandy plains of the Baltic 
regions, and having till the age of eighteen 
known the existence of a rock only by these 
scattered blocks, I was doubly curious to see, 
whether the New World would shew me any 
analogous phenomenon. I was surprised at not 

• Leopold de Bucb, V^oyage en None^ge, vol. i, p. 30. 


seeing one of these blocks in the Uanos of Veoe* 
Euela, though these immense plains are bound- 
ed on the south by a group of mountains entire- 
ly granitic *, and exhibiting in it's denticulated 
and often columnar peaks traces of the most 
violent destruction ^. Toward the north, the 
granitic chain of the Silla de Caraccas and 
Portocabello are separated from the llanos by 
a skreen of mountains, that are schistous be- 
tween Villa de Cura and Fbrapara, and calca- 
reous between the Bergantin and Caripe. I 
was no less struck by this absence of blocks on 
the banks of the Amazon. LaCondamine had 
indeed affirmed, that, from the Pongo de Man- 
seriche to the strait of Pauxis not the smallest 
stone was to be found. Now the basin of the 
Rio Negro and of the Amazon is also but a 
UanOj a plain like those of Venezuela and 
Buenos-Ayres. The difference consists only in 
the state of v^etation. The two llanos, situate 
at the northern and soutberu extremities of 
South America, are covered with gramina ; they 
are savannahs destitute of tress : the interme- 
diate llanoj that of the Amazon, exposed to 
almost continual equatorial rains, is a thick 
forest. I do not remember having heard, that 

* The Sierra Paritna. 
+ Vol. ir, p. 461, 46a« 409, 640, 668; rol. v, p. 177, 
616, 676, 687. 


tbe pampas of Buenos Ayres, or the aftvaniiah 
of the Missoori t aad New Mexico, oontwa gcft- 
niUo blocliB. The absence of tlua pheDtHnenQn 
appears geaeral id. the New World: aadqiwft 
probably aiao in Sahara, ip Afnea ; lor we maat 
not oonfbnnd the Tocky nmuta, that pierce 
tbe Biul in the middre of the .desert, and of 
whioh tniveUen often makf mentioii, tfithriitti- 
pie scattered fragtnentst These iaots seam to 
prove, that the blocks of Scandinavian granite^ 
which cover the sandy countries sitnftii to the 
south of the Baltic, and those of Westphalia and 
Holland, are owing to a particular rupture com- 
ing from the north, to a local i-evolution. The 
ancient conglomerate (red sandstoneX that oo^ 
vers, acoordiog to my observations, a gneat part 
of tbe Uanot of Venezuela and of the biaun (tf 
the Amason, oontmn no doubt fragments of tlie 
same primitive rocks,' as constitute tbe neigk* 
bonring rooaatains ; but the convulsions, of 
which these mountains exhibit evident marks, 
do not appearto have been attended by citcon- 
stances fovor^le to tbe removal of great blodu. 
This geognosUc phenomenon was to me the 
more nnexpeoted, since there exists no where in 
(he world a smoother pWn stretching as fiir as 
to the abrupt declivity of the Cordillera entirely 

* Are there any blocks in North America to the north of 
the gnat laki>ii } 


granitic; Eveo before my departure from £a- 
rc^e, I had observed with surprise, that priini^ 
tire blocks were afike waqting in Lombardy, 
and in the gr^t plain of Bavaria, which appears 
to be the hdttom of an ancient lake, raised 
two hundred and fifty toises above the level of 
the ocean. It is bounded on the north by the 
granites of the Upper Palatinate ; and on the 
south by Alpine Umestone, tranfi1tioB-#A4>»9- 
ehiefepy and the mica-slates of the Tyrol. 

We arrived, July the 23d, at the town of 
Nueva Barcelona, less fatigued by the heat 
of the Udno3j to which we bad been lonjg; accus- 
toikied, than by the winds ofsand^ whichoccanon 
painful chaps in the skin. Seven months ll>e- 
fore, in going from Cumana to Caracoas, we 
had rested a few hours at the Morro de Barce- 
lona^ a fortified rock, which, toward the village 
of Pozuelos^ is joined to the continent only by a 
neck of land. We were received in the most 
affectionate manner, and with the kindest hos- 
pitality, in the house of a wealthy merchant of 
French extraction, don Pedro Eavi6. Accused 
of having given an asylum to the unfortunate 
Espana, when he was a fugitive on these coast »in 
1 796, Mr. Lavi6 was arrested by the ojrdenj, of the 
^udiencia, and dragged as a prisoner to Caracr 
cas . The friendship of the governor pf Cumana, 
and the remembrance of the services he had 
rendered to the dawning industry of those 


coantxiefl^ contriboted to pFOcure Dm* him fait 
liberty. We bad endravoured to Bofteo lui 
capUvitjr by visiting biin in his prinn ; and 
we had now the satjs&ction of fiodiDg* him in 
the midst of bis family. His physical 0001. 
phuDts bad been aggravated by confioemeot; 
and he has sunk into the grave, without having 
seen the light of those days of iodependance, 
which his friend, don Joseph EspaSa, had pre* 
dieted at the moment of his execution. " I 
die " said this man formed for the aocompMsb- 
meot of grand projects *, " I die an ignominious 
death ; but my fellow dtizens will soon piously 
collect my ashes, and my name wiU reappear 
with glory." These remarkable words were 
uttered in the public square of Caraccas, on 
the 8th of May, 1799; they were repeated to 
me the same year by persons, some of whom 
abhorred the projects of Espana, as much as the 
otbera deplored his fate. 

I have spoken above -f- of the importance 
of the trade of Nueva Barcelona. This small 
town, which in 1790 had scarcely ten thousand 
inhabitants, and in 1800 moi-e than uxteen 
thousand, was founded t ^Y ^ Catalonian con- 

* Euai PoHl. nr la Nouv. Etpagiu, torn, ii, p. 819. Sea 
klso ToL iii, p. 414 of the pr«MDt work. 

f See abore, vol. iii, p. 361. 

t Cnt/ui, p. 173, 199, SOT. What Mr. Dcpons reUle* 
(vol. iii, p. Soa,) of the origin of this (own, i< not altogether 
coorormable to hislorj'. 


quistad&r^ Joan Urpin, in 1637. A fruitless at- 
tempt was tbea made, to give the whole province 
the name of New Catalonia. As our n^aps often 
mark two towns, Barcelona and Cumanagoto, 
instead of one, and the two names are consider- 
ed as synonimous, it may be useful to clear up 
the cause of this error. Anciently at the mouth 
of the Rio Nevers, there was an Indian town, 
built in 1588 by Lucas F^ardo^ and named 
San Cristwal de los Cumanagotos. This town 
was peopled solely by natives who came from 
the saltworks of Apaicuare. In 1637, Urpin 
founded, two leagues farther inland, the Spanish 
town of Nueoa Barcelona^ which he peopled 
with some of the inhabitants of Cumanagoto 
and many Catalonians. For thirty-four years 
quarrels were incessantly arising between the 
wo neighbouring communities, till 1671, when 
the governor Angulo succeeded in persuading 
them, to unite on a third spot, where the town 
of Barcelona now stands ; the latitude of which, 
according to my observations *, is 10® 6' o^\ 

* Plaza Ma^or. This is only the result of six circuinme- 
ridian heights of Canopus, taken in the same night. Las 
Menunias (TEspinosa (vol. ii, p. 80) give 10** 9' 6^. Mr. Fer- 
rer found {Conn, des Tem$y 1817, p. 322) 10'' 8' 24. I 
know not where these observations were made, bat I believe 
ihej give the latitude too far north. For, at Caraccas, Guy- 
ana^ Hod the Uavarinah, my observations differed only a few 
seconds from those of Mr. Ferrer. The differetice of latitude 
between the town and the Motto appeared to me to be 


The abcient town of Cumanagoto is celebrated 
in the coDDtry for a miraculooB itnage of the 
Vii^n *, which the Indisns say was found in the 
hollow trunk of a tutumo, or old calebash tree 
(creKcntia cujete). This virgin was carried 
in procession to Nueva Barcelona ; but when- 
ever the clergy were dissatisfied with the inha- 
bitants of tite new city, she fled away at 
night, and returned to the trunk of ^e tree 
at the mouth of the river. This f»odigy did 
not cease, till a large add fine convent (the 
college of the Propagamia) was built, to receive 
the monks of Sunt Francis. We have seen 
abovc^ that, in a similar case, the bishop ef 
Caraccaa caused the image of Oiir Lady de los 
VeUendanoa to be placed in the archives of the 
bishoprick, where she remaibed thirty years 
under seal. 

The climate of Barcelona is not so hot as 
Uiat of Cumana, bnt .extremely damp, and 

'A' 40*. ' I have elsewhere discussed tha loo^tade rf 
Nueva BarceloDB, and the results of my chronometrical do- 
tertniDaUons compared with those of Messrs. Fidnlgo and 
Ferrer {Oh$en). Jitr. Tom. ii, p. 80). On the banks of the 
Bio Unare, and farther west on the Bio Ucheri, near the 
beautiful valley of Cupira, so abundant in cacao, there exist- 
ed two other towns in the seventeenth century, by the naniM 
of Tarragona and San Miguel de Batei. 

* La milagrota imagm d€ Maria Sanliutma del Socorro, 
also called la Fir/ren del Tutumo. 


somewhat unhealthy in the rainy season. Mr. 
Boopland had supported well the difficult jour- 
ney across the Uanos; and had regained bis 
strength, and his great actiyity. With respect 
to myself, I suflfered . more at Barcetona thaa 
I had done at\ Angostura, immediately after 
having terminated the navigation of the rivers. 
One of those extraordinary tropical rains, during 
which at sunset drops of an enormous, size fall 
at great distances from one another, had given* 
me such uneasy sensations, as seemed to menace 
an attack of the typhus, which then prevailed 
on thai coast. We remained near -a month 
at Barcelona, under the care of the most watch- 
ful friendship. We there foi!tnd also that .^- 
oellent ecclesiastic, fray Juan Gonzales, of whom 
I have often spoken, and who had traversed 
the Upper Oroonoko before us. He regretted 
the little time we had been able t6 employ 
in visiting that unknown country ; and examin- 
ed our plants and animals with that interest, 
which we feel for the productions of a distant 
region, that we have once inhabited. Fray 
Juan had resolved to go to Europe, and to ac- 
company us as far as the island of Cuba* From 
this tiikie we were together for seven months ; 
be was gay, tetelligent, and obliging. Who 
could foresee the evils, that awaited him ? He 
look charge of b part of biir collections ; a com- 
mon friend confided to him a child, that he 

wished to have educated in Spain : the collec- 
tions, the child, and the young ecclesiasUc, 
were all buried in the waves *. 

South-east of Nueva Barcelona, at the dis- 
tance of two leagues, rises a lofty chain of 
mountains, abutting on the Cerro del Bergan- 
tin, which is visible at Cumana. This spot 
is known by the name of the hot waters faguas 
calietUesJ. When I felt my health sufficiently 
restored, we made an excursion thither on a 
cool and misty morning. The waters, loaded 
with sulphuretted hydrogen, issue from a quart- 
zouB sandstone, lying on the same compact 
limestone, which we had examined at the Morro. 
We again found in this limestone intercalated 
beds of black homstein, passing into kiesekchie- 
fer. It is not however a transition rock ; it 
rather approaches, by it's position, it's division 
into small strata, it's whiteness, and it's dull 
and conchoidal fractures, (with very flattened 
cavities) the limestone of Jura. The real He- 
seUchiefer and Lydian stone have not been 
observed hitherto except in the transition slates 
and limestones. Is the sandstone, from which 
the springs of the Bergantin issue, of the same 
formation as the sandstone which we describe 
ed -f- at the Impossible and at Tuiniriquiri ? 

* See above, vol. iii, p. 364) ; vol. v, p. 023. 
f Vol. iii, p. 23Kntl»4. 


The thermal waters have only a temperature of 
43^ cent, (the atmosphere being 27^) ; ihqr 
Aow first to the distance of forty toises over the 
rocky surfistce of the ground ; are tlien predpi- 
tated into a natural cavern ; and pierce thrpugh 
the limestone, to issue out at the foot of the 
moontain, on the left banlc of the little river 
NariguaL The springs, while in contact with 
the oxygen of the atmosphere, deposit a good 
deal of sulphur. 1 did not collect, as I had 
done at Mariara, the bubbles of air, that rise 
in jets from these thermal waters. They no 
donbt contain a large quantity of azot, because 
the sulphuretted hydrogen decomposes the mix- 
ture of oxygen and azot dissolved in the spring. 
The sulphurous waters of San Juan, which issue 
from calcareous rock like those of Bergantin, 
have also biit a weak temperature (SI*?*) ; while 
in the same region, the temperature of the 'sul- 
phurous waters of Mariara and lasTribcheras 
(near Portocabello), which gush immediately 
from gneiss-granite, is 58*9^ the former, and 
90*4^ the latter *. It would seem as if the heat, 
which these springs acquire in the interior of 
the globe, diminishes in proportion as they pass 
from primitive to secondary superposed rocks. 

* L. c. Vol. iv, p. 62/ I96» 272. I am ignoiUDt of tli« 
tempermtore of th« hot, aod bydrotalpboroos spriogt of 
Pro?i«or» near San Diego» half a leagae distaat from Nnofa 
Rtrcelopa, toward the south. 



Our excnraiQii to the aguascalimies of Bcr- 
^ncin eRde4 Mtb 4 vexatvuus aecident. Our 
hvfi\ h«d lent iv one of \m finest aaUlt bocaoi. 
We Wpro wwed M the 9ame tiat« not t« ford 
\he Utile river i>f N^rigua). We pMsod over a 
wrt of bri<^, 91- rather wo^e (rnnlwof treee 
plaiqed close tpgetbor, and we nade oilc borees 
Bwini» holding their bridlieq. The hone I had 
rode ^ddeoly disappeared, aft^ r Btrvfsgiiag Sot 
soqie time under water : all our retearchn to 
discover the cause of ttus accident were froUlese. 
0.ur guides coqjo^ured, that the aninial'B legs 
bad been seized by the caymans, vhich abonnd 
in those parts. My perplexity was ertreme : 
the de^cacy 99d the fortune of my boat forbade 
me tQ tbipk of repairing his loss ; and Mr. La- 
vie» inore attentive to oar situation, than, to the 
fate of his horse, endeavoured to tnmquiUi^e ug 
by emggerating the facility, with which fiae 
faforsffs were procurable from the oeighbouriog 

The crocodiles of the Rio Never! are large 
and nimeHrogts, especially near tlie raoutb of the 
river ; but ia general they are less fierce than 
the crocodiles of the Oroonoko. These awmals 
display the same contrasts of ferocity in Ameri- 
ca as in Egypt and Nubia, which we recognize 
when we compare with attention the narrative 
of the unfortunate Burckhardt, and that of Mr. 
Belzoni. The state of cultivation of different 


countries^ and the population more or less ac^- 
cmniilaiedi in the proximity of riTers, modify 
tbe habits of these lar^fe saurienSf timid when 
on dryground^ and fleeing from man eren in 
the water^ when they find^ abondand nonrish^ 
me&t^ and when they perceive any danger in 
attaoktng him. The Indians of Nueta Barely 
looa convey wood to market in a snigiilar man^ 
ner. Large logs of zygopbyllum and csesalpinia* 
are throw* into the river, and carried down by 
the stream', wM4e the proprietor of the wood 
and Ins eldest son swim here and there^ to set 
afloat tbe ^eces, that are stopped by tbe mnd- 
iug9 of tbe baspks. This could hot bef done in 
the greater part of those American riveii^, in 
which crocodiles are found. The town of Bar- 
celona has not, like Cumana, an Indian suburb ; 
and if some natives be seen, thev are inhabit- 
ants of the neighbouring missions, or of huts 
scattered in the plain. Neither the one nor tbe 
other aie of the Caribbee race, but a mixture of 
the Camanegotoes, Palenkas, and Piritoos, short, 
stunted, indolent, and addicted to drinking. 
Fermented cassava is here the favorite beverage; 
the wine of the palm tree, which is used in 

* The Jecythn oUaria in the vicinity of Nueva ])arce)ona 
fimislies excellent timbeii. We saw trunks of this tree 
seTCDty feet high. Aronnd the town, beyond that arid zone 
of caoUis which sepamtes Nuei-v Barcelona from the steppe, 
grow the olerodendrum telniiiblium, the iottidium itubu/ 
vbich resembles the viola, and the allionia violacca. 




Oroonoko, \mng almost aiiknown on tbe coast. 
It is curious to observe, that mm in difierent 
zones, to satisfy the passion of inebriety, em- 
ploy not only all the families of monocotyledon* 
ous and dicotyledonoas plants, bat even a pei- 
sonons agaric (amanita muscaria), of vliich, 
with disgusting econoiny, tbe Coriacs have learnt j 
to drink tbe same juice several times daring five ' 
successive days *. 

Tbe packet boats {correos) from CoraDoa 
boand for tbe Havannab and Mexico had been 
due three months ; and it was believed Ui^ faud 
been taken by the English cruisers stationed ou ' 
this coast. Anxious to reach Cumana, in order 


kncha was laden with cacao, and carried on a 
contraband trade with tlie island of Trinidad* 
For this reason the proprietor thought we had 
nothing to fear from the enemy's vessels, which 
then blocked np all the Spanish ports. We 
embarked onr collections of plants, onr instru- 
ments, and our monkeys ; and, the weather be* 
ing delightful, we hoped to make a very short 
passage from the month of the Rio Neveri to 
Cumana : but we had scarcely reached the nar- 
row channel between the continent and the 
rocky isles of Borracha and the Chimanas, 
when, to our great surprise, we met with an 
armed boat) which, hailing us at a great dis* 
tance, fired some musket^hot at us. The boat 
belonged to a privateer of Halifax ; and I re- 
cognized among the sailors a Prussian, a native 
of'Memel, by his physiognomy and bis accent. 
I had found no opportunity, since my arrival in 
America, of speaking my native language, and 
1 could have wished to have used it on a less 
unpleasant occasion. Our protestations were 
without effect: we were carried on board the 
privateer, and the captain, affecting not to re- 
cognize the passports delivered by the gover- 
nor of Trinidad for the illicit trade, declared, 
that we were lawful prize. Being a little in the 
habit of speaking English, I entered into a ne- 
gociation with the captain, not to be taken to 
Nova Scotia, but to be set on shore on the 

neighbfMring looBst. . While I edcUavMiKd, ie 
the aabln to defoBd mf anm r%htt. and thow 
ti-tbb yr^ridor, ihaardftDfuieiipaai thiitlealti 
SoBiatbi^'VM wfenptrad- to.the.oaptiUByiHte 
leA lu In coMtcroMioa. iHi^tpllJr farjls^ all 
fingtishaioop^of war, «be Haiwk, watiihiiiiag 
in 'tfane parti^ and had aiade aigrtali to the 
MqrtwK to briag to ; vbio)i he aot fMing tutompt 
to cboff a gun wea fired from ike slooiif aad a 
midihipniBD aaittjon board onr veaHL ttBirai 
a pofile yoaag bud, and gtm (ne bopta* that 
the boat* laden vith cacao, would be givm.i^, 
aad thai on the folloiriag day we might pnnne 
tfat voyage. In the meaDtime he innttd ma 
to aceoapaoy him on hoard the aloop, . astorii^ 
ma, that his oomaaader, captun John Garnler> 
of the royal navy, woold faroish me with hatter 
uccommodaition for the night, than I should find 
in tha mhcI from Hali&x. 

I accepted these obtigiog ofiere, and waa rO- 
odved with the utmoBt kiodDess by captui 
Oaniier,. vrbe had made the rojrage to the nortb- 
west ooaat of America with Vancouver, and Who 
■^pcand to he highly iatoested in all J ralatod 
to him of the great cataracts of Atures and May- 
pare, the bifurcation of the Oroonoko, and it's 
commnnicatioD with the Amazon. He named 
to me several of bis officers, who had been with 
lord Macartney in China. I had not for a year 
enjoyed the society of so many well-informed 


periMtn^. They bad learnt froai the 
d^spalpen thu chjeot of thy enterprise. I wHft 
treMKed with gr^M oonfideaee^ ilnd the cora^ 
lAtiiidel' i^ofn ibe up (» on^H btateroom. They 
g:ttV8 fde M panibg tM detrnttcmlical Bpheme- 
Mtfi Vat t^e yeafe wUeh I had not toeM idite 
lb pMcfitM ifii FtMnoe i^r {Bfttin. t wre to oafktain 
C^Miier the dbset^tioDei tiiade oil'tbe totelfitee 
beyoifd th« e^oMWi abd feel fi a duty to tword 
herb the |fra|lt«ide I <M £»r hit kind eOcee. 
Gtttaiiagf ltt>i^ Ihti ttitek^ of CaMi^late, diM 

teving h^iA Mtffined dnHAg^ irbdle iniMivhe to 
tt^A dHhtow «lrale df ttiieiddAafy lift, ifie Mta 
scNMtittig' gratlftMlfloD at) mating for the tint 
dM« With mfen, who had flnHed roAndtkte worlds 
attd ettlftfged their Ideaa \if the vie# of so vafied 
a 8pe6«Adte^ I qaltted the Engli^ vessel with 
iitipr«S8i6M> whieh are not yet effiiced fro&h my 
rMneMbratoce^ aod whioh ted me tb leiiemh gtih 
lAow tlie eak«ef* I had chosen 4 

'W« OMitittued odrpassi^ an tlie folMwing 
day, httd WM-e sArpri^d at the depth of the 
ctMtitterld between the OAraObas IslbndB, Wbtere 
the l^lOop maiiiaratYed^ dlmbst toudiiihg the 
t6dia. >How )9ilboh dd theBe ealcareouB isldts, of 
Whitih the fi>rm aad direotioki rechl to tnind the 
gtem HiketittcffAie that sepathted them from the 
ttiaffi limd, diflhr ih their aipeet from the Vol^ 
btttlie iiMhipelago oa the north of Laacerota*, 

where the hilb of banb have been 
Bfted Dp from the bottoio of. the .am 1 The 
freqtwney of the pelicana, irUeh ar« huger tfau 
oar iwaiM, and. of flamiegoee^ wUdi fiihed » 
the Dodii,:or banueed the pefitwu in. order to 
aeEae their prej, indicated oar af^mat^.tothe 
cbaet of Ounana. It is corions to . oheurvo at 
sonriie bov the eea-Uids enddenlj appear, and 
ammate the landsoi4>e, reminding ni, in the 
moet soHlaiy ecenee, of the, aotivity of oar dtiee 
at the dawn (tfday. We rea«Aed at nine in. the 
nK^niog tbe gnlf of Cariaco, which serrea as a 
roadstead to the town of Camana. Hie lull, 
crowned by tbe castle of St^ Antonio^ stood pro- 
minent from it's whiteness on the daric cnrtain 
of tbe inland moaotains. We recognised with 
pleasore the shore, where we had cnUed tbe first 
plants of America, and wbere,8ome months later, 
Mr; Boopland had been in socb danger. Among 
tbe cactuses, that rise in colanma aad candda- 
bras twenty feet liigb, appear tbe Indian hpts oi 
the Gnaykeries. Every part of the landsc^ie 
was known to ns ; the forest of cactos, the scat- 
tered huts, and tbat enormoos cdba,. beneath 
which we loved to bathe at the approach of 
night. Onr friends at Curaana came out. to 
meet ns; men of all casta, whom onr freqnent 
berborizations had brongbt into contact with 
us, expressed still greater joy, as a report ttf. our 
death oo tbe banks of tbe Oroonoko had bees 


current for several months. These gloomy re- 
ports bad* arisen either from the severe illness of 
Mr. Bonpland^ or from onr boat being nearly 
lost in agnst of wind above the mission of 

We hastened to visit the governor^ don Vi* 
cente Emparan, whose recommendations and 
constant soficitode had been so useful. to us 
during the long journey we had just terminated. 
He procured a house for us in the centre of the 
town*, perhaps too lofty in a country exposed to 
violent earthquakeSt but extremely convenient 
for onr instruments. We enjoyed from it's ter- 
races a majestic view of the sea, the isthmus of 
Araya, and the archipelago of the isles of Ga- 
raccas, Picuita, and Borracha. The port of 
Cumana was every day more strictly blockaded^ 
and the vain expectation of Spanish packets 
retained us two months and a half longer in 
that place. We were often tempted to go. to 
the Danish islands, enjoying a happy neutrality ; 
but feared that, if we left the Spanish colonies, 

• • dua de don Poiqual Martinez^ On the north-east^or the 
great square, near which I had made obBervationa from Julj 
the Mth to November the 17tb, 1799. All the astronomical 
obserrations, and those of mirage (vol. iii, p. 642), which are 
posterior to August the 29th, 1800, were made in the house 
ofdoo Martinez. I relate these circumstances, because they 
may be interesting at some future period to those, who inay 
wish to examine the precision of my labours 

we aught find toma obaiAclea .te^oiir ntank 
WUb- thB ampla fArmiuloa^ !*hiehilB a-mnoMft 
•f ferour bad bseA ^nuittd to 'DSj ■rtttf wm 
to twlittMrdtd* Uh* lAighl diflpkHwe ttw; loaal 
authorities. We employed oar time iit ooiai 
plMiag the Floni' «r: -OMum, geogMBtiosUy 
itiiMniniag the miie» pwt^af the .pento«lB>«f 
Araj«, ftitd obMnr^ a ootandndbfeamniiM' «i 
ebUpaife of ntdUilieak which wiri*nd thb 
lo^jliBdv •( thd pUoe alifbdy obtaitaed bf «tbtf 
mcaaaj We *ko made eX|tefiiiii«Dt8 •■ thatB^ 
trabr^ary rtfraotioiMvOM evatioratlDDi aad iM 
atmoiirtMrie elcctncHyi 

'Ka li«« aaimab vbidi w« had broagbtfrom 
tb^'Oroonoko trtee 'ObJeottofgrcbteariQBtjrta 
the iahabitAhta of Oai&biih. The oapoohn of 
the StaWalda (ntouL ehlropoteg). whioh m 
Btadh vettoMet man id the ezpreiaioD of it's 
phyrio^ibmy % and the deefimg monkey (daua* 
trivirgata)* whioh is the type of a new gtoofUi 
had ntver yet been i«ea on that onuk Wt . 
deetinhd tbea* for the meaago^ «f theGAdsd 
of Plants at Paris. The arrival of a French 
sqtiadrcn-, wMoh had iluldd in ab attacb upon 
Carassao, having furoidhed us tinexpeotedly #itb 
an excellent opportunity for sending them to 
Guadaloupe^ general Jeanoet, and the com- 
missary Bresseau, agent of tlie executive power 
at the Antilles, promised to take on themselves 
this commission. The monkeys and birds died 


at Guadaloape^ but fiMiuoatoiy Ibe skio of tbo 
simia GhiropoUsa, which exists no where else in 
Europe* waa Miit A few yeuB ago to the G«rdeo 
of PkUits ; liliere the cauxio (Anm sateoas), 
aad the atentor or aloiiate of the ateppes of C*. 
raceaa (aiinia urdioa)^ of which I have givto the 
figures io eciy Hecueil di Zoohgieet d' Amatonm 
cximpor^e* bad beeo Idready reoeivod. The arrival 
of 80 freat a ailiaber of tnilitary Freaehmen^ 
and the manifestation of political atad rdigioas 
opinions^ thaC were not altogtfeher oonfomafale 
to those by wfaiob nftother-'OOttBtiies think to 
oodfirm their amthorityf exeifed a rfqgnlar agita- 
tion in the population of Gufoaoa* The governor 
treated the Ftench aathoritSea with f hoae forms 
of civility^ which the ifttimatei oonnexion, that 
subsisted at that peiiod between Fratice and 
Spain, prescribed. In the streets the mulattoes 
crowded round the agent of the Dii'ectory^ whose 
dress was rich and theatrical ; but as men with 
a white skin inquired also with indiscreet curi- 
osity, whenever they cx)uld make themselves 
understood, concerning the degpree of influence 
granted by the republic to the planters in the 
government of Guadaloupe, the king^s officera 
redoubled their sseal in furnishing provision fo^ 
the little squadron. Strangers, who boasted 
that they were free, appeared to these as trou- 
blesome guests ; and I saw that in a country, 
of which the growing prosperity depended on 


claodestiM oommiinkations with the ialaiids, 
and on a freedom of trade fiHved from the 
minifltty, the Earopean ^lanlards wore prbod of 
the antique wiidom of the code of bws (Igrev de 
hidiat), that permitted the entrance ot forogn 
TCSseb into their ports only in extreme cases 
of want or distress. I hava dwek on these 
cootrasta between the restless derires of the 
planters:, and the miitmsting immohHHy of the 
goremerst. becaase they throw soma Ugfat'on 
the great political events, which, long prepared, 
have at length separated Spain from it's colonies, 
or, aa we might perhaps say with more precwoo, 
from it's provinces beyond sea. 

We again passed some agreeable days, from 
the third to the fifth of November^at^bepenin- 
snla of Araya> intnate beyond the gulf of Cariaco, 
opposite to Cnmana, and of which I hare already 
described the pearis*, the sulphnroos deponts, 
and the sabmarina springs of liquid and colour- 
less petroleum. We were informed, thstt the 
Indians carried to the town from time to time 
oonsiderable quantities of native tdum^ found in 
the □(nghbouriog uionQtaios. The specimens 
which were shown to us sufficteatly iodicated, 
that it was neither alonite -f-, similar to the rock 
of Tulfa and I^otnbino, nor those capillary and 
silky salts of alcuHoesulpbatof alumin and mag- 

• Vol. ii, p. 230—309. t Jlaunttein, alum stone. 

netiay that line the clefts and cavities - oi rooks, 
but real masses of native aluro^ ^th a concluMd 
or imperfectly lamellar fractare. We were led 
to hope^ tliat we shoald find the mine of alum 
in the slaty cordillera of Maniqnarez, and so 
new a geognostic phenomenon was calculated to 
fix all our attention. Juan Gonzalez^ an eccle. 
siastic» and the treasurer, don Manuel Nava- 
ret^ whose counsels had been useful to us from 
our first arrival on this coast, accompanied 
us in our little excursion. We disembarked 
near Cape Caney, and again visited thciancient 
saltpit, converted into a lake by the irruption of 
the sea, the fine ruins of the castle of Araya, and 
the calcareous mountain of Barigon, which, from 
it's steepness on the western side, is somewhat 
difficult of access. Muriatiferous clay mixed 
with bitumen and lenticular gypsum, and some- 
times passing to a darkish brown clay, destitute 
of salt, is a formation widely spread in this penin- 
sula, iu the island of Margaretta, and on the 
opposite coutinent, near the castle of St. Anto- 
nio of Cumana. It is even very prabable, that 
the existence of this formation has contributed 
to those ruptures and rents in the ground, which 
strike the geologist when he is placed on one of 
the eminences of the peninsula of Araya. The 
cordillera of this peninsula, composed of mica- 
ceous slate and clayslate, is separated on the 
north from the chain of mountains of the island 


of MargKpeUa, wbioh are of a e^Hm eonipo- 
8Mon> by lh& channel of CulKigiiR; afkltoirard 
the soDth, from the lofty calcareous chain of the 
eon^nont, by the gvHt of Cariaco. The wb<^ 
Iwtenoedlate spaoe appears to bare been filled 
heretofore with aimdatifiBfouB clay ; and it Is ne 
doubt the eontinunl erosions of the ocean, that 
have removed this fopHiation, and conrerted the 
plain first into lakes, then into gulf^, and finally 
Into nav^able channels. The accoont of what 
has passed in the most modem times at tlie foot 
of the castle of Araya, on the irmption of the 
sea in|o the ancient saltpit, the form of the 
lagoon of Chacopata, and a lake four lef^es in 
length, which cots the Island of Margaretta 
nearly into two parts, furnish evident proofs of 
these successive erosions. In the singular con- 
figuration of the coasts, in the Morro of Chaco- 
pata ; in the little islands of the Caribbecs, the 
Lobes, and Tuoal ; in the great island of Cocbe, 
and the capes of Caraero and Mangliers ; the 
remfuns of an isthmus * still seem to appear, 
which, stretching from north to soatb, joined 
heretofore the peninsula of Araya to the island 
of Margaretta. In this last island a neck of very 
k>w land, three thousand toises long, and less 
than two hundred toises broad, alone conceals 

• The map de la hla Slargarita y dt siis canales, published 
by Mr, Fidalgo in 1G16, indicates very clearly ibcsc geog- 
noslie relUioiM. 

on the QOFlherii sides Ibe twi^ hilly gronpas, 
known hy thenawea df la Vega de Sfim JttM^ and 
of Maoanao. Tbei4flgfiiiia^ati£{eof Margaretla 
liaa & ¥eiy narrow iOpeoiag tawwd the smUh and 
smatt bofila pasa om^adM, thai is bgr apor^gf , 
o¥ep the naok of land or northern dyka. Tbongb 
the wateni on these shores seem fxX presmt t^ 
recede from the continent, it is notwithstaodiog 
very prohahk^ that in the lapse of ages, either 
hj aa earthquake^ or by a sudden intunveseenoe 
of the Qoeaa, the loag island of Margairette 
will be dimded into Iwa irocky islands of a tra* 
pesseidal form* 

On c^mbiiig up the Gerro del fiarigoo, we 
repeated Ihe escperimento made at the Orooaoko, 
on the ^fference of temperature of the air and 
the deoomposed roqk. The temperature of the 
fiDrner was oidy 27^ oenH, toward eleven in the 
momiDg, on account of the effect of the breeze ; 
while that of the latter rose to 49 jS^. The 
sap that rises in the ccmdelabra cactuses (cactus 
quadraogularie) was from 38^ to 41^. This 
heat was shown by a thermometer, the ball of 
which I placed witiiifi the fleshy and succulent 
stem o^ the cactus. This interior lemperatuce 
of a pfcmt is composed of that of the sand in 
which H's r^ots are fixed, and that of the ex- 
ternal air modified by the state of the surface 
of the stem exposed to the rays of the Sun, it's 
evaporation, and the conducting power of the 

wood.- It It eoaMqudUj the oflbct of verf 
ooaipficated oavses, -Tbie UiMMwe of Bari|;oii, 
which maka ft part (tf tba great toaaatiom «f 
landitMie or'caloanDiis braoda (tf Camiaa*; 
ii fillsd with fiMril shelb ia asperfeot prdaerv»' 
tioo'as Aose of other teitiary Bmertonei hr 
France and Italy; We 'detached soma hkxika 
for Ae cabuMt of the King at Madrid.) ooirtaiiH 
iog oyttert of eight Inobes ia diameter, peetem, 
veoaHe, and lithophyte polyfu. 1 recouBesd 
to natnralists better veraed in the kaowle^frof 
fotMils than I was at that period, to examine with 
care this mouaUUDons coast, which is easy of 
access to European vessels in their way to On- 
mana, Gnayre,or'CnraB8ao. Itwooldbecurions 
to discover whether aoy of these shells, and 
these species of petrified zoophytes, still iohalnt 
the sea of the West ladies, as it appeared to 
Mr. BoDi^nd, and as is the case in the island 
of Timor, and perhaps in Gnadaloope. ' 

We set sail the 4th of November, at olie in 
the momingi in search of the mine of aative 
alum. I took with me the timekeeper, and 
my large DoUood telescope, to observe at Ae 
Laguna ckica, east of the village of Maniqoarei,' 
the immersion of the first satellite of Jnpiter ; 
this desigD however was not accomplished, con- 
trary winds having prevented our arrival beftira 

* Vol. i, p. 262: Vol. iii, p. 10. 


dayligbk The spectacle of the phosphonesoeiice 
of the ocean^ embellished by the sports of the 
porpdses which smroaoded oar canoe, coald. 
alone compensate for this delay. We again 
passed those spots, where springs of petroleam 
gnsh from micaslate * at the bottom of the sea, 
and the smell of which is perceived from, 
afor. When we recollect, that fartlier to the 
east, near Cariaco, the bot«f* and submarine 
waters are sufficiently abundant to change the 
temperatore of the gulf at it*s surface, we cannot 
doubt, that the petroleum is the effect of a did-, 
tillatiottatan immense depths issuing firom those 
primitive rocks, beneath which lies the focus ct 
all volcanic commotions. 

The Laguna chica is a cove surrounded by 
perpendicular mounUuns, and connected with 
the gulf of Cariaco only by a narrow channel 
twenty-five fathoms deep. It seems, like the 
fine port of Acapulco, to have been formed by 
the effect of an earthquake. A beach 8howB» 
that the sea here retires from the land» as it 

* ViA. ii, p. 200. The petruieum of the Caraccas inlands, 
and that of Buen Paator, of which 1 have spoken above (vol, 
iii, p. 186; vol. ii, p 51)^ issue from secondary formations. 
Is not this a direct proof of the communication of the ere* 
vices that t^verse the micaslate, limestone, and clay, lying 
OQ each other? I was also assured, that there is a spring 
of petroleam to the west of Maoiquarez^ in the inland, 

t Vol. iu, p. IW. 

VOL. Vi. H 

pcMtorala o^'. Avftgn^i Irhteh: i(i«iffovit>b^t««ep, 
thcFovpeBvMcrt) Mdhb! MtnM ta«»e tiKMUfM 
finv^lHiadred tHHs bnMd,.« • i little; awn <bsO: 
fiitfrAMuaild near Oe L^guna dkicOtSOthoBk^ 
fnm qM 4es t» the otberr iWe iiiuLtacnMi. 
tIdB incdn^en^le dutsnoe in order Co fiAd Urn- 
native' alBiDi andr'raaoh tiw. oape ealted .the; 
PiMt0- de. Chmpamparu, The nwd isdtfBonKi 
only twoaoae do patb< U traced; aad. betn)tn< 
preeiiiieea of Mine- depth yon are obliged to efeep. 
oter ridg:e8 of bare rook^ the strata of which are- 
A&eb inclined. The culminant point la neatly: 
tifo bandred and twenty toises high-; but the 
monntuns, as it often happens in a rocky istb«; 
mna, display very singular forms. The Tefos 
of Cfaaeopata and Cariaoo, halfway bekween 
the Lagvna ckica and the town of Cariacf^ are 
rtal pedis, which appear isolated when seen 
fbMn the ]^atfonn of the castle of Cunana. Tba 
v^etable earth -in this conntry reaches oaljr 
thirty tmses fdMve the level of the sea. Soma-i 
Umes there is no rain during fifteen months*; 
if, however, a few drops fall immediately after 
the flowering of the melons and gourds, they 
yield fruits that weigh from sixty to seventf 
pounds, notwithstanding the apparent dryness' 
of Uie air. I say the apparent dryness, for ray 

• Vol.iu,p.204. 


hygrometric observations prove, that the atmos* 
phere of Cumana and Araya contains near nine 
tenths of the quantity of watery vapours neces* 
sary to it's perfect saturation. It is this air, at 
once hot and humid, that nourishes the veget- 
able faufaains^ the cncnrbitaceous plants, the 
agaves and melocactuses half-buried in the sand. 
When we visited the peninsula the preceding 
year, there was a dreadful scarcity of water; 
the goats, wanting grass, died by hundreds. 
During our stay at the Oroonoko, the order of 
the seasons seemed to be entirely changed. At 
Araya, Cochen, and even in the island of Mar- 
garetta, it had rained abundantly ; and the re- 
membrance of those showers occupied the 
imagination of the inhabitants, as a fall of aero- 
lites would that of the naturalists of Europe. 

The Indian who was our guide scarcely knew 
in what direction we should find the ore of alum ; 
be was ignorant of it's real situation. This ig- 
norance of localities characterizes here almost 
all the guides, who are chosen among the most 
indolent class of the people. We wandered for 
eight or nine hours, among rocks totally bare of 
v^etation. The micaceous slate passes some- 
tinaes to clajrslate of a darkish gray. I was 
again struck by the extreme regularity in the 
direction and inclination of the strata. They 
run north 50^ east, inclining from 60° to 70° to 
the north west. This is the general direction, 



which I had observed in the gndu- granite opf 
Caraccas and thie Orooapko, in the hornblende 
slates of Angostura, and even in the greater part 
of the secondary rocks we bod jnst examined. 
The beds, on a vast extent of land, make tbe 
same angle with the meridian of the pUice ; tbey 
present a parallelism (or rather a hxodromism)^ 
which may be considered as one of the great 
geognostic laws sosceptible of being verified by 
precise measures. In advancing toward cape 
Cbnparuparu, the size of the veins of qnartz, 
that cross the micaslate, increased. We found 
some that were from one to two toises broad, 
full of small fasciculated crystals of rutile-titan- 
ite. We sought in vain for cyanite, which we 
had discovered in some blouks near Maniqunree. 
Farther on, the micaslate furnishes not veins, but 
little beds of graphite or carburetted iron. They 
are from two to three inches thick, and have 
precisely the same direction and inclination as 
the rock. Graphite, in primitive soils, marks 
the first appearance of carbon on the globe, that 
of carbon uncombined with hydrogen. It is 
anterior to the period when the snrlace of the 
earth became covered with nionocotyledonons 
plants. We enjoyed from the height of those 
wild niouDtains a mnjestic view of the island 
of Mai^retta. Two groups of mountains, which 
we have already luentiotied, those of Macanao, 
and )a Vega de San Jiiao, rise from the bosom 


of tbe waters; The.caintal of the island, k 
AsoQcion *, the poit of P^patar^ and the vil* 
lages of Paeblo de la Mar, :Fuebl9; del Nort^ 
and San Jnan, belong to the secoftil apd most 
easterly of these groups. The western groopii 
the MacaniEU), is almost entirely uninhabited. 
The isthmus, that divides these large masses <tf 
micaslate, was scarcely visible ; it appeared 
disfigured by the eflfect of the mirage, and we 
recognized this intermediate part, cut by the 
Laguna grande^ only by two small hills fy in the 
form of a sugarloa^ in the meridian of the Punta 
de Piedras. Nearer, we look down on the small 
desert archipelago of the four Morros del Tonal, 
the Caribbee, and the Lobos islands. 

After many vain searches, we at length founds 
before we descended to the northern coast of 
the peninsula of Araya, in a ravine of very dif- 
ficult access {aroyo del Bobalo)^ the mineral 
which bad been shown to us at Cumana. The 
micaslate changed suddenly into carburetted and 
shining clayslate. It was an ampelite; and 
the waters (for there are small springs in those 
parts, and some have recently been discovered 
near the village of Maniquarez) were impreg* 
Dated with yellow oxyd of iron, and had a styp^ 
tic taste. We found the sides of the neighbour* 

* Lat. II'' &W; long. O'' 19^ east of the meridian of 
t Lat. lO* 67^ loog. Oi> 3^ 30^ eaat of Cumana. 


ing' rodu lined with c^iUlaiy 8iil|riiBt of aluniia 
iti effiBTMUenofr i aiui iji^ bfeda. two ioobe* tfaidt, 
fhU <^ Mii^w vlUfo, -nratohed u Ar asUie ^^ 
tobiKI ra^bHn ilie cl^late. Tbe alom !■ gnjK- 
j^Wliit^ somewhat dull at tbe anterior, and 4^ 
aa almoM glassy lostre wUhio. .it's fractal* it 
not fibnMis, tmt imperfeetly cooatamd. It' is 
bemidi^habous, when it's firagments an Uuat 
and has a sweatish and astringent taste^ wittiedt 
any bitter mixtare, I pn^Kwed to myself the 
qoesUon even on the spot, wtietbOT this atem, 
so pure, imd filling beds in the olayslate without 
leaving tlie Bmatlest void, be of a contemporary 
formation witb IIk rock ; or most be admitted 
to t)e df a recent, and in some sort seooodacy 
origin, like the muriat of soda, found sometimes 
in small vans, where strongly concentrated 
springs traverse beds of gypsum or clay. No*- 
thing in these places seems to indicate a mode 
of formation, which may be renewed in onr days. 
The slaty rock exhibits no open cleft ; and par- 
ticularly none is fohnd parallel to the dtreoUon 
of the slates. It may also be inquired, whether 
this aluminous slate be a tranution formation 
lying on tbe primitive roicaslate of Arayo. or 
arise merely from a change of composition and 
texture in the beds of inicaslate. I lean toward 
the latter proposition ; for the transition is pro- 
gressive, and the argillaceous slate (thonschtefer) 
and micaslate appear to me to constitute here 


'but one sole formatioD.. The jlreseDce of cyanite, 
'rotile-titanite^ and ganito, and the: abeenob 
*o£ Jydiandtoiie, and all ^fmgmeDlary dr anedar 
ceouarrdcks^ seem to obaMeterise the formatiM 
we describe aa^ primitive; It is asserted, timt 
even m £urot>e affii>eUte and ; greenMond ace 
found, tbougb' rarely^ in slates anterior to tran- 
^ition^i slate. . 

Wlieri^ in 1785, after an eilrtbquake, a great 
robky mass was bnoken off in the Aroyo del 
Robalo, the Guaykeries of los Serritoe €oUeeted 
Iragmeats of alnm five or six inches iift diameter, 
Extremely pure aiid toansparent^ It was sold ^ in 
my^aie at Camana to the dyers and sboetnalieni, 
at the price of two reals (one quarter of tf piastre) 
a pound, while alnm from Spain cost twelve reals. 
This difierence of price was much more tlie. effect 
of prejudice, and the shackles of trade^ than of 
the inferior quality of the aluin of the couiktry, 
which is usied without undergoiog any purifico- 
tido. It i6 also found in the chain of micaslate 
and clayslate on the north-west coast of the 
island of Trinidad^ at la Margai^etta, and near 
cape Chuparuparu, north of the Cerro del Dia- 
tiladero*. The Indians!, naturally addicted to 

• Another place was indicated to us, west of Bordones, 
ilie Puerto Escondido. But that coast appeared to me to be 
whoUy calcareoQs; and 1 cannot conceive where could be 
tb^ ai^uation of ampelitc and native alum on this point* Was 
it to be found in the beds of slaty clay, that alternate wit|i 


eoDonhneat, ace by oo mcBM kH^ned to make 
kooirn the: qxiUt wfanne tlwy obtain natin 
alun ; bat Uris nmat be abanda&t, for I have 
raeen veiy bOnsiderable qnantHiei in tbair pos- 
Msdon at a time. It wonld be of Importanoe 
to the goTCrameDt of VenMoela, to tstabfidi 
r^;nlar worka, atber of the ore we have jut 
described, or ia the alnminons slate thai aoeoin- 
panies iU The latter might be roasted, Rzi- 
Ti'ated, and ooocentcated (kj groAuMon) iy Ike 
ferrent Sod of the tn^ics. 

South America at present recdves it's alam 
from Eorope, as Enrope in it's torn recetved it 
from the natires of Asia till the fifteenth cen- 
taiy. Mineralo^stB, before my traveli^ kneir 
DO other substances, which, irithout additwn, 
calcined or not calcined, conld directly yidd 
alnro (snlphat of alnmin and potash), except 
rocks of traehytic formation, and small veins 
traverring beds of lignite and bitnminoas wood. 
BoUi these sobstances, of so diferent an origin, 
oontaio all that constitntes alum, that is to say, 
alamin, salpburic acid, and potash. The ores 
of Tolfo, Milo, and Nipoligo ; those of Montimie, 
in which dlica does not accompany the alonun ; 
the siliceous breccia of Moat-Dore, so well de> 

the alpinelimeBtoiieof CamanacoaT Vol. iii, p. 70. Fibroos 
alum is found in Europe only in ronnaliona poalerior lo Ibose 
of (raosition, ia ligaiteij and olher tertiary formationa thai 
belong (o the lignites. 


scribed by Mr. Cordier, whicb cootains sulpbar 
in ft's caWties ; the alamiferons rooks of Plarad 
and Ber^h io Hangaryy whicb belong also to 
tracfaytic and pamice conglomerates; are no 
donbt owing to the penetrating of snlphnrous 
acid vapours*. They are the products of a 
feeble and prolonged volcanic action, as may be 
easily ascertained in the sol&terras of Pucznoli 
and the Peak of Teneriffe. The alnmite of Tolfii, 
which, since my return to Europe, I examined 
conjointly with Gay-Lussac on the spotyhas, by 
it*s oryctognostic characters and it*s chemical 
composition^ a considerable affinity to compact 
feldspar 'f*', which constitutes the basis of so 
many trachytes and transition porphyries. It is 
a siliciferous subsulpbat of alumin and potash, 
a compact feldspar, with the addition of sul- 
phuric acid completely formed in it. The waters 
circulating in these alumiferous rocks of volcanic 

* Gay-Lassac, in the Annalei de Chimie (old series), 
Tom. My p. 200. Deacotils in the Annalei des Mmes^ 1816, 
p. 374. Cordier, in the Annales de Chimie et de Phfnque, 
Tom. 0, p. 71'— 89. Beadant, Foyage en Hongrie^ torn. 3,. 
p. 446—471. 

i This feidspiu: contains^ according to Klaproth, more 
silica than the alnmite of Toifa. The quantity of potash is the 
same, but three times less than in common (lamellar) and 
▼itreons feldspars. We see however, on comparing the analyses 
of Klaproth and Vauqnelio, that the relative proportions of 
silica and alumin vary much in diflerent specimens obtained 
from the mine of Tolfa. 

oii^ do noli bowwrMf depMit tnMM.of «aHfe 
«laqp« to.yiflUwhkAi Ifa. radn hiBnj.noed itf 
tomfiution.. I kUMT not of wijr d«|wioiaa»« 
k^>thoH[ I.bRn^ from Onimiaaf'Car 
t^ miriUsry and fibmU' owsiea fonnicl. w tMiii 
toaveraiiigi^the faedsj<]f 1igMites,'(baiik|i of.iha 
£gia,:beMr|BOti SuftiKrid GaniDdthQDr fat Babe* 
lOia *)i . v«B9oreMUg in oavitia (Frdeowidde^lD 
Sifuid«abiii;K 1 iSegnrio in SardhiiaX tfo inpon 
uliitt ^enideatiiDte of potuh, mizedmUi tal- 
phatt of amponu uid magnesia. A alfiir de> 
CompofliUaa of tbe pyrites, that act peiiiaps as 
so maoy little gabfomo pileg, reDden tbe waters 
aloqii&rouB, that circulate across the bitainiD- 
ops lignites and carbnretted clays -f-. 'These 
waters, in contact with carbooat of lime, even 
^re rise to the deposits of subsulpbat o£ alntniB 
(destitute of potash) which is formed near Hall^ 
vni vas formerly beltered erroneoosly to be 
pure alumiD, belonging, like the porcelmn earth 

* Feder-ataMn, AoanaJi, mtUigtr aad ttangliger trfaidi ' of 
Freieowalde, TctwrniDg, &o. {tOapnth, Belirage, Tva. i, 
p. 811 i Tom. iii, p. lOS, Wkanu, in the Sehrtflen der Dret- 
dener Ouelluhaft futr Mmenlogie, Tom. i, p, 986; Ton. il, 
p. S32). From what formation u tbs uliTe klnni drawn, 
whiuh (be Goubaniani c&rry to Sjena from the ialerior of 
Africa? {Decade Egypt- Tom, iiifp. 85). I reg^t, (lial I am 
not able, at a distance from my own colloctions, to detormiDe 
tbe quantity of potash, nhiofa the native atom of Kobalo 

f hriiunkohU and Alaunerde. 


(kaolin) of Mori, to porphyry of red sandstoQe* 
AnalogoaB chemical actiqiui may take place in 
primitive and transition slates, as well as* In 
tertiary formations. All slates, and tUs fact is 
very important^ contain near five per cent of 
potasbi snlphnret of Iron, peroxid of iron, car* 
boo, &c* The contact of so many hnmected 
heterogeneous substances must necessarily lepui 
them to a change of state and composition. The 
efflorescent salts^ that abundantly cover the 
aluminous slates of Rdimlo, indicate how much 
these chemicaL effects are favoured by the high 
temperature ci the climate ; but, I repeat, in a 
rock where there are no crevices, no vactuties 
parallel to the direction and indinaUon of the 
strata, native alum, hemidiapbanous and of con« 
choid fracture, completely filling it^s place (it*8 
beds), must be regarded as being of the same 
age with the rock in which it is contained. Tho 
term contemporary formation is here taken in 
the sense attached to it by geognosts, in speaks 
ing of beds of quartz in clayslatej granular lime- 
stone in mieaslate, or feldspar in gneis. 

After having for a long time wandered over 
barren scenes, amid rocks entirely destitute of 
vegetation, the eye reposed with pleasure on 
tufts of malpigbia and crotou, which we found 
in descending toward the coast. These ar^* 
borescent crotons were of two new species *, 

* CroloD argyrophylluSf and c. margincUus, 


very remarkable for their form, and peculiar to 
the penimala of Araya. We arrived too late 
at the La^tma c/aca, to visit another rock farther 
east, and celebrated by the name of the Lagnna 
grande, or del ObispD*. We ctmtented oar- 
selves mth admiring it from the hogfat of the 
tnountains, that command the view ; and, ex- 
cepting the ports of Ferrol and Acapnlco, there 
is perhaps none of a more extraordinary con- 
figuration. It is an inland gnlf two miles and 
a half long from east to west, and one mile brood . 
The rocks of micaslate, that form the entrance 
of the port, leave a free passage only two hun- 
dred and fifty toises broad. The water is every 
where from fifteen to tweuty-five iathoms deep. 
It is probable, that the government of Cumana 
will one day take advantage of the possession of 
this inland gulf, and of that of Mochima •f-, eight 
sea leagues east of the bad road of Nneva Bar- 
celona. The family of Mr. Navarete waited for 
us with impatience on the beach ; and, though 
our boat carried a lai^ sail, we did not arrive 
at Maniquarez before night. 

We prolonged our stay at Cumana but a 

• According to Mr, Fidalgo, lut. 10' 35', loog. 0° T 60* 
eafitorCumaou. See aboie, vol. lit, p. 2). 

t Tbis is « loDg Dsrrow guir, three miles fiom north to 
south, similar lo the Jiurd$ of Norway. Lat. at ibe entrauce 
10° 23' 45* i long, 10' west of Curoaua, and 3' west ot Puerto 

fortnight. Having Jost all hope of the arrival 
of a packet from Comana^ we availed onrsdves 
of an Amerioan vessel^ laden at NueraBarcekNia 
with salt provision for the Isle of Guba* We 
had now passed sixteen months on this eoast» 
and in the interior of Venezuela. Althongh we 
had still more than fifty thousand francs left in 
bills of exchange on the first houses at the Ha- 
vannah^ we should have felt a very distressing 
want of funds, if the governor of Cumana had 
not made us all the advances we wished. The 
delicacy of Mr. d'Emparan's conduct toward 
strangers^ who were entirely unknown to him, 
claims the highest praise, and the warmest gra- 
titude. I mention these personal incidents, in 
order to warn travellers not to trust too much 
to the communications between the different 
colonies of the same country. In the state of 
commerce at Cumana and Caraccas in the year 
1799, it would have been easier to make use 
of a draught upon Cadiz or London, than upon 
Carthagena, the Havannah, or Vera Cruz. We 
parted from our friends at Cumana on the 16th 
of November, to make the passage for the third 
time across the gulf of Cariaco to Nueva Bar- 
celona. The night was cool, and delicious. It 
was not without emotion, that we saw for the 
last time the disk of the Moon illuminating the 
summit of the cocoa-trees, that surround the 


bulluoC.tlM MaotaMroi OU'iyM ifimiiiMd 
img find Ob UiM wbhMi eoas^ irlnrp onoe 
nilr m bad W (iwpliiiil of «nr AUov moi. 
The bceen wu Mrong, ud in !«• (Ii*ii «x 
boon wt: Bncband aoar tiM Mmo of Nqen 
Bansdooa, Irherfl Uw ntsel wbioh lnu to take 
Dt to the Hanniiali wai nadjr to wt nil 



Political state of the Provinces of Venezuela. — 
Extent of Territory. — Population. — Natural, 
Productions. — Exterior Commerce. — Commu- 
nications between the different Provinces^ that 
compose the Republic of Columbia. 

Before I quit the coasts of Terra Firma, and 
point out to the reader the political importance 
of Cuba, the largest of the West India islands^ 
I shall collect into one point of view whatever 
may lead to a just appreciation of the future 
relations of commercial Europe with the United 
Provinces of Venezuela. In publishing, soon 
after my return to Germany, the Essai Politique 
sur la Nouvelle-Espagne, I made known at the 
saine time a part of the materials, which I pos- 
sess on the territorial riches of South America. 
This comparative view of the population, agri-^ 
culture, and commerce, of all the Spanish colo- 
nies, was formed at a period, when the progress 
of civilization was shackled by the imperfection 
of social iostitutioDS, the prohibitory system, and 


other fetal errors in the science of govemment. 
Since I develops the immense resoorces, which 
the people of both Americas, eojoyiog natunial 
liberty, might find in their own poution and thdr 
relaUoDs with commercial Europe and Asia, one 
of those great revolntioos, which from dme to 
time agitate the human race, has changed the 
state of society in the vast regions through which 
I passed. The contioental part of the New 
World is at present in some sort divided between 
three nations of European origin; one, the most 
powerful, is of Germannic race ; the two others 
belong by their language, their literature, and 
their manners, to latin Europe. Those parts 
of the ancient world, which project farthest to- 
ward the west, the Iberian Peoinsula and the 
British Islands, are those of which the colonies 
are most extensive ; bnt four thousand leagues 
of coast, inhabited solely by the descendants of 
Spaniards and Portoguese, attest the superiority, 
which in the fifteenth and nxteenth centuries 
the peninsular nations bad acquired by their 
maritime expeditions over the navigators of other 
countries. It may be asserted, that their lan- 
guages, which are spread from CalifDmia as &r 
as the Rio de la Plata, and on the back of the 
Cordilleras as welt as in the forests of the Amazon, 
are monuments of national glory, that will sur- 
vive every political revolution. 
The inhabitants of Spanish and Portuguese 


America form together a population iwice as 
namerous as that of English race. The French^ 
Dutch, and Daniish possessions of the new con- 
tinent are of small extent ; but, to complete the 
general view of the nations, which may have an 
inflnence on the destiny of the other hemisphere, 
we ought not to forget the colonies of Scandina- 
vian origin, who are trj^g to form settlements 
from the peninsula of Alashka as far as Califor- 
uia; and the free Africans of Hayti, who have 
accomplished the prediction of the Milanese 
traveller Benzoni In 1545. The situation of 
the Africans, in an island more than three times 
as big as Sidlyi in the middle of the Mediterra- 
nean of the West Indies, augments their po- 
litical importance. Every friend of humanity 
prays for the developement of a civilization, 
wUcb advances in so calm and unexpected a 
manner. Russian America hitherto less resem* 
bles an agricultural colony, than the factories 
which the Europeans have established on the 
coast of Africa, to the great misfortune of the 
natives, presenting only militaiy posts, stations 
of fishermen, and Siberian hunters. It is no 
doubt a striking phenomenon, to find the rites 
of the Greek church established in one part of 
America; and to see two nations, which in- 
habit the eastern and western extremities of 
Europe, the Russians and Spaniards, thus bor- 
dering on each other on a continent where they 



arrived byiappn^i waysrbnttbeahMStwTCgb 
MMBdl thS niipeopbd<<^)HMB trf>Opholdt and 
KsBiwbatkB.'^tba Willi 0^ MooHidKAnuMd 
br te pK» d^' Ai"fti aad'<he! h iiih iifnw . ujrtu ia 
UtbnM adopted in the SeaadiiianHi ^daloala 
ffthe Nfffii Wurid^ ar»BJbnBUto Aab >«iU liiUd 
tiwttloDtinudMwy. HampaiitfiiilanKtliaVlf 
u Uw iciearebM of pc^Ueal eoMKNaf'we ac- 
eoaibiitf onnelraB ta iii4eatigat»oafytbaiBMa, 
WB oanoot bnt admit, tbi* tiie Amaritaa oow- 
tinent li. diitidid. 'pviiparly spaakibg,' iitldy bis 
twem tbcee grtftt natioiu, of EogiiBli, i^iaiiidi; 
and PortagacK Faee. The firit of theio three 
nMioiia, tjfe Angloatnerioaiu, i» alao, next to the 
EDglvh of Europe, thaitrhich ooven with it's 
flag ijie gteatttt extent of sea. Without any 
diflt^li ooloDies, it's commerce has acqoired a 
growth attained in the ancient world by tfaM 
nation alone, which Comma nicated to North 
America i^s langnage, the spleodoc of itfs lite- 
Eatnne, it's^love of lalMur, it's prediloetioa for 
libqrt|f, awl a part of it's civil iniUtntioiu. 

The En^ish and Portuguese oolonigts have 
pqopled.only th« coastSioppoute to Europej the 
Castillians, on the contrary, from the beginning 
of the conquest, have passed orer the chun of 
the Andes, and made settlements in the oHMt 
western regious. There only, at Mexico, Caa- 
dioamarca, Quito, and Peru, they found traces 
ci andent dvilization, agricultural naUcms, and 


flourisbiiig empires. This ciixsumstance^ togd- 
tber with the growth Of the native moimtaifi 
populatk)D| the dlmest tt€hitiv6 posflession of 
l^t metnllie wealtl^ and Uie cbmikieteial re- 
iatioofr ertablisbed from ihd -b^nnkig of the 
sixtedntfa itentury with the Indian archipelago, 
have i^ten- a peealiar character to the Spanish 
possessions ia equinoxial America. In the cdon- 
tries of the east, the people who fell kM the 
hands of the' English and Portuguese pfamters 
wei^ wandering tribes, or hintera Far from 
forming a portion of the agribuhur&l And bbtt- 
rrkius populaUon, as on the table land of Ana- 
httac,*ali Guatimala, and ia Upper P^u, they 
generally withdrew at the approach of the whites. 
The necessity of labour, the preference given to 
the cultivation of the sugar-cane, indigo, and 
cottoiiK, the cupidity Which often accompanies 
and degrades indOBtry, gave birth to that in- 
famous trade in Negroes^ Uie consequences of 
which have been alike fetal to both worlds. 
Happily,' in the continental part of Spanish 
America, the number of African slaves is so in- 
conaiderable, that, comp&red with the servile 
popnlation of Brazil, or with, that of the southern 
part of the United States, it is found to be in the 
pvoportion of one to fourteen. The whole of 
the Spanish colonies, without excluding the 
islands of Cuba and Portorico, have not, on'a 
aufffiice which exceeds at least by a fifth that of 

I 2 


Enn^, u many Negroes u the ringle stale of 
^^Dia. The Spaniih AmericaaR display ia 
the Doion xif New SpiUD and Gnatiinala the tcde 
example in the torrid >ODe of a nation of nght 
millions of iobatHtaots governed according to 
European institotioDS and laws, eultifatiDg at 
itiM same time BDgar, cacao, wheat, and gnpes, 
and having scarcely a slave torn from the land 
of Africa. 

The pt^nlation of the New Continent yet 
surpasses but litUe that of France or Germany. 
It donbles in the United States in twenty-three 
or twenty-five years ; and at Mexico, even nnder 
' the government of the mother country, it donbles 
in forty or forty-five years. Without indulging 
too flattering hopes of the futore, it may be ad- 
mitted, that in less than a century and ahalfthe 
population of America will eqaal that of Europe. 
This noble rivalship in civilization, and the arts 
of industry and commerce, far from impover- 
ishing the ancient continent, which has been so 
often prognosticated, at the expense of the new, 
will augment the wants of the consumer, the 
mass of productive labour, and the- activity of 
exchange. No doubt after the great revolutions, 
which human societies undergo, the public for- 
tune, which is the common patrimony of civili- 
zation, is found difiierently divided amoug tbe 
nations of the two worlds : but by degrees the 
equilibriam is restored; and it is a fatal, I had 


almost said an impious prejudice, to eottaider 
the growing prosperity of any other part of 6iir 
planet as a calamity for ancient Europe. The 
independance of the colonies will not contri- 
bute to isolate them from the old civilized na- 
tions, but will rather bring them closer. Com- 
merce tends to unite what a jealous policy has 
long separated. It may be added, that it is the 
nature of civilization to go forward, vnthout 
becoming extinct for this reason in the spot that 
gave it birth. It's progression from east to west^ 
from Asia to Europe, proves nothing against this 
axiom. A clear light preserves the same splen- 
dor, even when it illumines a wider space. In<- 
tellectual cultivation, that fertile source of 
national wealth, communicates itself from step 
to step, and extends itself without being dis- 
placed. It's movement is not a migration : and 
if it appear such to us in the east, it is because 
barbarous hordes have seized upon Egypt, Asia 
Minor, and that Greece, heretofore free, the for- 
saken cradle of the civilization of our ancestors. 
The barbarism of nations is the consequence 
of the oppression exercised either by interior 
despotism, or foreign conquest ; and it is always 
accompanied by a progressive impoverishment, 
a diminution of the public fortune. Free and 
powerful institutions, adapted to the interests 
of all, remove these dangers; and the growing 
civilization of the world, the rivalship of labour, 


ftod that of trade^ qn nok th« rain of Mata% khe 
wdfiun- OF wfaieh Bam Aom • ntHBl lovrae. 
FirodDclire aad eoi— crrini Eanpe will pnAt 
inom tbaiM«<onl«r ^ .thii^. Id S^Muk hmm 
riot, as it wooid profit by.tbe imram oC ilh 
eoBiimiptioii, iroin ennti U«t iai0hl:.piit .m 
flod to bBfbarina if Graeee^ wtte ■ortham eoui 
of, Afiioa* Hid in othar ooantries. auHtf/toi^ to 
tbe tyranny of the Ottonwiii. . What mam 
menacM tha pwupwity of .thaanoiwifcpnwrtnntf 
Ib the pralongBtioo of those inleatiiie Mrngglfli^ 
which stop productioD, and diminlab atthewme 
time, tbe nomber and waDts of tbe aonBannn. 
Tbaa struggle, b^un in Spaaiah America, wt 
years after my departure,, is drawing gradaally 
to an end. . We sball . soon see indepmdwt 
natioq^ ruled by very different forms of goyerfr 
ment, bat uuited by the remembrnncQ f^ a 
oommon ori^^n, the uniformity of laDgoaga, 4Pd 
the wants to vbicb civiliyidion giyes ris^ ior 
bahittbe two shores of the AManUc, UnaylM 
said, tbat tbe immeu«e progress. of the arl-oT 
navigation has oarroved tht] basin of the was. 
The Atlantic Ocean already appears to nsia Uie 
form of a narroir channel, which as little re- 
moves the New World from the commerciel 
States of Europe, as tbe basin of the Mediterra- 
nean, in the iuiancy of navigation, removed the 
Greeks of Peloponnesus from those of Ionia, 
Sicily, and the Cyrenaic r^oo. 


It appeared to me proper to state these ge« 
neral eoiiBiderations on the future obtinecUbti ttjt 
the two centineDts^ befdre I tracisd the political 
akAch of the provinces of Vekiezoelai of which 
I have made kndwn the diflhretii races of meti; 
the spbntahtous and coltiTated prodnctioiiSi the 
inequalities of the ^ soil, and the interior cOiii. 
munications. These provlnceis, ^veraed ^tili 
1810 by a captaid genehtl resMtog at Garaccab, 
are now united 'to the aoeieht vioerojalty :0f 
New Grenada^or Santa F^ by «he niime bf the 
Repnblic tf Colnmbia^ I shall not anticipate 
the jSMcrip^km, which I mnSt give hereafter bf 
Ne#6pcBada; 4>vt, .in Order to rcttider Iny bb«> 
servations on- the statistics, bf Venezaela ihdfe 
Qsefol tb those, who ^al4 }ud^ of the politidal 
impoittemce of the . country, smd the advantages 
it may ofier to the> trade of Btlrope, even in it*6 
preseoft . little advanced state of cultivation, I 
shall describe the United Provinces of Venezuela 
in. their intimate relatioiis With Cundinamarcsl, 
fir New Grenada^ and as forming part of the 
kiew ^te of Gotumbia; This sketch will ne- 
cesaajily comprehend five divisions ; the extent, 
popnlatidn, prodnletionS, trade, and pubKd re- 
venna . A part of the stat.emeilits, which will 
jienre to form this view, having been indicat^kl 
in. the preceding chapters, I shall be condi^e ita 
noting tfafe general results. Mr. Botipland atid 
I passed nearly three years in the country, which 


DOW fitrnu Uifc: territory of jthe.vefMibUD of Co- 
InmbMi; ditaen imnths in Vooaoirtt; «ad tigh-. 
¥«ea In Neir Granada. We^ionedlhtAarritovy 
in it's wbole extent t OB onB>hnBd'bon >1mb 
raonpttini of Faria u far. at, Emer^da on thi 
Upper Onwadco* andSanX^ado idVioHtgnt 
sitn«te ttqw dw frootwra ofiBisnUi anAoaCho 
other* from lUo Sinn and Oarthagwia «>&» an 
]tbeiDO>iry aamnnti of QinUi, the port of 'Gaay*^ 
nqiul.oatheooast of the Faofic ocean, and the 
banks of the Araason in tbe prorince Of Jaen 
de QracamonM. So long a stay, and an e^e- 
dition of one thonaand three hundred sea leagues 
^D the interior of tbe oonatry, of which nHwe than 
six hnndred and fifty wen made. by water, have 
furnished me with a pretty exact knowledge oi 
local drannutanoes. I will not, howerer, flatter 
mysielf with having collected as oumerons and 
certain EtaUstical materials on Veneinela and 
New Grenada, aa those which were afforded me 
by a much shwter stay in New Spaio. We are 
leas indooed to discoss qneaUons of political 
economy ia ooontries merely agricultnral, and 
which present several centres of authority, than 
where tbe coDceotrated civilization of a great 
capital, and tbe immense product of mines, 
accustom men to the commercial estimation of 
natural wealth. I found in official documents 
at Mexico and Peru a pait of the statements, 
which I wished to procure. It was otherwise at 


Qoito, Santa F&, and Caraccas, where an io-^ 
terest in statistical researches will be developed 
only through the eiy oyment of an independent 
government. They who are accostomed to ex* 
amine ciphers before they admit thdr truth 
know, that in^ newly founded free states delight 
is taken in exaggerating the increase of the pub- 
lic fortune ; while in old colonies the list of 
evils, which are all attributed to the influence 
of the prohibitory system, is augmented. The 
people seem to avenge themselves of the mother 
country, when they exaggerate the stagnation 
of trade, and the slow progress of population. 

I am not ignorant, that travellers, who have 
recently visited America, regard this progress as 
far more rapid than the numbers on which I 
have fixed in my statistical researches seem to 
indicate. For the year 1913 they promise one 
hundred and twelve millions of inhabitants in 
Mexico, of which they believe that the popula- 
tion is doubled every twenty-two years ; and for 
the same epocha one hundred and forty millions 
in the United States*. These numbers, I con- 
fess, do not affright me from the motives, that 
would alarm the zealous disciples of the system 
of Malthus. Two or three hundred millions of 
men may very possibly find subsistence one day 
in the immense extent of the new continent 

• Robinson* 9 Memoirt on the Mexican Revolution, Vol. ii, p. 316. 


tMtwMn the lake of NIolMgoa add lake O*- 
tarioL I admits tbat tbe UniMd 8mw «BI 
eoBlMD abon eight)r odUiOU «f ItdaWttiM > 
Imiidnd .jwan henea, -ttllovteg a 'iHNV'aMM* 
ohange in tbe period, ef donbUbf frow t w ea tj f 
Am-tothitt^ftteaadfoftf jtcan; bM^ DoliritbL 
•taadia^ kkeekmentaMf pcMperil^* IM fintid ill 
cqabtiodd AmeriBa»iioUrilfartakdltig tlMHtMoitt, 
nUdi J a» wSUingits iUrftatealnMlltNkeeMty 
lo .the new ■ KyubBcan gsfWumiutitSamitik 4n 
tiie.watfa.aBd eb the Aorth of tha equator, I 
doabt Tfactber tbe increase of the popalatiofi io 
Venezuela, l^panUbGuyfuia, New G}naada,tiMt 
Mexico* caa be in gfeneral ao rapid as in tiie 
United States. Tt^ latter, . ^aate entirely in 
Ihe tenperate lone, destitute of high obsina of 
saoontains, offer an immeaie extentof coantry of 
sasy coltivatioa. The bordes of Indian bnntem 
jreoede before the planters, vhonk they abboi^, 
attd tite metbodist misBJonaries, who oppose thdr 
taste for indolence and a yagabond life. The 
noraJertileland Of Spanish Anerifa ytodwW s 
iadeed .on tlie same sariaee a greMer balk of 
autritive snbaianees.^. No-donbtoift the taMe 
lands of the eqainisial r^oo wheat yield» an- 
noaJly from twenty to twenty^foar for one ; but 
Cordilleras furrowed by almost inaccessible cre- 
vices, bare and arid steppes, forests tbat 1*6081 
both tbe axe and fire, and an atmosphere full of 
yenomoQS insects, will long oppose powerfol 


tibAacles to agricoUare and iodastiy. The most 
enterprising and robnst planters cannot ad?ance 
in the monntainons distriotsuf Merida, Antio* 
quia, and. km Ftotos^in tbe.Uanos of Venezuela 
and Gnoviare^ in the foresto of Bio Magdalena, 
the Oroonoko^ and the province <tf las Esmeral- 
das, west of Qnito, as they have extended thw 
agricnltnral conquests in the woody plains on 
the west of the Altegbanies^ from the sources of 
the Obioythe Tennesee^ and the Alabama, as Cmt 
as the banks, of the Missonry and the Arkansas, 
in calling, to mind the account of my voyage on 
the Oroonoko, we may appreciate the obstacles, 
which the force of nature. opposes .to the efforts 
of man in burning and humid climates. In 
Mexico, large extents of 8<h1 are destitute of 
springs ;. rains seldom fall, and the want 4>f 
navigable rivers impedes communication.- As 
the ancient native population isagricultural,^ and 
had been so long before the arrival of the Spa-- 
mards, the lands of more ea&y access and cnl- 
tivation have already .their pcY>prieU>rs. Fertile 
countries of vast extent, at the disposition of 
,the. first occupier^ or ready to be sold in lots for 
the profit of tlie state, are much less common 
than is imagined in Europe., Hence it follows, 
that the progress of colonization cannot be every 
where as free and rapid in Spanish America, as 
it has be^n hitherto in the western provinces of 
the Angloamerican union. The population . of 


that UDion h CotfpMed wholly of vbites, and of 
Negroes, irbo, torn from tbdr conotry, or tdm 
IB tbt Nov World, are beooma the inMmnients 
of Uw iodtutiy of the white*. la Mcnco, Gtta>^ 
timalot Quito, aod Peru^ in the contrary, there 
exist in onr day more than fire mllfiiMift mod A 
half of natives c^ ct^per-eoloared racc^ whose 
isolated pcwitioa, partly forced and partly Tolan- 
tary, attachment to ancient habits, and mlatnisu 
fnl inflodUlity of diaracter, will kmg prevent 
thdr participation in the progress of the pnbUo 
prosperity, ootirittistuidiDg; the artifices em* 
ployed to ^smdianixe them. 

I dwell OD the difibrences between the free 
states of temperate and eqainoxial America, to 
show, that the latter bare to strn^le with ob- 
stacles cod nected with their phyucal and moral 
situation ; and to remind tbe reader, that the 
coantries embellished by nature with the most 
varied aod precious -productioiis, are not always 
sosc^ible of an easy, rapid, and uniformly 
extended cuttivatjon. If we investigate tbe 
limits, which tbe popnlation may attain, as de- 
pending solely on the quantity of subsistence, 
that the land can produce, the most simple 
calculations would prove the preponderatice (rf 
the communities established in the fine regions 
of the torrid zone ; hut political economy, or 
the positive science of government, distrusts 
ciphers and vaiti alKtractions. We kuow, that 


by the tnaltiplicaiioQ of one family only, a cofi 
tinent previously desert may i^eckon in the Space 
of eight centaries more thaii eight Bullions of 
inhabitants ; and yet these estimations, founded 
on the hypothesis of a constant doubling in twenty- 
five or thirty years, are contradicted by the his- 
tory of every country already advanced in civik 
ization. The destinies, which await the free 
states of Spanish America, are too glorious, to 
stand in need of being embellished by illusions^ 
and chimerical calculations. 

Area and Population. — ^To fix the attention of 
the reader on the political importance of the 
ancient Capitania general of F'eneztiela, I shall 
begin by comparing it with the great masses, in 
which the various nations of the New Continent 
are now grouped. It is by rising to more general 
views, that we may hope to throw some interest 
on the detail of those statistical data, which are 
the variable elements of national prosperity and 
power. Among the thiity-four millions of in- 
liabitants spread over the vast surface of con- 
tinental America^ in which estimate the savage 
«ind native inhabitants are comprised, wc dis- 
tinguish, according to the three preponderant 
-iracesy sixteen millions and a half in the posses- 
sions of the Spanish Americans, ten millions in 
t^hose of the Angloamericans, and nearly four 
inillions in those of the Portuguese Americans. 
The population of these three great divisions is. 


in our <b^. in the pnqiordon of '4y 2 |U 1 1 
wbUe Uic eirtmt of sdc&mv d> whiohrtUepopiM- 
1a(ioa/l«jprewl,i8,a»tlM nnoiben I'tfvO^*"!* 
Tbe>«na^. the Uiuted Slates I» nmrlj a fiiartk 
IpMtw tku thar of Rmna ontha mUaf tke 
Unlian maantaina ;-aad Spsniob Amarioa ia ift 
tba! naoa proporUm Mm fsteaeiva.-thhB tbt 
Tfaok of EDiope. The Uatted Staitt • ooilluri 
Are. eighth! of the popo1ati«a of the SpabiBb pea> 
Beidea%; andr yot lAicdr area ta not eae bAlf.aa 
lat^ Brasil comprehends ttacta ctf cmMtr^ so 
desert toward the west, that, in an' extent only a 
third less than, thttt of Spanish America, it^i 
population is iir the proportioA> of oat to.ftmr. 
The followii^ table ooatalos the results of ad 
attempt, whidi I made coDJoiotly wiUi Mr. Mar 
thien, member of the Academy of Scnences abd 

•. Ta Aiaid.litmoBM oiraiimlooatioiu, tdt^- eonliMM M 
dMignMle io dbyiji w»r^, lotwiltutandiiig the politicid changes 
whicji haw takjBn pUce ip the lUle o( the cdoniea, the coaatej 
inhabited by the SpmiA Awurkau, by the denomiaatioD cf 
^viitk Awmktt. I' call tha conntry of the Ai^immaitaMt 
tbn Vmtti Statu, without addiiif of North Jmtrka, tlOnrngk 
other ttiitti Stain are formed io South Amerioa. It i» 
eatharraiaiog,^ talk of nataoiM, who act a great part« 
BtageAfthe world, without having coUeclive names. The 
term American can no longer be applied solely to the citin»» 
or the United States of North America; and it were to be 
wished, that the aomenol^tire of the indepepdant natiooa of 
the New Continent should be fixed id a nuuiDerat ooce «on- 
venieot, harmonions, and precise. 


of the Bureau des longitudes, to estimate by 
precise methods the extent of the surfoce of the 
various states of America. We made use of 
maps^ on which the limits had been corrected^ 
according to the stat^ntnts published in my 
Recueil d^ Observations astronomiques. Our 
scales were in general sufficiently large^ not to 
neglect spaces from ftnir to five leagues square. 
We observed this degree of precision, that we 
mj^bt not add the uncert9Jnty of the measure of 
triaQgleSt,tr»pe;^ams9 and the sinuosities of. the 
coasta^.tOk that o£ the uncertainty of geographical' 

■^— - 

til ■ . I I 



ia tqoare leagnet 

of 20 to an 



I. PoisesflioDsof the Spaniih Amc- 


Mexico or New Spaiq . . . 


Caba and Portorico 

r Veoezaelai, 

(kflumbia <, New Qrenada 

C and Qaito 



Baenos.A^-res , , 

U. Possessions of tite Portuguese 
Americaos ( Braail) 

in. Possessions of the Anglo- 
americaas (United States) . . . 

























1 romiDthe whole extent of South Amerin, ttUngftrtte 
Hmlt the eutcm extremltj of Oie Frorlnce ofPuiinH, to be 
671 jSBO aqnue lesgties ; of whidi Uie Spulah put, dut iv 
Golnmbui (wtihont the istfamtu of I^num and the proviBce 
of Verogna), Fern, Chili, and Buenos Ayrea (witboot the 
Magellanic lands), compiiae 271,774 square leaguees the 
Fortngneae posieiriom, 206,990 square lea^nea ; the Bngtiah, 
Dutch, and French Gnyana, 11,S») square leagues; and 
the lands of FatagooUkj south of Rio Hegto, 81,206 sqoare 
leegnes. The fbUowing nnmbeis, indicating great extcnto 
of enrfoce, may B«ive as tenns of ^ imperuon *. Bnnqie, 
304,700 square leagues ; Russian empire in Europe and 
Asia, 608,100 square leagues; Eoropean part of flia Rna- 
stan empire, 138,116 square leagues; United Staiea of 
America, 174,310 aqoore leagues. Hie whole of thoae es- 
timates are made in square leagues of .twcn^ to an equa- 
torial degree, or 2858 toises. I have adopted this measun 
in the Penanal Narratitt of my Toysge, because nantical 
leagues, of three miles each, would be more easily adopted 
uniformly, as a gct^taphicol measure, among the commer- 
cial nations of Spanish America, than the ItguM Ugattt and 
legua* comntunei uf Spain, which ore twenty-six and a half, 
and nineteen to a degree. In the Bolilkal Euoji oa the 

■ Sceuotc B, at the end of the Mh Book. 


Rtgdom of New Sptun^ the saxhces are indicaled in square 
leaguea of twenty-five to a degree^ as they are for the moat 
part in the statistical works publi^ed in France* X repeat 
the&d statements^ because sereral modem antbors> while 
^ey have copied the estimates of snrftices contained in the 
PoUUcal EsiOff, have confounded^ in their reductions, the 
leagues of twenty-five to a degree with nautical and geo- 
graphical leagues; a confosion as lamentable as that of the 
centigrade uid octogesimal scales of the thermometer. By 
the side of an invariable element, that of the ores, depending 
on the degree Af precision of the map which I constructed, 
I have placed a very uncertain element, that of population. 
The foUovrf'kg statements will throw light on this sulijeet, 
which may ycmtr have been reasonably called plenum oyui 
alect. In the study of political economy, ciphers, like the 
elements of meteorology and astronomical tables, can only 
progressively acquire precision, and we must stop most fre- 
quently at numben wiihin certaki Umt9. 



Msxicc I believe I have proved in another place from 
positive data, that the population of the Viceroyalty of New 
Spain in 1804, including the prwmciat huemas and Yucatan, 
but not the capitania general of Guatimala, contained at least 
6,840,000 inhabitants, of which 2,500,000 are natives of 
copper-coloured race; 1,000,000 of Mexican Spaniards, 
and 76,000 Europeans. I even announced {Essai poiHique, 
Tom. i, p. 66—76), that the population in 1808 would be 
nearly 6,600,000, two or three fifths of it, or 3,260,000, 
being Indians. The intestine wars, which have long agi- 
tated the governments of Mexico, Vera Cruz, Valladolid, and 
Guanaxuato, have no doubt retarded the progress of the 
annual increase of the Mexican population, which at the 
time of my stay in the country was probably more than 
150,000 (Eisot pol, torn, i, p. 62^64). The proportion of 

VOL. vu K 

UtUk tb ttft pttlMnni ftfl^iUn to be ini 19 MWItMM ; 
UWUMbfatknik Mb Id nSlJF. n IUBnitBll|f ni^ ri^|&ltCh 
)|<W cUr ik UIMM air i ttDMIi « UbBMill, I WIM 
I WtvbnUlliitd Ugn teuMifJn tlA nB{ni df flb6M ^d^dkr 
^'1H^n^1 Hwiwij vUdn iwHs tBtcf nfltW too wwUil^ vt falnUj 
wUinWMi, ns ipicintan. lociMMirt mUd Vt nfl vMUHiy 
HMlf 'bM MMutty proWs^ ttU tlte 'C^UMtti I IbMMM 
tWuVo ycftrt spi BR not flir Inin lln tnitn. Dqh' ffnMlMD 
Nsnfli>irW<>>Ut$>IU)>dllUW tt lUsIM <M MjMli af 
n flkUidnfiTC bcjinty hilo tlH mttiber tlf ciMM y AteiHcr 
or ^^^^' ^ IK cnuDitei hR |i6^finilitRi of OM tMHttf B 
l810Kt«.lt8,Mf. (CWalt«adalMnr«lW9W«cMMlfiw#c 
b^dbi, ISlS/p. M; kad JKqiMiM ifc m JMfcmo al n* 
too (M CUwrwI. p. T). llie nnw author, naUed bjUa 
office tn the finuieM (Cmiodar tfa lo* romot St aHitrifm) to 
etiuMm the itafiattc Mttemtata on the spot, Hunla (JVeMfr- 
rto M&re fa poft/odM d* ffMva Ek^dla, Sftxkv 1B14, and 
ABwuMria pofiltco y Ruraho de la Nmna Etpdta, n\ SO, p. M) 
tiiatin 1810 die population of New Spain, without tnclnding 
the pnmnces of QttiXltnala, Wat compoaed of the foUowii^ 

1,0BT,M8 Baropcaas and Amarioan ^aniard*. 

9jtn,tBl iDdknt. 

l,^M,T0e of ihized rate. 
4,MBiKcdlar ecdalkatiea. 
3,m eecteaiaitiea ttf the regvUr dergy. 


I km {Ddiaed to beliere, that New Spun haa at preant 
iMarly Mfven mHliona of iohBbilaDta, and this ia dao tke 
opinion of a respectable prelate, the arcfabtihc^ of Modeo, 
'don Jose de Foate, wbo haa travelled thnnigfa a eouidenUe 
part of hb diocese, and whoia [ liad noently the bonour «f 
-ae^Dg agafa] at Paiia. 


CNjattmala. 11m Gwmlvy* which hat been hitherto (W^ 
tignated as a kia|[pdom, co m pria e a fhe ftwr bkhopHea oC 
Chuttmala, Leon de Nican^§pui> Chiapa or Chulad lleal» a^d 
GoaMyagua or Houduras. A numbering made in 1778 hf 
the aeonkr cofemmcnt, which wai Idndly comnmniciated 
to me by Mr. IM Barrio (depnied to the 6ortea rf Madrid 
beibre Hm declaration of the iadependtnee of Mexico), gave 
only apopnhition of 797,214 inhabitan^t $ bnl don Dominge 
Jaarroe« the learned antlior of the Campeadb dela kiitorkt d$ 
G^atemah, pnbliahed snoeesshrely in 18M— 1918* haa 
proved, that thia reaolt ia very iaacearate (vol. i^ p. 8 and 
81). Hie nnmberinga made at tiie tame period by order 
of the hiahopa gave «bove a tiurd more. During my stay 
at Mexico, the population of Gnatimala, where the Indiana 
are extremely nnmerona, was eompolad from oflOMsial docn- 
menta at 1,108,000 ; and it ia now estimated by penona, to 
iviKun the localitiea are well known, at two milliona. Beii^ 
tlwaya desirous of stopping at numbers erring on the de^ 
ficient aide, I have reckoned the population only at 1,000,000. 

Cuba and PoxToaico. The population of the great island 
of Portorico is little known ; it has much increased sinee 
the year 1807, when it was computed at 136,000 inhabitants^ 
^f which 17,500 were slaves. The census of the island of 
Cuba gave in 1811, as we have said above, 800,000 in- 
habitants, of which 212,000 were slaves. (Documenios de que 
htuta ahora se compone el egpediente sobre tot negros de la isla 
de Cuba, Madrid, 1817, p. 189.) In another official do- 
cument much more recent (Reclamassion liecka por los Repre^ 
Mentania de Cuba contra le ley de aranceles, Madrid, 1821, 
p. 6), the total population is computed at 680,080 souls. 

Columbia. The seven provinces, which heretofore formed 
the CapiUmia general of Caraccas, had, at the banning of 
the 19th century, at the moment when the revolution burst 
forth, nearly 800,000 inhabitants, according to the ma- 

X 2 


toiUi wUeh I odlwtad. 11k« nwAeriili an not « total 
nmnientiaa noMle by the Mcnkr power, bat putial MtiBBtat 
veHf, fDondad puflr m the < rtwMii ti of a« ctegr ud 
miiriamriai, ud pvdjoa eoaridentfaM of the eonmiip- 
tioD, and ttie gratw or tcH adTmced iMb of cnltimiMi. 
P^noni emplt^vd ia the gorenuMat of Cmicoh, and par' 
tknhilf a man wril inftimied in finaatial matlen, doo 
Hamid Natante, an officer olA* rojal treaMry at Cibmiib, 
'Mdatad me io tbi» task. Tha period to wbk^ It pwe up 
Ksdera It Ugbly inlaretting. It ii a poiiit from wUdt tbe 
lacreue of the popolBtkHi nace the acqidsUkm of Ubairwd 
e daj be ettlmated. Thta iacreaie, 
t be fidt, tin Ooae flue conaMea aic 
mtorcd to internal tranqoiUity. INMiiUy at the time when 
thii woHt ^ipcars, Ae popnlatloa may be nmewbat leu than 
in 1800. The armies have not been nnmeroos, bnt they 
hare deaolated the beit cultirated conntries on the coast, and 
the neigfaboaring Talleys. The earthqtulu of the S6th of 
Mxtdt, ISIS (Ste above, vol. Iv, p. IS), the eindemic fevn* 
that premiled in 181B (rol. v, p. 761), the aiming of the 
bladu, eo imprudently &ToiiTed by tbe roysliat party, the 
emigntion of many wealthy ftmiliei to the Wect lodii 
ulauda, aad a long stagnation of trade, have alimented the 
public mlsoy. 

JVocMMc* ^ Cidaaaa and AarM&MM 110,000 aouls. 

lam in poeaesnon of a numbering made in 
Vm, wliich is at least one sixth in error, 
and which gives 86,088 soula, of whidi 
4S,01ft were Indians ; namely, 27,787 de 
docMaa, or inhabitants of villages that have 
a vicar of tbe secular clergy, and 14,828 de 
ffliftioM, or governed by missionary monks. 
I compute in ISOO for the province of Cu- 
mana, or New Andalusia, 60,000 : and for 
the province of Barcelona, (>0,000. 

133 . 

Pnn>meeofCaraecaM., 370«<MK> 

The valley of Caucagua and tbe sanui* 
naha of Ocumare were reckoned Ui 1801, to . 
contain 30)000 ; the town of Caraccas, and 
the valleys of Chacao, Petare, Mariches, and 
lofl Teques^ 00/)00 ; Portocabello» Guayra, 
and the whole shore from ci^ Codera as 
fiur as Aroa, 25^000 ; the valleys of AxagatLf 
52,000 ; le Toy, 30,000 ; the districts of 
Carora, Ban{uesuneto» Tocuyo, and Gnanare, 
64,000 ; S. Felipe, Nirgoa, Aroa and the 
neig^hbouring plains, 84,000 5 the llanos of 
Calabozo, San Carlos, Aiaure, and San Joan 
Baptista del Fto, 40,000. These partial 
estimates, which comprise almost all the 
inhabited paits, yield a total of only 816,000. 

Pr<mn€eofCoro 82,000 

ProvinceofMaraeayho{,wUhMendaandTr 140,000 

Provmee of Varmtu 75,000 

Prooince of Ouayana 40,000 

A numbering in 1780, the results of which 
I found in the archives of Angostura (Santo 
Tom^ de la Nueva Guayana), gave 10,616 
inhabitants; 1,479 whites, 16,409 Indians, 
020 blacks, 1018 pardot and zambat (people 
of mixed race). 
Island of Margaretta 18,000 

Total 785,000 X 

Perhaps, even at the period at which I stop, the population 
of the two provinces of Caraccas and Maracaybo, and that 
of the island of Margaretta (Brown's Nairatvae, 1819, p.ll8)^ 
were somewhat exaggerated ; Mr. Depons, however, who 
had alike access to the returns made by the vicars to the 
bishops, estimates the province of Caraccas only, including 
the province of Varinas, at 600,000 (Vo^ag^ d la Tent 
Ferme, torn, i, p. 177). The villages are extremely po« 


pnlooi ia the pnrriaaea at Huwxytio, bath BW it tbt kke^ 
udinthonwOBlidBi ofMcridkwadTnMtllB. Am^Oe 
780.000, or BOOyOM iBh rij Hwi U , wUA m% Bay. i^poae 
In the O^itcadn ««wpbI «f ONOCMki ISSQ, 1b«M were 
probdUr muYj 4M,M0 UkDhm of pan Mw. The «flkbd 
docnmoito * gtTe«i;W» fcr ttaprorinw af Cul— <»,0W> 
ofthanfertbeiolMl0M«rOntpedne)i «>0«tftr flu 
proTiii«iofBM«dMMf«f«Ueh1H.«M us ia *a afMioni 
of FIritoo) ; S4,000 lilt the pMttaee of QoifUft {tet is, 
VJfiOa ID the miariMM of Ohobj. ^WW fti All of the 
Oroonoko, uaA vmAj t«,00» IMtag ia ■ alite of %iJBpea 
dues la flie Bdta of the Oraoarik* «bA ta >Ae tm \ M a). 
TheM 5tatemeiilBaanceto'pR)Te,fiMt'twDmba-«f oopper- 
colonred Indiom la the Capitania feiteral k neither 7t,B00 
nor 280,000, u it has veeendjr been emmeooify uaerted, 
(DepoM. torn. 1, p. 118; MaHe-Brm. ^eogr-. Ioib- n 
p. 649), The flm of tfaeie authon, who etfbaMet the told 
popalBlua at oiOf TMfiW, iwtad of 800.000, faM tia- 
gnladf eraggnated the nnnibcr of- aUvei. He redtom 
S18«400 <tom. i, p. 341). TUs mtmber k tOma^ torn 
limes too great (See above, vol. ill, pw 483). Accocding to 
partial estifaiates, made by three penooa to whom the I»- 
6alities were well known, doo Andres B«Bo, doa Zioni* 
Xx)pe>, and don Manuel Palado F&xardo, in 181S, Iheie 
existed 62,000 slaves at the utmost, of whom there veie 
10,000 at Caraccas, Chacao, Petara, Banita, Muidtes, 
' Guarenos, Guatlre, Antimano, La Vega, l^M Teqnea, 

San Pedro, and Bndare. 
18,000 at Ocutnare (las Sabanas), Yare, Santa Locia, 

Santa Teresa, Maria, Caneagna, Capaym, l^npa, 

Tacarigua, Mamponil, Panaqnire, Rio Chico, 

Gnapo, Cupira, and Curiepe. 
6,000 at Ouayos, Son Mateo, Victoria, Cagua, Sscobel, 

Tnnnero, Maracay, Guacara, Gntgne, Valencia, 

Puerto Cabello, aud San Diego. 

* Ste note C, at the end of the 9th Book. 

3flQ0 at 6uayra,Choroni,Ocumare>Chiiao, and Burburata. 

4^000 at San Carlos, Nirgua^ Sap Felipe, Llanos de Bar- 

quesimeto, Carora, Tocuyo^ Araure> Ospinos, Gua« 

Dare, Villa de Cura, San Sebastian, and Calabozo. 

22,000 at Cumana, Nueva Barcelona, Varinas^ Maracaybo, • 
and in Spanish Guyana. 

The number of Spanish Americans probably amgonts only 
toSOO,000; that of whites bom ii| Europe, to 12,000 ^ 
whence would result for the whole ancient Co^'tonta ge- 
neral of Caraccas, the proportion of 0*51 mixed (mulattoes, 
zamboes, and mestizes), 0*26 Spanish Americans (creole 
whites), Q-l<^ |o4w«> PP« Nc^prp^ n^^ ppi £un>|ieafis. 

With respect W if^p kiqgdom pf ^fm ©rw^,**/ 1 ^^ ^ 
the numbqipgs of 1778, which gaye 747,641 for the audi- 
eucia of Santa F^ ; and 531,790 JFor t)iat of Quito. Now, 
^PP<>*>9S^ only one seventh omitted^ aifd adding Qf^y 0*018 of 
annual increase, we find in 1800^ fin^m the most moderate 
suj^sitious, above two millions. Mr. Caldas, well informed 
of tl^ p9)itical state of his native country, reckoned three 
millions in 1808 (Semanario de Santa-Fe, No. 1, p. 2-— 4). 
But it is to be feared, that this learned writer greatly ex- 
aggerati^d the number of independei^ f ndiaiis. I find, after 
matufie examination of the jpa^f l^i? I possess, the popula- 
tion «f the republic of Colun^bi^ to be 2,785,000. This 
estimate is less than that of the president of the congress, 
who, in the proclamation of the 10th of January, 1820, 
reckons 3 1 millions } and it is rather more than that which 
Wiis officially published in the €i4izeta de Colombia of the 
10th of February, 1822, and whioh I know only from the 
journals of Buenos Ayres. 

Dbpantmbnts. Pkovinces. Population. 

(Cumana 70,000 
Barcelona 44,000 
Guayana 45,000 
Margaretta 15,000 



At the same period (1822), for two provinces of Column 
bia» the deputies of which were not then arrived at the 
Congress^ were reckoned, 

Panama 60,000 

Veragua 80,000 


The departments of JBojraca, Cundinamarca, Cauca, and 
Hagdalena, form, with Panama and Veragna,. the ancient 
oudieMcia of Santa-Fe} that is. New Grenada, without In- 
eluding the/^eticfeactao/Qaii/o. Total population; 1,937,200, 

""Quito 230,000 

Quixoaand Macas 36,000 



of Quito. 

Cuenca 78,0(K> 

Jaen de Bracamoros .... 18,006 

Mahias 66,000 (!) 

Loxa 48,000 

^Guayaquil 90,000 


There results from these data of the official Gazette of 
Columbia, for the three great divisions of the ancient vice* 
royalty of Santa F^, 

Vbnbzubla 766,000 \ 

Nbw GaiiirADA 1,327,000 

Quito 650,000 




This total estimate nearly accords with that which 1 had 
published twelve years before in my PoUtical Essay on New 
Spam (vol. ii, p. 861). It is not founded on an actual 
numeration, but *' on the reports made by the deputies of 
each province to the congress of Columbia, to settle the 
law of elections/' (El Argos de Buenos Aytes,^'' 0, Nov^m- 


t>cf tUS, p. I, uid CUbhAm. Mv « <Ui«iMJ oHwwt ^ 
«t«/aHwlry,18t9, niLi,p,W&). The co^nv mI l»Tiis 
becD ^a to coimlt the depntiea of OKito, thi iMtpdaHea of 
Uwt prwMwefa bM ptolwblr ban cttioiatod «oo low. It 
i« ghm ia the officU Qtnltt atadj tbe wme ■> h wh 
foudn 1178, while Ibe cetfanate of the oedlwKM of Swte 
Ft g nWi— incrcaee io 4Sj«e» of mora then —• It it to be 
hoped, that an eauDeratioB made with precidoo will soon 
tlluIpKte the doiAta we cotertala od the statlitica ef ColBm- 
Ua. It appaan to me probaUe^ that, netwithataidbig the 
devaatatkni of war, the pepolatloti wtD be foead above 


Fnu. The eatimate of tite ptqndBtion indicated in tbe 
table la sot too bi^. The worlu printed at Liiae (Aaa 
poHtiea M Ftrejmeto M Pari pari tl ano IK*, pt^linda 
p9r la Sodedad acadtmiea dt lot j^mtmtet del papa) aatliuaUd 
the popolatioB, thirty yean ago, at a million of inlkaUtauta, 
of wUeb«M,000 wei«Indiaaa,949,M0 meatizoca, aad 40,000 
elarea. Tlie iidiabited part of tbe country haa a earfacc of 
only 98,S90 aquarc Icaguea j end a large and fcrtile pan 
of Upper Peni baa beloived ever dnce 177? tp thei4oe- 
Tojwlif of BnepM Ajtm. 

C«cu. An enumeration, jgoide ia 1B13, gave 880,001 
aoob. Mr. dTriaarri, yitio fiPa aa important office ia tbe 
gorcnunent of GhUi, Uiinlia, that tbe population may already 
baTe attained 1,200,000. 

BnaNoe AYita. According to the official documenta 
communicated to Mr. Rodney, one of the cornmiarfoDen 
aent by ttie prealdent of the United States to Rio de la Plata 
in 1817, the population wtta two millions. At that period 
it waa found to be 965,000, exclusive of llie Indiana.- 91m 
number of natires ia extremely conolder^le in Upper Pere, 
that is, in the ProvbwitK de la Sierra, which htAoag to tiM 


state of BuenoB Ayres. Th^ official retunu eatimatecl (he 
Indians alolie^ in tlie province of Buenos Ayres^ at 190^000 ^ 
in that of Cordova^ at 25^000 j in the intendanoe of Cocha- 
bamba, at 371^000 -, in that of Potosi^ at 230^000 ; and in 
that of CharcaSf et IM^OOO. The inhabitants of every de- 
scription (Indians, mestizoes^ and whites;, in the province 
of Faz alone, were computed at-409^K)0. 

From these statements it results^ that in son^ districts 
the returns had included the whole populati^; and in 
others the number of whites, mnlattoes, and mestizoes only, 
excluding fiie natives of copper-coloured race. Now, con- 
fiiing ourselves to the eight provinces of the first description 
ooAy (namely, Buenos Ayres, Cordova, Cochabamba, Potosi, 
Charcas, Santa Cruz, la Pto, and Paraguay), we obtain 
1^805,000 souls. The pA>vinces and districts of Tucuman, 
Santiago dd Estero, the Valley de Catamarca, Rloja, San 
Juan, Mendoza, San Luis, Jujuy, and Salta, arc wanting 
hi this amotmt. As they contain, according to other re- 
turns, near 330,000 souls, exclusive of the Indians, we 
cannot doubt, that the total population of the ancient vice- 
Toyalty of Buenos Ayres, or la Plata, already comprises two 
millions and a half of inhabitants of all descriptions. (.Message 
Jrom the President of the United States at the commencetnent of 
the session of theJifteenXk Congress^ Washington, 1818, p. 20, 
41, and 44). The very particular estimates* obtuned by 
ICr. Brackenridge, secretary to the mission of the United 
States at Buenos Ayres, and published in a work replete 
with philosophic views, give to Upper Peru alone, that is, 
to the four intendencles of Charcas, Potosi, La Paz, and 
Cochabamba, a popiflation of 1,716,000. ^ 

Unitsd Statbs. According to the increase hitherto ob- 
served, the population of the United States will amount, at 


* See fiote 13. atthe end of ttic 9th Book. 


dw eomiBeiicemeiit of Oc jrcv 18SS. to 10flao.V90i of 
Unw 1 .a>a,OW bdi% iIbtm. • It «M ftmnd fa 

1700 sn^oiOO (imoertaln}. 

17SS ' 1,040.000 C{Aii,Hr.FUiii). 

1T74 S,141,MT (trfta. Got. RurhOD. 

ITW 3,910,nB (flnt cert^ noubtOagt. 

taoo 6.3M,on. 

1810 7>«3B,00t. 

IBM ojanfi». 

Thto tart raiiiiicntkn gtm T^MI^SBI wfattM j l^UT^MB 
staTH j aad SI8>140 free bub at aOaar. AeearHat to a 
very tatcreatiiig woric pobUihed by Mr. Hanqr (KiNt. 
PAUflf . JOKnial ; JMNory, ISSS, p. 41), the decenatal mag- 
■ nientation of the poputation of the United States wm, from 
1100 to 18i0, mcccMiTelr. 36,06-1, and OSO, per cenL 
The retardfttioa fdt in the increan therefiiie ia jet oalj S or S 
per cent for ten jean, or one eleventh of the total increaae*. 

Bbasl. It hai hUberto been fixed at three nulUout t 
but the eatfanate irtiidi I give in ttie table is finnded <n 
official onpoblished i^ecea, which I owe to tite HtHimm of 
Mr. Adrien Balbi, of Venice, who was enabled by a long 
atsj at Usbon, to throw great lig^t oa tbe statialice of 
Porti^ and the Porti^;iiese colonies, Accordhtg- to the 
report made to the king of Portugal inlSIB, on tttepopola* 
tion of lus pOMtatlcwis beyond sea, and according to dlftiaA 
etatenienta Aimished by the csptaios general, govemon of 
prorinces (coofbnnablj to tbe decrees of Bio Jantin of Uw 
aad of August and tbe 30th of September, 1810), Biacil, 
about the year 1618, had a population of 8,617,000 in- 
habitants } namely, 

* Ste note £. attbe end of tbe Btb Book. 
t Brakenridge, Voyage to South America, Vol. i, p. 141, 


1,728,000 Negro slayes (prelot capttpos). 
843,000 whites (brancoi). 
420/M)O freemen, of mixed blood {meitiaoi, «« ja/9f > mdma" 

lucat libertoi). 
250,400 Indians of different tribes llndioide todoMiu cattoi). 
202,000 slaves of mixed blood imuiaios capHvot), 
150»000 free blacks ( yretotforoi de iodas as nagoet afrieanoi), 


The whole of these returns not having been made at the 
same period, this state of the population may be considered 
as relative to the years 1816 and 1818. The population of 
Brazil, however, must have augmented considerably during 
the last four or five years. According to documents presented 
to the house of commons at London in 1821, we see, that 
the port of Bahia~ received from January the 1st 1817, to 
January the 7th 1818, 6070 slaves, and that of Rio Janeiro, 
18,032. in the course of the year 1818, the latter port 
received 19,802 Negroes. {Report made by a commUtee to 
the directon of the African ImUiutioH, on the Bth of May, 
1821, p. 37.) I have no doubt, that the populatioQ of 
Brazil is at present more than four millions. It was con- 
sequently estimated very high in 1708 (Essai po&t. eur le 
Mesnque, vol. ii, p. 855.) Mr. Correa de Scrra believes, 
from the ancient returns which he was enabled to examine 
with care, that the population of Brazil in 1776, was 
1,900,000 souls ; and the authority of this statesman is of 
great weight. A table of the population, brought home by 
Mr. de Saint-Hilaire, correspondent of the Institute, es- 
timates the population of Brazil, in 1820, at 4,396,132 ; 
but in this table, as the learned traveller well observes, the 
number of wild and catechised Indians (800,000) and of 
free men (2,488,743) is singularly exaggerated ; while the 
number of slaves (1,107,389) is much too small. (See 
yetoso de Oliveira, StatisHque da Brazil, in the Annaes Flu^ 
minenies de sciencias, 1822, torn, i, §. 4.) 


&t1i^ coa&nud dwiag Mma yoMri to aifta litelNI 
rcflcuclwi eoncaning ttw |iinmk<liii of thi M« itatal af 
SpudA AmotIm. oT At WMTbdlu Iifaii^ ai^af Ae 
wanderlag IndkB tribv laboAAnerieH^ I «^ 1 n^ 
attaopt ifcrtto«WM«Jce«Arflhe*bltf|iniiiiliinf 
the N«r Worid Ibr A* yw IMS. 

I. CovmniiTAi. AmuiCAj xoaTK or m Imbmu* or 

Fjixaka n/Mjuaa 

Rag^CMMda ViOflOO 

UnitedSlatft 10.«0>100 

HedcQ and OvstiQiab 8,400,000 - . 

Veragmud PuiuiaiA 60,000 

Independent Indiana, porhapi... 400,000 

IL iMaoLAs AMaaiai. t^TZJOOf 

HiTti<Saiat Domingo) 816,000 

Bi^iUah We«t India islands ... 134,M0 . 

Staidsh(eidBdreonkIargaretta) 800,000 ^^"i**^ 

SkwA S»,000 

I>atch.DBBiah, &o 8S,M»0 

III. CoNTiMain-Ai. AasniCA, aovn or t>i Istnrini vr 

VuKtMi. iVn^Mo 

Colombia (exchuira of Vem- 

gua and Panama) 2,706,000 ifV^f 

Pent 1,400,000 ^ 

CWll 1,100,000 

Bnenoa Ayres 3,900,000 

English, Dutch, and flench 

Oojana lOe.OOO / 

Branl 4,000,000 

Independent Indians, po'haps 420,000 

Total 34,284,000 


llie tbtftl population of the Arehipetego of tbe West 
Indies is probaUy not less than two millions moA a ludf, al« 
tiunigh tlie particular distritatton of this population amid 
tile different groupes of islands may admit some dianges (m 
ftLtiher inquiry, l^liese veriflcattons are espedally requisite 
!br the firee ikihahitftuts of the English islands, the Spanish 
pert of the repnhlie of Uayti, and f ortorico. 


It is almost superfluous to relate the precautions! that 
Mr. Mathieu and myself employed in the calculation of sur- 
fitces, either by deOoihposiilg the irregular ^gures of the 
new states into appropriJate irspiexiums and triangles, mea- 
furing the sinuosities of the exterior .limits by means of 
small squares traced on tivnspareni paper* or rectifying 
m^is on a laige scale. Notwithstanding these precautions^ 
operations of this kind may yiM very diffiereai results ; first, 
because the maps used Ibr this purpose may have been con- 
structed on astronomieal data that are not equally precise ; 
secondly, according us the frontiers are traced conformably 
to the various pretensions of bordering states; thirdly, ac- 
cording as, admitting the legality of the limits, and that 
they have been astronomically determined with sufficient 
precision, we endude from the estimation of the area the 
countries that ate eniMf tmimhttbiM, or occnjrfed by savage 
nations, it may be conceived^ that the first cause chiefly 
afiects the superficial measurement, where the frontiers 
stretch, as for instance in I^eru, along the Cordilleras from 
north to south. Errors in longitude are known to be in 
general more fircquent and greater than those in latitude ; 
the latter, however, would lead to vary the area of the re- 
pablic of Columbia more than 4600 square leagues, if we 
were to suppose * as heretofore, on the southern frontier of 

* See above, vol. v, p. 414., and note F at the end of 
the 9th Book. 


fipndA GtqruM and Bntf . tlw ftiit of Su CuIm del Kio 
I^^ntobeHtaateimdertiiBaqinlari afcftwluGhl fboni^ 
bj tfw olaemliaBi nude ■* Uw niidt of CaUmacBi, to b* 
la 1* AV «* oT Botth ktitDde. TIm Meond ouw of vw 
«ertMiaXf, thtt whldt kUm to polHIetl Oigatm iwpec Ui g 
Ihe Umiti, U of high importuoe, whcrmr th« Poitagww 
tenltory is cootigiKWM ta that of the Speniah AmericNu. 
TtM nuniuertpt Dupt timccd tt Rio Janein or Liibao have 
little leaconlilaiicc with tliose Aat era cooitracted et Bocnoe 
Ayree md Bleiiiid. I hne ipolccB Id Oe SSd Cfadpter * of 
the intennlnablavpentioiia ettonptod hy the hmwImImi q^ 
Asitif which have been eetahliflhed daring tcmtf jttm fal 
Armnar, od the banks of the Caqoeta, and hi the O^ftoaia 
general of Ote Rto N^ro. The most important pofaita of 
diflcnssioa, according to the study I have made of this gievt 
diplomatic con trovers y, are betweea tite sea f and the livsr 

• Vol. V, p. 297. 
t Since the iunrpation of the territory of Uontevideo by 
Hba Portngneae, the limits between the state of Buenos 
Ayres aod Bmail Itave undergDoe great changes in the sostera 
(oatla, or Ciijt&liae province, that is on the northern baak of 
the Rio de la Plata, between the month of this river, and 
the left bonk of the Umguay. The coast of Braall fhm 
30" to 34" of south latitude resembles that of Mexico be* 
tween Tamiagua, Taniuco, and the Rio del Norte. Itis 
formed by namw pemnsnlas, behind which great lakes and 
marahcs of salt water arc sitosle (Lagnna de los Pathos, 
L^^na Merim). The two Poituguese and Spanish woreos 
lie toward the southern extremity of the Laguoa Merim, 
into which runs the amall river of Tahym (lat. 33° liy). 
The plain between Tahym and Chny was regarded as neu- 
tral territory. The little fort of Santa Theresa (lat. 33> fiS'SS*, 
according to the manuscript map of don Josef Varela) was 
the most northern post possessed by the Spaniards on tbe= 
coast of the Atlantic Octaa, south of tlie equator. 


Unig^j, the banks of the Guaray and the Ibicny, and thoie 
of the Iguana and the Rio 8. Antonio^ between the Furana 
and the Rio Paraguay, the banks of the Chidniy^ sooth-eait 
of the Portogaese fortress of Nova Coimbm * $ on the 
eastern fhrntiers tiie Spanish prorinees of Chiqiiitos and 
Los Moxos, the Banks of tiie Agnapehy, the Tanm, and the 
Gnapore^ a little to the east of the isthmus that separates 
the tributary streams of the Pluraguay and the Rio de la 
Madeira, near the Villa Bella (lat. 16* 0') ; on the south 
sad north of the Amazon, the land completely unknown 
between the Rio de la Madeira tfad the Rio Jarary (south 
bt lO^*— llo); the plains between the Putmnayo and the 
Ji^mra between the Apoporis, which is a tributary stream of 
the Japnra, and the Uaupes, that fidls into the Rio Negro f > 
the forests (m the south-west of the mission of Esmeralda, 
between the Mavaca, Fsdmoni, and Cababuri t ; and finally, 
the northern part of the lUo Branco and of the Uraricuera, 

* Nova Coimbra (lat. 19® 550 ^ >^ presidio fbunded in 
I77A, and is probably the most southern Portuguese set- 
tlement on the Rio Paraguay. In different Spanish and 
Portuguese maps, the Taguary (Menici, Monici), a large 
tributary stream of the Ftoma, is usually fixed on as the 
frontier between Parana and Ruraguay toward the east ; 
toward the west sometimes the Chichuy (Xexuy) and Ipane, 
^ear the ancient mission of Belen (lat. 23'' 82')> sometimes 
t.he Mboimboy (lat. 20® 2V), opposite the destroyed mission 
^f Itatiny, and sometimes (lat. 19® 35')> the Rio Mondego 
or Mbotetey, near the destroyed town of Xerez ; all three 
^%ributary streams of the Paraguay on it's eastern side. The 
^Idoundary nearest Nova Coimbra^ that of Rio Mboymboy, 
%as been pretty generally adopted provisionally between 
Brazil and the ancient viceroyalty of Buenos Ayres. 

t See above, vol. v, p. 334. 
t Vol. V, p. 475, and p. 558. 

VOL, VI. L • 

baCwMD the^lUtlc PortivuMe tet cf Sw Jwnfflim tmAQm 
wiUM4f Ae Rip CMMV*'(lat.:>>;«t.^<»0> Sonta 

b«lw«Bn ^Mu«h «Bd Foftogaew AtDCriwi •ml we-dooo- 
nied't- wKh itlM fbUvmog pany tocriptlon^ Pv >« 

IMw J«"< VKO J but thp aoaKodoB of Amb pirfirti, mfy 
diataatffam one Motiwr, (Iw il«4iHtHe liiWkw aC the IMnifcif 
mA 4balr Ml«mi) racosnitioDj 'l»ve never bew oMaiMtf. 
AU >lbkt hm UAertD been (kme it ngatitd-viif n fn- 
Titiomit.uiiaA^ mesntiiBe the twa nagtatnaring aatiiwi. 
whhna* ■tfnqwMilT^tthc-aalMMkw of thtir y^j^H, ^ilntiii 
> Jtoto irf p— ei dde fowewio i i . We hawmMllwl *fc>w> 
thiBt, if « .oobI ,of 6,300 toines long} were mbstitoted for 
the iportage of ViUa Bella (U j°), between Uic Rio de U 
Sftdain and Ite <Bio Jhtaguay, ob mland nm^^itn wonU 
be oiieBed between the mooth ofthe Oioonoko«&d that of 
the Ria de la Plato, between ADgostnra and Montevideo. 
The course of the great rivera in the direction of the meri- 
dians woald peifaapa afford a natural boundarg between the 

• Vol. V, p. 481, and p. Tea. 

t As at the point wh«re the Kio Janra enters the nn- 
gudj. See the PaMota de Ato Janaro, 1818, N« S, p. M. 

t The portage (varadoiro), properly apeaUng, is between 
thie'Ottle livers Aguapeh; and Al^re. The fbrmer rens into 
the Jknrti, which is a tributary stream of the Futgnay ; tbe 
Itio Al^re tUls into the Goapore, a tributary streun of th^ 
Rio deta Madeira. The sotireea of the Rio Topayo* lie als» 
Ycry n^r the Villa Bella and the sources of the Faragnaj^ . 
This country, which forms a land itthmus between th.^ 
baaina of the Amazon and the Rio de la Plata, will be ors « 
day of the highest importance for the inland trade of Soii-*.Ti 



PortQguese and Spanish possessions ; a boa.ndry thai voald 
accompany the Oroonoko, the Cassiquiare, the Rio Negro, 
the hanks of the Amoa^n, for a distance of twenty leagues, 
the Rio de la Madeira, the Ooapore, the Agnapehi, the 
Jauru, the Paraguay, and the Pbrana, or Rio de la Plata, 
and would fbrm a line of demarcation of more than eight 
hundred and sixty leagues. On the east of this houndary 
the Spanish Americans possess Pteaguay, and a part of 
Spanish Guyana ; and on the west, the Por^gtiese Ameri- 
cans have occupied the country between the Javary and the 
Rio de la Madeira^ and between the Putumayo and the 
sources of the Rio Negro. It is not from the coasts of 
Brazil and Pern only, that civilization has advanced toward 
the central regions ; it has penetrated them also by three 
other roads, the Amazon, the Oroonoko, and the Rio de la 
Plata ; and has ascended the tributary streams of those three 
rivers and their secondary branches. From the increase of 
these routes, and their various Erections, a configuration 
of territory and a sinuosity of frontier have resulted, no less 
difficult to determine astronomically, than disadvantageous 
to inland trade. 

To the two causes of uncertainty in the estimation of sur- 
faces, which we have just analyzed, namely, the errors of 
astronomical geography, and the discussions of limits, may 
be added a third, the most important of all. When we speak 
fDf the area of Peru, or of the ancient Capitania-general of 
Caraccas, it* may be doubted whether these names denote 
«nly ^e country in which the Spanish Americans have made 
settlements, and which consequently depend on their po- 
litical and religious hierarchy ; or whether we should join 
To the country governed by the whites (by corregidors, chiefs 
<>f military posts, and missionaries), the forests and savan- 
nahs partly desert^ and partly inhabited by savages, that is* 
hy native and free tribes. We have seen above, mat in the 
interior errors easy to suppose of 1** of latitude, or 2** of 



laagtaade*. 11W7, on firontien of 30Q. IngOea, mSatgt m 
dimlnbh the turbcn of new ttatM to the csteat of 13,000 
•qiMre leagsM ; bat mnch not* importnt dUfeKBces uin 
liroiir. Uncfl of demucalloa drawn somnAKt wUlnritf Ve- 
twsen the butdi that m regululT inh^ted. aad thoM thet 
ere desert, or the dwdlinge of aenga tribee. Hie fiaUS n$ 
ctoUbalMm ere more diffienlt to tnux than poUKoi IMb . 
Litde sdasiona gorenied by monlci are dimmed alnya 
riicri they may be tamed the oo^weti of Xonipeaa chrfl- 

* I eatinwte the errore of ntotiiw iMjriAito only, fiir in- 
stance, the (liffereaces of longitude between the coaat, and 
the valley of the Rio Mamore, or of the Upper Javari. I 
do not.speak of the vmn of aA«o/ii(e /oiyitiide, which some- 
times exceed 3' or 4'', without inflaenciDg the measnre ol 
Bur&ees. Hie longitude of the city of Quito ascertained by 
me (6U S' SO* west of Paris) has caused a considerable 
change of the western part of America, in the moat reeial 
m^iB. This differs Vf SOf 30*, from the longitude adoptd 
till my return to Europe {Connoiu. da Ttmpt ptmr ftaaA 
1B08, p. S80). The breadth of South Ameiiea, betwea 
Cbyenne and Quito, according to d' Anville, is 30 nantica] 
leagues too little. It is the mequalilg of jmrdal ditplacf 
menu, that occasions the errors of relatite tcmgitude wUd 
alter the calculatioo of the area. La Cruz Olmedilla, whoai 
great map has been successively copied and disfigured^ placed 
Santa Fe de Bogota half a degree too &r to the east ; Sai 
Ontos del Rio N^ro 2^° j and the mouth of the Apure s 
<]uarter of a degree. The distance of Cumana from the 
mission of Esmeralda 00 the Upper Oroonuko, is estimated 
by La Cruz 2J" too little. In general, before my voyage, 
the whole Bystem of the rivers Oroonoko and Rio Hegic 
wa9 placed from 1° to IJ" of latitude too far south, om 
2" of longitude too far east. 


more than a hundred leagues amid forests and deserts. 
Oaght the territory to be considered as Femvian or Gohun- 
bian^ lying between- these solitary villages^ these crosses 
erected by the monks of Saint Fhmds^ and surrounded by 
a few Indian huts ? The hordes that wander on the bcnrder 
of the missions of the Upper Oroonoko^ the Garony, the 
Temi, the Japura^ the Mamore, a tributary stream of the Madeira^' and the Apurimac, a tributary stream 
Qithe Ucayale^ scarcely know the existence of white men. 
They are ignorant that the countries^ which they have pos- 
aeised for years, are included, according to the political doc- 
trines of dosed terriianf (iemlotr« ferm^ within the limits 
of the states of Venezuela^, New Grenada, and Peru. 

In the present state of tilings, there is a amtigwty of eni- 

thated Umd$, or rather a contigtiity of Chriitian $ettkmmU 

onlj, on a very small number of points. Brazil touches 

Venezuela only by the band of the missions of the Rio 

Negro, Gasdquiare, and Oroonoko j and Peru only by the 

missions of the Upper Oroonoko, and those of the province 

of Maynas, between Loreto and Tabatinga. The different 

ttates in the New World are connected only by narrow slips 

of cleared lands. . Between the Rio Branco and the Rio 

Gsioi^, the Javary and the Guallaga, the Mamor^ and the 

Bunmtains of Cusco, lands inhabited by savages, and which 

have never been traversed by whites, separate, like arms of 

inland seas, the civilized parts of Venezuela, Brazil, and 

Peru. (Compare above. Chap, xii. Vol. iii, p. 431—427.) 

finropean civilization is spread as in divergent rays from the 

coast, or the high mountains near the coast, toward the 

<!entre of South America ; and the influence of governments 

diminish in proportion to the distance from the shore. Mis* 

^ions entirely dependent on monastic power, inhabited only 

l>y the race of copper-coloured natives, form a vast zone 

siround regions more anciently cleared } and these Christian 

settlements are placed on the borders of savannahs and 


rniM)!. betire«i tUe agriadtui*! mM putanl lib of Hw 
eri(i^UiMidth»«aBddriBglttafltliiitiitBtribM; IniH^ 
GORMncted At Uiiu« tlw tHritorr of the unit ■kcteni Pflw- 
vlU UrtndWMdi (Tinu ud CtMato) ihUB Mi y it 'riot «fc' 
tcbdwi n &r u the froMMi of etud hi* atld MlOafliUlib } 
iki«Mi«iiOBlttkBfc« idbjoet tb tiife MilMi tlvr«r MM 
filfcWw) btiiy ttUad Pira, aadttvfiMaNVkiMdbrtti; 
ti^piA dendirinUltM «f nKmniffe lud, liiMi oMaiiMi 
■mge ImtBtflfee {pMm ihe&ihBtMW, ijoMTM JtMMt^ MftVia 

* MA» trwifab ir iliifete)j TiHttUtotorpwai ««Miiiig 

HKblirto«UPort^ttiiMUaiib, b 4l;tfo WfMirt MiMtf 
trie» betiwea' «i fi<)taHlftft of l»»ril «Md life '(W^ VO^ 
(jftbe Belli end the UmtUc, we find tmly tB,ISOrtitara 
U^ioea. We alull sobn Me, that, in the aiicMit- Vlce- 
WjliltfofBtienM Afita, now ortlcd Oe EMMAdM^ttt 
AM A la P/dAi, an dUfetcncc tfl lAdQ giAter. IntMe^iemfe 
atlUHt ift ttky eMupDte BratQ at ajn,000 WllB.DMt 
aqnift leegua, BMot^ m i*ie cdtebM tl* >MI(d« «aribe» 
WttitknttitiyfvMnthecodMfo U>« birilka tf th£ MllAoM 
tad JUMif, at tb^ kt the muM! of tUe rfVen.^&MUi Ml 
AiitWgtn^, «kclthKi^ him the w«e 6f Bra^ tH6 grdMit- pM 
of tlR pravtnMs of MattogrtHso,-Itlo M<egtu, wid Fldi«a|j;Ullri 
Oirraiu. three imp«^fed prdvtncM, bonpHJing fiNM fliMB 
hthirdof tlie eiMMofZurope. 

FrokB tUeae couldehiilonfl we Awt not be satfiriMdf it 
gddg^fepWh, who nleuUted the BUrfKces «tt& aA «4aal'tW- 
oUoB^'end'eocordil^ to pretlijr good ihKpfl, ftAMi iMt ibi 
pMiItl dUftred a quhrtbr, b iMvi^ eAd so^etihiea enm mBM 
dMn half, ft h not euy 1o fik the liAiti bf dtaert t^lfUN^ 
of those inhfebited by ifiitepertdent iia&nt ; Oitt iabaMtk 
ri(h«it<!e amid thtit Mva^ cotanU-ies, "FolldVring the beds of 
the liVen. The calculated siirfec^ vary Btconlin^ as ^ 
ntimate the territory only which the missionaries have ic- 
([tdred, or add the forests interposed between thedr acqid- 
sitions. Thus the want of conformity observable between 


the preceding Ubte> and that calculated by Mr. Oltmannn 
in VdW, results only firam the exclajtan of the cMuilfict not 
Hi6mUted to the goatmmue. of the vAtlu . The andeot e»- 
timatee are all aeeeasarily less thaa the nevr^ whlcbpfesent 
ilie total area. la nduciog coflunoa leagues to naolioal 
leagues^ 1 leckoned io the Essai paiUlqmB sw la NomoelU^ 
EtpMgne (Tonib u» p. B61) 9(#,8ia sqiMM leagues ^twenty 
ta a degi«e> far tbe vbole ef apanish Aookeriea; Wj^Mfsr 
Veneauala^ or the ancient tapiMamm gmt^nl of Gaiaccas ; 
41>301 squwe leagues for New Greniida} 10^449 fornix 
hal»lte4 BivH (aooordiBg to the imitien inflirated in ike 
M^ 9f IfHUf^atteiBt, pabliBhed at lima in VIM, hylkm 
Andrew JBaleatQ) i Mt^H square leigues fiw Chili f ami 
91,528, lor tbe Unit^ Fnofvineesiof Bte de hi Fkla, or the 
auoieqt ntpevpyaUf pf Buenos Aytes, What I hare just 
state4 cm lbs cskulalioBa of the oerfiices of Spanish Ame- 
tkmi, and thci causes ftmk which these caJooiatioas. varjv 
may be equally applied Co the territory of the United States, 
which on the west haa been terminated at difarent periods 
by the Mississipi, the stony Mountains, and the coast of the 
Pacific Ocean. The territory of Missouri, and that of Ar- 
kansas, have been long in some sort without frontiers toward 
the west $ they resemble in this point of view the province 
of the Chiquitos of South America. In the following tables 
1 have adopted a different method of calculation from that 
which 1 had hitherto observed 5 1 have estimated the extent 
of l0iid, wliidi the increasing 'population of each state will 
fill hi ike lapse of ages. The lines of division {Uneas divi- 
torias) adopted are such as they are found according to re- 
ceived traditions, and the rights acquired by long and 
peaceable possession, on the manuscript Spanish and Por- 
tuguese maps in my collection. Where the maps of the 
two nations dil^ed considerably, these differences have been 
attended to, and the medium taken as the results. The num- 
bers on which I have fixed in the preceding table conse- 
quently indicate the maximum of surfiicc furnished to the 

iadntry of the rtidCB of ColainUa *, Peni, Mid Bndl i bat 
u the polUiial tUvgA td rtata at m gtven period depends 
lea on the proportioii of thdr total extent to thb mnaber 
of their inb^dtanti, than on the d^ree of eoooentimttan 
of Uie gneter part of tta popolation. I have eetlgiiBtad the 

peraaos In the new govemmentaeatabUahed fai-E|pMdah Anm- 
lica hKfc wUhed, lor the beoeSt of ttadr Intenal admlnis- 
tiation; to knov at the aame tfane the total and the partial 
•mteet. lite denmnlBatioa of proTtneea wiQ pnbaUy 
undergo fteqoent chaagMj m Is the case fat all aodetiea 
reeenfly fbrmed. , Different oomUnations are tried, bdbre 
a state of eqidlibrinm and stability is attained ; and If inno- 
Tstions of this kind have been leM frequent in the United 
States, we mmt not attribote this to the national diameter 
alone, but to that happy sitostion of the Angloamerican 
colonleaj whidi, gimmed from their origin by excellent 
ptditical lostitatKWU, poiseased liberty previous to In- 

* Ib the declantton of the congress of Veneiaela, of the 
dateof December 17th, IBIS, a dedandion which is regarded 
as the Juiidomeiilai Ia» of the republic of ColnmlHa, thfc 
territory Is eatlmated (article 2) aX 116,000 squan lengiKa, 
without adding the nine of these leagues. If they be 
aauticnl leagues, which is very probable, the estimate is 
S6/Km leagues too great (once and B half the oTRi of ftance). 
Si^M must have been consulted, which were not corracted 
according to the astronomical observatious made at the 
southern and eastern froDtiers. All the estimates of arta 
hitherto published io the new states of America are very 
inexact. I except the partial statements of the jlbga 
argentata (1822, N" i, p. 8), an iaterestlng journal published 
at Buenos Ayres. 


New Spain. The sarface of this irast country has been 
calculated with great care by Mr. Oltmanns, according Co 
the limits marked on my lai^.map of liesioo. There will 
soon probably be some cfaanges.on the north of San Fran- 
cisco and beyond the Rio del Norte, between the monlb of the 
Rio Sabina and that of the Rio Colorado de Texas. The asser- 
tions made on my mi^ of Mexico, drawn in 1804, and pob- 
lished in 1800, relative to the identity of the Rio Napestie 
and the Rio de Pecos, with the rivers which bear the names 
of Arkansas, and the Red River of the Natchitotcfaes in 
Louisiana, have been fidly justified by the journey of mi^r 
Pike, which appeared at Philadelphia in 1B10« . 

GuATUffALA. This country, so little known, contains the 
provinces of Chiapa, Guatimala, Vera Paz or Tezulntlan, 
Honduras (towns : Comayagua, Omoa, and TruziUo), Ni- 
caragua, and G)sta Rica *• The coast of Guatimala extends 
on the south sea from Barra de Tonalk (lat. 18* 7^, long. 
96® 38^), on the east of Tchuantepec, to la Punta de Burica 
or Boruca (Lat. 8"* 5^ long. 85<» IS'), on the east of the Golfb 
Dulce de Costa Rica. From this point, the frontier ascends 
successively to the north, stretching along the Columbian 
province of Veragua, toward Cape Careta, (lat. Qo 36^, long. 
84« 430» which advances into the Caribbean sea a little to 
the west of the fine p^rt of Bocca del Torro ; to the N.N.W. 
along the coast, as fiur as the river Bluefields, or Nueva 
Segovia (lat. LI^" 54', long. 85'' 25'), in the territory of the 
Moschetto Indians; toward the N.W., along the river 
Nueva Segovia for forty leagues ; and finally, to the N. at 
Gape Cameron (lat. 18* 8', long. 87o 810 between Cape 
Grades a Dios and the port of Truxillo. From Cape 

* Juarroi, Compendio de la Hist, de Guatemala, printed 
at Guatimala, 1808, vol. i, p. 5, 0, 31, 56; vol. ii, p. 30. 
Jose Cecilio ValUf Periodico de la Sociedad ecmomka de 
Guatemala^ vol. i, p. 38. 


CantanM Uw coaxt of UondBiu, stretding W. and N.. 
£anudie''&(HiU« wfitfu llw aKfuA bf tte riwr ftlnia 
(fat. 11? U', loqi- '90* 4(H). notec, MtAontierfttloWB 
Um cbmM of thiB aiboB to the Kv crdHMita Ho SttDDBdatt; 
irfiidi»iiB» into lh»Liag«»dtft)Bmdiiw,Btt«MM toward 
ths Oiode TifaMco oV'Stfataln, «a-ftr BB Ae moimtaliw dirt 
odmMBd.theIiidlM'toVB of CUspa, and ttfrds to tbeS-W;. 
td fi^jott AA eoMU of tin Sovih Sc« ■< b Bsm it Tauiitc 

CvMi. ud ftBTOMos. Tbe dr«a fbr Portoiteo Is' cdco- 
fortheiiliiad-oC Ciil% ftfim Uk nup, vrliUIcbnttnieted 
in 1820, {rom mj own utronomical obterrattonB, tad from 
tbe whole of the data hitherto pnblbhed by Messrs. Ferrer, 
Rolirtdo, Lnnaur, Oaliano, and Bauza. 

Couiiteu. The IbUowtng are the actual limits of tlie 
repUbBe of ColmnUa, according to the iafbnaation wfaidi I 
obtaioed aa the fjiot, psrticutarljr at the souibeni and 
WeitciU cKtremitisi g that is at Rio Negro, Qaito, and in 
the province of JEaen de Bracamoros. Northern coast, that 
of the Caribbean SM, from PunU Oareta (lat. 9° 38', long. 
84" 48"), on the eastern fronttPt- of Ihc provinco of Costa 
Rica (belonging to the state of Gnatinrals), to the riv«« 
Uoroeo and Panuronn *, east of Cape Nassau. FWim this 

* See above, vol.v.p. 7fi3— 5. Greet uncertainty still pie* 
vtdla leapecting the situution of this point, the most eastern 
of the territory of Columbia, A farther rcuson for tbe lon- 
gitudes being ill <lctcnnined between the mouth of the 
Oroonolio and Engltttlt Guyana is, that tliey liave not been 
connected together by chronomctric means. The mouth of 
the Rio Pomaroun or Poumaron depends on tlie position 
both of the Punta Burima and of the Rio Ei>sct|uebo (£a- 
quivu). Now, Capo Jturima i^ lialf u ili'grce too fur to thfc 


point of the coast (lat. !• 86% long. QV &' }), the frontier of 
Columbia stretdies across the sayannahs, in which some 
litde granitic rocks stsid prominent, first 8. W., and then 
S. £.^ toward the caoflueiioe of the Rio Cuyimi with the 

east on the great map of South America published by Mr. 
Arrowsmith. This geographer indicates with sufficient pre- 
cflrion Puerto Espana^ m the island of Trinidad (W M') ; 
but he makes the difference of longitude betweeen Poerto 
Espana and Puma Barima t6 be l"" 63^ whUe it is onij 
1^ 81/, as determined Hi^ith great precision bj the operatioBs 
of Chttrmca (See above^ vol. y, p. 718, and Eqtimua Mk^ 
morioi de io$ Ndv^^aniei EipanoUt, Vol. i, N^ 4, p. 80—89). 
The south-east bank of the mouth of the Oroonoko is in 
8o 4X/ 85' latitude, and a8« 28/ longitude. If Wc determine 
the mouth of the Rio Essequebo by the diffidence of lon- 
gitude from Cape Barima generally adopted (l<» S2/*— V aD')> 
we shall find the Essequebo to be about 60'' 68'. This is 
nearly the position fiixed on by Mr. Buache, In'bis map of 
Guyana (1797), which indicates the longitude of Cape Ba- 
rima (62® 2df) very well also. Sereral geographers, captain 
Tuckey for instance {Maritime Geography, Vol. v, p. 733), 
believes the middle of the mouth of the Essequebo to be in 
60^ 32^—60'' 41' i and it is probable, that the mouth of 
this river has been compared with the position of Surinam, 
or that of Stabrock, the flourishing capital of Demerary, 
The reckoning on this coast, however, where the current 
sets strongly to the N. W., tends to diminish the differences 
of longitude in sailing from Cayenne to Cape Barima, and 
to the island of Trinidad. The longitude of the mouth of 
the little river of Moroco, situate near that of Pomaroun^ 
and serving as the frontier between the English colony of 
Guyana and the territory of Columbia, depends on the lon- 
gitude of the Rio Essequebo, from which it is 45' distant, 
according to Bolingbroke, toward the west, and from 80' to 


Huumui, wfaere fbnueiljr » Datdi poit ma eitabliahcd * 
app<»ite tbe Com Tnparo. Craaring tin Munnmi, die 
bonBdarj nmi along the WMtvn banks «f the Baae q wbo 
aad finpniiir), a* 6w pa the point wfaare tke Cordilleim of 
Acaralmo (^ of north lititnde) glrea s paai^e to tbe 
Rio Ropunnrij whidi it a tribatary itnam of the Eaaa g n eb o ; 
then. foUowii^ tbe aoatheni decliTity of the eordOkc* of 
^aaSmo, whidi lepantea tbe waten of Ceroid from thoae 
«f the lUo Bnmeo, it goea aneceaaiTctr toward tbe waat, by 
Santa Rosa (nearly lat. S° 4&', long, as* M'). to the aooroea 
of the Orocm^. lat. 8° 40', Irag. 6» lO'I) j tvmnl the 
8. W., to the BoorcM of the Rio Hanoi and tht Uapa 
{lat. S*, long. 98^, and. ooadag the Rio Negio at the Uand 
of Sao Joae (Ut. 1« 88', long. e8>> W) near 8. Carioa dd 
Rio Negro i toward W. 8. W., through plains entirely nn- 
known, to the Gram Sallo del Yitpmra, or Caqneta, situate 
near the month of tiie Rb de los Enganos (Bonth Ut 0" 8S') ; 
and finally makes »n extraordinary tuin toward the 8. K. at 
the confluence of .the Rio Yagnas with the Putomayo, or 
I98 (south lat. 8' &>) I tbe pofnt where the Spanish and 

36', according to other maps recently published. A ma- 
nuscript map of the mouths of tbe Oroonoko in my poaaes- 
Bi<m gives but 23'. It results from these minute discos- 
sions, diat the longitude of the month of the Pomaromi is 
between 60° 6S' and 01' 20'. I here reiterate the vrtah I 
have Dheady expressed in another place, that the govern- 
ment of Columbia may connect chronometricslly, and by 
an uninterrupted navigation, the mouth of the Essequebo, 
Cape Nassau, Pnnta Barima (Old Guyana and Angostwa), 
the bocas chicoM of the Oroonoko, Puerta Eepaaa, and Punta 
Galera, w)iich,i8 the north -cast'cape of the island of Trinidad. 
* We must not confound this post with the ancient 
Spanish post dtttacamento ile Cuyuni), on the nght branch oT 
the Cuyuni, at ihc conflucntc of the Curuuiu. 


Portuguese missions of the lower Patumayo come into cod-* 
tact. From this point the frontier of Columbia goes towanf 
the souths crossing the Amazon near the mouth of the Ja- 
vary, between Loreto and Tabatinga, and stretching along 
the eastern bank of the Rio Javari, as fkr as !» distant from 
it*s confluence with the Amazon ; to the Vf., crossing the 
Ucayale and the Rio Guallaga, the latter l)etween the villages 
of Yurimaguas and Lamas (in the province of Maynas, 
1** 26' south of the confluence of the GualUiga with the 
Amazon) ; to the W. N. W., crossing the Rio Uteubamba^ 
near Bagua Chiea> opposite Tomependa. Fh)m Bagua the 
frontier stretches S. S. W., toward a point of the Amazon 
(lat. C** 3'} situate between the villages of Choros and Cumba, 
between Collac and Cuxillo^ a little below die mouth of the 
Rio Yancan ; it then turns westward^ crossing the Rio de 
Cbota> toward the Ck>rdi]lera of the Andes^ near QueroootilIo> 
and to the N. N. W., stretching along and passing over the 
Cordillera between Landaguate and Fucara, Guancabamba 
and Tabaconas, Ayavaca and Gonzanama (lat. 4^ 13'^ long. 
8l» 53^), to reach the mouth of the Rio Tumbez (lat. d^" 23', 
long. 82^ 470. The coast of the Pacific Ocean bounds the 
territory of Columbia for 11^ of latitude, as &r as the west- 
em extremity of the province of Veragua^ or Cape Burica 
(N. lat. 3* 6', long. 8do 18' ) from this cape the frontier runs 
toward the north (across the enlarged isthmus which forms 
the continent between Costa Rica and Veragua), and rejoins 
the Punta Careta on the coast of the Caribbean Sea, west of 
the lake of Chiriqui, whence we departed to malce the tour of 
this immense territory of the republic of Columbia. 

These indications may serve to rectify the maps, even the 
most modern of which, published under the auspices of 
Mr. Zea, and said to be constructed from the materials I 
had collected *, traces vaguely the state of a long and 

* Columbia, from Humboldt and other recent authorities, 
London, 1823. 


pMCffId pQHaMloa betiraen bprdenqg fafiim- U ii cqi- 
tomsrf to coQSkler the whole ■outhern.tMak of tbo ff^wm 
uSpadth, Crois the SaltoOnwlajiifiirMtlw Inland ddte 
«£ the.AfaKt^WMl^ whov* a« tbii vprthBR. Jmk of the 
AOMswi, a nwrcB .dli tMM* ip pl*Qf4f K ftove.vhii^ the 
Portogaese aatrpnoineiip foimd in b^ 3* .90', wd loiv, 

S/eyuaa, nofpmk a y rf <>f Mtpiifa to hja .C>thpl)c jtfn|eHj> ^783^ 
Th« Sfivpiab mioaiinu of .Japnqi or Cafoefa, jgqpniiHHilj 
called «ipt«u tfx j^ttfafujiw, f^end np frrt^.^m &}• 
CiffqWi, f tiiiffiuy Bti:*ff 9f fbe Ainvs^Moxr the- ^ 
fltroifsd niiMi9() pt S. Fi^(4foo fioluv*. ^fl ^^i^_pt 
the Japan, uv^i of (hewimlor.finf^ths Bio dclftiWiv^ 
Oofl and Xht Cteeot Catanet, is ia the possesvoo of the 
mtiwt And the ^qrtngueae. The latter luTe auine aiqall 
settlepiente ft Tahofaw, £. JmiquiD de Cueraaaj and ^"■■■'I't j 
the second of wJvch ia on the qoutb of the Jafnm, the third 
on it'f iwlhcm trib,atar7 stream, fb^ Apoporis *. According 
to thp ^wtngaeae Astronomers, if, yru at the nouth of the 
Apt^Mri^ (in 1^. 1* 14' south, loi^g. 17* fiB', (vat ot the 
mfH'*tMl (ff ypruh that the Spanish commisfioaera were 
willing to ftlace the stone of the limits io 1780, which de- 
note ^p ipteiii^op Qf not preserving the morco pf .Abadpa- 
raoa.. .7.)ie Pgrti^eae cotpBiisiaries opposed talfing the 
ApiQppnS:^ ^? fi;outier, asserting, that, 19,0,^4^ to corer 
the piau^il^ pqHaaaions on the Rio Negro, the uew 
morcp ought (0 be placed at the Satlo Grande del Jajaira 
(south lat. O" S3', long, li" 0'). Id Putumayo or {(a, the 
most BOutherD Spanish missions (munoner baxiu), governed 
\,y the ecclesiastics ot Fopayan and Pasto^ do not c^ctend as 
far as the conscience of the Amazon, but only to 2° 20' of 
southlatitude, where the aroatl villages of Marive, S. Ramon, 
and Asumpdon, ore situate. The Portuguese are masters 

* See above. Vol. v, p. 33C— 330. 


of the mouth of the Putumayo ; and, tu reach the misfiions 
of Baxo Putumayo^ the monks of Pasta are ohjifed to go 
down the Amazon to Peras, below the mouth of the Napo ; 
to proceed fvom Pevas to the north by kod^ as ftur as 
Quebrada, or Caiiodt Yaguas, and enter the Rio Putamayo 
by this Cafio. Nei|ther cm the left bank of the Amazon^ 
from Abatiparana <(Ioog. W 32^ to Pongo 4e ]tfanaeriche, 
at the western extiofoity of the province of Maynos^ Jbe con- 
sidered as the boundary of New Grenada. The Portuguese 
have always had possession of both banks as ifiir fks to the 
east of Lorelo (long. 71* 54') ^ and the situi^io«i of Ta- 
batinga, on the north of the Amaaonj where the last Por- 
tuguese post \s placed, sufficiently proyesy that the teft bank 
of the Anpia^n^ between the iQputh qf .the At^ttparaoB an|l 
the fronttecifear Loreto, was never c o ns ide r ed hj them as 
beloi^jtogtto |th^ Spanish territory. To proTe Ukeirise, that 
the southern hank of tiie Amazon does not form the boun- 
dary with Peru from the mouth of the Javari toward the 
west. I have but to mention the cidstence of the numerous 
villages of the province of Maynas^ situate on the Guallaga^ 
as fhr as beyond Yurimaguas, 28 leagues south of the Ama- 
zon. The extraordinary sinuosity of tiie frontier, between 
the 'Upper Rio Negro and the Amazon, arises from the 
circumstance, that the Portuguese introduced themselves 
Into the Rio Yapura by going up toward the N. W., while 
the Spaniards descended the Putumayo. From the Javari, 
the Peruvian limit goes beyond the Amazon, because the 
missionaries of Jaen and Maynas, coming from New Gre- 
nada, penetrated into these almost savage regions by the 
Chindiipe and the Rio CKiallaga. 

Calculating the surface of the Republic of Columbia, ac- 
cording to the limits we have just traced, we find 9]>962 
square leagues (20 to a degree) thus : 





New AndalnsiB or Cnmtina 





Delta of the Oroonoko 


IilBod of Ma^aratta (ex- 
cluding the Laguna) 




mouth * {boea de Navioa) ; on tlie north, by the Goasts of the 
Athintic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, from long. 26^ 23/ as 
far as the month of the Rio Unare^ (long. 68^33'). From 
the mouth of this river towanls the souths the limit between 
the provinces of Caraccas and Barcelona first foUows the 
Unare towards it's origin in the hilly country west of the 
Tillage of Fariaguan^ and then stretches to the broonolco^ 
between the mouth of the Rio Suata and that of the lUo 
Caura^ 24' east of Alta .Grada^ called Ciudad Real in the 
<ild maps. I fixed in my calculations this point of the lon- 
gitude of the Oroonoko by deducing it firom the longitude of 
the Rio Caura. It is nearly 68* ^ west of the meridian of 
Paris. Other geographers, Lopez for instance, in his map 
of the province of Caraccas, makes the limit proceed to the 
Raudal4e Camiseta, eight leagues east of Uie Rio Caura. In a 
manuscript map, whidi I copied in the archives of Cumana, 
the frontier is marked near Muitaco, at the mouth of the 
Rio Cabrutica, three leagues east of the Rio Paa. The 
governors of Cumana long pretended to extend their jurisdic- 
tion much beyond the mouth of the Rio Unare^ as ftir as 
the Rio Tuy, and even as fur as Cape Coderat. According 
to this supposition they draw a. line toward the south, 16 
leagues east of Calaboio, between the sources of the Rio 
Uritnca and those of the Rio Manapire, following the latter 
liver as for as it's confluence with the Oroonoko, four leagues 
to the east of Cabruta^. This,, the most western limit, 
wotuld add an extent of 400 square leagues to the province 

• See above, vol. v, p. 717 and 724. I have, however, 
C!alculated separately the almost uninhabited delta of the 
Oroonoko, between the principal branch and the Manamo 
Crrande, the westernmost of the bocoM ckicas. This marshy 
delta is three times the average extent of a department of 

t Vol. iii, p. 370. X Vol. v, p. C80. 



of B«niMoii«i cpatniaivg tb* ynSt 4t h PmfiM, whMh L« 
Gcaa nd CuUa iffuk «a thwr awp* bji Iba wonk iwnpi 

^n^ qftjn^liga. of ttw «»a 1 Mhnrad the frgnUflr flf ttw 
Bi» Uiwn, bwnm it dftcnnloM thi p"*"' 'W« ^f f i w w . 
ricp, my <!>■ wlghbowiiig iHOftoow. TlwOwiniM* 
OqpiRfw «6aMi|>»''BVfwM« (CwMDfti Cailam, CnsMM- 
cp^ NMm-Bftni^tM) wnI ftm <<tfH {Angiw. I« C —ai p 
cMp M IVi If* H«md. wA Ouiviuiq>*. N** nties' 
lr^l pqbfUf uiw PM Iba riiom of tbt fdf ■! Vuis. 
(Ooj^ fcM*^ H WfU. u opttavWuDT tb«An»,HidtiM 
gwnfhljfi 4K»AiMpgi»ti<ofl»rpwtadvHMcg»MtlM 
«oiD|UQetdil indutry o{ New AadslwiB. . . 

fi.) SrjjtUB Gdataxa; luch uitwu Bdminiatend befoce 
tl|e KTtdntion of the 6tk of Jnly, ISll^ by a goyqmor rui- 
dent at Ai^oBura (SuUo Tooak de la Nuera Owyans.) 
It contgina more than 2^,000 Engliab aquara nilcBj and 
coHjequcatly azceedi the arta of all the AthmUte S^tm 
SlaUt, Uarjland, Virginia, the two CaioUou, and Gcorpa. 
lioK thaa nine-tenthi of thii proivince are imcuUtTated, and 
alnoat uninliabited. The Unuta oo the cast and aouth, tntu 
the piiacipnl mouth of tha Orooookp to the iaknd of San 
Joae de Rio Negro, have been iodicatccl ia ^/'Vfrilimg tha 
general configuratioa of the repuUie of ColumlMa. TIm 
limita of Spanish Guayana on the north and west are^ fimt 
the Oroonoko, lirom Cape Barima to San Fernando do Ata- 
bapo, and then a line stretching from north to south, from 

• Vol. ii, p. 183—914 i Vol. iK, p. 7, «1— 67, 1 
361 ; and the present vol. p. 45. I am ignorant of the real 
position of the Villa de la Merced, indicatetl in the manu- 
script map of the archives of Cumnna, Piratoo and Ha- 
napire appear also to pretend to ihe title of vittas. (VmiUv, 
p. 100.) 



Sqq Fernando towards a point 16 leagued west of the little 
fort of San Carlos. The line crosses the Rio Negto a little 
above Maroa ; The north-east frontier^ that of the English 
Guayana^ merits the greatest attention^ on accotoit of the 
political impdrtance of the mouths of the Oroonoko^ widch 
I have discussed in the S4th chapter of this work. The 
sugar and cottbn plantiitions had already reached beyond the 
Rio Pomaroon under the Dntch govertimetit ] they eaicnA 
farther than the month of the little river Moroco^ Where a 
xnilitary fort is established. (Sei the Very interteting naap of 
the colonies otRn&queho and Demerata, published by Major 
F. de Boocheifroeder, in 1798) . The Dnteh^ fkf from re- 
cogntdng the Ri^iT l^omaroun/ or the Mordco^ as the limit 
of their territory, placed the botttidary at Rio Barhna, con- 
seqaendy near the month of the Orodnoko Itself ; whence 
they draw a Ihie of demarkation ftotn N. N. W. to S. S. E. 
towards Cuynid. They had even taken ihilitary occupation 
of the eastern baifk of the small Rio Barima, befote the Eng- 
Ibh (in 1006) had destroyed the forts of New Zealand and 
New Meddelburgh on the right bank of Pomaroun. Those 
forts, and thnt of Kyk-ovet-al, (look every where around), at 
the confluence of the Cuynni, Masaruni, and Essequebo, 
have not been re-established. Persons, who bad been on 
the spot, assured me, during my stay at Angostura, that the 
comitry west of PomaroUn, of which the possession will one 
day be contested by England and the republic of Columbia^ 
is marshy, but exceedingly fertile. The towns of Guyana, 
or rather the places which have the privileges f of villas and 
ciudades, are Angostura, Barceloneta, Upata, Guirior (merely 
a military post at the confluence of the Paraguamusi and 
the Faragda, a tributary stream of the Caroni), Borbon, Real 
Corona or Muitaco, La Fiedra, Alta Gracia, Cnycara, San 

♦ See above, vol. v, p. 195—223, 355, 3«4, 415. 

+ Vol. V, p. 679. 



Fenando del Atebapo, and EaniiriMK (some indlu- hats 
vmnd K chncch). 

■c.) PsoviMOi OF CuACOA* ; fll,000 Engliih fpiMK mOo, 
OMHeqoeiidytfapvt ooe-KTCBlh lea thu.tbs: Atoof.Viip- 
ida, Northem limit : Ihe C^ribbwy AoaHhB mgnth.rf 
the Bio niiuc,4o« Ift', to awother aide of tlwBio 1I»- 
ticoraa (,lov- 19> 100 ia the diractioaof the gulf or-iSacoitf 
Muoo^bo. on the cast of Coflills de Sao-Cofloa.. Wwteni 
lioiit; B ling diMcted towaidi t|iB oapth, bebrocn^lbe 
inoath oCtbeSioHoUtaoaad ttw Iowa of Cvon, by the 
flonrcoi of the Bio Tocnyo and the hwso de .lip-Bo- 
Bo* *, between Bocspo wad Gnaiure ; towards the E. S. £., 
between the Portu^uesa and the Rio Guanare or the Cofio dc 
Ygues, a Iributorj itream qf the Portuguesa : thii lioe fon&s 
the frontier of the provincea of Varinas aod Coraocu ; and 
runs on the S. £. between San JauDe and Uritucn, tswoida 
apointof the left bankof the Rio Apurc, oppoute Sao Fer- 
luodo. ' SoHlbero limit : fintthe Rio Apiue, linmlat. 7" 61' 
loag. 70" SO ', to it> confluence with the Oronooko, near C^ui- 
chino (Ut. V 37' long. 60° 6') j thcD^ the Lower-Oroonoka 
towatds the east, as far aa the western frontier of Gori- 
erno de Cumana, near the Rio Suata, on the east of Alta 
Gnicia. Towns : Caraccaa, Ia Guayra, Fortocabdlo, Coto, 
Nueva Valencia. Nirgua, San Felipe, Barqaeumcto, . To- 
cnyo, Anuie, Ospinos, Guaoare, San Carlos, San Sefaaa- 
tian, VillB de Cnra, Colabozo. and Sm Joan B(q>tista del 

d.) PaoriNGB OF Vasinas, comprising; an area of ^,WXI 
En(^ish square miles, rather less than the state of Kentucky- 
£astern limit : from the southera extremity of Fatamo da 
las Rosas, and the sources of the Rio GuanarCj toward tbe- 

* See my Geog, Atlas, pi. 17. 


S. £. to the Cafio de Yguoc ; thence between the Rio Fortu- 
guesa and the Rio Guarico, towards tke £. S. E.^ to the 
mouth of the Apure; and to the southward along the left 
bank of the Oroonoko, from the 7® 96^ S. lat. as fkr as the 
mouth of the Meta. Soothertr limit : the northern bank of 
the Meta, as Ieu* as Las RocheTlas de Chiricoas, between the 
mouths of the Caiio Lindero and the Macachare (the long, 
perhtqps 1%^ 4&0. Western limit : first, from the left bank 
of the Meta> to the N. W. acroser the plains of Casdanare, 
between Guardualito and the Villa de Arauca, then, to the 
N. N. W, above Quintero and the mouth of the Rio Nnlb, 
wbich Joins the Apure after the Rio Orivante, toward the 
sources of the Rio Canagua, and the foot of the Paramo dc 
Porqucra. Northern limit : the south-east dedivity of the 
Cordillera de Merida, from the P&ramo dePorquera, between 
La 6ri(a and P^draza, a^ far as the ravine of Lavellaca, in- 
the road of Los Callejoned^, between Varinas de Merida and 
the sources of the Rio Guanare, situate N. N. W. of Bocono. 
Cities : Varinas, Obispos, Bocono, Guanarito, San Jaime, San 
Fernando de Apure, Mijagual, Guardualtto, atid Pedraza. 
By comparing my map of the province of Varinas with the 
maps of La Cruz, Lopez, and Arrowsmith, it will be per- 
ceived what confusion has hitherto prevailed in the labyrinth 
of rivers that form the tributary streams of the Apure and" 
the Oroonoko; 

e.) Province of Maracaybo, (together with Truxillo and 

Merida]r comprising 42,500 English square miles, of rather 

less extent than the state of New York. Northern liipit : 

the abore of the Caribbean Sea, from the Caao dc Oribono 

(to the westward of the Rio Maticores) as far as the mouth. 

of the Rio Calancala, a little to the eastward of the great 

river del Hacha. Western limit : a line first stretching 

From the coast to the southward, between the Villa dc 

Xleyes, called also Valle de Upar, and the small group of 

znountams (Sierra de Pcrija) that rise on the west of the 


iik« of Ibnmybo. Mmrdi theAio G*t*(«4»i fkcato 
ths nttmrd of SaUnr to tha RiaSi||f«> . * buk i^tan Sw 
IftwtlaDi ladfloaUypntheewt, ^iheJpMfmoofrsfvw- 
N.E. <tfX«arite. 11m wMhtivwd 
D Ifas KrntbifMd of tfw MW iiy.mB«ft- 
tiiiu of Ueriih, lenw this nriva (tf L^vcQMii at tha «rt- 
on foot of FwMao <le 1m Bo>m. fcwwfd ,<hf ww w <rf *h» 
Bia da Tocbjo^ and ttwipo^ hct««fo tW noo* «(thft Ri» 
4e Ho^tan and ttie town of Cavan, tojiraMl*. Ilia CaBo. 
Qribgoo. ai welure Jwtrtatad, i» dweribing a>>. bawda?^ 
tWof Ac poTiscaaofVbriiiai and Cw«Miik. TbavoM 
TTaatera part of thaflwlwaoof Maiaay bu ^i hld i t n— p f ^w da 
C^w la Vela. i« caUed the PtouiMoa da b$ Quetrm {OmU- 
p»), on account of tha wild lodiua of that name by vbaan 
it i» inhabited, &ata the Rio 600070, u Alt a» the Bio Ca-> 
laacala. The independent tribe of thv CoduM i* fbimd to- 
ward the w«th. Towns: Manckybo, Gibraltar. XnniUo. 
Sletida, San Austino. 

B,) Amcibkt Vicbboyautt or NaW Gkswada, 

Gomprebendiag New Grenada, propeclji eo called, (Caodina- 
Burca) and Quito. The weatein limita of (he provinna of 
Ifomci^bo, Vorinas, and Guayaoa, bound the tarntoi; of 
the vicwoyalty on the eut : the frontiers on the aouth and 
weat are tboae of Pen and Guatimala. We shall onlj add 
here. In order to rectify the errors of the maps, that the 
Talle de Upor, or Tills de Reyes, Shlsior de las Fabnas, 
El Roeorio de Cucuto, celebrated as the residence of the 
constituent assembly of Columbia, in the month of August 
1816, San Antonio de Cucuta, la Grita, San Christoval, and 
la Villa de Arouca, as also the confluence of the Casanore 
and the Meta, the Inirida and the Gaviare, l>eloi^ to tietr 
Grenoila, The province of Casanare, dependent on SantiK- 
F< de Bogota, extends towards the north beyond the On.— 


tante. On the north-east, the easterninost piovince of New 
Grenada, called Provincia del Hio Hacha, h iefiarated bj the 
Rio Enea from the province of Santa Marta. In 1814 the 
Rio Guaytara divided the pronnce of Popayan from the pre- 
sidency of Quito, to which belonged the provbce of Los 
Faatos. The isthmns of Ffeuuima and the province of Vera- 
gna have at all times been dependent on the Audiency of 
Santa Fe. 

Pbbu* In estimating the extent of the present Pera at 
41>d60 square leagues (20 to a degree)^ the eastern bound- 
ary is, first, the course of the Rio Javary, from 6<» to 9}* 
south latitude ; secondly, the parallel of 9)% stretching 
from the Javary towards tht left hank of the Rio Madeira, 
and cutting successively other tributary streams of the Ama- 
zon, namely, the Jatahy (H^utahy), the Jurora, the Tefe, 
which appears to be the Tdpy of Acuiia, the Coary, and the 
Pnniz ; thirdly^ a line which first runs up the Rio Madeira, 
and then the Mamorb, since called the Salto de Theotino,. 
as far as the Rio Maniqui*, between the confluence of 
the Guapor^ (Ytonamas of the Jesuits) and the mission 
of S. Ana, (about 12|<» south latitude) -, fourthly, tlie- 
eoorse of the Maniqui towards the west, and in stretch- 
ing a line to the Rio fieni, which geographers believ- 
ed to be a tributary stream, sometimes of the Rio Maflei- 
ra, and sometimes of the Rio Puruz ; fifthly, the right bank 
of the Rio Tequeari, which flows into the Beni, below the 
Poeblo de Reyes, and the sources of the Tequieri ; a line 

* See a scarce map of the Miuiones de Mc^os de la Com- 
pania de Jesus, 1713. The Rio Maniqui, to which modern 
geographers have given so much importance, by the fable 
of the lake Rogagualo^ and the bifurcations of the Beni, 
joins the Yacuma, by which Mr. Haenkc went from Httebh 
de Reyes to the Rio Mamorc. 


which crauM the Rio ¥B«nlMri, alntchu on dw ipulh iMt 
towarda the loftj CoidilierM * qI VUnomitB mAlmtap^ 
and Mpentet the F«nniwi dittriett of FMneaitambo aad 
•nnta^ain the diatriet of ApidobnBb*, and the buia of Ifae 
Uu of TUioac* (Omcnito) ( rixlhlj, from Ae 10* of KMlh 
latitads, the weateni chahi of the Andea, bori«l% the b^ 
lia of Iho kke of Titlcaca, tmnrda the wfai, ai^ dMd^ 
l^thepandklofSO* the tribolarj atraama of tha Dea^ns- 
dcrb from the anull LifpOM of Paiia, andthooeof dwBio 
FSleoBUiTo froBi the torreata that throw themadKa into iho 
South Sea. Accofding to dteae Ua^ta. Fhra od the aorth 
(aa&raathoJswy), ia 100 le^aea hi widl^ udtMhrm 
the Rio de U Maddra aitd Hamor^, MO leagoee in the di~ 
recUoii of the panJlela of latitode ; wbile towarda the aooth- 
em extremity of the country, its meao breodth is not moae 
than from 16 to 18 lengoea. The partido of Tenpacs (it» 
the intrndBDcy of Areqnipa) reaches the desert of AtacaoMi 
or the mouth of Iho Rio de Loa, wtuch is placed by the ex- 
pedition of UalaspioK in SI" 26' south latitude, and forma 
the line of demariiation between Peni sad the vieeioyalty 
of Buenos Ayres. in detachiD^ from Peru the four inten- 
dencies of XiS Paz, Cbarcaa or La Plata, Potosi, and Cocha- 
bamlia, then: have been subjected to a goremment statiooed 
on the baolu of La Piatt, not only the provinces where tile 
waters flow towards the sooth-east, ond the vast regioosb 
which uiie the Ucayale and the Madeira {tributary streana 
of the Amaion), tNitalso the inland system of rivers, which, 
(HI the summit of the Andes, and in a longitudinal valley, 
termituled at its two extremities by the cIumUts of nunulmiu 

* The fartidof of Paucartambo andTinta, belong to the 
intcndancy of Cuzco. The district of Apolobamba and the 
basin of the lalic of Utieaco, pertain to the ancient viceroy- 
ally of Buenos Ayrcs. 


of Porco and Cuzco, swell the . alptnc lake of Tiiicaca# 
Notwithstanding these arbitrary divisions, the associationa 
of the Indians who inhabit the banks of that lake, and the 
cold regions of Qmro, La Faz, and Charcas, are oAeoer 
directed towards Cttioo> the eentre €i the andenl l^rmHenr 
of the empire of the IncaSy than towards the plams of Bacnoa 
Ayres. The table-land of Tiahuanaen, where the Inca 
Mata-Capac discovered buildings and gigantic statnes^ of 
whidi the origin extended back beyond the foundation of 
Cuzco^ has been detached from Peru. To attempt thus to 
effiice the historical remembrances of nations, is to call 
Greece by the name of the banks of the lake Copals. It is 
probable that in the numerous confederaUons of states 
which are forming in our days, the lines of demarikatioo 
will not be solely regulated by the course of the waters, but 
that in fixing them the moral interests of nations will at the 
same time be consulted. The partition of Upper Peru roust 
be regretted by all who know how to appreciate the< import- 
ance of the native population on the table-lands of the 
Andes. If a line be drawn from the southern extremity of 
the province of Maynas, or the banks of the Guallaga, to 
the confluence of the Apurimac and the Beni (which con- 
fluence gives birth to the Rio Ucayale), and thence to the 
westward of the Rio Vilcabamba, and the table-land of 
Paucartambo, towards the point where the south-east fron^ 
tier cuts the Rio Ynambari, it will divide Peru into two 
unequal parts $ one (of 26,220 square leagues), is the centre 
of the civilized population, the other (of 16,200 square 
leagues), is wild, and almost entirely uninhabited. 

Buenos Ayres. The editors of the excellent periodical 

work entitled El Somanario (vol. i, p. Ill), justly observe, 

that even on the banks of La Plata no one knows the real 

limits of the ancient viceroyalty of Buenos Ayres. Between 

the Parana and the Rio Paraguay, between the sources of the 


latter Hm and tke Gwporti wfaidi is a tribntarj atocMO of 
bB' Miwltira, tha bonklarlea an diipuled by th« FWta. 
gdcaa} and it i» naeertain if Aejr oi^ to b« catandad- on 
the aonittabejaBdllLBlU»Colfitwlaaa&rMtka]EUoNap% 
irirfeh-recairai tha mtara of tiia Rio dal Diaaaante (■<'*tfa 
i*fMltoa lasa. N* 1. p^ 8, and N< S. p. M). AmiiktitoB 
vBGartelatict, which an angmailMl hy tke fcrtitiaa of 
Bwagu^ and die Cwp/oftaa iYMiaot« I have catealated tha 
■'i™"^'™ ef tha fwt Unit0ay4>f ^.wicocofaltj, aooord* 
ii^ to tbe iinha toaced on the Spaolah mafa bcfon Oie raw 
iMioa of leiOt Thoac limila arc, on ttw ea^ . the itareo, 
a U«le to the nocUiward of the fort of Santa Totcm, at the 
month of tba Bio Tabjin ; from thence thejr atretch to the 
N. N. W, by the wurce* of the Iblcuy ond of the Juy (cut- 
ting the Urugnsy in latitude 27° 30') to the conflueace of 
the Panaa and the Yguaui { on the north along the left 
bank of the Parana as far aa 22." 4%' south lat.{ od the 
If. W. fallowing the Ivineima, towards the presidency of 
Nova Colmbra (lat. 1Q« 66'), founded in ITto ; on the 
N. N. W. near Villa Belht and the isthmus which scpamtes 
tha wslera of the Agoapchy (a tributary of the Par^uay) 
and those of the Guapor^ towards the junction * of the lat- 
ter river witii the Mamorfe, below the fort of Principe 
(11° M' 46* aonth iat ) ; on the S. W. ascending the 
Hamoti and the Maoiqui, as we slated above when we 
traced the limits of Pern and the vieeroyolty of Buenos 
Ayres. Between the 21° S6' and 2&> 64' uf sonth lat. (be- 
tween tha Rio de Lon and Punta de Gvncho), the territory 
of the viceroyaity reaches beyond the Cordillera of tbes 
Andes, end occupies for a distauce of ninety leagues thg-r- 
coast of the South Sea. Here lies the desert of Atacaoin. ^ 
in whidi is situated the smsll port of Colijtt, which migb^. t 


be so useful for the exportaUoa of the productions of the 
Sierra, or of Upper Peru. Oa the west, the western chain 
of the Andes, as far as 37^ of hititnde } and on the aonth the 
Rio Colorado, called also Desaguadero de Mendqza (lat. 
d9^ ^6'), or, according to the most recent aothorities, the 
Rio Negro, separate Buenos Ayres from Chili and the P&ta- 
gonian coast; 

As Paraguay, the prorince Entre Rios, and Banda Oriental 
or the Cisplatine Province * may possibly remain separated 
from the state of Buenos Ayres, I have thought it right 
to calculate separately the contents of these countries 
in dispute. I have found in the limits of the ancient 
viceroyalty, between the Sea and the Rio Uruguay, 8900 
square marine leagues ; between the Uruguay and the Pa- 
rana (Provincia entre Rios) 0848 square leagues ; and 
between the Parana and the Rio Paraguay (the province 
of Paraguay properly so called) 7424 square leagues. 

_ _ _ I 

These three parts on the east of the Rio Paraguay, from 
New Coimbra as far as Corrientes, and on the east of 
the Rio Parana, from Corrientes as far as Buenos Ayres, form 
a space of 23,232 square leagues +, nearly half as large again 
as France. I find consequently, for the three parts of which 
the ancient viceroyalty of Buenos Ayres is composed, in- 
cluding 18,300 square leagues of pampas, or savannahs : 

Northern district, or Upper Peru, 
from Tcquieri and Mamor^, as 
far as Pilcomayo, between 13 
and 21 degrees of south lat 37,020 sq. marine leagues 

■—I !■■■ ■!■ I - 

• The extent of territory comprised between the sea, the 
Rio de la Plata, the Uruguay, the Missions, and the Brazil- 
ian captaincy of Bio Grande. iAuguste de Saint-Hilaire^ 
^per^u d'un voyage dans rinterieur du Bresil, 1823, p. 1.) 

i Nearly 30,300 square leagues, 25 to a degree, and not 
60,203 of these leagues, as the journals of Buenos Ayres 


WaUt* diitriet, or llic eountoy 

betweea Plhxifuro, Vangmf, 

the Bio de 1ft PItU. the Rio 

Nc^, and tbe Coitlinien of 

die Andea (Tari|>, Jojnj. 6tl- 

te, Tdcddibii, Cordon, Sute- 

Fe, BawM Ayrce, Sen Loll de 

It PoBta ud McDdon) W,fil8sq.iiM>lbeleagae« 

£Mehi Atrkt. tbitli, lU on tbe 

cait of the Rkt PengUy and 

IhePiuwle 29,2tt 


The goternment of Buenos Ayres migbt partly find ■ 
campehution fur the luwes with which it is menaced on the 
norlh-eut, by clearing a territory of 60S4 squue Icajpies, 
situated between the Rio Colorado and the Rio Negro. 
The PatagonioD plains as for as the Straits of Magellan, pre- 
sent more than 3l,S0d square leagues, of which nearly two 
thirds are in a much more temperate climate than is general- 
ly supposed. 

In that part of the vi'ceroyalty o<!cu{Hed by the Braiiliana. 
on this east of the Uruguay, wemuatdistio^iab'Iietweenthe 
limits recognised before the occupation of the Proninct rfthe 
Miuuau, OB the north of the Rio Ibicuy, in 1801, and the 
boundaries established by the treaty concluded in 1821', be- 
t ween the Cabildo de MonteTldeo and the Captain-generalship 
of Rio Grande. The Prowtce of the Miuioni is contained be- 
tween tlie left lank of the Cruguay, the Ibicuy, the Torc^, 
a tributary stream of the latter, the Sierra de Saint XoTier, 
and the Rio Juy (a tributary stream of the Uruguay). Its 

* These statements arc founded on the maoHScript notes 
which Mr. Augustc dc Saint-Hilairc collected on (be spot. 


territory extends even beyond the Juy, towai^ thepkam 
where the most northern miasion of San Angel is placed ; 
farther on, are forests hihabited by independent Indians. 
When, in consecpienoe of the alliance between Spain and 
France, England, in February 1801, made, the Pbrtagnese 
declare war against Spain, the Spanish pnnrince of the Mis- 
sions was easily invaded. The hostilities did not last long | 
and although the court of Madrid disputed the legality 
of the occupation, the Missions remained in the hands of 
the Portuguese. The treaty of 1777 ought to constitute 
the basis of the limits between the Ticeroyalty of Boenos 
Ayrcs, and the capUin -generalship of Rio Grande. 
Those limits were fbrmed by a line extending -fint to the 
Rio Guaray (the Guaney of Arrowsmith), and the sources of 
the small riTers Ibirapuita, Nanday and Ibycuimerim, that 
empty tliemselves into the Ibicuy, (kt. 20® 40') at the con- 
fluence of the Rjode Ponche Verde with the Ibicuy, then con- 
tinuing towards the south-east, to the source of the Rio 
Negro, (a tributary stream of the Umguay), it crosses the 
la^e Merin, towards the mouth of the Itaby, vulgarly called 
Tah^. The nu>st southern Portuguese marco is found at 
the mouth of this river, op the sea coast. The country be- 
tween the Tahym and the Rio Cbny, a little norjth of Santa 
Teresa, was ne:utcr, and bore the name of Campoi neutrae^; 
hot, notwithstanding the diplomatic conventions, it was in 
1804 already occupied for the most part by Portuguese cul- 
tivators. The invasion of Spain by the French, and the re- 
volutions of Buenos Ayres, have given the Brazilians facility 
to push their conquests as far as the mouth of the Uruguay, 
so that the x^eyr interior limits, between patient Brazil and 
the countries recently occupied, were fixed in 1821, without 
the intervention of the congress of Buenos Ayres, by the 
deputies of the cabUdo of Montevideo, and of the captain- 
ge.aerakhtp of Rio Grande. It was agreed that the Ciiplaiine 
JProffince of Brazil (the Oriental Bandj according to the geo- 

gimpkic ■oaMctetuiWM ihk tfrnanrM}, abMlM be biMUdal 
m Mtf MHh by tt* canfcieBW- or ^ Vrili^y with Ae- 
Anpcr (Vgmiipar of A im tii u t tl A) >' wl Iteem by ■ line 
irtdd^ begtnUii^ ■! * AsgiMani, 6 Mi^vu Mnth of Sulk 
T>riM>jpfUMb|r<ltfc anrrii of SBliit IDtbd, Ibfibm the 
Rio 8u ttik u fc« •> iU Bfotrtli in the IsktfHeriii, stKtdin 
kIM^ ttM '«ciileA bHrit «r OM Ulce, eta AMubee of MS 
tolMih Ffeatetfblr tte moaOi of the Rio 8abu^ gMi np Id 
thai of tk Bb Ja^aaM, And IbDowfaig t&e«oWiMtiri&is i4v«r 
aa Cmt aa Cenoa do AqgOBo, tinMea the lUo lAgta, and cdo- 
&nita^ a tnrre at the' itortU^wnt, tijnfai* th« Sb Ampoy. 
Tht) a|)ace fcoO^irchended betmea Ae Afapnqr and diia 
Iblcny, dte KUthemiTnilt of lire province of the Hiisions, 
bekH^ tDthecaptalfHgenetalsbipofRioGnuide, ThcPor- 
tngucM Braailiain fasTe not yet attempted to fonn eetOe- 
mcBta in tbc prortnce £»trt Riot, (betvreen the Panna and 
the ^raguay), a eonntry derastBted by Artigas and Ramirez. 
Inlbe savanBaha(p(»ttpar), which, like an am of the sea, 
eatend htan Saata-Fe on the north, between the monntidns 
of Bnail, and tboK of Cordova and Jujny*, the natoral 
limilaof the intendancies of Potnsi and Satta, that is of Upper 
Peru and Buenos Ayres, seem likily to be altogether con- 
founded. Chichas and Tarija are considered as the most 
■onthem pTorisces of Upper Pera ; the plains of Kanso be- 
tween Rlcomayo and the Rio Grande, or Verm^f, as wdl 

* Ibis town, according to M. Redliend {Memoria lobre 
Is tlibitaeion (fe/ aire tUmtuferico; Bunot Ayrei. 1819, p. 8 
and 10), is situated 700 foises above the level of the sea. 
The absolnte height of the town of San Miguel del Tucumac 
is, according to the barometric measurement of the same 
author, (on inhabitant of Salta) 200 toises. 

+ The real name of this river, the banks of which were 
heretofore inhabited by the Abipons, is Rio Iilale. (See 
Dobrizhofer, Hiil. de Mlponibi's, 1184, Tom. ii, p. 14). 


as Jujay> Salta^ ami Tucuman, belong to Buenos Ajres, 
properly so called. The limit oi Upper Peru is now, on the 
east^ only an imaginary line traced across uninhabited sa- 
Tannahs. It cuts the Cordillera of the Andes at the tropic of 
Capricorn, and thence crosses, first, the Rio Oiande, 26 
leagues below San Yago de Cotagayta ; then the Pilcomayo, 
22 leagues below its confluence with the Cachimayo, which 
flows from la Plata or Chuquisaca; and, finally, the Rio Pa- 
raguay, in the 20* 50' of south latitude. If the basin of the 
lake of Titicaca, and the mountainous part of Upper Peru, 
^here the language of the Inca prevails, were to be re«< 
united to Couzco, the plains of Chiquitos and Chaco might 
still form a part of the government of the Pampas of Buenos 
Ay res. 

CauJ, The limits of Chili on the north are the desert of 
Atacama, on the cost the Cordillera of the Andes, where the 
road of the couriers passes between Mendoza ai&d Valpar-* 
iiiso, at the height^ according to barometric measures taken 
in 1794 by M. d*£spinosa and Bauza, of 11)87 toises^ above 
the level of the sea. I took for the southern limitf the en- 
trance of the gulf of Chilofe, where the fort of Maullin 
(lat. 41^ 430 ^s the most southern possession of Spanish 
America on the continent. The bays of Ancud and Relon- 
cavi no longer present any fixed settlements of European 
colonists i there begin the Juncos^ who are independent, not 
to say wild Indians. From these statements it results, that 
the European settlements extend much fiirther to the south, 

* This is, however, 440 toises less than the culminant 
point of the road of Assuay, between the towns of Quito 
and Cuenca, of which 1 took the level in 1802. See my 
Ob». astron. Tom. i, p. 312, No. 209. 

+ Political Essay on New Spain, vol. \, p.O^ vol. iv, 
p. 285. 


on the WHtera, than « the eaiteni coutof the eeMtaent; 
the fanner hare elraadf paaeid n degree of Wtwle bejond 
the {leniUcl cf the Rio Negro «Dd the Poerto^ SuAatoOio. 
The oqilteLor Suttago, of CbfU. te Jitneuit on • tAl»4eKt 
of the aaw oleveliaa u Ae town of Ceiwow*. 

Braziih The loathen limlti of CoIainUe. the evteia 
Unite of Pern, and the QOtthera Umitt .of Boenoa Ajrrca, 
detennine the bonodarj of the BeaaQiaa tonllorj on. the 
north, the west, and the sooth.. In oider to caladate ths 
■nperSdnl vontmts, I emplojed nuniucript mv*^ wUeh 
were cmunnnicated tojne kj the govemnwi^ of Bio Janeiro, 
at the tfanc when the very ngne tennt of the 8th article of 
the trealj of Utrecht, and the 107th article of the act of 
the CongiCM of Viennaf, bud given rise to diplomatic 

' * 409 toiaea, accordti^ to Mr. Banxa, which is thiec hun- 
dred toisea lower than the town of Heodoza, at the oppo- 
■ite dedirlty of tlie Cordillera of the Andes. {Uaxiuer^ 
nofaofDaiLuiilfeo,botanutqfthe expe&iaiiof UalaifntiM.') 
■t- See above, vol. v, p. 843, The BraztUan limits, hi 
the gorennnent of the Rio Negro, were examined by the 
astronomers Jos^ Joaquim Victorio da CosU, Jas£ Simoens 
de Garvalho, Francisco Jo;^ de Lacenla, and Antoido I^i* 
Pontes i and in the goTemment of Grand Para, espedaQj 
between the Araguari aqd the Cetaoene (Rio Carseweita of 
the Mof »f the Coal of tie (itifana, published by the Dqiol 
of the Marine in 1617), by the oatronomer Joz£ Sfanoens 
de Carvalho, and the Colonel of Engineers Pedro Alcxan' 
dtino de Souza. The French have long extended their 
pretensioBB beyond the Caisoene, near Ope Nerd. The 
boundary is now thrown bacli as far oa the mouth of the 
Oyapok, The principal tributary streaqi of that river, the 
Qanopi, and the Tnmouri, which is a tributary stream of t)M 
Canopi, draw near each othtr atalengue distant (lal. 2° 90';) 


disputes respecting the French and Portngnese €hiyana8. By 
drawing a line from north to south, by the mouth of the 

from the source of the Maronf, or rather jprom one of its 
branches, the Rio Araoua, near the village of the Aramichaun 
Indians. The Portuguese being desirous of tracing the limits 
between the Oyapok and theAraguari (Araouari), caused the 
latitude of the source of the latter river to be carefully exa- 
mined by Colonel de Souza ; it was found to be further north 
than the mouth, which has placed the frontier in the parallel of 
Calsoene. The name of the Rio de Vicente Pfn^n, become ce- 
lebrated in the annals of diplomatic disputes, has disappeared 
on the new maps. According to an ancient manuscript Por- 
tuguese map in my possession, and where the coast is marked 
between San Jos^ de Macapa and the Oyapok, the Pln9on 
must be identical with the Calsoene. I suspect that the un- 
intelligible terms of the Bth article of the treaty of Utrecht 
('' the line of the river Japoc or Fincente Pingon, which ought 
to cover the possessions of the cape and of the north*^ are 
founded on the denomination of Cape North, sometimes given 
to Cape Orange. (See Laet Nov. Orb. 1633, p. 036). M. de 
la C6ndamine, whose sagacity nothing escapes, has afready 
said^ in the Relation deson Voyage ^TAmazone, p. 199, ''the 
Portuguese have their reasons for confounding the bay (?) 
of Vincent Pinjron, near the westiern mouth of the Rio Ara- 
wan (Araguari), lat ^ 2\ with the river Oyapok, 4^ 15'lat. 
The peace of Utrecht makes it one river" This latitude 
2r 2^ would bring the imaginary river of Pin^n near the 
Majacari and the Calsoene, and remove it nearly one degree 
from the Araguari, which is in lat. 1^ 15 ^ Mr. Arrowsmith, 
whose map furnishes excellent materials for tracing the 
mouth of the Amazon, places the Rio de Vicente Pinfon on 
the south of Majacari, where the Matario loses itself in a 
bay, opposite which the small isle Tururi is situated, lat. 
1^ SO'. As the Araguari, communicfiting with the Matario, 


riivr of thi TocMrtiH, ««d Mlewwg dpe eoww 4tf tke Am- 
gntr, 49 lawiM to the w^ of VilMaK. lominli t^B iniirt 
wben ths %i« nuww cuts the tropic (tf QiIficiHO> V9 dbidB 
Sivpil i«t9 two pVt*< TM qp tb* Wf»t MMtf il>> a i h Ab 
cai^ti|ift-pnn>#ii»Wup of On(i4-Fw^IUvN<8nf»»dlf»tta 
iiltmOi }tiK!aim>t.ff\wUyyaitiWrft«iL«)dq3«taiHKBa- 

pmi «;t4em)vt« on]i^ oq4w ^t^Qriinn, «ptlMipf[ of tin 

B^ N<^p»* B^ BrfVcn. tte Affiagov, wild lb« Qpffffc, wbid^ 

■)(t«nt (W t» • dxym). irt|i}e th« qw^rn pM^ qwnp^B^fnh 
iiy t)Mfl||tw-4|«#«n|W)<POr0t* coMi, M i n ^ fl w i W U IW4 
Qn^, M 119.980 |IWIM» l|l^;iW«. tff «*yiw*w «« ,¥««-• 
foravaMo to tbpfc ^ » very dittlnfoiahed geqsm^ber. H. 
Jidrien HoUm. ^kt> compnteg 2.350,000 e^uare ItolW nulea 
(UO^OOO iQiure mvim ln£u^)i for th« whole Qnziliu 
e)i)|iir«, RxdivliDg M I IWT? iloae, the Ci9|iliriiqa pronoce 
fifd thfd of th^ Arisitaptj on the e*M of the Uruguay. 
(£luai fteUiili^ ittr ie Pifrhtfai, bun. ii, p. 9SS.) 

UNITED Stats^ I h(iv« already remarked in MWlfaei 
place {Pomeal Zm9, Vol. i, p. 13). tbat it became diSr 
cult v> estimate the »ur$ice of the territory (if the Uiuted 
Stftf^, in aquare leagn^, sipce the aevi^o'i of louiaiw, 
of wlUch the northern and aatteni boundaries l^i^ mnaino/i 
nndetenipineil. Iliey are qqw fixed by the t^are^tiw oon- 
c)i^)e4 i^ London, October JOthj, 1818. and by the tre»^ vi 
the flprida^ signed at Wasbingtop, February 23(), IQtft 
I have therefoce tboa^ht I might make ^hi« quwtiop the vdir 
ject of fresh resear<:hes. I have devoted ptyseV to t))i> talk 
with the greats cace. as the aurbce of the United StJSttt 

iomis a soFt of delta on the norA-irest around the inundated 
tands of Car^i^oria, M. de la Condamine perhaps constdeted 
the small river which flows opposite the isle Tururi as the 
western branch of the Araguari. 


from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific is estimated by very 
recent authors at KI6>4IM>^ at 187^8Q0> at lWlfifH>, at 
173,400, at 20b,M0t «nd' at* 888^4M' square' marine leagues, 
20 to a d^ree : ami it tip peas tfid to me impoMble ftbm those 
varying statements; of wUibh the j fl fereace amounts tb more 
than 100,000 squaft lesgllesl tbat^ is tO'shc fUuesthc^ svper^ 
fica of France, to-ftnd^CK reShIk with* which-.^re might com- 
pare the sur&ces of the new'ft«e-states= of Spanish America, 
Jn some invtances the same author has> at diffftreot periodSj 
given very different estimatea of the same territory, bounded 
bytfietWoseasbeCweenCllpeiniHevas'snid'the HIb C61am«> 
bia, between the month of Hie MlssfM^I* aqdf tbe bdce des 
Bois. Mr, Mellish, in' his map of' 1816; has estimated the 
Umted Sti^ at %4M;Mi square mffcs (W^ to a d^rree), 
of which the' territory* of the Missouri albne is made 
1,680,000. In his TraveU through the Ointed States of Ame^ 
rica, 1818, p. 581 , he fliees Hhe contents at 1,869;806 square 
miles, of which the territory of the Missouri is estimated 
at 985,260. Still' later, in his Geographical description of the 
United States, 1822, p. 17, he again increases the calculation 
to 2,076,410 square miles. These fluctuations of opinion 
respecting the extent of the surface of the United States 
cannot be attributed to the various ways in which the limits 
are traced : the errors fbr the most part which affect the 
extent of the territory between the Bilisstssipi and the Rocky 
Mountains,, and between those mountains and the coast of 
the Pacific, arise from mere mistakes of calculation. I find 
in taking the average of several estimates, on the mapsi of 
Arrowsmith, Mellish, Tardieu, and Bru^ : — 

Square MariiM 

t. Oil the etti of ibe Miasisaipi 7T,684 

or 9d^,0M square nttles. 

a,) Atlantic part, eastof the Alleghanis 27,064 
or 824,000 square miles. The chain 



of tke Allcgliuu has been pn- 

loaged m tlu north tmnrda Fl^to- 

bottrg ud Montrenl, and on -tha 

aouOk bj fidlowh^ the AiwUcfai- 

colt, io thkt the Bsrwter part of Flo- 

lida belongi to tbit JUbntic dlvidoo. 
b.) Between the Atkeiuaii and the 

IfiMii^ AO>efla 

or aoe.000 >q««re nOet. 
.U. OotheweatoftheMiMiHi^..., OOJOM 

or l^lMjBOO square mllei. 
. ».}■ Between the Missiiaipi and the 

Aocky MDUDtaina,. comprehending 

the lakes _ 72,6ai 

or 868,400 square miles. 
b.) Between the Rock J MovotaiDB and 

the coast of the I^cific, taking for 

the southern and oorthem limits the 

parallels 42° and 49" (Western Ter- 
ritory) 24.081 

or, 288,400 square miles. 

Territory of tiie United States, between the 

two Oceans. 2,096,800 square miles, or.. .174,308 

square marine leagues, of 20 to a degree. 

The whole territoryof the United States, from the Atlantic 
pecan to the Pacillc, is consequeutly a little larger than En- 
rope, to the westward of Russia. The Atlandc part alone 
may be compared to Spain and France nnitcd ; the district 
between the AlleghanisandtheMississipI, to Spain, Portugal, 
France, and Germany ; the portion westward of the Missis- 
sipi, to Spain, FniQce, Germany, Italy, and the Scandinariaa 
kingdoms. The Misaisaipi consequently divides the United 
States intu two great portions, of which the former, or 
eastern division, advancing rapidly in culture and civilizatioi^ 


coBtains a superficial extent equal to that of Mexico -, and Ihe 
latter, the western division, almost entirely wild and un- 
peopled, a territory as laige as that of the republic of Co- 

In the statistical researches which have been 
prosecuted in several countries of Europe^ im- 
portant consequences have been drawn from the 
comparison of the relative population of the 
maritime and inland provinces. In Spain* these 
relations are to one another as 9 to 5 ; in the 
United Provinces of Venezuela, and^ above all^ 
in the ancient captsdn-generalship of Caraccas, 
they are as 35 to 1 . How powerful soever may 
be the influence of commerce on the prosperity 
of states, and the intellectual development of 
nations, it would be wrong to attribute in Ame- 
rica, as we do in Europe, to that cause alone 
the differences we have j ust remarked. In Spain 
and Italy, if we except the fertile plains of Lom- 
bardy, the inland districts are arid, filled with 
mountains, or high table-lands ; the meteoro- 
logical circumstances on which the fertility of 
the soil depends, are not the same in the lands 
bordering on the sea as they are in the central 
provinces. Colonization in America has gene- 
rally begun on the coast, and advanced slowly 

* Antillon, Geogrqfia astronomka, natural y poiUica,liS\5, 
p. 146. 

loirturdB tbe ia^ianae.i amck is its <pi)0^ndB kt 
Sraiil^fUid<BV«nen^ -it 'is 'QbIj when tbe 
coast Is Ttdheaithy, as in ile^ce and'Neir Xh«- 
iiada, or sandy and exempt from rain as in Peru, 
that the population is doncentrated on the 
mountains, and the table-huids of the interior* 
Hiese local jdrcumstances are too oftto over- 
looked in dischssin^ the fhtare fiite <tt fbe 
Spaidsh colonies } they commtiiAcate a pecunar 
character to some of those countries of lAicfa 
the physicfd and moral analogies are less Strik- 
ing than is commonly believed. Considered 
vith reference to tbe distribution of the popu- 
lation, the tiro provinces of New Grenada and 
Venezuela, which have been united in one po'U- 
tical body, present the most complete contrast. 
Their capitals (and the position of capitals al- 
ways denotes in what district the population is 
most concentrated) are situated at such unequal 
. distances from the trading coasts of the C^irib- 
bean sea, that tbe town of Caraccas, to be placed 
on the same parallel with Santa-Fe de Bc^ta, 
must be transplanted towards the south, to tbe 
junction of the Oroonoko with the Guaviai^ 
Where the mission of San Fernando de Atabi^ 
is situated. 

The republic of Columbia, is, with Mexico 
and Gautimala, the only state of Spanish Ame- 
rica which occupies the coast opposite to Eu- 
rope, as well as that which is opposite to Asia. 

Hiere ftre 400 leA^M ffiMnCape Veank «o thi 
western extremity ^ Vetagua i Md 960 itom 
Cape Bttf ica M the moutb of Rio TttMbl3«. Tfeie 
sbord pMMMed liry thd republio «f Cttlttmllia 
consequently equate in length tbe cMst fr^m 
Cadb toDanttfiek^ or fratn Ceata te» Jaffii. IW 
immense resoiirtee tar Mitioaal iadtttttry is <;ott- 
bined witkt a degfee cff enltivation el whidi 
the importattiee has M« hitherto beMi snsCeiently 
recogaijsed Tike isthmus of Fwiafmif fcvws a 
part of the territory of Colnmhia^ and thM neck 
of land, traversed by iYeroada, and stocked 
with <»i|icAs^ AAy one day serve as a portage 
for the eotnmerce of the world, even tbou^ 
nelthm* the pt^aitf of Cnpfea^ the^ bay of M an- 
dfaiga, not the Rio Chagre, i^foiild ever present 
the possibility of a canal ftt for the passage of 
veasels going from Europe to China*,^ or from 
the tJiiited States to the nortfe^weM; eeasH o# 

Ifi the Coarse of this work, when considering 
the inflnedee which the emfiguration of coun- 
tries' (that is^ the elevation and form of their 
coasts,) exerts in evei^ district on the progress 
of civifiMtion asd the destiny of nations, I have 
often iaristed eoa the disadvaaMages of those vast 
raas8«» of triangular continents, which, like 

* The ancient vice-royalty of Buenos-Ayrcs extended also 
^ng a amalT portion of tlie Soutb Sea coast > but We liave 
seen above i$^Q ITO^r, hour desert is this portion. 


Afiioa, .and the greater part at .Soat^ America,' 
are. destitute of gulfi and inland seas.. We.wjU 
not here dwell <hi. the observation, that:the. 
existence of our Iifodit^rraneaa bas be^ .closely : 

, ocnmected with the first dawn <tf , human -enlti-. 
ration among the nataons of the wsati aad that, 
the ] articulated . form ; <^ the land^; ti^ . frer: 
qnency of thdr contracti<Mi8,.and the comcatemt-. 
ti<»i. of pffljinsulas, iavoured the civUimtiM} .of; 
Greeoa, .Italy, and perhaps of all. £nr!i>pe» jto the. 
westward of the meridian of the I^opontis. . In 
the New World the uninterruptedness of the, 
coasts, and the monotony of their strught lines, 
are most remarkable in Chili and Peru. The: 

- shore of Columbia is more varied, aud;its spa-: 
cious gul&, such as that of Paria, Cariaco, Ma- , 
racaybo, and Darien, were at the time of the. 
first discovery bettw peopled than the rest, and 
&cilitated the interchange of productions. Hiat. 
shore possesses an incalculable advantage, in. 
being washed by the Caribbean sea, a kindjof 
inland sea with several outlets,. and the.. only t 
one pertaining to the New Continent, This- 
basin, the different shores of which belong tO; 
the United States, the republic of Columbia,, 
Mexico, and some maritime powers of Europe 
^ves rise to a peculiar system of trade, exclu-. 
sively American. The south-east of Asia, with 
its neighbouring Archipelago, and above all, the 
state of the Mediterranean in the time of the^ 


Phenician and Greek colonieSi have proved the 
happy influeace of the nearness of opposite 
coasts which have not the same prodactions, 
and are inhabited by nations of different rapes, 
on commercial industry and intellectual culti- 
vation. The importance of the inland sea of 
the Antilles, bounded by Venesraela on the 
south, will be still augmented by the progres- 
sive increase of population on the banks of the 
Mississipi ; for that river, the Rio del Norte and 
the Magdalena, are the only great navigable 
streams which it receives. The depth of the 
American rivers, their immense branches, and 
the use of steam boats, every where fiEu^ilitated 
by the proximity of forests, compensate to a- 
certain extent the obstacles arising fr6m the 
uniform line of the coasts, and the general con- 
figuration of the continent, in the promotion of, 
industiy and civilization. 

By comparing, according to the tables we 
have furnished above, the extent of the territory 
and the entire population, we should obtain the 
result of the connection of those two elements 
of public prosperity, a connection that consti- 
tutes the relative population of every state in' 
the New World. We should find to every 
square marine league, at Mexico, 90 ; in the 
United States, 58 ; in the republic of Columbia,, 
30 ; and in Brazil, 15 inhabitants ; while Asi- 
atic Russia furnishes 11 ; the whole Russian 

eaipiK67 1 Sweden wMi Nonnqr^ftO } Earopean 
RiiMia*, 390; Spun, 7€S; and Ftanoei 177B. 
Bvt tbaiecaCtiaMes of relative pt^alatiati, wfaM 
a{i{diad/to ooautries of iraneafle extent, and of 
i^ah a ^reat pari is cnUi^j -untiAabified, for- 
nlah laatbMiBtiaal abatMotien thatalbrd little 
inftnietioHk laoonntrieftaMfiiMilycidtitBted, 

knd «a4 tb» Otttd ]>ich]r of WwMw, «M ia ISOt, aeeorA- 
iog to the itBtirtical tables of Hr. UmscI (Owut dfr Anvf- 
Slaaten, Tom. 1, p. 10), 138,000 square leagues, SO to a de- 
gree, with s population of 3S,400,000 Bouls ; according to 
the wamt tables, the extent of the whole Russian momrrhy 
msa(d>180 sqaara Ic^ues, with 40 iniDlou of popolatioa. 
Theoo estioHitee of 18«& would give but 064, Hid BS inhabi- 
tants to the square league. In supposiiig with Mr. Balfai 
(see bit interedtiog researches oo the populatiaa of Russia, 
in the Compendh di Geogrofia tudtertaU, pp. 143, and 163, 
end Oe Aofitftrai £1*09 mt Porlvgal, Vol. il, p. 3A3), the ■b' 
perficial extent of Europesn B&tria »Uh f^oluMi *ul the 
kingdom 6f Pfdand, to be 1QB,400 aqnara iteffut^ tbe si^er- 
fix* of the whole Russian mooarcbj in Europe utd im Aua, 
086,000 square leagues, and the actual jiopulation in 18%t to 
be from 46 to 54 millions, we find S83 add 7B vtkalnlamtt to 
tht tquart Uegut. Aceordhtg to resesrchcs which 1 have re- 
ventlr tnado Mlaflve to tbt «xtenl of Roesia, I fix, for the 
whole DBipire, conprdieDdiBg Vlnlsid sad Poland, fflO^n 
square leagues ; for the European port, comprebcDdii^ tit 
ancient kingdoms of EaBan and Astrakhan, with the exceiK 
tion of the government of Pcrmc, 150,400 stiuare leagoes, 
whtcfa yields the relative population uf 318 and 87, stated ia 
the text. (See abo Oatpari, Vdlft. Hand, der ErdB. B, xD, 
p. 310. 


in France * for instanoe, tbe Bumber of inhabit- 
ants to the Bquare IcQgae, calculated by aepa- 
rate departme&te, is geserally only a tfaird, 
more orless^ than the relative population of thfe 
sum of all the departments. Even in Spain, 
the oscillations from the average number rise^ 
with a fe\^ exceptieiis, only from the half to the 
double'f'. in Amerioai on the contmry, it is 
only in the Atlantic states^ fram South Carolina 
to New Hampshire, that the population begins 
to spread itself mtfa some uniformity. In that 
most civilized portion of the New World, form 
130 to 900 inhabitants are reckoned to the 
squane league, while the relative population oi all 

* The luperficial extent of France, not oomprehendiHg 
Corsica, was estimated by the direction of the Cadastre, m 
18L7, at 51,910,062 hectares, or 5190 square niyriameters* 
or 26;278 square leases, tiS to a degree. A£ Goquebert de 
M ontbret reekons 442 square lesgnes for Corsica ^ conse^ 
i|iieiitly France with Corsiea now contains 26,720 commoa 
Sqoare leagues, or 17,101 square leagues (20 to a degree). 
11k population in 1820, having been 30,407,907, we find 
1778 inhabitants to every square marine leqgue. The average 
extent of a department of France is 198 square marine 
leagues } the mean population is 858,600. The number of 
inhnbitsnts to the square league is, in most of the depart- 
ments, 1000^ 1200, 2400, and 2600. In taking the average 
of the five most and least peopled departments and govern- 
me&ts of Branoe and Russia, we obtain tbe proportion of the 
minimum and maximum of the relative population ; in the 
foimer of these countries = i : 8,7 ; in the latter =: 1 : 12>2. 

t AfMkm, Qeogrq/ta^ p. 141. 


the Atlantic states,' ctmridered -together, it 840. 
The extremes (North CaroUmi and MaaBachnsets) 
are only in the relation of 1 to 7, neariy as in 
F^isnce*, where the extrBinQi,in the department 
of the Upper Alps and -of the North; are ako 
in the rdation of 1 t 6,7. The oscillations 
from the mean namber, which we generally iind 
restricted to narrow limits in the nvilised 
coimtiies of Eorope-f-, exceed, so to speak, all 

* In coiittnnfail France, cxcloding Corria ; ibr the de- 
partment of the Iiiunone ia itill worse peopled than that of 
the Upper Alps. The department of the North hod, in 1604, 
on 178 square lesgnes (80 to a degree) s popnktion of 
7^4,600 i and In 1630, of 904,600. The deputment of the 
Upper Alps bod, in 1804, on 160 square leagues, a popula- 
Uon of 118,339, and in 18S0; of 121,400. There are, 
tberefbre, in these ttro departments, 60Bt, and 758 inhabitanU 
to the aqnore league. 

t Ewnpe, bounded by the Jalk, the momitainfl of the 
Ooral and the Kara, contains 304,700 square marine te^nes. 
In supposing the inhabitants to be 106 millions, a leUtirc 
pt^nilation is formed of 939 to the square league, a Uttle less 
than that of the department of the Upper Alps, and a littk 
more than that of the inland prorinces of Spun. In com- 
paring the Mai mean of 639 with the partial meoH of Knni- 
pean countries tiiat do not contain less tlian 600 square 
leagues, we obtun, excluding Laponiaonljr, and four goreni- 
menta of Russia (Archangel, Olones, Wologda, and As&s- 
khan), 160fbrtbe most desert re^ons of Europe ; andfortbe 
most peopled, 2400 souls to the square league. These nun- 
bers give the relation of the extremes = 1 : 16. jtmerita 
contains, according to my last calculations, 1,184,800 
square marine leagues, from Cape Horn to the 68° of oorlh 


measure in Brazil, ia;tlie Spanish colonies, and 
even in the confederation of the United States, 
when considered in its whole extent. We.find 
in some intendances in Mexico (La Sonora and 

lat.^ comprehending the West Indies ; and in estimating the 
piopulatlon as we have done above, at 34,2B4,<XK>^ we 
scarcely obtain W inhabitants to the square league. Now to 
find a continuous snrfece of 600 square leagues^ and which is 
at the same time tlie most peopled of all America^ we must 
have recourse to 9 part of the table-land of Mexico^ or of 
New England^ where three contiguous states, Massachusets, 
Rhode Island, and Connecticut^ contained in 1820^ an en- 
tire population of 881,694, on 1S,604 square English miks, 
consequently nearly 840 souls to the square marine league. 
We can only select among the West India Islands, of whith 
the population is extremely concentrated, the Great Antilles ; 
for the Little Antilles (or the Eastern Caribbean Isles), from 
Culebra and St. Thomas to Trinidad, conUuii altogether 
bat 387 square leagues. Jamaica has nearly the same rela- 
tive population as the three states of New England, which 
we. have just mentioned ; but its sorfece doer not extend to 
600 square leagues. St. Domingo (Hai'ti), which is five 
times larger than Jamaica, has only 206 inhabitants to the 
square league. Its relative population scarcely reaches ihat 
of New 'Hampshire. I shall not venture to indicate the 
fraction which we may suppose to be the minimum of the re- 
lative population of the New World) for instance, in the 
savannahs between the Meta and the Guaviare, or in Spanish 
Guyana, between the Esmeralda, the Rio Erevato, and the 
Rio Caura, or finally, in North America, between the source 
of the Missouri and the Slave Lake. It is probable that the 
relation of the extremes, found in Europe to be as 1 : 15, is, 
in the New World, even excluding the Llanos or PampaSy4t 
least 1 : 8000, 


Dnriuigb) fi«in9 «o 15 nifaBbltaiiti to tiie Bfoare 
iBBgoe, vMk IB •then^ at fhe emtrail taUeu 
land, tiiere an more tltaa flOO. The velaliTe 
population of the eountiyBitaatad bettreoa Ab 
easteni bank of Uie MiasUsipi and the Atlantic 
states is Bcavcely 47, while that of Connecti- 
catp Ahode lilandrand MaMaohusok is ■Kwa 
than dOOi, On the iv>e0l of tfav MiMinipi, as 
welt as m the hiteiibr of S^nn&b Otayana^ there 
are not 3 inhabitants to the square leagne oo 
much largpr extents of territory than Switzer- 
land (u* Belgium. The state of these eountries 
is like thtA of the Rosnan empire, where the re^ 
lattve population of some Asiatic goremments 
(Irkntzk and Tobolsk),, is to that of the best 
cultivated European districts, as 1 to 300. 

The prodigious difference which exists in 
oonntriaft newly cultivated, bettreoi the extent 
of territory and the number of inhabitaats, 
renders It necessary to enter into these partial 
estimates. When we learn that New Spain 
and the United States, taking tbeir entice exr 
tent at 75,000 and 174,000 square mariue 
leagues, give Fespectively, 90 and 58^ souls to 
each league, the idea we form of that distriba- 
tion of the population, on which the political 
force of nations dep^ds, is as little correct as 
that we shoijd obtain of the climate of a 
country, that is, of the distribution of the heat 
in the different seasons, by the knowledge 


soldy of the mean temperature of the whole 
year*. If we take from the United States all 
their possessions west of the Mississlpi, their re- 
lative population would be 121 instead of 58 to 
the square league, consequently much ^preater 
than that of New Spain ; in taking feom the 
latter cMiuntry the Prwmoias imterww (aorth 
and north-east of Nueva Galicia), we should 
find 190^ instead of 90^ souls to the square 
The foUpwing are the particular statements 

* It would be taking me too far from my subject to push 
this comparison ikrltier^ and discuss to what degree the whole 
of the means might throw light on the mode of distribution 
both of the tempemture and of the popuhition. I haTe en- 
deavoured to prove in another place (Des Vignei i9oiherme$t 
pp. 62, and 71) that, in the stfsttm of Fiuirypean climaiea, the 
mean temperature of the winter begins to be below the point 
of congelation^ only where the mean temperature of the 
whole year sinks at least 16^ of the centigrade thermometer. 
The lower is the mean annual temperature^ so much greater 
is the difference of temperature of the winter and the summer. 
In the same manner the very feeble relative population of a 
whole country^ of considerable extent^ generally indicates 
that state of dawning cultivation which produces great ine- 
quality in the distribution of the inhabitants. What Buffon> 
with that propriety of expression which characterizes his 
style^ has called extreme climates, (the climates of the interior 
of continents where very severe winters succeed very hot 
summers,) corresponds in some measure with population 
unequally accumulated ; and two phenomena of a nature en- 
tirely different, furnish, if we consider them as mere quantita- 
the estimates^ very remarkable analogies. 


for Venezuela and New Grenada, according to 
the numbers which we have reason to believe 
to be the most exact : 

Jtqiublic of Columbia 30 

Six times larger than Spain, nearly equal in extent 
to the United Slates, westward of the Missiasipi. 
Superficial extent, 01,060 square leagues. Actual 
population, 2,786,000. 

A. Nan Grenada (with the province of Quito) 31 

Not quite four times the size of Spain. Super- 
fiaea, 68,260 square lengues. Actual [>opulation, 
8 loillioiis. 
;' B. Faumla, or oncJeat CapUmia-gnural ot Ov- 

nccaa M 

Mora than twice the uze of Spain ; equal in ex- 
tent to the ^/tafic .Statet of North America. 5n- 
peifiav, 83,700 iqiure leagues. Actual popa- 
Ifltion, 786,000. 

a. Gtmma tad Bareehna S7 

SitpKrficitt, 3616 square leaguea : Actual po- 
pulation, 128,000. 

h. CaracMJi (with Com) 81 

Super/kirn, 6140 square league*. Actual 
population, 420,000. 

f. Jlfaraaiyfo (with Uerida and Tmzillo) 4^ 

SttptrfidM. 864B sqnare lesgoes : Actual 
popnlation, 140,000. 

rf. FariHOM S8 

Suyerficia, 2078 squara leagues. Actual 
population, 76,000. 

e. Gi^aiia (Spanish Quyana) 2 

Superjiaa, 18,793. Actual popnlatioq, 

It results from, this statement that the pro- 
vinces of Caraccas^ Maracaybo^ Cumana, and 
Barcelona, that is^ the maritime proWnces of 
the norths are the best peopled of the ancient 
Capitama^eneral ; but, in comparing this rela- 
tive population with that of New Spain, where 
the two intendancies of Mexico and Puebla 
alone contain^ on an extent scarcely equal to 
the superficies of the province of Caraccas, a 
greater actual population than that of the whole 
republic of Columbia, we see that the Mexican 
intendancies, which, with respect to the con- 
centration of their culture, occupy but the 7th 
or 8th rank (Zacatecas and Guadalaxara)^ con- 
tain more inhabitants to the square league than 
the province of Caraccas« The average of the 
relative population of Cumana, Barcelona, Ca- 
raccas, and Maracaybo, is 56; and^ as 6^00 
square leagues, that is, one half of the extent of 
these four provinces, are almost desert steppes *, 
(Llanos,) we find, in reckoning the superficies 
and the feeble population of the steppes, 102 
inhabitants to the square league. An analogous 
modification gives the province of Caraccas 

* The superficial extent of the steppes of these four pro- 
vinces is 0219 square leagues, 20 to a degree. The follow- 
ing' statements may enable us to judge of the agricultural 
state of those districts in which the steppes present such 
great obstacles to the rapid progress of population. (Vol; yi. 
pp. 69— 68.) Province 



done, a retetire population of SOS, tb«t is, only 
one-seventh leM than that of tlw AtkmUc iSMfat 
of North America. 
As in political ccwnomy, nunierickil state- 
Province of Cuuana .- •«-»«t«" 
MouataiBous part of the Cotdaieru of the cout 
anACaripe 3R 


Of wMcb the aut^ ddta of the OrooMdio is 

PronDee of Bandana: 
The iBtber ipountdnoiu part, and the forests 

towards the North 829 

. 13U 

nifetits become instructive only by a comparison 
with analogtHls tBOstb, I havecansftiUy enlinitied 
what, in the actoal state of the two emthkents, 
might be considered an a small relative popula- 
tion in Europe, and a very great relative popu- 
lation in America. I httV^ hMrever, chosen ex- 
amples only attiong tht proViikdes which have a 
continued surfece of more thftti 600 square 
leagues, in oiider to etcldde the Mddenidl ac- 
cumulations of population which are found 
around great cities ; for instance, on the coast of 
Bra^l, in the valley of Merioo^on the table^^kinds 
of SantarFe de Bogota ftnd Cmmot i ^ finally, 
in the small West India islandd (Bafbttdoes, 
Martinico, and St. Thomas), of which the rela- 
tive population is from SOOO to 47O0 inhabitants 
to the square league, and consequently equal to 
the most fertile part<^ of Holland^ France, and 

Minimum of £ubopb« 

To the 

T&e fottr gc/veramento the least peopled of Euro- 

Ardiatkgel 10 

(Monez 42 

Wolllfia and AflMkUnt 5S 

Hpteid W« 

*Ite iMMbee tbe leaat fdopled ^ £jpaiii/tliat of 
QuaiOB.... m 

TM J>Mkf of Lumkmtg, (on mttnutt of Hx 

O 2 


T> Itw 

Tlie (lepartraent of continentiil FrBnee the worst 
peopled, (Upper Alps) 158 

Departments of France thinly peopled, (the Creuse, 
the Var, and the Aude) 1300 

Maxihvm op Ahkriua. 

The central part of the intendancies of Mexico and 
Puebla', above 1800 

In the United States, Maatachusets, but having 
only 622 square leagues of surface 000 

SfauachuKls, Rhode Island, and ComiKliM, toge- 
ther 840 

/The whole Inteoduicrr of PncUa MO 

Hm whok ioiendancy of Mexieo ...^.... -4afr 

These two Meucan iDtendanciea together, cr 

. nearly a third of the superficial extent «f Pnnce, 
mth a suitable population (in 162S, neaHy 
3,800,000 sonts), to prevent the towns of 
Mexko and Pnebla fram baviiip a sensible in- 
floence on the relative population. - 

Northern part of the province of Canccas, (withi> ; 
out thej!<lanos) SOS 

'niis table shews that those parts of America 
whieh we now considei; as the best peopled, at- 
tain the relative population of the kingdom t£ 
Navarre, of Galicia, and the Asturias, -which, 

* Is there a part of the United States, from BOO td 1000 
sqnaM leagues in extent, of which the rebttive popldation 
exceeds the maxmum of New Spain, which is 1300 ishabit- 
anla to the square league, or 109 to the square mile, dS-S to 
a degree > The relative population of Massacbnsets, wbiidk b 
7&f$ to the square mile, and is regarded as very conatderablet 


after the province of Cruipuseoa, and the king« 
dom of Valencia *, reckon the greatest number 
of inhabitants to the square league m all Spain ; 
the nuxjoimum of America is^ however, below the 
relative population of the whole of France 
(1778 to the square league), and would in the 
latter country be considered as a very thin po> 
pulation. If on the entire surfietce of America 
we direct our views to the object which engages 
our special attention in this chapter, the Qign* 
tanior-general of Venezuela, we find that the 
most populous of these subdivisions, the pro- 
vince of Caraccas, considered as a whole, with* 

has hitherto led me to doubt this. In order to examine the 
question we must be able to compare the superficies of a cer- 
tain number of bordering provinces ¥dth the registers of po- 
pulation published by the congress of Washington. The re- 
lative population of the States of New York, Pensylvania^ 
and Virginia^ appear so small (240^ 204^ and 168, to the 
square marine league) only because in distributing the popu« 
lation uniformly over the whole extent of territory^ we must 
include the regions partly desert^ possessed by each state on 
the west of the Alleghanis^ regions which have an influence 
on the total average^ nearly in the same manner us the Uanos 
of Caraccas and Cumana. Egypt contains 11^000 square 
leagues, of which only 1408 are inhabited. 

* We find in the kingdom of Valencia 18G0, and in the 
Guipuscoat 2009, to the square league *, but the latter pro- 
vince, containing only 53 square leagues, should be excluded, 
according to the principle which I have adopted in these re- 
searches. Galicia has an actual population of 1,400,000^ 
and the kingdom of Valencia oC i,200,000« 

€S(A euMptiof Urn lipnof, kn§i tf fifc oiiAy ^ 
fetatin poiwtoUo of 3 J a ww 6e i wuTtlnttUi 
pioffinfv, viite>v^ tb» Uvwifc fwmibtii in th9 
nmUum |wrt» M tnem Aw IflOQ iqoMt 
laaffBCB, 0ie rtdative pvpnJatioa of 8Q|ith4JU»t 
liw. nicM IMP fqmv IvHPMSi ^ «BD*n of 
agrunltuith MB fewioQ m mU pwpM H Fin* 
laad, fant itOl « feUrd low thw thQ pnvrinM of 
Ofoififi, ti» l»8t popnkdiB cf all Sfm. W» 
eapnot dmU fm tbli iMoUirillniit ftfWwM 
fefdin^. Snoh if (be ntste In wluch cvhuifil 
{HditioH» qad the IbUy of Uw pubUo a^ini^im- 
tioB* have, diuring three etmtmn^, l«ft > ooimtry 
of wbich the natural riches may vie with all 
that U moat wonderiful on ' earth, diat in order 
to find one equally desert, we must look either 
towards the frozen regions of the north, or to 
the westward of the AlleghE^ii mowtaipsi to^ 
wards the forests of Tenqe^^e, where the ^% 
clearings have only begun within lbs laot fifty 

'Hie most cnltivated part of the province of 
Car^ccQS, the basin of (be l^e of Valencia, ynl- 
gwly ^ed lot V^ks df ^rt^tt^ '^ coiwted, ia, 
1810, nearly 300Q wb^itfMits tQ the sqiiWQ 
league ; now, supposing a relative population 
three times less, and taking off from the whole 
surface of the Capifania-general nearly 24,000 

* These vflliea do not contain 80 iqvarc letguea of MV^ 
face. Sec abovt, VoL iv. p. 1X9.) 

and tha fomsts of Crusana^ and tbw^fam p»^ 
seati9g gr^at ^brtadM Uy agrienUmal kiba«n^ 
we should «tjU«Ji4«ia a pojKilatiaaqf ^ouUiMia 
for the Kwwiimf^ 9?0ft »quar» leg^pwB>. Thcia 
who^ tikfl IM> ba^e Uved long beneatb tka^ Itoe 
8ky of the troj^^ vili fi»4 QQtbing exagger 
rated *m thcisa ca te itotioBSi; loo I supiMe fiw 
the portioa th^ most ea^l^f cujtiinyb^^ ^ M)gr 
tive popiilatioK cqw4 ta thai wUdb eopsts ia 
the iateadancies of Pttebla* aiid Moximr*^ fiiU 
of heiT^ HHmntaioa, mi e«t(t«adiQif towards 
tha coast of tha Yacifiei aim ro^ona wiiiab. ara 
almost desert. If the tenitoim <tf Camaim^ 
Bajrceloaa, CaraccBfi^ Macacaybo, Vajrinas and 
Guyana, should one day be £or1iiiaate enougb to 
enjoy good provincial and municipal institu- 
tioDSj^ as coi^ederated stateq^ th«y wilA wot re- 
(|uire a cesctuiy and a half ta attMO^ a, popiila^ 
ticoai of six: inilliicu^ of iababitants. Venftzn,rfa» 
the eastern partr of tbe< UfipublU ^ CQlamlm, 
would uotj eren with nine mUionSi have a.qKure 
considerable populatiooi tbaa OM Spaia ;. and 
how oan it be doubted that that part of VeAe- 
ziiel% whdch is most fertile and. easy of cnltivar 
tion^ thgjt is, the LO^QQO square leagues remain^ 
ing^ after esmhiding the savaanaha (IJLanos) ajod 

^ These two intendances contain however^ together^ 5020 
Bqoare leagues, and a rekHtve pqpiilaliott ef 600 iahabiUMi^v 
ta te aq«aia nMaoc hagui* 

fbe ftlmost -tmpenetndi^ ftnats betweeo -tW 
Oroohoko «Dd the Caanqattee, conid AoarUif 
under the fine slfj of the tnqfries', as maay iiAs-: 
bitants as lOiOOO square leagues of ItSstnuna- 
dnnij-the Outilles, and other pronnoes of the 
taU^land of Spadn. These predictKns are by 
no means problematical, inasmttch as they are 
founded on pbysical anitltkgies, and on the pro- 
dactire porer of the soil ; bat in Ordw to in- 
dnlge the hope that they will be actnaUy. ac- 
complished, we must be able to take into oar 
reckoning another element less susceptible of 
calculation, — that national wisdom which sub- 
dues the bosUle passions, stifles the germ of 
civil discord, and gives stability to free and 
energetic institntiMis. 

Productions. — When we take a view of the 
soil of Venezuela' and New Grenada, we per- 
ceive that no other country of Spanish America 
supplies commerce with such various and such 
rich productions of the vegetable kingdom. If 
we add the harvests of the province of Caraccas 
to those of Guayaquil, we find that the republic 
of Columbia can furnish alone nearly all the 
cocoa annually demanded by Europe. Tlie 
union of Venezuela and New Grenada has also 
placed in the bands of one people the greater 
part of the ciocona exported from the New Con- 
tinent. The temperate mountains of Merida, 


Santa-Fe, Popayan, Quito, and Loxa^ produce 
the finest qualities hitherto known of this medi- 
cinal bark. I might swell the list of these va- 
luable productions by the coffee and incUgo of 
Caraccas, so Icmg esteemed in commerce ; the 
sugar, cotton, and flour of Bogota ; the ipeca- 
cuanha of the banks of the Madelaine ; the to- 
bacco of Varinas> the Cortex Angasturce of 
Carony ; the balsam of the plains of Tolu ; the 
skins and dried provisions of the Llanos ; the 
pearls of Ptoama, Rio Hacha, and the Margue- 
rita ; and finally, the gold of Popayan^ and the 
platina, which is no where found in abundance 
but at Choco and Barbaeoas : but, in confor- 
mity to the plan I have adopted, I shall confine 
myself to the ancient Capitania-general of Ca- 
racc£ts. In the preceding chapters I have treated 
of each particular production ; it therefore only 
remains to mention succinctly the statistical 
statements ccmnected with that peaceful period 
which immediately preceded the political agita- 
tions of this country. 

Cacao. Total production, 1 9Zfi00 fan^as of 110 Spanish 
pounds^ of which Venezuela exported (inclusive of the con- 
traband trade) 145 flWfan^as. Total value, more than fTre 
millions of piastres. Number of trees in 1814, nearly 16 
millions. This part of Terra Firma has hitherto derived its 
greatest celebrity from cacao : the cultivation of it dimi- 
nishes in proportion as that of coffee^ cotton, and sugar in- 
creases ; it advances progressively from west to east Cu- 

bMabo M faoj tot the i nh tb i te n to. The faitcdw coawmp- 
tion will CDUeqneatif bwraue with the pofNikdon, ijid U w 
to be hoped that &e proprieton of the caeao plut^tioiu 
friUMOB findiieweneoonigeBKiitfaittefcMRneefnBliowt 
piijepeiN/. 9w AoM, VsL IB, pp. m— W»r VU.ii. 
pp. «ak-MI.) The mm oT tb» prnfexm erf CbaMw* 
Serailapt. end CooMii, qf nUcb tha eiwt VBdilj ie fiHittd 
•t Uritiuni (neu Su Sebutiu], Cepiriquid, lod Sen Boni- 
Ikde, Isfrr nperiortothc emao ot QbajmijH i it yUUkoaij 
to thet of SocomuGo ( A«mif, CbMp^eAe di fa JUrf. rf> Obb- 
Itoele. 1810, ToB. U. p. TT) aul of OhOw, bm* Onoe, 
wUdi ecHcely eaten into the Qoataierm of Bnrepfu 

Coffte. The small table-lands of froto 250 to 400 toisea 
hi^, that are frequent m the prorinces ofCaraccBi and Cn- 
mene ^ the GordfUerai ofthe afaore and of Caripe), contain 
tampccale sittMtloiii utiwaelj bvoiuable to thi« phiaL 
When it haA beeK csbimtcd only aa ycac^ i& laiS. the pro* 
dime amounted to neerly 00,004 tviistali. (See, oa the 
consumption «f cofee in Burope, Vol. iv, ppt OS — 73). 

Cotton. That of the vaffiea of Aragna, Mkracsjbo, asd 
thcgnlfofC^afiUai ieofawrf fine cpMEb^, betthftsoB^t 
flspp«titkn.wos«Qt;iD9i«tbuiSicnll)«Hgf|fftMiii. (VoL 
it, pp. 60, 101, 101 } Vol. iv, pp. 123^129 1 aivl rr^wwoav, 
Rtlacim de la Reool. de Fenauela, 1030, p. 81.) 

Sugfir. Fine pUntatiMiB. wcr^ formed at the b^inoing of 
this ce»tniT,WL the TBUiefto£AncD*'*'K' T«]tf.aearGqation. 
wrd Canriowce ; but ttw etportaiioa wm n»7 tiifliiig: (Vol 
»,pp.83— 88i,*n4H>. 177_18g)„ JhaT»«£t«aiq ttwcqorM 
of this wock dinted the aMci»two£ the readin to the pre- 
ponderance which the cultiyatioo of c^osial pvodiKtiona will 
progiewiTely acquire in Spaoiab Anwiiw e««t that «f the 
HlUtUer West |odi» Iilaadb 


/jMfifo. Tim growth of this Yery imporlaiil arlicl# 4e* 
iffeaied miieh won from 1781 to 1799 ibm HM of ^acao. 
it is imuilMiied widi ndvantvf^ only in |h« pfovioefi of Vii* 
rinas (for in^taooe^ Mwoea Wifgmi v^ V^g^ denoret), 
aod 00 Ibe b^idw of the Tk*m. TlieTBlpfof tlmladigoof 
CarocQM WMOOted, in tl^s mott pfoqperow tifMu to 
1,900,000 piostrea. The 9«(»artatiaii to l# Qiiayra»i« VfUi, 
wa» 900,000 pound** and in 1809, 7000 JrifiTM«9. (Vol. 1, 
pp. 62» 03 1 VoL iy« pp. 119, 187. 

TobaccQ, The tohaoco of Veo^nKla ia ooi oa)y vary snpa* 
ripr to that of Vii^giiiia^ birt jialdf bx qoality only to the to- 
b»coooftheiiIa«dQfCiibaaiidth«IUoN«gro. Tho etiabliab* 
oie^t of thf ro^Jwrm hi 1777^ haa pr^^ited th/l ppeniog 
of this impovtaot braniA c^oomB^erce to the trade of VariDiij 
|ii^of|l|eT|d}ie4ofArBg«aaBdCiipiaii^ooa» TbetoMpvo* 
dupe of tbs 41^ of toimooQ at <ha begiimiqg nf tho 18<h oaa^ 
tory, MM OiOO,000 piartre*. (Vol, I p.^ 67 ; Vol. i?^ p. 100^ 
apd Vol, Y, p, 8«8.) Wheo th^ lUog of Spaia, during tha 
vmistry of Pon Diego Ghirdoqoi, dieclared, Uy hla UUc of 
September 90» 179Si, that be would OQiuieot to deliver the 

GooBtry of th^ fatrm («i^ciacp)j U wa# piopoied to auhstitata 

a gea^ra) eapitntiqa w ^ p y n opo^f of t|i« {»bdoatioQ of 

hraady from th^ nvgai* c«oek (^^fWdrdiifi^ 4f« <faa) or othu? 
taxea aot lew vexatioiif, TbfM^F^oQ^ $NiM> «94 thQjArat 
of tobacco was continued. 

CereaUa. The eastern and western parts of Columbia are 
often contrasted with each other from very vagne and imper- 
fect notions of the localities ; it is affirmed that New Gre- 
nada is a country of mines and wheat, and that Venezuela ia a 
country of colonial productions. In making these arbitrary 
distinctions the tierra fria y tempktda, is alone considered ; 
that is, the countries of which the mean temperature * of the 

* Between 800 and 1600 teieei above the level of the sea. 
It may appear swprisiag that in equbootid AoMriea, coon-' 

j««r li 1^ ud M>fi, omt. (the grwt a 
ct Qaiio, iM-yuttm, Bogota, TH^ Valn^ nd ttyn), 
fingeuij^ that tli0 wIioIb DOtthMS «d WMtan put of New 
OieBodftbftlow nd hmnld eoantrjf rafejrlng' a nMotem- 
p wtair o of Sr toMT, MMJcoawgnenllr^m'^ fe^^*I^' 
dodioH whMi In Eonpe wn'trndmA^j tamtad coloidal. 
Vflonada (Md I olw^a-lBtcad to dflrfgiMte b7 Alt DMiM flu 
terrttorr * oTUie udcnt Cq>teNlB-««HM ot Ctnccu), hu 

triea are called cold, of wbidi tbe tcmperatare of the jiiar 
riaea aboTo^lliat of Binan and Blbn^UIer) but it mtnt no* 
be fbrgottea that in tboie citiea the mean temywat u re of 
the nunmer is fi8-8* and 84'3° ; while at Qnito, for ioHtance, 
the days are gmeraOy during the whole year, between 16-6<> 
and U'S", and (he nights between 9* and 11*. The heat 
never rises beyond 9S* ; and the cold + 6* of the centigrade 
theraiometer. - The (Jerrut frias, at the height of SanU-Fe 
(ises'toises), and Quito (1492 toises), have, during the 
whole jrear, the tcmperatare of Paris in tbe month of Hay. 
As tbedivi«onof heat atvariona times of the year is so dif- 
ferent in the torrid and the temperate zones, in order to give 
an exact idea «tf the climateof anyspotsitiiBtedintheneigfa- 
bonrfadod of the eiptator, die surest method is to compare it 
widi tbe tempentnre of a month in the temperate r^oa of 

* T|ie term Venezuela was employed in this sense at tbe 
installation of the congress at Angostura, Febroary ISth, 
1819, at which the deputies of Caraccas, Barcelona, Cnmana, 
Varinas and Gayana were assembled. The maps of La Cruz 
and of Lopez use theterms. Province of Caraccas, and Vene- 
zuela, as syDonimous. The captain-general, residing at Ca- 
raccas, and governing the country from the mouth of the 
Oroonoko as far as tbe Rio Tachira, was called Copitan gaieral 
d» la Provincia de yeneiueia y Ciudad de Caraeat. M. DqMOS, 
in his statisticB,di5tioguiBtica the Capitonia-general of CaraccM 


also cold and temperate climatM ; It U a eotcntry of baiumas 
md of wheat. The cerealia of Europe are already cultivated ofi 
the mountains of Merida and TrnxiUo (at la Pterta, and near 
St. Ana, on the south of Garaehi), in the TiilUea of Aragua, 
near Victoria, and of San Matheo, and in the country, some* 
what mountainous, between Tocuyo, QuilKir, and Barqnen- 
meto, which forms the ridge of partition between the streams 
which unite with the Apure and the Oroonoko, and those 
which fall into the Caribbean ^ea. It is a fact worthy of 
particular attention, that wheat is cultivated in several of these 
places at a height tliat does not exceed 270 to 800 toises above 
the level of the sea, amidst the cultivation of coffee-trees, 
sugar-cane, and in places where the mean temperature of the 
year is at least 2tV>. In the equinoctial region of Melico and 
New Grenada, the cerealia yield abundantly, only at 42^ and 
46^ latitude, a height at which its cultivation ceases in Eu- 
rope*; at Venezuela and in the Island of Cuba, on the con- 


from the government of Venezuela, which, according to him, 
comprehends only the province of Caraccas. The Republic 
of Venezuela, founded July 6th, 18IJ, and restored August 
16th, 1813, was united to the Repubh'c of Cundinamarca 
(Dec. 17th, 1819), by the name of Columbia, and since that 
union the name of Venezuela has been again officially re- 
strained (Feb. 1822) to a department comprehending the 
provinces of Caraccas and Varinas. Amidst these fluctuations 
there is a risk of confounding a country twice as large ad 
Spain, with another less than the state of Virginia, if the pre- 
<;ise sense in which the word Venezuela is employed, he not 
determined. Regarding this name as identical with that of 
Capitania-general of Caraccas, we obtain a collective designa- 
tion for the whole eastern part of Columbia, and we may say 
Venezuela, as we do Mexico, Chili, or Peru. 

* At 000 and 1100 toises elevation, the fields of wheat and 
rye disappear in the maritime Alps and in Pk-ovence. See the 


tnrr.llHJMUrteil of whwi dioM 4 » la Jw wart ■ 
ptMad Trvr, icmtdi tU liantaig ptate of tk* « 

lUihMts Hw^»li>lHllllllrfttB i*MliB at y illllllll l lhMl 
etmmUbmrtHmmt iido«art«Bimit'itBHqiiAiwla 
VirtwhtoMn tbnU,M04rfiitdi.»TMr« lad *■ 

ton of the wigwBWfc of laitB, tai cottaB» thtt of w 
hwaotbacatttotooUiln— y ao nHd w MBi— ■»■ 

It Is Mt the proTiiM gf 
«oBtaht n«iMi 4r<nip««l» dfaMMt tte»K« 
the oeati^sdi dwmonrter &Us at i^^t bdaw 1» «r 14>, 
«^ ««ea ta U- V>. Tba pivvfoat oC Gte«« tei atao Itt 
■mitUiacw dktricto, whidi* tlioa^ Uttla tWImI Ubarto. 
mar yet bactnne impdrtwit lor •onie dew bmncbai of cqut- 
noctict agruAdtOM. Uorlng |iused through a great part o( 
Vaacabda wkhtba baroBMter in mj hand, I Ihiak it proper 
to atata here ModattXj tha ootmtrics that inarit the naitw of 
fitrrat fanplodu *, Eaaay of which, well-fitted for the pro- 
duction of ccMUia, are too cold for thecnltare of coffee. Tba 
enmnendDii hanag merely aa agricalttml view, we shall 
mark only the hi^ valBea or tabte-lands of a ctwaiderable 
extent. Hie Paramo of Mucuchka, which belong! to the 
^tm meeada of Merida, the SiUa of Caraccaa, in the CordH- 
leraa of the ihore, and ihe Dnida, in the misaioiu of tlte 
Upper OrooDoko, are SlOO, 1S40, and 1280 toiaei l^gh, bat 

reieardies on the temperature required for cultirated plant*, 
in my work on Di^nbutum* gtog. plmt. 1817, p. 161. 

* I shonU here moitioB that i* adopting tba aaanew h at 
vagac dwiotniaarinaa aitierrmt, eafa wto , Umfladtu, tmAJhm, 
I fix the first betwecm the caait and the cleratioB of MO 
toiMB ; the seeoad, between 800 and 1 100 t<riae> ) and the 
third, between 1100 and S4B0 loiaea. 'Ilw last number,* 
that of the limit of pccpctual anows, indicate!, in the ci 
tial region, the cetsation of regctablc life. 


there are scarcely any apoto im the decliviUea of tlieae moun- 
tains capable «f being cattivaied. The same is Ihecaae with 
respect to the range t)f lofty eecoatey monKitahis of ttme- 
stone, of mioa-shte, and gneto-gnmlte^ tfanC cttend along die 
coast of VeneMKla> from Cape Faria tonnrds the lake of 
MavacaybOk TMi chain of the coast has not a snttdent 
mass to Ihnysh those extensive table-lands tihich hi Quito 
and Meaiiro unite the whole cutthratlon of Europe. Thelaa^ 
with temperaie cUmakt, (consequently above 800 toises,) of 
the ancient CepikmUhgefteml of Garaccas, tLtt Ist. the moon* 
lainoHS pait of the missions Cfiaymas * in New Andalusia $ 
that is^ the Osno dd Im p o s s i bl e (M? toises), iS» sarauiahs 
of CoGoBar and Tnmhriquiri (400.760% the Trilies of Caripe 
(412 toises), and of la Guardia deSan Augnstitt(688tolse8) : 
sa. the dedhities (Jaldm) of Bergaatfn f » between Cumann 
and Barodona, flieheightof which Is not ekoetly known, but 
appears to exceed SOO tolses : 9d. the snail table-land of 
Venta-grande, between La Guayra and Caraccas (76S tolses) : 
4th. the valley of Caraccas t> {460 toises) : 6th. the moun* 
Uunous and arid country bcffcween Antimano and the Hacienda 
del Tuy^ or die Higuerote and Ijss Gocuysas §, are nearly 
650 toises high ; Oth. the gnnite table landsn of Tusflui, (8W 
toises) CKiadmo^ Guiiipia^ Ocumare, and Iteaqwe, between 
the lAanos and the aoutliem range of ^ihe momitains on the 
lAore of A^enezuda^ Tth. the dividing ridge between the tri* 
botsry streams of the Onribbean Sea and the Apnre, or the 
groupe of table-lands andhUlsSM to 600 tolses high, which 
connect ^le chain ^ of the shore with Uie Sierra de Merida and 

• Vol. lU. p. e»^ 86—119, 162. 163. 

f VoLii. p,ft04, 205 ; VoL iii. p. 94, 96. 

X VoL ui. p. 694, 447. 

( VoL iv. p. 79, 60. 

II Vol. Iv. p. a 69. 


tha Tnalltoi ,iwmriy, Montiia <k 8«puahri%iwgtof Tarilo^ 
dPIoKbo de Nirgw. d Altar, ud tba-ncWty offMbor^ 
BwqoMlnMto, ml Taaijo t ath. tba taiil»Jud of IMBUki 
(«b<»« 490 tolMi): wBdAmlkTTmiJUnairtnmmAalm 
RoMN. Bocmb wd NiiiiiiUpr bMweeu Ae lovaai of the Bio 
HotBtan. tnd thoM of the FoftagaoM ind the GoMMn : 0U. 
the lAola moOBtilDoiti luid that ramNuidi Ifae Sivni acMrio 
of If erids, betwen Padimn, Lanllaoai Saato DomiD^, 
Bfocndtiai, the Ffenao de loa Cooejoa, BajMona, aad lia 
Grita (700-iaoo UdM) i 10th. aoqu ^Qti, pohapp of fta 
Cordillende Pariin^wUchaqwateithataahLof theLowit 
OroDooko fiom that of the Anaaoa } the crnqpe <rftha gi»r 
nitic moBotaiiu of Sipapo and the Kenm Hantaan*. 

Not having risited with Hr. Baopland the cold r^on of 
the proTince of Varioas, the declivity of the Sierra Nevada of 
Merida, and the Paramo* at the north of Xmullo, which, ac- 
cordiog to the analogy of the obKrvationi I oiade in the 
Aadet of Pasto and Quito, must be 1100 and SLOO tcnies 
high, I cannot judge of -the extent of the valliea -and table- 
lands which the weitern regions of Venezuela may one day 
fdniish for the Giiltiire of the Miva/ia of Europe. Itisoot,as 
. we have observed above, the knowledge of the absolute 
hdght of the peaks which can enlighten us respecting the 
problems of agriculture. Wherethe spots lying beneath the 
benign influence of a temperate or cold climate are on decli- 
vities too steep to be easily ploughed, the price of native floor 
would be too high to be brought into competition with the 
flour of the United Slates, of Mexico, and CmidinamBrca. 
As in our Mediterranean, Italy and Greece have long drawn 
their com from the opposite coast of Mauritania and Egypt, 
eo also in the Mediterranean of America, Venezuela and the 
shore of New Grenada now receive their supply of flour ftom 
the opposite coast of the United Statest. Don Manuel Torres, 

' Vol. v. p. 554, 655, 60S, 606. 

f Itinerary manuscripts of M. Palacio Faxardo. - 


in 8D official letter addressed to the Secretary of State at 
Washington, estimates the exportation of North American 
floor for Columbia at SO^OOO barreb a year. {Mettagefrom 
the PreddeMt of ike United Staiee, 1822, p. .48. See also 
above, VoL iw, p. 104, 105, and 111^ 112.) In a state of 
free trade, the hnmense progress of the artof nayigation ex- ' 
poses the natire cultivation to a dangerous rivalry with that 
of the most distant countries. The fields of the Crimea 
supply the markets of Leghorn and Biarseilles $ the United 
States '^furnish Europe with corn, and in times of scarcity 
the table-land of Mexico sends its produce to Spain, Portn^ 
gsl, and England. B^ons, some of which scarcely pro- 
duce the 6th or 7th, and others the 20th or 26th grain, are 
placed In competition with each other, and the problem of 
the utility of a production is complicated by the variable ef- 
fects oi the fertility of the soil, and the price of labour. The 
western part of Columbia (New Grenada) ,wUl always possess 
great advantages with respect to the production of the cere- 
alia;, by the magmtude of its mountains, and the extent of its 
tible-lands, over the eastern part of Columbia (Venezuela); it 
thence results that the rivalry of the flour of Socorro and 
of Bogota, which goes down by the Meta, will be to be di- 
vided by the regions north of the Oroonoko. Where tem- 
perate regions are in the vicinity of hot, between 800 and 600 
toises high (as in the temperate spots of the provinces of 
Comanaaad Caraccas), the cultivation of sugar, of coffee, 
and of the cerealia is equally practicable, and experience 
proves, pretty generally, that the cultivation of the two 
former is preferred as being the most lucrative. 

QuiMq^Au. The Cuspar, or Coriex Angostura, falsely 
called the quinquina of the Oroonoko, has become ftimous by 
the industry of the Catalan-Capucin monks. It is not a 
Rnbiac^ like the Cinchona, but a plant of the family of 
Biosm^i, or Rutac^s. This precious plant has hitherto been 
exported only from the Spanish Guyana, though it is also 



found in Cayuniii;, (Vol. v. 761.) We are yet ignorant in 
what genua the Cuspa, or quinquina of Cuinana belongs, but 
its properties being erainently febrifuge, it may becgme an 
important object of trade. (VoL iii. p. 27.) Five species of 
real quinquina {Citickontr, (oroUia Idnutis), so common in 
New Grenada, have been discovered in the western part of 
Venezuela. The febrifuge-bark of the ijuinquina [iuenas 
gtantu, or ca.frari/^^) ia gathered on both the declivities of 
die Sierra Nevada of Merida, on the road from Varin&s-vie- 
jaa lo Poramo de Mucucliies, called the rood of Los Callc- 
jonea, a little ivbove the ruvine of Lavellaca ; and also be- 
tween Viscucuy and the town of Merida *'. lliesc ore M 
the real ijuinquinas {dchona:) that have hitherto been found 
principnlly on the coast of £panisii America. No species of 
<3Aclietn tojnt kno«rai, not «mb of OwkiitdnKleiw**, ]9«ob- 
iKtk, dtbtr in OnnoiutuDaof theSniadeCkwtopMfFVbera 
tfeM B^Ms, Anlk, ThiUoditi. ■Bd other «|piM afcnibf of 
tba CoiflUbiu of Ken Gteoada rtgttat^nm wltna nquif- 
tiii»'ilfi9?wiiMqduiaiulCwip0iU)dFrtB^4«ljWUii>. TUfI 
MdataeMaoffbeGlntkomi andEsMtsiW/Wf «»|t4ll^ 
1— dof lfari«i)aadlnttoori«rt«lwgiQM^8withAniwliwii 
mrdi'af drt «q«alntv <if it be w ftbaohrte M it hwhUfcart* 
>n>MMd^'is tbeiMraMrprilins M the WMt 2wfc» «!»•»« 
fleadtnte of qafnqniliK wf tb imooHi ooraUit aad fBij«dM^ 
•tatnlna. I« tbt aouthera bcmwphere, the mapcnMjl (MftKof 
Bnuil ■boy lM»:e ye* «dy ftvniobei) tbo bdtatML tandM 
With one ipeotes of nal Cinckopa. a kind mpmMtA in ■ 

; -^ .. ■■ ■ --•' 

* See above. Vol. iii, p. 2S, '30; Vol. iv, p. S4& ; Vd. v. 
p. 791. Lanberl, SlUttrafion of (w ;«•«( Ctnektmartfi^l, 
p. fir. The pretended Ciochooa foasiliauia of the iNVfaal 
of Willdenow, vith a calico of the length of the eenU>i 
and vegetating in the hot regions of Grand Para, is peT^ 
hap8 enlys MaChaoliia. 

t See the note G at the end of t4ie Bth bot^. 


striking manner by its fruit from the Macrocnemums. Ac- 
cording to the nne discovery of M. Auguste de St.-Hilairc, 
the CincJuma ferruginea is fband in the temperate regions of 
the CapiUma of Minas Geraes, where it is employed under 
the denomination oC ^iitfia de terra. 

In condudiiig thk sketch of the vegetable productions of 
Venj^ldji, that vf^j que day, become objects of traffic, i 
shall name succinctly the Quassia Simaruba of the valley of 
Rio Caura } the Unona febrifuga of Maypures, known by 
the name of Fruiio de Burra ; the Zarza or sarsapsiriUa of 
the Rio Negro ; the oil of the cocoa-tree^ which may be 
coiiiidci:ed as ^ oUve-tree of the proving of Cumana ; tiie 
oily almpf^ of Jiiyja (BerjthoUetia) ; the resins and precious 
gum8Qfthel][pp^Oroonoko(Afaiii,Cara»a)j the caoutchouc 
simivur Jtc^ tpat of Cayenne*, or subterranean (dajncke) ; the 
aromatics of Guyana, such as the Tonga bean or fhiit of 
Coumarouma) the PiccAm (Laurus Picliurim); the Pisri- 
nactf, or felse cinnamon (L. CtrniamaiRoufet) } the vanilla of 
fvxum9> and the great cataracts of the Qroonoko ; the fine 
Cf^pnring substances which the Indians reduce to a paste, 
(Cfuca or Puruma) ; the brAiilet ; Dragon's blood ; i*aceyte 
ie 3faria ; the nourishing raquelles (Clactus), the cochineal 
of Carora : the precious wood for the cabinet-maker, such as 
mahogany {cakoha)y the cedrela odorata {cedro), the Sickin- 
gia Erxthroxylon (i^ AguaUre) &c. ; the noble timber of 
the family of the Laurinia, and the Amyris ', and the cordage 
of the pirfm-tree Ckiquichiqui, so remarkable for its light- 
ness. (See above. Vol. iii. pp. 74, 200, 278; Vol. iv. pp. 
78,246,255^513, 563; Vol. v. pp. 162, 257,284, 374, 
878, 536, 544. 

We have atated above in what manner, by a 
peculiar dj^pcNSiition of the lands, the three zon^ 
of agricultural, pastoral, and hunting-life, suc- 

* Vol. iii. p. 423. 



ceed each other in Venezuela from the north t(> 
the south along the coast towards the equator. 
Advancing in this direction, we may be eaid to 
traverse, in point of space, the different stations 
by which the human race has passed in the 
lapse of ages, in its progress towards cultiva- 
tion, and in laying the foundations of civil 
society. The region of the shore is the centre 
of agricullui'al industry ; the region of the 
Llanos serves only for the pasturage of the ani- 
mals which Europe has given to America, and 
which live there in a half-savage state. Each of 
those regions contains from seven to eight thou- 
sand square leagues ; further south, between 
the delta of tbe Orodnoko, the C!aBn<^are, and 
the Rio Negro, lies a vast extent of land as 
large as Fi-ance, inhabited by hunting nations, 
horrida sylvis, paludibus fada. The produc- 
tions of the vegetable kingdom which we have 
jusi enumerated belong to the zones 9t each 
extremity; the intermediwy savaiuulis.into 
which oxen, hones, and moles have bera 
brought, since the year 1646, feed some mU- 
lions of those animals. At the period of my 
travels, the annual exportation of Venezuela to 
the West India islands amounted to 30,000 
mules, 174,000 ox hides, and 140,000 am>bei 
(of 25 pounds) of tasajo * or dried meat a little 

■ The meat on die Iwck is cut in slices of moderate tttidc- 
ness. An tat or cow, of the weight of 25 arrobes, producei 



salted. It is not from the advaneemeat of agri- 
culture^ or the progressive encroachments on 
the pastoral lands, that the hates have dimi- 
nished so considerably within twenty years, but 
rather from the disorders of every kind that have 
prevailed, and the want of security for property. 
The impunity extended to the skin-stealers, and 
; the accumulation of vagabonds in. the savannahg, 
preceded that destruction of the cattle which 
the successive wants of armies, and the inevit- 
able ravages of civil war have so deplorably in- 
creased. A very considerable number of goat- 
skins is exported to the Island of Marguerite, 
Punta Araya, and Gorolaa ; sheep abound only 
in Carora and Tocuyo *. The consumption of 
meat being immense in this country, the dimi- 
nution of animals has a greater infl^ence than 
in any other district on the well-being of the 
inhabitants. The town of Caraccas, of which 
the population in my time was one-tenth of that 
of Paris, consumed more than half the. quan- 

only 4 to 5 arrobcs of tatcijo or ta»90n In 1702^ the port of 
Barcdona alone, exported 96,017 arrobes to the Island of 
Cuba. The average price is 14 realit de plaia^ and varies 
from 10 to 18. (There are 8 realms in a piastre.) Mr. Ur- 
qidnasa estimates the total exportation of Venezuela in 1800, 
at 200,000 arrobes of Uuajo, 

• See above. Vol. i, p. 237 ; Vol. iii. p. 361, 366 j Vol iv> 
p. 210, 338, 341, 388 ; Vol. v, p. 75, 716, 802, 803. 



iStjr 6f b6fef annually^ used in tbe capital of 

I mlgtit add to the productions of the v^- 
table and animal kingdoms of Venezuela the 
enumeration of the minerals, the w^orking of 
which is worthy the attention of the govem- 
liieut ; but having been devoted from my youth 
to the practical labours of mines, Which had 
'been placed under my management, I know 

• Tbe following table proves how great is the coDBumption 
of meat in the towns of South America, near the Llanos ;— 

TiMHi. Yrnri. PapshtitH. Ozen. 

Caraccfu 1790 46,000 40,000 

NuJKteWidMift: iBob 'to^ooo .: inoeo 

Perticriidia .^...,..1800 B.opo,, : .^7,-aoo 

/P^l ............... .,1B19 714,000. 70,BOO]| 

'l^c^Dfoijap^pii at^exico, of wluditbtf (^iU«ti{intafi|^ 
or fin tlma less than that of Paria, does not exceed 16,100 

Sen J dibiuequenUy it does not i4>pear much grealcr ntaa at 

'Bo fc(abl»<Wd-ctilllvb^ wMhtiohii'aiid Ai'iMk'fitiitUli^i 
Sd,'that Uus'ttrtira reckooa attiif oae^foattb ot dSpjiv^ 
cokmred Indiana among its inhabitants, who eat little meat ; 

. and ih^jthat the ^ooaumption of Aecp is 273,000, and of 
hogB at Mexico is 80,000} while ^t Paris, notwithstanding 

^ f^ enormoiis differaoce of popBlatioa, it was in 1819 only 

_ 9S&,^0 of the former, and 66,000 of Uie Utter. See above, 
Vol. iU, p. 464, 465 ; Vol. vi. p. 76, and my Political Euof 
on New Spain, Vol. ii, p. 68f. Rechtrtlu* ilat. iur fa vilU 
dt Pmrit, par U eomle de Ckabrol, 1823, labUait 72. 

B to tbe ■Uteineat fpna tn tlib Work hj Uw Anlhilr, 4* 
n of ihecp kt Mexico wu 278,913, and of b.ogt, i0,67<.— 


kow vague and uncertain are the judginents we 
form of the metallic wealth of a cbimtry from 
the mere appearance of the rocks^ and of the 
veins in tfaetr beds. The utility of sueh lahours 
can be ddtermined only by wdl directed at- 
tempts by means of shafts or galleries. Ail that 
has been done in researches of this kind» under 
the dominion of the mother country, has left the 
quest! oin wholly undecided^ and the mo6t ex- 
aggerated ideas hare been recently spread 
through Europe^ with very culpable levity^ con- 
cermng the Tiches 6f die mines oi Caraccas. 
The common denomination of Columbia given 
to Veaezuela and New Grenada^ has^ no doubt, 
contributed to facilitate those illusions. It can- 
not foe doubted that the gold-w^ushings of New 
iSrenada furnished^ in the last years of public 
tranquility^ more than 18,000 marks of gold ; 
that Choco and Bacbacoas furnish pkitina in 
abundance ; the valley of Santa Rosa, in the 
province of Antioquia, the Andes of Quindiu and 
Gauzum, near Cuen^a, sulphurated mercury ; 
the table-land of Bogota (near Zipaquira and 
CanoQs), fossile-salt and pit coals ; but even in 
New Grenada, real subterranean labors, on the 
silver and gold veins, have hitherto been very 
rare *. I am far, however, from wishing to dis- 
courage the miners of those countries ; I merely 
conceive that it is not necessary, in order to 

* Political E?My on New Spain, Vol. hi, p. «90 aod 8>9. 

prove to the old world the political importance 
of Venezuela, the amazing territorial wealth of 
which is founded on agriculture and the produce 
of pastoral life, to descrihe as realities, or as 
the conquests of industry, what is, as jret, 
founded solely on hopes, and probabilities 
more or less uncertain. The republic of Co- 
lumbia possesses also on its coast, on the Island 
of Marguerita, on the Rio Haclia, and in the 
gulf of Panama, pearl fisheries of ancient cele- 
brity. In the present state of things, boweverj 
these pearls are as insignificant an object as the 
exportation of the metals of VenezneUu ^Thc 
eidstence- of metallic veins on several points oi 
the coast cannot be doubted. Mnws of gdk 
and silver were worked, at the b^tniimg of. tlx 
conquest, at Baria, near jferqneameto, in tlM 
province of Lo8<Maricfaes, Baruta, on tbesouti 
of Caraccas, and at Real de Santa Barbara, nAu 
the Villa de Cura. Grains of gold are fionnd'ii 
the whole moantfdnous territory betweeaRk 
Yaracoy, the Villa de San Felipe and Nirgia 
as well as between Gmgue and ios Moros di 
San ip^an. Mr. Bonpland and myself, during 
on.' 16tig journey, saw nothing in the gneis-gra 
' nite of Spanish Guyana to confirm the anctoii 
belief of the metallic wealth of that district 
yet it seems certain, from several historical in 
dications, that there exist two groupes of auri 
ferous alluvial land ; one, between the sources c 


the Rio Negro^ the Uaupes and the Iquiare; 
the other, between the sources of the Elsseqnebo, 
the Caroni, and the Uuponari. I flatter myself 
that if the government of Venezuela should 
ever make a thorough e^xamination of the prin- 
cip^ metallic beds of its soil, the persons to 
whom those researches are confided, will find 
in the I3th, 16th, 17tb, 84th, and 27th chapters 
of this work, geognostic notions which may be 
useful to them, because they are founded on a 
detmled knowledge of the localites *. Hitherto 
only one working is found in Venezuela, that of 
Aroa ; it furnished, in 1800, near 1500 quintals 
of copper of an excellent quality. The green- 
stone focks of the passage mountains ofTucu- 
tunemo (between Villa de Cura and Parapara) 
contain veins of malachite and copper pyrites. 
The indications of both ocherous and magnetic 
iron in the coast chain, the native alum of Chu- 
paripari, the salt of Araya, the kaolin of Silla, 
the jade of the Upper Oroonoko^ the petrolium 
of Buen-Pastor, and the sulphur of the eastern 
part of New Andalusia, equally merit the atten- 
tion of the administration -f*. 

It is easy to ascertain the existence of some 
mineral substances, which afford hopes of a lu- 

♦ Vol. iii, p. 624—635 j Vol. iv, 262, 269, 274, 470 ; 
Vol. ▼, 31 1, 342, 401, 607, 669, 809, 826, 862, 863. 

t Vol. ii, p. 264—272 ; Vol. iii, p. 103—108, 204. Vol. iv, 
p. 61 ; and in the present volume, p. 103. 

crative working, but it requires g;reat cifcum 
spection to decide whether the abundance o 
mineral and the facility of reaching it, be saffi 
ciently great to cover the expence *. Even ii 
the eastern part of South America, gold am 
silver are found dispersed in a manner thatsur 
prizes the European geognost ; but that disper 
sion, the divided and entangled state of th^ 
veins, and the appearance of some metals onl; 
in masses, render the working extremely expen 
give. The example of Mexico proves sufficientl; 
that the interest attached to the labours of the 
mines is not hurtful to agricultural pursuits 
and that those t^vo kinds of industry may siniul 
taneously promote each other. The inutility 
of the attempts made under the intendance o 
Don Jose Avalo must be attributed solely to tb< 
ignorance of the persons employed by the Npa^ 

* In 1800, a day-labourer (pioit) cinployut in worldiig tki 
gnHiiul, gained, in the province of Ciraccag, 16 sob, exclusivi 
of his food. (Vol. iv, p. 1'2&.) A man who hewed buJIdin^ 
timber in the forests on the of Paria^ was jiayed nl 
Cumuna, 45 to SO sols a day, without his food. A carpsDtei 
gained daily from 3 to 6 francs, Jn New Andahisia. Thret 
rakcB of Cassara^lhe bread of the country), 21 kiches in 
dlamutor, 1} line (hick, and 2i4b. weight, cost nt Caraccas, 
a half-rral de plata or 6} sols. A man eats daily not less thu 
S sols 'Worth of'cassBTB, that food'ben^ ooHfitaBtly adxei 
with tisnanEts, dried me&t {UKtajo), and papilan, or unrdSnec 
sugar. CoiSpaTe f6r'tlie]irice of pravisions, Val.TT,-p.!S43. 
368; Vol. V, 152, 


lilfih govenunefit, and %fao 'gravely took «ii<$a 
imd amplgbol for metaltic bubstanote. If ttie 
gbverainent htsvb the pemtftitaxioe toi^aiMe'^tite 
anciient Gapitaitia^mu^iil of CaMooa$ to ^bb 
examined dtinng a 16BgS6nefi^<tfyeai«yaiiJif^ 
fortunate as to chodse tiien as 4sstiii|^^ed 
as MM. Boussingaiitt and RiVero^ wbo are^^lstli- 
blishing at premtit a S(;Im>o1 of Hiines at BbgfMa, 
and who join to b %6Iid knowledge in geognosj^ 
and cfai^mistry/tte pti&ctical habit of minings 
the most satiii&ctbiy ri^lts im^ be ^x]pfei&ted. 


CoMBiBRCE AND PuBLic Revbnub.— The de- 
scriptiSn we Mve given above* of the prodtic- 
tions of Verieztiela, arid the development ttf its 
coasts is sufficient to show the importance of 
the commerce of that rich country. Even 
amidst the i^ackles of tbe colonml system/ the 
value of the 'expdrts 6f the prbducts of agri<jnl- 

ture^ and of the gold- washings/ambunt to 11 or 

■ ■.-«'•• . . • 

12 millions of piastres, in the countries which 
are at present united under the denomination 
of the Republic of Columbia. iTief exports of 
the Gapitania general of Caraccas alone, apart 
from the precious metals^ which are the object 
of a regular working, was (with the contra- 
band), from 5 to 6 millions of piastres, at the 
beginning of the 1 9th century. Cumana, Bar- 
celona, La Guayra, Portocabello, and Mara- 

* See nbove, pp. 181 and 200. 

caybo» arc the most important parts of th 
coast ; those that He most to the eastw^i'd bav 
the advantage of an easier commumcation wit 
the Virgin Islands, Gaudeloupe, Martinique, an 
St. Vincent. Angostura, the real name of whici 
is Santo Tome of Nueva Guyana, may be consi 
dered as the port of the rich province of Vartnaj 
The majestic river, on the banks of which thi 
town is built, furnishes, by its communicatioo 
with the Apure, the Meta, and the Rio Negri 
the greatest advaatages for trade with Eu 
rope •- 

In order to form a correct idea of the importance of Veni 
xnela, wilb respect to its exports and imports of the produi 
, tions of the old world, we must recur to n period of externi 
peace, which preceded the revolution of Spanish Americ 
twelve or fifteen years. The trade of La Guayra was the 
ID ita greatest splendour. The following are the official rt 
suits of the registers of the custom house, which throw soni 
light uD the commercial state of those regions, and whic 
were not published by MM. Depons and Dauxioa-Lavaysst 
in their voyages to Terra Firma, and the hie of Trinity. 

I. Trade or La Guavsa, in 1789. 

Imports, nlue 1,1126,005 piutres 

OfwIiidithediitMSpaid 100,504 

Exports, ^ne 1,233,013 

Of vhich the duties paid 167,408 

A, Imports : 

Spanish Goods 777,666 piattrci 

Foreign 748,360 

* See Vol. iv, p. &S4 ; Vol. r, p. 612, 607, 686, 715. 


B. Exports: 

Gold and silver coin 103J77 piastres 

Produce .. 2>128,89d 

Among which ; 

Cotton ' 190,427 pounds 

Indigo.. .i 718^393 

Tobacco 208,152 

Cacao 103,855 £anega8 

Coflfee 23,371 pounds 

Hides 12,347 pieces 

Buckskins 2^905 

Marroquins 1^888 

II. Tradb of La Guatra, in 1792. 

Imports, Talue 3,582,311 piastres 

Exports ... , 2,315,892 

A. Imports: 

From the ports of America 80,348 piastres 

From Spain 1,855,278 

From other parts of Europe .. 1,688,885 

B. Exports : 

Tor Spain • 
For Foreign Co- 
lonies - 













• • . . 






148 ,900 


III. Tbade of La Guayra, in 1794. 
A. Exports : 

For Spain - 
For Foreign Co- 













• • • . 










B. Imports : 
I M^cbwuliif M^ Provinona. 

Spaniah , 1,111^709 piMtret 

Foreign from Europe 868,613 

— — -. tbs United States 7&,99ai 
-r — the West ladies 13,416, 


Ttrt^tMnpor^a 9,139,980 

IV. Trade or La Goatia, in .1706. . 
A. Espurts, Talue 2,403,254 {dastres. 

Namely :— , 

For Spain - - - 
For the UoUcd 

S«i(e> - - - 
For the Foreign 

W. India lalandB 

























B. Impcvts: 
a Froin Spain, in oational products 1^871,571 piastres 

Foreign 1,420,487 

b FroiD Foreign American Colo- 
nics 179,002 

TotalimpoTtatton S,480,06D 

Import and Export Duties, paid 
at the custoin -house, amounted 


V. Trade of La Guayra, in IV07. 

A. Exports^ value l^llS,flO& piastres 

Namely : — 









Pounds. I Gates. Pieces. Founds. 

t» - - 
1. Islands 





• • • • 






• • • • 

• • •• 

• • • v 


• • • • 


• • • • 


• • • • 









A. Importo, Talue : — 

a From Spain 98,388 piastres 

b Foreign : 

From the United States 76,608 

the West Indies 389,844 

Total imports G64,800 piastres 

Export and Import Duties, paid at the 

Custom House 242,160 piastres 

In comparing these statements, which are taken from the 
registers of the custom-house at La Guayca, with those of 
the ports of Spain in my possession (Vol. iv, p. 240), we see 
that according to the declarations of the vessels, less cacao 
has entered Spain from Caraccas than from Lfa Guayra. Tb^ 
diminution of the imports and exports in 1797, indicate no 
decline of national industry 3 it is the consequence of the re- 
newal of maritime war, Spain having till then, since its peace 
Avith the French republic, enjoyed a happy neutrality. The 
registers of the Custom-house, which I have just stated, 
during four years, 1789, 1792, 1794, and 1796, give, for the 
average of the imports of La Guayra, which is the principal 
port of Venezuela, 2,678,000 piastres -, and for the average 
of the exports, 2,317,000 piastres. If wc fix on the years 


1793—1796 only, we have for the exports 3,060,000 piutres, 
while the years of war, comprehended between 17M and 
IBOO.furniflh on avenge of only 1,610,000 piutres. (DqMM, 
Vol, il, p. 439.) In the year 1809, and eonseqnently only a 
diort time before the ferolotion of Canccaa *, the balance of 
trade at La Ouayra onght to have been little different from 
what it was in 1796. 1 discovered in a journal of Santa Fe 
(le Bogota (Semtmario, Vol. ii, p, 384), an offidal extract of 
the rasters of Ox custom -house. Cor the first Bix monllu ol 

* The following are the principal epochas of (hat revoln- 
lioB. The nprane Jimla of Veneiuela, wlw declared they 
would maintain the rights of Ferdinand VII, and who ba* 
niahed the captain-general and the members of the Audietida, 
assembled 10th April, 1810. The cmgrett which socceeded 
the supreme Junta, 2d March, 1811, declared the indepen- 
dance of Venezuela, Sth July, 1811. The congress held its 
sittings at Valencia.^in the vallies of Aragua, in March, 1&13. 
The earthquake that destroyed the greater port of tfic town 
of Caraccas, on t)ie 26th March, 1612 (Vol. iv, p. 12), ren- 
dered the Spaniards again masters of the country in August, 
1812, General Simon Bolivar retook Caraccas, and entered 
it in trinmph, August 16th, 1813. The royalists became 
masters of Venezuela in July, 1814, and of Bogota, in June, 
IBXS, In the same year. General Bolivar disembarked at 
the island of Marguerita, at Carupano, and at OcumaM 
The second congress of Venezuela was installed at Angos- 
tura, February ISth, 1819. T\\tfwidawiental lam that uuitei 
Venezuela to New Grenada, by the name of the republic ol 
Columbia, was proclaimed December 17th, 1819, The ar- 
mistice, concluded between the Generals Bolivar and Morillo. 
is dated November 2Sth, 1820. The constitution of theRC' 
public of Columbia dates August 30th, 1821. The govern- 
ment of the United States recognized that Republic, Mard 
8th, 1822. 


the, year ; daring that period the imports from Spain were 
274,205 piastres; from foreign parts^ 768,705 piastres i 
total value of the imports, 1,042,910 piastres. The exports 
for Spain were 778,802 piastres i for foreign parts, 623,805 ', 
total value of the exports, 1,402,607 piastres. We may con- 
sequently regard 2,700,000 piastres as the mean term of the 
exports of the port of La Guayra at the lieginning of the 10th 
century, in a year when the country ei^oyed internal and ex- 
ternal tranquillity*. 

The ports of Cumana and Nueva Barcelona, 
at the period of the revolution, exported annu- 
ally, (comprebencfing the produce of the illicit 
trade,) to the value of 1,200,000 piastres ; in 
Hrhich were comprised 22,000 quintals of cacao, 
a million of pounds of cotton, and 24,000 quin- 
tals of salt meat. If we add tothe exports of 
La Guayra, Cumana, and Nueva Barcelona, a 
million of piastres, as the produce of the trade 
of Angostura and Maracaybo, and 800,000 
piastres as the value of the mules and oxen em- 
barked at Portocabello, Carupano, and other 
small ports of the Atlantic, we shall find the 
total value of the produce exported in the an- 

* I conununicated many details respecting the merchan- 
dize registered in the custom houses of Spain^ for the ports 
of T^erra Fhma, in 1705> to M. Dauxion-Lavaysse, which he 
inserted in his Foyage d ia TriniU, Tom. W, p. 464. I drew 
my information from a very instructiTe memoir of the Count 
de Casa Valencia^ on the means of vivifying the trade of Ca- 
raocas. M. Urquinaona {Reiac. docum., p. 13) > estimates the 
total of the exports of Venezuela, in 1B09« at eight millions 
of piastres. 


cient dapitania-getteral of Caraccas, to be more 
than six millions of piastres. It is very pro- 
bable that the consumption of the provisions of 
Europe and of other parte of America reached 
nearly the same amount in the peaceful times 
vhicfa immediately preceded the revolution. 
As nothing is more vagne than the pretendied 
balances of trade founded on the custom bouse 
registers, and as we are ignwant whether the 
contraband trade with the West India Islands 
augments the value of registered articles, a 
quarter, a third, or a half, it is not uninteresting 
to verify tlie results we have just obtained by 
the partial estimate of the wonts of the popula- 
tion. Now it is found, by minute calculatimis 
made on the spot, that the consumption of fo- 
reign productions* in the Gaviemo of Cumana, 
was, for each adult individual of the richest 
class^ inhabiting towns, but 102 piastres yearly ; 
for an adult slave, 8 piastres ; for children, not 
indians, less than 12 years of age, i piastre ; for 
every adult indian. in the most civilized com- 
munes {de dacfrirm)y 10 piastres ; for a family of 
indians, composed of four peraons entirely na- 
ked, such as they arc found in the missions of 

* In/orme de Don Manuel Navarete, Taorero dt la Rtal 
Hacitmda en Cumana aobre el rslanca tie iabaco y lot niedm it 
su alulicion Mai (Manuscript). In this rcnsoiiing on tbe 
aiption, the yvortk foreign arlUlfi iiijiculi? uU mercUan- 
c which is not origiiKiUy of \'ciif2Ui'hi. 


Chaymas, 7 piastres. According to these state- 
ments, and suppositig thai in the two pr6vinces 
of Cumana and Barcelona, there are only 
86,000 inhabitants, of whom 42,000 are Indians ; 
and adding the necessary annual expences for 
the embellishment and service of the churches, 
for the support of the religious communities^ 
and the equipment of vessels, M. Navarete esti-r 
mates the value of goods drawn from foreign 
parts at 8S3j060 piastres, which rnidces nearly 
10 piastfes for each individual, of every age and 
caste. It cannot be doubted that during the 
period of civil troubles, and by a more frequent 
contact with the nations of Europe, luxury 
has beeti prodigiously augmented in the popu- 
lous towns of Venezuela ; but the population 
6f towns is in Spanish America but an incon- 
siderable fraction of the general population; and 
with the habits of sobriety maintained by the 
great mass who inhabit the country distant 
from the coast, 1 conceive that the 785,000 in- 
habitants, which we now attribute to Venezuela, 
will require, when the counti^ shall enjoy per- 
fect tranquillity, foreign productions to the 
value of more than seven millions of piastres, 

I entreat such of my readers as love to em- 
ploy themselves on financial considerations, to 
attend for a moment to these numerical results. 
Burope, overloaded witli manufactures, seeks 
channels for the dispersion of the production of 



her industry. Such is the state of dawning^ 
society in South America, that the population 
of Veuezuela, which at most equals the mean 
population of two departments of France *, 
stands in need annually^ for its interior con- 
sumption, of merchandize and foreign articles 
to the amount of 35 millions of francs. More 
than four-fifths of those articles come by dif- 
ferent ways, from the markets of Europe. Yet, 
the population of Venezuela is poor, frugal, and 
little advanced in civilization. If, according to 
the statements of imports, it appears to have a 
great consumption, and feeds the industry <tf 
commercial nations by its wants, this arises 
from its being entirely destitute of manufac^ 
tures, and that the most simple mechanical arts 
have scai-ccly begun to be practised there. The 
maroquins and curried hides of Carora, the 
hammocks of the Island of Marguerita, and the 
blankets of Tocuyo, are objects of very small 
importance even for the inland trade. All the 
fine tissues and coloured linens used at \eae- 
zaela come from foreign ports. When the 
commerce of France with the American colonies 
was most flourishing, before the year 1789, she 
exported to them to the amount of bO millions 
of francs, in the productions of tlie French soil 
and industiy. This amount is little more than 
that of the total value of the foreign consump- 

• See above, p. 187, nolo " . 


tHon of Columbia. I dwell on the importance of 
these considerations, to prove how much the 
nations of the old world are interested in the 
prosperity of the free states that are forming in 
equinoctial America. If those states, whilst ' 
harassed from without, continue to remain agi- 
tated, a civilization which has not taken deep 
root will be gradually dstroyed ; and the whole 
of Europe, without advantage to the mother 
country, which could neither tranquillize its 
colonies, nor permanently re-possess them, will 
be deprived, for a long period of time, of a 
market fitted to give life to trade and manufac- 
turing industry. 

I shall add to these considerations some sta- 
tistical statements little known, taken from a 
very recent memoir of the Consutado de la Vera 
Cruz. This document shews that Venezuela 
by its entire want of manufactures, and the 
small number of its Indian inhabitants, presents 
in proportion to the respective population, a 
greater consumption of foreign articles than 
New Spain. In a period of twenty-five years, 
from 1796 to 1820, the importation * fro n the 

* In the commercial register pablished at Vera-Cruz^ the 
imports and exports made on account of the government are 
not included. For instance, in the year 1802, the extent of 
trade (the same of the exports and imports), is indicated at 
60,446,955 piastres. If to this had been added the amount 
of 19} millions of piastres embarked on the kings account, 


port of Vcra-Cruz, according to the registers of 
the custom-house, amounted to 259,105,940 
piastres, of which 186,125,113 piastres were 
from the mother country. The cousumption of 
New Spain in European articles, during the 
same period, was 224,447,132 piastres, or 
8,977,885 piastres annually. We are struck 
with the smallness of this sum, compared with 
the wants of a population of 6 millioas of souls ; 
und therefore the secretary of the Consulado de 
la Vera Cruz, M. Quiros, concludes that the 
contraband exportation rose, talking one year 
with another, to more tlian 12 or 15 millions of 
piastres. According to these calculations, made 
by persons who have a perfect knowledge of 
the localities, Mexico must consume at the ut- 
most, in its present state, foreign articles of the 
value of 21 to 24 millions of piastres, that is, 
with a population eight times greater, not four 
times as much as the ancient Capitania-general 
of Caraccas. So great a difference between 
two markets open to the trade of Europe, on the 
coasts of Mexico and Venezuela, will, I believe, 
appear less extraordinary, if we recollect that 
among the 6,800,000 inhabitants of NewSpain^ 
there are more than 3,700,000 indians of an un— 

anil the value of mercury and paper for cigores, received oa 
uceoutit of the Real Uacitnda, the extent of trade, in 1802, 
would have been 02,077,000 piastres ; nnd in lli03, it woaU 
have l>ecn 43,B»7,0»I) piastres iostead of 37,37t>,G37. 


mixed race ^y and that the manu&cturing iiK 
dustry of that fine country is already so much 
advanced that the value of its home fabrics in 
wool and cotton, in 1821, amounted to 10 mil^ 
lions of piastres per annum *(-. In deducting 
the indian population^ whose wants are almost 
entirely restricted to the productions of the 
soil, from the total population of Venezuela and 
Mexico, we find in the former country, that the 
consumption of the productions of foreign in* 
dustry, amount to 10 piastres, and in the latter, 
to 8 piastres for every individual of all ages 
and both sexes. Tliese results shew, that when 
we consider the great masses only, the state of 
society appears nearly the same in the most dis- 
tant parts of Spanish America, notwithstanding 
the varying influence of physical and moral 

The shores of Venezuela from the beauty of 
their ports:};, the tranquillity of the sea by which 

* (Sec my Political Essay 9n New Spain, Vol. iv, p. 127). 
During the 25 years that preceded the year 1820, gold and 
silver were coined at Mexico lo the value of 429^10^008 
piastres. See above, p. 129. 

+ Balqnza del Comercio reciproco hechopor elpuerto de Vera 
Cruz coo los de Espana y de America en los ultimos 25 anos, 
(De orden del Conmlado de f^era Cruz, el IB de Abril 1821.) 

J The following is the series of anchorage, roads, and 
ports with which I am acquainted, from Cape Paria as far as 
Ujo del Hacha ; Ensenada dc Mexilloncs -, the mouth of the 
Rio Caribes ^ Carupano; Cumiina (See above. Vol. ii, page 

they ai-e washed, and the fine ship timber that 
covers them, possess great advantages over the 
shores of the United States. In no part of the 
world is there found firmer anchorage, or fitter 
positions for the establishment of military posts. 
The sea of this coast is constantly calm, like 
that which extends from Lima to Guayaquil. 
The storms and hurricanes of the West Indies 
are never felt on the Costa fame ; and when 
after the sun has passed the meridian, thick 
clouds loaded with electricity, accumnbte on 
the mountains of the coast, this threatening as- 
pect of the sky, denotes to a pilot accustomed 
to those latitudes, only a squall that scarcely 
obliges him to reef or take in the sfuls. The 
virgin-forests near the sea, in the eastern part of 
New Andalusia, present valuable resources for 

211) ; Loguna Chicn, on the south of Chuparapara (Vol. 
p. U7) ; Lagma grande del Obitpo (Vol. iii, p. 21 ; Vol. vij 
p. 108) ; Carioco, [Vol. iii, p. 108) ; Ensenada de Santa-Fe 
Puerto Escondido ; Port de Mockima (Vol. iii, p. 358 ; Vol. 
vi, p. 108) J Nueva Barcelona (Vol. iii, p. 301 j Vol. »i, p 
77) ; the mouth of the Vio Unare ; Higuerote (Vol, iii, p 
370 ; Chuspu ; Guatire ; La Guoyra (Vol. iii, p. 383) j Catia 
Los Arccifcs ; Puerto la Cruz ; Choroni ; Sicne^ de Ocn- 
mare ; Turiamo ; Burburata ,- Pateneho (Vol. iii, p. 402) 
Porto Cabelh (Vol. iv, p. 201) ; Chichiribiche (Vol. iv, p 
204); Puerto del Manzanilloj Coro ; Mnrncayho; Buhia 
Monda ; El Portctc ct Puerto Viejo ; the island of Mnrguc* 
rita has three gitoA (iiirts, I'mnpatar, Pueblo dc la Mar, and 
liahia de .Iiian Griego. {Thou pnKteii m llnlics are Ihv port» 
vwil ficqiiuikil ) 


the establishment of dock yards. The wood of 
the mountain of Paria may vie with that of the 
Isle of Cuba, Huasacualco, Guayaquil, and San 
Bias. The Spanish goverament had, at the end 
of the last century, fixed its attention on this 
important object. Marine engineers were sent 
to mark the finest trunks of Brazil-wood^ ma- 
hogany, cedrela, and laurinea, between Angos- 
tura and the mouth of the Oroonoko, as well as 
on the banks of the gulf of Paria, vulgarly 
called GoTfo triste. It was not intended to es- 
tablish dock and yards on the spot, but to hew 
the weighty timber into the form necessary for 
ship building, and to transport it in the king^s 
ships to Caraque, near Cadiz. Although trees 
proper for masts are not found in this country, 
it Mras yet hoped that the execution of this pro- 
ject would considerably diminish the importa- 
tion of timber from Sweden and Norway. The 
establishment was attempted in a very un- 
healthy spot*, in the valley of Quebranta, near 
Guirie; I have already mentioned in another 
place, the causes of its destruction. The insa- 
lubrity of the place would, doubtless, have di- 
minished in proportion as the forest (el monte 
virgen) would have been removed from the 
dwellings of the inhabitants. Mullattoes, and 
not whites^ ought to have been employed in 

* Vol. iii, p. 83. 

hewing the wood, and it should have been r8> 
raembered tliat the cxpcnce of the roads (aras- 
traderosj, for the transport of the timber, when 
once traced, would not have been the same, and 
that, by the increase of the population, the 
price of day labour would progressively have 
diminished. It belongs to ship^builders alone 
who know the localities, to judge, whether in 
the present state of things, the freight of mer- 
chant vessels be not far too dear to allow of 
sending large quantities of wood roughly hewn, 
to Europe ; but it cannot be doubted that Vcnc- 
Kuela possesses on its maritime coast, as well us 
on the banks of the Oroonolio, immense re- 
sources for ship building. Tiie fine ships which 
have gone out of tlic yards of the Havanah, 
Guayaquil, and San Bins, have, no doubt, cost 
more than those constructed in Europe, but 
from the nature of tropical wood, they possess 
the advantage of hardness and amazing dura- 

We have just analysed the objects of com- 
mercial industry at Venezuela and their im- 
mense value; it remains to take a view of tlie 
means of commerce which are fountl in a country 
destitute of higii roads, and w[icel carriages, 
and restricted to internal and external naviga- 
tion. The uniformity of temperature that pre- 
vails in the j;:rcatcr part of these provinces, 
causes such an equality in the agricultural pro- 


(luctions necessary to life, that the want of ex- 
changes is there felt less than at Peru, Quito, 
and New Grenada, where the most opposite 
climates prevail on a small space of land. The 
flour of the cereals is almost an object of luxury 
for the great mass of the population, and every 
province participating in the possession of the 
Llanos, that is of pasturages, draws its nourish- 
ment from its own soil. The inequality of the 
harvest of maize, varying according as rain is 
more or less frequent; the transportation of 
salt, and the prodigious consumption of meat in 
the most peopled districts, lead, no doubt, to 
exchanges between the Llanos and the coast ; 
but the great and real object of commercial 
activity in the interior of Venezuela, is the car- 
riage of products to be exported to the West 
Indies and to Europe ; such as cacao, cotton, 
coflee, indigo, dried meat, and hides. It is sin- 
gular, that, notwithstanding the great number 
of horses and mules that wander in the Llanos, 
no use is yet made of those great waggons 
which have for ages traversed the Pampas, be- 
tween Cordova and Bucnos-Ayres. I did not 
see one in a single waggon on Terra Firma; 
the conveyance of goods is all made on the back 
of mules, or by water. A road, however, might 
be easily traced, fitted for wheel carriages, from 
Caraccas to Valencia, in the vallies of Aragua, 
and thence by the Villa de Cura to the Llanos 

of Calabozo, as well from Valencia to Portoca- 
bello, and from Caraccas to La Guayra. The 
ConsiUados of Mexico aud Vera Cruz have 
known how to vanquish difficuliies a hundred- 
fold greater, in constructing the 6ne roads from 
Perote to the coast, and from the capital to 

With respect to the interaal navigation of 
Venezuela, it would be useless to repeat here 
what we have stated above, on the branchings 
and communications of the great rivers ; we 
shall confine ourselves to direct the attention of 
the reader to the two great navigable lines tliat 
exist from east to west (by the Apure, the Meta, 
and the Lower Oroonoko), and from south to 
north, by the Rio Negro, the Cassiquiare, the 
Upper, and the Lower Oroonoko. By the first 
of these lines the productions of the province of 
Varinas* flow towards Angostura, by the Por- 
tuguesa, Masparro, the Rio Santo-Domingo, 
and the Orivante ; and the productions of the 
province of Los Llanos, and the table-land of 
Bogota -|-, by the Rio Casanare, the Crabo, and 
the Pachaquiaro. The second line of naviga- 
tion, founded on the bifurcation of the Oroo- 
noko, leads to the most southern extremity of 
Columbia, to San Carlos del Rio Negro, and the 
Amazon. In the present state of Guyana, the 

* Vol, iv, \>. 309, 454. 
+ Vol. iv. |). &Cl— 5fi9. 


navigation to the south of tlie Great Cataracts*, 
of the Oroonoko is scarcely any thing, and the 
utility of inland communications either with 
Para, the mouth of the Amazon, or the Spanish 
Provinces of Jean and Maynas, is founded only 
on vague hopes. These communications are, in 
respect to Venezuela, what those of Boston and 
New York are in respect to the inhabitants of 
the United States with the coast of the P^ific 
ocean, across the rocky mountains. In substi- 
tuting a canal of 6000 toises, for the portage of 
Guapore ^f*, a line of inland navigation would 
be opened from Buenos-Ayres to Angostura. 
Two other canals of easier construction, might 
join^ the one might unite Atabapo to the Rio 
Negro J by the Pimichin, rendering it unneces- 
sary for the boats to go round by the Cassi- 
quiare ; and the other would do away with the 
dangers of the rapids of Maypures §. But I re- 
peat, that all the commercial views that are 
directed to the south of the Great Cataracts, 
belong to a state of civilization as yet very dis- 
tant, and in which the four great tributary 
streams of the Oroonoko (the Carony,thc Caura, 
the Padamo, and the Ventuari), || will become 

* Atures and Maypures. 
t Vol. iv, p. 305. 
X Vol. V, p. 166. 
§ Vol. V, p. 260. 

II Vol. V, p. 612. 606. See also. Vol. v, p. 216, on the 
importance of the Guaviare ; Vol. v^ p. 479^ on the isthmus 

no less celebrated than the Ohio and the Mta- 
aouri, on the west of the Alleghanis. At pre- 
sent, the line of navigation from west to east 
alone engages the attention of the inhabitants^ 
and even the Meta does not yet possess the ino- 
portance of the Apure and the Rio Santo Do- 
mingo. On that line *, 300 leagues in length, 
the use of steam boats would be of the greatest 
utility to go up from Angostura to Torunos, the 
port of the rich province of Varinas. It is dif- 

of Rupumiri, auti the portages between the Rio Branco, the 
Essequebo, and the Carony ; and Vol. v, p. 572, on the road 
by land leading from the Upper to the Lower Oroonoko, and 
from the Esmeralda to the Erevnto, lb. 

* The title of a book that has recently appeared {Journal 
of an Expedition 1400 mila uji lie Oroonoko, and ;)00 up t/if 
Jrauca, by U. Rob'mson, 1822), singularly exaggerates the 
length of the Lower Oroonoko, and its western tributary 
streams. A voyage of 1700 Eaglisli miles would have led 
the author fiir into the South Sea. A much more extraordi- 
nary geographical error is found in a work composed almost 
entirely of passages extracted from my Personal Narraliet, 
and oeeompnnied with a map which bears my name, altliough 
I there search in vain for the town of Popayon, In this 
Geographical, statistical, as^TJculUiTol, commrrcinl, and polilicul 
account of Colawtia, (1B'>2), it is said Vol. ii, p. 28, thai 
" the <'assi(juiar<>, long believed to be an arm of the Oroo- 
noko, has been found by M. du Humboldt to be an arm ut 
the Hio Negro." The same nssertiuii is repeated in the 
P'uUitdrKliii'; lluiuiburJi ihr m mrni Erilicschreisiig, \'ol. xvi, 
p. 4«, written by a man of irrcHt merit, Mr. Hasscl. Yet. 
nearly '23 years ago I went u]i llic Cassiijuiarc, in tlic diroc- 
tiun «f fi-om £imlh to utirtii. 


ficult to form an idea of the muscular force ex- 
erted by the boatmen, whether they tow their 
barks, or push their oars (palanca) against the 
bank*, in going up the Apure, the Portuguesa, 
or the Rio de Santo Domingo, at the time of 
the high floods. The Llanos present a ridge of 
partition so little elevated, that between the Rio 
Pao and the lake of Valencia, as well as between 
the Rio Mamo and the Gnarapiche, communis 
cations might be opened by canals, and join, 
for the facility of inland trade, the basin of the 
Lower Oroonoko to the coast of the Atlantic 
and the gulf of Paria-f. 

United with the local interest of the internal 
navigation of Venezuela, is another intimately 
connected with the prosperity of the commer- 
cial nations of both hemispheres. Among the 
five points that appear to present the practica- 
bility of opening a direct na\ngation between 
the Atlantic ocean and the South sea, three are 
found in the territory of Columbia. I will not 
here repeat what I have already observed on 
this important object, in the first volume of the 
Political Essay on New Spain J : where I have 

* There are windings (vueltas) in the Portuguesa and the 
Apure^ and counter-forts that sometimes retain boats a whole 

+ Vol. iv, p. 160; Vol. vi, p. 46. 

X Vol. i, p. cv, 10, &c ; Vol. iv, p. 17. See also my -."^Z- 
las Gcogr, et Physique de la NouvtUe Espagiie, pi, ir>. 


shewn that previously to undertaking any la- 
boui-s on either of those points, they ought all 
to be examined. It is only by investigating an 
hydraulic problem in its greatest generality^ 
that it can be advantageously solved. Since I 
left the New Continent no barometric measure 
or geodesic levelling has been executed to de- 
termine the lines of elevation which the pro- 
jected canals ought to traverse. The different 
works that have appeared during the war of in- 
dependence of the Spanish colonies, are confined 
to the same ideas * which I published in 1800 ; 

■ I except the useful information given by Mr. Davis Bo- 
binsoD, on the anchorage of Muasacuaico, Rio Sao Juan an<l 
Panama. Memoirs on the Mexican Revolution, 1821, p. 203. 
(See also Edinb. Rev., Jan. 1810. IFallon in the Colonial 
Journal, 1617, March aodJune. BibL Dnwerielle de Genive, 
Jon. 1823, p. 47 ; BUiUotka Americana, Vol. i, p.lia— 129.) 
" The bar at the mouth of the Kio Huasacualco has 23 feet 
of wat«r ; there is good anchorage, and the port can admit 
the largest ships. The bar of the Rio San Juan, on the 
eastern coast of Nicaragua, has 12 feet of water ; on one 
point only there is a narrow pass 23 feet deep. In the Rio 
San Juan there is from 4 to 6 fathoms, and in the lake of 
Nicaragua from 3 to 8, English measure. The Rio Son 
Juan is navigable for brigs and stoops." Mr. Davis Robin- 
son also says " the western coast of Nicaragua is not so 
stormy as it was represented to me during my navigation in 
the South Sea, and a canal issuing at Panama would have the 
great disadvantage of being contiuued at u distance of two 
leagues in the sea, because there arc only some feet of water 
Hi far as ihe isles Flamengu and I'erJco." 


it is only by the communications which I have 
since held with the inhabitants of regions the 
least visited, that I have been able to obtain 
some new information. I shall here state the 
considerations that are most important for the 
political advantage and the trade of the na- 

The five points that present the practicability 
of a communication from sea to sea, are situated 
between the 5th and 18th degrees of north lati- 
tude. They all, consequently^ belong to the 
states washed by the Atlantic, to the territory 
of the Mexican and Columbian confederations, 
or, to use the ancient geographical denominar 
tions, to the intendancies of Oaxaca, and Vera 
Cruz, and the provinces of Nicaragua, Panama, 
and Choco. They are : — 
The Isthmus op Tehuantepec (lat. 16^-18°), 
between the sources of the Rio Chimalapa 
and the Rio del Passo, which empties itself 
into the Rio Huasacualco or Goazacoalcos. 
The Isthmus of Nicaragua (lat. 10^-12®), 
between the port of San Juan de Nicara- 
gua, and the coast of the gulf of Papagayo, 
near the volcanos of Granada and Bom- 
The Isthmus op Panama (lat. 8^ 15'-9° 36'.) 
The Isthmus op Darien, or Cupica (lat. 
60 4(r.7M2'.) 

vol. VI. R 

,'*11W Canal or Rastadwra, bettreen fhe Rio 
Atroto and the Rto San Juan of Choco, 
(lat. 4'' Stf-S" 20'.) 
Such is the happy position of these five points, 
of which the latter wiil probably be always con- 
fined to the system of small navigation, or 'm]and 
coramunicationG, that they are placed at the 
Centre of the New Continent, at an equal dis- 
tance from Cape Horn and the north-west 
i coast, celebrated for the fir trade. Opposed to 
"e&ch (in the same parallel), are the seasfof 
£h)^ and India, tai tmportaat <dt«tiaiABttee 
|h bithudes where the tradfe-windvinHBit;' all 
IM euiOj entered by Tessels Miiid% ftoni Eu- 
ibpe Uid the United States. '' 

fhe AMt aorthem Iflthnm^ ttet t»P Trinum- 
tepee, which Heraan Corte^ ft one of 1& lle^ ~ 
tets to the £tnperor (%arlea 8tfa (of tbe'XHfa 
October, TS30), odls the ttcreiafihd Httii,hdM so 
Web the more, of late years, &ted tlie aMention 
•of mnlpitoM, that during tbft poHtIca] tronbles 
of KtfW Spain,, the tradb of Vera Ctta WM di- 
vided biBtWMtt the UBiall porta of %ttnpioo, 
l^iqttii, Hud ttaasacnalco * It has bein cal- 
culated that the bavigation from Philadtiphia 
to Nootka, and the month of the Rio CohunlriB, 
Which is nearly 9000 marine leagues, triclf^ die 
wdinary wtiy round Cape Horn, wovdd be 

* Balanza del eomarda mrifano dk Vera Cm* oit nt f * 
£mtte el aSo de 1811, p. 19, N» 10. 


flhortencd at least SOOO leagues^ if the passa^ 
from Huasacualco to Tehuantepee could be ef- 
fected by a canal. H&ving had at my disposal, 
in the archived of the vlce^royalty of Mexico, 
the memoirs of two engineers *, who were ap- 
pointed to examine the isthmus, I have been 
able to form a precise idea of the local circum- 
stances. No doubt the ridge which forms the 
partition of the waters between the two seas is 
interhipted by a transversid valley, in which a 
canal of derivation might be dug. It has been 
receiitly asserted, that in the time of high floods 
this valley is filled with a sufficient quantity oF 
water to admit of a natural passage for th6 
boats of the Indians ; but I found no indication 
of this interesting fact in the different official 
reports addressed to the viceroy, Don Antonio 
Bucareli. Similar communications exist, at 
the period of great inundations, between the 
basins of the rivers St. Lawrence and Mississipi, 
that is, between- the lake Erie and the Wabash, 
between the lake Michigan and the river of the 
Illinois^. The canal of Huasacualco, pro- 
jected during the able administration of the 
Ooont de Revillagigeda, would join the Rio 
Cbimalapa and the Rio del Passo, which is a 
tributary stream of the Huasacualco ; it would 
be only about 16000 toises long, and from the 

* Don Augustin Cramer and Don Miguel del Corral, 
t See above, Vol. {v, p. 152 5 Vol. v, 4^74 . 

R 2 


description given of it by the engineer Cramer, 
wlio enjoyed a liigh reputation, it appears that 
it would require neither sluices, subterra- 
nean galleries, nor the nse of inclined planes. 
It must not, however, be forgotten that no 
bai'ometric or geodesic levelling haa been 
liitherto executed in the territory comprised 
between the ports of Tehuantepec and San 
Fi'iuicisco de Chimalapa ■, between tbe sources 
uf ttie Rio del Passo and los Cerros ds los 
Mixes. By glancing on tlie map I have 
sketched of those countries, wc may conceive 
that the dillicuUy of this enterprise, wlitch the 
government of Mexico is about to undertake, 
consists less in tracing tlie canal, than in the 
labours necessary to render ttie Rio Cliimalapa 
navigable for large vessels, as well as the seven 
rapids of ttie Rio del Passo, from ttie ancient 
emharcadhre, on ttie nortli of the forests of 
Tarifu, to tlie mouth of ttic Rio £Suravia, near 
the new enibarcadere de la Cruz. It is to 
he feared, ttiat, on account of ttie breadth of 
this isthmus (which is more tlian 38 leagues), 
the Avindings and ttie beds of the rivers will 
oppose obstacles to the project of opening a 
cunul of sea navigation appropriated for vessels 
trading to Cliina, and the north-west coast of 
America ; it would, ttierefore, he of the tiighest 
importance (o establish a line of navigation for 
suiatl craft, or to improve the road by land. 


passing by Chihuitan and Petapa. Tliis road 
was opened in 1798 9ad 1801, and the indigos 
of Guatimala, as web as cochineal and salt 
provisions, have long been conveyed by that 
route to Vera Cruz and the island of Cuba. 

The isthmus of Nicaragua and that of Cupica 
have always appeared to me the most favourable 
for the formation of canals of large dimensions^ 
similar to the Caledonian canal, which is 103 
feet (French measure) broad at the water*s 
edge, exclusive of the raised way which stops 
the falling in of the earth ; 47 feet broad at the 
bottom, and 18i deep. In considering a com- 
munication between two seas, capable of pro- 
ducing a revolution in the commercial world, 
we must not limit our attention to such means 
as only serve to establish a system of inland 
navigation by small locks, as in the canals of 
Languedoc, Briare^ or in the Grand Junction, 
and the Forth and Clyde canals. Some of 
those canals long appeared to be gigantic enter- 
prizes, and indeed they were so when compared 
with canals of smaller dimensions : but their 
mean depth * not being more than from 6 to 7 J 
French feet, they cannot give a passage like 

* Andreossi, Description of the canul of Lnnguedoc, p. 
138. Huerne de Pommeuse, on Navigable Canals, 1822, 
p. 64, 264, 309. Dupin, Mem. on the Marine, and the 
Bridges and Highways of France and England, p. 05 and 72. 
fhitcns, Mem. on the Public Works of England, p. 295. 


the Caledonian capfd, admit merchant vewels 
of heavy tonpa^ and ilviiligr-two gon fiigates. 
It is, boweTer, the prii^jibility of tlus pas- 
99ge vhich is diacuBsed in the project of cutting 
an iBthmui in America. The pretoided jtmO' 
Honqfthe two aeas^ by tlw canal of lAnguedoc, 
has not spared the navigatitm a oircntt of more 
than 600 leagues round the Spanish FnunKala; 
and, however admirable this hydraulio woric 
may be which recdves annually 1900 flat-boata^ 
carrying from 100 to 120 tons each, it can 
only be considered as a means of inland car- 
riage: since it very little diminishes the num- 
ber of vessels that pass through the straits of 
Gibrajtar. It cannot be doubted, that if at any 
given point of equinoctial Amerioa, either in 
the isthmus of Cupica, or in those of Panama, 
Nicaragua, or even Huasacualco, two neigh- 
bouring ports were joined by a canal of small 
dimensions, (of from 4 to 7 feet deep), it would 
produce great commercial activity. This canal 
would act like a rml-way, and small as it might 
be, would enliven and abridge the communica- 
tions between the western coasts of America 
and those of the United States and of Europe. 
If even in time of war, the long and dangerous 
passage round Cape Horn has been generally 
preferred for the exportation of the copper of 
Chili, bark, the wool of the vigogne of Peru, 
and the cacao of Guayaquil, to the commercial 


tnirepdt of Panama and PortobeUo^ it i8 otoly on 
account of the want of the means of transport, 
and the extreme misory that prevails in those 
towns, which were so flonrishing at the begin- 
ning of the conquest. Ttie difficulties here 
mentioned increase in donyeying merchandiase 
from Carthagena or the West Indies, to Qnito 
and Lima; and when sent up in the direction 
from north to south, by the Rio Chagre, the 
force of its current must be overcome, like that 
of the winds and currents of the Pacific ocean. 
By rendering the Chagre navigable, employ- 
ing long steam boats, establishing rail-ways, in- 
troducing the camels of the Canaries, which, at 
the time of my visit, had began to multiply in 
Venezuela*, by digging small canals in the 
isthmus of Cupica, or on the neck of land that 
separates the lake of Nicaragua from the coast 
of the South Sea, the prosperity of American 
industry might be increased, but very indirect 
influence would be exerted on the general in- 
terests of civilized nations. The direction of 
the trade of Europe and the United States with 
the fur coast (between the mouth of the Colum- 
bia and Cook river), with the Sandwich Islands, 
rich in sandal wood, with India and China, 
would not be changed. Distant communica- 
tions require ships of great tonnage, that admit 

* See above. Vol. i, p. 78, 121 ; Vol. iv, p. 182—185, 
and PoHHcal Essay, Vol. iv, p. 14. 


ynvSftt^iXES.vWy laden, natnritt' ^r~ ftHmcIar 
passes, of the mean depth of from 15 to 17 feet, 
and an uninterrupted navigation, requiring no 
unloading of the vessels. These conditions are 
indispensable, and it would be changing the 
question to confound the canals which, by tbeir 
dimensions, serve only to facilitate inland com- 
munioations, and a coasting traiie (like the 
canals of Languedoc and the Clyde, between 
the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean, or 
between the Irish and North Seas), with basins 
asd locks 'capable of reoeivmg the' ships em- 
ployed la the trade of Canton. In « mattet that 
IntereMs eveiy nation which has made some prt*- 
gress in cirillzBtiai^ greater predfiion should be 
used than has hitherto been done, respecting a 
problem, the snocessful application of wluch de- 
pends principally on the choioe of the localities. 
It would be imprudent, I here repeat; to begiiv' 
at one point without having examined and 
levelled others ; and it would be above all to 
be n^retted if the woriis were undertaken 
on tori small a scale; for in voAb of thiftde- 

- scription'the expenoe does not augment in pro- 
pordon to the section of the canals; ^r the 
breadth of the water channel. 

The erroneous Idea which geograpben^ or 
rather drawers of maps, have so long propa- 
gated of the equal heights of the Cordilleras of 
America, tbeir prolongation in the form of 


walls and continued ridges, and finally, of the 
absence * of any transversal valley crossing the 
pretended central chains, has caused it to be 
generally believed that the junction of the seas 
is an undertaking of greater difficulty than 
there has been hitherto reason to suppose. It 
appears that there are no chains of mountains, 
not even a ridge of partition, or any sensible 
line of demarcation^ between the bay of Cu- 

* I have treated of the source of these errora. Vol. iv^ p. 
301 i Vol. V, p. 41, 456—464, 472, 554. 

f This expression surely iodicates the focility with which a 
canal might be traced. A slow ascent of from 40 to 50 
toises may, indeed, become at length insensible. 1 found the 
great square of Lima B8 toises above the waters of the South 
Sea, yet, in going from Callao to Lima, this diflference of 
level is scarcely perceived on a distance half as great as that 
from Cupica to the embarcadador of the Rio Naipi. The 
geographical position of Cupica is quite as uncertain as the 
position of the confluence of the Naipi with the Atrato ; and 
this uncertainty appears less strange when we recollect that 
it extends over the whole southern coast of the isthmus of 
Panama, and that no mariners, furnished with exact instru- 
ments, ever run along the shore in sight of land, between the 
Capes of Charambira and San Francisco Solano. Cupica is 
a port of the province of Biruquete, which is but little known, 
and which the maps of the DeposUo de hydrogrqfico of Ma- 
drid place between Darien and the Choco de Norte. It took 
its name from that of a Cacique called BirH or Biruquete, 
who reigned over lands in the neighbourhood of the gulf of 
San Miguel, and who fought, in 1515, as an ally of the Spa- 
niards {Herera, Dec, Vol. ii, p. B). I have not seen the 
port of Cupica marked in any Simnish map, but have found 


pica, on the coast of the South Sea, and the Rio 
Naipa, which empties itself into the Atrato, fif- 
teen leases above its month. A biscayan 
pilot, M. Gogueneche, called the attention of 
government to this point in the year 1799. Per- 
sons TOrthy of credit, who had made the pas- 
sage with him from the Pacific Sea to the £m- 
barcadere of Niupi, assured me that they saw 
no hill in that isthmus of alluvial earth, which 
they were ten hours in crossing. A merchant 
of Carthagena, South America, deeply inte- 
rested in all that regards the statistics of New 
Grenada, Don Ignacio Pombo *, wrote to me in 
the month of February 1803: — " Since you as- 
cended the Rio Magdalena to SantarFc, and 
Quito, I have never ceased to take informations 
respecting the isthmus of Capica ; there are 

Puerto QMeaudo b Tapka, at 7° \&' lat. (Carta del Mar de las 
AnliUas, 180S. Carta de la coita ocadental de la America, 
1810.) A maauscript sketch in lay possession of the pro- 
vince of Cboco, confounds Ctipica aiul Rio SiU>«]ctsi, lat. 
e° 30' ; yet, Bio Suboleta is placed in the maps of the Depo- 
silo, soiitli, and not north of Cape San Pruncisco Salano, con- 
seiiuentty, 4S' south of Puerto Quemado. According to the 
map of the jirovince of Curthagena, hy Don Vicenti, LondoQ> 
1816, the confluence of the Hio Napipi (Naipi ?} is 6' 40' 
lat, It is to be hoped liiat Ihese uncertainties of positioii 
will soon be removed by observatiuns taken on the spot. 

■ Friend of the celebrated Mntis, and author of a little 
wiirk on the triide of ()uin(]uin:i (?inlicias varias saire lot qni- 
lias q/iebnili:i, Ciirlh. dr. Indias, 1817), which I have sevcrul 
liim'!i hud occu:rion to tjuoti;. 


only from 5 to 6 leagues from that port to the 
Embarcadere of Rio Naipi, and the whole ter- 
ritory is a plain {tereno enieramente Uanosy 
From the foots I have mentioned it cannot be 
doubted that this part of the northern Choco is 
of the highest importance for solving the pro- 
blem under our consideration ; but^ in order to 
form a precise idea of this absence of moun- 
tains at the southern extremity of the isthmus 
of Panama, we must bear in mind the general 
outline of the Cordilleras. The chain of the 
Andes is divided at the 2° and 5^ of latitude into 
three chains *, and the two longitudinal vallies 
that separate those chuns form the basins of 
the Magdalena and the Rio Cauca. The eastern 
branch of the Cordilleras inclines towards the 
north-east, and joins itself by the mountains of 
Pamplune and Grita, to the Sierra Nevada de 
Merida, and the chain of the coast of Vene- 

* Eastera Chain, that of Suma Paz, Chingasa^ and Gua- 
chaneqae, between Neiva and the basin of Guaviare^ and 
Santa-Fe de Bogota and the basin of Meta ; intermediary 
ehain^ that of Guanacas, Qoindio^ and £rve (Uerveo), be- 
tween the Rio Magdalena and the Rio Canca^ the la Plata 
and Popayan^ and between Ibagu^ and Carthago ; western 
chain, between the Rio Cauca and the Rio San Juan^ the 
Call and Novita^ and between Carthago and Tadb. (See my 
Geogr. Atlas, pi. 24.) This last chain, which separates 
the provinces of Popayan and Choco, is generally very low ; 
it is, however, said to rise consi^lerably in the mountain of 
Tor^, at the west of Calima. (Pombo, de fas Quinas, p. 07.) 


zuela, and the intermediate and western 
branches of Quindio and Choco, run into one 
another in the province of Antioquia, between 
the 5° and 7° of latitude, and form a groupe of 
mountains of considerable breadth, stretching 
by the falU de Osos and the j4tto del Fiento, 
towards Cazeres, and the elevated savannahs of 
Tolu. Further west, in the Choco del Narte, 
the mountains lower to such a degree, that, be- 
tween the gulf of Cupica and the lUo Naipt, 
they disappear altogether. It is the astrono- 
mical position of that isthmus and the distance 
from the month of the Atrato to its confluence 
with the Kio Naipi * that should be fixed with 

• The geography of that [wrl of America, between the 
mouth of the Almto, the Cape Corientcs, the Cctro de Tora, 
anil Vega dc Supia, is in a most deplorable state. It is onlj 
more to the east, in the province of Antioquia, that the la- 
bours of Don Jose Munuel Restrcpo present some points of 
which the position is aiitroiinmically fixed. From Cupica to 
Cape Corientes, tlie di:;tancc by land is computed tu be from 
12 to 14 (?) marine leagues. From Quibdo (Zitani), where 
resiilcs the Tcnieitle Gobcraailor, (the corregidor inhabits 
Novita,) it takes from 7 to 8 days of navigation to go down 
as far as tlic mouth of the Atrato. An error, common to 
every conmion map (excepting that of M. Talledo), is plitciog 
Zitara 1' too much to the north, sometimes ut the mouth of 
the Atrato, sometimes at its confluence with the Naipi. 
From San Pablo, situated some leagues above 'I'odo, un 
the riglit bank of the Ilio Sun Jiinii, tu Quibdo or Zilura, U 
DuIy one days juurncy. 


precision ; we do not know, wliether sloops can 
ascend to this point. 

After the lake of Nicaragua, Cupiea^ and 
Huasacualco, the isthmus of Panama merits 
the most serious attention. The practicability 
of forming a canal for ship navigation depends^ 
at the same time, on the height of the point of 
partition, and the configuration of the coasts ; 
that is^ on the maximum of their nearness t6 
each other. So narrow a neck of land might, 
by its directipn, have escaped the destructive 
influence of the current of rotation; and the 
supposition that the greatest height of the 
mountains must correspond to the minimum of 
the distance between the coasts, would not, in 
our days, be justified even by the principles of 
merely systematic geology. Since I published 
my first work on the junction of the seas, we 
remain, unfortunately, in the same ignorance 
respecting the height of the ridge which the 
canal must pass over. Two learned travellers, 
MM. Boussingault and Rivero, levelled the 
Cordilleras from Caraccas to Pamplona, and 
from thence to Santa-Fe de Bogota, with a pre- 
cision superior to any thing I could attempt in 
that kind of research ; but on the north-west of 
Bogota, from the Andes of Quindiu and Anti- 
oquia, levelled by M. Restrepo and myself, as 
far as the table land of Mexico, in the 1 2^ of 
latitude of central America^ not one single mea- 


sure of hei^lit has been made since my return to 
Europe. It is iniicli to be regretted that, to- 
wards the middle of the last century, the French 
academicians crossed the isthmus of Panama 
without thinking of opening their barometer at 
the point of the partition of the watere. Some 
observations which Ulloa has repeated, as by 
chance> hare led me to conclude that from the 
mouth of the Rio Chagre to the embarcadere of 
Cnices, there is a difference of level of 210, or 
340 feet •. Prom the Ventn de Cmces to Pa- 
nama you ascend rapidly, and then descend 
during several hours towards the South Sea. 
It is, therefore, between this port and Cnices 
that the threshold, or point of partition, is 
placed, which the canal must pass over, if the 
idea be persisted in of giving it that direction. 
I shall here mention that it would suffice, in 
order to enjoy the view of the two oceans at 
once, that the mountains of the line of elevation 
in the isthmus were 580 feet high, that is, only 
a third higher than the Naurouse, in the chain 
of the CorbiJres, which is the point of partition 
of the canal of Languedoc. Now this simnlta- 

* Near Chepn and the village of Penom^ne for instuice 
(MSS. of the Curate Don Juan Pablo Roblet). The moun- 
tains Eecm to rise towards the province of Veragua, where 
even wheat is cul^vated in the district of Chiriqui del Guami, 
near the village of lu Palma, Franciscan mission, dependent 
on the cnllet^c of the Propaganda de Panama. 


neous view of the two seas is remarked in some 
parts of the isthmus as being very extraordi- 
nary ; from which we may^ I think, conclude 
that the mountains are, in general, not an 
hundred toises high. Some feeble indications 
of the temperature and geography of the native 
plants, lead me to think that the ridge over 
which the road passes from Cruces to Panama^ 
is not 500 feet high ; Mr. Robinson * supposes 
it at most 400 feet. According to the assertvcm 
of a traveller "t^, who describes with the most 
ingenuous simplicity what he has seen, the hills 
that compose the central chain of the isthmus^ 
are separated from each other by valHes, ^ which 
leave a free course to the passage of the waters.** 
The researches of the engineers who are charged 
to explore those countries should be principally 
Greeted to the discovery of the transversal 
vallies. We find examples in every country of 
natural openings across the ridges. The moun- 
tains between the channels of the Saone and the 
Loire, which the canal of the Centre would 
have had to pass over, were eight or nine hun- 
dred feet high ; but a neck of land or interrup- 
tion of the chain near the reservoir of Long 
Pendu^ furnished a passage 350 feet lower. 
If we are not at all advanced in the know- 

• Memoir on the Mexican Revolution, p. 2G9. 
t Uonel Wafer^ Description of the Isthmus of America, 
17», p 297. 

U»il«li qft U», Alt, |P>|>qtjri>ft J ^W ' > t ;ilf 

■^pke/tj. for,;t^:iliinen8ioi9a«(.Aftyg«tfu^9«l 

acitwimt of Ae imaU river of tbftt:'j»ui|B: iiijki^ 

flows into it, have ^ven rise to great errors 
Hub golf penetrates into the land 17 milea le« 
.than was supposed in 1805» in ^akipg tbe plai 
ofUie archipelagoofthe./iilEiJilfHJafat*. What- 
;evw credit the last astronomical obserrstiai)! 
appear to me^tj and on which the uuq>, <^ tbi 
isthmus is founded, published by.the.Rojal 
Pepositof the Marine of Madrid in ]817,:Wi 
must not forget . ^at these operations . compre 
bend only the nprthem coast, which app^ 
nfffia: y^t to have been connected either. by. i 
^hain of triangles, or chronometrically (by.tht 
transport of time), mth the southern .coast 

• See »^ Political Easaj, Vol. iv, p. 348. In compariq 
the two mspa DcpotUo htfdngrqfico de Madrid, bearing tb 
title Carta aeriea del Mar de Jntilla* 1/ delat CtMat de 7Wr 
. Finne detde taitlade la Triiudad katta el gelfo de HatdKni 
1806, and ttie Qttarto H<ga ^e comprehende la pronuM 4 
Cartagaut, 1819, we lee how well founded were the doub( 


Now, the problem of the breadth of the isthmus 
does not solely depend on the determmation of 
the latitude. The government of Columbia hav* 

I announced fifteen years ago, on the relative position of the 
most important points of the southern and northern coasts of 
the isthmus. Panama was anciently believed (Don Jorge 
Juan. Travels in South America^ Vol. i^ p. 99), to be 31' 
to the west of Portobello. La Cruz (1775), and Lopez 
(1785) have followed this supposition, founded only on a 
plan of the direction of the route, taken with a compass. 
But in 1802, Lopez [Mapa del Reyno de Tierra Ftrme y sus 
provincicu de Feragua y Darien) began to place Panama 17' 
to the ea$t of Portobello. In ^the mcLp of the Deposito of 
1805, this di£ference of meridians was reduced to 7'; finally, 
the map of the Deposito of 1817 places Panama 2&^ east of 
Portobello. The following are other dififerences of latitude on 

which the breadth of the isthmus depends : — 

Map of 1809. Map of 1817. 
Southern coast between the mouths 

of the Rio Juan Diaz and the Rio 

Jurum^onthe east ofPanama,in 

the meridian of Panta San Bias 8« 54' 9** 2}' 

Northern coast forming the bot- 
tom of the gulf Mahdinga, or 

of San Bias, on the south of the 

Islas Mulatas O'* 9' 9« 27J* 

From this difference of latitudes 

the results are, for the minimum 

of the breadth of the isthmus, 

neatly 14^250 toises, according 

to the map of 1 805, and nearly 

24^463 toises, according to the 

map of 1817. 
Punta San Bias, N.W. part of the 

gulf of Mandinga 9<> 33' 0« 34J'' 


iE^ bfedy feneived eaoccHut lMMBMC«it| ilaa^ 
Kmeted by M. Fottln, nuijrdlMol tbs gVodHiQ 
le*efiiiig%jiAltk an alwiyidoir itiHapttiAn, 
to be preceded I^ tenmwtric tevelUagi, wluofa 
ib tiw tnrid «tne we otttemdy ottet^ I «m 
anufed ibat in, those cDimtrie* comBtMmdeM 
otMerntions may be ^pensed iriih, cniiccoimt 
ofthewarveUoas regiuluitf <9f tlie hf»U7 T»ri- 
atioaBi iritbo«t fearing erran of 4^6 teises^ 

Ttie points which Dnght «» be «tfeAiil)r ex*^ 
miried ate the Mloving :— die AMmiI i^ Am- 
sacualco, between the sources of the Rio Ctuma- 
lapa and the Rio del Fasso; the Isthmus (^"Nica- 
ragua *, between the lake of that name, and the 

Thii npe not baving been carried to the aorth in the same 
measure as the bottom of the gutfj near the montti of the Rio 
Mandinga, it thence resulte, tbatj accordioj^to the fintmap, 
the gulf entera S4', and aocordiDg to the second, 7'. It is 
probable that the changes of latitude wliidi result fram the 
last expedition of IW. Fidalgo, most be attributed to the want 
oiartyicial Adtuodj, and to the difficult of observing Uiesnn 
with instrumenli of re&euon, amidst a group of iriMnilM, and 
above a sea where the horizon is not clear. More to thewest 
the mean breadth of the isthmus, between GastOle deCha- 
gres, PanamBi and Portobello, is 14 manna leagues > the 
wimiiiimt of its breadth (6 leagues) is two or three times less 
than the lireadth of the isthmus of Suex, which M. !> Pere 
finds to be fi9,000 toiaes. 

* If the question here agitated related only to conoli of 
tmall navigation, fit solely to enliven inland trade, I should 
also have named the coast of Verapaz and Honduras. Tho 


insnlated volcanoeB of Granoda and Bpopibacho ; 
tbe Isthmus of Panoma, betwem the VentjBt de 
Cruces, or rather betltfe^n tj^ Iu<Maii yiU9ge of 
Gorgopa, 3 leagues Mqw GniQ^^ 9Ad the port 
of Faaaina^ bet\^€^ the ^io 7f ipidad f^id the 
Rio Caymito ; the bay of Mf^n^ipga apd the 
Rio Juan Diaz ; the ilni^eiMula de Anacbac^n^ 
(west of theCiape Tiburcfli) and the gulf of Sap 
Miguel^ in wJiich the JUp Qbuchunque^ or 
Tuyra loses itaelf; itbe Isthmus of Cupica,h^- 
tween the coast of ^he South S^a and the con- 
fluence of the Bio Na^ with .the Rio Atrato ; 
and finally, the Istfmm^ qf Cfiqco, bet^eeii the 
Rio .Qnibdo, upper itiibutary stream of the 

Golfo Duice Ml the meridian of Sq^fonatc, runs more than 20 
leagues into the land, so that the distance of the village of 
Zacapa (in the province of Chiquimala, near the southern 
estremity of the Golfo Duke) is only 21 leagues from the 
coast of the Pacific Qceaji. iThe riven of the north approach 
the yrfAers which ^e CqnliUera? of lz<dco. and Sacatepeqpes 
effij^ty into |hfe Sp^th S^. ^e.find on the east of Goffo 
Dulce, in the partido of Comayagua^ the Rio Grande of Mo- 
tagu^^ or Rio de las bodegas de Gualan^ the Rio le Camalecon, 
the Ulua^ and the Lean^ which are navigable for large boats^ 
30 or 40 leagues inland. It is very probable that the Cordil- 
lera^ which here forms the ridge of partition between the 
tffo ae^, is divided by some tranav^rpfd vallies. M. Juarros, 
19 >h^ iateiresting wpck he has published at Guatimala^ shews 
vfi tl^t the fine vfdley 9f Chimaltenango pours its waters at 
the.9^iiie tiiae on theji9UJthem and northern coasts. Steam- 
boftts yfj)\ one day give activity to the trade on the livers of 

MojUigmmid Folpcb^c. 


Atrato, and the Rio San Juan de ChararaM 
Persons accustomed to take accurate obsen 
tions, if furnished only with barometers, inst] 
ments of reflection) and time-keepers, might 
a few months solve problems, which, dun 
centuries, have interested all the coramere 
nations of both worlds. If, in the enumerati 
of the countries which present advantages 1 
the junction of the two seas, I have not pass 
over in silence the Isthmus of Cboco, that is t 
plat'miferous soil, extending from the river S 
Juan de Charambira to the Rio Quifado, it is 
acconnt of its being the sole point on whicl 
communication exists since the year 1788, 1 
tween the Atlantic Ocean and the South Si 
The small canal of Raspadura, which a moi 
the curate of Novita, caxised to be dug by t 
Indians of his parish, in a ravine perio^ca 
filled by natural inundations, fociHtates the i 
land navigation on a length of 75 leagues, I 
tween the mouth of the Rio San Juan, bdi 
Noanama, and that of the Atrato, which bei 
also the names of Rio Grande del Darien, B 
Dabeiba, and Rio del Choco *. During % 

* I might have added the Bynonymom name of San Ji 
(del Norte), if I did not fear confounding the Atrato w 
the Rio Son Juan of Nicaragua, and the Rio San Jobh 
Charambira. The name Dahetba is that of a feinaie n 
rior, who reigned, according to the first hiitorians of the e 
quest, in the mountainous countries between the Atrato < 


wars which pi*eceded the revolution of Spanish 
America, considerable quantities of cacao of 
Guayaquil were conveyed this way to Cartha- 
gena. The canal of Raspadura, of which I be- 
lieve I gave the first intimation in Europe^ af- 
fords a passage only for small boats; but it 
might be easily enlarged * if the streams were 
joined to it known by the names of Cano de las 

the source of the Rio Sinu (Zenu) on the north of the town 
of Antioquia. According to the' work of Petrus Martyr d*An- 
ghiera {Oceamca, p. 52), this woman was confounded in a 
local mythology with a divinity of the lofty mountains, 
whence dart the lightnings. We recognize, in our days, the 
name of Dabieba, in that of the hills Abibi or Avidi, given 
to the Altos del Viento, in latitude 7^ 15' west of the 
Boca del Espiritu Santa, on the banks of the Cauca. Where 
is the volcano of Ebojito, which La Cruz and Lopez place in 
the almost desert countries between the Rio San Jorge, a tri- 
butary stream of the Cauca, and the source of the Rio Murry, 
a tributary stream of the Atrato ? The existence of this vol* 
cano appears to me very doubtful. 

* Relacian del estado del Nueco Reyno de Grenada que hace 
et Arzohispo Obispo de Cordova a su sucesor el Exc, Sr. Fray, 
Don Francisco Gil. y Lemos 1780, fol. 68. (A manuscript 
written by the Secretary of the Archbishop-Viceroy, Don Ig- 
nacio Cavero.) Hepresentacion que dirigio Don Jose Igndcio 
Pomho ai Consulado de Cartagena en 14 de Mayo 1807, sobre 
el reconocimiento del Airatoes Zinit y San Juan, fol. 38 (MS.) 
The ravine of Raspadura, or Bocachica, now receives only 
the waters of Quebradas de Quiadocito, Platanita, and of 
Quiado. According to the ideas 1 acquired at Honda and 
Vilela, near Cali, from persons in the trade of {rescate) the 
gold dust of Choco^ the Rio Quibdo, which communicates. 

JbrimHi, Canci M €aHtlti; mid AgmA ofeMi 
Reimg bvukti ■» e^ tBtoMiBtied M 
niaiitfylike Choib, wbere It rrin tdttvb^r d 
whbU yter, and Mere tfiondcir U ^rery )li 
heard. Tt^ banilnetiric dbMtvsfctoUKlf Jbtt Itti 
fortokiate OMAfl not hilvfaig b0e& tMtAi*«A> ^ 

irithUhQ ovittl taf the Hiu ife ltalpadu«, Joiii OeBlo ■ 
torn aodlhfllUoAiHbgedK, DMrthsTilUgeofQiiibdo. n 
nilj oUad Ziton }^ b«t is a manoKript m^ wbiA I hki 
JDrtKOeinidftom Chooo, aod oo whMi tiie cuhI of BMyi 

dura O&t- ii- SO' ?) joina both the Rio San Juan and tbe K 
Quibdo, a little above theMina de las AiumaSj tbe Tillage i 
Qnibdo it placed at the conducnce of the small rimr of tk 
name, wiih the river Atrato, which has raceired three leagai 
hi^hertheRioAiida(pKda,nearLloro. ThegiandRtoSaoJui 
r^ceivefl snccessiyely from its mouth (lat. 4" 6') at the soul 
of the Punta de Chorambira, in going up towards tbe N.N Ji 
the Rio Calimaj the Rio del N6 (above the villa^ of Nai 
nama), the Rio Tamana, which passes near the Novita, tf 
Rio Irb, the Quebrada de San Pablo, and finally, near the ti 
lage of Tad6, the Rio de la Platina. The province of Oioc 
is inhabited only in the vallies of those rivers : it has thn 
trading coramunications ; in the north with Carthageda t 
(he Atrato, the banlu of which are entirely dewrt frO 
e° 4S' of latitude ; in the south, with Gnayaqiul, and, befw 
1786, with Valparaiso, by the Rio San Juan ; in die ea 
with the province of Popayan, by tbe Tambo de Calima, ai 
by Call. From Tadi) to Noanama, in going down tl 
%io &ua Juan, takes one day ; to the Tambo de Calima (h 
4" 12') 4 days; and from the Tambo to Cali (lat. 3<>2y}, 
the valley of Cauca, 6 days ; during which you cross tbe B 
Dagua, or San BuenaventurD, and the western Cordillera 
the Andes irf Popayan. 1 have eniered into these local i 


lufe ignorant of the height of the poiiil of parti* 
tipn between Saa Vabio and the Rio Quibdo. 
We only Inow that there are some gold-wMH- 
ings in those eountriea, at the height, oi from 
300 to 400 toises above the leVel of the QC^an, 
and that they are never found at a lower eleva- 
tion than 50 toiaes. Tlie position of the canal^ 
in the interior of the continent, its great dis*- 
tanoe from the ooaat^ and the frequeiK; fhUs 
(nmuhUtos y chi9rwf$$) oi the river% vliieh it 13 
necessary to ascend cuid descend* in order to 
pass from one sea to another, from the port of 
Chammbim to the gulf of Darien, are obstacles 
Uh> diffieult to be overcome, in order to establish 
a line of great navigation across the Choco. 
But that line^ even without furnishing a pas- 
sage for vessels of great tonnage, will not be 
less worthy of the attenticm of a wise admi- 
nistration ; it will give life to inland trade 

tailSj becauee the maps confound the ravine of Rasjuidiira, 
which serves as a canal^ with the portages of Calima and San 
Pablo. The arastradero of San Pablo leads also to the Rio 
QuibdOj but several leagues above the mouth of the canal of 
Raspftduru. The road of the arastradero of San Pablo is 
usually taken for the conveyance of merchandize (generos) 
sent from Pqpayfm, by Cali, Tambo dc Calima^ and Novita, 
to Choco del Norte, that is, to Quibdo (Zitara). The geo- 
grapher -La Cruz^ calls the whole isthmus between the sources 
of tlMrRk) Atrato and the Rio San Juan^ Arastradero del 7M. 
(On the height of the Zone of Gold, Semanario de Santa Fe, 
Vol. i, p. 19.) 

between Cftrtbagena and the province of Quito, 
and between rhe port of Santa Marta and 
Peru. We shall observe, at the close of this 
discussion, that the ministry of Madrid never 
enjoined the viceroy of Santa-Fe to fill up the 
ravine of Raspadura, or to punish with death 
those who attempted to re-establish a canal at 
Ciioco, as has been asserted in a work recently 
published. This supicious policy may indeed 
remind us of the order given to the Viceroy of 
New Spain during my stay in America, to root 
up the stocks of (he vines in the provhicias in- 
temas ; but the hatred borne towards the cul- 
tdre of the vine in the colonies was owing to 
the influebce of some merchants of Cadiz, who 
were jealous of what they called their aacient 
monopoly, while a small ravine that crosses the 
forests of ChocOj escaped more easily the vigi- 
lance of the ministry, and the jealousy of the 
mother country *. 

After having examined the localities of the 
different points of partition, according, to the 
imperfect information which I have hitherto 
been able to cpHect, it remains to prove, by the 
analogy of what men have executed in the state 
of modem civilization, the possibility of realiz- 
ing the junction of the two oceans. In propor- 
tion as problems become complicated, and de- 

■ Hoitjuon, Vol, ii, p. 206, 


pend oh a great number of elements by their 
nature variable, is the diflGiculty of fiung the 
maximum which the efforts of intelligence and 
the physical power of nations are capable of ex- 
erting. During the thousands of years that 
have elapsed from the unknown period of the 
construction of the pyramids of Ghizeh, to that 
of our gothic steeples and the cupola of Saint 
Peter's, men have not raised one edifice exceed- 
ing 450 feet in height * ; but shall we presume 
to conclude from this fact, that modem archi* 
tecture cannot go beyond an elevation scarcely 
equal to forty times that of the edifices con- 
structed by white ants ? If the question h<ere 
agitated respected only canals of a mean size, 
having a depth of only from 3 to 6 feet, and 
serving merely for inland navigation, I could 
mention canals long since executed, which pass 
over ridges of mountains of from 300 to 580 
feet high^. England alone, of which the canals 

* Ancient French measure^ pied de Roi, or 75 toises. 

+ The following are the partial statements for ten canals> 
arranged according to the order of the height of their points 
of partition : 

EievatUm of the 
NAME! OJP THE CANALS. PoinU of PortUiam 

in French fett. 

Canal of Languedoc^ or of the South, (Lengthy 
123^730 toises ; mean depths -6^2 in.) ; num- 
ber of locks, 100; expencc of construction, m 
the time of Louis the I4th, nearly 16,280^000 
francs ; at the present value of nioney 38 mil- 
lions of francs. G. N 684 

are 684 innnne leuguts iu length, contaioe nine- 
leen that cross the points of partition between 

Bltrvtteit of (k 
KAMU OF TUK CAtiAia. PutiiH i/ ParliUlim 

im Frrnci fret. 

LeoMititltrr Canal. [Length, 37,745 loisw ; ex- 
(iciic«, 14 millions of francs)' L.N 46A 

HwUier'JiM CavaL (Lenglli, 16,900 toises ; ex- 
pence J inillioiia of francs). L.N 40a 

Lee<U and Liverpool Canal. [Length, 106.700 wi- 
ses i number of locks, 01 ; eitpence 14,400,000 
francs). G.K 4M 

CtfUfi/rfHCm/re, between the Slione Mid the Loire. 
-(Lragth. ia>8O0 tflues t depth, ftfeet i mnvber 
of Isda, 60 j cxpenoe, II miUiona of franca). 
G.N 403 

The Grand Trmk Ctmal. or that of tAe TVtnt and 
JIftrWy. tLeflgth,?71,0tm toises; depai,1n>tn 
4 to d-feet-, vanAer of locks, ?fij «spaKe, 
ftikiiUaiiafftMCB). 13,N. »3 

GtmnA /MrtfM C»iu^ (Lfl^b, 7M(>0 toisw ; 
ileptb, 4f. 3 in. ; ouinber of lodui 101 ; es- 
pence. 48 millions of franca). G.N. 370 

CmoI de Bnare, constructed in 1642, the' most 
anoiMt of the caneb, «t the point of putitkMi. 
<I«qgth, i4,M0 tmau J ttoptk, 4fMt, Min. 
bet 'of lodu, 49} exftence, lO wSUtnu rf 
frencs). G.N 243 

lAHioMi Clyde Cmal. (Len^h, 34,000 toisei ; 
depth, 7) feet} number of locks, 39 ; expencc, 
10 millkins of francs). 155 

Caledonian Canal. (Length, 18,600 toises ; num- 
ber of locks, 23 ; depth, 18 f. in. ; expence, 
10 millions xif francs). G.N 88 

The initUa df the words Great and IaUU Navigatitm have 
hem added, to distinguish llie canals, which, tccortfing to the 


ibt rivers of the \refitern and the eastern coast, 
fihgineers have ionj^ so little re^irded 5d0 feet^ 
that is, the he%hi; of the Mi/of divi^ioa of Ntin- 
to\at, ^ thfe l^dxial of tb6 soiilh, as the ihasti- 
fnufh whi(^ may be t-edfi^faaMy attained in thill 
kind of hydrittlie construction, that Mr. Ferro^ 
net, a man justly cd^rated, conenkiers the pto^ 
ject as very piacfticable, df foribilfeg a canal ita 
Bor^ndy, betlt^een the Yohne bud the SMht, 
which niiist )>ass over a height (near Pbnilly)^ 
of 921 fdet above the lev^l of the Yohde at lo# 
watc^. In Combining: inclined {>lanes nnid rtA^ 
ways intk ]At^ of navigiati on, boats have passed 
into the Monmonthshire canal at a thousand 
feet of elevation^ but snch wvMrks, so importiaM; 
for the prosperity of the inland trade of a conn- 
try, do not constitute what may be called oAnais 
far sea navigation. 

The discussion with w^bioh we ar^ at presekft 
occopfed, i*e|;ard8 the communication from s^a 
to sto by vessels fitted, frotn their structure amd 
tohnsige, for the India and Chinese trade. Now, 
the Industry of the nations of Ent^e presents 
two examples of these oceanic communications, 
on a very grtfstt scale ; one, in the canal of the 
Eydet ot Hdtstein, the other in the Caledonian 

English usage, are ^thtis clk^ified. (Dutens, Jdem. sur Us 
tratfaux publics, p. fJl, )W, 94.) The loeks of the first class 
are at lieast 04 A^a long, and 14 feet wide ; fhe' locks of 
the second class are also 64 feet long, but otily 7 feet wide. 

are 684 marine leagues in length, contaiuB nine- 
teen that cross the points of partition between 


teomiHtleT Canal. (Len^, 37.745 toisea ; ex- 
pcuce, 14 million! of franca). L.N 4tt 

Uudierifitld CanaL (Leogth, 15,900 toueg ( «z- 
pence 6} millions of l^'ancs): L.N 400 

Leedi and lAverpool Canal. (Length, 108,700 vA- 
ses; number of locks, 01 i expence 14,400,000 
ftancs). O.N 404 

Canal d% Centre, between the Stone uid tbe Lirife. 
(Length, 66,000 totiea ; depth, Sfaet | nwnber 
oflocks, 80; expencc, 11 milUona of fruics). 
G.N 403 


seems to have traced the line of junction. The 
navigable part is 17 leagues in length (20 to a 
degree), of which there are only 6i of artificial 
excavation ; the remainder forms a natural ha« 
vigation on the lakes of Oich and Lochy^ sepa* 
rated heretofore by a rocky ridge. This canal 
was completed in the space of 16 years, admits 
the passage of frigates of 32 guns, and of large 
ships employed in foreign trade. Its mean 
depth is 18 feet 8 inches (6'",09), and its breadth 
at the' bottom, 47 feet (15«»,2). The locks, 23 
in number, are 150 feet long, and 37 feet 

Being guided in the practical views presented 
at the end of this chapter, only by the analogy 
of the labours already performed by man, I 
shall first observe, that the breadth of the isth- 
muses of Cupica and Nicaragua, in which the 
height of the ridge of partition is very inconsi- 
derable, is nearly the same as the breadth of 
the land crossed by the artificial part of the Cale- 
donian canal. The isthmus of Nicaragua, by the 
position of its inland lake, and the communica- 
tion of that lake with the Atlantic, by the Rio 
San jJuan, presents several features of resem- 
blance with that neck of land in the Scotch 
Highlands where the river Ness forms a natural 
communication between the mountain lakes 
and the gulf of Murray. At Nicaragua, as in 
the Scotch Highlands, there would be l)ut one 


wtrow ridgB to pus oner ; kr, if the Aw Saa 
Jum JD a gftat pnrt ^ its ewuBe JM ftnox^Q to 
40 AM deep, ^1 ii aMsrtcd, it WBold <qilf i»- 
qaire to be nndend ntvig^lfi in eonw ipvUit bj 
Dupas of wBtM or toterd ctuumdi f . 
n^th rcspecfi to the depth of tit* nccuio 

> Vbk fwiot, OMT 4» opcBligi of ^ wood o^CHnoedhe, 

W Juwi<^ I7 fCr- BJiaiVi ^wardi. $ce La Jfnffie, Jlftm- 

mr le pottage de la mn- dm Sud a la Mer du Nord, p. 7. Tlierc 
is a triple pouIbilit7 of forming the canal of Nicaragua (as 
I have already stated in the Political Eudy) either from the 
kkc of Ntoara^u to the golf of i'apegay^, gr jAqiq that lake 
to4ibegi4f of Nicoya, or from tke la](e (le l,^(tni or Maofi- 
gua, to tjie iqoiith of the Rio ^e Toeta (apd not from t^e 
lalte de Leon to ^e ^f of Nicoya, as is asserted by the 
usaally weU-iuforined editor of the BiUioteca Ameneana, 
1823, Agosto, p. 180.) Does there exist a river that flows 
from die lake of LeoD to the Pacific Ocean! Oftlibldotibt, 
flMwogh qocfent ipapa rmfJL Ihecpipm^iaica^pi^ j>etfKai tba 
lajus yod the sea (PpiUioi/ ^Mop, Vol. i, p. 9ji^. ^^4^' 
ta^cefrom the south-ea^t extreinityof t||e lake of Nicuagna 
to the gulf of \icaya, is very dlSerently indicated (from X6 
to 48 mSea) in Arrowsmith's map of South America, sad in 
ttiefine map of the depot ofMadnd, bearing the title AfJfor 
de tat AntiUat, X8ie. The breadth of the udipaws faRtweco 
the eastern aboie of th^ lake of Nicai^u*, and the gulf of 
Popagnyo is from 4to & marine leagues. T>eRio SanJuan 
has three mouths, of which the two smallest jare called Taure 
and Cano Colorailo. In one of the isles of the lake of Kica- 
nigua, that of Ometep, (here ie a volcano, SMd to be stiH 


canal projected in central America, it might, I 
think, be even less than the depth of the Cale« 
donian canal. Suchjs the change which the 
new systems of commerce and navigation have 
produced within 15 years, in the capacity or 
the structure of the ships most commonly em- 
ployed in the intercourse with India and Chwft, 
that in examining with attention the official 
list ^f vessdfi, which during two years (from 
July 1821 to June 1823), have traded from 
London and Liverpool to those two countries, 
we find, on a total of 216 vessels, two^hirtUbe' 
low 60D tons, one-fourth between 900 and 1400 
tons, and one-seventh below 400 tons *. In 
France, the mean tonnage in the ports of Bor* 
deaux, Nantes, and Havre, of vessels trading to 
India, is 350 tons. The nature of the opera- 
tions undertaken in the most distant latitudes, 
determines the capacity of the vessels employed % 
for instance, to bring indigo firom Bengal, it 
may appear sufficient, and even preferable, to 
send a vessel of 150 to 200 tons. The system 
of small expeditions is preferably adopted in 
America, where all the advantages are felt of 
prompt lading, and a rapid circulation of capi- 
tal. The average size x)f the American vessete 

* East India SJapptng-^'retum to the order of the J J owe of 
Gammofu, London^ 1823. I have reduced the English inio 
Fiench tonnage^ the latter being 10 p. c. less. 


Uiat go to India round the Cape of Good Hope, 
and to Fera hntnd Cape Horn, is 400 tans; 
the whale-boats of the SonthSeaamoaly 900 
orSOOtons. In Spanish America, from apnent 
custom, ships of amt^ greater ttor 
ployed in time of peace. At Vera Cms for tsK^ 
ample, irhere tliere entered, during my staym 
Mexico, from 100 to 130 resseb coming- from 
^»ain, Uieir size was generally 500 tons. It it 
Mily in Ume of war that shipments -of 300 tons 
are made for Cadiz. i > 

Tbese statements sufficiently prove, that in 
the present commercial state of the world, such 
a canal of junction as is projected between the 
Atlantic Ocean and the South Sea, would be 
sufficiently large, if by its section uid the capa- 
city of its locks, it could admit the passage of 
vessels of from 300 to 400 tons burden. This 
ought to be the minimum of its dimensions, and 
it supposes, after what we have indicated above, 
a capacity nearly double that of the caxuA of 
Holstein, but much less than tbat of the Cale- 
donian canal ; the former receiving vessels of 
from 150 to 180 tons, and the latter, frigates of 
32 guns, and merchant ships of more than 800 
tons. It is true that the tonnage determioies 
only by approximation the quantity of water a 
ship draws, sioce the excellence or defects of 
its construction alters at the same time its 

spe^, and its capacity for stowage. We nlay, 
however, admit * that a mean depth of from 
15i to 171 feet will suffice for a canal of junc- 
tion intended for vessels of 300 to 400 tons ; 
this is ifteen inches less than the celebrated en- 
gineers, Messrs. Rennie, Jessop, and Telford, 
have given to the Caledonian canal, and doable 
that of the canal of the Forth and Clyde. 

The gigantic works of Europe which we have 
mentioned as examples, and the construction 
of which has not cost more than 4 millions of 
piastres, have had very small heights to pass 
over5 less than from 90 to 100 feet. The canals 
which cross the ridges of partition of from three 

* I suppose that a foot and a half of water maj aaffice 
under the keel of a vessel that navigates in a canal of which 
the waters are perfectly calm, and which is carefully cleaned. 
Notwithstanding the great diflTerence of construction, which 
has an equal influence on the quantity of water a ship draws^ 
we may^ by approximation^ admit the following statements : 

Aordbk DroKghitfthM Vmtdn 

1200— IdOO tons 10— 20 feet. 

000— 700 17—18 


300— 400 14—16 

200—800 11—12 

In a matter which interests every man capable of reflecting on 
the future destinies of nations^ and the progress of general 
civilization, I thought it was proper to give all the staia* 
mcnts on which the practical solution of the problem de« 
pends. The canal of Crinan, in Scotland, is also from 11 to^ 
14 feel deep, on 3 leagues of length. 

VOL, Yl. T 

frntMla CI4rildiipn Til iin illliU ifftt^ll 

iaBWiMfciiHttWBii'il HiW^ allftwi ri ^H Kmt 

tin opii*(|l^<Mni<«iwa«»[th*;«taMlAfM 

^on«Uiij<n(l tpOltntfon. tW^immi 
Anitht kM^iolrdnmata^oes i> tiieiaAiawa»«f 

mKOn •o>'l>e<a*eni>H<) In siSii!iiag.tint)iiiiii<i«« 
of the seas, is less the height of the ridge which 
theltiililKl Millt<ei4iaii,tliaii the •tate-aaftlw beds 
of ihe levers (Krfpi fihd'iU6';ael'PaB«>)'whiiai 
mwit he readered havigalile, eiih^'b^lieiD^ex- 
wnted t>;iw>ohuies.Tark«dbsr|i atvai^jtif^l^ 
orfb^twefti^'iuid'lnfeeral denmtiffuit, ...^ .t^ijV 
Wrisliae «f Nicaragua, the great doptb.of the 
RiolhltiMaiii and that of the lafassfNKaMlgta, 
or laff^ 'de Otmiadnj' vfaich is, adb6i^Uin^ to 
Mr. Ro^iDSon, fiom 17 to 40; and^'^acinji^g 
to .])|(.r,.|JiyiiTos, ^in 20 to 65. feet seema tp 
tHW^rwudi i<(t)o« .wperfi(io»8».: :'riie.'w?i|^ 
tains -aS theisthmas -of Panama iqsf prpjtMJU; 
tei 4hfe "«l«Mion 'Of the basins of partiliai 

* * ComptnAtdei* Wtt.'ie'Gimilliiila, T. I, t*.''tfl. tiil 
work is IS ynra anterior to'lliat or Mr. RobintoA/ 


pf the Canal du Centre^ (between Ch&lons and 
Digoin)^ 9nd of the Qrand Junction canal^ (be- 
tween Brentford and Braunston) : the moun- 
tains <%f the Lstbmus may be still more elevated, 
«nd perhaps are divided transversal valley 
from, south to north. We think that more ad- 
vantageous spots may be chos«n ; but we ought 
here to observe that the height of the ridge is 
an inseparable obstacle to. the junction of seas, 
^nly, whe(i there , is xkot at the isame time:a sttffi- 
^Dient quantity of upper .w:aters .fit to be con- 
veyed to the point of partition. Seven or eight 
locks crowded together on the oanaJis of iBriarc 
and Languedoc ^^^ and regulating foUs of water 
of from 64 to .70 feet, long appeared an extra- 
ordinary work, notwithstanding the small di- 
mension of the locks, and the depth of the 
canals, of which. the section does not exceed 
5 to 6 feet. The Staircase of Neptunej in the 
^Caledonian canal^ presents a similar accumu- 
)iation of locks^ on a scale so much more exten- 
sive, that frigates can rise in a small space of 
time to the height of 60 feet. Now, that work 
only cost 257,000 piastres, that is five times less 
than three pits of the mine of Valenciana in 
Mexico ; and ten Staircases of Neptune would 
cause ships of 600 tons to pass over a ridge of 
j>artition .600 feet higher than the chain of the 
.Corbiere.s^ between the Mediterranean and the 

* Noar Rofxnv and Fonscrannc. 
T !2 


AtlanUc. X discuss here the possibility onlj of 
execating- works to which there will certuiily 
be no need to have recourse. 

llie expence of water for feeding a canal ia- 
creaseB, with the extent of the filtrations, the 
frequency of pasaages, or of the lockages (ex- 
dasfe*) and wlA the Bise of the chambers of 
locks, bat not with their number. Tlie fecility 
.of collecting an enormous mass of rain waters 
■ within the tropics, is beyond what the engiOBeis 
of Europe can imagine. When Lewis the 14th 
ordered the gardens of Veraailles to be embel- 
lished, Colbert was made to hope that the rains 
would furnish, on a surface of 12,700 hectares 
of plains which communicated with ponds and 
reservoirs, 9 millions of cubic toises of water-f-. 
Now the rains in the vicinity of Paris amount 
annually only to from 19 to 20 inches, white 
within tlie torrid zone in the New World, above 
all, in the region of the forests, the qumitity is 
at least from 100 to 112 inches |. This im- 

• The exclui^e is Ihe successive filling of the lock lo en- 
able the boats to ascend or descend In a canal, at the point ol' 

-h Only I'j, could be collected ; the remainder vns lost b; 
ftltrations, and it became necessary to construct the mochiDc 
(if Marly : Huene lie Pommeuie, sur let canaux nae^able'' 
Suppliment, p. 45. 

I Sec above. Vol. ii, p. 248, 344, 74a. The mean quan- 
tity of rait) that falls annually al Kendal, on tl>e west«n 
aide of England, is 57 iuche.'i ; at lloinbay 72 and IW 


mense ditference shews that by the junction of 
the springs, by feeding-trenches, and well-es- 
tablished reservoirs, an able engineer might 
avail himself in central America, of circum- 
stances which are wholly dependent upon^the 

inches } at St. Domingo 118 inches. ^Arago Annuakre du 
Bur, des Long., 1824, p. 105.) M. Antonio-Bernardino Pe* 
reira Lego, colonel of in&ntry of the corps of engineers, at 
Brazil, thinks he found, in the year 1S21 only, at San Luis 
do Maranbao, (lat. 2** 29' south), 23 feet 4 inches, 9*7 lines, 
English measure, which make near 200 French inches. We 
might be inclined to doubt this prodigious quantity of rein | 
yet 1 am in possession of the barometric, thermometric, and 
ombrometrir observations which M. Pereira Lago affirms 
were made by him, day by day at those different periods. 
These Brazilian observations are published in the Jnnaes 
das Sdencias das Artes et das Letras, p. 64 — 79 ; and the 
observer who describes the instruments he employed, says 
expressly, in the resumo das ohservacoes meteorologkasj that 
the plane on which the rain fell was exactly of the same 
fliameter as the cylinder which contained the scale -, this 
diameter was only inches (English). I wish this important 
observation may be verified at Maranhao, and repeated in 
other parts of the tropics, where the rains are abundant ^ 
for instance, at Rio Negro, Choco, and the Isthmus of Pa- 
nama. The quantity indicated by M. Pereira Lago, is 
2j times greater than what has been observed at the mean 
term, at the Isle of St. Domingo 3 but the quantity of water 
that ^dls on the western coost of England also exceeds three 
times that which is collected annually at Paris. There exists 
very considerable differences in latitudes, that arc near each 
other. Captain Roussin relates tliat 151 inches of rain* 
water fell at Cayenne, in the month of February only. 

oHmBtti. KociHthsiaBdiD^ the Ugb tenip^m^ 
tare of tbe ur> the loM ^lued by evalMrratioa * 
iHll Acareely bouatetrbtdanM, hi ddep ba^n, 
the sdvantagM of the ttopicol raha. !fhe ex- 
perimentt made at the Poaf ifupar natafaes, by 
M. de Prony, and at the canal of Languedocf-, 
by MM. Pia 4fed ClaKsade, incUcBte, in the 
latitoded 41* asd 431^ a prodoce of annaal eva- 
potatitin of 348 lines. The experimenta vhich 
I made In the tropics, are not anffidently nn- 
nerons to draw a general result ; bnt in snp- 
posing the atmosphere equally calm in tbe 
south of France, and the torrid sone, tbe mean 
heat of the year to be 15" and 27^ ceht., and the 
mean humidity expressed by the degrees of the 
hair-hygrometer, 82° and,86° I find, with M, 
Gay-Lussac, that the evaporation of the two 
zones is in the relation of 1 to 1 -6, while the 
quantity of rmn-water which the earth receives, 
serves as 1 to 5. We must not either forget 
that canals lose by evaporation only in propor- 
tion to their own surface, while they collect the 
waters that fall on the vast extent of surround- 
ing lands. In the volume of water which bydrav- 
lie works require, we must distinguish between 
that which depends on the capacity of the 

• See abova, Vol. it, p. 148. 
t DucTOt Metiurira tur let ijuantitia (feau ^'txigent lei 
coMux dt natigalion, 1800, No. II. p. 41. 


iriiole canal, that is, its length and lection, and 
that which is determined by the locks^ that ig 
by the lockage water * of one sluice, or by the 
quantity of water which falla fisom the upper 
into the lower channel every time a veaael 
passes through a lock. These two volumes of 
water lose by evaporation and filtration ;' the 
latter, which it is very difficult to ertimats, 
diminishes with time. The teigth and depth 
of an ocetmic cqnal in the New World, must 
consequently have an influence on the vohinie 
of water necessary to fill it at the b^gimung, 
when the excavations are just terminated, or 
nitet having shut up the sliiioes, When repairs 
are necessary ; but the quantity of water which 
should feed the canal annually, after making 
allowance for the losses caused by the filtration 
and evaporation, depends on the number of 
the locks, or on the relation between the quan^ 
tity of the lockage water of one lock^ and the 

* In the collected loclui we must add the JloaHng prison, 
or the volume of water id which the ship floats, or is sus- 
pended in its passage from one lock to another. (Prony* 
in the works of M. HneM de Pommeute, p. 23.) The con- 
•iun|ition of water is therefore gpreater in going up than dei- 
•otnding. The distribution of the falls, or the height of the 
•liccesaive basins, have also an influence on the waste of 
water in a canal, as M. Gerard has recently shewn. (Au" 
naisM de Phfgique ei de Ckimie, 1823, Tom. xxir, p. 187, and 
Diccroi^ Memoires, p. 80.) 


„ itW»t» W l ■lll iH ll»Sl | » n1 lBBil u il, <l^i lp >fc l ii # 

ttMiuMw^i' ■'iiUUi Jmw .tiNM.pvMMiMiA.ton.;4ii 

Mnw tipie m the Caledoniiui canal t, 

« llMMpMltj of Um caHd cf hugaaiM, or the ^rinif 
.d« rtmfJHmagt of tbs wbole guu1« U uren iidlliiQU of cubic 
inches, meieotibag to the nlcnUtioni of M. Cbmad e . The 
BODual npcqce of the lodu, for 990 donUe paasages of 
boatij wu ll] mUlioni m, c, Tlus expenccj aameA bj lodu 
somewhat too large fiw a very activs ^reo navigatkHi, oad 
in unaU boats, it conaeqaoitly to the capadtj of the caaa) 
fM !{ : |. It rpqqirei bcild^, S} milUont m, e. to T CMtfc 
Uiih thewatcn after the Bhatting ap as ftr u Keaqnd, and 
that qnaDtHy <^ water i* fiimisbed in 9 dayi, by the spper 
-baain, or the aifUdal loaroe. (fliimiadf PaaMMMi, p. IS0, 
Sn, 96ft.) The pfodoet of the en^ontioa ia eatimatBd ta 
the canal, the reaervtrfrs and the brenchesj daring 8M iai/t 
of navigatiop, 1,900,000 m. c. (Dacroi Mbm., p. 41.) U 
comparing the Caledonian canal with that of Laagvedbc, Itmi 
the nufhce of the sectioiis as A to I ; and tlw lengAof the 
parts dug in the canal, (eadndii^ the navigable line of At 
lakes of Scotland), as 1 : 6}. It results fan these 'atata- 
nents, that the capacities ot the two caoab, oqe ol whicb 
bfars flaUribbcd boats, of 100 to 120 Ions, and tbe olbar 


It appears somewhat probable that the pro- 
vince of Nicaragua will be fixed upon for the 
great work of the junction of the two Oceans; 
and in that case it will not be necessary to form 
a line constantly navigable. The isthmus to 
be passed over, is only from 5 to 6 marine 
leagues ; there are some hills in the narrowest 
part, between the western bank of the lake of 
Nicaragua, and the gulph of Papagayo; but it is 
formed of uninterrupted savannahs and plains^ 
affording an excellent road for carriages * (co- 
mhio ceraiero) between the town of Leon, and 
the coast of Realexo. The lake of Nicaragua 
is elevated above the South Sea, the height of 
the whole fall of the Rio Saa Juan, on a length 
of 30 leagues; and the position of this vast basin 
is so well known in the country, that it was con- 
sidered heretofore as an invincible obstacle to 

frigates of 32 guns, are almost the same ; the difference of 
tbe waste of water in lockage$ arises from that of the body 
of water required for filling each lock i the locks being in the 
Caledonian canal ;)7 feet broad between the gates, and IGO 
feet long -, in the canal of Languedoc 31 feet brood in the 
niiddlc, 20 feet between the gates, and 127 feet long. We 
have seen above, that the dimensions of the canal of junction 
in America may be less than that of the great canal of Scot- 

* This is the great road by which merchandize is sent 
from Cruatimala to Leon, embarking in the gulph of Fonseca 
or Amapala^ to Conchaguu, port of the Fariido of $an Miguel. 

thij pBHiaM!i;b<.-it«ha^Jfc<wBi*»fl> r <ftMiiiii- 
ytepatiia|g i< | §; i*widiiiiiMi>i[^<ifaa#riMi- 

ioblkpIicwMij <■*;■! tnl^»ifti I Jiiiwii iiiBlito- 
iiidiotdy.H>iaiiakitttter tM\\km.9mml^»^ 
Urtrcft The snail difference of lerd between 
theAtlaatic and the Pacific Oceaos, depends, 
BB 1 have said eheirhere -f-, only os dw unequal 
Ikeight df the tides. The same diSerenoe is ob- 
«tiT^ betwdiui the tvo seas that ara joined hy 
thegteat canal of Scotland } and if it were ax 
Unses, and cnutant like that of the Mediterra- 

* This small fort, taJcen by tbe Eogtish in laSS, is toI- 
galj called El Culillo ilel Rio Sui Joan. It la ptsoe^ te- 
coirdiiig to Mr. Juuros, at 10 leagues dbtance ftom the 
' eaatern extretnitj of the laguna de Nicaragua. Atxitibet 
small fbrt wKt cntiBtrncted in 1671, on a rock at tbe moatfc 
of the riter. Tt bears the name of Proiiio del Jliv A Sn 
/if<M. Even in the 18th ccntory, the Demguaden de tm 
'LagKnttt, bad fixed the attention of the Spanish goT«niii«rt, 
who ordered Diego Lopez Salcedo to found the town of 
Ifueva Jaen, near the left bank of tbe Daaguadero, or Bio 
San Juan ; but it was soon abandoned, like the torwn of 
Brussels (BruMlat), near tbe gulpb of Nicoja. 

t Political Essay on New Spain, Vol. i, p. St. 


nean, and the Red Sea *, it woald not lesa far 
Tor the establishment of an oceanic junction. 
The winds blow with sufficient force on the lake 
of Nicaragua, to render it unnecessary to tow 
the ships which pass from one sea to the other, 
by means of steam-boats ; but the employment 
of the moving power of steam would be of thd 
greatest utility in the passage from Rialexo and 
Panama to Guayaquil 'f-, where, during the 
months of August, September, and October, 
calms alternate with winds that blow in a con* 
trary direction* 

In stating my ideas on the junction of the 
two seas, I have calculated only on the most 
simple means, for the execution of so vast a 

* Even the ancients surmounted the difficulties of the 
difference of the level between the Red Sea and the pelusiac 
branch of the Nile« although they were ignorant of locks, 
and only knew at the utmost, how to stop up the euripes 
with small beams. 

t From 14 to Ifi feet broad. According to the project 
of M. Laurent, the subterraneous canal would have beeo« 
without interruption, 7000 toises (nearly three leagues) long, 
21 feet broad, and 24 feet high. Its length would have sur- 
passed by one sixth that of the famous gallery of mines of 
Clausthal (the George Stollen), at Harz. In order to shew 
what men can achieve in this kind of subterraneous labor, I 
shall again mention the two great draining galleries of the 
district of the mines of Freiberg in Saxony, one of 29,604 
toises, and the other 32,438. If the latter were pierced in 
a straight direction, it would pass over a space nearly 
double the breadth of the Pas-de-Calais. 

fn^, StenoMiigfaiei for feed}^ tt^ hifliiis 
of pardtioo^ laktarraQeoiv. taaMK m'.Anv 
vcre proposed hi tfcei JWw anrftUmU 'pW*^ -ttg 
Hthmnsof 'Puma, mid lifce tMi«:<ifi4h»«lh 
iiia:«f fiUst Qnentia. wtaidi hmmttrt/lt^amf k^tb*. belMg prafenb^ to Ji4ni' 

htom KbMni tka praotical^t)ii«f<ita; wmnic 
caauttn cenlii America j^ tty: h«imi>niiii^it^ 
expeOM of iti emstmotiaD, vOfijtMiillilftKtiOf 
(JeBTui; the graand, tad fwibhig iMift^f Isdua 

baBiDS, and feeding trenches, toast depend on 
the choice of the localities. The Caledonian 
canal, the most admirable work hitherto ex- 
ecnted, cost nearly 3,900,000 piastres, wtuch is 
2,700,000 piastres less than the canal of Lan- 
gaedoc-f-, reducing the mark of ulver to the 
present currency of money. The sketch of the 
general expence of the works of the canal of 
Suez, projected by M. Le Pere at the period of 
the expedition of Buonaparte to Egypt, amoonted 
to 5 or 6 millions of piastres, of which a third 
would have belonged to the subsidiary canals of 
Curo ^d Alexandria. The isthmus of Sues, 
reckoning that part which has never been 

• Huemt die Pomnetue, p. 112. 
I- L. c. p. 308. The keeping of this canal, from 1086 (o 
ITSIf hns cost besides, the sum of 23 millioDS of francs, 
{AndTcouf), Deber. d» Canal du MM, p. 280). . 


reached by the tides, at 59,000 toiscs, (moix'^ 
timii 20 marine leagues) of breadth, and the 
projected canal with four locks *, might receive 
vessels during several months of the year (which 
the risings of the Nile last), drawing from 12 
to 15 feet of water. Now, in supposing that 
the canal for joining the seas in the New World, 
were to occasion an equal expence with those 
of Languedoc, the Highlands of Scotland^ and 
Suez, I do not believe that this consideration 
would retard the execution of so great a work. 
The New World already furnishes examples of 
works no less considemble. Tlie state of New 
York alone, has, in the space of six years, caused 
a canal to be dug between the lake Erie and 
the river Hudson, more than an hundred leagues 
long, of which the expence was estimated at 
nearly 5 millions of piastres -f^ in a report ad- 

* Descr^t'um de PEg^t (Etat mademe), 1808, Tom. i, 
60, GO, 8l» 111. The ancient canal from the Ked Sea t<i 
the Nile, (Canal des liois), navigable, if not under the Ptole- 
mies, at least under the Khali fs, was only a derivation of the 
|)e1usiac branch, near Bubaste ; it had a devclopcment of 
25 leagues. Its depth was sufficient for ships of great bur- 
then, and that could navigate on the sea ; it appears to have 
been at least from 12 to 15 feet. 

t Warden, Description of the United States, Vol, ii. p. 107. 
Morse, Modern. Geogr. 1823, p. 122. This canal, 204,590 
toises long, is only 4 feet deep, (} of that of Languedoc, of 
which the length is 123,730 toises.) The lake £rie is 8B 
times above the mean waters of the river Hudson. Tlie 

df tbiltiiit Jof^faclmM^psoiiMiMiiiurt Uttmas 
or iriglir iMndMt' tboiUnM ^^Xmue^^^limib-mim 

oUfcythtf^ naU i iU fr iJhMi ^robiMriiMi^ «rH«Miib 

'Mrii; 'tte imCM^^^MM^VMt ^«iif); ' niHiTiiiU't 

- ittiwmed' p^tiiaiw brfoagliiy ia t fc o uhi ii yi ifatt - 
lAenta of Eqainoxial America, I believe that a 
joint«tock BMociatioa can only be fomied irben 
tile practicability of an oceanic canal capable ' 
of receiving vessels of three or four hnndred 
teili, betwera tbe latifcades 7° and 19>, has been 
proved, and the glraand fixed upon and recog- 
nised. I Rball abstain from- discosring the 
questiMi whether this ground "shouU Sonaa 
separate republic by the name of JtmefMii^rde- 
pendaat oa tbe confederation: of the United 
States" as it has been recently proposed-^ 
£n|^Bnd} by a man whose intentions are afarayi 
the most pnusewortby and disinterested*. But 
^atever government may claim the toil « 
which the great junction canal of the Ocean 
shall be established, the benefit of this hydraulic 
work ought to belong to every nation, of both 
wwldswho shall have contributed to its ezeca- 
tion by taking shares. The local govemihenti 


of Spanish America can order surveys to be 
made on the spot, the levelling of the ridge of 
partition, the measure of the distances,* the 
soundings of the lakes and rivers to be crossed, 
and the estimate of the springs and rain-waters 
proper to feed the upper basin. These previous 
labors will require but a small expence^ but 
must be executed according to a uniform 
plan, at the isthmuses of Tehuantepec or Goa- 
zacoalcos, Nicaragua, Ptoama, Cupica or Da- 
rien, and Raspadura or Choco. When the plans 
and profiles of these five territories are placed 
before the public, the persuasion of the possibi- 
lity of an oceanic junction will become more 
general in both continents, and will facilitate 
the formation of a joint-stock company. A free 
discussion will shew clearly the advantages and 
disadvantages of each locality, and will soon x 

lead to the fixing on two, or perhaps, on one 
sole point The junction company will then 
submit the local circumstances to a second and 
more rigid examination ; the expence will be 
estimated, and the execution of this important 
work confided to engineers who have practically 
engaged in executing similar works in Europe. 
As there seems to be no doubt that in case of 
the impracticability of an oceanic canal, canals 
of small section might be dug in some of the 
five points we have named, to the great profit 
of the share-holders, it would perhaps be advan- 

VOL. VI. u 

tageoui to mtko the first sviffy^at tbe eqiopce 
of an ttaodaiiom. A i^p in^ht tnitspoit tibe 
enpoeen v>A tMr inBtrqintentp auocefNinlyjto 
tbe mmith of tbe Atrato, Bio C^agre, the b^ 
of MaodJiiffft, moSaaJqan* thel«k« of NSm^^ 
ga», tad theUtbmnu ofHvesmv^lpi^prlU^ 
uaot^peo. Ilira.fiHBUUy of tbe^y^r^um^ sdc^ 
ttv (wpranatiott «f ^ adTiwti^cKtf U}e d}^^ 
eat «pot8 of vbich t|w oowpaniwfi Ji to I19 
mfid^ vonld gfun ia cielerity bjr t^ ffW^e -ftf^ 
A mere «uuliBi»i l«¥eUing( aoiiAb««wqmifH» of 
thejirst turvty, filter faaving fixed on the spot 
to be preferred, and the ma^itude of the work, 
acoording to the tonnage of the ships or boats 
to be employed, would make an appeal to the 
psblic to augment the fund, and constitute an 
ntsociation of exectition, dther, as we have rea- 
son to hope, for a canal of oceanic mwigation, 
or for canals or lines of small ttavigatiou. In 
adopting the mode of execution which I have 
)vtat stated, ail that prudence prescribes vonld 
be complied with in an affair that interests tbe 
coweierce of both worlds. The junctum con- 
p9ny would find funds from governments and 
^lightened citizens, n^, insensible to the al- 
luremeats of gun, and yielding to noble im- 
pulses, would t>e proud of the idea of haTing 
contributed to a work worthy of modem civili' 
zation. It is also well to remember in this 
place, that the attraction of gain, the funda- 


mental basis of all financial specnlatimui) is ilot 
illusory in the enterprize for which I warmly 
plead. The divid^ds of the companies in Eng- 
land who have obtained the grant of opening 
canals^ prove the ntility of these enterprises^ 
even for the shafe-holders. The tax of tonnage 
in a canal of junction of the seas, may be so 
much more considerable as the ships which 
profit from the new passage fai going to thb 
fishery of Lima^ Gachelot) or to the ncnrth-wert 
coast of America^ and thence to Cfmton^ would 
considerably shorten their way> and avoid the 
high southern latitudes, dangerous in the bad 
seasons. > The activity of the passage would 
augment in proportion as traders became more 
fisimiliarized with the new direction from one 
ocean to the other. Even if the dividends were 
not sufficiently considerable, and the capitals 
placed in this enterprise did not bear the inte* 
rest offered for the numerous loans made by 
governments, from the coast of the Mosquito 
Indisms, to the last confines of Europe, it would 
be the policy of the great states of Spanish 
America, to give this enterprize their isupport ; 
since it would be fogetting all that experience 
and political economy have taught for ages, to 
restrain the utility of canals and high roads, to 
the duties paid by the transport of merchan- 
dize, and to count for nothing the general in* 

u 2 


fluence exerted on Industry and national pros- 
perity *. 

When we study attentively the history of the 
commerce of nations, we observe Ihat the di- 
rection of tlie coinmiinications with Indiii has 
not been changed solely according to the pro- 
gress of geographical knowledge, or the im- 
provement of the art of navigation, but that 
the change of the seat of civilization in the 
world has also powerfully contributed to this 
effect. From the time of the Phenicians to that 
:of the British empire, the activity of commerce 
has been. carried progressively froqi.east to west; 
from the eastern coast of the Mediterranean to 
the western extremity of Europe. If this change 
continues' mpving towards the west, which 
every thing leads us to presume, the question 
>on the preference given to the way to India bjr 
the southern extremity of Africa, will po longer 
be such as it now is. The canal of Nicaragna 
(affords additional advantages to ships goin^ 
from the mouth of the Mississipi, beyond .what 
it promises to those which take in their ladin; 
;0a the banks of the Thames. In comparing tbe 

* It is with respect to this beuevolent infiuence that the 
works, far too exprasive, of the canal of Languedoc must 
be appreciated, which cost 33 millions of franks, and pro- 
duces annually, on a bare revenue of 1} miUions, oalj 
800.000 franks, scarcely Sj per cent, on the capital. Such is 
tdso tbe net produce of the Canal du Centre. 


different routes round the Cape of Good Mope, 
round Cape Hom^ or across a cut of the isthmus 
of central America^ we must carefully distinguish 
between the objects of trade, and the nations 
engaged in it. The problem respecting the 
way presents itself in a manner altogether dif- 
ferent to an English merchant, and to an Anglo- 
American ; as the problem regarding Chili> 
must be differently solved by those who trade 
directly with India and China, or those whose 
speculations are directed either towards north-- 
em Peru and the western ' coast of Guatimala 
and Mexico, towards China, after having visited 
the north-west coast of America, or towards the 
fishery of Cachelot in the Pacific Ocean. These 
three latter objects of the navigation of the 
nations of Europe and of the United States, 
would be the most indubitably benefited by the 
cutting of an American isthmus. From Boston 
to Nootka ♦, the antient centre of the fur-trade 
in otter skins, on the north-west coast of Ame- 
rica, across the projected canal of Nicaragua, 
will be 2100 marine leagues ; the same voyage 
is 5,200 le£^es, if made, as it has been hitherto, 

• In these estimates of distance, T have supposed, con- 
jointly with M. Beautemps Beauprd (engineer in chief of the 
royal marine), the way to be nearly straight ; this was suffi- 
cient to obtain comparative numbers. If itinerary distances 
are desired, we must augment the passages according to the 
contiarietv of winds and currents, one-third or one-seventh. 

by going round Cape Horn. These distances 
are from 3000 to 5000 leagues for a vessel going 
from London. From these stateraents, there 
results a shortening for the Americans of the 
United States of 3,100 leagues; and for the 
English of 2000 leagues ; without including the 
chance of contrary winds, and the dangers of a 
navigation so different in the two ways which 
we ai^ contrasting. The comparison is much less 
favourable across eeuti-al Ainerica, with respect 
to space and time, for a direct trade with India 
and Ouna. From Londoa to Ctnten, goisg 
vfflnd the Cape of Good Hop% and passing iho 
equator tvriee, ts asuatly a voyage of 4,40ft 
leagues ; from Bostoa to Canton^ 4^B0O i M ih» 
canal of Nicaragna were dug, the leofth of way 
VQold be 4,800, and 4^900 ewiioe kagnes*. 
Now, itt die jHwent improved ^te of tav^a- 
taoi^ Uie ordinary dttration of a royege from tfaa 
ITnited States or from England, t& Cbjnu^ 
rcMHid the extremity of Afrilca, is from IW, to 
ISOdayB-f-. Id. Jbunding the calculatitxis » 
tJie aaategy of the royages from BMto4 and 
Linafool to the ooaat of the Mosquito lDdiaBfl» 

* It.i«6>aOOlBi^et from Lendoa to Caatoo, kjFC^w 

Ham; 1400 tengHM more thu) bjr the C^)« of Goad Hi^a. 
From Boatoa to ContM by Cope Horn, is £000 leagues. 

i SooM rare exampleB of AS days have bisen knomxit 
Boston. Wardm, Dttcr^tim of Ae Umteil Stattt, vol. t. 


and from Acapulco to Manilla*, wc fcid from 
105 to 115 dayi for the voyage from the United 
States, or from England to Canton, in remain^* 
ing in the northern hemisphere, without once 
cutting the equator ; that in, m taking advan- 
tage of the canal of Nicaragua, and the con- 
stancy of the trade-winds in the calmest part of 
the Pacific Ocean ^. The difference of time 
would therefore scarcely be a sixth ; vessels 
could not return by the same w^y, but in going 
the navigation would be safer at all se^tsons. A 

* T|ie GaUeon takes from 40 to 60 di^ys. See my Pol. 
Enay, vol. iv^ p. 71 } and Tuckey, Maritime Geogr, vol. iii. 
p. 407. 

t In these estimates of time^ the employment of the power 
of steam has not been calculated. The French engineers who 
made an estimate of the expence of the canal of Suez, admit, 
in their parallel between the navigation fh>m the coast of 
France to India^ across the projected canal^ and the passage 
round the Cape of Good Hope^ that by the former way, half 
the distance is gained, and { or | of time. Deicript. de 
I'EgypU, (Etat, moderne), tom. i, p. 111. It were to be 
wished that the mean duration of the passage from London 
to Calcutta and Canton, and from Liverpool to Buenos Ayres 
and Lima, (and ties versa), were calculated with precision, 
taking a sufficient number of years and ships to make the 
influence of seasons, winds,, currents, the construction of ves- 
sels^ and the errors of piloting, disappear in the total ave- 
rage The duration of passages is one of the most important 
elements of the movement of commercial nations, that vital 
movement which augments from age to age with the im- 
provement of the art of navigation. 


nation possessing fine settlements at the eitr&- 
mity of Africa and the Isle de France, would, I 
believe, in general prefer the passage from west 
to east. The principal and real object of the 
opening of the isthmus is the prompt commu- 
nication with the western coast * of America, 

" We must except, however, the coast of Peru, south of 
Lima, and that of Chili, which it is extremely i)if5cult to 
'aacend from north to Eouth, The passsgi* would be quicker 
from Europe to Valparaiso ami Africa, by Cape Horn, than 
by the canal of Nicaragua. The canal will be advanta^^eom 
for the trade of the westers coast south of Lima only whea 
the coaiting; ii made by iteam-boBta. The tnde of North 
America with China, in its preaent state, is carried on by the 
three following means : 1st, The vessels of the Unked 
States^ loaded with piastres, go directly from New York or 
Boston by the Cape of Good Hope to CantMi, where they 
purchase tea, nankeen, silks, china, &c. and return by the 
same route ; 2dly, the vessels that go round Cape Horn, 
dther for the seal and sea-horse fishery in the South Sea, or 
to visit the north-west coast of America; Ifthey have not 
obtained a sufficient quantity of furs, they take sandnl-wood, 
or ebony in Polynesia, carry those productions to Canton, and 
go back by the Cape of Good Hope ; 3dly, other veaadi 
cany on a smuggling trade for several years, visiting so^, 
cessively Madeira, the Cape of Good Hope, the lole of 
France, or New South Wales, some ports of South America . 
and the islands of the Pacific Ocean ; in gohig, they some- 
times double the Cape of Good Hope, somctimca Cape 
Hon ; but as they constantly touch at Canton at the end 
of this long voyage, they return to the United Statea by the 
southern extremity of Africa. The cqwning of the isthmus 
wlU have a powerful influence on the two latter passages. 
which we have just pointed out. 


the voyage from the Havannah^ and the United 
States to Manilla, the expeditions made from 
England and the Massacbnsets to the fiir^coast 
(north-west coast) or to the islands of the Pad&c 
Ocean, to visit iafterwards the markets of Can- 
ton and Macao. 

I shall add to these commercial consider- 
ations some political views on the effects which 
the projected junction of the seas may produce. 
Such is the state of modeiHi civilization, that 
the trade of the world can undergo no great 
changes that are not felt in the organization of 
society. If the project of cutting the isthmua 
that joins the two Americas, should succeed. 
Eastern Asia, at present insulated and secure 
from attack, will inevitably enter into more in- 
timate connections with the nations of Euro- 
pean race which inhabit the shores of the At- 
lantic. It may be said, that that neck of land 
against which the equinoxial current breaks, 
has been for ages the bulwark of the indepen- 
dence of China and Japan. In penetrating 
&rther into futurity, imagination dwells upon 
the conflict between powerful nations, eager to 
obtain exclusive advantages from the way. 
opened to the commerce of the two worlds. I 
confess I am not secured from that apprehen- 
sion either by my confidence in the moderation 
of monarchical or of republican governments, 
or by the hope, somewhat shaken, of the progress 


river of that name, is in my opinion, thu prin- 
cipal point of the isthmus, in the most natural 
supposition that the attack comes from the 
north ; but neither the taking of Portobeilo nor 
the fort of San Lorenzo tie Chagre, wouiil de- 
termine the possession of the isthmus of Panama. 
The real defence of that country consists in the 
difficulty which every considerable expedition 
will find in 'penetrating into the interior. On 
the southern coast, which is entirely unpeopled, 
this difficulty already exists for two or three in- 
sulated travellers." 

After having discussed the extent of the sur- 
foce, the popnlatioDj the productions, and the 
trade of the United-Pi-ovinces ofVeneznela, in 
their- [H-esent state as well as in their more or 
less distant increase, it remains for me to speak 
of' the finances, or the revenue of the state. 
This object is of such political importance, that 
it comprehends one of the first conditions of 
the existence of a government ; but after long 
civil dissensions, after a war of thirteen yean^ 
during which agriculture has retrograded, coflt"- 
mercial relations have been shackled, and the 
principal sonrces of public revenue dried up,, 
we can only describe a state of things altoge- 
ther transitory, and little conformable to the 
natural riches of the country. In order to take 
ft more certain point of departure for judging 
of the state of things when confidence and tran- 


quiUity shall be re-established, we must go back 
again to the period which preceded the revolu- 
tion. The annual average of the clear receipts 
of the whole contributions, from 1793 to 1796, 
without comprehending the farm of tobacco, 
was 1,426,700 piastres. In adding to this, 
586,300 piastres as the net product of the 
farm (the average of the same period), we find 
the revenue of the Capitania general de Caracas, 
deducting the expence of collecting, to be 
2,013,000 piastres. This revenue has gone on 
diminishing, on account of the difficulties of 
maritime trade, in the last years of the 18th, 
and the first years of the 19th century; but 
from 1807 to 1810 it rose to more than 2,500,000 
piastres (of which 1,200,000 piastres arose from 
the customs, 700,000 from the farm of tobacco, 
and 400,000 from the alcavala of land and sea). 
All these receipts were absorbed by the expence 
of the administration ; sometimes a surplus of 
200,000 piastres was poured into the treasury 
of Madrid, but these examples were extremely 
rare. Since Caraccas has no longer received 
the situado of New-Spain, resources have from 
time to time been drawn from the no less im- 
poverished bank of Santa-Fe. The gross reve- 
nue of all the provinces which now form the 
republic of Columbia, amounted, according to 
my researches, at the moment of the revolution. 


to a maximum oi 0} millions of piastres*, ol' 
which the government of the mother-country 
never drew more than a twelfth. I have shewn, 
in ray Political Essay, that the Spanish colonics 
in America, at the period of the greatest ac- 
tivity of commerce and the mines, had a 
gross revenue of tkirtjfsix millions of piastres: 
that the internal administratirm of the mlonies 
absorbed nearly twenty-nine, and that only from 
seven to eight tnillions of piastres flowed into the 
royal treasury of Madrid. From these state- 
meats, liotmded on official docaments* and of 
tbe exactness of which no doubt has been en- 
tertained daring fifteen years, we are surprised 
to find that in grave discussions on political 
eeouowy, tbe financial embarrassmentB of the 
noUter-oountry are stiU attributed so often to 
its sepaiation from its cdoniea. Hie duties 
oa mrportation and expcM*tation ar^ throughdot 
AmenvA, the principal source of public revtoue? 
thttt Muroe is become progressirely more abiiD:- 
dant since the court has deprived the company 
of GttipuKMM of the monopoly of trade inth 
Venezuela ; a company in which, according to 
the singular expresuon of a roytU cedule, '* every 
body may take part without derogating from 

* Don Jose Maria del Castillo, in his report to the Con- 
grew of Bogota {6tli May, 1823) estimates las mlat wdi- 
nariai at preaent, at onl; 5 millions of piastres. 


nobility, and withomt losing honor or reputation.'* 
If we reflect that of late years the custom- 
house of the Havannab oaly^ has collected more 
than three miUicMis of piastres; and if we con- 
i^ider at the same time the extent of the. terrir 
tmy, and the agricultural wealth of Vraezuela, 
we cannot doubt of the prog^ressi^e increase of 
the public revenue in that fine part of the 
worid; but the accomplishment of this hope, 
and erery other we have announced, depends 
on the return of peace, and on the wisdom and 
stability of the institutions that are established^ 
I have stated in this chapter the statistical 
elements which I had occasion to collect in my 
travels, and by my uninterrupted intercourse 
with the Spanish-Americans. As the historian 
of the colonies, I have presented facts in all 
their simplicity ; the attentive and exact study 
of those facts being the only means * of laying 
aside vague (Conjecture, and vain declamations;. 
This wary manner becomes the more indispen- 
sable at a moment when we may be tempted to 
yield too easily to the predilections of hope, and 
of ancient affections. Dawning societies pos- 
sess something of the charm of youth ; they 
have its glowing sentiments, its ingenuous con- 
fidence, and even its credulity; they offer a 

* Hecherehes sta^iiques sur la vil/e de Paris, 1823^ Introd. 
p. I et 5. 


more powerful attraction to the imagiDation 
than tlie querulous temper, and distrustful au- 
sterity of old nations which seem to have worn 
out every thing, their happiness, their hope, and 
their belief in human perfectibility. 

The great struggle during which Venezuela 
has fought for its independence, has lasted more 
than twelve years. That period has been fruit- 
ful, as civil commotions are for the most part, 
io heroism, generous actions, guilty errors and 
irritated passions. The sentiment of common 
danger has strengthened the ties between men 
'<^ Tuious races, who, spread over the steppes 
of Cnmana, or insulated on the taUe-land of 
Cnndinaniarca, have a physical and moral or- 
ganization asdiierent as the climat^niKterVhich 
thiey live. The mother-country has s&veral 
times reg^ned possession ofsome district j but 
as revolutions tire always renewed with more 
violence when the evils that prodaee tbenft can 
no longer be remedied, these cMtqnecrtfl have 
been transitory. In order to focilttate aXkd give 
{greater enerify to the defence of this cotiMry, 
the governing powers have been concentrated, 
and a vast state has been formed from the 
mouth of the Oronooko to the other side of the 
Andes of Riobamba, and the banks of the Ama- 
zon. The Capitania-general of Caraccas has 
been united to the vice-royalty of New Grenada, 
from which it was only separated entirely in 


1777. This union, which will be always indis^ 
pensable for external safety, this centralization 
of powers in a country six times larger than 
Spain^ has had political combinations for its 
motiye. The calm progress of the new govern- 
ment has justified the wisdom of those motives, 
and the Congress will find still fewer obstacles 
in the execution of its beneficent projects for 
national industry and civilization, in propor- 
tion as it can grant more liberty to the pro- 
vinces, and make them feel the advantages of 
institutions which they have purchased at the 
price of their blood. In every form of govern- 
ment, in republics as well as in tempered mo- 
narchies, ameliorations in order to be salutary 
must only be progressive. New-Andalusia, 
Caraccas, Cundinamarca, Popayan, and Quito^ 
are not confederated states like Pensylvania, 
Virginia, and Maryland. Without yun/a^, or 
provincial legislatures, all those countries are 
directly subjected to the congress and govern- 
ment of Columbia. According to the consti- 
tutional act (art. 152), the intendants and go- 
vernors of the departments and provinces are 
named by the president of the republic. It 
may be naturally supposed that such depen- 
dence has not always appeared favorable to the 
liberty of the communes, which tend to discuss 
themselves their local interests, and that it has 
sometimes occasioned debates which may be 



termed ^eogra|tliicat. The ancient kingdotM 
of Quito, for instance, is connected at the same 
time, by the hahils and language of its mouK- 
tainous inhabitants, with Peru and New-Gre- 
nada. If there were n provincial ywn/a, if they 
resorted to the congress only for the taxes that 
are necessary for the defence and general weU 
fare of Columbia, the feeling of an individual 
political existence would render the inliabitants 
less interested in the choice of the spot where 
the central govei-nment is placed. The SMie 
reAsoning applies t& New-Andalusia erGuyaaft, 
which are ^vemed by intendants 'named 1^ 
tbe PreaKiene. It may be said that these pro- 
Vinces are hitherto io a pesiticm tittte difterent 
from snefa territories of the Uidted States as 
have a peimtatioft below 60,009 soals. Peeu^ 
fiar circumstances, whieh cannot be justly ap* 
pteciated at such a distance, have no doubt ren- 
dered great eentralization Beceesary in the c^ 
admiBistratiiHt ; every chaoge would be dao^ 
gerous as hmg as the state has externa! enemier, 
Dot the forms useflil for defence, are not always 
those which, after the stmggte, sufficiently ftwor 
individual liberty, and the derelofHnent of pt^ 
Be prospnky. History proves that this ^Mt- 
*fllty, when not overcome with prudence, has 
^more than once been the rock against which 
the enthusiasm and the affections of nations 
have made shipwreck . Without breaking the 


ties which should for ever unite the diffistent 
parts of the Columbian territory (Venesvela, 
New-Grenada^ aod Quito^ a partial life may 
be spread by degrees throagbout this great pc^ 
litical boily^ not to divide^ but augiaent its 

Ti^ powerful union of North America has 
long remained insulated^ and without toa^hing 
any states with analogous mstitutioiis. Al- 
though, as we have observed above, the progreas 
she makes in the direction from east to west, is 
considerably slackened towards the right bank 
of the Mississipi^ she will advance without in- 
terruption towards the internal frounces of 
Mexico; and will there find a European peo- 
ple of another race, other manners, and a differ- 
eat worship. Will the feeble population of 
those pi-ovinceSy belonging to another dawning 
federation, resist, or will it be enveloped by the 
torrent of the east, and transformed into an 
Anglo-American atate^ like the inhabitants of 
liower-Louisiana ? The foture will sotm solve 
this problem. On the other hand, Mexico is 
separated from Columbia only by Guatimala, a 
country of extreme fertility, and which has re* 
oently assumed the denomination of the repub^ 
lie of Central America. The political divisions 
Jbetween Oaxaca and Chiapa, Costa Rica and 
Veragua, are not founded either on the natural 
limits, or the manners and languages of the 

X 2 


natives, but solely on the habit of dependence 
on the Spanish chiefs who resided at Mexico^ 
Guatimala, or Santa-Fe de Bogota. It appears 
natural enough that Guatimala may one day 
join the isthmuses of Veragua and Panama to 
the isthmus of Costa-Rica; and Quito connect 
New-Grenada with Peru, as la Paz, Charcas, 
and Potosi link with Buenos-Ayres*. The iD= 
termediate parts which we have just named, 
from Chiapa to the Cordilleras of Upper Pern, 
form the passage from one political association 
to another, similar to those transitory forms, by 
whi(^ the varioos groups of the organic king- 
dom are linked in natnre. In neighbouring 
niobarchies the provinces that touch each other 
present those striking demarcations which are 
the eSect of a great centralization of power ; ia 
confederated republics, states that are placed 
at the extremities of each system, are for some 
time in oscillation before they acqnire A Btable 
equilibrium. It would be almost indifferent to 
the provinces between Arkansa and the Rio del 
Norte, whether they send their deputies to Mex- 
ico or to Washington. If Spanish Amerira 
were one day to shew more uniformly the tot- 
dency towards federalism, which the exam{^ 
of the United States has already excited cm se- 
veral pointB> from the contact of so numy sys- 

• See above, vol. vi, p. 160. 


terns or groupes of states, confederations vari« 
Dusly graduated would result. I here only 
touch on the relations that arise firom this 
singular assemblage of colonies on an uninter* 
rupted line of 1600 leagues in length. We have 
iseen in North America, an old atlantic state 
divided into two, and each having a different 
representation. The separation of the Maine 
and the Massachusets, in 1820, was made in 
the most peaceable manner. Schisms of this 
kind will no doubt frequently occur in the Spa- 
nish colonies; but their moral state will, it may 
be feared, render such changes turbulent. When 
a people of European race naturally incline to- 
wards provincial and municipal independence, 
while the copper-colored natives have a no less 
decided taste for political divisions of territory, 
and the liberty of small communes, the best 
form of government is that which, without 
openly struggling against a national predilec- 
tion, renders it the least hurtful to the general 
interest, and the unity of the whole body. It 
may be observed further, that the importance 
of the geographical divisions of Spanish Ame- 
rica, founded at the same time on the relations 
of local position, and the habits of sevei'al cen- 
turies, have prevented the mother-country from 
retarding the separation of the colonies by at- 
tempting to establish Spanish princes in the 
New World. In order to rule such vast pos- 



sessions it would have been requisite to foml 
six or seven centres of goveinment, and that 
multiplicity of centres, (vice-royalties and 
captaincies-general), wiis hostile to the esta- 
blishment of new dynasties at the period when 
they might still have produced some salutary 
effect for the mother country. 

Bacon* ha8 said, in his Political Aphorisms, 
that " itwould be happy if nations would always 
follow the example of time, the greatest of all 
innovators, but who acts calmly, and almost 
Tithout being perceived." This happiness does 
not belong to colonies when tlrey reach tbe cri- 
tical period of tbeir emancipatioii ; and least of 
tdl to Spanish America, engaged in tha straggle 
at first, not to obtain its complete indepoidencej 
bat to escape from a foreign yoke. May tbe 
agitations of party be succeeded by a doobk 
6alm 1 May the germ of civil discord, dissemi- 
sated during three centuries to secure the do- 
ninion of the mother country, be stifled by 
degrees t and productive and commercial fin- 
rope become more persuaded, that to perpetO' 
ate the political agitations of the New World 
#9«ld be to impoverish itself, in dinunishiog 
tbe consumption of its productions, and de- 
priving itself of amarket which already amoantB 

' • See thesrlkleof lonov&tions, inAaoM'ifjfl^icinlaitf 
merai, Mo. Std. {Optra tmnia, 1730, vol. ifi, p. 33£.) 


to more than 70 millious of piastrei. The ex- 
ports from Spanish America, the United States, 
France, and Great Britain^ are at present as the 
numbers i,l^ l£ and 3^** Many years must 
no doubt elapse before 17 millions of. i&habitr 
ants, spread over a surface a fifth greater than 
the whole of Europe, will ha^e fouod a stabk 
equilibrium in governing themselves. The most 
critical moment is that when nations, after long 

• I hare flhewii in another work (PoliHoe^ Etidyy vol. it, 
p. 129), that in 1806, making the most moderate calculations, 
Spanish America already stood in need of an importation of 
foreign merchandize to the amount of 59,000,000 piastres, a 
value nearly three times greater than t^t i'fc^fuirfed hy tlue 
United States, eight yean after thm independence had been 
fecognized by Great Britain. To give a view of comparative 
numbers, 1 shall state the imports and exports of the two 
most commercial nations of the world, the English of Eu- 
rope, and of America. The annual value of the imports of 
Great Britain, from 1821 to 1823, amounted to 30,^208,000 
pounds sterling ; the value of the exports to 80,680,800 
{>ounds sterling. The exports of the United States, in 1820, 
were 09,974,000 dollars ; the imports 82,586,000 dollars. 
At an anterior period, from 1802 to 1804, the exports were, 
mean year, 68,461,000 dollars, and the imports 75,306,000 
dollars 3 whence it results that the imports of the United 
States, and of Spanish America, immediately before the po- 
Utieal agitations of the latter country, wen alike considttt- 
-able. It must not be forgotten, that what is imported to 
Spanish America, is there used, and not re-exported. The 
exports and imports of France in 1821, were respectively 
404,764,000, and ;)94,442,000 franks. 

servitude, find themselves suddenly at liberty to 
dispose of their existence for the improvement 
of their prosperity. The Spanish Americans, it 
is unceasingly repeated, are not sufficiently ad- 
vanced in intellectual cultivation to be fitted 
for free institutions. I remember that at a 
period little remote, the same reasoning was 
applied to other nations, who were said to have 
made too great a progress in civilization. Ex< 
pericnce, no doubt, proves that nations, like in- 
dividuals, find ability and learning often una- 
vailing to happiness ; but without denying the 
necessity of a certain mass of knowledge and 
popular instruction for the stability of republics 
or constitutional monarchies, we believe that 
stability to depend much less on the degree 
of intellectual improvement than on the strength 
of the national character ; on that proportion of 
energy and tranquillity, of ardor and patience 
whidi maintains and perpetuates new institu- 
tions ; on the local circumstances in which a 
nation is placed ; and on the political relations 
of a country with the neighbouring states. 

If all modem colonies, at tbe period of their 
emancipation, manifest a tendency more or less 
decided for republican forms of government, the 
cause of this phenomenon must not be attri* 
buted solely to a principle of imitation, which 
acts still more powerfully on masses of men 
than on individuals. It is founded principally 


on the position in which a community is placed 
suddenly detached from a world more antiently 
civilized, free from every external tie, and com- 
posed of individuals who recognize no political 
preponderance in the same caste* The titles 
conferred by the mother country on a small 
number of fomilies in America, had not formed 
what IS called in Europe an aristocracy of no- 
bility. Liberty may expire in anarchy, or by 
the transitory usurpation of a daring chief; but 
the true elements of monarchy are no where 
found in modem colonies : those elements were 
imparted to Brazil at the moment wl^en that 
vast country enjoyed profound peace, while the 
metropolis had foUen under a foreign yoke. 

In reflecting on the chain of human affairs, 
we may conceive how the existence of modem 
colonies, or rather how the discovery of a half- 
peopled continent, in which alone so extraordi- 
nary a development of the colonial system was 
possible, must have led to the revival on a great 
scale, of the forms of republican government. 
The changes which social order has undergone 
in our days in a considerable part of Europe^ 
have been regarded by some celebrated writers 
as the tardy effect of the religious reformation 
at the beginning of the 16th century. We 
must not forget that the memorable epocha 
when ardent passions, and a taste for absolute 
dogmas, were the rocks on which European poii- 


lies were shipwriuked, was the epocba also of 
the conquest of Mexico, Peru, and Cundina- 
marca; a conquest which, according to the 
noble expressions of the author of tEs/mt des 
Xou, leaves the mother countiy an immense debt 
to pay in order to acquit itself towards human 
nature. Vast provinces opened to colonists by 
Castiliian valour, were united by the ties of a 
common language, manners, and worship. 
Thus, by a strange coincidence of events, the 
reign of the most powerful and absolute mo- 
narch (tf Earope, Charles the Fiftl^ prepared 
the struggle of tbe Idtb century, and laid the 
liasis of those political associations, which, 
though scarcely traced, astonish us by th»r ex. 
lent, aad the uaiform tendency of their prin- 
cipled If tbe eiQancLpati<m of Spanish Ame- 
rica be consoUdated, as every thing hitherto 
loads us to bope, tbe Atlan^ will display on 
Its opposite shores, forms of government whidi 
•u« not neoessarily hostile because tbey are dif- 
ibreitt. Hie same institutions, cuinot be.salu- 
taiy to every nation of both worlds, and the 
■gravnag provperity of a republic is no outrage 
to monarchies that are governed with wisdom, 
and a respect for the taws and public liberty. 





Note A» 

\r being my intention to collect in tbis work wboteve^ 
can throw l^t on the history of the two AmericBs; f shall 
fitate soccinctly the results of the most recent researches on 
the lines of fortification^ and the tumuli found between the 
Rocky Mountamt and the chain of the All^hanies. The fbr- 
tifications chiefly occupy the space between the great lakes 
of Canada, the MissisKlpi, and the Ohio, from the 44<^ to the 
69o of latitude. Those which advance mo^t towards the 
north-east are on the Black River, one of the tributary 
streams of lake Ontario. Towards the west we discover 
scattered and inconsiderable mountains, in the county of 
Genesee, but they augment in number and greatness as we 
advance towards the banks of Cataraugus-creek ; and from 
that creek, they succeed without interruption, west and 
aonth«-west, on a length of 60 miles* The most remarkable 
antient fortifications in the state of the Ohio, are : 1st, 
Newark (Licking County). A very regular octagon, con* 
taining an area of 38 acres, and connected with a circular 
drcumvallation of 16 acres. The eight great doors of the 
Octagon are defended by eight Mrorks placed before each 
opening.. 2dly, Perry County. Numerous 'walls, not iH 


clay, but stone. 3d1y, Maiietta, Two great squares, wjtb 
twelve doors; the walls of earth arc 21 feet bigh, and 42 
feet at llicir boGe. 4tbly, Circleville ; a square with eight 
doors, ani] eight soiall works for Iheir ilefeacc, connecteil 
with a circular foot, surrounded with two walls and a uiont. 
Athly. Paint-Creek, at the confluence of the Scioto anil the 
Ohio ; the fortifications are partly irregular ; one of Ihem 
contains 62 acres. Othly. Portsmonth, opposite Alexandria. 
Vast ruins, disposed on parallel lines, denote that this spot 
heretofore contained a numerous population. 7thly. Little 
Miami and Cincinnati, a wall of 7 feet high, and 0300 toiscs 
long i it goes from the Great to the Little Scioto. {Journ. 
of General Clintan ; Weitern tfoseifeer, p. 108 ; Wardeit, De- 
tcr^tion of the United Slata, Vol W. p. 137 i ff^dg Re- 
corder «/ the Ohio, Vol. ii. No. 42, p. 324j Med. Itqxu. 
Vol. XV. p. 147; Ntw Seriet of the Med. Aqxw. Vol. iii. 
p. 187j/fatTu'(rour, p. 149; Drake's Pietereo/ CiiieintKifi, 
p. 304 } Meate't Geolog. acantnl of the Uiuted Staia, p. 478 ; 
Caleb Jlwater, in the ATcheeotogia Jmerwma, or Traiuac- 
titmi of the ^meriom j<n(ifiMirMix Sodety of iForcetler, Mai- 
tachMtelU, 1620, p. 122, 141, aad 147.) All these square 
forts are placed aa exactly to the east aa the Egyptian and 
Alexictm pyramidB; when the forts have only one opening, 
jt is directed towards the rising sun. The walls of these 
Jioea of fortification are moat frequently of earth ; but two 
miles from ChilUcothe, in the state of Ohio, we find a wall 
constructed in stone, from 12 to 16 feet high, and Irota 
fi to 8 Eeet thick, forming an ind^sure of 80 acres. It b 
sot yet precisely known how far those works extend to the 
west, along the course of the Missouri and the river In Plata ; 
but they are not found on the north of the lakes Ontario, 
&ie and Michigan, neither do they pass the chain of the 
Alleghaoies. Some circumvallations discovered on the east 
of that chain on the banks of the Chenango, near Oxford, in 
the state of New York, may be considered as a very remark- 


able exception. We must not confound theae military mo^ 
numents with the mounds or tumuli containing thousands of 
siceletons of a stunted race of men scarcely five feet high. 
These mounds increase in numbers from the north towards 
the south ; the highest are near Wheeling and Grave-Creek 
<diam. SOO feet, height, 100 feet) ; near Saint Louis, on 
Cahokia-Creek (diam. 800 feet, height 100 feet) ; near new 
Madrid (diam. 350 feet) ; near Washington, in the state of 
Mississipi, and near Harrison town. Mr. Brackenridge 
thinks there are nearly 3000 tumuli from 20 to 100 feet high, 
between the mouth of the Ohio, the Illinois, the Missoury> 
and the Rio San-Francisco ; and that the number of skeletons 
they contain. Indicate how considerable must have been the 
population heretofore of those countries. These monuments, 
considered as the places of sepulture of great communes, 
are most frequently situated at the confluence of rivers, and 
on the most favorable points for trade. The base of the 
tumuli is round or of an oval form ; they are generally of )a 
conical form, and sometimes flattened at the summit as if 
intended to serve for sacrifices, or other ceremonies to be 
seen by a great mass of people at once. (See my Fiewi of 
the Cordiileroi, p. 35.) Some of these monuments near 
Point-Creek and Saint Louis, are two or three stories high, 
and resemble in their form the Mexican teocalUt and the 
pyramids with steps, of £gypt and Western Asia. Some of 
the tumuli are constructed of earth, and some of stones 
(Stone-Mounds), [or Cairns] heaped together. Hatchets 
have been found on them, together with painted pottery, 
vases, and ornaments of brass, a little iron, silver in plates 
(near Marietta), and perhaps gold (near Chillicothe). Some 
of these mounds are only a few feet high, and. are placed at 
the centre, or in the neighbourhood of the circular circum- 
vallations ; they resemble the cerritoa heckos a mano, which 
in the kingdom of Quito, near Cayambe, are called qdaratO' 
rw9 de Iq$ Indiog antiguoi ; they were either tribunes for hi|- 


rangurng' the nssembleii p«>pl*, or plnces of sHcrifire ; nid 
where they nre only from 20 to 35 feel liigli. they may b* 
consiilercd iis observii lories erected In discover tiie move- 
ments of a neighbouring enemy. {,4rci. Amrr. Vol. L 
p. 1B3, 169, 246, 210, lOB, 178.) The great tumuli, from 
80 ta 100 feet high, are most fretjuenlly insulated, and lome- 
times !e«m to be of the Sfime age as the fortifications to 
which they are linked. The latter merit particular atten- 
tion ; I know nowhere any thing that reioroMes them, either 
in South America, or the ancient continent. The regnlarity 
of the polygon and circulnr forms, and tlie small works in- 
tei>de<l to cover the doors of the building, nre above nil re- 
markable. We know not whether they were inclosures of 
tproftTij, •niih of defence against enemiea, {Relat. Htstor. 
Toin-. i. 8fi}, or bitrenehed camps, as Id central Ana. The 
-emlom of Bcponting the different quartei* of a town by 
elrcvmvallatloDs, is observed alike in the sncteBt Tcnoch~ 
leitimi, and the FeravtaH town of Chimu, Mhe nint of which 
I WHDiiiied, between Truxillo and tbe coait of the Soatii 
8ea. {PoiMeal E$tmf, Vol. ii. p. B). T ke (miafi are ten 
•batvclerietic coDBtfvctiona, dad may hEva belonged to bw- 
tions who had no eonsDHmieation with one aiio^er ; tbe^ 
«ovcr both Americu, Ute north of Asia, and the whole east 
oTBurape ) and it is uM, are still ooiwtnicted bjr the Otn^w- 
haw« of the river Plata. The skulls coataioed in the (Mwili 
effte Utdted Stoles, ftiraish meaaa of recogaisiag alnwA 
with eettaintf, to what d^;i«e the race of men by whom thtSf 
-were raised, differed fh)m ttto Indians who now inhabit die 
Berne eoimtries. M, Mitchell believes that tbe sltdeUMtt of 
the cavcms of Kentocliy and Tennesce " belong to tiw 
-lilelays, who came by the Pad6c Ocean to the westeru eoost 
of America, and were destroyed by the ancestor* «rf the 
-present Indians, and who were of Tartar race (Mon^ul)." 
With respect to ttie lumuU and the fbrtlGcationB, the sane 
teamed writer supposes, with Mr. De Wilt Clintoa, thdt 


those nionimieuU ittre the wo^ka '^of SoBHtUaaTiMi^Bationg; 
who, from the 11 th to the 14th ceoturf yiBited ^e coast of 
Gnrenlaiid, NewfbniidlaiHl, or Vlnhnid/ or Drogeo> and a 
pait of the coDtineal of North AoAorilca. (Viejia of tke dtr^ 
diUenm, Vol. i. p. 8^) If this hypothesis be foaQ4ed» thf 
akalla fovad in tha tummU, and of which Mc- Atwater^ at C^rr 
cleviUe> pof sesaee so great a munbet j oug^t to belpng^ opt to 
the American, MtmgvX, or Malay raee> but to a tace vulgarity 
called Caucaaiao. The engraving of. those stcuUs, in the 
Memoirs of the Society of MasaachiMetts^ is tOQ ii^perfect if) 
decide an historical qaestioa so well ym^^ikf to: occupy the 
osteologists of both continents*. L«t qs hope tb»% the 
learned men who now honor the Vnilod States^ will hjistan 
to convey the skeletons of tiie iumuUt and those of lbs 
caverns, to Burope, that they may be compared: together, and 
vrith the ptesent inhabitants of native race, aawell as with 
the in^viduals of Malay, Mongul, and Cauoasian: race; fbuild 
in the ^at collections of MM. Cnviev* 8omnBting» and 
Blumenbaeh. In order to advance in these kinds of reseavches* 
ao importeht towards the history of the human species, it 
appears to me that the attention should be directed to three 
principal points ; namdy, 1st. To the osteofogic compari- 
sons, which camiDt be made successfully from drawings, 
descriptions, or the mere testunony of tsaveUera. The skulls 
of the ancient inhabitants (of that race bdieved to be ex- 
tinct), must be compared with the skulls of the different 
varieties of the human race ; and we must not forget in this 
comparison, that among the present natives of the new con- 
tinent some tribes fomish very remaikahle varieties of con- 
formation; It may suffice to cite the Tchoi^aze £s<|uimaiK 
in the north, whose children are born white 3 and more lo 
• the south, the Chepewyans, the Paais (Apaches) and the 
Sioux; three nations, which from their traditions and their 
'■ aspect, Mackenzie, Pike and Lewis, consider as having cobk 
.from Asia, and being stroi^ly mnngolized. {Alofikeiukf Sie 

Vol. I. |i. 375, Vd. Ui. 343 ; Pike, p. 374 ; LemU and ClorJtf, 
p. 146) ; Sdly. To the rehtions of oongtroctioD or of geo- 
graphical poaitioD observed hetween the moDumenU of the 
United States, the banlu of the OhiOj nod the Misfonry, aal 
the Mexican moumenta of Gila and Nabajoa. Thecountrjbe- 
tween the 33n and 41« of latitnde, panllel to the mooth of 
the Arkanzaa and the Mioaonry, ii considered hy the Azteque 
historians, as the anaont dwelling of the dTilized nationa of 
Anahooc. These historians place the Srat station of the 
Mexicans, in the course of their migration from north to 
south, on the bonks of the lakes (fidmloual) of Tega^ro, 
and Tioipanogos ; the second station is marked bj the iuibi 
of the Catu-Gremdti ot Rio Gila, which the Arfhen Garcea 
and Font hare described in detoD {PoUHeal Et$nf, IL Vol. i. 
p. S64, and in mj Mexican Atlas, maps 1 and 1). These 
edi6ces, which occupy a square league, are pbcad exactly u 


lodiatt vinagej with two public squares^ houses with several 
stories, as in the Gasas GrandeSj and streets in parallel fines* 
The natives of these countries, near which the fint $taium of 
the Mexican nations is placed, have long beards, like the 
Ainos (uihabitants of Tarakai) of eastern Asia. These art 
the Yabipais, whose language differs essentially ftom that of 
the Asteques. This analogy of construction among the 
present and the ancient inhabitants, whatever may be the 
superiority of the latter in their civilization, is a very curious 
phenomenon. I know how little confidence can be placed 
in the narratives of Ffay Marcos de Nizai but it cannot be 
doubted that in the middle of the 18th century^ a. small 
centre of civilization was still preserved in the regions situ- 
ated on the north of New Mexico, at Cibora, and at Quivira. 
Wlien weU-informed travelers shall one day have ezplared 
the plains between the Rio Colorado and the Rio Colombia^ 
those plains which the ecclesiastic Escalante went partly over 
in 1777, it will be important to compare the present state of 
the country, and above all the names of places, with the 
detailed journals we possess of the expedition of Francisco 
Vasquez de Comado (1640). The Spanish historians give 
strange variations to the names of places and men in thb 
Mexican Dorado; (Harac, Tinhcx, Cicuic, Acuc, Huex^ 
Tutonteac, and the name of that king Tatarax, Senor de Uu 
nete dudadet, who was made a kind of Pk«ster- John | 
^' Hombre barbudo, que rezava en ores, que adorava una 
crnz de oro, y una imagen de muger, Sesora del cielo.**^ 
(Gomara, Hut. de Uu IndUu, 1663, foL cxvii ; Herera Decade 
vi, p. 167, 204} Laet, p. 297— 804 j Haje oZ EUrecho 
de Fuca, p. S7; Political E$say, ii. 277; Vteio of Ae 
CordUieras and Monuments, Vol. i, p. 307, 318; Pmonoi 
NarraHve, Vol. v. p. 844.) The Conquistadores placed 
Cibora, no doubt vaguely (according to the name of 
the bisons, cibohu, or cows with humps, and long hair, 
wieas carcobadoi), in lat. 30° 30' j Quivira, in kUitude 40% 


\n rOKUitg tUe Qrst jj^panisb bistarlana with aRentfon, t, 
woultt !^)peaT that the two countrieg are situated \vc«t of the 
Rocky Mountains ; but Comailo statea clenrly, that in 
g^ng to the north, the rivers are founil to flow, as fiir ns the 
Cibola, toiviu-ils t^c wost ; and beyonit Cibola, as far as 
Quivtnt, towards the eaet. There is no question however, 
in any of these expeditions to the north, of a passage across 
the mountains ; Quivira ia described as an immense pliun, 
where it is difficnlt to mark the way. Whatever opinion 
may be formed of the abrupt lowering of liie tnoontains, 
north of New Mexico, it is difficult to figure, between ihe 
Bocky Mountains and the Sierra Verde, a point of parti- 
tion of the waters, divortia aquamm, sitntited in a plain. 
Francisco Vasquez de Cornado, in liis letter to the viceroy, 
com|dains of the falsehoods of the monk Marcos tie Niza ; 
and to justify his return, paints the country through 
which he had passed, as poor an<l savage : be is, however, so 
much struck with the grandeur of the edifices at CiWa and 
Qnivira, sereral stories high, built of stone and day, that 
tie doubts if the natives, who he says are intelligent but 
little industrious, could have constructed them. This testi- 
mony of a man of veracity is well worthy of attention. Docs 
<it indicate a people relapsed into barbarism, nnd who hod 
preserved some knowledge of the Tnechanic arts ? Every 
lionsc in Qaivlrn having a flat roof, or a terrace {asotea), 
Cornado calls the whole country " la tierra de las asoteas." 
Terraces of the same kind were found in 1773, by Father 
Garces, in the villages of the present Indians of Moqai. BH 
'the nations of the Mexican race, in their migrations to the 
south, send colonics towards the east, or do the moaumenb 
of the United States pertain to the autocthone nattoDsJ 
Perhaps wc must admit in North America, as in Ihe ancient 
world, the simultaneous existence of several centres of 
Civilization, of which the mutual relations arc not known in 
"history. The very civilized nations of New-Spain, the Tol- 


. teque8> the Chichimtt^eB, mi the iifLtefffMf pnsjbenfiad tP 
have issued successively^ from tjbie .6^ to the 12i)i century, 
fi:om three ne^hbouriog countries situated toi^rfusd? ,th9 
norths and ^led HuebnetlapoUan or TlalpsUaiVy Ani#qiieY 
i»ecan, luid Aztliui or TeorAlcohvMfta. Thesd mtions 
^poke the same JMngmg^, ,the|r h«d ijtxe ^ane yy^ym^gonip 
faUes^ the same propensity fqr ^ sfu^e^dot^JL ^qgr^ 
gatiQns, the jsame hierqgly|duc paintingSylhe sajoae diy;if|iQiig 
of time, the ^ame taste (Cbipese wd J^apan^) ^ nptiiig 
and registWDg every thiiig. Xhe names gixen by tltmn ltp 
the .toKT^ijibuiU in the .country pf A^ahiMC, were ^um of 
tb^ town# they had.ftl>«iMloped mihejr apciei^ poimtry. Xbe 
qiv^l^^lltifltfi 09 th^ ^exiqin table )(md waajvgaidedjjjjtb^ 
inbobitanta (hemaeiv^ as ^b^e ,q)rpy of 4QB(iet)mig wJtMc^h Jha4 
eaust^ ehewher^ aa the TefiectioQ of ^le jpdmit^ye civilis^- 
tipn 0^ Afstlan. Wba^, it. may be ^tiMi^ faust be placed 
that pi^rent land of the .oplooies of Aaahvac, 4|bat qfikina 
genthm, whidb d|un|)g £ye centuries, sends natiooa to* 
wavds theaouth, who understand each other vithq^ut dif&- 
0|}}ty, and recogniza each olh^ Cor relations ? Abi^j north 
of AxnpuTj whene it is nearest Amedc», is a barbaroua 
offpatry j and, in aupposing (which is geographically powil;]^) 
a migratiQ^ -of southern Asiatics by Japan, .Taral(ay 
(Xchqka), the Kuii^ and the Aleutian isjea, from south- 
w«it to>wards the jiqrtb-east, (frpm 40o to fid"" of )ati- 
tl^^ how can U be be^eved that ip so long a nvigration, 
QO a WJiy 8p .^a^ily intercepted, the rem^mbiance of the in- 
igAMtiona pf the parpnt country could have been preserved 
with ao m|]<^ force and deamess ! The cosmogonic fables, 
the pyramidal constructions, the system of the calendar, the 
a^jTr^u of the tropics found in the catasterim of days, the con- 
vcaita and congregations of priests, the taste for statistic enu- 
n^eiationsy the annals of the empire held in the most scrupu^ 
Ipus ord^, lead us towards oriental Asia -, while the lively re- 
mcmbranpcs of which we have just spoken, and the peculiar 

Y 2 


pbyalognomy wlilch Mexican civilization presents, in so 
manf other respects, seem to indicate the antique exist- 
ence of an empire in the north of America, between the 38* 
anil 42° of latitude. We cannot reflect on the military. 
monuments of the United States, without recollecting tlic 
first country of the civilized nniions of Mexico. It is io 
rising to more general historical considerations, in examin- 
ing wiih more care than hns been hitherto done, the lan- 
guages, and the usteologic conformation of different tribes, in 
exploring the immense country bounded by the Allcghanics, 
and the coast of the western ocean, that means will be ob- 
tained of throwing light upon a problem so worthy of 
exercising the sagacity of historians. In these researches 
Aere can be no qnestioD either respecting the first inh&bi- 
tants of America (real history does not go badtsoftr), or of 
a very advanced civilization, superior, for instance, to that of 
BO many nadons of Tartar or llongul race in central Asia ; 
nor, finally, respectii^ the fortuitous analogy of some aoandg, 
some syllables that are again found, with signiBcadons al- ' 
together different, in the Tschoude, Indo-pelasgtc, Iberian or' 
B8«iiiie, and Welsh or Celtic tongues. [OWielm con Huviboldl,- 
Bber die ■ Urbtaokner Hitpanietu, p. 95.) It is from vagtw' 
and nnphilosophieal views that Indians have Mcasionally been' 
believed to be discovered who speak Irish, Bas Breton, br ' 
the Cdtic of Scotland. The fable of Welsh iatfioiu, harin^ 
preserved the Welsh, or Celtic language, is of very old dalSk' 
In the time of Sir Walter Raleigh, a confiised repml vras- 
spread <fver England, that on the coast of Virginia the WdA- 
salutation had been heard ) hao, iom, iaeh. Owen QiapelMB' 
relates, that in 160D, by pronouncing some Celtic words, be* 
saved himself from the hands of the Indians of Tusconm,' 
by whom he was on the point of being tealpedf The sane' 
thing, it is pretended, happened to Benjamin Beatty, in going 
from Virginia to Carolina. This Beatty asserts that he foimd 
a whole Welsh tribe, who preserfed the tradition of the* 

Voyage of Madoc-ap-Owcn, which took place iu 1170! Joha 
FUmki, in his history of Kentucky, hns revived these talcs 
of thu firsl travellers ; ftccording to him. Captain Abrahaoi 
Ciuiplain hiw Indians arrive at the post of Kaskasky, and 
CODV«rM in the Welsh language with some soldiers who 
Were natives of Wales. He also believes, that " far off, to 
the west, on the baoka of the Missouri, there exists a tribt 
wfaicb, besides the Celtic language, han also preserved some 
riles of the Christian religion." (Hiil. of Kent. p. 133.) 
Captain Isaac Stewart asserts, that on the Red River of 
Naichiiotchcs, at the distance of 700 miles above its mouth, 
in the Missisaipi, near the confluence of the river of Post (?) 
he discovered Indians with a fair »kin and r«d hair, who con- 
versed in Welsh, and (loasessed the titles of their origin. 
" Tbey- prodaeed; in proof of what they nld of tbeir arrifal 
on the.eiifrm coaat, rolls of parchment eanAiltywraprtip 
in oUer-ddnsj and on which great charscters were' written 
in blue, wUcfa neither Stewart, nor his fellow 'ttavdler 
Dawy, a natiw of Wales, could decypher." (JVermre de 
France At 5 Nm. llSfi.) These are, no doabt, the Welsh 
hooka reOBotljr mentioned again in the French Joamali'. 
(AenwewyelBptfKfiie, No. 4, p. 162 ; and article B6m)te in the 
Dkt.da tatnca not.. Vol. xxi, p. S&2.) Wa may oboerve 
firat, thai all Ihoe teatimanies are ettremely vague for the 
i n di c a t icMi of |dacea. The last letter of Mr. Owen, repeated 
in tlie jonniala of Enrope (of the 1 Ith Febrasry, 1819), 
place»the poata of the Welsh Indians on the Madwaga, and 
divides theot inta two tribes, the Brydones and the Chado- 
giana. "They speak Welsh with greater purity than it ie 
Hfdke^ in the principality of Wales (!) since it ia exempt 
isMa angUdnas ; they profess Christiaaity strongly mixed 
with Draidiflm." We cannot read such assertions without 
recollecting that all those fabuloos stories which flatter the 
imagidation are renewed periodicallyundernewfonna. The 
teamed and judicious geographer of the Vnited States, Mr, 



Warden, enquires justly, why all tfac traces of Welsh co- 
lenies and the Celtic longiie, hove disappeared since less 
credulous travellers, und who in 60ine sort controul orte 
another, hnvc vitited the country situated between the CHiio 
and tiic Rocky Monntnin?. Mackenzie, BaTton, ClnTk, 
Lewis, Pike, Drake, Mitchill, ami the editors of the new 
Ardiitologia Americana, haTe found nothing, absolutely nt>- 
thii^, which denotes the remnins of European colonies of 
the 12th Century. The voyage also of Madoc-ap-Owea is 
mttch more uncertain than the cxpeditiona of the Sc&ndina- 
vians (the lelnndais Rmida, Biem, Leif, &c.) Ifwewcre 
to find the vestiges of nny European Isngmge ra the north 
of America, it Would be rather Teutonic, (Scandhmviaii, Gct- 
inaQ, or Gothic), than the Celtic or WeUh^ which differ 
MwmiFiHy frMn the Oekmaiiie toOgaes. tiit tW rtrnctoni of 
tfw AonerKlM idioins appears ■ing'iSarly ttmaga to the diie- 
mnt nationi who ipeah the moderb wceUia laigitages; the- 
t have Imbcied thtfy sow in it HeU«i# (Semitic or 
; the SpftnishcdltmiBtayBamltM, ^r Iberian): tbe 
a*^h md fretach planteis, Welahj Inth; AU B*-bi«toA. 
^Mpretedsieadof the Basques, Bk>dtii*Mabitant>of Wrirt, 
irtw ragavd their larigaag;6« hot otaly as moittar-MBgnM, btd 
«> tU sonree* of all blfter tor^utt, extand HtMafaaA koA- 
rilRt totbffldtoof theSonth Sea. I niM#itlkti*tr*aeHi 
■f ifaeSpuM^a^Aiglhb uavyyoiitbe nui of JPCH!* one 
«f VlUnn prateAaed lUat he had tRstd tb« Biaq&tit TUM. 
mi die tttUer Iriib-OaeHe at Oii Saddwieb tabwdK flee 
aborts Vol. iii, V» i and ffVhi^ vm AmMA) ahr 
di« Urt^. HUpmtimf, p. lf4<-kirT>. I thcnffEt K my datf 
to atate wHh AankAtta m^ dmibtg <rf tlw exisi*ii«i of tiilto- 
j/mericdm. I shall dten^ my opinioii only whak Ikmtat- 
mhtiA with convincii^ prooft of the fact. 

According to the trnditions eollecled by Mr. H«dwtMer, 
An country oast of the H ississipi [JVemcri-S^Wi Flah-riW, 
p by comlption), was heretofore inhabited by ■ p** j 

erfiil nationr, of gigantic «la«aTe> cftUed Tattegewi, TalUgeu, oi^ 
AHighewi, and which gave its iMine to Iht ^iUgkamkm nieuH 
tains (MUghewiaii). The AUiglMwb w«k more civiliMcl 
thaa any of the other trfbee feuod hi tho novtheni dfabatc^ 
by the BtiropeaAS'Of the Iclth century* They fadwbilid towns 
finmded on the banks of the M iantslpi 5 and the fortificattoao 
which now excite the astonishment of travellers il^cffe Mk* 
afnictod by Uieift la order to defhnd tbemselvea ogaTiist die 
LisMii^LeiHipee (Delffwam)> who catM frt>l» the tmt^ aiul 
were allied «t that period with Ihe ifengwis (Iroq«ois>. It 
may be sojppoaed that tbio tafoakm tff a barbarous people 
ckanged tie politieal and oforal state of flkise OMuitHes/ 
The AHcgfaeiHa were Tanquiehed by the Leaai*Iieni4iies> after 
»ymg wtfwggki. ki their tight towardii thii B&mh, ih^y 
gathered Segetiiefr tho hones of thehr reform kt septfinte 
ikmuli; they descended the Mtosisiipi, and #lMit beoaime of 
then»ia not koown.^ (Tram, of ihe HtBierieat ComiiUitee of 
ihe Amer. PMoi. S<id&t^, Vctf. i, p. 30.) Th^ tiMtraditiolfs 
of nen are attafhed arbitraiily eiidugh to stidi aikl sack 
loealities^ because every natioh is intek-ested m its own vici- 
nity ; but the lines of fortifieatiods of a proi^gious tengtb, 
oboorved by Gapiahi Lewis on the baaksof die Missouri^ 
opposite the Isle of Bonhomme^ {TrmeU, p. 48) and on the 
river Plata, sufficiently prove thai the andent hobitatfon of 
the Alligbewis, that powerfid peojile Which I am kiclined to 
regard as being of Tolteqae or Azteqoe race> extended fat to 
the West of the MisstS6ipi> towards the foot of the Ro^ky 
Mountains. M. Nuttal, in going iq> ihe Arkansa to Cadres, 
was ioformed of the eadstence of an ancient entrenchment^ 
resembling a trkmgular lort. The Arknnsss assert that it is 
the work of a mkUe and civilized people; whom, when Ih^y 
arrived hi this country, their ancestors fought, and van* 
quisked^ not by force bnt cunning. They attribute also to a 
more ancient and polished people than theniselves^ the tto- 
nnnsfnts of rongh stones heiqied up c^ the svmniit of the' 

kills. Other monuments not I«b curious, arc the comnio' 
Uioua roada of immense length, which the natives have traceil 
from time immemorial, and which lead from Uie boDka of 
the Arkansa, near Littlerock, to Saint-Louia on the ri^t, 
and by the settlement of Mont Prairie ns far as Nachilocbes> 
on the left. ^Journal ofTraveli in the Arkania terntory, 
1821, p. 20.) 

Do the characteristic features of colossal stature, and ui^e 
colour, attributed to nations now destroyed, owe their origin 
to the ideas of power and physical force in general, to the 
feeling of the intellectual preponderance of the Europeans, 
or are those features linked with the fables of white men, 
legislators, and priests, which we find among the MexicaaSt 
the inhabitantg of New-Grenada, and m many other Ame- 
rican natioDB ? The skeletons contained in the tmmmH, of the 
trnni nllfghnmnn country, belong, for the moat port, to a 
Btonted r»ce of men, of lower stature than the Indians of 
Canada and (he Miwouri. {Ar^aolof^ Jwtoioma, Vol. i, 
p. 300.) The bodiei found on the bonks of the Merrimack., 
have even renewed in some authors, the &ble of the pygmies. 
(Jtforte, Modem Gtograpky, 18S2. p. Sll.) 

An idol discoTHed at Natcbez {Ardt^nl. Vol. i, p. S1&. 
Awudt* det Vm/aga, Vol. xiz, p. 46, tiS), has been justly 
compered by M.Malte-Bmn, to the images of cetettia/sptrrft, 
found by FvUat among the Moogul uations. If the titties 
who Inhabit the towns on the bonks of the Misdssipi, issaed 
from die some country of Astlan, it must be admitted that 
the Toltcqnes, the Chichimeques and the Asteqnee, frosa the 
inspection of their idols, end their essays in scnlptnre, were 
much leas advanced in the arts than the Meucon tribes, who, 
without deriating towards the east, hare followed the great 
path of the nationi of the New World, directed from north 
to south, from the banks of the GUa towards the lake of Nlaa< 
ragua. Jo the narrative of the voyage of Mr. Eversman to 
itokbara, we find a striking description of a mountain nude 


bj the faaods of man (cerro kecho a numo), half a league ia 
circumference^ situated in the middle of the town^ and serv- 
ingfortbe baseof the palace of the Chan. This artifidaL hillj 
called JerkfTueB in the Biiddle of a plain, and strikes die eye 
of the traveller from afitf $ it is decorated with brides and 
day. I have ofiten in my worics dwelt on the analogy be- 
tween the M^can UocaUu, and the pyramid of fidus, and 
other edifices with stories or steps, of western Asia* We find 
in the ^erk of tke Chan of Bokhara, the same mixture of 
bricks and day spread in layers, that characterizes the cdn*^ 
struction of the pyramid of CbolnUu 

It is probable enough that the invasion of the Lenhi- 
Lena p es, and the destructkm of. the power of the Alhghewls; 
were connected with the migration of the Caribs. Without 
warranting their northern origin, and Adr passage from 
florida to the Lncayan idands, I shall collect at the eUd of 
this note, the result of my researches on that important asao-^ 
ciation of nations, so long calumniated by travellers. The 
Caribs of the continent, whose country still extends from, 
the coast of the province of Nueva-Barcdona (MtMtoiiet de 
Firitu)^ along the i>anks of the Carony, the.Essequibo, the, 
Cuyunl^and the Rio Branoo, as fiair as the equator, call 
themselves Carina. . The Ottomaques call them Cofiptiia;. 
the Maypures, Corona. This is nearly the word CalUpinam 
(in confounding the I and r,) of the language of the women 
in the Carib Islands. (See above. Vol. iii, p^ 284. Gili, 
Vol. i, p. XXXV) Vol. iii, p. 107.) The Caribs of the West 
Indies divide thdr nation into inhabitants of the isles, or 
OubaO'honon, and inhabitants of the continent, or Balaue^ 
honxm. (He. o«6ao; habitation,, tca^anam, or icabaiotKm;' 
continent, haloue.) Rockefarty HisL desJntillet, p. 326, S6&^ 
Bretorij Dkt. Caribe, p. 32. Tlie following are the names- 
of the islands in the Carib tongue : Antigua, OuaU ; Saint 
Bartholomew, Ouaralao; Saint-Martin> Oualacki ; Saint-. 
Croix, Amonkana, Ayay, or Hay-hay ; (Fetr. Mart^ Ocean^ 

p> fi4) ; Augvilla) MaliMtana ; DotningD, (hutilouconboiih ; 
Bnrbadoes, Oaakomoiu ; MorigaUntc, <4kAt,- Saint-Cbristo- 
pfacr, Lkonaigana ; Gnailaloiipe, Calaneaatfa, (of which Pe- 
tnu Martyr Oc, Lib. is, fol. tI3,hn8 made Carai/ueiTaJ ; the 
Cape land only Baiaorcone ; the ]uw-lnnd only KaerehoM ; 
Portorico, or Snn Juan, Boniken or '^ufroumioin. i have 
collected these namea btcause the knowledge of tttem be- 
come* iiiilispensahic to those nfao would study the goo- 
graphy of America at the beginning of the ISth century. I 
atwll add Boim other munes of islands, which, however, ato 
not Carib : Guadaloupc, Gwiama. ( Qitmara, Hut. foL xxiii) ; 
Saint Domingo, ' or Isla Bspa^ioln, Haiti and ^uitqu^a. 
The first of these onmes signifies, in the laOgnnge of the 
country, asperity, ot laouataiamm pbot: ; tb« teeoai, ■Great 
ImH. (Somora, fbl.ivi);; Cnba. or yttmaadjl > Juuksr, 
tK/Utagt ; TtidUad, OM. The appmimwK al tbc Carifcs 
iswtry wtien ttM aau, Laet deswibad ttaMBoftfa* haaks 
«f the MiirWfna (HaMBy), twe tinndred yMMq;«y sxaetly 
ifl-foondUrcCwtbi*; the Uums- af . Ctrl. "UHressmt 
piwim et obeW cdrpftfc,- oqiitiis la eriKm dcrtooals, instar 
MitaMB BHGctdotlifis tit enten rHbr« colore tioctf; vAnI 
■patkaH puffliCBk) qoohm tinw«r fMtaiuntateM dw»» Imgo, 
MifeM, Midi : tceMnx pdMla tunc corpore." (i>a«r^. e/ 
A« ^Mt AUMf, p. M7. See also Areit^l. Jmtrieaita, 
Vtltiip. MK--408.) The g^dgrMfftiaa deMMliMdotU Df 
Catibma, CatMi add Cdfiori Merit sonM'tffrest^atKto. The 
^p& of OrMM, <£Ulp6 of emoc^ for tA-u ri^Wei cuoe, 
r^. JM'<i/f. p. K! 0.), into wh)eh the g#eat Rw Atratotbrtnra 
HMStf, (Rio ««n him or Hio Shbelbn), did boi be*r a? 
flMWof tbe guljrii (rf DHrieir in the letb eentul?. A pM>- 
irfiM ^tdatcid b«t«nd the mottth of tWe Klo fflns (Zemt). 
ilMI &at ttf fltc Atrato, waa then called Carihana. Gonnrs 
(IKtr. <fe Ia« rni&w, 16iS3, fbl. 80) HAmM Ae followiBg [dacea 
fratfieast to wiMt: " CrmbaMa, Zena, Car^agaul, Zaptiay 
SnMtf Afarfn."' The cApe (hat boooda the gtilph tf DoricB' 


bA the etst, still bears the tmneciPfkniaCarlbana^m I havd 
already mentioned in Ike text. Id speaking of Akmao de 
0$eda> Gomara saysy '^ SaKb a tierm en CoribBaa (solar de 
Cariben eomo algnnos qdieren) cpM esta a M entnala del golfo 
deUraba. DdgolfodaUndm clK!ttaife70 kq^oailiastaCar'^ 
tagena* OtrogoUaeotaennsediadelHIaZentiyGaribaande 
donde se nombran los Caribes.'* (L. e.y fel. ia et xmk,) SW* 
ther eastward, tbe CaramarlBa Indkun (€siimBianri)> ibbabllnits 
of the coast wbefe the |x>rt of Carthagena is aaw ntdaled, be* 
Itevcdalao thai they were ef Carib origfaf . (PeA*. Mdrti Ok. p. 
M, Bfir. Det. I, p. 17».) Heiera^ generally T^ry eaaet ih his 
geographical hifbraiatloBy calls a bay oir the estsfeni tealt of 
Versgua, Cmtikmtd, a chtuBStance the asore fitted to lia al^ 
leation, as the nations temned Caribs of Urabo^ ptaoed tlfeif 
first dwellings baytond Urn BioDaHen or Atratd. '' Iteeian 
loS^lndiosde estaiegimi quahaTia tldotfanatttiale^paaado 
el Gran Rio de Dariett/* (Dec. 1, p. MSt.) Bat the anost 
Imcienf name of the bay of €aiibac6> between Gartago and 
the Laguna Chiriqa&y is Garavaro^ or C6robairo. {Gimtatd 
Hut., foL viit. Her; Deier., p. 39« Lmt^ p^ »46.) There ex* 
isted no donbt to the wesl^ anthropophagie nations, who, 
88 Christopher Columbtfs has said (in the Lettera taf'w* 
nma del 7 di Jmtiio UOH) " OBangianrank) vomiai eomo 
noi mangiaario oltre aniimali." Garfari ot .Oariai> whieh 
I erroneoosly eonfoonded (to1« ^, p, 606) tvlth Carlbana, 
was ritoated at tbe south of cape Gracias a Dios and the 
isle of Qniribiri^ probably near the mouth of the Rio San 
Jnan» which is the imagvMer^ oi the lalce of Nicar%oa> 
and one of the most important points for the projected coaa* 
nroaication between the two seas* It was at Cariai Ihal 
Colnmbua, by an illusion of his ardent imagLoation^ thought 
be heard mentilm made ctf Chiniaj (CatayX and the filler 
Ganges. The inhabitants were net of Cai^b race^ but retj 
nild^ and g^ven to commerce. Columbus speaks ill of the 
Mimett only of this country^ Whom lie calls liceBtioos ao* 

chantrcsscs. " Quando aggiouBi, (he writes to the king and 
queen of Castile,) tncontinente lUJ manilBrono dnc fanciutle 
ornate di riehi vostimenti : la piii di tempo non saria tti etS 
di anni undici, I'altra di sette ; tutte due cod tanta [>ratica con 
tante atti et tooto vedere che earia bastato, ae fossera atate 
puttone publichc vinti anni. Portovanocon esucloro polnrre 
di incantamenti ealtre coaedellaloroarte." Tbe admiral re- 
sisted all these arts of seduction, and hastened to send the young 
girls on shore. (Lei/ernror., p.0.2&. Peir. Martyr. Oc, p. S3. 
A- Ber. Dte. I, p. 132.) The same of Cariari appenrs a se- 
cond time in the north-east part of South America. Goma- 
ra, in describing the coust from west to cast, adds, " Da 
Sant Roman al golfo triste (entre Punta Tucacas et Portocft- 
bclo) ay &Q leguas en que cac Curuuui (Cora d pai« de las 
Curiaiufi, Per. Nar. vol. iii. p. 626.) Del goUb triste al 
golfa dt Cariari ai 100 Ic^ai de costa, pnesta tn 10 gradcM 
y qw tiene a puoto de Canafistola Cbiribichi j EUa de Cu- 
mana, y punta de Araia." {fiitt. de lat Indim, toL Tui.) 
Fran this ancient PortttUm it results, tkat, if the golfb di 
Cariari b not identical with the gulph of Cariacoyit ia bat at 
a small distance. Is this repetition of the same geograpbi- 
caL denominations on tbe coast of Veragna, and that of Co- 
mana, connected with the ancient migrations of tbi tiatiom 
of Carib race ? What I stated in the text, of the knowledge 
the-Caribs of Uraba had of bien^lyphic pwintingsj is fbnnd- 
ed'oB the following passage ; " Legnm peritna dictos Cor- 
raler, Darieniium (FatcracsB et Caribana) prator urbantia, 
inqnit se occurrisie cuidam fngitivo ex intemii occidentali- 
bna magnis tcrris qui ad regulnm r^Mrtum a se profhgerat. 
Is l^ientem cemens pnetorem insilivit admirrimndns atque 
{wrinterpretis, qui regali hospitis sni linguam callebaht : 
m quid et Tos libroa babetis, en et tob chanicteris quibua 
mbsentes voa intelligat asaequimini ? Oravit una ut apertns 
sibi libellus ostenderetur, pntans se litersa patriaa Tiaunun; 
'Oissimiles reperit eaa ease." {Pelr. Mori. Oc, p. 66. D.) 


Among the Canimares also, who call themacHves of Carib race^ 
we fiad some traces of fiireign caltivatioiu " Ajdiitecti perer* 
rantes a littore parumper in ff usto candidi marmoria ae inci-* 
disse dixenmt. Putant peregrioos ad eaa terras Tetiisse 
quondam qui marmora e montibiis aliquando .sdnderent et 
putamina ilia in piano reliquerint" In a country almost 
entirely destitute of historical tradiUons, we fed asi in* 
terest in a period anterior to the barbarism in which the 
Europeans found the hot regions of America, on the east of 
the Andes. These nations of Cauchieto, near Coro or Cu* 
nana, of Caramairi (near Cathageaa), Caribana and Cariari> 
were rich in gold that came from the inland monntaioa* 
A part of this goU. was mixed with { of silver^ Itwaffthe 
electrumoftheaodents, the native aurifisrooa sUver, ora»; 
the (knquiitadorei, called it, from a word of the language of 
Haiti, gvmm. (Petr. Mori. Oc.', p. 22.) In this, passage 
quanini or rither. ntm, for qua is a ibrm affisted, is falsety 
translated by aurichalcum.) Herera, in his Decades, (i«.p» 
79), gives the name of ^voniiies to all sorts of necklaces made 
of gold of mean allDy. (See the words of the Haitian 
tongue that have not been collected by Gili, vol. ill. p. 224, 
in Petr. Mart. p. 59, 6i.) In my sketch of the Carib .na<« 
tions I have not spoken of Uiis custom attributed to the men, 
of stretching themselves on a hammock, and undeigoing a 
long fast, after the delivery of their wives. It appears that this 
strange practice belonged to a small number of Carib tribes, 
and was more common among the other natioqs of the 
Oroonoko and the Amazon. {Garda, p. 172. Soutkey, vol. i. 
p. 642). lliis custom was found heretofore among the 
Iberians, the Corsicans, and the Tibareni. (Apollan. Rkod. 
Argonaut., Lib. 2, v. 1009-1014.) . Ip several provinces 
also of the south of France, hu8band9/atM>ienf couvade at the 
birth of a child. The tall stature of the Caribs of the con- 
tinent sufficiently confirms their northern origin 3 the first 
travellers were struck by the extraordinary height of the na- 


tUc8 of norlda. Luis VdasqiKz tie AyUoafbund in liu ei- 
palitian (13^0), on the coast of Chiconi nod at tlie muutb uf 
Rio Jordan (between Sikvannah nad Cliarlcstowa, in soiKli 
Carolinny.nmccuf liuliiuia as tall na the Caribe, but witb 
long hair, " I'or aqella casta arrtba hombrcs liai vau'i ultoa y 
qoe parecjim gigantea." (Gomara, fol. 22. lierera, Dec ii, 
p. SoO. Ltel., p. 96.) The irarcllers of the 16th cen- 
tury, wlio, like inodern travellers, bad the nigc of ex- 
plaining every thiag, believed that the Indians of Cbicora 
softened their bones by taking the juice of herbs, and length- 
ened their menibcra by stretching them out from time to 
time. With respect to tlie Asiatic origin (Anun^enne) of 
tlie Carlbe, we shall only ntcntion further the I'benicion and 
Raman money, which it ie asserted has been found in the 
UnU«d-SMei { It «m pretended that this moa^ wh of tho 
>cd OMitory, an4 had been diicovered in ■ csven mew Nuh- 
^&o; ibat it it now known (jfreh^obgia, nil. !• p- 110.) 
thpt they>«cn bwiad there ekber to deceive, oraccUsotoUy, 
iRltk SogtMhnon^, byEupoptan platen. TheiCarthsgia- 
iianisnciy of IjoiuBiHia i« fit to bepUoed by the pretendad 
UscriptJona of Dightw, found in the bay of Naraugaaet, and 
OB nhioh C«uat de Gebelio has fbundol such ahanrd l^po- 
thests. (fietBofihe Corditltft, «61. i. p. 60.) la it very 
•ertate tfaat4he fine shell, toehee long and 7 haoad, dis- 
covered in a iMNtrliM near Gmcjnnati, is identical with the 
CtMis eomntas of the ardiipelago of the AsiadG iilMtds ) 
{Lntf* fitperi. T<d.i. p. 04). 



In order to faejUMe ih^ ooiniMUEiftNi of the late political 
associtttioBsiomMil-OM^he new eo atine n t, mi^ tbe ancient 
states of Eprope^ I shall here giTC « dustdh of the surfaces, 
and their popnlafion. The different eountries are ranged ac- 
cording to their eztenii which is the least variahle statistical 
element* JSvery member has been the object Xf£ a particu- 
lar discussion^ and I ha^e considted every statistical work to 
which I could find access. When the estimates of the 
€irea differed considerably^ 1 calcidated anew the surfiices ac- 
cording to the bast maps. The area of the Iberian penin- 
sula^ for iiistance, is estimated at 18^166 sqiiare*leagues, and 
not, as M, AntiHoB asserts, at 18»44S ; Spain, whidi was 
heretofore believed to contain 16,007, or 16jM3 square 
leagues, has only 15,0M. {Frmoipws de G€Q§rafia, <p. 186. 
Elenwntos de la Qeofpr. de Espana, ISlft, p. 141,143.) For 
the area of Portogal (9,160 square leagues), I have foUowed 
*the t.*alculation of colonel FranziDi {Balbi, Euai MtaUst, sur 
le Portugal, Tom. i. p. ^)* The popuktion in my sketch 
is chiefly applicable to the years 182a and 18M. That of 
France is founded on the enumeration of 1820, published t>y 
M. Ck)quebert de Montbret, and eompMhending .the army. 
The population of England b conformable to the enumera* 
tion of 1821. (See Rickman, Enumeraiion of Parish Regis- 
ters, 1823, p. 88 and 8&). For the population, and the area 
of Egypt, I am indebted to the unpublished researches of 
' M, Jomard. 


Square H.- 


rine Lafu", 



Ameru^a, from Cape Horn as for m the pa- 

rallel of Melville'8 Sound, end Cape Borrow 



iuarine league, 29. 



Population, 64 millioiiB. By the square 

league, 87. 

(Half-surface of the Moon, 014,768 squuic 


North Akebica, from the south-east extremity 

of the Isthmus of Panama, to Gb' of north 

lat. (the continental part only, without the 

West India islands 


Population, 19,«60,000. By the square 

league, 32. 

South Amkhica, on the south of the isthmus of 

Panama, without the West India islands 


league, 21.' 

Asiatic Rusbia, takiog Kara, and the moua- 

tains Oural and Jaik for the western boun- 



Population, 2 millions. By the square 

Chinese Empire, comprehending the new west- 

era possessions of Taschkent, Kokan, aiid 



Population, 17S millions. By theequare 

league, 377. 





Spanish AMSRiCAy compfeheoding the laLmda 
PopnlatioD, 16,786,000. By the square 
league, 46. 

BuRoPE, as feur as the Oural 

Popidation, 106 millions. By the square 
league, 630. 

PoRTuouESB America, (Brazil) 

Population, 4 millioES. By the square 
lei^e, 16, 
ENtfLiSH Possessions in North America, of 
which the countries altogether savage, La- 
brador, and New North and South Wales) 
form I or 157,000 square marine leagues ... 
Population, 62,000, without the inde- 
pendent Indians. 
United States, from the coast of the Atlantic 

to that of the Pacific Ocean 

Population, 10,920,000. By the square 
league, 68. 
European Russia, as ftur as Oural, (compre- 
hending Poland and Finland) 

Population, 62 millions. By the square 
league, 346. 

China, properly so called 

Population, 160 millions. By the square 
league, 1172. 


Population, 2,300,000. By the square 
league, 18. 

Indian Peninsula, (Hindostan) 

Of which British India (with the protected 

vol.. VI. z 

lins Uei^^iifit, 
90 toadsgree. 











countries) 00,100 B([uare leagues. I'opu- 
lation, 73 millioDs. Indepenilcnt India, 
19,000 square leagues. Population, 2tt 

Total Popalatioii, 101 loilliona. By 
tlie square U'aguc, 025. 

ITrrtTBD States, west of the Mississipi 

Popidatlsn, 816,000 ; with the lailiane, 
378,000. By tlic square league, 4. 

New Spai-wvith GuATiMALrt. 

Population, 8,400,000. By the square 
leagtie, Ofi. 
Columbia, (ancient vice-royalty of New Gre- 
nada, with the Capitania -general of Caraccos) 
Population, 2,78S,O00. By the square 
league, 30. 

United States, east of llie Miaaissipi 

Population, 9,404,000. By the square 
league, 121. 

New Grenada (with Quito) 

Population, 3 millians. By the square 
league, 34. 

British EMpiitG in I\dia 

Population, 73niillionB. % the square 

league, 810. 

a Possessions of the Company (the three 

Presidencies with tbc provinces newly 

conquered). *4rco,4P,200 square leagues. 

Population, 55J millions. By the square 

kague, 1128. 

C Countries ptaoed uiuler the proteclion 

of the Company (Nizam, Rajah of 



Square BIa- 


rine Leagues, 


20 to a degree. 

Mysore^ TOade, of Nagpoor, &c.) j^rea^ 

40,900. Population, 17) minions. By 

the square league, 428. 



Population, 1,400,000. By the square 

league, 34. 

Sweden and Norway 


Population^ 8,Md,000. By the square 

league, 90. 

Venezuela, (the ancient Capitania-general) ... 


Population, 785,000. By the square 

league, 23. 


The 15 Atlantic States of the United 

States OF America 


Between the extreme limits of Georgia and 

the Maine, consequently without the Flori- 

Population, 7,421,000. By the square 

league, 240. 

Austrian Monarchy 


Population, 20 millions. By the square 

league, 1324. 



Population, 30} millions. By the square 

league, 1432. 

Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal) 


Population, 1 4,619,000. By the square 

league, 805. 

France with Corsica 


Population, 30,616,000. By the square 

league, 1790. 

z 2 


Square Mn- 


rine Lcapips. 


iO ton <ii-K™c- 



Population, 11,446,000. By thesquarc 

league, 703. 



Population, 1,100,000. By the square 

league, "JC. 



Population, 20,160,000. By the square 

IcfigUL-, 1967. 

British Islwds 


Population, 21,200,000. By [he squ.ire 

league, 2120. 

« England with the principality of Wales. 

^rea, 4(M0 square leagues. Population, 

12,218,500. By the square lea^c, 2524. 

C Scotland with its Isles, ^rea, 2470 

square leagues. Population, 2,136,300. 

By the square league, 864, 

y Ireland, ^rea, 2000 square leagues. 

league, 2645, 

PRUBBIAN Monarchy 


Population, 1 1,603,000. By the square 

league, 1311. 

Ahchipklaoo OF THE West Indies 


Population, 2J millions. Hy the square 

league, 301. 

State of Viboinu 


Population, 1,005,000. By the square 

league, 1B7. 

Province of Caraccas, (with Coro) 






Population, 420,000. By the square 
league, 40. 


Population, 1 2,218,600. By the square 
league, 2524. 

State OF Penstltania 

Population, 1,049,600. By the square 
league, 260. 

Intbndancb of Mexico 

Population, 1,770,000. By the square 
league, 466« 

Portugal , 

Population, 8,173,000. By the square 
league, 1007. 

Sw ITZERLAKU . . . .' 

Population, 1,940,000. By the square 
league, 1175. 


Comprehending under that name the coun- 
try only that receives or has received the 
waters of the Nile. The space between 
the Red Sea and theLybian Oasis, compre- 
hends 11^000 square marine leagues, but 
^ form only a desart. 

Population, 2,489,000. By the square 
league, 1777 (in the cultivated part 

Galicia ...., 

Population, 1,400,000. By the square 
league, 1053. 
Kingdom of Aragox 

Square Ma- 
rin e Leagn e'l, 
20 to a degree. 










Square Mi- 


rinc Leaguei, 



league, S37. 

HoLLANn (the ancient Republic) 


PopulutioD, 2,100,000. hj the square 

league, 1330. 

Population, 1,200,000. By the equare 

league, 1874. 

Dbpabtmbst of theChahbntk 


Population, 347,000. By the square 

league, 1665. 

This department ami that of ihe Meurthe, 

furaJBh at the same time the mean extent, 

and population of a department of France. 

The estimate of the whole area of America is founded on 
the following calculation ; 1 found in tracing the triangles 
by maps on a great scale :— 
I- South America, without comprehending s,. uagou. 

the Isthmus of Panama 571,290 

Columbia (without Veragua, 

and without the Isthmus) 69,344 
Peru, Chili, and Buenos 

Ayres, together 182,430 

• Brazil 256.990 

English, Dutch, and French 

Guyana 1 1,320 

Patagonian lands, south of 

the Rio Negro 81,206 



Sq. Lea. 

II. Isthmus of Fanaina^ and province of Ve- 

ragua 2^600 

III. Guatimala and New Spain together 02^570 

IV. The almost desert comitry which is not 

comprehended in the territory hitherto 
claimed by the government of the Unii- 
- ed States^ and that of New Spain, 
namely, 1° on the west of Bio del Norle, 
between New Mesuco, Sonora, and New 
California, from 35o to 42« of north la- 
titude, from the port of Sao Francisco 
as far as cape San Sebastian j a surface 
of 41,102 square leagues, washed by 
the Rio Colorado : 2^,on the east of the 
Rio del Norte, between New Mexico, the 
intendancies of Durango, and San Luis 
Potosi, the territory of the Arkansas, 
and the state of Missouri 3 a surface of 
20,320 square leagues 61, 4»2 

V. Territory of the United States 174 ,300 

VI. The whole space between the northern 

boundary of the United-States, and the 
parallel of 08**, which passes, according 
to the recent discoveries of Captain 
Franklin, on the south of the Archipe- 
lago of the Duke of York, by the capes 
Mackenzie, Barrow and Croker. That 
immense territory comprehends the Eng- 
lish possessions, Labrador, the country 
of the Chipeways and Russian America, 
(excluding Greenland, West Main, be- 
yond the parallel of 680, and Cumber- 
land Island 270,385 

VII. Insulary America, according to the calcu* 



lations of M. Lindenau and the maps of 
the Deposito hidrogra&co of Madrid 
{Zaeh't Monatl. Cfnraji., 1B17 , Dec. ). . , 8,303 

Total 1,186.930 

It reiiilts from these statements ; 

NoTth jlmerica, on the north of the aoutt- 
east extremity of the isthmus of Pana- 
ma, contains 607,387 

Archipelago of the West India 8,303 

Population, 2,473,000. 

South America, on the south of the sonth- 
eait extremityofthelsthmiuofPamuna &71,2tM> 

Population, 12,161,000. 

If we compare these oumbers with thoie 
furniBhed by the most esteemed and re> 
cent statistical works, we shall Bnd, in 

. redncing the English miles and geogra- 
phical leagues uniformly to square ma- 
rine leagues, of SO to a degree, the 
total ana of America with Greenlaad, 
to be, according to Mr. Morse, (_j4 
m«tD st/gtem of Geography, 1822, p, 61,) 
1,1(14,800 square leagues ; according to 
M. Balbl (Compmdio 4> Geogrq/ta vni- 
teraale, 1819, p. 308), 1,327,000 square 
leagues, America, nearly as far as the 
parallel 68>, according to M. Hassel 
( Gatpari, Hostel, und Cannabrith, Vollst' 
Erilbcschreibung, 1822, B. 16), of 
) ,072,026 square leagues; namely: 


North AmerkiBi 639,453 

Insulanj 8^018 

South 524,656 

Mr. Hasael having publisked the detail of these ca)cuhi- 
tioDSj it is easy to recognize the continental parts, which in 
his estimations differ considerably from mine, made with a 
more complete knowledge of the limits, and With maps jrec- 
Xified by a great number of astronomical observations. In 
North America, a space of 6I9OOO square leagues, between 
the parallels of 36^ and 42^, has been forgotten in the ac« 
count, as is not idiherto comprehended im the territory of 
Mexico and the United States. In South America, the area 
of Buenos Ayres, Peru, and Brazil have been estimated 
d2,000+3,000-f T7,000=:I12,000 square leagues too Uttle ; 
and the area of Columbia and Chili 58,000+5,000 =: 83,000 
too great. Mr. Hassel by applying these corrections, would 
find for North America, 801,000 square leagues -, for South 
America, 573,000, and for the whole New Continent with 
the West Indies, nearly as I have done, 1,182,000 square 
leagues, 20 to a degree. 

The division of the Spanish colonies, or to speak with 
more precision, of the countries inhabited and governed by 
the Spanish Americans, north and south of the equator, is as 
follows : 

On the continent of North America, comprehending the 

Isthmus of Panama, square leagues : 95,170 

Population, 8,480,000. 

In the Archipelago of the West Indies 4,430 

Population, 800,000. 

On the continent of South America 271 ,780 

Population, 7,505,000. 



lliose three groups yield allogcthcr, ii popuUUon of 
lU,78ft.00O. {Si-rr above, p. 127 .iml 142.) 

The eurfuie of Indostun, aod its politicnl divUioits, hKv« 
been eaU-ulatoil with the greatest core by M. Mutfateu, and 
myself, from n ma|i bearing tlie title ; " New improptd fiutp 
of India, l»2-2, fcj dlltn, Kinfisbury, <ind PaTbiiry ." We 
fband 100,190 squart; mnrinc leagues, or l,3l)7,tUO squiu-e 
English miles, in assigning the following limits to the pe- 
nimiula of India : the moulli of the Indus and its course as 
ftr lu aS" ao' of lat. Bl the N . W. of Cashemerc ; the chain 
of the Himalaya nearest the Inlie Maiia9oro\'ar, to the rlrer 
Tletali ; the Bomnipnuter at 9Q» of long:itiide j the sea of 
Bengal, south of the isle of Masenl, and east of the river 
Sankar. 1 am surprised lliiit Mr. I-Inniillon murks fur thu 
whole peninsula 1,020,000 square English miles, or BS,12» 
square marine leagues, an estimation one fifth too little. Tlie 
statements of Playfair, which I baie fuUoweil in my work 
on Mexico, and of MM. BulLi, Tenipelraan, and Hosacl, 
(103,827 square leagues, 25 to a degree; 82,500 iHiuare 
geogrnphical leagues ; 00,750 stpinre geographical leagues i 
73,460 square geographical leagues), approach nearly thr 
reaalt on which I have fixed. 

The folluwing are my partial statements according to 
Allen's map : lat. English territory, tlie Presidencies, 4«,a21 
siiunre marine leagues; 2nd. the country in Ihe ()e|K'ndannes 
of the Company (tributary, sultsidinry, and protected states) 
Rajah of Mysore, 2,CUJ square leagues, The Nienm, 8,12(1; 
Kftjah of Noffpoor, 6,931; Holkar, 1,002 j Oude, 2,05-2; 
Qykwnr, 3,41Ui Rajpoots, 8,482 ; Sciks, 1,300; chiefs of 
Buddelkund, 1,220; Bopaul, 494 : Sitarra, 1,185; Trovea- 
GOre, 658 ; Siudin, 2,308 ; altogether 40,<)0tl square leagues. 
3cd. Independent states : Lahore and Seizo, 10,935. Stnde, 
3,643) Nepal, 4,335; Goa, I'ondichcrry, Chandernagor, 
Mtriie, Tranqiicbar, Palicotc, &c., 153: together, l£i,0(kj 
square leagues. Total, IIIO.IM square leagues. 


The population of £iiglaiul» acoording to the enumeration 
of 1377> was S,300>000. The ciljr of London then con- 
tained only 35,000. (Lowe, Pir€$ent State of EngUmd, 
Ap. p. 3). The foUowuig is, according to Mr. Cleveland, 
the increase of the population of Great Britain within twenty- 
years : in 1801, the population amoOBted to 104>43,642 ; in 
1811, to 12,500,803; and in 1821, to 14,358,800. In 
estimating the popxdation of the Russian empire with Poland, 
at 54 millions, 1 reckoned 2 millions (or the Asiatic part 
only. Official statements (Petersbvger Zeitschrift, June, 
1623, p. 204), gire 1,006,105 to Siberia $ namely, Tobolsk!, 
572,4713 Tomsk^ 340,000; Jeniseisk, 135,000; Irkutsk, 
400,500 i Jakutsk, 147,015 ; Ochotsk, 6,703, and Kamt- 
achatka, 4,506 5 I add lor the parts situated on the east of the 
Oural Mountains, that is, for | of the government of Perm, 
\ of the government of Orembourg, and the Kirgises, 
1,606,195 inhabitants ; Siberia, properly so called, 450,000 

According to the great imperial geographical map of China, 
the number of taxable persons amounted in 1700, to 143 
millions. M. de Klaproth, thmks that 700,000 may be 
added for the army, and the persons exempted from tax- 
ation 5 80 that China, properly so called, probably contains 
150 millions. For Tartary, 6 millions may be reckoned 
(with the exception of Hiibet and Cor^.) 

Note C. 

Whatever relates to the remains of the native population 
having a great interest fur the friends of humanity, I shall 
here mark : Ist, the state of the missions of the fathers of 
the Observance of Saint Francis^ in the province of BarcelonB| 
missions that are vulgarly called of Piritu, and dependant on 
the college of the Purissima Concepcion de Propaganda Fide 
at Nueva Barcelona 5 (See above. Vol. vi, p. 8, &c.) 2d. The 


state of the miiaions of the Oroouokn, ibe Cossiqaiarc, tUe 
Rio Kegro, an(f the Atabapo, in the province of Guyana, 
(Vol. IT, p: 457, &c.), alike governed by the brothert \>j iht 
OhtfTvaitce of the college of Nueva Ibrcelona : 3d, the state 
of the misBtons of Carony, east of Angostura, in the pro- 
vince of Guyana, confided to the Catuloninn Capuchins. 
(Vol. V, p. 70.) 

1° Siaie of the Mitiiont of Pirit 
Bnrcfhna ii 

I lie province of JVuetxi 

■ula DooHiin d« Ouimaik ^e A 
tu JiiuCB^[nno d* Pumey. 

- ■- !(d«eiii«Bo«i(ht.(D.) 

Jien Ap.y Einuigiliiu, (p 
!Dii Fonr dc Cu>». (M.: 

liDHW Api>lUB.d.UgaBnr. 1 
uUul*diAriT<.(Mj - 

Mra it BcHlwIa III la Cand 
,iiiiCblipa1cAhTi.(UJ - 

tan dc li Margulia [M.) '- 


This state of the population of 1709, was commonicated 
to me, at Nueva Barcelona, by the president of the missions 
of Piritu« Among 24,778 inhabitants there are only about 
1,500 whites (Etpanoles) and mulattoes : all the rest of the 
population is of pure Indian race. An enumeration of 1792, 
believed to be more exact, yielded in 16 pueblos dt ndigion : 

2,196 Indian families, or 8,284 

247 whites, and free mulatto families, or ... 1,351 

DUpersos (insulated without the villages) 2,643 


In 1 6 pueblos of doctrina : 

4,944 Indian families, or 17,967 

51 white and mulatto families, or 246 

Dispersos 40 


Consequently, in all the villages subject to the government 
of the Observantin monks in the province of Nueva Bar- 
celona : 

Indians . 26,251 . 

Espaiioles 1,597 

Dispersos 2,583 

Total , 30,431 

Must we conclude from the comparison of the states of 
1792, and 1799, that the Indian population of the province 
has diminished, or does not the difference proceed from the 
negligence of the last enumeration and the exclusion of the 
dispersos f 

2o State of the Missions of the OroonokOf the Cassiquiare and 
the Bio NegrOf in the province of Spanish Guyana, 

in 1796. 
SanFelipc 52 

San Miguel 102 

SanBaltasar 80 

Esmeralda 92 

Smita Barbara 94 

San Fernando 236 

Maypurcs 48 

Carichana : 100 

CaHo de Tortuga 117 

Uruana 5tlS 

Encaramadft 412 

Cuchivero 320 

CiudadReal 408 

Gnaciparo 98 

"' Uruunn ., 100 

' Gaaraguamyco 133 

" Aripao 84 

San Pedro Alcantara 22G 

LaPiedra 103 

Platanar 356 

Real Corona 609 

Tapaquire 429 

Boibon 343 

Cerro del Morro 150 

Orocopiche 558 

Buenavista 230 

Atures . 47 

San Carlos 272 

San FnuidKo Solano 442 

Tomo 165 

Tuamini 119 

Quimbuena 00 

Maroa 79 

Vacira 07 



3<> Afissiom of Carony in Spanish Guyana, in 1797. 


Cupapui 872 

Santa Rosa de Cura 036 

Santa Clara deYaruapana 228 

Aycaba 178 

San Pedro de las Bocas de Parana 660 

Santa Blagdalena de Currucay 200 

San Serafin de Abaratayme 27d 

Miamo 287 

Cmnamo ; 6t2 

Villa del Barceloaeta 414 

Pueblo de los Dolores de Maria 801 

Nestra SeBora del Roe. de Guatifiati 782 

Son Josef de Ayma 630 

San Juan Baptista de Avechica 614 

Santa Cruz del Monte Calvario ^^10 

Santa Anade Purisa 604 

Nestra SeTkOra de los Angeles 641 

San Buenavetura de Guri 603 

Divina Pastora 498 

Tupuqueri 6GG 

Palmar 698 

San Antonio de Usiatano 684 

San Fidel del Carapo 763 

Santa Eulalia de Murucuri 613 

Pueblo del San Francisco del Alta Gracia. . . 961 

Nuestra Seiora de Belin de Tumeremo . . . 333 

Caruachc 400 

Upata 667 

San Miguel de Unala 487 

Carony 699 

Total 16,102 

1 composed, during my navigation on the Apure, the 

Oroonoko^ the Atabapo, the Rio Negro^ and the Cassiquiare^ 

wilh the aid nf the misisionarlcs, a sketch of (he native tribes, 
who now inhabit the forests and BavanDahH comprehended 
between (hose rivers, antt between the Caura, the Ventuari, 
and tlie Carony, on a surface of more than 19,000 square 
marine lengues. This geographical distribution is not with- 
out interest for the history of nations. L attempted at first 
to arrange the names according to the analogy of the lan- 
guages, and the liypothesis which the missionaries, the sole 
hifltorianii of those countries, have formed on the filiation of 
the Indian tribes ; but I wai compelled to abandon thbt pro* 
ject, because more than ^ would have remained what the 
classificating botanists call incerta tedit. A trareller cannot 
offer finished labors ; but what the reader has a right to re- 
quire of him, is to present cnndidty such materials as he col- 
lected on the spot. Those which I here mark are disposed 
alphabet call y, a pretty certain means of preserving them 
from ethnographic hypotheses, and of foeilitattng researches. 
Experience having proved to me that nations whose names 
appear almost identic, are sometimes of different race, I 
have, nntwilh standing the fear of repetition, not joined arbi- 
trarily the tribes that present those analogies of denomina- 
tion. Father Caulin did not penetrate beyond the cataracts ; 
I have, however, made use of his work whenever the con- 
fbnnity of the orthography of names gave me confidence iu 
tbeidentity of the tribes he mentions, with those contained 
in my own list. A manuscript catalogue {Calahgo de ten- 
gvas If nacJonc« del Rio Orinoco), kindly communicated to 
me by father Ramon Bueno, during my stay in the mission 
of Uruana, I found highly useful. 1 shall also cite to this 
sketch the pages of the Personal NoTrative, which furnish 
the most ample information on the tribes now believed to be 
the most numerous, and important. I know that those tribes 
often take their denomination from words : men, ton of *aek 
or luch a chipf (vol. V, p, 182) ; descendant of suck or »uch 
a cauTageoui animal ; there is always, however, in the 


8im(ile names of nations someUiing moonmental, whidi, 
as the learned researches of BOL Abel Rennisal, WOhelm 
de Humboldt^ Klafiroth^ Marsden^ ^Ritter^ and Vater^ have 
proved^ may becdme of high importance to the history of 
distant migrations. The analogy of roots, and etymological 
artifices have, no doubt, given rise for ages to absurd reve- 
ries, and historical romances. We shall not recognize the 
Qnaquas of New Andalusia, in a tribe of that name who 
dwell on the coast of Guinea } or the Caraccas Indiansj of 
Carib race, inhabiting the high vallies, in the name of 
an Iberian spot, cited by Ptolemy ( Geogr. ii, 6, p. 46), and 
which appears connected with the Basque root, eatf signify- 
ing height, suamnit, or elevation. {WUkelm vm Hwmboldt^ 
Urbewokner iBipaaieM, p. 68). The mutability of vowels, 
and the permutation of consonants, which take place in con- 
sequence of organic laws, produce, without counting the 
words that have imitative sounds (onomatopoeia), fortuitous 
resemblances in thousands of tongues and dialects, of which 
the number might be submitted to the calculation of proba- 
bilities. If we compare one single language, not to those 
from one root, for instance, a Semitic root, (Indo-Germanic 
or Welsh (Celtic), but to the whole mass of known idioms, 
the chance of those accidental analogies becomes the greatest 
possible, and from that appearance, the prodigious variety 
of languages of the two hemispheres seem linked together, 
nexu reteformi. Analogies of sound cannot always be con- 
sidered as being analogies of roots ; and although the learned 
who study these analogies, have a claim to encouragement 
and gratitude, in thus awakening the attention of linguists, 
it is not less true that the study of words should always be 
accompanied by that of the structure of languages, and a 
complete knowledge of grammatical forms. It were to be 
ignorant of the state of modem philosophy, not to recognize 
the eminent services which the etymological researches of a 
small number of men of solid erudition have rendered within 

VOL. VI. 2 A 

hiilf a cmlnry, to the philo3n|)hiuid stuity or iMiguagHtte 
Mollnnil, ti(.-r)nauy, GngUnd, ami t'raace. 

Tribm of the Oroonoko, of Us hrantha, and ill Itibutarg 

Ariiiftcotos (Caura ; Carapo, 
tributarj' strcAni of the Ca- 
roni, RiodcAguostllancasor 
Rio Farime -, R. Paragua ; 

Achoguns (Mettt and Cravo, 
Ijibutary of the Metn; Tjoivei 

Achirigotos (ErevatOj Para- 

AriviQos (Upper Courn). 

Abanis (Oroonoko, usually A- 
tures, AmanavL-ni). 

Aruros (Oroonoko, east of 
May pu res, Amanaveni, A- 

AreririaiiaB (Ventuari, Mana- 
plore, Erevato). 

Ajures (Ventuorio, R. Poro). 

Aguaricotoa (Rio Caura, near 
the rapids oFMura). 

Amarizanos (Mtita), 

Acarianas (Curuname ; Jao). 

Aberianas (Venluari ; Jao, 
HOiirces of Ihu Purunaonc). 

Amuisanasor Amozana (Cassi- 
quiare anil Rio Parime). 

Alures (Bourtes of the Oroo- 
noko; Raudal Majiani), 
Vol. V, p. 13, 141, aio. 

Ariiiuvia(R. Negro, Itinfviui). 



AmacotM (Er«vuto). 
Abacarvag (gourcea of the Aio 

de Agma Bloaeu or Qia 

AUrniyoB (Gsquibo). 
Atuwiyes (R. Esijiiibi)). 
Acurias (Berbioe). 
Abat-nrvQ (Upper Paragua). 
Ariguns (Caara>. 
Arevirlianua (R. Pttrime). 
Atapeimns (Up]H-r Orooneke). 
Amarucatos (R. Parime). 
Avimns (Rio Auvann). 
AqucreeotoE (a nation a1mo^l 




Berepaquinavis .(Ri 

Barinagntos (R. Paragua, 

butary uf the Carooi). 

Chorotas (Mcta). 

Ciiyabas (between the Carooi 

an<] the Cuyuiii). 
(Iiaviitovi (Carih-tribe). 


Clmpoaoas (B.. Negro)* 

(MttvjflA .(£«qiiibo); 

(CfK^luijgatos (R. Parime). 

Chinatos <R. Parime). 

^hirapas {AuTAna) • 

Cabres, Caberres (Guaifiare^ 
Ariari* Aiqjbfiyob Mnne at 
pCqcbivc^). Vol. V, p. Wl^ 
.205^ 209^ 424. 

Clmenap (Coeiaaa^ iiVt^^t^ry of 





Cataras (Meta). 

Curacicanas (Ventoari, and its 
tribntary Monipiare) . Vol. v, 
.p. 006. 

Cberuvichahena (Rio^egro^ 
Rio Tomo). 

Carives^ Caribes^ Cariua^ Calli- 
nago (Paraguay 'Upper Cau- 
jra). Vol.iii, p. 284; Vol.iv, 
p. 193, 465, 016; Vol. y, 
p. 204,200,.860,424 3 Vol. 

Garianas (Paragua; Ucamu). 

Cadupiaapos /(Upper Caura^ 
Erevato) . 

Cbiricoas (between the Meta 
.^nd the Apore). 

Civitenes (Ventuario, Hio Pa- 

Cario^acos (Upper iOroonoko, 

Rio N^ro, If aeoma ; Ven- 

tnari Padamo). 
Cogeoas <R. Negro). 
Carignaoa^ <R. de Aguas 



Deesanas (Casriqoiare). 
Banvasanas (Upper Oroo- 

Davinavi (Veamu). 
Daricapvaoaa <aoorees of Ae 

Rio Negro). 


Eqninabts or'Marivitanos<Up- 
per Rio N^gro between the 
Rio Temi and Azacami) . 

EmarucHos (Upper Oroonoko). 


Gujancamos or Chiayanicoinos 

Guainares (sources of the Ma- 

tacona). Vol. v, p. 666. 
Gnaycas (sources of the Oroo- 

noko, Cano, Chigiiire). Vol. 

V, p. 666, "760. 
Guaraunos (mouth of the Oroo- 

noko.) Vol. ill, p. 216, 277 ; 

Vol. V, p. 729. 
Guaripacos (Upper Caura) . 
Guaypunabis (Inirida). Vol. v, 

p. 205. (Serrania Mabicori 

and Cano Nooquene). Vol. 


iv, p. 521 ; Vol. V, p. 204, 
200, 42a, 48S, 
Guanifnanusc (RJo Negro). 
Ounmos (Lower Apure). Vol. 
iv. p. &84 i Vol. V, p. 565, 

Giuuiuiris (aourcea of the Rio 

Quasurionnes (southern bank 
of the Upper Rio Negro) , 

Ouapes (Rio Negro) . 

OuaoaYajofl (Esqulbo). 

Guajamura (R. de Agnus 

Guinoves (Upper Oroonoko). 

Guahibofl (Mcta). Vol. iv, p. 
608) Vol.v, p.0,l61,234, 

Quayres (Upper Oroonoko). 

Guabttribo8 (Upper Oroonoko). 
Vol. V, p. &03. 

Guarsres (R. Parime). 

Guayumoros [Upper Oroono- 

Guaranaos (R. Parime). 

Gajones (Upper Oroonoko). 

Ouaneros (Padamo). 

Quacamayas (Padamo). 

Guaiquirts ? perhaps hereto- 
fore between the Cauro, et 
the Cuchivero. Vol. iii, p. 
215 and 281, note J. 

Joditanas (Erevato). 
JuaoH (CHura,K 

Jabacuyanas (Upper Oroo- 
noko; Conoconumu, Jao). 

JayrcB (Upper Oroonoko) Rio 
Coiioconumo ; Jao). 

J.'Lvarannos IVeDlnari, Mania- 

Jayures (Jao, Conoconumo). 

Janiros (between the Meta and 
the Apure, between ttw 
Vcntuari and the Jao.) Vol. 
iv, p. 417, 563 i VoL t, 
p. 9. 

Jcnnicaros (Upper Oroonoko), 
ichapaminaris (Padomo). 
Jpunicotoa (Paragua), Vol. t, 

Kiriquiripas (Paragna, Ere- 
vato) . 
Kirikiriscotos (Serb ice). 

L. andM. 

LibirioDOB (VentlUuio, Ria 

Maypurea heretoFiire (Raudal 

Quittuna; between the B. 

Sipapo and R. Capuana ; 

Jao; Rio Negro et Pata- 

Maciniiavi (Caura). 
Macurotos (Crevato, Upper 

Manetibitanas (R. Siapa). 
Marebi tanas (R. Negro). 
, Mnyepien (R. Negro), 


Mayanaos (sources of the Es- 

Maoonos (Padamo). 
Macusis (R. Aguas Blancas^ 

Maysanas (Cassiquiare). 
Mapojos (Caura). 
Macos-Piraoas (Cataniapo). 

VoL V, p. 124, 162. 
Macoe (Canra, Ventuari, Pa- 

rueni, Paragua). Vol. r, 

p. 006. 
Macos«Macos (sources of the 

Maquiritares (between the Jao 

and the Fadamo ; Ventuari). 

Vol. Y, p. 606, 666. 
Manivas (Rio Negro, Aquio). 
Mariosas (mouth of the Oroo- 
Maguisas (Upper-Caura). 
Meyepures (Oroonoko, Ama- 

naveni, Ventuari, Caura, 

Morononis (Jao, Ventuari). 
Biaripizanas (Cassiquiare, IL 

Guapo, R. Negro). Vol. ▼, 

p. 206. 
Mariquiaitares (Padamo). 
Matomatos (sources of the 

Manisipitanas (R. Negro). 
Marivisanas (Ventuari). 
Mapanavis (Ventuari). 
Motilones (Caura). 

Maymones (U. Oroonoko). 
Maasarinavi (Ventuari). 
Bfiariritanos (Bio Negro)* Vol. 

T, p. 206, 206. 
Malsanas (Cassiquiare). 


Otoinacos (between the Meta 
and the Apure). Vol. v, p. 
616, 668, 668, 638, 668. 

Ocomesianas (R. Gnanauii, 
western bank of the Jao). 

Ojes (Cnduvero).^ 


Paraguanas (source of the Es- 
quibo) .^ 

Piriquitos (R. Parime). 

Panivas (Padamo). 

Pujuni (Caura). 

Puinabis (Guaviare). 

Poimisanos (between Atabapo> 
Inirida et Guaviare). 

Paragini (Ventuari). 

Purucotos (Cara). 

Parabenas (Caura). 

Poignaves, or Puinabis (Ini- 
rida). Vol. V, p. 148, 666. 

Paracaruscotos (Paragua). 

Puinaves (Ventuari). VoL ▼, 
p. 204. 

Purugotos (Upper Caura, Pa- 

Paudacotos (Upper Caura). 

Paravencs (Erevato). 


Parenfts (OfooiiDko, Mstaveni, 

VeDtuarJ). Vol. v, p. 145. 
Potttiari (Venituari). 
Parecas (Vichada, Venituari, 

between the Cuclihero and 

the Cano Torluga.) 
Pumyanas (H- Aguas blancits, 

Parabenas (R. Agaas hlancaa, 

Putchi^irinavos (Upper Rio 

Ntgro. Vol. V, p. in'). 
Fajacotos (Padamo)- 
Palenkes (Caura). 
FsriuTanas (Padamo). 
Pajuros (Cuehivero). 

Quriquiripos (Caura). 
Qmnipaa (UrooDoko; usual) 

Ouaquos (Cuehivero}. Vol. ii 

p. 262. 
Quiaanio (Upper Oroonoko). 

SoUtas (S. Metft, Phnte, be- 
M'eeh Vichada and Guavi- 
are). Vol. 17, p. fi45. 

Si^Hu%g (I^Mlamo). 

Sercucumas CErevnto}. 

Sa^aijucrrs (Attthapo, Xemi. 
Uua, tributary of Guavfam}. 

Tabnjaris (Caum). 


Taparitas (between the Mcta 

and Apure). 
Tomnzas (Lower OrooDokoV. 
Tasumas (Aguas blancas £s- 

TamianacDS (south-eaat of the 

Encaramada). Vol. iii, {). 

284 } Vol. V, p. 695, 626. 
Toazannas (Siapa). 
Taparitas (Apuie]. 
Tiau (nation extinct). 
Tamanaques (south-east of the 

Encaramada). Vol. iii, p. 

284; Vol. V, p. 59fi, G26. 

U. V. et Z. 


Unimaiuivi ( Upper Oroonoko). 

Varinngotoa (Carony, CorspD.} 

Voquiaro), (nation AlmoM ex- 
tinct. Upper Oroftboko). 

Viras (Caura). 

Zaparas (S^squibo, Rio de 
Aguas blancas). 


I h^ve |ii9t giY^a ft list of more tl^aa 200 tribfiB ipr^ad 
over a Sfnce h W^tXf^ larger than S)|a^^^^ tf^ese tribes li^^evo 
Iheutselve^ to bq at toa^t a|t for<^gt to eaoh otker w th^ Dogr 
lish> the Daoesv and the Ge^WMiia^ ( o^fyp^re e^presc^ly 
the nations of Blir^pe that ¥ei<nig to 4)e &^ipi9 root ; for we 
have often obfe«ved in Hub worl(» h^w npMcbi in the dis- 
persion, 1 had aknasl aaid in the 'great shipwreck of th« 
AmericaB aatioiiiu umpk dialeelB haye hy ikgre^ ^Mn the 
appearance of languages essentially d^erent. The sta^ of 
the organs of the voiee> the peri9iitatio|i of coQSonaQtSj the 
carelessness of pfonaBeiation; rentier it difficult to rac^guia^ 
the analogy of the roiMs. The fesear<4aB qf MA|- Heofcs* 
weMerand ]>aponceail« iaNovOi Ammem repi4er it prpbaW? 
iluit the tongues acattered heretpfpie over BHwe thw iSOi»oao 
sqnare leagoes^ helareen the Alteghanies and U^ Rocky 
MonDtainsiy the Udses of Canada and the Caribbean sea^ ar^ 
cediioed to a very small number of root^ of which the Lenni- 
Lenape (Deh&ware), the Iroquois^ and the iloridian are the 
most important. It may be enquired* whether among the 
tribes of the Oroonoko of whieh we hi^ve given the nomen* 
dature^ and which^ it is painful |o relate, now comprehends 
perhaps not 80^000 i|i4ividHals, there exist fi tp 10 languages 
^liferent fttnn each other, like t)ie (Gierman, the &lavoniaq> 
the liasque, and the Welsh? This, cpiestion can only be 
Bolved by the study of the priated grammars which we owe 
to the care of the missionaries. My brother M. William de 
Humboldt, the sole Helenist who has acquired a profound 
knowledge of the Sanscrit, the Semitic tongues, and filmost 
all the idioms of Europe, without excluding the Basque, the 
Welsh, and theljiungarian, has been employed for a great num- 
ber of years on the whole of the languages of the new cQpti- 
oent. He posesses more materials for this study than have 
hitherto been collected^ and the work in which he willspon 
make known the tongues of the new continent, will spread 
a new. light on that important branch of onr knowledge. 


I liRvc often Bpoken in my voyage to the Oroonako, ot ■ 
the influence produced by the immense savannahs of America 
(between the Apure, the Meta, and the Guaviare, and between 
the Bourcea of the Essequebo, and the Rio I'srime, or Rio 
BrsDCo), on the manners and language of the natives. The 
LlanoB excite and cherish the taste fur d wandering life, 
even in a region of the world where there are no herds to 
give milk, and where the Jndiot vagoi y andanM live only 
by hunting and fishing. The Llanos contribute al90 to 
generalize a small number of tongues, and spread them 
over a vast space. (Vol. iv, 44* ; Vol. v, 14, 605.) Tb* 
greatest mass of the nations we have just named inhabit a 
country covered with forests and mountains, and in which 
there is no other path than the conrse of rivers. The diffl- 
onlty of removing, and the obstacles which the force of the 
vegetation, and the depth of the rivers C^pOM to hanting 
and fishing, have led the savage to beemne an hMlMndinan. 
It Is on this motintalnons region, between the EmenUa, the 
flourcei of the Canniy, Ae sonrces (^ the Apare, and that of 
file Atahapo, where man is insulated and Immoveable, that ttie 
appearance of the greatest dirersity of toi^aes haa been 
produced. The degree of harbatism hi irtJch Qraee wan- 
dering people, the Gnemos, the Achaguas, and the Qtomadts, 
were heretofore fbnnd, differs as mvdh from that of the 
BfacoB, the Caradcanas, wm) the Maqniritares, who are fixed 
to thte soil, and given to cultivation, as their itatntc, and the 
coloar of their skin (Vol. r. A67). The nations of tlw Up* 
per-Orootioko inhabit plains covered with fercsta, in the 
midst of which rise lofty monntains, but they are not, iwd> 
periy speaking, a mountainoas people. Here, as on the table- 
land of Asia, conquering hordes issued from the steppes in 
the vicinity of the raoonUins and forests. The wariike and 
wandering Caribs have long been the masters and the 
scourge of those countries which they pass through to seise 
Upon slaves. In their stn^gle with the Cobres, they were 


Ihe predoroinant natioD c^ die Lower Oroonoko, at fvere tht 
ilKiaypunabis, enemies of the BfanitiTitaiMy between thv A- 
tabapo, the Caaaiqaiare and the Rio Negro, (Vok v. 204, 
^08). The Idioms of conquering nations have been gene* 
ralised, and have sonrired the national preponderance; 
where thejhave not been substituted altogether for the natiTe 
langui^es, they have left insulated words on their passage^ 
which have been mixed, incorporated, agglomerated to Ian* 
guages entirely different. Those words, recognfaeed by the 
dissimilarity of the sounds, are in barbarous countries the 
sole monuments of the antique revolutions of the human 
race. They have often a singular form, and in a comitrj 
destitute of traditions, present themselves to the iniagina^ 
tion like the vestiges of the animals of the primitive world, 
and which buried in the earth, are in contrast iHth the forms 
of the animals of onr days. 

European dvilisptioo, like all foreign and ifiif>orfetf civill* 
^sation, ascends the rivers, whidi native dvilizationdescendsi 
as is proved by the histoiy of the people of Indus, the Gan- 
ges, the Euphrates, perhaps even the Nile. It cannot be 
doubted that anterior the barbarous hordes which now inhabit 
the forests of Guyana, those countries were peopled by 
another race more advanced in civilisation, and who had 
covered the rocks with symbolic traces. Those painted 
rocks form a particular sone between the Atabapo and the 
Cassiquiare, the sources of the Essequebo and the Rio Bran- 
CO, the Uruana and Caliruta, where the Tamanaque traditions 
on the deluge of Amalivaca are connected with the sculp* 
tured figures in granite. (VoL v. 000). In the torrid as wdl 
as in the temperate zone, on the east of the Andes, as on the 
east of the Rocky Mountains, in that long series of nations 
which have successively inundated the plains, a feeble gleam 
of civilization had preceded the barbarism that existed 
when the European colonists passed over the Alleghanies, and 
along the banks of the Lower Oroonoko. Walls of a pro* 


digiuua ki^lh, coast tnuteil of atuDc uc earth, ia thi! United 
States, ilenote the existenuc of |W|iu1olu toivus, or uf furti- 
fied camps nad placos at (he conttuiMicG uf gr«fit riven. 
NoMitlistaniling ihe iUusiuiis uf ItaU'igb U"! Kcyinis, do 
traces lia^e hitLerto been lUscovcrcd in Uuyiiaa of ao edi- 
fice in stone. Had tbe nntions of Ibc Urouuoku reiuaiae«i 
ubaniloned to the nisei vcs, ihc civiltzntiiin uf Peru uiul tbe 
table-land of Ntiw GrcnailH, And tbat «f Ibc ein}urc3 of tbe 
Inc& uud Uie Ztujue would huve penetmted luwanls tbe es^t, 
foUowiu^; tlic coursu of the Cniiuetu, the Rio Negro, nnil the 
UtiU (Vol. V, BUD, WM, U3D.); but this DtDveoKnt of 
HiUive cultivation would have been flower tboa thu of 

. :4 MQ BUt igaorsnt thmt Uagiuagts wluch k»*e bo. Uton)- 
tw« KK pRUy generally conaldercd witb <tiMWa ; (wcvilt 
■ernHmu Aorrorem) those sound) appetr to lu but the 
wild' c^ of PBtuiVi becABM oar tbria mat SMumA to wizc 
Uw ^»4AtioH-t btn we muH not forgot Un«:thare is «at>- 
dwrwwtr in which tugaaecs ahvuld tm it»di«d thwitbat 
' tfcdlaoUiig'tbe indHvidualities of a fotcign litvatore. 

■_ IbB HHUt WKultiTated tcm^ea on ioteraMMg wjlh rcapeei 
to their atnictiira aud iatetior oigaoiMtion. The ttoluust 
KMo^y ^B U17 pre&rWcc to the plMta which gmi he ett> 
ployed uMfuny ia the Wti, or wfakh Mgpieiu natioasl 
weBllhi he Melu to ualyie ill tha fDrnu tif (he vegetaMe klog- 
doiBt hathwe to apptahesd propetlyUie oigwUfttkuiof one, 
he mMt know them alL In the samenwuinertwcainnatre' 
date the tongow fato fasuhei, without Atodying k great num- 
ber ofthose that differ In their goamtDfttical ttmebaro. If the 
mitltiplkity of langveges existing on a small Ap«e. oppose* 
great cdiMadea to the communication of differeat tribes, it 
gives them the advantage of preserving a character of indi- 
viduality, witbont which all that belongs, to national physi. 
ognoray is effaced. Beside, and 1 dwell with pleasure on 
this drcumalaiKC, none of tbe Ameiican tonguea are in that 


sMe df bilrbarisin wUidi has loiig beea cffronMuBly believed 
to characterize the iliCftncj of natioos; iall hsie fixed gram« 
matical forms^ for the parts easentially organic in aft idionot 
are formed at the same time. (William de UluAbaldt^ on 
the ilrogresshre development of languages, iu the Memmrs de 
VAcad^nie Roy ale de Pruue, liB23.) The further we pene- 
trate into the structure of a great number of idioms, the more 
vfe distrust the great divisions of tongues (by bifurcation) 
into synthetic and analytic. These classes, somewhat like 
the great divisions of organized bodies, present a deceitful 
simplicity, to which the naturalist b^ns to substitute a dis« 
tribution by small nux^erous groupes, connected as if inter- 
woven together. To ask i^ this multiplicity of idioms is 
primitive, or the effect of progressive deviation^ is to enquire 
if that variety of plants that embeilish the earth has always 
existed, or if (according to the hypothesis of the great natu- 
ralbt of Upsal) the species have been diversified by mutual 
fecundation. Questions of this kind do not belong to his- 
tory, but to the cosmogonic fables of nations. 


The following are the very incomplete statements which 
have been hitherto obtained on the population of the ancient 
vice-royalty of fiuenos Ayres, designated, under the gdvem- 
ment of the mother country, by the name of Provincias del Hio 
de la Plata, and divided into intendancies and governments, 
(Buenos Ayrcs^ Montevideo, Paraguay, Salta del Tucuman, 


Cordova del Tucuman, Charcas, La Vaz, PobMi, 
Cruz (le la Sierra, Clii<iuitoB, ond Moxos) : 


Political divisions. 

BuenosAyres 120,000 130,000 250,000 

Cordova 7&,000 46,000 100,000 

Tucuman 60,000 

Snlta (with the Vale dc 

Catamarca and Jujuy) 60,000 
C>i;o (Mendoza and S. 

Juan dc la Fronlera) 7J,000 
Paraguayand Missions.,. 140,000 
Santa Fc, between Rios 

and Banda Oriental ... 60,000 
DistricW not estimated . . . 73,000 

Total 665,000 

(See BrackenTidge, royage to South America, 1820, vol. ii. 
p. 47. Mr. Rodney, by diffcrept calculations, finds either 
480,000, or u23,O00. Menage Id Ikejijtemth Omgrei*, 
leiB, p.M.) 
XI. Addiencia op CaARCAs. 
Political divisions. 

Intendance of Charcas. 
Charcas (La Plata orChu- 

■^ quisaca) la.OOO 16,000 

^^ Zinti 25,000 35,000 60,000 

•*■ TamparaeB 12,000 28,000 40,OCO 

•***■ Tomina 12,000 28,000 40,OO0 

'■^ Pkria 13,000 37,000 50,000 

''^" Oruro 6,000 B,000 15,000 

'*'"CatBiiga« 8,000 17,000 26,CM>0 

"^"^ 02,000 IM.OOO 240,iK>0 


Intendance of Potosi : 

Potost 14,000 21,000 85,000 

Atacama 8,000 2S,000 80,000 

Lipes 8^000 12,000 20,000 

Porco 15,000 115^000 180,000 

ChaTanta 40,000 00,000 100,000 

86,000 280,000 815,000 
Intendance of la Pbz : 

LaPaz 14,000 20,000 40,000 

Ptoijes 00,000 80,000 90,000 

Sicasica 20,000 40/)00 00,000 

Chalamani 15,000 85,000 50,000 

Omasuyos 80,000 80,000 00,000 

Larecija 25,000 40,000 05,000 

Apolobamba 5,000 80,000 85,000 

109,000 231,000 400,000 
Intendance of CochabamlMi : 

Cochabamba 80,000 70,000 100,000 

Sacaba 15,000 45,000 00,000 

Tapacaii 80,000 70,000 100,000 

Arqoe 10,000 25,000 85,000 

Palca 0,000 14,000 20,000 

Clissa 35,000 06,000 100,000 

Mizqae 8,000 12,000 20,000 

Yalle Grande (Jesus de 

Montes Claros) 3,000 70,000 100,000 

104,000 371,000 535,000 
Santa-Cruz de la Sierra, 

Moxos et Chiquitos 220,000 

(Brackenridge, yol. ii. p. 80.) I have rectified the names 
of the provinces. 

pRiHctpAL ToWK£, In the AuilleDcia of Huenoa Ayrea ; 
Buenos Ayres GO,fM>0 ; Montevideo 700O ; San Miguel dc 
Cordova tiOOO i Saiila Fe GOOO ; Tucumnn 5000 ; Salta 
0000 i Meiidozn BUOO j Asuin|)cion 12,000 j La Candearin 
5000. In the omiiencia of Choreas : La Pni 40,000 ; Po- 
ta^&i,00iQi La Plata 16,000; Orura 16,000; 2inlilS,0O0i 
Oiopcsu 2^,000 ; Zorale 12,000. 

These estimates of the population are incomplete for the 
iaisur regions of Ihc Audiencia of Buenos Ayres ; for in- 
Btanee, for Salta, Saiitc Pe, Bandi Oiicntal and £ntrc Rios, 
the uJculatioDJs perhaps too low; it amonntsfroin^be years 
.1017 lo 1820., for thcAudienciaofCbarcas, with Sapta Cruz, 
.MoxQE, and Chiguitoa to 1,716,000, comprebending the 
.(UitiTCs i far the Audiencia of Buenos Ayres, u^ilhotit the In- 
ijiaruj 655^00, total 2^71,000. M. Scbmidtmeyer. in his 
^i^lfifaf^ar^ ^iijgagt ifl OnU, reckons l,lOOjPQ0,iia^Bbitants 
fyf the twijp,0f I>,f,l«ta, and 1,300,000 for .^ frtmndat 
deja SUrra. J,t agpws to me probable that before the re- 
^»l9ltrt|Qn,)tbp,WJli^,-i«»IIP"-">lo"'^' and mixed population 
of the whole vice-royalty, pa;*ipm}f-tofhe dtWNnnhefuig of 
4t|eX?ifplati{ipj>rqvii>cerby the Brazilian Porti^^pes^, and of 
Itf^n^uay^Doctor.FKiiizia, exceeded 2{ mil^ivjas^jif whom 
;i;{Oq^OOiO^«^ IqdiwiA. 


NOTB £. 



The rapid increase of the population t>f the TTnlted SU&ted 
has been the basis of so many calculations of political econo- 
my in Europe^ that it becomes liighly interesting to Icnow 
with precision the principal statements. In order to com- 
pare the numbers^ and fix them with exactness^ we must 
have recourse to the first sources, that is, to the tables 
printed hj the Congress^ add cleared of the typographical 
errors by which they are sometimes disfigured. The popu- 
lation of 1800, which was i^,306,032, is stated by Mr. Mel- 
lish (Dratxli, p. 60CO» at 5,308,844 ; by Mr. S^bert (Statiti. 
Annals, p. 72), at 6,319,762; by Mr. Harvey (Edin. TXit. 
Jawrn. 1823,4). 42), at 5,309,758. 1 shall here transcribe 
a Jiote, which I owe to the kindness of M. Gallatin, who 
long occupied the place of jninister of the public treasure at 
Washington, and whose departure from Europe has recently 
caused so much regret to those who know how to appreciate 
talents, and generous sentiments. 

" The exactness of the following official inlbrmafion may 
be depended I on : 

17M. - 


1»10. • 


Under the name if 
hUtckt if coinpreheno- 
fd also tbe>«Qp|N»- 
colaofad .people, tf 
which the nomber b 
rery small in tl^ 
Umted States. 

MtM [ 

C Slaves 











Total . .' 





" There are Bcreral obserrsticnii (o be made in colcnhtiiig 
the increase for every period of ten yeart. 

" 1st, The inhabitants of the countriea situated on the north 
of the Ohio, (States of the Ohio, Indiana, and the lUinois, ud 
the territory of Michigan), and also the inhabitanti of the 
territory forming at present the state of Missiasipi, were not 
numtwred in 1 790, and they ought to be added to the enn- 
meiation of that year. I calculate that they were at Out 

Whites 10,e00-v 

Free Blacks SOo(u,800 

Slares l.aoo) 

" adly. Three counties of the sUle of Alabama hmn been 
omitted in the estimate of 1820, bat it is known that they 
contained more than 12,000 inhabitants, of which neariy 
8000 were whiles, 4000 slaves, and 60 free bladu^ 

1 1603. colli J 


'Mtbly, la order to cabtokte the octeo/ iaoreiMe^ we most 

include, not only tlie aoqniiHioii of Xousiaaar but alao the 

' emigntionft ftomBorope. With respect lo the white popula- 

tion, we may, I think, asaeit,* that the annuel mean of the 

• emi^Fanto arriving in the United Siatei la nendyMiOOOy or ra* 
wlher between 7^000 and 14,M0f for aMiough tbere have been 
. yean cf 28>0M and of 6ga00, the average of the emlgvatioii 

fvom Europe is not above 14,000, nor below 7000. > The 
.increase of the black/ populatbn -is entirely natnial, with 
. the exception of the period from 1800 to 18|0> during which 

we mnstinclude, not only.the nuoiberof Uackafcuad in 

• liowsiana; but alio neady ^iOOO Afrioansi imported during 
the yearal804 to lOOJi Ihepermd ta whieh South Gandina 
permitted die importation of slaves^ We should always 

• consider in these ealcolatlons tiie whole of the black popula- 
tion, freeand enslaved* • 

'^Although we havfi not yet sufficient statementa to obtain 

definitive results on the annual births and deaths, it may bo 

^ affirmed that for the white population, the former are- below 

. Bve, and the latter below two, in an hwidred. The natural 

annual diffimnce or increase is 2*0 in an hundred.** 

I shall add to the above infonnati<m given by Mr.. Galla- 
tin, some other numerical statements : 

The total populatwn in 1810, was 7,380,003 -, in 1820 it 
vras 9,687,809 ; increase 88 p. cent. 

The whU^ population, in 1810, was 5,882,098 3 in 1820 it 
was 7,856,082 ; increase 84 p, cent. 

The ilate population, in 18L0, was 1,191,864 ; in 1820 it 
was 1,537,568 ; increase 28 p. cent 

The population of free coloured people, in 1810, was 
186,443 ; in 1820 it was 238,149, increase of 21^ p. cent. 

The calculation of the area of the United States, which 1 
gave above, in Chapter xxvi, supposes the astronomical 
verification of five great lines -, those of the- coast of the 

VOL. VI. 2b 

Atlantie, ifae AUeghonjr HuuDtwns, the oonree of the His- 
sissipi, the RockyMouataiiu, and the cotuts of the South Sea, 
that diride the confederation into four natnnil sectiont. If 
the general maps that have hitherto been traced, had no 
other errors than those of abiolule longitude, and in preserv- 
ing the diBerences of re/olioeloDgitude, they displaced equal- 
ly with regard to Europe (for instance to the meriAaaa cf 
Paris or Greennich), the five great lines we have just 
named, the area of the partial diviiiona would not be alter- 
ed. In order to eatimate the effects of these unequal dis- 
placiugi, I have compared on every map used for the calcu- 
lation of rarftces, the longitude of New York, Ktt«bur^, the 
confluence of the Ohio and the Misglssipi, and of Tao«, a 
village of New Mexico, eitualed, so to speak, on the prolongn- 
tion of the Rocky Mountains, and the bay of Nootka. The 
three first points arc founded on the excellent observations of 
M. Ferrer, Niew York is 8° 22' W eastof Mortoof the Ha- 
vannah, and this point being 84" 42' HA' by my obswvatioBs 
of the satellites, and according to the oceitlatioDS of M. Fer- 
rer, 84° 42'' 43* west of Paris, wc may admit, for the abso- 
lute longitude of New York, 78° 20' 9". (Conn, dei tempt, 
1817, p- 320 nnd »30 ; and my Astr. Ohs. Vol, S, p. 108). 
The well determined longitudes of Pittsbuig (82"18'30*), 
of Albany (78" 4' 46*), and of Lancaster (78'>39'8O0 eervi-, 
by the proximity of those three points to (he mountains, 
to contain within just limits the chain of (he Alleghanies. 
The line of the Mississipi is fixed by observations made W. 
the mouth of the Ohio (OL" 22' 46*), and at New Orleans 
(92* 28' 15'). Ihe chain of the Rocky Mountains which 
divides the country west of the Mississipi into two great 
sections, is not yet so accurately determined as to its longi- 
tude as the three preceding lines. I suppose Taos of New 
Mexico at 108° 60' ; Lewis and Clarke place the central 
chain of the mountains iu the purallel 45°, at 1 14° 46' ; but 


tbto pDsitioo b probaUy fiMr too miM^ to the wettj althoij^h 
the pandldi chains of the Bocky Moontaiiis fill a space of 
more than 8* of loogitade, in tUs paraHd. The coast of 
the Pacific Ocean has heen surveyed with the greatest care 
by Vaneonver^ Galiano, and Valdes } the rdaiwe UmgiUtdea 
leave JitUe to desire> bat .tiie aftsoMc loagHiidaf jrenudn in 
VQcertaiaty more than half a d^ree. Aceordiag to the 
learned researches of Ifr.Otonanns, the Nook of theFrieads 
atlbe isle of Nootka is probably I880 W* -, but the partial 
resnlts of Galiano (tf" ^6' 40^^Marchand (fii^ 36/ 44^» Cook 
(fi^ M^JbO*) and of Vancpiurer (S^ M' 6tfO» fore not in tiie 
aocordance we might liave hoped from the concnrrence of so 
many ehrondmc^rSy and such a series of lunar distances, 
(fitt my Obt. a$inm. Tom. ii, p; 096^ and OUmmu, Geogr. 
Ufiieimuktmgm, Tom. ii, p. 489). 

The fite great lines of demarcation which we have just dis- 
cnased^ divide the immense territory of the United Stales 
into four uneqnal parts : 

«) Between the Atiaan^ coast and the AUeghanieSf in suppos- 
ing those mountains prolonged on the north ', towards 
I^ttsbuig, and on tlie south, by following the banks of 
the Apalachioola. According to this prolongation, pro- 
posed by Mr. Ciallatin in a very interesting memoir 
which he permitted me to insert in the Political Essay on 
New 6pain> (Vol. iv. p. 824), the grestest part of Florida 
ia comprehended in this first division, the area of which 
I found to be at least 8849000 square English miles, or 
S7«064 square marine leagues. I calculated separately 
the portion of the Atlantic States that fidls on the west of 
Ihe Alleghany Mountuns, those mountains crossing the 
states of New York^ Pensylvania, Virginia, and North 
Carolina. The extent of country which we must deduct 
from the total territory of the Atlantic Stales, compre« 
. bending West florida, is 97,071 square miles. In divid- 
ing the 884,000 square miles of the first division in the 

2b 2 

north-east States (from the Delawar to the Munc), And 
in the south-east states (from Maryland to Florida), we 
And far the former 110,991 square miles; and for the lat- 
ter 213,009 square miles. The AllanHc Slave-Slate» 
(states with slaves situated on the east of the Alleghanies) 
exceed a little the area of France. The whole of Florida 
contains, according to my calculalions, ft9,187 square 
mites, of which 62,310 are on the east of Apalocbicola, 
and 6,877 on the west of that ri«r, MJI. Carey and 
Lea estimate Florida at 57,750 square miles. The divi- 
sion of Alleghanies into several parallel chains renders the 
partitiou of the United States situated on the left bank of 
the Mississipi, a little arbitrary, in two portions, on the 

" east and crest of the mountains. The 15 Atbut6e StaUt 
(from Georgia to the Maine, consequently without the 

' floridaa) becupy, on the two sides of the monntaias, ac- 
cordiag to Mr. Warden, 386,000 square m3es ; according 
to Mr. Morse, 377,446, and accordhig to H. Melisb, 

- 3fl6jOeO. In adopting the latter Dumber, and in estimat- 
iug«t 97,071—8,877 =80,194 square miles, the 16 stales 
lying on ithe west of the Alleghanies, we find the territory 
of the United States comprehended between the Atlantic 

~ Ocean and the mountains, without Florida, to be 275,606 
' aquare miles, and with Florida, 328,116; which, results 
agree with those I found from direct measures. Mr. Gal- 
latin, in 1804, estimated this division, without Aimprehead- 
ing Florida, at 320,000 square miles, which seems to 
prove that this statesman, so well versed in the statis- 
tics of his country, had allowed more than .38S,4KM sqoaie 
miles, for the total area of the Atlantic Statu, or,' tint he 
had traced the line of division by a chain less eoateriytban 
the Alleghanies. 
P) Bttaeen the AUegianiex and the JVumiipi, at most 606,000 

- square English miles, or 60,020 square marine leagues. 
I find, without that part of Florida situated on the west of 


AjraJachicolay 599^23 square miles. Mr. Gallstin had 
well estimated that surface at more than 580^000 square 
miles. If the partial Talue of the two sections » and are 
affected by the uncertainty of a line of demarcation pass- 
ing by one of the numerous chains of the Alleghanies^ the 
total value of « + f remains less doubtful^ because it de- 
pends only on the portion of the coast of the AtUintic^ 
that of ihe kkes^ and the course of the Mississipf . The 
divisions of the United States into two great scctionsi on 
the east and west of the Mississipi, \b, from its very na- 
ture, the most exact of all ; and the maps whidi we pos- 
sess at presoit, disagree only on account of the uncer- 
tain form of the peninsula of Florida, and the want of an 
accurate representation of the coast of Georgia, of Alaba- 
ma, and of the territory of the Mississtpi. Mr. GaHAtin 
finds for the value of » + B, comprehending Florida, 
958,000 square mQes; Mr. Warden, 909,000; Mr. 
Melish, 952,000. I have fixed on 980,000 square miles, 
or 77,700 square marine leagues 5 but Mr. Brum's map, 
fur which several astronomic positions were employed, 
gives 972,000 square miles. All these calculations of 
the area prove, that the limits of the errors are in the ac- 
tual state of the geography of America, between one twen- 
ty-sixth and one thirty-fifUi. The errQrs.even in Europe 
amount in many countries^ to one-fortieth., (JntUlon, 
Geogr. p. 14S). 

y> Between the Miuiaipi and the Rocky Mountains : 808,4oO 
square miles, or 72,681 square leagues. As many doubts 
have been recently thrown out lespecting the area of the 
territory of the Missouri, I have again made the calcula- 
. tion on a great number of maps ; of which the result for the 
part of that territory between the Mississipi and the Rocky 

* . Mountains, oomprehending the state of Missouri, is 
098,862 5 689,806; 692,277 i 696,277 square miles. Mt- 


Morse catimalee this ana much too bigb at BOO,000 Equare 
milea. The territory of the Arkansas only, of h great part 
of which Major Long has taken very exact surveys, ia 
125,865 square miles. 1 found the state of Louisiana od 
the east of the MissiBsipi, 6200 aqoare miles, and oa the 
west 45,300. 
J Bettueen the Rocky Mounlaiiit and the coant of the Paci^e 
Ocean : 208,400 square milea, or 24,081 square mariae 
leagues. This is the territory of Columbia, of Oregon or 
the west, which must not be confounded either witb the 
teriilory of the noTlh.weit , between Ifdie Superiour anil 
lake Michigan, now comprehended in the territory of 
Michigan, nor with the Eagliah western territory, which 
the members of the North West Company pass orer. 1 
have found on different maps, for this fourth great division 
of the United SUktes, 28U,034 ; 288,391 j 284,92a ; and 
200,400 square English milea. The territory of Oregon 
(Columbia), Arkansas, and Missouri, comprehending the 
state of this latter name, furnishes, according to my cal- 
culation, an area of 1,107^000 square miles, on immense 
region, which in 1820 did not contain 83,000 inhabitants 
of European origin. 

The United States, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, 
ROW comprehend an area of 174,008 square leagues, 30 to 
a degree, or 2,086,800 square miles. Mr. Morse coropnlcs 
the area at 2 millions of square miles, the half of which be- 
longs to the territory of Miarouri, Arkansas, and Oregon. 
M. Warden, fa the French and English editions of bis etstis- 
tiral work (Introd. Vol. i, p. xlix and li,) had estimated that 
•HffaCe at more than 1,636,000 square miles; and if beseems 
at a later period in the French edition (Vol. v, p. 100, and 
Bulletin lU la SoriH^ de Gfygraphie, vol. i, n° 3), to iix on 
1,687,000, that diminution of surface arises only from an er- 
ror caused by the reduction of leagues into square miles. The 


terrilory comprehended between tli« Miaiisaipi and the Fteifid 
Ocea&i does not oontain 741^414 aquare mflee (namelyf the 
state of Lotiisbna, deductiiig whit Is ea^ward of theMis- 
sissipi, 48,900 — 9,2U 2 80,006 1 terrkoiy of Ariumsas» 
76^1 1 twiUMTj of the Missouri, 446,884^ territory of 
the West, lOO^li"* (H^tirdmi, Vol. i, p. 101 s VoL hr, p. 
608, 668) I hat 1,166,800 square miles. A weU-iafbrmed 
geographer, whom Mr. Warden had employed in those eaku- 
lations o£ surface, lepealed tliem at my desire 5 and, in em- 
ploying Uie real ksgarithnu of reduction, Ibiand the tenritory 
of Miasonriy oon^nreheDdi^g the slate of that ntme, neariy 
asIdid,to bo 600,iKM> square imles, instead of 446,834; 
the territory of the West, S84/KH) square miles, ioetead of 
180,114 1 and the tarritory of Arkansas, 426,866 square 
mflas, iostead a£96,fi6l* These partial errors, which bear 
only on the most unpeopled part of the Ameriean territory, 
and ficom which the calculations of sorfoee in the English 
edition of Mr* Warden's work are entirely exeoqpl, ptoduce a 
total di£ference of more than 400,000 square miles, or 
38,400 square marin<9 leagues* M. Adrian Balbi, who m his 
statistical essay-on the kingdom of Portugal has collected a 
great numbes of preeions materials for Ike study of political 
economy in general, ooBSputes tlie ofir* of the United States 
(Vol. i, p. 269,) to be 2,146,000 Italian square miles, 60 to 
a degree (288,000 square marine leagues). Hiis estimate is 
neariy one-fifth too gosat* On the other hand, the results fixed 
on by Mr. Moras, in t very instructive work just published 
at Boston, with the title Sfttem of Modem Oeograplty, di£fer 
yery little from mine for the eastern part of the confederation. 
He fties the United States at 377,446 square miles } now, 
deducting 90,200 for the portion of those states lying west 
of the Alleghanies, and adding 62,300 for Florida, on the 
east of Apalachicola, we obtain, for the division a, 380,600 
square miles. The eight states and territories situiAed be« 
tween the Atlantic States and the Mississipi, comprehending 


tbii eastern {wrt of Ihe slate of LouUUtu, are computed by 
Mr. Morse at 484,000 aquare miles ; and the whole division 
3 {adding 90,200 -1- 6,800 for the portion of the Atlanlk 
Statei and Florida, on the west of the Allegbatiies), at 
&B1,100 square miles. It thence results for * + |3, 920,700 
square miles, only one ninety-GFth less than the area wtuch 
I stated (see above, p. 179,) for the tarritorj of the United 
States east of the Misstssipi. 

A surface of 2,086,800 square miles fiinusbed to the in- 
dustry of n laborious people wisely governed, is ten times 
larger than Prance. It need not be augmented by lubstitut- 
ing, as some American engineers hare seemed recently to 
desire (on occasion of the rectification of the limits of Cana- 
da), geocentric latitudes (the angle formed by the inclination 
of the earth with llie equator) for ordinary latitudes. {Quart. 
Joura. o/Sdencet, 1823, Jan., p. 412.) 

In compering the area of the great diviiion* with the 
nnmber of inbabitanta which the enumeration of 1820 yields, 
L In the 15 Atlantic States (from Maine to 
Georgia), consequently without the Flo- 
rida on both sides of the Alleghanies, 
on 30,900 square marine leagues, or 
370,000 square English miles : 

Absolute population 7,420,764 

Relative population on the sq, mar. lea. 239 

TI. Between the Atlantic States and the left 
bank of the Mississipi (also without Flo- 
rida), on 43,000 square leagues. 

Absolute population 1,982,908 

Relative population on the sq. mar; lea. 47 

III. Between the right bank of the Missis- 
sipi and the coast of the Pacific Ocean, on 
96,S00 square leagues, or 1,156,000 
square miles. 


Almolate popalatioii^ withoul the la- 

dimna 234,230 

RdaiiTe popdlalion of the whites on 

the sqaare league 2} • 

It results from tii^ee calcoktioiis, in which the errors in. 
tlw estiawte of snrfiioes can have no sensible infloenoe on the- 
relative population, that the United States on the east of 
&e Mississipi (without comprehending the Flbridas) con- 
tained in 1820, on an area of 77,700 square marine leagues,' 
or 730,000 square English miles, an absdute population of 
9,403,700, and a rdatiTe population of 129 inhabitants to 
the square marine league. -If the relative population of the- 
whc^ territory of the United States, from the Pacific to the 
Atlantic Oceai^'was in 1820, 66 inhabitants to the square 
league,, it. nmst.haTe- been at the end of the year 18fl2, (when 
I fidd, in supposii^ an nnilbrm increase, a total popidation 
of 10;220,800}y a little above 68. The immense angmenta-: 
tion of the population on the east, of the MississipL becomes 
little sensible if, according to a simply mathematical abstrac- 
tion, we divide the whole population over the entire surface 
of the territory. 

I have discussed in this note the uncertainty that hangs 
over objects of the highest interest in political economy ; I 
have particularly fixed my attention on the countries situ- 
ated on the west of the Mississipi, and of whidi the destiny 
will in the lapse of ages have a powerful influence on the 
state of the northern provinces of Mexico. In order to ob- 
tain an accurate knowledge of the area of the United States, 
we need not wait for the period when 174,000 square leagues 
are trigonometrically surveyed. It is by means simply as- 
tronomical, by the combination of a great number of observ- 
ed latitudes, and chrofum/eirxcal Ixmh traced in different direc*- 
tions, that we can rapidly obtain precise statements, indis-; 
pensible in every good administration. Amidst so much 
uncertainty, it were to be wished that the Congress of Wash- 

378 « 

thgton would caltect the mnterinls already obtained, in ord^ 
to fix by cnlculation, I do not any tlie area of every 
state Riid every territory, but the tot&l area of the four great 
natural divisions comprehended between (he coast of the 
Allnntic Ocean, the central chain of the AUegbaniea, the 
eoUrie of the Mississlpi, the Rocky Mouatains, and the Paci- 
6c Ocean. 

The population in the English possessions in the aeigh- 
bourhood of the United Stales, is now perhapi one-sevenlli 
greater than 1 sapposeil, in the table p. 143. It was computed 
in 1814, in Lower Canada, 33&.U0O ; in Upper Canada, 
9&,O0O i iu New Scotland, 100,000 ; in New Bronawick, 
60,000 ; in Newfoundland tmd at Cape Breton, 18,0M ; 
jn all, 608,000 inhabitants. (Carey and Lea, BularUal, 

Ift order lo facilitate tht rodnctioDs of larficc*, we ihall 
h«n repeat that a iqnare moiiiM kagnc (SO to ft itfffne), l> 
11-V71S Engliah iqwre mSaa (of 694 to a dcffca), or 
1-MU sqaan Frenoh lei^nei (U to a d^m)> or 0-a6S» 
geognpUcal e<|nare lei^aai ()9 toadegroc), Qr91taHMi 
square miles [60 to a degree). 

Note F. 

, Ogcvviid by attranocaical detmmnatiraa on tke wwtbera 
froBtierof theSpaaiihGuyuus, I hod great intcreat, durii^ 
my ttavBlt, in collecting all that baa any relatiea to Ifae dia- 
patea concemlug the limita between tlie crown* of Portvigal 
and Spain, This Eaforination waa necessary in arier to com- 
plete the memoir I addreated od my return from th« Oroo- 
n«ko, to the first secretary of state, Don Mariano Lena de 
Urguyo (See above. Vol. r, p. SWi 418 > Vol. vi, p. 3»1). 


Without pretanding 1^ ||iTe a eoittplele history of thaie Om^ 
miiiiciM of botmdarks, whidltheigiioMeartiftcAof SurdpeMi 
diplomtey have pMvented from bdag more wefiil fo tiie aa* 
trdnomicml 0og$afhy of^the NeW Cootiiitot, I shall here 
auccinetlj fiabUdi; the ideas Which iaay throw light oa that 
^uestioa i iod of vrhidi those that rdbte to the n^ototioDa 
of the Ifith centory, are taken from vnpublished pieces pre- 
aer^ed in thd arohlres* 

. The dtaeussiond tdaodttang the boundaries between the 

courts of Madrid and FMdgiAt have lasted dnrng three cen« 

turies. They at first touched only on maritime Interests^ the 

possessioh of islands and coasts i by degrees they hsfe ex^ 

tesHled to the inieridr of Sooth Arnica. The eclebreted MB 

of pope iyenndet «tk (May 4th^ 1409) in ivror of Spidn^ Watf 

sn^iiithe iaooo spirit as the lessUmWn bull of the year 

1446, iftnid by pi^^Niooias Ml hi listor of Portugal. The 

former phu!ei the linb tf demttrtatfim an hundred kagoei 

east of the Islands of Azores a^ Cape Vert, and gives to th^ 

Spaniaids dl that on the #est of that line had n<>t been oc-* 

oupied brfore Christmas in llie year 14n. It says oonfiis-i 

edly enough, ceatam leueas a quaUbH imklamm qua tmigarU€f 

nuncupaniur d6 lag Aworti y fkka Verde. Cardinal Bemb^i 

who, in his daasieal styk, pcosoAea all new denominations, 

aimply myt, GorfsHtsli mmkt^ no doubt {J^Vm.^ accordhig td 

Xenopbon de Lampsaeo^ lib. 6^ c 31, Mma^ lib. 8, c. 0,) 

the Gorgada fdonmif uttAmt^ atiquando Garganum) opposite 

the Byssadiom Ptromontannm* The island of Saint Anthony 

is, no doubly in the aseridlan of the island of San Mtdiaeli 

but there are tf* of longitude firam the meridian of the 

most western iskad to the meridian of the most eastern 

of the Azores. A new bull of the 34th November, 1408^ 

leaves the same doubts ; but in the treaty of TordesUlai 

(June 7, 1484), the meridian of the demarcation was carried 

to 870 leagues, instead of 100, from the Cape Vert islands. 

The measure of the leagues not having been indicated, the 


liiutt divuoria reaches, accor<lilig to different hTpotheSM, thtf 
mouth of the Rio FranciBCO, or Bio Janeiro, ot the meridian 
of Saint Paul, which is fltill placed i" to the east of Grand 
Para. Pope Julian sanctioned the treaty of Tordesillaa bf' 
a butl issued January 24th, 1506 ; but the dariog voyage 
of Magellan, and the diseoveries (1500 — 1504) of the moulb 
of the river Amazon, by Vicente Japez Pinson, of Cape San 
Augufitin, by Amerigo Vespucci, and (he ports of Santa Cms 
and of the Bahia of Todos Santos, which had preceded that 
voyage, engaged the courts of Madrid and Lisbon to as- 
semble in 1&14, the congreu of piloti and cotiaographen at 
the bridge of Rio Caya, between Yelvea and Badajoz. The 
Spaniards accused the Partugueie of having altered the 
distance from Gilolo to the coast of Brazil, and prove vic- 
toriously that the Moldccu belonged to the Castillian do- 
nwins. The celebrated mathematician Falein, had taught 
the pilots the lunar methods by wbidi they mi^ ileteiBiine 
the distance of a ship from the line of demareatiati, con^- 
dfred as a first meridian. Tlua line contributed no doubt 
powerfiiUy to the ardor wkh whidi af that period tbe proper 
methods were sought, of finding the longitude by precise 
means. . The congress of coamognphers st Paotte A Caya 
went oo. slowly, and the dispntea between the two oatioiu 
resftectiog the possessions of the archipelago of India, oeif 
concluded by a treaty at Saragoasa, the SSd of April^lftlS. 
(Dor Jaan^ydtm Antonio de VUoa,DiiMrt. hitlorica f geo- 
g(e^luca Mobrt el meridtono de itmareaatm. ilaiTid,11«, 
Saiatar de tot pngrntot de la h/dngn/ia en EtpaSid, 1809, p. 
116. Cetpada, ilydrogra^, cap. *, p. 198, 14», IM). 
Spain ceded the Moluccas for the sum of 3M,O0O ducats, re- 
serving the right of again possessing il«^ of the property at 
those islands whenever tbe amount of the purduue ahooU 
be returned. The union of the two crowns under Philip'Sd, 
calmed for some time national hatred, or rather, compelled 
it to appear to be appeased ; but from the end of the ITlh 

century, the establisbment of la Vohrna d§ San Sacramento, 
Bear the moath of die Rio de laTkta> gate rise to disputes 
respecting Uie Bnadliin Kinits. The Spanisirds destroyed 
this setttement, aadanevir congress of cosmographers as- 
sembled at Fuemte dt Caifa, which lasted from Uie 4th of 
November [168t], to the 2Sd of January, 1682. It had been 
stipulate at the beginning of the oegociations, that if they 
were not settled in the space of three months, they fhoM be 
MubndUedio the dediion of the Sovereign Pontiff. When: we 
consider tlie state of the wcuid ah hundred years before the 
declaration of independence of thel United' States, we are 
tempted to doobt what is proved by the most authentic do- 
cuments preflfenred in the' archives. It was- uselessly dis- 
cussed, whether the 870 leagues mentioned in the treaty of 
Tordedlla^ formed 92^ 14', or a less number of d^greesj and 
wliether that distance ought to be reckoned in th^ arefaopiB- 
lago of Cape Vert, from tiie centre of the island of Saint 
Nicolas, or (as the Portuguese insisted), from the iwestem 
extremity of the island of Saint Anthony. According to these 
detached arguments, the cosmo^^raphers of Lisbon sought to 
carry the meridiano de denktrcacion 13 leagues west of the re- 
constructed settlement of San Sacramento. The congress of 
la Puenie de Caya separated without having decide-any 
thing, and the points in litigation wer^not the 
sovereign Pontiff as had been agreed. During the Kibble 
reig^ of Charles 2d, the Portuguese gained every where 
upon their neighbours in America, on the side of Paraguay, 
on the banks of the Amazon, and on the Bio Negro. By the 
peace of Utrecht, Spain renounced the possession of San 
Sacramento. Nearly forty years passed in the most com- 
plete inactivity on the part of the ministry of Madrid, when 
Queen Barbara, daughter of John 6th of Portugal, sought to* 
avail herself of the extreme weakness of her husband Ferdi- 
nand 6th, king of Spain, in order to be useful to her country, 
and terminate the struggle respecting the limits in l^outh 

America, \a favor of the court of Lisbon. Thecbiefofa 
sqaadron, Don Josef dc Yturiaga, was nnmed director (pn- 
ffier cmnmiuario) , of an expeditiao intended lo tail along the 
northern frontier of the Copilaiiia general of Grand Par*, en- 
ter the Amazon by the Oroaaoko and the Rio Negro, and go 
«p the Amazon aj fnr u the province of Maynas, and per- 
bapa even pass by land to tbe confines of Paraguay. (See the 
correipondencc of Loefling with Linneeus, xaJotri Loeftngi 
HtT Hispanicum eller Haa, til Spmuta Ldndirna uti Evrapa 
och yfmeriea. nw, p. 84—90). The expedition set aail 
from Cadii, February 15th, 1764, having on board adiemlst, 
m naturalist, and a geographer. The naturalist was tbe oeltt- 
brated Loefting, who, after having examined the conntiy 
round CuHMDE and Nnam Barcriona, die misuCMi ct Pliibi 
Md Catani, died the viotin of hii leal, at Hmta KiiUia de 
Mfrucwi, {lABomoM calls this village Merecuri, Anville, Mu>- 
Mnrir) a little to die south of tbe confiuenoe of the Oroo- 
noko with tha Rio Caroni, tbe 2Sd of Febroair, 1756. Etn* 
ttago aude the necesaary preparations for the projected 
Mivigation on those rivers, in the island of Trinidad. He ea- 
lered the month of the Orooaoko, at the end of Jidy, tTM, 
with fiS small craft. {Gi>iUat, Lanehat, Piroguat, and Ctoi- 
gwiat.) Dysrateries and fevers made great romgea among 
Ihe troops, and evea-aeveral hundred Indians fell wck. The 
fcr*r w -of la Vieja Guyana could only be reached on tbe 
OteeAth day. (See above, vol. v, p. 766 and 8S1, fcc.) 
(HMf went ap do less slowly as for as Cabrnla, near the 
mouA of the Rio Apnre. Several barks iinpradently eqtos- 
«d to the son on the beadt, si^it ; the fevers continaed, and 
rowers {bogat), boats, and money were at the same tiine 
wanting. Two of the commissaries, Don Eusebio de AHw- 
rada, and Haa Joseph Solano, went to Santa Ve de Bogota 
In search of funds ; they came back after six months' ab- 
sence, in 1756. Solano alone, with a small part of the ex- 
pedition, passed over tbe great cataracts of Atures and Mvf- 


pnrei. He did not go liirUier than tbe mmftk ct the Rio 
Guaviare, where ha fojaaded Sw^JhammioM AMehago (Vol. 
r, p. 210, 2IMI, 625> 944, and BI9. of Don j^poUmarw Diez 
de la FiunU, which I.took from th^ archives of the province 
of Quizoi^ aMtti east of Qaijto). We have ahnady ahewn in 
another pteoet that^he aftfoboaUpd inatnimenle of the eipe^ 
diHouitfthe tepmrfancft were, neither carried to theialhmiia of 
PimicUa« lo <he fUo N^sgio, to the CaaMqoiare> or the Alto 
Oroonokp, above it« coQAuence with :the Giiaviare and the 
Atabfl^Bo. Thia vaat aninlryy In wliidi ao pfeciae obaerra^ 
ti^n had bcgn attewptcj beJJMna asf jowmef^ had at thai time 
been irisited onlir Jbf .iome ioUiera who w#re aent by Solano 
on difoovary» upd bf Don ApoUinario de hi Aienla. He 
fomrtmcted a npaU /oH with tmnka of trees at the point 
of the hifiircatloQ of jfte Orooneko* entered the Eio Padamo 
to Tittt the Qktarapene Indianp^ and ibwded the misaion of 
the EemeraUaj Tivitfi the Maqniritares, from whaooe he 
made a fruUleBs encoreioo towards the Rio Geliette, and tb^ 
Cerro Yumariquin (Vol, v, p. 57^ 682). Don ApolHoario> 
whose name I have oitiw heard pronounced by the Indians 
of Rio Negro, and theB^meraidfk* affirmst in his journal pre* 
served at Quito, that at the departure of the expedition of 
Solano (17M), cooaeqnendy ten years after the voyage of 
Father Roman. (VoL v, p« 48B, &c.), many persona in the is- 
laad of Trinidad stiU doubted of the commnnication of the 
Oroonoko with the Amason, and that' they had no precise 
idea of the eusfteoce of the Casaiguiarc, and of its jonction 
arith the Rio Negro* 

While Don Josef Solano made efforts to pacify the Uf^r 
Giayaoat Ytoriaga remained on the banks of the Lower 
Oroonoko. This chief of the Commiaswn of the boundarieg, 
bod, it is asserted, secret orders to prevent any definitive 
conclusion of a treaty. He wished to please the minister of 
the Indies, Areiaga,.and above all, the successor to the crown 
of Spain, DoD Carlos, who reigned at Naples. That prince 


FoulJ not openly oppose the projects of his mother Queen 
Uorlwra, and the Fortu^eze porty; the treat;, it \ 
known, would be hostile to the interests of Spain, tknd aS 
that remained was to gain time in creating obstacles. The 
craft constructed to convey the remainder of the troops be- 
yond the cataracts, on the frontier of the Capitania generd I 
of Grand Para, were ready to siul, and the orders of 
King Ferdinand the 8th were precise. Yturiaga caused s ' 
Te Deum to be sung at MuiUco (Vol. v, p, 689, &c.) i 
during the ceremony, set fire clandestinely to the fleet, 
which was said to have been burnt accidentally. But n ' 
little pains had been taken to conceal this stratagem, that it 
wns instantly discovered. The Portugucze commissaries of- 
fered to send their own' boats for Yturiaga, bat he answered 
that be would wait for orders from Madrid. Ferdinand 6(h, 
wearied of the raipence and the delays of Ytnri^a, recalled 
the expedition. Solano and Albarados embarked, I believe 
in 1761,' at La Ouayni, for San Sebastian. Yturiaga, after 
tnvin^ long inhabited the small town of Mnitaco, where he 
hoped to re-establUh his health, died at the iriaod of Har- 
goerita. The comptaints made against him by the monlu, 
iadby his collea^et the other commissaries of the bounda- 
liei, emlnttered the latter part of his life. Don Apollinario 
DIcz de la Fnente returned from Spain to the Orooaoko with 
the pompons titles of Capitan poblador del ^Ito-Orhneo'f 
Cabo mUUar del Fuerte de Catuqitiare i he was aflerwardi 
made governor of the province of Quixos, and Oumografo'^ 
la real Expedidon de linUtes del Maranon. If we may jd^ 
from his mamiscripts, the cosmogrspbers assembled at the 
congress of Pnente de Caya, in 1624, were better inftmned 
than this emissary. 

The labors of the commission of the boundaries of 
the Oroonoko which I iiave just related, were also u 
fraitless as the treaty signed January 12th, 1760, at Ua- 
drid, by which the Portugueze and Spanish nations re- 


leed the line of demalt^Mw, and promised to recognize 
ther limits between BlraKiU Buenos Ayres, and Peru,^ 

the ridge of some moimtaias, and the cofurse of the 
s. This convention declared fortnally *' that it was kxkr 
ible to fix'by observaHons of longitude Uie line of de- 
»Uioo on the coast, the interior /* a confessioa 
nore singular, as Don Jorge Juan, and Don Antomo de 
a, had pcoved, in a learned memoir (Dmiariatum 
ygru^iea sobre el meridioMO de demareaeUm entre lot 
de PertMgat if de B^foma), poblisbed alter their return 
, Quito, in 1740, that the limit ought to be fixed by the 
r of the treaty of TohtesiBas, and according to two 
es of interpretation, of which that, treaty is snscq>tifale, 
sr 1^ 50', or V-W, on the east^f the town of Grand 
u The convention of 1750 was -renewed and confirmed 
bdrid, October 11th, 1777 ; but the execution of sUpu* ' 
ins made without local knowledge, and in consulting only 

imperfect maps, was attended with greater difiiculties. 
ling more was attempted on the side of the Oroonoko, 
the Rio Negro ; the whole attention of the two courts 
directed towards the limits of Paraguay, and the banks 
le Caqueta, the Rio Blanco, and the Amazon. . The Bri- 
er Don Jose Varela, was sent (1782— 1780) to Monte- 
D, M. d'Azara to Paraguay, and M. Requeiia to Maynas. 
rever incomplete the labours^ of the commissaries have 
lined, it cannot be doubted that astronomical geography 
derive great advantages, if not the results only of their 
stigation are made public, but the observations on which 
e results are founded. The map by Asara of Paraguay, 
those of Brazil, executed at Rio Janeiro, by order oi the 
ister of marine, Don Rodrigo de Souza Coutinho, in 
I, by the captain of a frigate, Don Antonio P^es da 
i. Pontes Lemos, have been rectified according to a part 
liose observations ) but the longitudes being all chrono- 
rical, the discordance in the time pieces of the Spanish 
OL. VI, 2 c 

S86 ^^^1 

and Portugueze peographers, and tlic uucMtaiiity of the po- 
sitions which served as points of departure, tlirew great con- 
i\itiion on tbb determination of the bounilarics. 'I'he coim 
of MMlrid, wearied of the expenre and di-lsy, dissolved the 
commission in 1801 ; and some ycu-i nfterwards, the mili- 
tary occupattou of tlie cigplatine province by the Portuguese, 
pat nil end for n long time to the diseiiMiotis respeetisg the 
longitude, and tile dilatory exceptions of diplomacy. 

Note G. 

In milking known to the learned of Europe the physical 
properties of the cow-lrec (see above. Vol. tv, p, 212, 226, 
981 i Vol. Ti, p. 211), I hod compared iU nonridiing milk, 
%bt 'frith tile juice of plants that abound in ramitcfaoac, like 
thejmce of theHcvea, but with the milk oftbePapayer. 1 
had tried some chemical experiments on the latter, whic& 
appeared to me a strongly animalized substance, TwooiF 
my friends, MM. Boussinganlt and Rivero, irtioae import^ 
ast Ubours I have already had occasion to meatioD (Vol. Vi, 
p. 310, and 2fi3), and who are much better nMed tt 
chemistry than 1 was at the period of my voyage, have n* 
cently made the chemical compositioa o! the jiilce of Afc 
Patb de f^aca, completely known. The ft^owEng is lit er- 
tract of Ae analysb sent to me by those chemists in a letttt 
from Maracay (between CaraCcas wid NucTa V^lenda), tbtefi 
February 13th, 1823. 

" The milk," says M. fionssingauU, " which we hsiTC «nt- 
lized at your dekire. Is produced by the Palo de teche, or the 
P^aca. This tree grows in abundance on the moaDtains that 
command Perequito, sitnated north-west of MarAcay, Htb 
vegetable milk possesses the same physical properties as ttiiit 
of the LOW, with this difference only that it is a little mote 
slimy. It has also the same taste, but its chemictkl proper- 





On the North of the River of the Amazons, and 
on the East qf the Meridian of the Sierra Ne- 
vada de Jkterida. 

The object of this memoir is to concentrate 
the geognostic observations which I was en- 
abled to collect in the course of my journeys 
among the mountains of New Andalusia, and 
Venezuela, on the banks of the Oroonoko, and 
in the Llanos of Barcelona, Calabozo, and the 
Apure; consequently, from the coast of the 
Caribbean sea, to the valley of the Amazons, 
between the parallels of 2^ and lOi^ north lati- 
tude. In describing objects as they successively 
appear to the traveller, every fact remains in- 
sulated ; he relates what he has seen in follow- 
ing the windings of roads, and a knowledge is 
thus acquired of the succession of formations 
in such or such a direction ; but we cannot 
seize their mutual connexion. The order of 
ideas to which the personal narrative of a jour- 
ney should be restrained, has the advantage of 

VOL. VI. 2 D 


Tnaking lis distinguish more easily what is the 
result of a direct observation, or that of a com- 
bination founded on analogy ; but in order to 
comprehend in one point the geoguostic view 
of a vast part of the globe, and contribute to 
the progress of geognosy, which is a science of 
connexion, we must i-elinquish the sterile accu- 
mulation of insulated facts, and study the rcla- 
tions that exist between the iocqualities of soil, 
the direction of the Cordilleras, and the mine- 
ralogical nature of the territory. 

I passed through an extent of country ia dif- 
ferent directions, of more than 15,400 square 
leagues. It has already been the object of a 
^ognostic sketch, traced hastily on the spot, 
after my return from the Oroonoko, and pub- 
lished in 1801, by M. de Lametberie in the 
Journal de Physique (Vol. xlv, p. 46). At that 
period, the direction of the Cordillera on the 
coast of Venezuela, and the existence of the 
Cordillera of Parime, were not known in Europe. 
No measure of height had been attempted be- 
yond the province of Quito ; no rock of South 
America had been named ; no description ex- 
isted of the superposition' of rocks, in any region 
of the tropics. In such circumstances, an essay 
tending to prove the identity of the formations 
of the two hemispheres, could not fail to excite 
the interest of geognosts. The study of the 
collections that I brought back, and four years 


of journeying in the Andes^ have enabled me to 
rectify my first views, and to extend an inves'' 
ligation which^ on acoomit of its novelty, bad 
been favorably reqeived. The mineralogical 
descriptions of every rock have been given in 
the preceding chapters ; it now only remains to 
collect the scattered materials, and mark the 
pages where the detail of the observations are 
foand. That the most remarkable geognostic 
relations may be more easily seized, I shall treat 
in an aphoristic manner, in different sections, 
the configuration of the soil, the general divi- 
sion of the land, the direction and inclination 
of the beds, and the nature of the primitive, in- 
termediary, secondary, and tertiary rocks. The 
nomenclature I employ in this memoir, is that 
of which I recently stated the principles in a 
work on general geognosy *. 


Configuration of the Country. — Inequalities of 
the Soil. — Chains and groups of Mountains. — 
Ridges of Partition. — Plains or Llanos. 

South America is one of those great triangu- 
lar masses which form the three continental 

♦ See my Essay on the position of Rocks in the two Hemi- 
spheres, 1823. 


parts of the SMithem hemispbere of the gk>bft.4 
It reacoibies Africi'i more in its exterior eou6j 
ration than New Holland. The southern ex- 
tremities of the three contiaente are so placed, 
that in crossing from the Cape of Good Hope 
(lat. 33° 55'} to Cape Horn (lat. 55° 58') and 
doubling the south point ofVan Diomen's land, 
(lat. 43° 38'), we see those extremities stretch- 
ing on towards the south-pole in proportion as 
we advance towards the east. A fourth part of 
the 571, (MH) square marine leagues* which 
South America contains, is covered with moun- 
taiDB distributed in chains, or accumulated in 
groups. The rest are plains fonning long un- 
interrupted bands covered with forests or gra- 
mina, flatter than in Europe, and. rising pro- 
gressively, at 300 leagues distance from the 
coast, from 30 to 170 toises above the level of 
the Ocean. (See above, Vol. iv, p. 310 j and v, 
260.) The most considerable chain of South 
America extends from south to north, accord- 
ing to the greatest dimension of the continent; 
it is not central as in Europe, nor for removed 
from the sea-shore, like Himalaya and Hindoo- 
Koh ; but thrown towards the vestera extre- 
mity of the continent, almost on the coast of 
the Pacific Ocean, In fixing the eye on the 

* Almost the double of Europe, See above, p. 33G. 

ties differ senaibly front tiioie of ammal miUu- H 'ca& be 
mixed i^ith any proportion of water, and, in' tliat stut^ does 
liot coagulate by ebuQition, nor it it curdled by fK^ids, like 
the milk of the eovr.. Instted of beiqgf jpsed^tai^ byvam- 
meniac, it ia rendetsd more liquid^ and Hub' cluUiiclertiiidi* 
cates the absence of caontchoac ; fiur we b»re obseried that 
in the jaices containing this principle, ammoniac pcedpitatei! 
the smallest quantit3E» winch when dHe^ possess^ thfer pro- 
perties of elastic gum. Alcohol slightly coagulMies the milk 
of the cowwtree : it is someHnng less than a ooagnhuis, for 
the akofaQl.oDly readers it mdredifBelilt to fikrate/the^aieBi 
The new milk lightljs reddens the heliotrope ; it boils «t the 
temperature of IQ^, and at the pressure (P 799. Under- 
going the actkm of heat» it presents at first the same pheilo* 
mena as the milk of the cow ; a pdlicuk forms on its sui- 
fiu:e> whidi prevents the disengagement of the aqutous var 
pours. In raising, successively the pellicula, and makiiig it 
evaporate at a mild heat, an extract is obtained resembUng ^ 
kind of paste > but if the. action of heat is Iwiger continued, 
oily drops are formed which augment in propqrtion as the 
water is disengaged, and end by composing an oily liquid, in 
Mhich swims a fibrous, substance that dries and hardens as 
the temperature of the oil augments, and spreads a smell 
like that of fried meat* Vegetable milk is separated by the 
nction of heat into two parts ; one fusible, of a sacculent 
nature, the other fibrous^ of an animal nature. If the evap- 
ocatton of the vegetable milk is not carried too far, and the 
fusible matter is not boiled, it may be obtained without al- 
teration. It has the following properties $ it is of a yellow- 
ish white, transhidd, solid, and resists the impression of the 
finger J it begins to melt at 40° eentigr. y and, when the 
fusion is complete, the thermometer indicates (K)°. It can- 
BOt be dissolved in water, but is dissolved easily in esseatial 
oils ; with which it also combines, and forms a composition 
analogous to cerat -, alcohol at 40"^, dissolves it totally hy 



ebullition, nnil it is precipitAt«d by cooling ; it is sapomjiablt 
by caustic potash ; nnd, when put into ebullition with am- 
moniac, forms a soapy eniulsiop. It is dissolved by hot 
nitric Bcid, with a diseDgagement of nitrous gas, and forms 
oxslic acid. This matter appears to us to resemble hot 
bees-was, anil it may serve for the same use, for wc made 
it into wax candles. 

" Wa obtained the fibrous matter by evaporating the milk, 
pouring off the melted wax, washing the residue with an es- 
sential oil to carry off the last jiortions of wax, pressing tbe 
midue, and making it boil for a long time with water in 
order to volatize the essential oil. Notwithstanding this 
operation, the smell of the essentidl oil cannot be altogether 
taken away. The fibrous matter thus obtained is brown, 
because it is no doubt somewhat altered by the higfa tetnpe« 
ratnre of the melted wax ; it has no taste, and pnt on a hot 
iroa, turns, swelb up, melts, and is carbonized, spreading a 
■mell of broiled meat If treated |with a Stated nitric 
acid, a gas Is disengaged from it which is notnitrou*- gaS) 
the fibrous matter is transformed into a fot yellow hubs in 
tbe sdme manner as muscular (Icsh, when azote gas is pre- 
pared by the process of M. Bertholet. The aloobol does not 
dissolve the fibrous matter, and we have employed thatliqind 
to obtain it without alteration. In treating the extract of 
vegetable milk by the reiterated action of s|Hrit8 of wine, 
and pouring off the hot liquor, the matter is at length obtain- 
ed in white and flexible fibres j in that state it dissolves easily 
in diluted hydrochloric add. This substance has the same 
diaracters as the animal filH'ine. The presence in v^etaUe 
milk of a product which is only found ordinarily in the secre- 
tions of animals, is a very surprising lact, which we shouU 
announce with great circumspection, if oric of our most oel^ 
brated chemists, Mr. Vauquelin, had not already found tbe 
animal fibrine in the milky juice of the Carica Papaya. It k- 
mains to examine the liijuid which, in the milk oflhtPaladt 


Leche, holds in suspension, in a state of chemieal division, the 
two principles which we have recognized above, the wax and 
the fibripe. The v^etable milk, ponred on a filter, passes 
vriththegreatestdiffiadty; bat if. alcohol he added, it forms a 
slight coagidum^ and the liquid, paaseib more easily. The li- 
quor, when filtrata4> reddcos the hdiotrope, and deposits no 
crystals. Evaporated^ to the cootistence of a syrup;, and 
treated with; rectified ak^kd, it left, a little saccariae mMter 3 
but the principal mass wsis not dissolved. The indissoluble 
portion in the alcohol had a better tastei 'When. dissolved iki 
water, the ammoniac Ibnns a precipitate, asf^ll as thephos* 
phate of soda. We thence presumed that it contained a 
magnesian salt ; in fiict, a drop of the solution being placed 
on a plate of glass near another drop of phosphate of am- 
monia, when mixed together, characters have been formed, 
by means of a glass tube. It is known that this tDriHng" 
property belongs to ammontaco-magnesian phosphate, and 
the process to Dr. WoDaston. We thought that an acetic 
acid was combined with magnesia ; but the sulphuric acid 
did not disengage the smell of vin^ar ; it formed a sulphate, 
and carbonized the liquor : we are therefore ignorant of the 
nature of this acid. The matter which remains on the filter 
has the aspect, when dried, of unrefined wax, and melts, ex* 
haling the odour of meat. The vegetable milk left to itself 
becomes sour, and acquires a disagreeable smell. During 
this alteration carbonic acid is disengaged ', and an ammo- 
niacal salt is also formed, for the potash disengages volatile 
alcali. Some drops of add prevent putrefaction. 

'' The constituent parts of the milk of the cow-tree are ; 
1st. wax; 2d. fibrine } 3d. a little sugar; 4th. a mognesian- 
salt which is not an acetate ; and 6th. water. It contains 
neither caseiun, nor caoutchouc ; but we found by incinera- 
tion, silica of lime, phosphate of lime, and magnesia. Such 
is th^ summary of the experiments made by M. Rivero and 
myself on this nourishing juice. The presence of fibrine ex- 


pliuDS the iiatrilivc pro{>crly of Uie Pala dt Lei-ie, 
respect to the w.ix, we arc ignorant of lite eSect it prodnnd J 
ordinarily on the aaiinnt economy ; in this inslance, esperi- 
cnce proves that it is Dot hurtful, since we estimated the 
quantity at half the weight of the vegetable mtlk . The eow- 
ti«c would be cultirated with advantage were it only in order 
to extract the wax, which is of an excellent quality; ami 
would be a new source of wealth to add to the fine ogrieu)- 
tunil productions of the vallka ofAragua." L ardently wish 
that those able chemists MM. Rouaeingault Mid Rirero, 
may continue their labors on the milky jiticcs of tho cqui- 
noxial plants. 


profile which I have given * of the configura* 
tion of South America, under the paraUet of 
Chimborazo and Grand Para» aoross the plains 
of the Amazon^ we saw the land low towards 
the east^in'atalus, like an inclined pbwie^ under 
an angle of less than 35 seccmdcf^ on a length of 
600 marine leagues. If, in the ancient state of 
our planet, the Atlantic Ocean, by some eictnh 
ordinary cause, eyer rose to llOQ feet above its 
present levd (a height one^third less than the 
interior table-lands of Spain and Bavaria>> the 
waves must have broken in the province of Jaen 
de Bracamoros, against the rocks that bound 
the eastern decUvity of the Cordilleras of the 
Andes. The rising of this ridge is so inconsi- 
derable compared to the whol^ continent^ that 
its breadth in the parallel of the Cape of Saint- 
Roch is 1400 times greater than the mean 
height of the Andes. 

We distinguish in the mountainous part of 
South America^ a chain and three groups of 

^ Map ofOoluwMa, according ta tk4 Oiirommkal chiervan 
tian$ Humboldt, by A. H. Brui, 1023^ to which arc 
joined the prpfiles of the Cordilleras and the plains. In 
tracing an outline by the pandlel of 5^ south latitude^ from 
Jaen de Bracamoros^ as fer as Cape Saint-Roch> in the 
greatest breadth of South America from west to east, iMe 
find 880 leagues, qv a regular slope of t^ feet In the l&i^e 
of 17^130 jn^ de rot, or of 6 lo inch in the mile of 9^1 toises. 
(See Vol. iv, p. 454.) 


mountains, namely, theCordillemof the Andes, 
which the geognost may follow without inter- 
ruption, from Cape Pilares, io the western part 
of the strait of Magellan, to the promontory of 
Paria, opposite the island of Trinidad ; the insu- 
lated group of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, 
the group of the Mountains of the Oroonoko, or 
of ia Parime, and tliat of the Mountains of Bra- 
zil. The Sierra de Santa Marta being nearly in 
the meridian of the Cordilleras of Peru and 
New-Grenada, navigators fell commonly into 
the error of supposing the snowy summits 
which tbey descry in passing the month of the 
lUo Magdalena, to be the northern extremity 
of the Andes. I shall soon prove that the co- 
lossal group of the Sierra de Santa Martai is al- 
most entirely separate from the mountains of 
Ocana and Pamplona, . which belong to the 
eastern Cordillera of New Grenada. The hot 
plmns through which runs the Rio Cesar, and 
tfhtch extend towards the valley of Upar, sepa- 
rate the Sierra Nevada from the Paramo de 
Cacota, south of Pamplona. The ridge which 
divides . the. waters between the gulph of Ma- 
racaybo and the Rio Magdalena, is in the plain' 
on the east of the Laguua Zapatoza. If the 
Sierra de Santa Marta has long been erroneously 
considered, on account of its eternal snows, and 
its longitude, to be a continuation of the Cordil- 
leras of the Andes, the connexion on the other 


hand, of that very Cordillera with the motin- 
tains on the coast of the provinces of Cnmana 
and Cai*accas, has not been recognized. The 
chain of the shore of Venezuela, of which the 
different ranges form the Montana de Faria, 
the isthmus of Araya, the Silla of Caraceas, 
and the mountains of gneisis-granite north and 
south of the lake of Valencia, is joined between 
Portocabello, San Felipe and Tocuyb (by the 
Torito, thePicacho de Nirgua, the Palomera^ aiid 
Altar), to the Paramos de las Rosas and Niiqai- 
taoj which form the north-^east extremity of the 
Sierra de Merida and the eastern Gordfllem of 
the Andes of New Grenada. It is suffideht to 
have here indicated the connexion, so impor- 
tant in a geognostic point of view ; fw the de- 
nominations of Andes and Cordilleras being 
altogether in disuse for the chains of mountains 
which stretch from the eastern gulph of Mara- 
cay bo to the promontory of ^ria, we shall con- 
tinue to desi^ate those chains, stretching from 
west to east, by the names of the chctm of the 
shorcj or coasUchain of Veneztiela. 

One of those insulated groups of mountains, 
that is, of those which are not branches of the 
Cordillera of the Andes and its continuation 
towards the shore of Venezuela, is on the north, 
and the other two west of the Andes ; the for- 
mer is the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta ; the 
two others are the Sierra de la Parime, between 

4° and 8° of nurtli latitude, and die Moutaaitis 
qf Brazil, between 15" and 28° south latitude. 
This singular distribution of great inequalities 
(tf soil produces three plains or basins, that con- 
stitute altogether a surface of 420,600 square 
leagues, or four-fifths of all South America, east 
of the Andes. Between the chain of the roast 
ef Venezuela and the group of Parimc, tin- 
plains of the ,'Jpure and the Loiver Oroonoko ex- 
lend ; between the group of the Parime, and 
tkat of the Mountains of Brazil, the plains of 
iht ttmaittit, the Rio Negro, end the Madeira, 
sod betweaa the grovpt of BratUl and the 
4etitbeiii exticmity of the continent, the plains 
of Rio de la Plata, and of Patagonia. As the 
gtovp of the I^ime in Spanish Guyana;, and 
thftt of Bmeil {or of Minas Geraes and Goyaz), 
■do not join the Cordillera of the Andes of New 
Grebnda atid Upper Peru, towards the west, Che 
thru plluna of tlra Lower Orocmoko, the Ama- 
son, aad the lUo de la Plata, cougmunicate to- 
gether by land-straits of considerable breadth. 
"Diese straita are also plains stretching from 
noKh to Boath, and crossed by ridges imper- 
oCptible to the eye, but forming divortia aqua- 
rum. Hiese ridges (and this striking pheno> 
menon has not hitherto fixed the attention of 
geognosts), these ridges, or lignes de faites, are 
placed between the 2° and 3° of north latitude, 
and the IG" and IS" of south latitude. The 


^si ridge forms the partition of the waters^ 
which throw themselves into the Lower Oroo- 
noko on the north-east, and into the Rio Negro 
and the Amazon on the south and south-east ; 
the second ridge divides the tributary streams 
of the right bank of the Amazoa and the Rio« 
de la Plata. The direction of these lignes de 
faites is such, that if they were marked by the 
chains of mountains they would unite the groups 
of the F^me to the Andes of Timana (Per^ 
Nar.Yoi^y, p. ^26), and the mountains of Br^ 
zil to the promontory of the Andea of Santa 
Cruz de la Sierra, Cochabamba, and Potosi. 
We make a supposition so vague, only that the 
outline of this vast portion of the globe; may be; 
more easily perceived. These risings in the; 
plain, in the intersection of two plains slightly 
inclined, those two ridges, of which the exist** 
ence is only manifested, as in Volhinia * by the 
course of the waters, are parallel to the chain 
of the coast of Venezuela;, they present, it may 
be said, two systems of counter-slopes little ideve^, 
lopedj in the direction from west to east, between 
the Guaviare and the Caqueta, and between, 
the Mamori and the Hlcomayo. It is also wor* 

• Oo the partition of the waters between the Dnieper (or 
the Hack Sea), and the Niemen (or the Baltic)^ See the hp^ 
drograpkic map of Poland, by MM. Perthes andKomarcewikff, 

VOL. VI. 2 E 


riiy of remark, that in the southern hemisptiefflj^ 
the Cordillera of the Andes sends an immense 
counterpoise towards the east, the promontory 
of the Sierra Nevada de Cochabainba, whence 
begins the ridge stretching between the tribn- 
tary streams of the Madeira and Paraguay to- 
wards the lofty group of the mountains of Bra- 
zil or Minas Gcraes. Three transversa) chains 
(the mountains of tlie shore of Venezuela, of 
the Oroonoko, or Parime, and the mountains of 
Brazil) tend, it may be said, to join the loogi^ 
tndinal chain (the Andes), either by an inter- 
metfiary group (l>etween the lake of Vale&ciaantt 
Toeuyo) or by ridges formed by the intersec- 
tion of oovntar-slepes in the plains. The two 
extremities of the three LIa:aoa which eommn- 
idcMte by land-Btraitg, the Llanos of the Lower 
Orooaoke, the Amazon, and the Rio de ]a l^ata 
er of Baenos Ayrea, are Bteppe8> covered with 
gramma, while the intermediary Llaaes, tliat 
of the AowzfHi, is a thick forest. I^th respect 
to- the two land-straits, forming ban^ directed 
fihom nortfr to south (from the Apure to Caqueta 
acresB the PiroTiBf» de los liuios, and t^ 
sowrees of the Manner! to Rio PiIc<mK^o, across 
the province of Mocos and Chiquitos) they dis- 
play bare and grassy steppes like the plains of 
Caraccas and Buenos Ayres. 

In the immense space of land east of the 
Andes, which comprehends more than 480,000 


square marine lei^eft^ of which 02,000 IM h 
moQ&taiaous cooDtry^ no gronpe liSM to the. 
region of perpetual snows ; none even attaiiiii the 
height of 1,400 toises. This lowering of the 
mountains in the eastern region of the New 
Continent,, extends as fio* as 60^ of north lati- 
tude ; while in the western part, oft the prei^ 
longatiion of the Cordilleras of the Andes, Che 
highest summits rise in Mexico (kt 18^ 50"), to 
2^770 toises^ and m the Roeky Mm^OisA (Ib». 
37"" to 40^) to 1,000 toises. The iMnlated 
groupe of the Allegfaanies, which cmvMpoftds 
by its eastern position and ^refction with the 
groupe of Brazil, does not surpass 1,040 toised^l 
The lofty summits tfaerefm^, excee^g th^ 
height of Mcmt Blanc, belong otAy to the longi* 
tndinal chain that bounds the basin <^ the Vt^ 
cific Ocean, from the 55^ south to the 68^ nor^^ 
that is to say^ the Cordillera of the Anden. The 
only insulated groupe that can be compiled 
with the snowy summits of the equinoxial Andes, 
and which attains the height of nearly 3,000 
toises, is the Sierra de Santa Marta ; it is not 
placed on the east of the CcNrdilleras, but be- 
tween the prolongation of two of their branches, 
those of Merida and Veragua. The Cordilleras, 

« The cdbmaaut pokft of the Alleghanies is Mount Waih. 
isgloa^ in New Hiuap6hire> U^ 44|^ According to Gap^ 
USa Partridge it is 0634 Englifh feel. 



where they bound the Caribbean sea, in that 
part which we denote by the name of Chain 
of the shore of Venezuela, do not attain UtB 
extraordinary height {2,500 toises) which tbey 
reach in their prolongation towards Oiita and 
Merida. In considering separately the groupes 
of the east, those of the shore of Venezuela, Pa- 
rime, and Brazil, we see them diminish from 
.north to south. The highest summits of each 
groupe are the Silla de Caraccas (1350 toises), 
.the peak Duida (1300 toises), the Itacolami and 
,the Itambe * (900 toises). But, as I have already 
observed in another place -f-, it would be an 
etror to judge the height of a chain of moun- 
taips solely from that of the most lofty sum- 
ipit^. The peak of the Himalaya}, most ex- 
Aptily measared, is 676 toises hi^er than the 
phimborazo; the Chimhorazo 900 toises higher 
than Mont Blanc ; and Mont Blane 653 toises 
higher than the peak Nethon ^. These differ- 

* According to the meaaure of MM. Spts and Msrtins, 
the Itambe de ViHa de Principe is 5S90 feet high. {Martbt'i 
Phytiognomy of FflaiuenTeUlu in BTaxiUen, 1824, p. 23.) 

t See my first memoir on the mouotaina of India, in the 
AnnaUt de ehimie et dt phyrique, 1818, Vol. iit, p. 313. 

J The Peai lewahir, lot. 30° 22' 19* ; long. 77° 35' 7" 
east of Paris. Height 402S toises, according to MM. Hodg- 
son and Herbert. 

^ This peak, called also peak of Ancthon or Malahita, or 
eastern peak of Maladetta, is the highest summit of the 
Pyrenees. It rises 1787 toises, and consequently exceeds 


^nces do not furnish the relations of the mean 
height of the Himalaya, the Andes, the Alps; 
and the Pyrenees, that is, the height of the back 
of the mowfUamSy on which arise the |>eaks^ 
needles, pyramids, or rounded domes. It M 
that part of the back where the passages are 
made, that furnishes a precise measure of the 
minimum of the height attained by the gteeX 
chains. In comparing the whole of my uiea^ 
sures with those of Moorcrc^, Webb tmd 
Hodgson, Saussure and Ramond, I estimate the 
mean height of the top of the Himalaya, be- 
tween the meridians of 75^ and 77^ at 2450 
toises ; the Andes * (at Peru, Quito, and New 

Mont Perdu 40 toises. (Vidal and Reboul^ in the Annates 
de chinue, torn, y, p. 234, and in the Journal d^ phytu/ui; 
1822, Dec. p. 418, Charpentkr, Eii<n tut la comtii. giognoil. 
deg PyrStUes, p. 823, 539.) 

* In the passage of Qaindiu, between thr'valley of Mag« 
dalena and that of the RioCaaca, I found the colminant point 
(la Garita del Parama), at 1798 tobes of absolute height ; it 
is however, riegarded as one the least elevated. The pcusdgH 
of the Andes of Guanacas, Guamani, and Micuipamptt ai^ 
te8pectively2300, 1713, and 1817 toises above the surfkcift 6t 
the ocean. Even in 33^ south latitude, the road which croines 
the Andes between Mendoza and Valparaiso is 1987 toilsei 
high. See my Aiiron. Ohs. Vol. i, p. 312, 314, and 319, 
i^dldas, Semanario de Santa Fe de Bogota, torn, i, p. 8 ahcl 
88. I do not mention the Col de TAssuay, where I piadsed*, 
tiear la Ladera de Cadlud, on a ridge 2428 toises high, b^- 
^cause it is a passage on a transversal ridge that joins two pn^ 
i^allel chains. ' 

Grenada), at 1850 toises -, the top of the AIp« 
Eiod Pyrenees at 1150 toisefl. The difference of 
the mean height of the Cordilleras (between the 
parallels of 5° north and 2° south) and the Alps 
of Switzerlaod, is consequently 200 toises less 
than the difference of their loftiest summits ; 
and in comparing the passages of the Alps, ve 
see that the mean height of their tops is nearly 
the same, although the peak Nethou is 600 
toiees lower than Mont Blanc and Mont Hose. 
Between Himalaya* ond the Andes, on the 

* Tht pat*«ges of the UtmsUys that lend to CUnew Tkr- 
torj in HiodoBUn (Niteq-Gtuul, Bamaarn, Chaloalghati, &c.) 
are from 2400 to 3700 toiicB of absolute hei^hb With res- 
Pfct to tbfl meat elevated top of the Himalaya, 1 bave ckoMS 
it niooag the peak* placed between the meridiADi of the laltfl 
Afaoawrowu and Balvapore, they only bavipg beep owa- 
sured with great precision -by MNU Webb, HodgKWi oiod 
IlertwrL (Jrial. Baearck. Vol. xiv, p. It7. &?«! Edbth. 
Fluk Jimn,, 1823, w-18, p. 312). We know no newan w 
jncuK^ wya Ctptaia HodgM^, south-east of JkC 90' iV, 
mUmg^TT'Sl', There maybe still loftier evomuta in 
tbe pucidiao of Qomkpnr mu] thqt of Riugpor ) and it ba|, 
in bd. beea concluded, aceonUng to ovglea taken at very 
gmt distance^ that the pwJt of Cbainalari. near whi^ Tnr> 
ner pBH«d in guiing to Tino-Lwnbu, ud the peak Dbawa* 
Iji^iri, south of Uuttung, near the source of the Ounda<d(i 
was 28,077 English feet, (4390 toiacs) high. (Journ. ^ (iU 
itgy. /iMh«v 1831, Vol. ij, p. 242.) The niewuie of Dfaa* 
walagiri by Webb, s« ably discussed by Mr. Colebrok^ wa« 
copfinued by Mr. Blake \ but, in the table furnished ia Uu* 
memoir, I th'oti^ht it would be more pmdent for the ^ossoti 


contrary, (considering those chains in the limit* 
which 1 have just indicated^) the dtflference be- 
tween the mean height of the ridges and that 
of the loftiest summits pre s erves nearfy the 
same relations, In applying an analogous rea^ 
soning to those groupes of mountmns which we 
have made known, at the east of the Andes, we 
find the mean height of the chain of the shore of 
Venezuela to be 750 toises ; of the Sierra Pa* 
rime, 500 toises ; of the Brazilian groupe, 400 
toises ; whence it follows that the mountains of 
the :eastem region of South America, are, be* 
tween the tropics^ to the mean elevation of the 
Andes, in the relation of 1 to 3. The following 
is the result of some numerical statements^ of 
which the comparison affords more precise 
ideas on the structure * of mountains in general. 

to give the prcferoice «o the peak ItmMr, meimred by Mr. 
Herbert, Tlioae measures will be discussed in another place. 
^ The necks or paucLges indicate the mmimum of the height 
to which the ridge of the mountains lowers in such or such a 
country. Now, in casting a look on the principal passages 
«f the Alps of Switzerland, (eol de Seigne, 1363 t. -, eol 
Terret, lldl U i Moit-Cenis, lOW t. ; Petit Saint-Becnard, 
1125 t. ; Grand Suint-Bernard, 1246 t. ; Simplon, 1029 t. -, 
Saint-Goihaid, 1065 t. ; la Fourche^ 1250 t.) | and on the 
neck des Pyren/es (Picade, 1243 t. 3 Bcnasque, 1231 t. -, k 
Ol^re, 1196 t. J Pin^e, 1291 tj Gavarnic, 1197 t.; Cava- 
rhte^ 1151 1. ; Tourmalet, 1126 t.) ; it would be difficult to 
affirm that the top of the Pyrenees is lower than the mean 
height of the Swiss Alps, (liamond. Voyage au Mont^Petdu, 



■n» bisbBi 


Himalaya (between nor. lat 

75" 23' and 77" 38') 

4020 t. 

2450 t. 

I : 10 

Cordilleraa of the Andes (be- 

tween lat. &<> nor. and 2' 

3350 t. 


1 : re 

1 : 21 

1 : 1-5 
1 : 1-6 

Alps of Switzerland 

Chainof the shore of Venezuela 

1350 1. 

7S0 t. 

Groupe of the mounlains o 

1300 t. 

500 t. 

1 : 2-6 

flOO t 

400 t. 

1 : 2 3 

If we distinguish among the mountiuns those 
which rise in detached masses, and form small 
insulated systems (the groupes of the Canaries, 
the Azores, the Sandwich Islands, the Monts 
Dores, the Euganees), and those that make a 
part of a continued chain (Himalaya, Alps, 

p. 23.) What characterizes the latter chain, is the relativt 
height of the summits (that is, the elevation of those sum- 
mits compared with the top), which is much lest in the Py- 
renees, in the Andes, and in Himalaya ; for even in adopting 
the measure of Dhawalagiri (4380 t.). we stilt 6nd for the 
Himalaya, only the relation of 1 : 1*7. 


Andes^) we may observe that, iiQtwithstandihgf 
the immense height * of the summits of Isome 
insulated systems^ the culminant paints of the 
whole globe belong to continued chains, to the 
Cordilleras of central Asia^ and South America. 
In that part of the Andes with which I am best 
acquainted, between 8^ of south latitude, and 2P 
of north latitude, all the colossal summits are of 
trachyte. It mayalmost be admitted as a general 
rule, that whenever the mass of mountains rises 
in that region of the tropics much above the 
limit of perpetual snows (2300-^2470 toiSes), 
the rocks vulgarly called primitive (for instance 
the gneis-granite or micaslate) disappear, and 
the summits are of trachyte or trapean-pon- 
phyry. I know only a few rare exceptions to 
this law in the Cordilleras of Quito, where the 
Nevados of Conderasto and Cuvillan, placed 
opposite the trachytic Chimborozo, arc^ conr- 
posed of micaslate, and contain veins of sul- 
phurated silver. In the same manner, in the 
groupes of detached mountains that rise 
abruptly from the plains, the loftiest summits 


* Among the insulated systetM, or sporadic mountains, th6 
MowDa Roa is generally regarded as the most elevated sum* 
mit of the Sandwich Islands ; it is computed at 2600 toises, 
and is yet at some seasons entirely stript of its snows. (Per* 
sonat Nar. Vol. i, p. 105). An exact measure of this summit^ 
6ituated in very frequented latitudes, has during 25 years, 
been claimed in vain by naturalists and geognosts ! 


(Mowna Roa, Peiik of TeneiilTe, Etna, Peak of 
tlie Azores), furnish only modern volcauic 
i-ocks. It would however, be an error to extend 
that law to every other continent, and to admit 
ia geueral that, in every zone, the greatest ele- 
vations have produced trachi/tic domes ; gnets- 
granite and mica-slate constitude, in the almost 
insulated groupe of the Sierra Nevada of Gre- 
iiada, the Peak of Malhacen*, as they also 
constitute in the continued chain of the Alps, 
the Pyrenees, and probably the Himalaya-f-, tlw 
Bummits of the ridge. Perhaps these pheno- 
meuB, discordant in appearance, are effects of 
the same cause ; perhaps granite, gneiss, and 
all tbepretended^'iut/iVeiVe^i^uRiaitmouRlatiu, 
are owing to volcanic forces, as well as the tra- 
chytes ; but to forces of which the action re- 
sembles less the still burning volcanoes of our 
days, ejecting lara, which at the moment of its 

* Thu peak, accordiag ta the survey of M. Oemenle 
"RxKLoa, is 1620 toiaes above the level of the sea, consequent- 
ly 39 totsea higher than the loftiest top of the Pyrenees (tk 
granidc peak of Methoo), and 83 toiaes lower than tke trs- 
chytic peak of Teneriffe. The Sierra Nevada of Grenada 
fbmu a system of mountains of mica-slate, passing to goeis 
and (iay-elate, and which contains shelves of euphotide aod 
green-stone. Sec the excellent geognoatic memoir of Don 
Joae Rodrigues in the Ann, de Chimie, Tom. x%, p. fKt. 

t I/we may judge from the specuneos of rocks eollecteil 
in the ntckt and jxuiaget of the Himalaya, or rolled down bj 
the torrentf. 


/eruption enters immecUatefy into oontaot with 
the atmospheric air ; but it is not here my pmv 
pose to discuss this great theoretic question. > 
After having examined the general stmctiire 
of South America according to consideraticms 
of comparative geognoMy^ I shall now state sepa^ 
rately the different systems of mawstams Md 
plains^ of which the mutual connection has so 
powerful an inflnence on (lie state of industry 
and commerce of the nations of the New Con- 
tinent. I shall give only a general view of the 
systems placed beyond the limits of the region 
which forms the special object of this memoir. 
Geology being essentially founded on the study 
of the relations of juxta-position and place, I 
could not treat of the chains of the shore and of 
Parime separately, without touching on the other 
systems placed south and west of Venezuela* 

A. Systems qf Mountains^ 

#. CoBPiLiJBRAg OF THB Anpss* Tbis is the 
most continuedj^ the longest,, the most constant 
in its direction from south to north, and north- 
north-west, of any chain of the globe. It ap- 
proaches the north and south poles at unequal 
distances of ftom 22^ to S^* Its develope- 
ment is from 2800 to 3000 leagues, (20 to a de- 
gree,) a length equal to the distance from Cape 
Finisterre in Galicia to the north-^ast Cape 
(Tschuktschoi-Noss) of A«ia. Somew^atless than 


the half of this chain belongs to South Americat 
and runs along its western coast. On the nuth 
of the isthmus of Cupica and of Panama, after 
an immense lowering, it assumes the appear- 
4tnce of a nearly central ridge, forming a rock; 
dyke that joins the great continent of North 
America to that of the south. . The Iot landi 
«n the east of the Andes of Gnatimala and 
New Spun, appear to have been overwhelmed 
by the floods, and now form the bottom of the 
-Caribbean Sea. As the continent bej^ood the 
parallel of Florida agiun widena towards the 
.east, the CordiUeFOB of Dorahgo and New 
Mexico, as well as the Rocky Moonuin* which 


kenzie river, (lat/69®, long. 130J**), more thaii 
twelve degrees west of the green-stone moun- 
tains*, known by the denomination of the 
Copper Mountains, and visited recently by Cap- 
tain Franklin. The colossal peak of Siunt 
£lia, and that of Mount Fairweather, of New 
Norfolk^ do not belong, properly speaking, to 
the northern prolongation of the Cordilleras of 
the Andes, but to a parallel chain (the mari- 
time Alps of the north-west coast), stretching 
towards the peninsula of Califomia,. and con- 
nected by transversal ridges with a mountain- 
ous lan/dy between the 45^ and 53^ of latitude, 
with the Andes of New Mexico (Rocky Moun- 
tains). In South America (and my geognostic 
table is particularly restricted to that part of 
the New Continent), the mean breadth of the 
Cordillera of the Andes is from 18 to 22 

135<» : mouth of the Coppeiviniiio river, according to Franklin, 
115* 37' ; according to Mackenzie and Heame, 111® : mouth 
of the Slave River^ in the lake of that name, according to 
Franklin, 112^45'; according to MBckensie, Il3^ west of 
Greenwich). From these statements it results, 1st. that the 
Rodcy Mountains are in the parallel from 60® to G5% at 124* 
to 125° long, wegt of the meridian of Paris ; 2d. that the 
northern extremiity of the chain, west of the mouth of Mac- 
kenzie river. Is 130® 20' of long. $ and, 3d. that the grouped 
of the Copper-Mountains is 118* and 119® long., and Ot^imd 
68® latitude. FrankHn^s Journal to the Polar Sea, p» 638;- '^ 
^ See an excellent geognostic memoir by Mr. Richard* 
son, in Franklln*s Joum. page 528, 


leagues •. It is only in the huits of the : 
tains, that is, wliere the Cordillera is 8Welle<l bj 
count ffr-furts, or divided into several chains 
nearly parallel, and that are rejoined at inter- 
vals, for instance, on the south of the lake 4^ 
Titicaca, that it is more than 100 to 120 leagues 
broad, in a direction perpendicular to its axis. 
The AndES of South America bound the plains 
of the Oronooko, the Amazon, and the Rio de 
la Plata towards the west, like a rocky wall 
{Crttt d€ filon) which bad been raised across a 
crevice 1300 leagues long, and stretching from 
soQtk to north. This heaved up port (if it be 
penaitted to use an expression fboaded on a 
geogmtic hipothetis\ comprises a surface of 
0ttj9OO square leagues, between the parallel of 
Cape Pillar* and the northern Choco. In order 
to form an idea of the variety of rocks which 
this space may furnish for the observation of 
t^ traveller, we must recollect that the Pyre- 
nees, according to the observations of M. Char- 
pentier-f, occupy only 768 square marine 

■ * The bicMltb of this iromenas ckaia i» a pbenomeooa 
wqQ worlky of att»tioa. The Swim Alpi extend io Um 
CrisootudiD the Tyrol, toabrcadthofSeutd 4aieapMi, 
kotb tn the UMridlans of ^e kike of Cobo, and tbe caatoo 
Apesall, aitd ia the meridian (rf Bunno aad TegeniMa. 

t Neorljr ISM •qwre lea^uei of FnuKe. See Enai Mr 
let Pyrenkt, p. 0. 


The name of Andes m the Qaicfana language 
(language of tbe Inea), which wants the conso^ 
nants d^f^ and gy Antis, or Ante, appears to me 
to be derived from the Peruvian word anta, sig- 
nifying copper^ and metal in general. They 
also say anta chacra, mine of copper ; antacttri, 
copper mixed with gold ; puca anta, copper, or 
red metal. As the group of the Altai moun- 
tains * has taken the denomination in the 
TVtrkish dialects of the word altar or altyn, in 
the same manner the Cordilleras , must have 
been termed Copper-country ot Anti-suyu, oa 
account of the abundance of metal which thef 
Peruvians employed for their tools. The Inca 
€rarcilasso, son of a Peruvian princess, who 
wrote with an affecting simplicity the history 
of his native country in the first years of the 
conquest -f^/ gives no etymology of the name 
of the Andes. He only opposes Antt-suyUy or 
the region of summits covered with eternal 
snows (ritiseca)^ to the plains or Fimcas, that 
is, to the lower region of Peru. I thought that 
the etymology of the longest cfiain of the globe 
would have some interest for the mineralogic 

Klapfih^ Ana polm^aUa, f. 911. It appetis to mi 
prebftble that tbe tribe of the Aniis g^ve its name to 

the mouotains of Peru. 

t Basil Hall, Journal in Chili and Peru, 1824, Vol. i, 

p. 3. 


The structure of the Cordillera of the Andes, 
that is, its disposition in several chains nearly 
parallel, which are rejoined by knots of moun- 
tains, is very remarkable. Our maps indi- 
cate this structure in the most imperfect man- 
ner; andwhat LaCondamine and Bouguer had 
guessed, during their long stay on the table- 
land of Quito only, has been generalized and 
ill-interpreted by those who have described the 
whole chain according to the tjrpe of the equa- 
torial Andes. The following is what I could 
collect that was most positive by my own re- 
searches, and an active correspondence of 
twenty years with the inhabitants of Spfmish 
America. The group of islands very near each 
Other^ vulgarly called Land of Fire, in which 
the cbun of the Andes begins, is a plam from 
the Cape of Saint Esprit as far as the canal of 
Saint Sebastian. The country on the west of 
this canal, between Cape Saint Valentin and 
Cape Pilares, is bristled with granitic moun- 
tains that are covered (from Morro de San 
AgiiedatoCaboRedondo) with calcareous shells. 
Navigators have greatly exaggerated the height 
of the mountains of the Land of Fire, among 
which there appears to be a volcano still burn- 
ing. M. de Churruca found the western peak 
of Cape Pilaris (lat. 52° 45' south) only 218 
toises * ; even Cape Horn is probably not more 

* Relacion del viage al Etbrecio de Afagelltmei. Apptnditt, 
1793, p. 70. 


than 500 toises * high. The plain ectendff on 
the northern bank of the strait of Magellan, 
from the Gape of Virgins, to Cabo Negro ; at 
that Cape the Cordilleras rise abruptly, and fill 
the whole space as far as Cape Victoria (lat. 52^ 
22"). The region between Cape Horn and the 
southern extremity of the continent somewhat 
resembles the origin of the Pyrenees between 
Cape Crenx (near the gulph of Rosas), and the 
Col de Pertus. The height of the Pbtagonian 
chain is not known ; it appears, however, that 
no summit sooth of the parallel of 48^, attains 
the elevation of Canigou (1430 toises), whieh is 
placed near the eastern extremity of the Pyre- 
nees. In the southern country, where the sum- 
mers are so cold and short, the limit of the 
eternal snows must lower at least as much as in 
the northern hemisphere, in Norway, in 63^ and 
64^ latitude, consequently below 800 toises^. 

* It is very distinctly seen at 60 miles distance^ which, 
without counting the terrestrial refractions^ would give it a 
height of 408 toises. 

t I have founded my judgment on the limit of the snows 
between 48^ and 6io in the Patagonian lands^ and on the 
analogy of climate of the Malouine islands (lat 51* W), 
the only point equally south which we know with precision. 
The mean temperature of the whole year in the Malouines, 
(6*3 cent.) corresponds, it is true, with that of Edinbuigh 
(lat. 56* 57^ in the northern hemisphere ; but such is the 
difference of the division of heat, between the different sea- 

VOL. YU 2 F 


The great breadth, tlierefore, of the band of 
snowthat envelopes these Patagonian summits, 
does not justify the idea formed of tbeii- height 
by travellers, in 40° of south latitude. As we 
advance towards the Island of Chiloe, the Coiv 
dilleras draw near the coast ; and the Archipe- 
lago of Chonos or Huaytecas appears like the 
vestiges of an immense group of mountains 
overwhelmed by the floods. Arms of narrow 
seas (esteros) fill the lower vallles of the Andes, 
and remind us of the fiords of Norway and 
Greenland. We there find, ranged from south 
to north *, the Aevados de Maca (lat. 45° 19'), 
ofCuptana (lat. 44" 58'), ofYanteles (lat. 43" 
52') of Corcovado, Chayapirca (lat. 42" 52') and 
of Llebcan (lat. 41 » 4»'). The peak of Cuptana 
rises like the peak of Tenerifte, from the bosom 
of the sea ; but being scarcely visible at 36 or 
40 leagues distance, it cannot be more than 

80IM, in the two hemispheres, on the same line, that the 
mean temperature of the summers at Ediohurgh is 14*6', 
ant] at the Malouine blands scarcely 1 1° 4'. Now, the 
isotherm line (equal summer) from IL" to 12° passes in 
our hemisphere, on the eastern coast of Westrobornir, in 
64* of latitude, and it Is known that these cold summers 
correspond with a height of perpetual snows, of 750 to 800 
toiees. See uiy memoir on the Tiolherm Unet, p. 112. 

* Manuscripts and maps of Don Jose de Moraleda. {See 
also Sir Charles Gicsecke iu Scoretby's voy, to West-Creen- 
lanil, p. 497.) 


1500 toises high. Corcovado^ placed on the 
coast of the continent, opposite the sonthem 
extremity of the island of Chiloe, appears to be 
more than 1950 toises high ; it is perhaps, the 
loftiest summit of the whole globe, south of the 
parallel of 429 south latitude. On the north of 
San Carlos de Chiloe, in the whole length of 
Chili to the desart of Atacama, the low western 
regions not having been overwhelmed by the 
floods, the Andes there appear farther from the 
coast. The Abb6 Molina *, always pMitive in 
what is doubtfiil, affirms that the Cordilleras of 
Chili, form three parallel chains, of which the in- 
termediary is the most elevated ; but to prove 
that this division is far from general, it sufficed 
to recollect the barometric survey made by 
MM. Bauza and Espinosa, in. 1794, between 
Mendoza and Santiago de Chili. The road 
which leads from one o( those towns to the 
other, rises by d^^rees from 700 to 1987 toises ; 
and after passing the col des Andes (La Cumbre, 
between the houses of refuge called Las Cala* 
veras and Las Cuevas), it descends continually 
as far as the temperate valley of Santiago de 
Chili, of which the bottom is only 409 toises 
above the level of the Ocean. The same sur- 
vey has made known to us the mmimum of 

* Saggio, p. 4, 2Q, 48. Compared with the manuscripU 
ofM, Nee, botanist of the JMUIaspina expedition. 

2 F 2 


height at Chili of the lower limit of snow, hi 
the 33" of south latitude. 'Vhe limit does not 
lower in summci- to 2000 toiaes*. I think we 
may conclude, according to the analogy of the 
snowy mountains of Mexico and southern Eu- 
rope, and considering the difference of the 
evtivale temperatures of the two hemispheres, 
that the real Nevadas at Chili, in the parallel 
of Valdivia (lat. 40"), cannot be helow 1300 
toises; in that of Valparaiso (lat. 33°) not 
lower than 2000 toises, and in that of Copiapo 
(lat. 27") not below 2200 toises of absolute 
height. They are the limit numbers, the mini- 
mum of elevation, which the ridge ;of the Andes 
of Chili must attain by different degrees of 
latitude, in order that their summits, more or 
less grouped, pass not the line of perpetual 
snows. The numeric results which I have just 
marked, and which are founded on the laws of 
the distribution of heat, have still the same -im- 
portance as they had at the period already dis- 
t^t of my travels in America ; Jor there does 
not exist in the immense extent of the Andes, 
from 8° of south latitude to ike strait of Magel- 
lan, one Nevada of which the height above tke 
level of the Ocean has been determined, eitlier by 

■ On the tottikem declicity of the Hinudaja, the sdowi 
begin 3° nearer the equator, at 1970 toises. 


a simple geometric measure, or hy the combined 
means of barometric, and geometric measures ♦. 

The Andes, between 33^ and IS'' of south lati- 
tude, between the parallels of Valparaiso and 
Arica, present towards the east three remark- 
able counter-forts, the Sierra de Cordova, de 
Salta, and the Nevados de Cochabamba. Tra^ 
Tellers partly cross, and partly go along the 
side of the iS/erra de Cordova (between 33^ and 
31' of latitude), in their way from Buenos Ayres 
to Mendoza ; it may be said to be the most 
southern promontolry which advances in the 
Pampas, towards the meridian of 65"^ ; it gives 
biith to the great river known by the name of 
Desaguadero of Mendoza, and extends from 
San Juan de la Frontera and San Juan de la 
Punta to the town of Cordova. The second 
counter-fort, the Sierra de Salta and the Jujui> 
of which the greatest breadth is 25"" of latitude, 
widens progressively from the valley of Cata- 
marca and San Miguel del Tucuman, towards 


* The simultaneous employment of both these means is 
necessary wherever a base cannot be measured at the level 
of the sea^ or a plan taken from the table-land on which the 
base has been measured as far as the coast. The want of 
|x>rtable barometers, and ignorance of the use of instruments 
of reflexion, and artificial horizons, retard the progress of 
physical geography in the high chains of mountains ; and 
has been especially prejudicial to the hypsometry of the 
Andes, and the Rocky Mountains. 


the Rio Vermejo (longitude 64°). Finally, tbc 
third, and most majestic coimter-fort, the Sierra 
Nevada de Cochabamha ami Sanla Cruz (from 
22° to ITi" of latitude), is linked with the knot 
of the mountains of Porco. It forms the point of 
partition {divortia aquantm), between the basin 
of the Amazon and that of the Rio de la Plata. 
The Cachimayo and the Pilcomayo, which rise 
between Potosi, Talavei-a de la Puna, and La 
Plata or Chuquisaca, run towards the south- 
east, while the Parapiti and the Guapey (Gua^ 
paiz, or Rio de Mizque), pour their waters into 
the Mamori, towards the north-east. The ridge 
of partition being placed near Chayanta, south 
of Mizque, Tomina, and Pomabamba, nearly on 
the Bontbern declivity of the Sierra de Cocha- 
bamha in the 19° and 20* of latitude, the Rio 
Guapey is forced toflowaround the whole group, 
in order to reach the plains of the Amazon, 
like the Poprad in Europe, a tributary stream 
of the Vistula, to attain the southern part of 
the Carpathes of Tatra in the plains of Poland. 
I have already observed above, that where the 
mount^Ds cease (west * of the meridian of 

* I suppose, with Ca|)tsiii Basil Uall, that the port t^ 
Valparaiso is 71° 3L' west of Greenwich, and I pl»ce Cor- 
dova 6° 40', and Santa Cmz de la Sierra 7* 4' east of Val- 
paraiao. The longitudes indicated in the text, &nd conelanll]' 
referring to the meridian of the Observatory of Paria, uc 


66i^), the ridge of partition of Cochabamba 
goes up towards the north-east, to 16^ of lati- 
tude, forming by the intersection of two planes 
slightly inclined^ one wall only amidst the sa- 
vannahs, and separating the waters of the Gua^ 
pore, a tributary stream of the Madeira, from 
those of the Aguapehy and Jauru^ tributary 
streams of the Rio Paraguay. This vast coun- 
try between Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Villabella, 
and Matogrosso, is one of thd most unknown 
of South America. The two cotinter-forts of 
Cordova and Salta present only a mountainous 
territory * of small elevation, and which is 
linked to the foot of the Andes of Chili. The 
counter-fort of Cochabamba, on the contrary, 
attains the limit of perpetual snows (2300 
toises),and forms in some sort a lateral branch of 
the Cordilleras, diverging even from their tops 
between La Paz and Oruro. The mountains 
composing this branch (Cordillera de Chirigua^ 
naes, de los Sauces and Yuracar6es), stretch 
regularly from west to east ; their eastern de- 

not taken from jmblished maps > they are founded on com^ 
binations of astronomical geography of "which the elements 
will be found in the Analysis of my Atlas of South Ame- 

* I can scarcely believe that even the town of Jujuy is 
650 toises above the level of the Ocean, as Mr. Redhead 
pretends in his book Sobre la dilaiacUm del (ure aimoiftrko. 
(Buenos Ayres^ 1819>) p. 10. 


clivity * is very rapid, and their loftiest sum* 
mits are placed not at the centre, but in the 
northern part of the gronp. 

The principal Cordillera of Chili and Upper . 
Perui after having thrown towards the east Uie 
three counter-forts of Cordova, Sdta, and Co- 
chabamba or Santa Cruz, is, for the first time, 
ramified very distinctly into two branches, in 
the knot of Porco, and Potosi, between 19" and 
20° of latitude. These two branches comprebmd 
the table-land extending from (^rangas to 
Lampa(lat. 19^0 — 15") and which contains'the 
small alpine lake of Paria, the Desaguadero, 
and the great Laguna of "nticaca or Cbocuito, 

on the banks of this lake, near Tiahuanacu, and 
in the high plains of Collao, that ruins are found 
which attest a state of civilization • anterior 
to that which the Peruvians attribute to the 
reign of the Inca Manco Capac. The eastera 
Cordillera, that of Le Paz, Palca, Ancuraa, and 
Pelechuco, join, north-west of Apoiobaniha, the 
western Cordillera, which is the most extensive 
of the whole chain of the Andes, between the 
parallels 14" and 15°. The imperial iuwn of 
Cuzco is placed near the eastern extremity of 
this knot, wliich comprehends, in an area of 
3000 square leagues, the mountmos of Vilca^ 
nota, Carabaya, Abancai, Huando, Parinaco- 
cha8, and Andahuaylas. Although here, as in 
general, iti every considerable widening of the 
Cordillet^ the grouped summits do not follow 
the principal axis in constant and parallel direct 
tions, a phenomenon was however observed in 
the general disposition of the chain of the 
Andes, from lat. 18" well worthy the atten- 
tion of geologists. The whole mass ofthfr 
Cordilleras of Chili and Upper Peru, from the 
strait of Magellan to the parallel of the port of 
Arica (18* 28' 35"), is directed from south to 
north, in the manner of a meridian at most 5<> 
. N. E. ; but from the parallel of Arica, the coast 
and the two Cordilleras east and west of the 

* Garcilaiso, CometUaru}* ReaUii T. i' p. 21,. 


Alpiuc lake of Titicaca change tbcir direction 
abniptly, and incline towards the north-west. 
The Cordilleras of Ancunia and Moquehua, and 
the longitudinal valley, or rather the basin of 
Titicaca, which tht-y inclose, are directed N. 
42° W. Further on, the two branches again 
unite in the knot of the mountains ofCuzvo, and 
thence their direction is N. 80' W. This knot, 
of which the table-land inclines to the north- 
east, presents a real curve, nearly directed from 
east to west, so that the part of the Andes north 
of Castrovireyna is thrown back more than 
242,000 toises towards the west. So singular 
a geological phenomenon reminds us of the 
variation (Tidlure of the veins, and especially of 
the two parts of the chain of the Pyrenees, pa- 
rallel to each other, and linked by an almost 
rectangular elbow, 16,000 toises lopg, near the 
source of the Garonne * ; but in the Andes, the 
axes of the chain, south and north of the curve, 
do not preserve a parallelism. On the north of 
Castrovireyna and Andahuaylas (lat. 14'), the 
direction is N. 22* W., while south of 15', it is 
N. 42* W. The inflexions of the coast follow 
these changes; the shore separated from the 
Cordillera by a plain 15 leagues broad, stretches 
like the Cordillera at Arica, between 271° and 

* Between the mountain of Tcntenade snd the Port 
d'Espot ICkarpenUer, p. 10). 



ISi" of latitude, N. S"* £. ; from Arica to Pisco, be- 
tween 18i^ and 14*^ latitude, at first N. 42" W., 
afterwards N. 65" W. ; and from Pisco to Trux- 
illo, between 14* and 8* of latitude, N. 27* W. 
The parallelism between the coast and the Cor- 
dillera of the Andes is a phenomenon so much 
more worthy of attention, that it is repeated in 
several parts of the globe where the mountains 
do not in the same manner form the shore. 
To this consideration is joined another which 
relates to the general outline of continents. I 
fix on the geographical position of the point 
(14'' 28" south latitude) where, on the parallel 
of Arica, the inflexion of the coast, and the 
variation d^ allure of the Andes of Upper Peru, 
begin. The resemblance of configuration which 
the triangular masses of South America and 
Africa display, is manifest in many details of 
their outline. The gulphs of Arica, and of Ilo 
correspond to the gulph of Guinea. The in- 
flexion of the western coast of Africa begins 3"* 
north of the equator ; and if we consider the 
Archipelago of India geologically, as the re- 
mains of a destroyed continent, as the link be- 
tween eastern Asia and New Holland, we see 
the gulph of Guinea, that which forms Java, 
Bali, and Sumbava, with the Land de Witt, 
and the Peruvian gulph of Arica, following 
from north-west to south-south-east (lat. 3^ N. 
lat. 10° S., lat. Hi"* S.), almost in the same di- 

rection aa the extremities of the three conti- 
nents of Africa, Australasiaj and America •. 

After the great hnot of mountains of Cuxcn and 
Parinacocbas, in 14° south latitude, the Andes 
present a second bifurcation, on the ea6t and west 
of the Rio Jauja, which throws itself into the 
M&ntaro, a tributary stream of the Apurimac-f-. 
The eastern chain stretches on the east of 
Huanta, the convent of Oeopa and Tarnia, the 
western cliain, on the west of Castrovireyna, 
Hnancavelica, Huarochcri, and Yauli. The 
basin, or rather the lofty tahle-land which is 
inclosed by these chains, is nearly half the 
length of the basin of Chucuito or Titicaca. 
,Two mountiuns covered with eternal snow, 
seen from the town of Lima, and which the in- 
habitants name Toldo de la Nieve, belong to ttic 
western chain, that of Huarocheri. 

On the north-west of the vallies of Salca- 
bamba, in the parallel of the ports of Huaura 
and Guarmey, between 11° and 10° latitude, 
the two chains unite in the knot of the Hua- 
nueo and the Pasco, celebrated for the mines 
of Yauricocha or Santa Rosa. There rise two 
peaks of colossal height, the Nevados of Sasa- 

• See above, p. 303. 
+ See !e Plan del curto de lot Rioi HuaUaga y Vcajjali fir 
don Padre Sobrtvkla, nui. The Apurimac forms, con- 
jointly with (he Bcni, the Rio Paro, which takes (he name 
of Ucnjrali, after its couBucace with the Hio Pachilea. 


guanca and of la Viuda. The table-land ' of 
this knot of mountains appears in the Pampas 
de Bombon *, to be more than 1800 toises 
above the level of the Ocean. From this point, 
on the north of the parallel of Huannco^ (lat. 
11°) the Andes are divided into three chains, 
of which the first, and most eastern, rises be- 
tween Poznzu and M una, between the Rio Hu- 
allaga, and the Rio Pachitea, a tributary of the 
Ucayali ; the second, or central, between the 
Huallaga, and the Upper Maragnon ; the third, 
or western, between the Upper Maragnon and 
the coast of Truxillo and Payta 'f'. The eastern 
chain is a small lateral branch which lowers 
into a range of hills ; directed first towards .the 
N.N.E., bordering the Pampas del Sacramento 
afterwards towards the W.N.W., where it is 
broken by the Rio Huallaga, in the Porigo, 
above the confluence of Chipurana, the eastern 
chain loses itself in 6V of latitude, on the north- 
west of Lamas. A transversal ridge seems to 
join it with the central chain, south of Para- 
mo J, de Piscoguanuna (or Piscuaguna), west 
of Chachapoyas. The intermediary or central 
chain stretches from the knot of Pasco and 
Huanuco, towards the N.N.W. between Xican 

t . 

• Political Essay, Vol. iii, p. 341. 

+ See above. Vol. V, p. 39. 

X See above. Vol ii, p. 253— Vol. v, p. 742. 


and Chicoplaya, Hiiacurachnco and the sources 
of tbe Rio Monzan, between Pataz and Pajatan, 
Caxamarquilla and Moyobatnba. It widens 
greatlyin the parallel ofChacbapoya8,and forms 
ainountainoustemtory, traversed by deep vallies, 
excessively hot. The central chain, in 0° lati- 
tude, on the north of Paramo de Piscoguaninia, 
throws two branches towards La Veilaca and 
San Borja. We shall soon see that this latter 
branch forms, below the Rio Neva, a tributary 
stream of the Amazon, the rocks that border 
the famous Pongo de Manseriche. In this zone, 
where northern Peru draws near the confines of 
New Grenada in 10" and 5' of latitude, no sum- 
mit of the eastern and central chains rises as 
high as the region of perpetual snows ; the only 
snowy tops are in the western chain. The cen- 
tral chain, that of the Paramos de Callacalla, 
and Piscoguanuna, scarcely reaches 1800 toises, 
and lowers gently to 800 toises; so that the 
mountainous and tempered land which extends 
onthenorthof Chachapoyas towards Pomacocha> 
La Veilaca, and the source of the RioNieva, 
is still rich in fine trees of quinquina. Aftar 
having passed the Rio Huallaga and the Pachi- 
tea, which with the Beni forms the Ucayali, we 
find in advancing towards the east, only ranges 
of hills. Tbe western chain of the Andes, 
which is' the most elevated and the nearest 
to tbe coast, stretches almost in a parallel with 


the shore N. 22^ W., between Caxatambo and 
Huary, Conchucos and Guamaehaco, by Caxa- 
marca^ the Paramo de Yanaguanga and- Mon- 
tana towards the Rio de Guancabamba. It 
presents (between 9"" and Ti"*) the three Nevados 
de Pelagatos, Moyopata^ and Huaylillas. This 
last snowy summit^ situated near Guamachuco, 
(in y** 55^ latitude) merits the more particularly to. 
fix attention^ since from thencecmthenorth, as far 
as Chimborazo^ on a length of 140 leagues^ there 
exists not one mountain that enters the region 
of perpetual snows. This depression or absence 
of snows^ extends in this interval^ over all the 
lateral chains, while^ on the south of the Ne- 
vado de Huaylillas, we constantly observe that 
when one chain is very low, the summits of the 
other surpass the height of 2460 toises. In 
order to fix attention the more on the branch 
of the Andes which extends on the west of the 
Amazon, that of Conchucos and Caxamarca, I 
shall here repeat that it was on the south of 
Micuipampa (lat. 7^ 10 that I found the mag- 
netic equator. 

The Amazon, or as it is customary to say in 
those regions, the Upper Maragnon, passes 
through the western part of the longitudinal 
valley which lies between the Cordilleras of 
Chachapayas, and Caxamarca. Comprehend- 
ing in one point of view, this valley, and that 
of Rio Jauja, bounded by the Cordilleras of 

Tarraa and Huai-ocheri, we are inclined to 
consider them as one immense basin 180 leag^ues 
}ong, and crossed at the first third of its length, 
by a dyke, or ridge 18,000 toises broad. In 
fact, the two Alpine lakes of Lauricocha and 
Chincbaycocha, wbicb give birth to the river of 
the Amazons and the Rio de Jauja, are placed 
south and north of this rocky dyke, formed by 
a prolongation of the knot of Huaniico and 
Pasco. The Amazon, in issuing from the lon- 
gitudinal valley, that bounds the chains of 
Caxamarca and Chachacocha, breaks, as we 
have already sud in another place *, the latter 
of those chains, which merits the name of cen- 
tral without being the most lofty; the point 
where the great river penetrates into the moun- 
tains is very remarkable. Entering the Ama- 
zon by the Rio Chamaya or Guancabamba, I 
found opposite the confluence, the picturesque 
mountain of Patachuana; but the rocks on 
both banks of the Amazon begin only between 
Tambillo and Tomependa (lat. 5* 31', long. 
80* 56'). From thence to Pongo de Rentema, 
a long succession of rocks follow, of whi<ih the 
last is the Pongo de Tayouchouc, between the 
strait of Manseriche and the village of San 
Borja. The course of the Amazon, at first di- 
rected north, and then east, changes near Pu- 

• Vol. V, p. 41. 

431 ^ 


yaya, three leagoeii north-east of Tomependatt 
In the whole of this distance^ between Tambillo 
and San Borja, the waters force u way^ more or 
less narrow, across the sand-stone of the Ciordil- 
lera of Chachapoyas. The moantmns are lofty 
near the Embarcadero, at the confluence of the 
Imasa, where trunks of Cinchona, which might 
be easily transplanted to Cayisnne, or the Cana^ 
ries, approach the Amazon. Hie rocks in the 
famous strait of Mafiseriche, are scarcely 40 
toises high; and further eastward, the last billi 
rise near XeberoSt towards the mouth of the 
Rio Huallaga. 

In order not to interrupt the description of the 
Cordilleras, between the ]5*and5i^ of latitude^ 
between the knots of the mountains' of Cuzco and 
Laxa, I have hitherto passed over in silence the 
extraordinary widening of the Andes near the 
Apolobamba. The sources of the Rio Beni 
being found in this counter-forty which stretches 
towards the north, beyond the confluence of 
that river with the Apurimac, I slmll designate 
the whole group by the name of the counter-fort 
of Beni. The following is the most certain in^ 
formation I have obtained respecting those 
countries, from persons who had long inhabited 
Apolobamba, the Real of the mines of Pasco, 
and the convent of Ocopa. Along the whole 
eastern chain of Titicaca, from La Paz to the 
knot of Huanuco (lat.l7i* to lOi') a very wide 


pDuotainoiis land lies towards the east, at Ih* 
back of the declivity of the Andes. It is not a 
widening of the eastern chain itself, but rather 
of the counter-forts of small height that follow 
the foot of the Andes like a penumbra, ftlling 
the whole space betw'een the Beni and the Pa- 
chilca. A chaio of hills bounds the eastern 
bank of the Beni to 8' of latitude ; for, accord- 
ing to the very exact infonnatlon I received 
from father Nacisso Gilbar, the rivers Coau^c^ 
pod Magua, tributaries of the Ucayali (Sowing 
la the 6" and 7" latitude), come from a moun- 
tainous land between the Ucayali and the Jqvari. 
The existence of this land in so eastern a longi- 
tude (prob^ly long. 74*), is so much more re- 
^iiarkable, as we find at four degrees of latitude 
fiirtber nor(b, neither a rock nor a bill on the 
east of X^beros, or the mouth of the HuaUaga 
(long. 77" 56'). 

We have just seen that the counter-fort of 
Beni,a8ortoflateraI branch, loses itself towafds 
&■ of latitude ; the chain between the Ucayaii 
^d the HuaUaga terminates at the parallel of 
T in joining, on the west of Lamas, tbe chain of 
Cbachapayas, stretching between tbe HuaUaga 
and the Amazon. Finally, (he letter chaif), 
which we have also designated by the name o_f 
central, alter having formed the rapids and cft? 
taracts of tiie Amazon, between Tomependa aiul 
1^ Boija, tunu towards the north-nofth-w«ftu 

and joins the wedVeiii obalb, that cfCflMhmaHi^ 
or the Nevadcfft of Felagatbs atid Hnag^lilla% 
and forms the great knot (^ the mbmntmmf of 
Loxa. The n^uean he^t' of this: Inat .is onljr 
1000 to 1900 toisto^ itS' teraj»^ra»e ctimata 
renders it peculiarly- fitted, iw tiaat vfegefiaticm; 
of the&ees of qninqijinaiy tbe^ finest ktrida: of 
which grow inthi^ delebrated' fotesto of ^ Oaxt^ 
numa- and Uritiiising% bettireNend;hfe& RiD' Zrfbaora 
and the Gachiyalctai ahd^hetwMn TovAftobacatfil 
Guancidiiapibai. Foi^ ag^ befbre the^qllln<|aiIlli 
of Popayah add^ Santas ^e de Bogola (dOff; 
lat. 'H^'' W6% oi HnacarAchneo^ Hnamalidii 
and Huanuco (south lat. 9^ to 11^), was knOTrn^ 
the kndt of the mountainb'of Loxa was'regalrd-, 
ed as the sole re^gion front whence the ftbrlffige 
bitrk of Cuit)bona could be obtained This 
knot occupies jtbevasl^ territory between <}uaitt 
oabamba, Avayaci^ OjSaj andthe miaedtowsi^ 
of 2^ora and Loyola^ between >5i^ andrdi^ Of 
latitude^* Some of the summits (the PoralMbr 
of Alpiachaoa, Saragurli, Sayamlla, Gueidng^ 
ChulucaBas^ Guamani> and Yamoea^ whicdi^K 
meastir^d), jrise froitat IdSO to 1720 toises^ but ^m^ 
Q^as 9groupe c6yered with snow^ which in tUi: 
latimde fells only above 1860 to 1900 -toises off 
abedutb height. Ih desoendihg tbw&rds ther 
ea«l> totheRio!Santiago and tb^Rio of ChfH 
maya, two tributary streams of the Aibatfotf^ 
the riiotMaiiis lower r^dly ; : bt^een SaO 

2 G 2 

FdSpe, Matai*, and Jsea de Bracamons, tbcy 
4tie not mora than 500 or 300 t^SM. 
' As we advanoe from the moontMns of mica- 
alate >of Loxa towards the north, between the 
Patamos Of Alpadiaca and JBarar (in latitade 
S°.lft')> ^ l™ot of monntains is tapiified into. 
two branches that comprehend the longitu- 
dinal valley of Cuenca. This separation lasts 
on a length of only 12 leagues; for in the ^ 
27' of latitude, the two Cordilleras join anew 
in the hnot of Jssuai/, a trachytic groupe, of 
which the table-land, near Cadlud, 2428 toises 
high) enters nearly into the region of perpetual 

At the knot «f the mountains of Assuay, 
which affords a very frequented passage of the 
Andes, between Cuenca and Quito, succeeds 
(lat. 21" to 0° 40' south), another division of the 
Cordilleras become celebrated by the labors of 
Bouguer and La Condamine, who have placed 
their signals sometimes on one, sometimes on 
the other of the two chains. The eastern is that 
of Chlmborazo (3350 toises) and of Cargoai- 
razo; the western, the chain of the volcano 
Sangay, the CoUaues, and of Llanganate. The 
latter is broken by the Rio Pastaza. The bot- 
tom of the longitudinal basin that bounds those 
two chains, from Alausi to Llactacunga, is a 
little higher than the bottom of the basin of 
Cuenca. North of Llactacanga, 0° 40' latitade, 


between the tq)6 of Yliniza (2717 t.) and Co- 
topaxi (2950 t^)^ of which the £3riiier belongs 
to the chain of Chimborazo^ and the latter to 
that of Sangay, is placed the knot of Chisincke; 
a kind of narrow dyke that shuts in the basin^ 
and divides the waters between the Atlantic 
Ocean^ and the South Sea. The AUa de 
Chisinche is only elevated 80 toises above the 
surrounding table-lands. The waters of the 
northern declivity form the Rio de San Pedro^ 
which^ joining the Rio Pita, throws itself into 
. the Gualabamba, or Rio de las Esmeraldas. The 
waters of the southern declivity, designated 
more particularly by the name of Cerro de Tio- 
puUo^ run to the Rio of S^ Felipe and Pastaza, 
a tributary stream of the Amazon. 

The hipartitUm of the Cordilleras re-com- 
mences and continues from 0^ 40^ of south to 
0^ 20^ of north latitude ; that is, as far as the 
volcano of Imbabura, near the villa of Ibarra. 
The eastern Cordillera displays the snowy sum- 
mits of Antisana (2992 toises), of Guamani, Ca* 
yambe (3070 toises), and Imbabura ; the west- 
em Cordillera, those of Corazon, Atacazo^ K- 
chincha (2491 toises), and Cotocache (2570 
toises). Between these two chains, which may 
be regarded as the classical soil of the astrono- 
my of the 18th century, is a valley, part of 
which is again divided longitudinally by the 
hills of Ichimbio and Poignasi. The table-landi; 

of Puembo and Chillo lie on the east of those 
hills; and those of Quito, Inaquito, and Turn 
bamba on the west. The equator crosses the 
summit of Nevado de Cayambe *, and the 
valley of Quito in the village of San Antonio de 
Lulumbainba. When we consider the small 
mass of the knot of Assuay, and above all, of 
that of Chisinche, we are inclined to regard the 
three basins of Ciienca, Hambato, and Quito, as 
one long valley (from the Paramo de Sarar 
to the Villa de Ibarra) of 73 marine leagnes, 
4 or 5 leagues broad, having a general direction 
!N. 8° E. and divided by two transversal dykes, 
one between Alausi and Cuenca (2° 27' south 
latitude), and the other between Machacbe and 
Tambillo (0° 40'). No where in the Cordillera 
of the Andes are more colossal mountains 
beaped together, than on the east and west of 
this vast basin of the province of Quito, one 
degree and a half south, and a quarter of a 
degree north of the equator. This basin, the 
centre of the most ancient native civilization, 
after that of the basin of Titicaca, touches tow- 
ards the south, the knot of the mountains of 
Loxa, and towards the north, the table-land of 
the province of Los Pastos. 

* The heights of Chimboruzo, Rucupichincha, Cayambe, 
nnd Antisana, which are different from those stated by La 
Condamine, in the inscription at the couvent of Jesuits at 
Quito, arc the result of my own geodesic measuceiaents. 


In tills ppovincef, a little beyond the Villa of 
Ibarra, between the snowy sammitil of Coto- 
cache And Imbabura, the two Cordilleras of 
Quito join, and form one mass, extending to 
Meneses and Voisaco^ from 0^ 21^ nor. lat. to 1^ 
1 3\ IcaJl this mass, on which the volcanoes of 
Cumbai and Chiles rise, the knot of the moim- 
tains of Loa Pastos, on accomit of the name of 


the province that forms the center^ The vol- 
cano of Paste, of which the last emption took 
place in the year 1727, is on the south of Yenoi, 
ne^ the northern limit of this groupe, of which 
the inhabited tablelands are more than \009 
toises above the level of the Ocean. It is the Thi- 
bet of the e^uinoxial regions of the New World. 
On the north of the town of Paste (north la- 
titudel^lS^; long, 79*410, the Andes again 
divide into two branches, and surround the 
table-land of Mamendoy and Almaguer. The 
eastern Cordillera contains the Siehega of Se- 
bondoy (an alpine lake that gives birth to the 
Putumay o) , the sources of the Jupura or Caqueta, 
and the Paramos of Aponte and Iscanse. The 
western Cordillera, that of Mamacondy, called 
in the coimtry^ Cordillera de la CostOy on account 
of its proximity to the shore of the South-Sea, 
is broken by the great Rio de Patias, which re- 
ceives the Guativa, the Guachicon, and the 
Quilquase. The table-land or intermediary 
basin has great inequalities ; it is partly filled 


by th« Paramos of Pitatumba and Paraguay, 
and the separation of the two chuns appeared 
to me indistinct as for as the parallel of Alma- 
goer (lat. 1°54'; lon^. 79° 15'). The general 
direction of the Andes, from the extremity oi 
the basin of the province of Qnito to the vid- 
nity of Popayan, changes from N. 8^ £. to N, 
36^ £. ; and follows the direction of the coast 
of Esmeraldas and Barbacoas. 

On the parallel of Almagner^ or rather a little 
north-east • of that town, the geolog:ical con- 
stitution of the land displays very remarkable 
changes. The Cordillera, which we have just 
marked by the name of the eastern, that of the 
lake ofSebondov. widens considerably between 


Siller a of New Orenadoy to that which lies be- 
tween the Magdalena and the Cauca/ towards 
Mariquita ; and that of the western CordiUera 
of New Grenada J to the chain which continues 
the Cordillera de la Costa from the basiti of 
Almaguer, and separates the bed of the Rio 
Cauca from the platiniferons territory of Choco. 
In order to be clearer^ we may also name the first 
chain^ that of Suma Paz^ after the colossal 
groupe of mountains on the isouth of Santa Pe 
de Bogota, which throws the waters of its east^ 
em declivity into the Rio Meta. The second 
chain may bear the name of the chain of Qua-^ 
nacas or Quindiu, on account of the two cele* 
brated passages of the Andes, in the way from 
Santa Fe de Bogota to PopayanV The' third 
chain may be called that of Cboco, or of the 
shore. Some leagues on the south of Popayan 
(nor. lat. 2P 2V), west of Paramo de Palitara 
and the volcano of Puraoe, a ridge of micaslate 
runs from the knot of the mountains* of Saco- 
honiy towards the north-west, and divides the 
waters between the South Sea and the Carib^ 
bean Sea ; they flow from the northern decli-* 
vity into the Rio Cauca, and from the southern 
declivity, into the Rio de Patias. 

The tripartition of the Andes, which we have 

* See my Essai giogn, sur ie gisemeni des roches, p. 130 and 


just stated, (nor. lat. U ° — 21 °) reminds tlM 
geogno^t of that which takes ptace at the 1 
source of the Amazon in the knot of the monif 
tains of Huamtco amd Pasco (south lat., 14*0 1 
but the most western of the three chains tbat 
bound the basins of the Amazon and the Huat- 
la^ is the loftiest ; white that of Choixi, or tin 
shore, is the least elevated of the three chaiai 
of New Grenada. It is ignorance of thia tri- 
partition of the Andes in that part of Soirtfa 
America near the Rio Atrato and the istlunus 
of Panama, which has led- to so many cntMeous 
judgments on the possibility of a canal of junc- 
tion between the two s 


dilleras, and above all^ the spreading of <(tieir 
branches^ have a powerfiil inflaenM on the 
prosperity of the nations of New Grenada. The 
diversity of the superposed table4ands and oli^ 
mates vaiies the agricultural productions as 
well as the diaracfa^ of the inhabitants; it 
gives activity to the exchange of products^ and 
renews on a vaist surfoce^ on the ncMh of th^ 
equator, the picture of the sultry vallies, and 
the cold and temperate plains of Peru. It is 
also worthy of remark that^ by the sepwutiofi 
of one of the branches of the Cordillertt of 
Cundinamarca, and the deviation of the Isbidn 
of Bogota towards l3ie north-east, the coiossal 
groupe of the mountains of Merida is enclosed 
in the territory of the ancient Capitanm-generat 
of Venezuela, and that the continuity df the 
same mountainous land from Pamplona to Bar^ 
qjaesimeto and Nirgiaa^ has, it may be said, fa« 
cilitated the political union of the ColumUah 
territory* As long as the central chain (that of 
Quindiu) displays its snowy summits, no peak 
of the eastern chain (that of La Suma Pae) 
rises, in the same parajUels, to the limit of per- 
petual snows* ^Between 2^ and 5i^ of latitude, 
neither the Paramos, situated on the east of 
Gigante and Neiva, nor the tops of la Suma 
Paz, Chingasa, Guachaneque, and Zoraca, sur- 
pa^ the height of 1900 to 2000 toises ; while 
on the north of the parallel of Paramo d*£rve 


• (lat. 5° 5'), the last of tlie Nevados of the cen- 
tral Cordillera, we discover in the eastern chain 
the snowy summits of Chita (lat. 5° 50'), and 
ofMucuchies (lat. 8° 12'). It thence results, 
that from 5° latitude, the only mountains co- 
vered with snow during the whole year, are the 
Cordilleras of the east ; and although the Si- 
erra Nevada of Santa Marta is not, properly 
speal(ing, a continuation of the Nevados of 
Chita and Mucuchies (west of Patute, and east 
of Merida), it is at least very near their meri- 

Arrived at the northern extremity of the 
Cordilleras, comprehended between Cape Horn 
and the isthmus of Panama, we shEdl confine 
ourselves to the indication of the loftiest sum- 
mits of the three chains -t- which separate in 
the knot of the mountains of Socobotii, and the 
ridge of Rohle (lat. 1" SC — 2° aC). I begin 
with tbe most eastern chain, that of Timana 
and Suma Paz, which divides the tributary 
streams of the Magdalena and the Meta ; it 
stretches by the Paramos de Chingasu, Gua- 
chaneque, Zoraca, Toquillo (near Labranza 
Grande), Chita, Almorsadero :}:, Laura, Cacota, 

* The snows called at Saata Fe, Meta de Herveo. 

i See above, 248. 

t This PanuDO is situated between the bridge of Chitaga 
and the village of Tequia. The Rio Chitaga throws itself 
into the Sarare, and the Rio Tequia, into the Rio Sogamozo. 


Zumbador, and Pdrqueras^ towards the JSierrst 
Nevada de Meiida* These Pttramos indicate 
ten partial risings of the back of the Cordille- 
ras. The declivity of the eastern chidn is ex- 
tremely rapid on the eastern side, where it 
bounds the basin of the Meta and the Oroono- 
ko ; it is widened on the west by the counter- 
forts, on which are situated the towns of Santa 
Fe de Bogota, Tunja, Sogamoso, and I^eiva. 
They are like table-lands fixed to the western 
declivity, and which are from 1300 to 1400 
toises high ; that of Bogota, (the bottom of an 
ancient lake), contains bones of Mastodontes, 
in the Campo de Gigantes, near Suacha. 

The intermediary, or central chain, runs on 
the east of Popayan, by the high plains of Mav 
basa, the Paramos of Guanacas, Huila, SaveliU 
lo, Iraca, Baraguan, Tolima *, Ruiz, and Her- 
veo, towards the province of Antioquia. In the 
S^ \&' of latitude, this chain, the only one that 
displays recent traces of volcanic fire, in the 

The Paramos of ^ Almoaadero and ToquiUo are the most 
lofty sommito which, on the road from Merida to Santa Fe 
de Bogota, do not enter the region of perpetual snows. MM. 
Rivero and Boussingault found that the Paramo of Almor- 
sadero is passed at the elevation of 2010 toises, and the 
Paramo ^ Cacota at 1700 toises. 

^ The passage of the Montana de Quindiu, on the road 
from Ibaque to Carthago, is between the Nevados of ToiUmai 
and Baraguan. 

snmmits of Sotara and Purace, widens consider- 
ably towards the west, and joins the western 
chain, which we have called the chain of Cho- 
co, because the planitiferoua land of that pro- 
vince lies on the slope opposite the Pacific 
Ocean. By the union of the two chains, the 
basin of the province of Popayan is shut on the 
north of Cartago Viejo, and the river of Caoca, 
in issuing from the plain of Buga, is forced, 
froiO the Salto de San Antonio, to la Boca del 
Espiritu Santo, to open its way across themonn- 
tams, during a course of from 40 to 50 Jeagues. 
"^ difference of the level is very remarkable, 
in the bottom of the two parallel basins of 
€8uca and' Magdalena. "Die former, between 
Caliand Ciuitago, is from 500 to 404 teises ; the 
IfUter, from Ndva to Ambalema, is frbm 265 to 
ISfFtoIses high. It might be said, aceording to 
different geolt^cal hjrpotbeses, either tiaA the 
deebndary formations were not acdnmulat«d to 
thfcf fame thickness between the eastern and 
coitral, as between the central and western 
•hfuns ; or, that the deposits have been made 
oik the base of primitive rocks, unequally heaped 
dp on the east and west of the Andes of Qain- 
diu. The mean difference of this thickness of for- 
mation, or of these heights, is 300 toises. The 
rocky ridge of the Angostura of Carare, branches 
from the soutii-east, from the oounter-fort of 
Muzo, through which. winds the RiO'Negro. 


By this ccmnter-fprt, and by thosid that come 
from the west, the eastern and central chains aif^ 
proach betwera Nares^ Honda, and Mendalea. In 
foot, the bed of the Rio Magdalena is nai;rowed 
in 5^ and &^ 1 8^, by the mounUuns of Sergento bh 
the east, and by the counterforts that we linked 
with the granitic mountains of Mariquito and 
S. Ana, on the west. This narrowing of the 
bed of the rirer is in the same parallel with that 
of the Cauca^ near the Salto de San Antonio $ 
but, in the knot of the m^^nntains of Antioquia^ 
the central and western chains join each other, 
while betweai Honda and Mendales, the topii 
of the central and easltem remain so for re* 
moved, that it is only the coqnter-forts of each 
system that draw near and are confounded to^ 
gether. It is ^o worthy of remark, that tfad 
central Cordillera of New Grenada displays the 
loftiest summit of the Andes in the northern 
hemisphere. The peak of Tolima * ^t. 4^ 46'), 
of which the naime is almost ujpknown in Eu« 
rope, and which I measured in 1801, rises at 
leaflet 2865 toises high. It consequ^atly sur- 
passes the Imbabura, and the Cotocache in Hbe 
prsVince of Quito, the Chiles of the table-IandfiT 
of los Pastos, the two volcanoes of Popayan^ 

' * <Fhe second rank (»f height^ in the northern hemisphere, 
mm^ears to be oooupied by the Necado de Hwla (lat. 2o 55'), 
betWtefi Nctsga and Odilichao. M. Caldas estinjiates it 
saop toises. (See SemoMfio ^t Bogota, Tom. f^ p. 6.) 

and even the Nevados of Mexico and the 
Mount Saint Elie of Russian America. The 
peak of Tolima, which in form resembles Co- 
topaxi, yields perhaps in height only to the 
ridge of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, 
which may be considered as an insulated sys- 
tem of mountains. 

The eastern chain, also called chain of Choco 
and the coast (of the South Sea), separates the 
provinces of Popayan and Antioquia from those 
ofBarbacoas, Raposo, and Choco. Little ele- 
vated in general, if compared to the height of 
the central and eastern chains, it however pre- 
■ senta great obstacles to the communications 
between the valley of Cauca and the shore *. 
On its western slope lies the famous auriferous 
and platini/erous land -j-, which has during 

* The frightful roads that crosa the western chain, are 
those of Chisquio (east of the Rio Micay), Auchicaya, bs 
Juntas, Sunt Aug^tin, opposite Cartago, Chami, and Uirao. 
(Semm., Tom. i, p. 32. 

t Ttie Choco fiarba(;oa3 and Brazil are the only countries 
of the earth where the e^stence of grains of platina and of 
palladinm has been hitlierto fully ascertained. The small town 
of Barbacoas is situated on the left bank of the Rio Tdembi 
(tributary of Fatias or the Rio del Castigo), a little abore 
the confluence of Telembi and the Guagui or Guaxi, nearly 
in 1" 48' of latitude. The ancient Provinda, or rather the 
Partido del Stapoto, comprehends the insalubrioua land ex* 
tending from the Rio Dagua, or San Buenareuttum to the Ria 
Iscuonde, the southern limit of Choco. 


ges yielded more than 13^000 marks of goCcP 
nnually to commerce. This alluvial zone is 
rem 10 to 12 leagues broad : it attains its roaxi^ 
lum of riches between the parallels of 2^ and 
^ of latitude, is sensibly impoverished towards 
le north and south, and almost entirely disap^ 
ears between IP of north latitude and the 
quator. The auriferous soil fills the basin of 
^uca, as well as the ravines and plains on the 
'est of the Cordillera of Choco; it rises some- 
mes nearly 600 toises above the level of the 
5a^ and descends at least 40 toises *. Platina 
iud this geognostic feet is worthy of atten- 
on), had hitherto been found onfy on the west 
f the Cordillera of Choco, and not on the east, 
ot withstanding the analogy of the fragments 
frocks, of greenstone, phonolite, trachyte', and 
^rruginous quartz, of which the soil of the two- 
escents is composed. From the ridge of Los 
Lobtes, which separates the table-land of Al- 
laguer from the basin of Cauca, the western 
bain forms, first, in the Cerros of Carpinteria, 
aist of the Rio San Juan de Micay, the continua- 
on of the Cordillera of Sindagua, broken by 
le Rio Patias ; then, lowers towards the norths 
etween Cali and Las Juntas de Dagua^ to from 

* M. Caldas assigns to the upper limit of the zone of gold 

uhmgs, only the height of 350 toises. (Seman., Tom. i, 

18) ; but I found the Idvaderos of Quilichao, on the north 

Popayan, 665 toises high. {Attron, Ohs., Vol. i^ p. 303. )t 

VOI-. vr. 2 H 


800 to 900 toises of height, ;m<l sends consider- 
able coiiiiter- forts (in 4j° — 6° of latitude) to- 
wards the source of the Calima, the Tamana, 
aud the Andagueda. The two former of these 
auriferous rivers are tributary streams of the Rio 
Rio Sao Juau del Choco ; the second empties 
its wiiters iuto the Atrato. This widening of 
the western chaJn foruw the mountainous part 
of Clioco : here, between the Tado and Zi- 
tara, called also Francisco de Quibdo, lies the 
isthmus of Rjispadura, become celebrated siuce 
^ mcJEt^ traced en it a uavigablei line betwe«» 
thf) two ecea^a, *. The culminant point of tlus 
system of uoiiatains appears t» be the Peak of 
Torra, situated on the south-^st oClSovlta't!. 

The northern extremity of this, widening of. 
the Cordillera of Choco, which I have just de- 
scribed, correspcmds with the junction of the: 
same CordiUera towai-ds the east, with the cfa»- 
tml (^aib, that of.Quii^u. The niountuns ti. 
Antioquia,. on which we have the excellent obser- 
vadtioDS (^Mr. Restrepe{, may be called a knai <^ 

* See above. Vol; vi, p. 2fl0. 

t I am surprized, that Af. I*bmbo has compared the nm 
del C/uco, which does not enter into tfic r^ioa of noiM. 
not even perh^is into that of the Paramoa (mc above,. VoL 
V, p. 742), to the colossal mountains of Mexico. (Notieiai 
variat- sobre hs Qmnat, 1814, p. 67.) 

t Semanario de Bogota, Tom. ii, p. 41— 4G. Thu-me- 
moir contains at the same time, the results of astrononucsl 
obserratioDs, the measurcB made with the barometer, and 
statistic statements on tite ^Tdductions and trade of this in- 


numHiains, be'c&ask' 6ii th^ northilni lioiif of &e 
pfains of^ Bttga, or the 1>£ifim 6f C^iica, they join 
the central aAd westerft 6hains. We have seen 
above, that the ridge of the eastertt Cordillera 
t^mahiH sepdMtedf by 3S leagues of distance 
frolkh the khtf<,i^o'th^t the iiai'ro^ng of the bed of 
^e Rio Mdgdalenai, between Honda and Amba- 
feiba, i^estilts only from the approximation 6^ 
thef cdtititei^-foftS bf Minquita. and (juaduas. 
Thkrti i^ Hdt ihetewTt) properly speiaking, a 
^roupfe of mountaStfS, if^tweeri 5® and 6i^ of la- 
tittfdfe, tmitfirg ^t the same' time the three' 
^Haiii^d In ifhfe grbA|>6 of the province of Ari-r 
fio^uist, which fo^ms tb^ junction of the central 
^d westerA' C6rditlerafll, we may distinguiish 
iwo ^eat masses, one, b'etween the M agdIaTena 
and the Cauca; the other, bietween the Cauca 
and the Atrar6~. The fifst 6t ^heae masses is 
KAted' most imfai^diateTj^ to' (h& snowy summits 
6f Hei*Vfe6 ; it giW birth oh' the east, to Rio 
de' ia, INliel, and* the Nare ; and towards the 
n'61'th, to Force and Neehi ; its mean height is 
oMy from VM^t6 1350' toises. The culminant' 
point appears t6 be placed Aear Santa Rosai, 
south-west Of the celebrated valley of Bears. 
(f^alte de Oso.i.) The towns of Rio Negro arirf 

ter^sting province, of \^lilch I attempted to trace, in 1810, 
the'fii'st gedgrapliical map, ffoild tli^ labors of M. Maniie) 
Jose de Reslrepo. (See 24lh PI. of my Atlas.) 

2 If 2 


Mariuilla are built on table-lands 1060 toises 
high. The western mass of the knot of the 
mountains of Antioquia, between the Cauca and 
the Atrato, gives rise, on its western descent, to 
the RioSan Juan, Bevara, and Murri. It attUDs 
its greatest height (and that of the whole pro- 
vince of Antioquia) in the Alio del VientOy north 
ofUrrao.knownto the first Ojnja/rfaf/orw by the 
name of the Cordilleras of Abide •, or Dabeida. 
This height (lat. 7" 15'), does not however ex- 
ceed IdOO toises. In following the western 
slope of this system of mountains of Antioquia, 
we find that the point of partition of the waten 
that flow towards the South Sea, and tbe 


fcctly known; il ts observed only that their 
lowering is in general more rapid and complete 
towards the N.W., on the side of the ancient 
province of Biraquete ♦ and Darien^ than tow- 
ards the N. and N. E., on the side of Zaragoza 
and Simiti. From the northern bank of the Rio 
Nare^ near its confluence with the Samana^ a 
counter-fort stretches out, known by the name 
of la Simitarra^ and the mountains of San Lu- 
car. We shall call it the Jtrst branch of the 
groupe of Antioquia. I saw it^ in going up the 
RioMagdalena^onthe west^from theRegidorand 
the mouth of the Rio Simiti^ as fkr as San Bar- 
tolome (on the south of the mouth of the Rio 
Sogamozo) ; while, towards the east, in 71® and 
8i® of latitude, the counter-forts of the moun- 
tains of Ocana ^ appear in the distance ; they 
are inhabited by some tribes of M olitone In- 
dians. The second branch of the groupe of An- 
tioquia (west of Samitarra) proceeds from the 
mountains of Santa Rosa, stretches between 
Zaragoza and Caceres, and terminates abruptly, 
at the confluence of the Rio Nechi (lat. 8® 33^), 
at least if the hills, often conical I, between the 

* See vol. vi, p. 249, note. 

t The moantains of Ocana^ linked to the Sierra de Pe- 
rija, branch from the eastern chain (that of Suma Paz) on 
the N. W. of Pamplona. 

X I saw in sailing the Tetias of Cispata^ Santero^ Tolu, 
and San Martin (Ut. ^ 18^-0'' 32^). 

raoutb of the P-ioSiinu and the small town of Tulu, 
or even the calcareoas heights of Turbacu and 
popaj-Tiear Carthagenaj may not be regarded as 
the most northern prolongation of this second 
branch. A third, advances towards the gulpb 
pf Uraba • or Darien, between the Rio Sai^ 
Jorge and the Atrato, It is linked towards the 
south, with the Alio del /'letito, or Sierra de 
Abide, and is rapidly lost, in advancing as for 

08 the parallel of 8°. Finally, the fourth 
branch, of the Andes of Antioquia, placed on the 
west of Zitara and the Rio Atrato, undergoes, 
long befprp it enters the isthn^u^ of P^i^an)^ such 

9 d^pre^sion, th^t betufeen the gnlpt of Cupipa, 
and the ^ml^rca^ere of the Rio Na^pi^ij we ftnd 
oiff]F ^ pl^ln^ acft^ whiqh M- Cr9gi)en^«he has 
I^J^te^ a c^nal of juncfipn of the tfro seas. 
It ^ou^d be interesting tp Itnaw the pf>nfi|^ra- 
tio^ pf ttte ^) betw^n pftpe C^ar^hine, Of 
^ulpb of St. Migqef, ap4 pa^ 'Hburon, abpve 
^Ij ^W^rfls the source of the Rip Tqyra ^d 
C^aciii^ue, or C}ii^?unque, in pfder t(t de^ 
te^inp with precision where tjie la^tMat^in^ 
qf th^ ififhmus of PaQ^^na b^^a to, i^e^ inpHiV^ 
tains of which the elevation does not appear to 
be above 100 toises high. "Pie ii^fe^ior of Dar- 

* See above. Vol. vi, p. 331 ; and Sflnanan« <fe fogvM, 
Tov. ii, p. 83. 
\ Vol. Vi,' p. 266. 


four is not more unknown to geographers^ than 
the humid, insalubrioiis . land, coTered with 
thick forest^ Which eKtends on the north-west 
of Betoi and the oonfluenoe of Be vara With the 
AtratO) towards the isthmus of Bwama. All 
that we hitherto know positively, is, that be- 
tween Cupica and the tefit bank of the Atrato, 
there is either a land-strmt^ or a total aJbsence 
of the Cordillera. The mountains of the isth- 
mus of Panama may, by their direction and 
their geographical position, be considered as a 
continuation of the mountains of Antioquia and 
Choco ; but on the West of Bas-Atrato, there 
scarcely exists a ridge in the plain. We do not 
find in this country a groupe of interposed 
mountains like that which indubitably links 
(between Barquesimeto^ Nirgda, and Valencia) 
the eastern chain of New Grenada (that of 
8unia Paz and the Sierra Nevada de Merida) to 
the Cordillera of the shore of Veneimela. 

In order the better to impress on the memory 
the results of my laborious researches on the 
structure a^ configuration of the Andes, I 
shall collect them in the form of a table, be- 
ginning with the most southern part of the 
New Continent. We shall see that the Cor- 
dillera of the Andes, considered in its whole 
extent, from the rocky breaker of Diego Ra- 
mirez, a^ far as the isthmus of Panama, is 
MwetiQies ramified into elmins more <or less 


parallel, and sometimes articulated by immense 
hnots of mounta'tm. We distinguish nine of 
those knots, and consequently an equal nam- 
ber of branching points and ramifications. The 
latter are generally bifurcations : the Andes are 
twice only divided into three chains, in the knot 
of Huanuco, near the source of the Amazon, 
and the Hoallaga, (lat. 10° to 11°,) and in the 
knot of the Paramo de las Papas (lat. 2P), near 
the source of the Magdalena and the Cauca. Ba~ 
sins, almost shut in at their extremities, parallel 
to the axis of the Cordillera, and bounded by 
two knots and two Iftteral chains, are charac- 
tenstic features of the Btructure of the Andes. 
Among these knots of mountains, some, for in- 
stance those of Cuzco, Loxa, and Los Pastos, 
are 3300, 1500, and 1130 square leagues, while 
others no less important in the eyes of the 
geologist are restrained to ridges or trans- 
versal dykes. To the latter belong the Altos 
de Chisinche (lat, 0° 40' south), and the Los 
Robles (lat. 2° 20^ north), on the south of Quito 
ftnd Popayui. The knot of Couzco, so cele- 
brated in the annalsof Peruvian civilization, pre- 
sents a mean height of from 1200 to 1400 toises, 
and a surfoce nearly three times greater than the 
whole of Switzerland. The ridge of Chisinche, 
which separates the basins of Tacunga and 
Quito, is 1580 toises of absolute height, but 
scfircely a mile broad. The knots or groupes 


which unite several partial chains^ have not 
the highest summits^ either in the Andes, or, 
for the most part, in the great Cordilleras of 
the ancient continent ; it is not even certain 
that there is always in those knots a widening 
of the chain. The greatness of the mass, and 
the height so long attributed to points whence 
several considerable branches issue, was found-' 
ed either on theoretic prejudices, or on £Edse 
measures. Men amused themselves by^compar- 
ing the Cordilleras to rivers that swell as they 
receive a number of tributary streams. 




Lat. 6G" S-y 

Rock of Diego Ramirez. Cape Horo. Palago- 

nian Andes. Vestiges of the rocky isles of 

Huayleeas and Chon.js. Corilillerns uf Chili, 

reinforced on the east by the three 

Lat33'— 31° 

Counter-forts of the Sierra de Cordova. 


of the Sierra de Salta. 

l«tJ11t'>— 1B° 

and Santa Cruz. 


Knot of Pobco and Potosi. Division in two 


chain;, cost and west of the basin of THicaca : 

Eastern chain, 1 Western chain. 

or la I'az and Pulca, | or Tacoa and Areijuij)n 



Lat. 2° 27' 

IPf^Tfl ANQ C9Af9{| Of Ttt^ 4^9Bf |ir fOVTif 



I^t. ()»4(K 

^^,v.> ' ,.ii mil . 


^uoT Qr A89.174T* Two f;b»)^^ OS ibe ^^ 
9n^, west of t^e )ww pf Al^W apd Uambato. 

or of Cotopaxi. j pf pf jC!jbii|iborazo. 

_ I i« 

Knot (or rafter p^gp) qw (C^ip^ejpB. Two 
icl^aiiif, .0^ the i^^^t fiod W^^ <>f ^^ Talley of 

^(eri| f^n, I W^)«m qhain, 

pr of AfttjimM? \9r9f Pchf ncha. 

■ »<ift»i .^if tn » ! i. .ii^.i; , .i ii. I iJiiAJiJ I 

The equator paises on the summit of Cayambe 
WM(l9MB(|Bc (bekmguig to the eastern ehahi of of Antisa- 



Knot op Los Pastos. Ramificajtion in two 
chains^ on the eas( apd w^t of t|ie table-land 

' I 'k 

1 r T-r-i 5 r— 

I^t. IKnqt. Off TSf 8oii|i9i;is Of tbi IjIaqdalbna and 
1o56'-t2o2P] 7p^ ^idab 9F Los BoB^Jsa. Three chains, 

divided by the basins of the Magdalena and 

Eastern chain, 

or of Umana, Suma 

Paz, Chita, & Me- 


Central chain, 
or of Guanacas, Quin- 
dia, and Erve. 

Western chain, 
with the platinifcruus land 
of Choco. 



hat. ai"— 7° 

Snot of the Phovinob of Antioouia in which 
only the chains of Quindiu tnd Cboco join. 
The eastern chain approaches by counler-fortt 
towards Honda. 

Lat. V—S" 

tioijuia into four bmnchea ! Isl. of Simitami; 
2d. ofCaceres,Necbi,and AltosdeTolui 3d. 
between the Rio S. Jorge aad the Atrato ; 4lh. 
on the west of the Atrato. This last branch, ex- 
tremely low, appears to be linked at the utmost 
ly an inconsiderable ridge, (aemlj to the 
mountainous groupe of the isthmus of Panama. 



Among the basins which the sketch, of the 
Andes presents^ and which form probably as 
many lakes or small interior seas^ the basins of 
Titicaca^ Rio Janja^ and the Upper Maragnon, 
have respectively 3500, 1300^ and 2400 square 
leagues of surface *. The first is so inclosed, that 
no drop of water can escape except by evapora- 
tion ; it is a repetition of the shut up valley of 
Mexico*!*, and of those numerous circular basins 
which are discovered in the moon, and are sur- 

* I shall state in Uiia note the whole of those estimates 
which interest geologists. Area of the Andes, from the 
Land of Fire to the Paramo of las Rosas (lat. OJo nor.)» 
where the mountainous land of Tocuyo and Barquesimeto 
hegins^ part of the Cordillera of the shore of Venezuela, 
58^000 square leagued, 20 to a degree ; the fonr counter- 
forts of Cordova, SaltayCochabamba, andBeni alone, occupy 
23,300 square leagues of this surface, and the three basins 
contained between the 6« and 20® of south latitude, 7200 
square leagues. Deducting 33,200 square leagues for the 
whole of the inclosed basins and counterforts, we find in 65^ 
of latitude, the area of the Cordilleras elevated in the form 
of walls, to be 25,700 square leagues, whence results 
(comprehending the knots, and admitting the inflexion of the 
chains,) a mean breadth of the Andes of 18 to 20 leagues. 
{See above, p. 400.) The valleys of Huallaga and the Rio 
Magdalena are not comprehended in these 58,000 square 
leagues, on account of the diverging direction of the chain, 
east of Chlcoplaya and Santa Fe de Bogota. 

. t We consider it in its primitive state, without respect to 
the trench or cleft of the mountains, known by the name of 
Desa^ue de Huehuetoca, 

rounded by lofty moutttftiiTB. Art iihtiieb^ Al- 
pine lake characterizes tbe badin of Hahnemaci^ 
or Titicaca ; this phenomenon is so much morfr 
worthy of attention, as in South America- thoie 
I'eservoirs of fresh water are almost entirely 
wanting, which are found at the foot of the 
Alps of Europe, on the northern and sonflient 
descent, and which are permanent during the 
season of drought. The other bastBiS of the 
Andes, for instance, those of Jauja, tlie Upper 
Maragnon, and Cauca, pour their waters into 
natural canals, which may be considered as so 
many crevices placed either at one of the tat- 
tremities * of the basin, or on its banks 'f-, 


great masses of moantakffi into several chains, 
merits partienlar eonsidemtioa with respect to 
the height more or less considerable of the bottom 
of the inclosed basins^ or longitudinal tallies^ 
Geologists have bitherta been much more oe^ 
eupied by the saceessive narrotring of these 
basins, their depth compared with the walls of 
rock that surround Ihem, and the correspondence 
between the re-entering and saliant angles, 
than by the level of the bottom of the vallies. 
No precise measure yet indicates the absolute 
height of the three basins, of Titicaca, Jauja, 
and the Uppei' Maragnoa * ; but I was fortu-' 
nate enough ta be able to determine the six* 
other basins, or longitudinal' vallies, which suc- 
ceed each other, as by steps, towards the north. 
The bottom of the valley of Cuenca, between 
the knots of Loxa and Assuay,^ is 1350 toises ; 
the valley of Alansi and of Hambato, between 
the knot of the Assuay and the ridge of Cht- 
sinclie, 1320 toises ; the valley of Quito ^ in 

* I am. inclined to believe that the southern part of ihoi 
basin of the Upper Maragnoii, between Huary and Unaoara^ 
chuco, surpasses at least 360 toises; for I found the mean 
waters of Maragnon, near Tomependa> 11)4* toiseft above the 
level of the Ocean ; and, according to the analogy of the 
course of the Magdalena> between Neiva and the Angostura 
of Cayare^ the Upper Mamgnon^ may^in a course of 4^ of 
latitude, liave a fall of 160 toises^- 

i The valley of Quito, iTUiquito, and Turubambai ought to 


the eastern part, 1340 toiaes ; and in the western 
part 1490 toises ; the basin of Alinaguer 1160 
toises ; the basin " of the Rio Cauca, between 
the lofty plains of Cali, Buga, and Cartage, 500 
toises; the valley of Magdalena, first between 
Neiva and Houda, 200 toises; and further on, 
between Honda and Mompox, 100 toises of 
mean height above the level of the sea-^-. In 

be geagnosticall; considered a» the same valley as thai of 
Pucmbo and Chillo. The interposed hills of Ichimbio and 
PoiDgasi mask this communication. 

* In order to compare this basin, which is the moat fer- 
tile port of the province of Popayan, and the basin of tbe 
Magdalena with those of the ancient continent, I shall here 
mention the table-lands of Mysore in India (420 to 410 
toises) } the interior of Spain (350 toises) ; of Switzerland 
between the Alps and the Jura (270 toises) j of Bavaria (260 
toises), and of Swabia (ISO toises). 

. + In the region of the Andes comprehended between 4' of 
■outh latitude and 2° of north, the longitudinal ro/Iief, or 
basins inclosed by parallel chains, are regularly between 
1200 and 1500 toises high ) while the transversal vallica are 
remarkable for their depression, or rather the rapid lower- 
ing of their bottom- llie valley of Patias, for instance, 
ranniog from N. £. to S. W. is only 350 toises of absolute 
height even above the junction of the Rio Guachicon with 
the Quilquasi, according to the barometric measures of Mr. 
Culdas; and yet it is surrounded by the highest summits, the 
Paramos de Puntaurcu and Mamacondy. (Semaa. Tom. i, 
p. 28, and Tom. ii, p. 140.) In going from the plains of 
Lombardy, and penetrating into the Alps of the Tyrol, by« 
line perpendicular to the axis of the chain, we advance more 
than SO marine leagues towards the north, yet we And the 


this regi^, which has been measared with pre^ 
cisioD, the diffeceiit basins lower from the eqnar 
tor, very sensibly towards the north. In ge- 
neral the elevation of the bottom of the in- 
closed borins merits great attention from those 
who reflect on the causes of the foniation of 
the vallies. I do not deny that the depressioos 
in the plains maybe sbmetimte the eflOBct of 
ancient: pek^ic cnirentSy ^r slow erosions. I 
am indined t» bcUere that the. transversal val* 
lies, resembling crevices, have been widened 
by running wUers; bat these liypotheses of 
stuxe$swe eniwris oennat well he api^ied to the 
Gompletdy indjosed basins of Titicacaand Mexi- 
co. These basins, as weU as those of Jauja, Guen^ 
ca, and Almagunery which lose their waters only 
by a lateral and narrow issue,^ are owing to a 
cause more instantaneous, niore closely linked 

boOom of the vaU«y of the Adigeand of £ysack near Botxen> 
to be only 182 toisea of absolate height, an elevation which 
esLceedfl bm 117 toisea that of Milan. (S^e above, Vol. iv, 
p. Sll.) From Botzen however, to the ridge of Brenneo 
(culminant point of 746 toises), is only 1 1 leagues. The 
Valais is a loogitadiBal valley ; and' in a barometric measure- 
ment which 1 made very recently from Faris to Naples and 
Bertin, i was surprised to find that from Sion to Brigg, the 
bottom of the valley only rises to from 225 to 350 toises of ab-> 
solute height -, nearly the level of the plains of Switzerland, 
whieh^ between the Alps and the Jura (for instance, be- 
tween Berne, Thoun and Fribroug), are only from 274 ta 
300 toises. 

VOL, VI. 2 I 

466 ' 

with the heaving-up of the whole chain. It 
maybe said that the phenomenon of the steeps or 
naiTO\r di>cIi\itieK of Sarentiial and of tU6 valley 
of Eysack in the Tyrol, as repeated at every Etep, 
and on a greater scale in the Cordilleras of 
equinoxial America. We seem to recognin 
those longitudinal sinkings, those " rocky 
vaults," which, to use the expression of a great 
geologist *, " are broken when extended over » 
great spac^ and leave deep and alioost perpen- 
dicular rents." 

If, to complete the sketdi of ths stmctore 
of the Andes, from the Land of Fire to the 

H'them Polar Sea, we pass the limits of South 


and extending by Guatimala, as &r as llie con-i 
fines of Mexico, In tbis space it remains cbn« 
stantly near the coast of tbii South Sea, where; 
froih the golpb of Nicoya to Soconnico (lat. 
^i© — ifio)^ ig^ firand ' a. long' series of Tokap* 
noes^, inost frequently insulated/ itadsome-^ 
times linked to counitev-^fortB or Itrtoral Jbtincfaes* 
FkEissing the istfamusof Tdiuahtepee or HuBstU 
6ualco5 on the Mexican territdry^'tlie CoidiHera 
of central ^mmra remains in Jkhe intendance of 
Oaxaca^ at an equal 4Hstaii^ ftom i^' tvrd 
oceai»; and then iiil8i^to2l^bfhdi!tu4e^iW>m 
Misteca to the mines of Zimapan^ draws near 
the eastern coaM. It attains nearly in t&e pa^ 

* See the list of tw€^ty*Qne volcMO^ of Guatimala^ 
partly extinguished, and partly sUU btnuing, given by Mr. 
Arago and myself, in the Annwnre du Bureau de$ UmgUudes 
pour 1824, p. 176. No mmmtaiii of Gnatimala having been 
hitherto measured, it is so much the more important to fix 
approocimatively ,the height of the FQloan de agua placed 
between the Volcano of Facaya, and the Fi^an de Fitego, 
called also Volcano of Guatimala. Mr. Juarros expressly 
says, that this volj^ano, which destroyed by torrents of water 
and stones, on the 11th September, 1641, the Ciudad Vieja, 
or Almolonga, (the abcient capital of the country, which 
most not be confounded with the Antigua Guatimala), is 
cotered with snow during several months of the year. This 
plhenomenon seems to indicate a height of more than 1760 
toises. (Compendio de la Hisi. de Guattnaia, Tom. i, 
p« 7)'— B6 ', Tom. ii, p. 951. Remesal, Hist, de la Province 
de San Fxcente, lib. iv, cap. 6.) 



rallel of the town of Mexico, betveen Toluea, 
Xulapa, and Cordoba, its maxiraum of tieigfat ; 
there, several colossal summits rise to 2400 and 
2770 toises. Farther north, the chain c^led 
Sierra Madre • runs N. 40° W, towards San 
Mi|^iel el Grande and Gaaoaxuato. Near the 
latter town (lat. 21° C 15"), where the richest 
silver mines of the known world are found, it 
takes an extraordinary breadth, and is divided 
into three branches. The most eastern advances 
towards Charcas and tbe Re^ de Catorce, and 
lowers progressively (turning to the N.E.} in the 
ancient kingdom of Leon, in the province of Co- 
hahuila and Texas. That branch stretches from 


stretch to -the N^N.E, towards Lake Saperior^ 
may probably beacontinnation of the mountains 
of Ozark. Theyseemtobecharaet6rized by their 
metallic wealth as a prolongation of the eastern 
Cordillera of Mexico^ The western branchy 
or Cordillera, occupies a part of the provihc6 
of Guadalaxara» and stretches by Culiacan^ 
Aripe^ and the auriferous lands of the Pimeria 
Alta and la Sonora^ as &r as the banks of the Rio 
Gila (tat. 33P—S4% one of the most ancient 
dwellings of the Azteque nations. We shall 
soon see that this western chain appears to be 
linked, by the counter-forts that advance to^ 
wards the west, with the marithne Alps efCalu 
forma. Finally^ the central Cordillera of Anaf- 
huac, which is the most elevated, runs first from 
south-east to north-west^ by Zacatecas towards 
Durango, and afterwards from south to nortb^ 
by Chihuahua, towards New ftf exico. It takes 
succesi^yely the names of Siierra de Acha, Sierra 
de Los Mimbres, Sierra Verde, and Sierra de 
las GruUas, and joins towards the 29° and 30° 
of latitude, by counter-forts, two lateral chains, 
those of the Texas and la Sonora, which ren- 
ders the separation of the chains more im- 
perfect than the trifurcations of the Andes in 
South America. 

/That part of the Cordilleras of Mexico which 
is richest in silver beds and veins, is compre- 
hended between the parallels of Oaxaca and 


Cosiqninaebi {lat. 16^°— 29°) the sole lands of 
produce or alluvia), that contain disseminated 
gold, extend still some degrees more towanU 
the north *. It is a very striking phenomeDtm, 
that the gold-washing of Cinaloa and Sonora, 
like that of Barbacoas and Choco, on the south 
and north of the isthmus of Panama, is uni- 
formly placed on the west of the central chain, 
on the descent opposite the Pacific Ocean. 
The traces of u still burning volcanic fird, 
which was no longer seen, on a length of 200 
leagues, from. Pasto and Popayan to the gulpfa 
of Nicoya (lat. U° — 91"), become veryfreqdeht 
«m tbewestern coast ofGuatimala (Irt-Qi" — 16°) ; 
these traces t)f fire again cease in the mountains 
9f ^eis-graniteofOaxaca,and reappear, perhaps 
for tbe last time, towards the north, in the cen- 
tral Cordillera of Anahuac, betweea the 181° 
and 191" of latitude, where the Tolcaboes of 
Taxtla, Orizaba, Popocatepetl, Tolnca, JornllOy 
and Colima, appear to be placed on a ereviee -f 

* Acvording to lUe diTisioti of tbe mines of Mexico iA 
eight gronpes (See my PolU. Euaf, VoL iii, p. ISS), the 
minea of Cosiquiriachi, Batopil«9, and Fanrsl. belot%- to tbc 
groupe of Chihuahua, in the intend&nce of Durango orNeV 

t On this zone of'rolcanoa is the parallel of the greatest 
heights of New SpBiD. (See Polil. Essay, Vol. i, p. ftl.) K 
th« Surrey of Captain Bnil Hall (fitracb from a Jotf- 
nai xerUten on lie cototi of ChUi, Fern, mJ Mexico, 1834, 


which extends from £.&£. to W.N.W.> from 
one ogean. to M^Pther. ^This line :of jsummits, 
of which deyeral eater/into the limit ot perpe- 
tual anowsi 'and which ^re the loftiest of the 
Cordilleras ^'om the peak of ToUma (lat. 40^ 
46^Iior.)> is almost perpendicular to the gves^ 
axis of the chain of Guatimala and An^huac. ad« 
vancing to the 27th parallel, constantly N. 42^ £• 
It is, as I have observed above, a charactericitic 
featbre of every knpt, qc widening of the Cor- 
dilleras, that the grouping of the summit^ ni 
independent of the gienersil .direction of thi^ 
axis. The b^ck of the inQnntains in New^Sptiin 
form very elevated plains^ where carriagei^ can 
roll On a length of 400 leagues^ /totn; the ca4 
pital to Sant&-Fe and Taos, near tfa^ l9burce$ of 
Rio del Norte. This immense, tabl^-land, in 
19^ and 244"* of latitude, remains constantly at 
the height of 950. to 1200 toi8es,.that is^ at the 
elevation of the passages of the Great Saint 
Bernard and Splugen. We find on the back of 
the Cordilleras of Anahuac, which lower pro- 
gressively from the town of Mexico towards 
TlK>s (northern limit of the Provincias intemas)^ 

VoL ii, p. 370), yields results alike certain in latitude as in 
io^q^tude^. the volcano of Colima is oti the north of the 
parallel of Paerto^de Navidad, in W* 36' of latitude; and, 
like the vdcano of Tuxtla, if not beyond the zone, at ka^t 
bejTond the mean paraUei of the Tokanic fire of Mexico, a 
jiarallel which appear^ to fiedl between 18<»'59^ and 19^ 12'^ 


a succession of baaiiu: tbey are separated by 
hills little striking to the eye of the traveller 
because tbey rise bat 250 to 400 toiaes above 
the surrounding plains. These basins are some- 
times closed, like the valley of Tenocbtitlan, 
where lie the great Alpine lakes, and sometimei 
present traces of ancient ejections, destitute of 

Between lat. 39> and 38", the Rio del Norte 
forms, in its upper coarse, a great lon^tudinal 
valley ; and the central chain seems here to be 
divided into several parallel ranges. Hiis dis- 
position c<Hitinaes, towards the nwth, io the 
Rocky MountmHs*, where, according to the 


late height. Towards 40^ of latitnde, on the 
south of the sources of Fadouca, a tributary 

published in the United States). Spamih Peak is sneoeeded 
towards the norths by James Peak (dSo 88' lat. lOT" 52' 
long.) between the sources of the Arkansas and the Fadouca, 
a tributary of the River Platte {Ne-brasca), that is^ shaUow 
-water, in the langnage of the Otoes Indians, and not as 
marked on a new French nnap, Rio de la Plata, rivitre iav" 
gent !) Finally, in lat 40<» 8^^ lo^g. 108^ 80', between the 
two branches of the River Platte^ rises the Bighorn, or 
Highest Peak, of Captain Pike, perhaps the Sierra Almagre 
oftheinhalritants of New Mezica. The central moontain 
of these three great anasscs, James Paak, is estimated at 
11,500 English feet (1798 toises) of abscdute height j but 
this height trigonometrically measured, is only 8507 English 
feet (1330 toises) : the height of the base above the level of 
the sea (468 toises) is not founded on a barometric measure- 
xnent, but on the estimates, somewhat vague, of the descent 
of the three rivers Platte, liissonri, and Mississipl {Long, 
Exped, Vol. ii, p. 82, 882. Ap, p. zxxviii). Captain Pike, from 
analogous h]rpotheses, but which are certainly not so good 
as those of Major Long and Mr. James, assigned 1260 tbises 
of elevation to this table-land, or these plains at the back of 
the Rocky Mountains. Mr. James computes in two cats, 
the loftiest summits of the Rocky Mountains to be, in 85* 
latitude, 10,500 English feet (1042 toises) ; and in 41% 
nearly 12,000 English feet (1876 toises). The lower limit 
of the perpetual snows appeared to him in 38{o latitude, to 
be 1630 toises, a height which, in the system of European 
climates, corresponds to 40<> of latitude. The astronomical 
positions assigned by Major Long, to the eastern declivity of 
the Rocky Mountains (107o 20^ west of Ptois, in 88<> of lati- 
tude) appear to merit great confidence, the Peaks being 


stream of the river Platte, a branch known hj 
the oamt: of the Cotes Noires * separates to- 
wards the nortli-east from tlie central chain. 
The llocky Mountiuns seem at first to lower 
considerably in 46" and 48° ; and then rise to 
4»° and 49°, where their tops are 1200 to 1300 
toises, and their ridge near 950 toises. Be- 
tween the sources of the Missouri abd the river 
Lewis, one of the tributary streams of the C^- 
gon or Columbia, the Cordilleras form in wi- 
dening, an elbow resembling the knot of Cuzcof. 
There also, on the eastern declivity of the Rocky 
Mountains, is the partition of water between 
the Caribbean Sea and the Polar Sea. This 

fates (lBtaSH.^:noiiib);^oaih«iftel. :tTlb»,-iidg9 
that ■^aMit& the Rol!kjFMoUfitaili8iati>9t«h«i 
fta^i Wtst. to caatt toirtodsJrfdieS^pQiMifj.lK^^ 
«4feon fhei Intaitt of the< .MiiBo«H» W^:!^ 9f 
tfae £ttke Winnipei^ and the SUbwti J^fltev . I W? 
hste iwfaa; the central GordtUertt of Mei^iiMt^fl 
the Bodcy-Moantains fi^«i,diroc|M»']&i 
1•>.W^ Mm fiso te:3d<^oMiBititiidle[> tlte;«hw» 
fiih»tliit peiiit'totheBolia>;8eB»'is,)>Ailonged 
iiitheHaireetion.N. 94<»W^.lmdBBtiBia the;p(M> 
rtUd 40*^ at the inbath of the Jfaokefab dt 

In thni developing the stracture of the Cot^ 
diHeras of the Andes from 56^ souths to >be- 
yond ihe arctic circle, we have iseen that its 
Aorthem extremity (Idng. ISO^ Sf/), is nearly 
61^ of tongitude west of its soath^m extremity 
(long. 69^ 4O0 ; this is the effect of the long 
duration of a direction from S.E. to N.W. tm the 
noith of the isthmus of Panania* By the extras 
ordinary breadth of th^ New Coiitinoit^ in the 
30* and 60^ of north latitude, the Cordillera of 
the Andes^ continually drawing nearer the 
western coast in the southern hemisphere^ is 

* The eastern boundary of the Rocky Afounialns'VieB'^ 

la 380 latitude 107o 2(K longitude. 

4(y> 108o30' 

e3o 1240 40^ 

68o :...130"30' 


removed 400 leag^ucs on the north from the 
source of the River de la Paix. The Andes of 
Chili may be considered as the maritime Alps*, 
while, in their most northern continuation, the 
Rocky Mountains are a chain of the interior of 
a continent. There exists no doubt, between 
23* and 60° of latitude, from the Cape Saint 
■Lucas in California to Alaska, on the western 
coast of the Sea of Karatschatka, a real Cordil- 
lera of the shore; but it forms, as we obsei-ved 
above -f*, a system of mountains almost, entirely 
distinct from the Andes of Mexico and Canada. 
This system, which we shall call the Cordillera 
fl^ Caiifomia, or of New Albion, is linked be- 
tween lat. 33° and 34** with the Pimeria alta, and 
the western branch of the Cordilleras of Ana- 
buae; and between 45' and 53° of latitude, 
with the Rocky Mountains, by transvere^ 
ridges and counter-forts tbat widen towards the 
east We shall learn from well-informed tra- 
vellers who may one day pass over the unknown 
land between Cape Mendocino and the source 
of the Rio Colorado, if the connexion of Uie 
maritime Alps of California or New Albion, with 

* A chain of the shore, geognoiticiJIy speaking, is not a 
range of mountoina that forma of itself the coait ; this name 
is exleoded to a chain separated from the coast b]r a narrow 

+ Vol. »i, p. 410, &c. 


the western branch of the Cordilleras of Mexico^ 
resembles that, which, hotmthstanding the de- 
pression, or rather total interruption oblierved 
on the west of Rio Atrato, is admitted by geo- 
graphers, between the mountains of the ilthmus 
of Panama, and the western branch of the Andes 
of New Grenada. Hie maritime AipSj little 
devated in the peninsula of Old California^ rise 
progressively towards the north in the Sierra of 
Santa Lucia (lat. S4¥^)y in the Sierra of San 
Marcos (lat. S?""— 38^) and in the snowy moun^ 
tains near Cape Mendocino (lat. 39^—41'') ; the 
last seem to attain at least the height of 1500 
toises. From Cape Mendocino^ the chain fol- 
lows the coast of the Pacific Ocean, but at the dis- 
tance of from 20 to 25 leagues. Between the lofty 
summits of Mount Hood and Mount Saint 
Helen, in 45^'' latitude, it is broken by the great 
Rio Columbia. In New Hanover, New Corn- 
wall, and New Norfolk ^^ these rents of a rocky 
coast are repeated, these geognostic phenomena 
of ^fiords that characterize western P&tagonia, 
and Norway. Two volcanic peaks are placed 
where the Cordillera turns towardls the west 
(lat. 58i^ longjaQ"* 40') f , one of which,Mount 

* Harmon^ Journal of Travels in the interior of North 
America, p. 78. ' 

t Trigonometrical measurements made by the expedition 
of Malaspina, and which appear to deserve entire confidence^ 


Saint Elie, perhaps equals Cotopaxi in hught; 
the oilier, Fair Weather Mountiun> equals 
the height of Mount Rosa. The elevation of 
the former exceeds all the summits of the Goiv 
dilleras of Mexico and the Rocky MountaioB, 
on the north of the parallel IQi' ; it is eren the 
culminant point in the northern hemisphere, of 
the whole known world north of S0<* of latitude. 
Towards the north-west of the peaks of Saint 
Elie and Fair- Weather, the chun of CalifiDraia 
widens considerably * in the interior of Hnanan 
America. The volcanoes multiply in number 
as we advance towards the west, in the penin- 
sula of Alasca, and the Isles desRenards, where 


teiTaneous fires, at its two extremities ; towards 
the north, in 60^ of latitude^ and towards the 
south in 28^ in the volcemo of the Vir^ns *. If it 
were certain that the mountakis of Califortiia 
belong to the western branch of the Andes of 
Anahuac, it might be ' said that the v^canic 
fire, still burning, abandom^ f he central Cordil- 
lera when it removes froni ihe coast, that is 
from the volcano of Colima r'and that the fi^e is 
borne on the ^ipjrth-we^tVy, the peninsula of Old 
Califomiai Mp)w^ 3p^t Cllie^ and the peninsula 
of Alaska, towards the Aleutes Islands, and 

I shall terminate this sketch of the structure 
of the Andes, ;by recapitulating the principal 
features tbat characterize the Cordilleras on the 
north-west of Pftrien. 

Lat. 8M1^ Mountains of t))e isthmias of Pa- 
nama, VerajB^a, and Costa Bica, slightly 
linked to the western chain of New Grenada, 
which is tha&of Choco. 

Lat. 11^-1 0^ Moijmtains of Nicaragua and 
Guatimala ; line <rf volcanoes N, 50° W., for 
the most part still burning, from the gulph of 
Nicoya to the volcano of Soconusco. 

* Volcanes de las Virgenes. The highest summit of 
Old California, the Cerro dc la Giganta (700 toiscs), appears 
to be also an extinguished volcano. (Manmcripi ^f Colimtl 


Lat. 16^ 18°. Mountains of gneiss-granite id 
tlie province of Oaxaca. 

Lat. 18}°-191°. Tracbytic knot of Anohuac, 
parallel to the Nevados and the boming vol- - 
canoes of Mexico. 

Lat. 19l*'-20°. Knot of metoliferous moun- 
tains of Guanaxuato and Zacatecas. 

Lat. 2U-22'. Division of the Andes of Ana- 
huac into three chuns : 

Eastern chain (of Potosi and Texas), conti- 
nued by the mountiuns Ozark and Wiscon- 
san, as far as Lake Superior. 

Central chain (of Durango, New Mexico, and 


In the groupe of QuitOy 0^ to 2^ south lat. 
(Chimborazo^ Antisana, Cayambe, Goto- 

In the groupe of Cundifunnarca, lat 4i^ north 
(peak of ToKma^ on the north of the Andes 
of Quindiu). 

In this groupe ofAnahuac, from lat. 18^ 59^ to 
19^ 12^ (Popocatepetl or Great Volcano of 
Mexico and Peak of Orizaba). If we eon-* 
sider the maritime Alps or mountains of 
California and New Norfolk^ either as a 
continuation of the western chain of Mex- 
ico, that of Sonora, or^ as being linked by 
counterforts to the centraT chain, that of 
the Rocky Mountains, we may add to the 
three preceding groupes : 

The groupe of Russian America^ from lat. 60^ 
to 70^ (Mont Saint Elie). On an extent of 
630 latitude^ I know pnly twelve summits 
of the Andes that reach the height of 2600 
toisesi and consequeatly surpass 140 toises 
the height of Mont Blanc. Three only of 
the twelve summits are placed on the north 
of the isthmus of Panama. 

/5. Insulated Groupe of the snowy Moun- 
tains OF Santa Marta. In the enumeration of 
bhe different systems of mountains, I place this 
groupe before the chain of the shore of Vene- 

VOL. VI. 2 k 

zucia, althcragh the latter, being anortheni pro- 
longation of the Cordillera of Cundinamarca, is 
imrot'diately linked with the chain of the An- 
des. The Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta is 
contained within two divergent branches of the 
Andes, that of Bogota, and that of the isthmus 
of Panama. It rises ahniptly like a fortified 
castle, amidst the plains extending from the 
guIphofDarien,by the mouth of theMagdalena, 
to the lake of Maraoaybo. I have stated tUiove* 
the ancient error of geographere, who have 
considered this insulated groupe of mountfuns 
covered with eternal snows, as the extremity of 
ibe high Cordilleras of Chita and Pamplona. 
The loftiest ridge of the Sierra Nevada de San- 
ta Marta is only three or four leagues in length 
in the direction from east to west ; It is bound- 
ed (at nine leagues distance from the coast,) by 
the meridians of the capes of San IMego Atd San 
Augttdtin. The culminant points^ called £l Pi- 
cacboandHorqueta-l-, are placed near the west - 
em border of the groupe j thcy are entirely se- 
parated from the peak of San Lorenzo, alike 

• Vol. v\, p. 386. 
t Avcording to tlw obserrationi of M. Fiilalgo (Twrm 
firtM, hoja tercera, Madrid, 1817), the Horqneta ii aituilcd 
lat. 10* 61 ', and long. tFl" 29' Cad., in supposing S. liuta 
<tB* long. Cad. ; it thence regutts, if with M. Oltmaos, wc 
adopt 7e» tg' Par. for the latter port, 76° 68' Pte. for the 


eoifefeA witb eternal taamn^ hut mAf fmtr 
kagoesF (bstant fioAtthopoH of Sintft Maria 
towards tbe a EL isMrtMi hMmpeA hmal 
tfae hdgbta tl»ti: soiTOMdtd Uii vffi 
bacor %. Mttib 6f OavtMa^inak NcrpMciia itaah- 
raremotit hats Utbwt6 aBoertaaked Mia ftdglil 
of the SmnsL Navacta^ wbieb DatipiaMa aftai* 
to be one of tbeUgbeat awatataiB^ef tbt iiMCIih 
em btaiisphara^ Cbafhirtatwam fiwtldaltiM tite 
mmmrMi of dirtftnoa a^nUth titer gaMpe ia 
diaaoiveMdataea, JfiftU alom IfaHi aOMtaiaet 
of bcigfat^^ Tbia auastae^ iiolirifhalaoaiy 
the miftMenitsr of tarnatnlal raftiwaoi^ wnwJA 
he kt»defifiMtifhbadbfitt»i|ai^ilitlaia» 
ridiaii of Horifiiett^. aad if the enoniei Mp 
longitude diA not readev the dbtialce tk» tine 
enoa^ir sannala ang^rtaiii. Ilia diaaet ptopf 
Oat the grwfpe ci tbr iaountaaoa of Siaia 
Idkrta are «*jffii<^ fhe aedettt cli- 

aaata of the iaftda (H^tpm ttdiemM} that an*- 

^ Peak of Saa Lorenzo, a/iCotStttg td JfUtAgo, lat It* 0' 
45^ long. 67® 6(K Cad. Turhaco, according to my observa- 
tioiift, lat. 10» 18' 6*, long. IV 4V M' Ptar. (Tte dieri- 
«ans of Godb aad Ptois diSnr 8^ 89/ 87*.) 

f Pcmbo, NoUcias varias sobre loi QuiMas, 1824> p. 07 
md laa^ Id thb work, fliltd witiri imAiI knoMrkdge^ tli^ la- 
^tadcf of the Peak tf Saa Loienao i» kidioirted at 16P 7' ia^> 
instead of 11^ 7^ W, an eit9r w mnch tin store dangerota, 
as the Horqueta is there called la Siefrm nmi avanta^ ai 



round tbem, on the east, towards the Rio Palo- 
mino; on the south, towards the villages of Va- 
lencia de Jesus and Santa Maria Angola, towards 
the sources of the Rio Cesar, and towards the 
(''aile de Vpar, anciently known by the name of 
the Villa de Reyes ; and on the west, towards 
the Aracataca *. Low . lidges and a saccessim 
of hills indicate perhaps an ancientconnection of 
the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta on one side, by 
the jilto de las Minas-^ (on the west of Idgnna 
. Zapatosa) with the phonolitic and granitic rocks 
oi Penon and Banca X, and on the other, by the 
Sierra de Perija with the mountains of Chiligu- 
ana and Ocaha, which are the counter-forts^ of 


y. Chain of thb Shorb of Venbzubul. ThL» 
18 the. system of monntains of which the confi- 
guration and direction have excited so powerful 
an mfluence on the state of cultivation and 
eomme'rce of the ancient Capitania general of 
Venezuela. It bears dilTerent names (ipouni* 
tains of Goro^ of Garaccas, of BergauUn^ of 
Barcelona, ofCumana, and of P^a); butall 
these names bdong to the same chain^ of which 
the northern {mrt runsi constantly along the 
boast of the Garibbean Stsk. It would be su- 
perfluous to repeat here that this system of 
mountains^ which is 1^ leagues long **, is a pro^ 
longation of the eastern Gordillera of the Andes 
of Cundinamarca. There is an immediate con- 
nection of the chain of the shore with the Andes, 
like that of the Pyrenees with the iQOunt^ns of 
Asturia and Galicia; it is not the effect of trapfi- 
versal ridges, like the connection of the Py- 
renees with the Swiss Alps, by the Black 
Mountain and the Cevennes. The points of 
junction, hitherto so ill inidioated by the maps, 
are found between Truxilio, and the lake of 
^Valencia. The following are the details of that 

We have observed above that this eastern chain 
of New Grenada stretches on the N. E. by thp 

* It is more than double the length of the Pyrenees, fron^ 
Cape Cr^uz to the point of Figuera. 


Sierra Nevada de Merida, as well as by the foar 
Paramos of Timotes, Niquitao, Bocouo, and lai 
Rosas, of which the absolute height cannot be 
less than from 1400 to 1600 toises. After the 
Paramo of las Rosas, whicli is more elevated 
than the two preceding, there is a great depres- 
sion, and we no longer see a distinct chain or 
ridge, hot a hilly ground*, and high table. 
Imids surrounding the towns of Tocuyo and 
Barquisimeto. We are ignorant of the height 
even of Cerro del Altar, between Tocuyo and 
CarsBacatu t but we know by the recent mat> 
mtW of MM. Rivero wid Bouesingaalt, that 
the most inhabited spots are from 800 to 350 
tofses above the levcj of t^ Ocean. The limils 
of Hie momitaiaous land between Tocuyo uid 
tlie TOlKes of Ara|^a are, the plains of San Car* 
loe im the south, and the Rio Tocuyo on the 
north ; the Rio Siqnisiqne throws itself into 
ftat liver, f'rom the Cerro del Altar on the 
K. E. I(nnu<d8 Gnigve wd Valencia, snooeed, 
«B nAateant points-fs the fnonota&as «f SanU 
Maria (between Bvda and Kirgua) ; then ifae 
Pioat^o de Nirgua, supposed to be 600 totses 
high ; and finally Las Palomeras and £1 Torito 
^betwera V^enda tuid Ningua). The Ime of 
parlStiui of water runs from west to east, from 

* See abotv, Vo). tv, p. 348 ; vi, p. 800. 
t HS. of General Cort«6. 


Qiiibor to %he Iqfty savawmhs of LoudoDj near 

Santa Rosft. The waiters flow on the norths 

towards th^ Golfo trUU of the Caribbean Sea ; 

and on the aputh, towards the ba3in9 of the 

Apure and the Oroonoko* The whole of this 

mountainDus oountry which we have just m^de 

known, and by which the chain of the shoire of 

Garaccas is Imked to the Cordilleras of Cundi- 

namarca, enjoyed some celebrity in Europe *, 

in the middle of the nineteenth century ; for 

that part of this territory, formed of gneiss* 

granite, and lying between the Rio Tociiyo and 

the Rio Yaraoui^ furnishes auriferous veins of 

Buria, and the eopper-mine of Aroa, which is 

still worked in our days. If, across tlie knot qf 

the tnountains qf Barquisimeto, we tra^ the 

meridians of Area, Nirgua, and San Carlos, 

which are so near each other, we observe that the 

N. W. of that hmot is linked with the Sierra de 

Core, called also Sierra de Santa Lucia, and on 

the N. E. with the mountains of Capadare, 

Porto Cabeilo, and the Villa de Cura. It may 

Jbe said to form the eastern wall of that vast 

circular depression of which the lake Maracay* 

bo is the center, and which is bounded on the 

south and west, by the mountains of Merida, 

Ocaiia, Perija, and Santa M arta. 

The chain of the 8hoi*e of Venezuela, of which 

* Vol. iii, p. 528. 


the existence was recognized by IMerre Martyr 
d'Angbiera *, presents towards tfae center, and 
the east, the same phenomena of stmctnce 
which we have remarked in the Andes of Peru 
and New Grenada; namdy, the division intOBe- 
veral parallel ranks, and the frequency of longi- 
tudinal basing or vallies. But the irruptions of 
the Caribbean Sea having it appean over- 
whelmed very anciently a part of the mountains 
of the shore, the ranks, or partial chidns are in- 
terrupted, and some basins are become ocetmc 
gulphs. To comprehend the Cordillera of Ve- 
nezuela in mass, we must carefully study the 
direction and windings of the coast frnn Ponta 


from south to north, either from Valencia and 
the vallies of Aragua, to Burburata and Tnria^ 
mo, or from Caraccas to La Goayra. The hot 
sources * issue from those ^anks^ those pf Las 

• See aboTc, Vol. iii, p. 109 j Vol, it, p. 6«, 187, IW^ 
«nd 271. The other hot sources of the Cordillers of the 
shore, are those of S. Juan, Provlsor, Brigantin, the gtdph 
pf Cariaco, CamacfiUr, sa^ It^n^ MM. Rivero and BoiiS<v 
singault, who visited the thermal waters of Mariara» in Fe- 
bruary, )823, during their journey from Caraccas to 3BQta 
Fe de Bogota, found their fi^aximMm to be 64» cent. I found 
it at the same season, only 50-2^. Has the great earthquake 
of the 26th of March, 1812, had an influence on tha tempo* 
rature of these sources ? The able chemist whom I haye 
just mentioned, were strucH like myself, with th^ great pu- 
rity of thjs ho( waters that issue ^om the primitiTc roclc^ of 
the basin of Aragua. *' Tboseof Onoto, inrhich flow at t)ie 
height of 380 toises above the level of the sea, have no smell 
of sulphurated hydrogen j they are without taste, and can- 
not be precipitated, either by nitrate of silver or any r^c- 
tive» When evaporated, thiey have an inappreciable residue, 
which consists of a little silica and a trace of alcali j their 
temperature is only 44*6% and $he bubbles of air which are 
disengaged intermittingly, are fit Onoto, as well as in the 
Itherm^l waters of Mariara, of pure gax azote (Se0 above. 
Vol. vi, p. 80). The waters of Mariara (244 toises) have a 
faint smell of sulpburated hydrogen j they leave by evapora- 
tion a slight residuum^ that yields carbonic acid, sulphuric 
acid, soda, magnesia, and lime. The quantities are so small 
that the water is altogether without taste.'* (Letter pf M. 
Boussingault to M. de Humboldt, in the AnnaUi de Phye. 
ei de Chimie, torn, xxvi, p. 81.) During my journeys I found 
the source of the Comangillas only, (near Gnanaxuato i<i 

Tnncheras (90*4°) uii its suutlicm slope, aud 
those (^ Onoto and Maiiara on its southern 
slope. The former issne trom a gntnite with 
large grains, very regularly stratified ; the latter 
from a rock of gneiss. What especially cha- 
racterizes the northern chain, is a summit which 
is not only the loftiest of the system of tlie 
mountains of Venezuela, but of all South Ame- 
rica, on the east of the Andes. The eastern 
summit of the Silla of Caraccas, according to 
jay barometric measurement, made in 1800, is 
1350 toises high *. MM. Boussingault aud 
Itiverq carried an excellent barometer of For- 
tln, ta 1822, on this very summit, which they 
found to be from 135U toises ; this proves that 
nptwitbetonding the commotion which took 
plapQ on the SiUa during the great earthquake 

Modco/) BtStl hotter ibm tha tbemwl mten of lai Trincbe- 
ffu, rittuted oa th« soath of Porte CabeUo. llie wntert of 
Oomangniu flow at 1940 toises high, umI are alike remoric- 
ftble for their purity, and their tempemture of M'S- eent. 

* Vol. HI, p. ft06, Vol. tv, p. 21. The Silla (^ CanccH 
ii only ao, totan lower Abb the Canigou in the Pyreoeea. 
As CaraooM, Santa Pe 4e Bog^ota, and Qaito, amy be consi- 
dere4 aa ibe three oapitals of Colimbia, I shall here repeat. 
Id order tb estaUiafa a preeise eoteparisoa of the height of 
<koee three towas, that the inhabitants of Caracoai rwog- 
nke at once in the ■umnit of the Silla which tximmaDdc 
their town, die level of the plaim of Bogota, and a point of 
lAA toiaes, which is less elevated than the great square of 


ofCaraccaSy that Dumntain did not •ink 60 or 
00 CoiseSy aiB several North Amerieaa Joumals 
asserted* Foor or five leagues s<mth of tiie 
northern chcAn^ which is Chat of Mariara, laSifia, 
and Cape Codera^ the motratains oi Goiiipa, 
Oeumare^ and Ptanaqaire^ form ttie JoieMeni 
dudn * of the coast, wUch stretdies in aparalkl 
direction firom Gaigue to tiie mouth of the Bio 
Toy, by the Guesta of Ynsma, and the GaaciBio. 
l%e latitudes of the Villa de Cura and San Joan, 
so erroneously placed on our maps, enabled me 
to ascertain the mean breadth of thewboleCoiw 
dillera of Veaesoela. Ten or tvdve leagues ^ 
may be counted from the descent of the 
northern chain which bounds the Caribbean 
Sea, to the descent of the southern chain 
which bounds the immense basin of the Lifmos. 
This latter ehaw^ designate a)so by Xh» name 
of tiie Mtrnd iifmntmns^ is umsHx low^r ihm 
the northern eMn ; and I scarcely bdieve that 
the Sierra de GuayraSma attains the height oi 
J200 toises, although this has been recently 

The two partial cfaaiBs, that of the int^Hcr, 
and that which lies along the coast, are linked 

^ Vol. iv, p. ler, aao, w». 

t Tke breaM is very considerable towards tlie east^ re* 
gardfng tlie Cerro de Flores (lat. 9^ 2S^ sooth-wesl of Bum^ 
pam aad Orlts^ as pkeed on the limit of tlie Lknof de 


by a ridge or knot of mountains • known by 
the uamee of Altos de las Cocuyzas (845 t.) and 
the Higuerote (835 t.) between Los Teques and 
La Victoria, in 69'' Sff and 69° Sff of longitude. 
On the west of this ridge liea the basin, entirely 
inclosed -f-, of the lake of Valencia or the Valles 
de Aragua; and on the east, the basin of the Ca- 
raccas and of the Rio Tuy. The bottom of the 
former of these basins is from 220 to 250 toises 
high ; the bottom of the latter is 460 toises 
above the waters of the Caribbean Sea. It re- 
sults from these measures, that the most western 
flf the two longitudioal vallies of the Cordillera 

• Vol. W, p. 77. 80. 
' t This boBin contains a ttnall tyttem of inland ritert, nhich 
ido not communicate with the Ocean. The eonthern chain 
of the Cordillera of the shore of Venezuela is so depressed 
towards the south-weet, that the Rio Pao is sepantcd from 
the tributary streams of t}|e lake of Tncarigua or Valencis 
' (Vc4. XV, 14S and 154). Towards the east, the Rio Toy, 
_w)uch takes its rise on the western declivity of the, knot of 
moanttuns of Las Cocuyzas, appears at first to throw jtsdf 
into the Tallies of Arngua ; but hills of calcareous tuf, form- 
ing a rhlge between Consejo and Victoria (Vol. !t, p. 80), 
force it to take its course south-east. In order to rectify 
what is sud above (Vol. iv, p. 162, note *) on the compo- 
sition of the waters of the lake of Valencia, I shall here men- 
tion that MM. Boussingault and Rivero found no traces in 
them of nitre of potash, but ^ of carbonat of soda nnd of 
magnesia, muriate of soda and sulfate and carbonate of 


of the shore is the deepest ; while in the plains 
near tlie Apure and the Oroonoko, the declivity 
is from west to east ; but we must not forget 
that the peculiar disposition of the bottom of 
the two basins, which are bounded by two pa- 
rallel chains, is a local phenomenon altogether 
separate from the causes on which the general 
structure of the country depends. The eastern 
basin of the Cordillera of Venezuela is iioC 
shut up like the basin of Valencia. It is in the 
knot of the. mountains of Las Cocuyzas, and of 
Higuerote, that the Serrania de los Teques and 
OripotOj stretching towards the east, form two 
vallies, those of the Rio Guayre and RioTuy ; the 
former contidns the town of Caraccas, and both 
unite below the Caurimare. The . Rio Tiiy rvos 
through the rest of the basin, from west to east, 
as far as its mouth, which is situated on. t;he 
north of the mountains of F^naquire. 

The northern range of the mountiuns of the 
shore of Venezuela seems to terminate at Cape 
Codera; but th|s is.only an apparent interrup- 
tion*. The coast forms a vast nook, thirty- 
five marine leagues in length, at the bottom of 
which is the mouth of the Rio Unare, and the 
road of Nueva Barcelona. Stretching first 
from west to east, in the parallel of lO* 37', this 
coast draws in at the parallel 10** 6', and re- 

• Vol. ii, p. 262. 


aames its ancient direction (10» 37'— 10» 44') 
from the western extremity of tbe peninsula irf 
Araya, to tBs eastern extremity of Montma de 
Paria and the island of IVinidad. It remlti 
from this position of tbe coast, that the nwge 
of monotuns ne» the shore of the pnmncet ef 
Caniccas and Barcelona, betveen the meridiaB 
66" 32' and 68* 29', and which I saw on tlw 
soath of the bay of Higuerote ; and on ttie 
north of the Ltanoft * of Pao and Cacbipo^ nmst 
be conNd««d as tbe cobtiaintio» of the soidkem 
cAoM ^ FeneMM^cif and as bdng linked towiu^ 
tbit west with tbe Sierras dc Fanaquin and 
OtniMM. *S%» ebaiB of the 'wtmot nftiae- 


Cbpe Cktdem imd the Silla cf Caa«ottM)ii^^ 
Oil the meridiaii of CunUtam. The aicMtooi^ 
dateilf tbepenineula of Aroyaaod MadqilMiv* 
arejoin^bythe ridge or htot of mmmtnhUtf 
Mmtfbre^^ to the «ciDthem ohiin^ tknl of Bms* 
qnitay Bergeotiii^ Torihiiqoiri^ QmA^^ a&dfihitt^ 
diaro|. I haver mcntkned id dootinf pho^ 
thaA tUe ri^S^ not moire tlMtoiUDtataiefal^ 
sohrttf height^ Ime^m theaaiclBrittfeToiQtitoni«r 
Mr pbnet^ |m«tiited the irtnipaell Of lie 
Otoeli^ mA ibA Qiiiott «f Ae gdlpte ef iMiM 
wdOerialdo. Oh thetratt ofGapdCodeni^dM 
nortfaem chain^ oompfoeed of prfmififife graialae 
roekfl» disphtjni the k^ieet summits of the Whole 
Cordillera of VeMzuelat but the eulmfaMOit 
poiBte oa the eadt of that Cb|>^ ave omn^osed 
in the eeathem ohms, of seoondtoy calcwdeM 
rackSi We have seen above^ theft the peek of 
Twimiqpihi, at the bade of the GoobUar^ ft 
lOliO toises^ while the bottom «f tlw higbiraU 
Uee of the cx>n^eat of Caripe Kr end of Ooartta 
deflenAngostm, are4l2 and 63dt<ri8ee<}ridNiOu 
kite bdgbt. On the east of tine tl^ of Itou 

tbc idwii of CdnuuMOM^ atoordfaiK to tmf ^kmtnti»UI, is 
10* W 11\ 

• VoL ii, p. aen I VoL ti, p. ee, &o. 
f Vol. ii, p. MO i Vol. m, p. lee. 

% Vol. iu, p. 174. 
§ Vol. iii^ p. 04. 
H VoL iii, p. 116. 


pire, the southern chain sinks abruptly towards 
the Rio Arco and the Guarapiche ; but, in quit- 
ting the main land, we sec it again rise on the 
southern coast of the island of Trinidad, which 
Is but a detached portion of the continent, and 
of which the northern side indubitably displays 
the vestiges of the northern chain of Venezuela, 
that is of the MoDtana de Paria (the Paradise of 
Christopher Columbus), the peninsula of Arayn, 
and the Silla of Caraccas. The observations of 
latitude I made at the Villa deCura (10° 2*47"), 
the farm of Cocollar (10° 9* 37"), and the con- 
vent of Caripe (10° 10' 14"), compared with the 
position more anciently known of the southern 
coast of Trinidad (lat. 10* 6') prove, that the 
Bouthera ch£UD, south of the basins of Valencia 
and of Tuy * and of the gulphs of Cariaco and 
Faria, is still more constant in the direction 
from west to east than the northern chfun from 
Porto Cabello to Punta Galera. It is highly 
important to know the southern limit of the 
Cordiilera of the shore of Venexaela, because it 
determines the parallel at which the Llanos or 

* The bottom of the first of these four basins bounded by 
parallel chains, is from 230 to 460 toises above, and that of 
the two Utter from .30 to 40 toises below the preseot level 
of the sea. Hot waters gush from the bottom of the gulph 
of the basin of Cariaco (Vol. iii, p. 199), as from the bot- 
tom of the basin oE Valencia on the continent (Vol. iv, 
p. 167). 


the savannahs of Caraccas^ Barcelona, and Cit- 
mana begm. Greographers^ who are fond of 
copying, and of stereotyping^ for ages^ the chains 
of mountains and the branches of rivers which 
the caprice of the draftsman has traced on 
some well-known maps, never cease to figure, 
between the meridians of Caraccas and Cu- 
mana, two Cordilleras stretching Ifrom north to 
south, as far as 8r of latitude ; to which they 
give the names of Cerros de Alta Gracia, and 
del Bergantin *; thus rendering a territory of 

* See all tlie FwnuA, Eng^b, and German maps pal>- 
Ikhed before the Map of Columbia, by M. Bru6 (!«»)> for 
which a part of the materials were employed which I had 
collected on the extent and direction of the chains of moun- 
tains. The source of the error whidi we find in Nieolosio> 
Sanson (1600), and Die Flste ^700), must be attributed to 
the practice of the first geogvaphers of America, of enlarg- 
ing beyond measure, the breadth of the Andes of P^ra and 
New Grenada^ and placing them so fiur towards the east, 
that Quito is sometime found on the meridian of Cumana 
(Vol. V, p: 853). In H^s manner, die steppes of Vene. 
xnela were coTcred with ^^ountains that linked the grovpe of 
ih€ Parme with the chains of the shore of Caraccas. De 
risle places the f^aiiey of Saj^na near the range of moun* 
tains which Sanson had raariked as going from north to 
iouth, from Barcelona to the Oropnoko ; this proTes that he 
had some confused idea of the mountains of Caripe, inha- 
bited by the Chaymas Indians. D*Anville, according to 
systematic ideas on the origin of rivers, figures a ridge be* 
tween the sources of the Unare, the Guarapiche, the Pao, 
and the Manapire (Vol. iv, p. 301). This is the pattern 

VOL. VI. 2 L 


25 leagues broad, moiintainous, where, we 
aliould seek in vain a mound of a few feet in 

In fixing our eyes on the Island of Maipie- 
rita, composed, like the peninsula of Araya, of 
micaceous slate, and anciently linked with that 
peninsula by the Morro de Chacopata and the 
isles of Coche and Cubagua *, we are inclined 
to recognize in the two mountainous groupes of 
Macanao and la Ve^ de San Juan, the traces 
of a third chain of the Cordilleni of the shore 
of Venezuela. Do these two groupes of Mar- 
gnerita, of which the most westerly is above 
600 toises high -f-, belong to a sub-marine chain 
stretching by the isle of Tortuga, towards the 
Sierra de Santa Lucia de Coro, on the parallel 
ofll"? Mustweadmit, that in 1 U^ and 12)° 
of latitude, a fourth chain, the most northerly 
of all, stretched heretofore by the island of Her- 
manos, by Blanquilla, the Orchila,' Los Roques, 
Aves, Buen Ayre, Curacao, and Oruba, towards 
Cupe Chichivacoa ? These important problenE 
can only be solved when this chain of islands 
parallel to the coast Ijave been examined by a 
well-informed geognost. It must not be for- 

whlch haa been hitherto followed, and £rDm which Sarrilk 
himself has not ventured to deviate in his map subjoiDed to 
Caulin'a work. 

• See Vol. vi, p. 94. 
t Vol. ii, p. 48. 


^> ' ■ 4 

gotten^ that one great irraption of tbe 
appears to ha^e taken place between ^inUhid 
and €rrenada% and that no viinue ebe In tte 
long series of the Little Antilfeg^ two ne%b- 
bouring* islands are so &r removed fixmi eaeb 
ether* We recognize the eff^ of the tm^ mU 
i^rotaHanin the direction of the coast of lUnl- 
dad^ as in the coastsof the provinces ctfCuBaafei 
and Caraccas^ between CSape Faria and I^ta 
Araya^ and between C!ape Codera and Fnrto 
(3abello -f . If a part of the continent has been 
overwhelmed by the Ocean on the north of the 
peninsula of Araya, it is probable^ that the 
enormous sand-bank which surrounds CubaguA^ 
Coche^ the island of Marguerita^ Los Fraiks^ 
la Sola, and the Testigos^ marks the extent and 
autline of the submerged land. Hiis sand'-baidc 
or placer of 900 square leagueSi is only well 

^U\B affirmed that the island of triaidad is traversed ia 
^ qprthem pact by a chain of prioiitive slate, and tbit 
Cbenada furnishes basalts. It wonld be important to e^* 
amine of what rock the island of Tobago is composed « it 
appeared to me of a dazzling whiteness (Vol. ii, p* ^ j 
Vol. \v, p. 45) j and on what point, in going from Trinidad 
towards the north> the trochytic and trapean system of the 
ifittle Antilles begituB. 

t The sao^e effects of the current of rotation^ akid the 
B^me regular direction E. apd W., may be remarked oppo- 
site the coast of the main-land, on the shore of Portorico, of 
Haiti or Saint-Domingo and the island of Cuba^ between the 
Punta Maysi and Cabo Crux. 



known in all its extent, by the tribe of the 
Guayqu«ries; it is frequented by these IndiaK 
on account of its abundant fishery in calm wea- 
ther. The Gran Placer is believed to be sepa- 
rated only by some canals or deeper farrows of 
the bank of Grenada, which have almost tbe 
.same fonn as the island of that name, from 
the sand-bank that extends like a narrow dyke, 
from Tobago to Grenada, and which is recog- 
nized by the lowering of the teroperatare of the 
water*; finally, from the sand-baoks of Los 
Roques and Aves. I know that ablenangtiton 
deny these communications, because they con- 
sider the bottom of the sea in a difeent point 


of land, to the isles of Lobos and Coche. The 
partial retreat of the waters on the coast o^Cu^* 
niana • is incontestable^ and the bottom of the- 
sea has been raised -f at several epochs^ by tiiei 
effect of earthquakes ; bnt these local pheno^* 
nomena, already so difficult to explain by the 
action of volcanic force^ the changes in the di- 
rection of currents^ and the swelling of the 
waters which are the necessary consequences; 
are still far removed from the effects which are* 
manifested at once on several hundred square- 

J. Group OF THE Mountains of Parimk. It- 
is essential to mineralogical geography to^ de- 
signate by one name the whole of the moun- 
tains that form one system. In order to attain 
this end, a denomination which belongs only to 
a partial groupe, might be extended over the: 
whole chain ; or a name employed^ not suscep^ 
tible by its novelty of giving rise to homogenic 
mistakes. We know how confused the orogra-: 
phy of the interior of Asia has remiuned^ from the: 
obstinacy with which the vague names of Mus-» 
tag^ properly called Mussur, have so long been* 
preserved. The mountaineers designate every 

• Vol. iii, p. 184. 
+ Vol. ii, p. 220. Compare also BoUingbroke, Voyage 
to Demerary, p. 201. Ideas of the progressive and con- 
tinued hcaving-up of the land prevails also in Sweden and 
the Molucca islands. ... 


groupc by a peculiar denomination ; and a chain 
Is generally considered as forming a whole, 
only when it is discovered from afer boiHiding 
the horizon of the plains. We find the names 
of anoivy mounlaitu, repeated in every lODe 
(Himalaya, Imaus), white (ATpes, Alb), black 
attd blue. The greater part of the Sierra Pa- 
rime is in some sort turned by the Orooooko. 
I have, however, avoided a denomination which 
alludes to this circumstance, because tbepvnpe 
of mountains I have to make known, extends 
far beyond the banks of the Oroonoko. It 
stretches to the south-east, towards the banks 
of the Rio Negro, and the Rio Praoeo^ to the 


the Rupunuri or Rupunuwini^ a tributary of the 
Rio Essequibo. This country is one of the most 
unknown parts of South America^ and is cover- 
ed with thick forests and savannahs ; it ip inha- 
bited by independent Indians^ and crosaed by 
rivers of dangerous navigation, on account of 
the frequency of the bars and cataractq. 

The system of the mountains qfJParime^ sepa- 
rate the plains of the Lower Oroonoko from 
those of the R^io Negro^ and the Amazon ; it 
occupies a territory of trapezoide form, com- 
prehended between the parallels of 3^ and 8^, 
and the meridians of 61^ and 70i^. I indicate 
here only the elements of the loftiest groupe, 
for we shall soon see that towards the south- 
east, the mountainous country, in lowering, 
draws near the equator, and the French and 
Portugueze Guyanas. The Sierra Parime ex- 
tends most in the direction N. 85^ W. and the 
partial chains in which it divides towards the 
vest, generally follow the same direction. It 
is less a Cordillera or a continued chain in the 
sense given to those denominations when ap- 
plied to the Andes and Caucasus, than an ir- 
fiegular grouping of mountains separated from 
each other by plains and savannahs. I visited 
the northern, western, and southern part of the 

San Joacquim^ the Rio Uraaco^ one of the tributary stream! 
of the Rio Negro. 


Sierra Parime, which by its position, and its ex* 
tent of more than 25,000 square leagues, well 
deserves to be withdrawn from the n^lect in 
which it has been so long buried. It renuuH 
from the confluence of the Apure as fiu- as the 
delta of the Onxmoko, constantly three or foor 
leagues removed from the right bank of the 
grei^ river ; only some arrotesy or rocks of 
gneiss-granite, amphibolic-slate, and greenstone 
advance as far as the bed of the Oroonok-o, and 
give rise to the FE^ids of Tomo and of la Boca 
del Infiemo *. I shall name succeasively from 
N.N.E. to S.S.W. the difibrent chains whkib Mr. 
Bonpland and myself recognized in proportion 
proached the equator and the river of 


this chain, which is not 300 toises high, separates ' 
the tributary streams of the Oroonoko and those 
of the Rio Cuyuni, between the town of Upata, 
Cupapui, and Santa Marta*. On the west of 
the meridian of the rapids of Camiseta (long. 
67^ 10"), the high mountains in the basin of the 
Rio Caura, only commence at 7^ W of latitude/ 
on the south of the mission of San Luis Guaragna- 
raico, where they produce the rapids of Mura« 
This chain stretches towards the west by the 
sources of the Rio Cuchivero, the Cerros del 
Mato ^j the C6rbatana and Maniapure^ as fiEur as 
Tepupano, a groupe of granitic rocks of strange 
forms, that surround the Encaramada« The 
culminant points of this chain (lat. 7^10^ — 
7^ 28^) are placed, according to the information 
I gathered from the Indians, near the sources of 
Ca£io de la Tortuga. The chain (^ the Encara-^ 
mada {, displays some traces of gold. It is also 
celebrated in the mythology of the T^^ma- 
naques ; for the painted rocks it contains are 
associated with ancient geogonic traditions. The 
Oroonoko changes its direction at the con- 
fluence of the Apure, breaking a part of the 
chain of the Encaramada ; the monticules and 

♦ Vol. V, p. 700. 

t PI. 15, 16, and 20 of the Geographical Atlas, aad the 
Personal Narrative, Vol. v, p. 673. 

J Vol. iv, p. 460, 170 ; Vol. v, p. 827. 


the scattered rocks in llie plain of Cajmcliino •, 
and on the north of Cabruta, may be consider- 
ed either as the vestiges of a destroyed counter- 
fort, or, (on the hypothesis of the igneous origin 
of granite,) as partial eruptions and heavli^ 
up. I shall not here discuss the qm-stion, whe- 
ther tlie most northerly chain, lliat of Angos- 
tura and of the great fjdl of Carony, be a conti- 
nuation of the chain of Encantniada. 3d. In 
navigating on the Oroonoko fi'om north to 
south, we see small plains and chains of luoun- 
taias'f alternately on the east, of which we 
cannot distinguish the profiles, that is the sec- 
tion perpendicular to their longitudinal axis. 
From the mission of the Encaramada to tbe 
month of the Rio ^ma, I reckoned seven 
times this alternating of savannahs, and high 
moimtfune. First, on the south of the isle 
Cucunipani, rises the chain of Chaviripe (lat. 
7" IC) ; it stretches, inclining towards the 
south (lat, 6° 2(r — 6" 40'), by the Cerros del 
Corozal, the Amoco^ and the Murcielago, as 
&r as the Erevato, a tributary stream of tbe 
Caura. It there forms the rapids of ParuJ, 
and is linked with the summits of Matacuna. 
4th. Tbe chain of Chaviripe is succeeded by 
that of Baraguan (lat. 6° 50' — 7° 5'), celebrat- 
ed for the strait of theOroonoko to which it gives 

■ Vol. V, p. C7&. 
t Vol iv, p. 408. 
t Vol. V, p. 085. 


its name. The Saragtiaca^ or mountaiB of 
Uruana, composed of detached blo<^ of gra- 
nite, may be regarded as a northern counterfort 
of the chain oi Baraguan *, stretching on the 
south-west towards Siamaca, and the moun-* 
tains (lat, 5^ 5(K) that separate the sources of the 
Erevato and the Caura from those of the Veni- 
tuari. 5th. Ch43un of Catichana ami qfPtmuici 
(lat 6^ 250f of a wild aspect, but surrounded 
by charraidg meadows. Kles of gnmite crowned 
with trees, and insulated rocks of prismatic 
fiorra, <th9 Mogote of Cocuyssa and the Man-* 
marata f* or CasiUUto of the Jesuits), belong to 
this chain. 6th. On the western bank of the 
Oroonoko, which is low and flat, the Peak of 
Uniana rises abruptly more than 3000 feet 
bigh. The cmmter^farts (lat. S"" 35' — 6^ 40") 
which this peak sends towards the east are 
crossed by the Oroonoko in the^ai Otfoi 'Ca- 
taract (that of Mapura or the Atures) ; Anther 
on they joi% and rising in a chain, stretch X 
towards the sources oi the Cataniapo, the ra* 
jHds of Venituari^ situated on the north of the 
coi^uenoe of the Asisi <lat. 5® 10") and the 
Cerro Cuaeva 7th. Five leagues south of the 
Atures is the chain qf Quittuna ^, or qf May- 

♦ Vol. It, p. 602 ; Vol. t, p. 664, e04. 

t Vol. iv, p. 640, 644. 

X Vol. ▼, p. 48, 65, 110. 

§ Vol. V, p 133, 16G, 107, 664. 

jiures (lat. 15° 13'), which forms the bar of the 
Second Great Cataract. None of those lofty 
summits are placed on the west of the OrooDO- 
ko ; on the cast of that river rises the Cunava- 
mi, the truncated peak of Calitamini, and the 
Jujamari, to which fiither Gili attributes an ex- 
traordinary height. 8th. The last chain of the 
south-west part of the Sierra Parime is separat- 
ed by woody plains from the chain of May- 
pui*es ; it is that of the Ccrros de Sipapo (tat. 
4^ 5(f), an enormous wall, behind which the 
powerful chief of the Guaypimabis Indians in- 
trenched himself during the expedition of So- 
lano. The chain of Sipapo * may be considered 
as the beginning of the range of lofty moun- 
tains that bonnd, at the distance of some 
leagues, the right bank of the Oroonoko, where 
it runs from S. E. to N. W. between the mouth 
of the Venituari, the Jao, and the Padamo (lat. 
3° 15'). In going up the Oroonoko, above the 
cataract of Maypnres, long before we reach the 
point where it turns, near San Fernando del 
Atabapo, we find the mountains are removed 
from the bed of the river-t-, and from the mouth 
of the Zama there are only insulated rocks 
in the plains. The chain of Sipapo (if we con- 
sider the lofty summits as making a part of it, 

• Vol. v,p. 174. 
t Vol. V, p. 1J)3, 


which are seen constantly on the north * in na- 
vigating from Santa Barbara to the Esmeralda), 
forms the south-west limit of the system of 
mountains of Pari me, between the 70i® ai)d 68^ 
of longitude. The modem geognosts have ob- 
served that the culminant points of a groupe 
are placed less frequently at its centre than to- 
wards one of its extremities, preceding, and 
announcing in some sort, a great depression ^ 
of the chain. This phenomenon is again ob- 
served in the groupe of the Farime, the loftiest 
summits of which, the Duida and the Mara^ 
guaca, are in the range of the most southerly 
mountiuns, where the pliuns of Cassiquiare and 
Rio Negro begin. 

These plains or savannahs, which are not co- 
vered with forests in the vicinity of the rivers, 
do not, however, display the same uniform con- 
tinuity as the Llanos of the Low^r Oroonoko, of 
the Meta, and of Buenos Ayres. They are inter- 
rupted by groupes of hills (Cerros deDaribapa j;,) 
and by insulated rocks of grotesque forms ^ 

♦ Vol. V, p. 613. 
+ Montblanc^ Chtmborazo. 
X Lat. 29, long. 69^ 12' between the Itiniveni or Conan- 
cbitc and the sources of the Tama^ a tributary stream of the 
Alacavi and the Atabapo. 

§ Piedra de Kemarumo (lat. d"" 20 0> Piedra de la Guahiba^ 
Piedra de Astor^ on the banks of the Atabapo ; rocky wall 
of Guanari with two towers near the Rapids of Cunanivacari^ 


that pierce the soil, and fix from afer tlie atten- 
tiou of the traveller. Tliese granitic, and oftea 
stratified masses, resemble pillars or edifices in 
ruins. The same force which heaved up the 
whole groupe of the Sierra Porime, has acted 
here and there in the plains as far as beyond 
the equator. The existence of these steeps and 
sporadic monticula, renders difficult the precise 
fixation of the limits of a system in which the 
mountains are not longitudinally ranged as in 
a vein. In proportion as we advance towards 
the frontier of the Portugueze province of Rio 
Negro the high rocks become more rare, and 
we no longer find the shelves or dykes of gnei»- 
granite which cause rapids and cata^icts in 

Such 18 the snrfece of the soil between the 
68i* and 701" of Icmgitude, between the meri- 
dian of the bifbroation of the Oroonoko, and 
that of Sftn Ferntmdo de Atabapo ; further on, 
westward of the Upper Rio Negro, towards the 
source ot that river, and its tributary streams 
the Xii and the Uaupes (lat. 1°— 2i°, long. 72" 
— 74°) lies a small mountainous table-land, in 
whiph Indian traditions place a Laguna de oro, 
that is a lake surrounded with beds of aurife- 

Fiedra de Culimacari (lat. 2° 0' 42") on the banks of the 
Casaliiuiare ; GlorieU de Cocuy (lat. l" 40') and Piedra de 
Ubumone on the banks of the Rio Negro. {See Vol. v, 
p. 233, 242, 371, OT2, 399, 400, 409, 412.) 


rous earth*. At Maroa^ the most westerly 
mission of the Rio Negro, the Indians assured 
me that that river^ as well as the Inirida (a tribu- 
tary stream of the OuayareX rises at the dis- 
tance of five days march, in a country bristled 
with hills audi rocks. The natives of San Mar- 
cellino speak of a Sierra Tunuhy, placed near 
thirty leagues west of their Tillage, bttween the 
Xie and the Icanna. M. de Condamine heard 
also from the Indians of the Amazon, that the 
Quiquiari (Iquiari of Acuna and Frits), comes 
from ^^ a country of mountains and mines^ 
Now, the Iquiari is placed by the French astro- 
nomer, between the equator and the mouth of 
the Xie (Iji6), which identifies it with the tgui- 
are that fiedls into the Icanna. Wc cannot ad- 
vance in the geognostic knowledge of America^ 
without having unceasingly recourse to the re- 

* Vol. v^ p. 819^ ttO^ 830. Aooordlng^ the joumab of 
AeuQa^ and Firtz, tbe llaiuuii Indians (Manoas) drew gold 
from the banks of tbe Yquiari (Iguiare or Iguare), of which 
they made blades. The manuscript notes of Don ApoUi- 
nario also make mention of the gold of the Rio Uaupes. 
(La Condamine^ Voyage d VJmazane, p. 98, and 129 ; and 
above^ Vol. v^ p. 318, 830, 064.) We must not confound 
the Laguna de Oro, which is said to be found in going up the 
Uaupes (nor. lat. Qo 40^) with another gold lake (south lat. 
1° 10') which La Condamine calls Marahi or Marachi (water), 
and which is nothing but a soil oflen inundated, between 
the sources of the Jurubech (Urubaxi) and the Rio Marahi, 
a tributary stream of the Cac[ueta. 

searches of comparative geography. Tfie small 
system of mountains, which we shall call pro- 
visionally,thatof theJOurce*o/Me/{(OiVcgToo»z</ 
the Uaupes, and the culminant points of which 
are not probably from 100 to 120 toises high •, 
appear to extend towards the south to the ba- 
Bin of Rio Yupura, where rocky ridges form the 
cataracts of the Rio de los Engaiios and the Salto 
Grande de Yupura (south lat. 0° 40* to north 
lat. 0° 28'}, and the basin of the Upper Gua- 
Tiare towards the weet. We find in the course 
of this river, from 60 to 70 leagues west of San 
Fernando del Atabapo, two walls of rocks that 
bound the strait (nearly 3° 10* nor. lat. and 73i' 
long.) where the excursion of father Mantella 
finishes, lliat missionary told me, that in going 
up the Guaviare, he perceived near the strut 
(Angostura^ a chain of mountains bounding 
the horizon on the south. It is not known 
whether those mountains traverse the Guaviare 
more to the west, and join the cfntnter-farfi 
which advance from the eastern Cordillera of 
New Grenada, between the Rio Umadea and 
the Rio Ariari, towards the savannahs of San 
Juan de los Llanos. I doubt much of this 
communication ; if it had taken place, the 
plains of the Lower Oroonoko would commu- 
nicate with those of the Amazon only by a very 

• Vol. V, p. 332. 



narrow land-strait, on the east of the moitn- 
tainous country which snrrounds the sooroe of 
the Rio Negro; bat it is more probable that this 
mountainous country (a smaU system oi moun- 
tains, geognostically dependent on the Sierra P&r- 
rime), forms something of an island in the Llanos 
of Guaviare and Yupura. Father Pugnet, guar- 
dian of the convent of St. Francis at Popayan, 
assured me, that when he went from the mis- 
sions settled on the Rio Caguan to Aramo, a 
village situated on the Rio Guayavero, he found 
only savannahs destitute of trees*, eictend- 
ing as far as the eye could reach. The chain 
of mountains placed by several modem geogra- 
phers ^f* no doubt to adorn their maps, between 
the Meta and the Vichada, and which appeara 
to link the Andes of New Grenada with the 
Sierra P^me, is altogether imaginary. 

We have ndw examined the prolongation of 
the Sierra Parime on the west, towards the 
source of the Rio Negro : it remains for us to 
follow the same groupe in its eastern direction. 
The mountains of the Upper Oroonoko, east- 

* What forest do the maps place ia those countries {Selva 
Grande or El Ayrico) ? The whole territory between the 
Upper Oroonoko and the missions of Caqaeta is so unknown, 
that the positions of San Jnan de los Llanos, Caguan, Aramo, 
and the confluence of the Rio Fragua with the Yupura or Ca- 
queta, may be more than half a degree false in latitude. 

+ For instance, the great map of South Jmerica, by 

VOL. VI. 2 m. 


ward of the Raudal ties Gualmnbos (nor. lat.* 
1° 15' long. 67° 38'), join tlie cliain of Paca- 
raina (Pacarahina, Pacaraymo, Baracayna), 
which divides the waters of the Carony and the 
Rio BruDco, and of which the micaceous schts- 
tus, resplendent in their silvery lustre, became so 
important in the fable of the Dorado uf Ra- 
legh*. The part of that chain cantaining the 
sources of the Oroonoko hafi not yet been ex- 
plored ; but its prolongation more to the east, 
between the meridian of the military post of 
Guirlor and the Rupunuri, a tributary stream of 
thp EssequibOj is known to me-f-by the tra- 

• Vol. V, p. 797, 798, 041, 857. 

t The fbllowing is a ligt of the unpnhluhed rotterials 
on which I fbtuid my description of the eastern port of the 
Siern Farime': l^Joumal of Nicolas Hortamui (1740)1buiHl 
among d'Anville'i papers (Vol. v, p. 694, 791), and cmd- 
mnnicated by his heirs. S* Written notes (.1778) dictated by 
Santos, when he passed from tlie missiooB of Carooy to the 
plains of Rio Branco, crossing the ehaio of Pacaraina, which 
he calls Pacaraymo (Vol. T, p.STS, 839, B40). This mona- 
script, and thie following, are preserred in the BTebireB oT 
Nuevft'OnayiUiB, whence I took copies. 3« Jotimalof Doolfi- 
colas Rodriguez, the friend of JSantoB.from Barcelooetta to the 
confluence of the Rio Mao (Uahu), and the Rio Bninco, I 
traced a map on the rery accurate indications of Thitmia and 
distances contained in this valuable manuscript. 4'> Two very 
detailed maps of thccaptaio of-tbe frigate, and the astrano- 
mical geographer of the FortugBeze commission of the 
boundaries, Don Antonio I^res de Sylva Pontes Lcme, and the 
captain of engineers, Don Ritardo Franco d'Almeida de 


vels of two SpaaiardB^ f Don Antonio Santos^ 
and Nicolas Rodrignea, and ako by the geodesic 
labors of the Ptortnguese Bontes'and Almeida. 
There are two porbiges little fraiqjaented^ be- 
tween the Rio Braaco and, the Rio Esaeqnibo 
(the portages of JSaranm and thclakeuAmncu), 
oni the sontta^of the chain of Fbcafaina; they 
fecili&te the road Ay lamd that' leads ^frbm 
the Villa of the Rio Negro to Dutch GAyana «. 
The portagei on tbe'oc^trary, betifo§h the basin 

SenQi (|78iT and 18Q4)^ These mmniacripl maj^/cpntaining 
the whole detdl of the trigonometric ranrey of tl|^ windings 
of the rivers, were obligingly oomttmnicated to M. Laple 
and myself, by the Conntlif LInhares. It niay be afllrdied, 
that the course of few rivers in Europe has been marked by 
more miimie tiperatioBS than thA of tte RI^Bmneo, dUe Uni- 
ricuem^ the Yacutn^ add the Maho i and we may regret that 
in the ttnte^ buMrlsmf te^wMdith^ geegmpliy of 'the vast 
eonntrtes tf SfMuiish^M Port^gwbe AariericK yetahfu,v prerfr- 
lection fof shoh f%erona pfoeMbn hi^ tk^mSM' mf ftetHt^h 
wildndd allneittehriMMMiUgiiiip. ^MoCetfoftheVoyagb 
madb by Fnmciso*r)>]osel! Rodf^oer'iBflMla/^LIeirt^iiaur *-0b- 
lonel dMhe-first reg ia rfentof Ibt Mne al FaHi,'wheir elttl^^ 
by the Rio BraneD9ihlr*IUiM,'>aBfl tHsMraonrprioflUd'HiK 
pdinri;^ iUA -UrfiUmi^' iff ier6ssingi(nMI)^th4 pmtagv/«tr 
ischmus^tlMseparsMft bii*#N(lMilh cff^Cerro Cottiieamtf, tlite 
bMdis of ^le Rl0'Srailwdb*the*B«eqttlbo (VM. v]> 480)1. 
F'rfwe'Adtfi&flfmatlori'tb tN^Wmlneis of Mv BHm, ktflb«« 
Bidor of Pbrtu|^r'at<Mife eDtirt'ofFNtoc«; '^ ':' f ^-"^ 

^ Th«pdrti^'^Oftbe lake AliiiMi <Ambtti)/tftltwedif IRh 
CMoPrfe%^a,^ A iHbiAaryst^etftf'oifthe Hlo Mahu and the CalSo 
TaVari'euhf or- Tfturicdi^/i^ ten leagues liShh of INe p6rtago 
of Saraum (Vol. v, p. 480).' ^' '" *■ ' '^ ^ ' •*' '^' " 

2m 2 


of the Rio Branco. and that of the "fcaiOTf , 

crosses the summit of the chain of Pacaratna. 
-On the northern slope of this chain rises the 
Anocapra (Annca-para? Nocaprai), a tributary 
stream of the Paraguamusi or Paravamusi ; aQ<l 
on the southern slope, the Ai-aicuque, which, 
with the Uraricapara, forms the famous VaUey 
of Inundations"', above the destroyed mis- 
sion of Santa Rosa (lat. 3° 46', long. 65° IfSe). 
The principal Cordillera, which appears of little 
breadth, stretches on a length' of 80 leagius> 
from the portage of Anocapra (long. 65° 3ft') to 
the left bank of the Rupunuri (long. 61° 50"), 
,iiDllowing the parallels of 4*^ 4' and 4° 12'. 

* V«l. V, p. 101. The Rio Uraricapan throwa itself into 
Abe Unricuen, called Cvrantara in the manuscript of Rodri- 
^ei, end which utxj be considered as tbe western tiraiidi of 
tbe Kio Braoco, while the eastern branch is the'Hwntv, 
which receives the H^u. The two bfanchea join 'near the 
fort of San Joaquim of the Hio Branco. The Spaniards of 
Cafony bfigan to pass the chain- of Pacaraina, and fix tbem- 
selres on tbe Parti^eze territory, in the yeaca 1770 an< 
1373, Hiey established aoccessively the missions of Santa 
Rosaj 8an Jiian Daptista de Ci^iicaf a (Cadacada) and Sao 
Antonio (Caulin, p. 00) -, but those Tillages, or rather assem- 
blages of huts, were destroyed by the Portuguese. Wars 
are unhappily but too Irequenl in this part of America, be- 
tween the neighbouring missions of two riral natima. . The 
map of Pontes marks at the junction of tbe^uvguanasi 
and the Rio Paragua (a tributary of the Carony), the village 
of San Vicente, lat. 4*^ 25' ; the point where the Spanish 
military post of Guirior is placed. 


We there distingnigh; from west to' 6asty the 
mountains of. Fttcanma^ Tipique, Tauyana^ 
where rises the Rio Parime (atribiitarjrstrGiaHai of 
the Uraricaera), Tubachi^ Gristaux (lat. 9" 56', 
long. 6SP Sis'), and Canc^iri. The/ Spanish: trar 
Teller, Rodrignez, marks the eastern part of thp 
chain by the name of Qmmirapaca i, but as tb^ 
geognostic descriptionof a eQU4tryQaiiiio^.ipfike 
any progress mthout adopting g^n^ral n^mes^ 
I. continue to give the namp of Pacaraina to the 
whole of Uiis Cordillera, which jUnks the monn- 
tains of the Oroonoko, to those qf the interior 
of the Dotch and Fmch Gpyaoas/ ai^d wbich 
Ralegh V and Keymis had made known in 
Europe at the end of the 16th century. This 
chain is broken by the Rupunuri and tiie Esse^ 
quibo, so that one of their tributary streamed, 
the Tavaricuru, takes its rise on the southern 
declivity, and the other, the Sibarona, on the 
northern. In approaching the Essequibo, the 
mountains are more developed* towards the 
south-east, and extend beyond the 2i^ of north 
latitude. From this eastern branch * of the* 

* The culminant points of this eastern- branc)i^. are froo) 
S.£. to N.W. i the Sierras of Cumucumu^ Xirivi> Yavianu^ 
Paranambo, Uanararl, and Puipe. I believe that' the groups 
of the mountains of Cumucumu (Cum-Ucuamu) in the map of 
Pontes, taken on the spot, is the Cerro del Dorado or Cerro 
Ucucuamu of the journal of Santos^ and the Acucuamo of 
Caulin (Corografiiia, p. 176) between the Mahu and the Ru« 


chain of Pacaraina the Rio Hupunnri i 
the Cerro Uassari. On the right bank of the 
Rio Branco, in a still more southern latitude 
(between 1" and 2° north) is a mountainoos 
territory in which the Caiitamini, the Padaviri^ 
the Cababuri (Cavaburis) and the Pacimoni 
take their source, from east to west. This west- 
ern branch of the mountains of Pacaraina sepa^ 
rates the basin of Rio Branco from that of the 
Upper Oroonoko, of which the sources are pro- 
bably not found on the east of the meridian of 
66° 15' : it is linked with the mountains of Un- 
.turoD and Ynraariquin, lying S.£. of the mis- 
skni of 'Eemeralda *. From the wIm^ of these 

puiMnf. Th^Ialelp-JhraccM, wbicb SantM plan* bitbe 
VidiUe of the Lagnna Kukn^ recdla the mme of lake 
Ammca (Amacena, Amacu), of which the exlatenoe, alradf 
aimoaiiced by the inrgeoa Hortonatm ds HUdeabeiiB, haft 
been cntlfied by the oniat recent tnvcb. (Vel^v, p. TBI. 

I* Xhe^IndiBM who inhabft th« b«du of the Bip Bnaco^ 
told BL FoatM that the tUo Bfoojabl or Cahnana, whiA flam 
into the Rio Bnnco, at S* 38' of latitude, and whiiAthePot^ 
tugnese wUien ascended in canoee daring twenty days, orcr 
innnmenble rap ida and catancta, commiuicates with the 
Cababory.whldi is at once a tribolary stream of OeRk) Negro 
and the Cassiqaisrej {8a above. Vol. t, p. 877, 418.) If 
Ihii notion be correct, 0Qrmi|M prolong the conrM of the Fs- 
davlri mudi too &r towards the north. It famishea, according 
to the anthor of^the CorognphiaWimlitmU (Vol. ii, p. MB), 
a portage to the UmaTaca (no doubt the Macarra, a tributary 
stream of ttieUn>er Oroonoko). lam surprised at tite detail 


considerations it results, that while on the west 
of the Cassiquiare/ between* that river,, the 
Atabapo, and the Rio Negro, we find only yajst 
plains, in which rise some monticules and insu- 
lated rocks; real counter-fbrts stretch . on the 
east of the ^Jassiquiare^ from N.W. to SJL and 
form a continued mountainous teijitory ais fiir 
as the 2^ of north latitude. The bttin only, or 
rather the transversal valley of RioBranco, 
forms a kind of gulph, a succession of pluns 

given in Arrowfliidth*8 map, of dieaoiuoeioftlieFMbviri> 
placed in a* latitude, wUla in the mannacript maps of Pirates 
these sources are marked at Ij^ Heretofore the Daniba, the 
Fkidaviri^and the UavaeayWere supposed to join the Rio Branee , 
having three distinct months, and forming a delta of trilm*' 
tary streams.- (SesStarifU/le*«fiMtp,whidi accompanies the Go- 
rography of Canlin). The great inundations of Seriveni^aad 
Caritamini (lat, 1V*8* north) have no doobt |^en rise to 
the fable of lakeManvato, on the mqp of the Amaxon traced 
by M . Reqaena, first conmiislBary of the boondaries in the ser- 
vice of the King of Spidn. These innndations, and the muform 
assertion of the Indians, (hat the Rio Bioo^ahi commnni- 
cates with the Cababury, may also have contributed to the 
hypothesis of the imaginary lake which SurviUe places west 
of the Rio Branco, and which he links at the same time to 
that river alid the Oroonoko (Vol. v, p. 86l)« I shall here 
observe, that the lake AmUca of Hortsmann, and the two 
upper branches of the Rio Branco, the Uraricnera and the 
Mahu, which is the classical country of Dorado of Ralegh, 
are found, according to the astronomical observations of Por« 
tugueze travellers, between the parallels ^ and 4®, while 
Surville's map enlarged that space from 4® to the equator. 


and savannahs {campojf) several of which pene- 
trate into the mountiuoous hmd, from south lo 
north, between the eastern and western branches 
of the chain of Pacamna, to the distance of 8 
leagues north of the paraUel of San Joaquin*. 

We have just examined the southern part of 
the vast a^stem of the mountains o/Parime, be- 
tween the 2° and 4° of latitude, and between 
the meridians of the sources of the Oroonoko 
and the Essequibo. The developement of this 
system of mountains towards the north, between 
the chain of Pacaraina and the Rio Cuyuni, and 
between the meridians 66° and Blj", is still 
much more unknown. The only road fi-e- 
quented by white men is that of the river Para- 
gua, which receives the Paraguamusi, near the 
Guirior. We find indeed, in the journal of Ni- 
colas Rodriguee, that he was constantly ob- 
liged to have his canoe carried by men {arra- 
strando) by the cataracts which intercept 
the navigation -f ; but we must not forget a 

* We find savannahs between the Mnyari and theTacntu. 
but ea«t and west of those rivers, between the Tacutu and (he 
Rupunuri, the country is Ml of mounlsins. Id conBideriiig 
the whole chain of Pacaraina, we observe that the eastern 
groupe, that of Ccrro Cumucumu, is much loftier than tbe 
western, which contains the sources of tbe Carilamini. 

+ In ascending from Barcelonetta to the portage between 
Anocapra (no doubt Anoca-para, aater of Anoca), and Arai- 
ctique^ across the Sierra Pacaraina, we find along the banks 


circumstance^ of which my own experience 
furnished me with frequent piiopfisit— -that the 
cataracts in this part of South America are 
often caused only by ridges, of cocks which 
do not form real mountains. Rodrigiu^ names 
but two between Barcelonetta and the mission 
of San Jose ; while the missionaries place more 
to the east, in G^ latitude^ between the. Rio 
Carony. and the Cuyuni * the Serraniw of Usu* 
pama and Rinocote. The latter crosses the 
Mazaruni, and forms 39 cataracts in the Esse- 
quibo *f-, from the military post of Arinda (lat. 
5^ 30^) to the mouth pf Rupunuri. 

With respect to the continuation of the sys- 
tem of the mountains of Parime, south-east of 
the meridian of the Essequibo^ the materials 
are entirely wanting for tracing it with 

of the Piragua an4 the FkLrfgaamiui^ from north |o southj the 
confluence of the Carony aiid the Rio Pto^gua j the month of 
the Rio Hore -, the Cerro.PtoigQa^ near the western bank of 
Paragua ; Raudala of Onjmh, Gnajquirima^and Carapo ; 
the Cerro del Gallo ; the Tillage of San Jose i the mouth of 
Cano de Espuma s the Randals of Gnajguari and Para s the 
great Randal of Majsa ^ the Boca of CaBo Icapro ; the Boca 
of Paraguamusi, and the Raudals of Anocapra. {Razan de 
lo que ha sucedido a Don Nicolas Rodriguez durante iu na- 
vegadon en el Rio Paragua y en Uu Miaianet alias de las 
Reverendos Padres Capuchinos de Carony, fol, 7Ab moiitt-. 

* Map which accompanies father Caulin*8 work. 
-f Van Buckenrader, Map of the Colony of £ssequibo^ 1706. 


priicisloti- The whole interior of the Dutch, 
Freoch, and Portugueze Guyanas, is a terra m- 
cognita ; and the astroDoinical geography of 
those countries has scarcely made any progresf 
during thirty years*. If the American limits 
recently fixed -f- between France and Portugal, 
should one day cease to belong to the ilhisious 
of diplomacy, and acquire reality, in being 
tnuxd on tiie territory by meaiu of astronuiu- 

* It i« certain that M. Lc Blond, correspoiidait of the 
Academy of Stiencea, in going up the river Ofapock, not- 
withstantling all his aeal, only reached a little beyond the 
month af tbs SoacarL The aources of the AfV*'*^ (A'*^"- 
Bri), the OyvgnxiL, the CanK^I, and the TMKpri (tribnta'- 
ries of the Oyapock), and the-AraoiiDa^tribptacTof theMa- 
roni), are very near each other, in 3° 30' latitude, and 35° 
10' l<H)gitnd6. A Toynge of discovery ihould be made from 
this point of French Guyana, towards the confluence of the 
Rio Branco with (be Rio Negro, ii^the dbvctiM & 76* W., An 
a distance of 230 leagnes. The borders of French QnyanaUe 
between C«pa Orange and tiie nioutli of the Maroni, S. E. 
and N. W. Na#i ia a perpendlealar direction to the dnre 
«X Csqrenne/ none of the prtttm d ed greatexpe^tumi aftht k- 
leriof have kd white men beyond Honnt Triponpov and Ibe 
poM-of the RonlMmyenea Indians, at the distance of nxire 
than 70 leagnesit - The commuideations opened by land be- 
tween the Ca^tBolB' of Rio Negro and the Aoreof Otqnns 
liarc been directed solely along the Rio EBsequilNi, on ac- 
count of the fticility furnished by the proximity of its tribu- 
tary streams to those of the RJo Branco. 

t In consequence ol the treaty of Vienna. rSee above. Vol 
V, p. 84S. 

cal observations^ (as was projected in 1817,) 
this undertaking would lead geograplucal en- 
gineers to that unknown region which, at 3i^ 
west of Oayenne, divides the waters between 
the coast 6f Gnyana and the Ainai^. Till 
tliat period, which the political Mate of Bniiil 
seems to retard, the geognostic table pf the 
groupe of Pb^me can cmly be completed by 
scattered notions collected in the PortugueiEe 
and Dutch colonies. In going from the Uassa- 
ri mountains (hit. 2^ 25', long. 6P S(f) which 
form a part of the eastern branch of the Cordilr 
lera of Ptocarainn, we find towards the east, a 
chain of mountains called by the missionaries 
Acaray and Tumiiucwraqjite ^. Those two names 
wander on our maps between Oi^ and 3^ of 

* The Sierm TVmiicsrafiie (Tamamiicimqiie of Canlin^ 
Tmniicuciiniqiie of Arnnrfmitfa) mppmnAiot.thm first time 
on the map of La Cim } aiid> aa the mmm b there twice 
l^aoed with a dSffimpoe of S^ of latitude, Udi double nomi- 
natkm has been veligloiiily repeated oa the m^M of StinriUe, 
Boache^SbC The geograpber Stnmm, who. In his Camrte rf 
ike rintr rfiki jimamm»^ froeed Jmm ike fiarraimfe effaiker 
.^ieiffui(16eo)ihad-tbe merit, in eappr et ai Dg the lake Fuiase 
and the Sierra Waearima (Pkearahiaa) whieh had tUl then 
been figured in the direetioo of a meridian, to have ftnt 
traced with some precieion, a chain of moantaina etretching 
parallel to the eqoator, between the northern flonroes of the 
Eseequibo, Maroni, and Viapoco (Oyapock), and the south- 
ern sources of the Urixamina (R. de Trombetas), of Curu- 
patuba, and of the Ginipape or Kio Paru. 

Dortli latitude. Ralcgli Unit made koowA* la 
1506, the syfitera of the mountains of Parime' 
between the sources of the Rio Carony and tbc 
Es8equibo,bythe naineofWacarima{Pacarima^, 
and the Jesuits Acuna and Artedia furnished, in 
1639, the first precise notions of that part of 
this system which extends from the meridian of 
Efisequibo to that of Oyapock +. There they 
place the mountains of Yguaracuru and Para- 
gnaxo, the former of which gives birth to a 
gold river (Rio de oro)', a tributary stream of 
the CurupatubaJ; and according to the as- 
Bertim of the natives, subterraneous noises are 
sometimes heard from the latter. The ridge of 
this chain of mountains, which ^ may be fol- 
k>wed iaa direction S. 85° £., from the peak 
Duida, near the Esmeralda (lat. 3° 19*)^ to the 

* Vol. ▼,?.!«, fcc.. 

t Vol. ▼. p. 8«Gu 

t When wc know that ittTAmanaogoId is oiled eariarif 
in CarUi, oaricHra ; ii].Penivian>cori ('ntrUi we euUy recog- 
mze in the nemei of the raoanlaiiH &nd riTcn.f Ygivra-cnnt, 
Cor&^fKtuba), which we have juit marked, the indicattoo of 
an apiiferona soil. Such is the. analog of ihaimporUd noU 
in the American tongues, which otherwise differ altogether 
from each otber^ that 30a leagues west of the mountain 
Ygnracuru, on the hanks of the Caqneta, Pedro de Unas 
heard of the province of Caricuri, rich in gold washings. 
(Vol. r, p. 823). The CurupeUiba folia into the Amizoa 
near the Villa of Honle Al^rc, N. £. of the qiouth of the 
Rio Topayos. 


8SS ^ 

i of the Hia Maoiay^ near oape NMdf(kiL 
)i dividMyin the paraUel:8% the nortkeRi 
St 4^ ;the Etaequibi^ 4he Maroai, -and^the 
iflik, fpom the soathem 8eiireei:iaf Abe Bkr 
b0|B8^ Cornpataba, * and Fara, XlftQ aMU 
PHKOOunter-forts of ^thie diaindmw^ aeaitf 
Wifnp, at the distance of Meea leagnear 
»r)gre. the first heights tba( we .'peroeifed 
iHBring left Xeberos^aad thcumovth of tiie 
dl^. They ai^ cmurtantly seen in^Miigafc- 
sMthe month of the Rio Topayo stowaiAi 
of Panky from the town of Santarem) to 
irim. The peak Triponpon *f- is plaeed 
f in the meridian of the former of those 
I, and is celebrated among the Indians., of 
r Maooni. More to the east^ at Melgaipo^ 
erras do Velho and do Paru | are still dis- 
iguidied in the horizon* The real limits 
is series of sources : of the Rio lV>omh[etas 

U. Ti, p. 481. ^eealso La Condamine't^ Foffoge to ike 
Wj p. 143. The distance at which we see iboae coun- 
ts gives them 200 toises oF absolute height. Thej are^ 
er only, says Condamine, fhe anterior hills tii i'long 
ifmoiintuns extending from west to esist, and of which 
nunits form the points of partition of the waten ; 
irthem waters flow towards the coast of Cayenne and 
uUv and the southern towards the Amazon, 
jttt, ^ 10', long. 10 36^ west of the meridian of Ca- 
g according to the map of Guyana, published at the 
6/ tke Marine, Ifill. 

BrazU; Vol ii, p. 207, 



are iKtter known towards the south than tbe 
north, where a monntiunoiiB fNmntry appean to 
advance in Dutch and French Guyana, as fu 
as from 20 to 25 leagues of the coast. Hm 
numerous cataracts of the risers of Snrinam, 
Maroni, and Oyapock, prove the extent and 
the prolongation of rocky ridges: bat notiiing 
hitherto indicates that there exists in those re- 
gions (as sometimes has heen Hastily an- 
nounced), continued plahu, or table-lands some 
hundred toises high^ fitted for the dtltivatioo 
of the pluits of the temperate zone. 

I have just collected into one geognoatic table 
all the materials I possess on the ^siem ^ fke 


rapids of the Ria Maimye, near cape Nord (lat. 
1^ 5OO9 divides, in the parallel 2°^ the northern 
sources of the Essequibo, the Maroni, and the 
Oyapock, from the southeiti sources of the Rio 
TrombetaSy Curupatuba, and F^mi. The most 
southern counter-forts of this chain draw nearer 
the Amazon, at the distance of fifteen leagues. 
Ttiese are the first heights that we perceived 
after having l«ft Xeberosvand the. mouth of the 
Huallaga*. They are constantly seen in navigat- 
ing from the mouth of the Rio Topayo towards 
that of Paru, from the town of Santarem: to 
Almeirim. The peak Tripoupou*f- is placed 
nearly in the meridian of the former of those 
towns, and is celebrated among the Indians, of 
Upper Maroni. More to the east, at Melgaipo, 
the Serras do Velho and do Paru % are still dis- 
distinguished in the horizon* The real limits 
Qi this series of sources of the Rio TVomfafetas 

* VoL vi» p. 481. JSeetdao La Condamine'tj Foffoge to the 
Amazon, p. 143. The distance at which we see those coun- 
ter-forts gives them 200 toises of absolute height. They are^ 
liowever only, says Condamlne, fhe anterior hills of a long 
chain of mountains extending from west to east, and of which 
the . summits form the points of partition of the waters ; 
the northern waters flow towards the coast of Cayenne and 
Surinam, and the southern towards the Amazon. 

t Lat, 2® 10', long. 1<» 3d' west of the meridian of Ca- 
yenne, according to the map of Guyana, published at the 
Depdt of the Marine, J 817. 

t Ccrographia Brazil; Vol, i\, p. 297. 


the Atlantic Ocean, the Llanos or plains of tb« 
Amazon rise only 194 toises •. What most 
characterizes the gronpe of the mountuns of 
Parimc are the rocks of granite and gtieiss-gra- 
nite, the total absence of calcareous secondary 
formations, and the shelves of bare rock (the 
Tsif of the Chinese deserts), which fill on tbe 
surfoce, immense spaces in the savannabs -f. 

;. Groupb of thb Mountains op Bhazil. 
This groupe has hitherto been figured on the 
maps in as singular a manner as the monntiunB 
of the Iberian Peninsula, Asia Minor and Persia. 
llie temperate table-lands and real chains of 


to 400 toisM^ is comprehended within very 
narrow limits, nearly between 18^ and 2SP 
&!Quth latitude ; it does not appear to extend^ 
between the provinces of Goyaz and Mato- 
Grosso, beyond 53° of longitude^ west of the 
meridian of Fiiris. 

When we regard in one view the eastern con- 
figuration of both Americas^ we perceive that the 
coast of Brazil and Guyana, from Cape Saint 
Roque to^the mouth of the Oroonoko (stretch- 
ing S. £• to N. W.), corresponds with that of 
Labrador, as the coast from Cape Samt RqquQ 
to the Rio de la Plata correspojids with that of 
the United States (stretching firom S. W. to 
N. £.)• The cluun of the Alleghanies is oppo- 
site to the latter coasts as the principal Cordil 
leras of Brazil are nearly parallel to the shore 
of the provinces of Porto Seguro, Rio Janeiro, 
and Rio Grande. The Alleghanies, generally 
composed of grauwakke and transition rocks, 
are a little loftier than the almost primitive 
mountaios (of granite, gneiss, and micaslate,) 
of the Brazilian groupe ; they are also of a far 
more simple structure, their chains lying nearer 
each other, and preserving, as in the Jura, a 
more constant parallelism- 

If, instead of comparing those parts of the 
New Continent situated north and south of the 
equator, we confine ourselves to South America, 
we find on the western and northern coasts in 

VOL. VI. 2 N 


their whole length, a i-ontiimed chain near ^ 
shoi-e (the Andes and the Cordillera of Venezu- 
ela), while the eastern coast presents masses of 
more or less lofty mountains only between Ibe 
12* and 30° of south latitude. In this space of 
360 leagues in length, the system of the moun- 
tains of Brazil corresponds geognostically in its 
form and position, wilb the Andes of Chili and 
Peru. Its most considerable portion lies between 
the parallels 15° and 32°, opposite the Andes of 
Potosi and la Paz, but its mean height is five 
toises less, and cannot even be compared with 
that of the mountains of Parime, Jura, and 
AuTbrgne. The principal direction of the Bra- 
zilian cfaaioB, where they attain the height of 
four to five hundred toises, is from south to 
north, and from soutb-south-west to north- 
north-east; but, between 13^ and 19° the chiuns 
are considerably enlai^d, and at the same time 
lowered towards the west. The ridges and 
ranges of hills seem to advance beyond the 
kmd struts which separate the sources of the 
Rio An^ay, Parana, Topayos, P!araguay, 
Gu^mre, and Aguapehy, in 63" of longitude. 
The western widening of the Braziliazt gronpe, 
or rather the undulations of the soil in the 
Campos Parecis, corresponding with the cowi' 
ierforts of Santa Cruz, of Sierra, and Beni*, 

• Vol. vi, p. 421, 431. 


^ich the Andes send towards the east, it was 
beretofbre concluded that the system of the 
mountains of Braril was linked with that t>f 
die Andes of Upper Pbrn. I partook myself of 
this error in my first geog;no6tic labours. 

A coast chain (Serra do Mar) extends nearly 
parallel with the coast, nortb-east of Rio Jar 
neiro, lowerii^ considerably towards Rio Doce, 
and lofiing itself almost entirely near Bahia 
(lat. 12^580. According to Mr. Eschwege«, 
some small ridges reach Cape Saint Roqne 
(lat. SP 12"). South-east of Rio Janeiroi, the 
Serra do Mar follows die coast behind the Isle 
Saint Catherine as far as Torres (lat. 29^ 26^) ; 
it there turns towards the west and forms an 
elbow stretchmg by the Campos <^ Vacaria, 
towards th ebanks of the Jacuy ^. 

Another chain lies west of the shore chiun <^ 
Brazil, the most lofty and considerable of all^ 
tbatof Villarica^, idiich Mr. Eschwege marks by 

• Oeogiiottidl«f BemdUt vm Bratk^, 1822, p. 6. The 
Kflaettane of Bahia abounds in lignites. Id. p. 9. 

t Mtauucript noU» ofM. AugusU de SmiU fftlMre. I owe 
to that great naturalist, whose extended views comprehend* 
ed all that interests phyaicaigeograpliy, some important rec- 
Cifiealkms of my sketch ou the Braailian system of moun* 


t Height of the town above the lev^ of^ the oea, 680 
toises. This height proves that Villarica is placed in the 
cbain itself (Sarro do Espinhap)), for the table-land of iUi- 

2 N 2 


the name of Serra do Espinhafo^ and considers 
as the I priDcipal part of the whole structure of 
the moDDtains of Brazil. This Cordillera loBea 
itself towards the north*, between Minas Nom 
and the southern extremity of the C^itania of 
Bahia, in 16° of latitude. It there renuuns 
more than 60 leagues removed from the coast 
of Porto Seguro ; but towards the south, be- 
tween the parallete of Rio Janeiro and Saint 
Paul (lat. 22° — 23°), in the knot of the moun- 
tains of Serra da Mantiqueira, it draws so near 
the Cordillera of the shore (Serra do Mar) that 
they are almost confounded together. In the 
same manner the Serra do Espinhofo follows 
constanllv the direction of a meridian 


ent extent to furnish lands for cnltivation 
where temperate climates prevail by degree9, 
that may be compared with the delicious cli- 
mates of Xalapa, Guaduas, Caraccas, and Ca- 
ripe. This advantagCi which depends at once 
on the widening of the mass of the chain, and 
of its counterforts, is no where found in the 
same degree, on the east of the Andes^, not even 
in chains of a more considerable absolute 
height, for instance in those of Venezuela and 
the Oroonoko. The culminant points of the 
Serra do Espmhafo^ in the Capitania of Minas 
Geraes, are the Itambe (932 1.), the Serra da 
Piedade, near Sahara (910 t.), the Itacolumi^ 
properly Itacunumi (900 t.)* the Pico of Itabira 
(816 t.), the Serras of Carai^, Ibitipoca, and 
Papagayo. M. Auguste de Saint Hilaire felt a 
piercing cold in the month of November, there- 
fore in summer, in the whole Cordillera of 
Lapa, from the ^lla do Principe to the Morro 
of Caspar Snares *. 

We have just recognized two chains of moun- 
tsdns nearly parallel, but of which the most ex- 
tebsive (that of the shore) is the least lofty. 
The capital of Brazil is situated at the point 
where the two chains draw nearest, and are 
linked together on the east of the Serra de 

* Sketch of a voyage to Brazil, p. ^. Eschwege, p. 5^ 
12D-Mj and above. Vol. v, p. 858 j Vol. vi, p. 402. 


Madtiqueira, if not by a transversal rtdge, at 
least by a mountainous territory. According 
to ancient systematic ideas on the rising of 
mountains, in proportion as we advance into « 
country, it was supposed that a central CordU- 
lera existed in the Capitanta of Mato Grosso, J 
much loftier than that of Villarica or do Esjm-M 
hafo ; hut we now know (and this is confirmeji 
by climateric circnmstances) that there exisM'fl 
no continued chain, properly speaking, to thtV 
westward of Rio San Francisco, ffli the frontiers 
of Minas Geraes and Goyaz. We find only a 
groape of moimtains of which the calminant 
points are the Serras da Canastra (south-west 
of Paracatu) and da Marcella (lat. \Bi' and 
19'10°), and further north, the PyrineoB stretch- 
ing from east to west (lat. 16" W betweea Vil- 
laboa and Mejaponte). ' Mr- Esdiwege has 
named the groupe of mountains of Goyaz the 
.Serra dos Vertentea, because it .divides the 
waters between the southern tributary streams 
of the Rio Grande or Parana, and the northern 
tributary Mreams of Rio Tucanttnes. It nu)s 
towards the south beyond the Bio Grande (Fa- 
ranaX and approaches in 23° latitude by ^ 
Serra do ^ittnca, the Espinha^. It attains 
only 300 to 400 toises of height, with the ex- 
ception of some summits N. W. of Biracata, 
and is consequently much lower than the chun 
of Villarica. • 


Further on^ west of the meridiau of Villaboa^ 
there are only ridges aud a series of monticules 
which, on a length of 12^, form the threshold or 
division of water (lat« 13^r— 17^), between, the 
Araguay and the Parana! ba (a tributary stream 
of the Parana), between the Rio Topayos, and the 
Paraguay, between the Guapore and the Agua- 
pehy. The Serra of S. Martha (long. ISi^") is 
somewhat lofty, but geographers, or rather 
the drawers of maps, have preserved the habit 
of singularly exaggerating the height of the 
Serras or Campos Parecis, on the north of the 
towns of Guyaba and Villabella (lat. 13^ — 14% 
long. 68°-r62^). These Campos, which have 
taken their name from that of a tribe of wild 
Indians *, are vast barren table-lands, entirely 
destitute of vegetation, and in which the 
sources^ of the tributary streams of three 

* Patriota, 1818^ No. 1> p. 48 ; No. 6, p. 40, 61. The 
wc$tern part of these Caimpos is caUed Urucumanacua, be- 
tween the Secary and the Camararej two tributary streams 
of the Rio Topajos. 

t The neighbouring tributary streams of the Topayos are' 
the Juruena^ and the Camarare ; those of Madeira, the Ale- 
^re, the Guqpore, and the Sarare ; those of Paraguay, the 
Aguapehy, the Janru, and the Sipotobu. Villabella, of which 
the position may one day become important for the inland 
trade between the Amazon and the Rio de la Plata, is placed 
(lat. 15* 0', long. 62o IBO on the right bank of the Guapore 
or Itenes, a little above the confluence of the Sarare. On 
the south of Santa Barbara, the Aguapeby (a tributary stream 


great rivers, the Topayos, the Madeira, and the 
Paraguay, take their rise. The learned author 
of the statistical description of the Capitania 
of Mato Grosso, M. Almeida Serra, calls* 
Atlas Serranias (high mountains), those of the 
banks of the Aguapehy ; but we must not for- 
get, that in a flat country, mount^ns of 500 feet 
high appear lofty ; above all, if (like the rocksof 
Baraguan aad the Morros of San Juan+) the 
mass is inconsiderable. The most recent ma- 
nuscript maps of Brazil place, 1st. the Serra da 

of the Fanguay and the Rio de la Plata), ^iproacbea so near 
the Rio Alegre, (a tributary of the Ouapore anil tfaeAmazon), 
that the portage is only S322 b-afoi long. A canal waa there 
attempted to be traced during the ministry of Count de Bni- 
cm (Eiehieege, 6emimf,p.7) ; a clrcumstancethatvoaldnot 
prove alone, thcabaence of chaina of mountain*, for opemt^ 
and transveraal vallaya are fimnd in the greatest Cordillcni. 
A degree below the confluence of the Paraguay and the Janni, 
which receives the Agu^iehy, a marshy soil begins. It 
extends as for aa Albuquerque, and its inundadons (Ut. 17*— 
19*) have giren rise to the &ble of the Lsgunn de Xarayea^ 
as the inundations of the Rio Parime (Rio BraBGo),ga.Te birth 
to the hble of the LagunalVime (Mar del Doradoor Rnptam- 
wini). SeePdtriofa, 1813, No. A,p.S3,andfaaMfcriplMy 
of BraiU, takta from 76 paTticKlar m^w, at thx dtfCt ^ 
MajuofRio Janaro, bg SUcan PaitUt Leme, 1804. 

* Geographical and politicsl view of the Capitania of 
Mato Groaso (ITfil), by the seijeant-mqar of engineers, 
Ricardo Frenciaco de Almeida Serra. 

t In the Lower Oroonoko and in the Uanoa of Venezuela, 
^ee above, VoL iv, p. 278, 603. 


Melgaera or do9 LinriteSy on the west of Villa- 
bella, betweea the Guapore and the Baures; 
2d. the Serra Baliia, between the Buenos and 
the Alegre ; and 3d. tlie Cordillera of San Fer- 
nando^ between the ancient missions ^ San 
Jnan Bauptistaand San Jago (lat. l&^—W^) ad- 
vancing in the province of Chiquitos to 64i^ of 
lon^tude, and approaching within 40 leagues 
distance of the counterfort of the Andes of 
Santa Cms of Sierra; bnt these labours, al- 
though executed at the hydrbgraphic Dep6t of 
Rio Janeiro, do not merit much confidence in 
the western regions of Brazil, that terra mcog- 
nita, which extends from Cochabamba to Vii- 
labella« The form of the insulated mountains 
in the plains of Chiquitos, the lakes between 
the missions of San Rafiael, San Jose, and jSan 
Juan Bauptista, copied from d*Anville and La 
Cruz, are become stereotypes on every map for 
eighty years past; and it is certidn that a land- 
strait, a plain covered with some hills, in 62^ 
and 66^ of longitude, unites the great basins 
of La Plata and the Amazon. M. Eschwege 
obtained precise information from some Spanish 
planters, who came from Cochabamba to Villa- 
bella, on the continuity of those basins or sa- 

According to bis measures and geognostic 
observations, the high summits of the Serra do 
Mar (the coast chain) scarcely attain 660 


toiscs ; tliose of the Setra do Eipinhafo (chain 
of ViUarica), 950 toises ; those of Serra do lot 
t^erteates (groupe of Canastra and the Braziliu 
Pyrenees) 450 toises. Further west, the war- 
foce of the ami seems to present bnt alight an- 
dulations ; but no measure of height has been 
made beyond the meridiao of Villaboa. On- 
sidering the system of the moontains of Braul 
in their real limits (as we have indicated 
above), we find, except some conglonientefi, 
the some absence of secmdary fonnatinu with 
which we were struck in the system oi the 
mountiuns of the Oroonoko (gronpe of Parime). 
These secondary formations, which rise to con- 
BJderable heights in the Cordillera of Venezuela 

tote of reoent traces of volcaiiio fire^ and, 
tbe exception of the coast id Venexiielay 
I exppeed to the violence of efurthviakee. 
■pean height of the three systems 4unini»be6 
1 north to south, from 760 to 400 totses ^ ; 
B of the culminant points {jmuuma of the 
bt of each groupe), from 1350 to 1000 or 
ttlses. It results from these obserrationsy 
fjhe loftiest chain, with the exception of the 
ft jnsulated system of the Sierra Nevada of 
aaJdartai*, is the CSordillera of the ahore.of 
wnela, which is itself but a continuation of 
Indes. In taking a view of the north, we 
in central America (lat. 12^— 30^),andnwth 
nrica (lat. SO — 70^), on the east of the Andes 
Suatimala, Mexico, and Upper Louisiana, 
same regular lowering which struck us 
ards the south. In this vast est^it of land 
i the Cordillera of Venezuela to the polar 
le, eastern America presents two distinct 
ems, the groupe of the mountains of the 
It Indies, of which the eastern part is volca- 
and the chain of the AUeghanies. The 
ser of these systems, partly overwhelmed in 
floods, may be compared with respect to its 
tive position and form, to the Sierra Pbr 
B ; the latter to the chains of Brazil, run- 

* See above, Vol. vi^ p. 406. 
t See above^ Vol. vi^ p. 481« 


ning alike from S. W. to N. E. The culrot 
nant points of those two systems rise to 1138 
and 1040 toises. Such are the elements of this 
curve, of which the convex summit is placed in 
the chain of the shore of Venezuela : 




Groupe of B mil ,. 

Graupe of Porime 

Chain of the shore of Ve- > 
nezucla J 

Graupe of the West lodiea. . . 
Cbuii of the AUeghanies 

lUicolutni soot. 

(south hu.aoj"). 

DiiitiB 1300 

(north lat. 31°). 

Silla de Caraccos.... 1350 
(north lal. lOt"). 

Blue Mountains 1138 

(north lat. 18!^). 

Mount Washingtoo. 1040 
(north lat. 441°). 

I have preferred mdlcathig^ in this table the 
culminant points of each system, to the mean 
height of the line of elevation ; the culminant 
points are the results of direct measures, while 
the mean height is an abstract idea somewhat 
vague, above all when there is only one groupe 
of mountains, as in Brazil, Parime,and the West 
Indies, and not a continued chain. Although 


it cannot be doubted that among the &v€ sys- 
tems of mountains on the east of the Andes^ 
and of which one only belongs to the southern 
hemisphere^ the chain of the shore of Venezuela 
is the most elevated (having a culminant point 
of 1350 toises, and a mean height from the line 
of elevation of 750X we yet recognize with sur- 
prize, that the mountains of eastern America 
(whether continental or insulary), differ very 
inconsiderably in height above the level of the 
Ocean. TJieJwe groupes are all nearb/ of a tnean 
height of Jrom^is to ^even hundred toises ; and 
the culminant points {maxima of the lines ofele- 
vation)y from one thousand to thirteen hundred 
toises. That conformity of eonstruction on an 
extent twice as great as Europe, appears to me 
a very remarkable phenomenon. No summit 
on the east of the Andes of Peru^ Mexico, and 
Upper Louisiana, enters within the limit of per- 
petual snew*. It may be added, that with 
the exception of the AUeghanies, no snow falls 
sporadically in any of the eastern sj^tems which 

* Not even the W^te Afountams of the state of New 
Hampshire^ to which Mount Washington belongs. Long 
before the accurate measurement of Captain Partridge, I had 
proved (in 1804), by the laws of the decrease of heat, that no 
summit of the White Mountains could attain the height as- 
signed to them by M. Cutler, of 1000 toises. (See my 
Spanish memoir : Ideas sobre el Imite inferior de la nieve 
perpetua in V Aurora b Carreo de la //avaita^No. 220> p. 142.) 


we have just examined. Prom these consider- 
ations it results, and above all, from the com- 
parison of the New Continent with those parts 
of the ancient which we know beat, with En- 
rope and Asia, that America thrown into the 
aquatic hertiisphere* of our planet, is still mora 
remarkable by the continuity and extent of the 
depressions of its surface, than by the height 
and continuity of its longitudinal ridge. The 
mountains beyond and within the istfaraos of 

* The southern hemisphere, on account of the unequal 
distribution of seas nnd continents, has long been marked aa 
an hemispbere etninentlj aqnntic \ but the same toeqnality is 
found when we consider the globe as dirided not accord- 
ing to the equator but by meiidians. The gre&t masses 
of land are joined together between the meridian of 10^ 
west, and ISO" east of Paris, while the hemisphere emi- 
neatly aquatic, begins on the west of the meridian of the 
coast of Greenland, and ends on the east of the meri' 
^an of the eastern const of New Holland and the Kurile 
Isles. This unequal distribution of land and water has the 
greatest influence on the distribution of heat on the surbce 
of tlie globe, on the inflexions of the isotherm lines, and the 
dimateric phenomena in general. For the inhabitants of the 
centre of Ifiurope the aquatic hemisphere may be called 
western, and the land hemisphere eastern ; because in gnig 
(o the west we reach the former sooner than the latter. 
It is the diTision according to meridians, which is ia* 
tended in the text. Till the end of the Ifith cenlur;, the 
western hemisphere was as much unknown to the nutioiH of 
the eastern hemisphere, as one half of the lunar globe it lo 
us at present, and will probabl; alw^e remain. 


Panama, but on the east of the Cordillera of 
the Andes, scarcely attain, on 600,000 square 
leagues, thq height of the Sc&ndinavian Alps, 
the Carpathes, Monts-Dores (in Ativei^gne), and 
the Jura. One system only, that of the Andes, 
unites in Americft on a Jong and naittCiW sone of 
3000 leagues, all the summits which are more 
than 1400 toises high. In Europe, on the con- 
trary, even considering, with too systematic 
views, the Alps and Pyrenees as one sole line of 
elevation, we still find summits far fi'om this 
line or principal ridge, in the Sierra Nevada of 
Grenada, Sicily, Greece, the Appenines, perhaps 
also in Portugal, from 1500 to 1800 toises 
high*. The contrast between America and 
Europe, with respect to the distribution of the 
culminant points which attain 1300 to 1500 
toises, is the more striking as * the low eastern 
mountains of South America» of which the 

* Culminant points $ Mulhacan of Grenada^ 1026 toises -, 
Etna, according to Captain William Henry Smith, t700 t. 
Monte Como of the Appenines, 1489 t. If Mont Tomoros 
in Crreece and the Serra Gaviarra of Portugal, enter, as is 
aaaerted, tvithin the limit of perpetual snows (PouquetUie, 
Tom. ii, p. 242, and BcJb'u, Essai staiUHque 9ur le Portugal, 
Tom. i, p. 68, 98), those summits, according to their posi- 
tion in latitude, should attain 1406 to 1600 toises. Yet on 
the loftiest mountains of Greece, the Tomoros, the Olympus 
of Hiessalia, the Polyanos of Dolopes, and Mount Parnassus, 
M. Pouqueville saw, in the month of August, snow pre- 
aerved only in stripes, or in cavities sheltered from the rays 
of the sun. 


maxima of the elefation is only from 1300 to 
1400 toiscs, are placed on the side of a CordiU 
lera of which the mean height exceeds 1800 
toises, while the secondary system of the moun- 
tains of Etrrope rises to maxima t^elevatkm of 
1500 to IKOO toises, near a principal cbun of 
1 >200 toises at least of mean height. 


Andtt of Ckdi and Upper Peru. Croupe of Ue UoMlami of 
Knots of mouDtaioB of Braiil, a littk Imia tban 
Porco oad Cuzco, SAGO the CcTcnnn, SA) to 1000 


This tabled contains the whole system of 
mountains of the New Continent ; namely : the 
Andes^ the maritime Alps of California or New 
Albion, and the five groupes of the east. I 
shall subjoin to the foots I have just stated, an 
observation no less striking; in Europe, the 
maxima of secondary systems, which exceed 
1500 toises, are found solely on the south of 
the Alps and Pyrenees, that is, on the south of 
the principal ridge of the continent. They are 
placed on the side where that ridge draws 
nearest the shore, and where the Mediterranean 
has not overwhelmed the land. On the north 

• In order to justify the correctness of the comparisons fur- 
nished in this table, we shall mention the following heights : 
Mont Mezin (Cevennes) 1027 toises 3 the Puj de Sancy, 
vulgarly called the Puy de la Croix, summit of Mount Dores 
in Auvergne, 072 t. ; the Reculet (Jura), according to the 
last survey of M. Roger, officer of engineen, 880 1. ; Mount 
Taddiandamalla in the Gates of Malabar, according to the 
operations of Colonel Lambton, 887 t. -, the White Moun- 
tains of New Hampshire, in the northern part of the Allcg- 
hanies, rise to 1040 1. ; but towards the south, a few instances 
in Virginia, the Peaks of Otter (Blue Ridge), are considered 
as very lofty ; according to Morse, they are 486 1. -, accord- 
ing to Tanner, 607. The mean height of the line ofeleva" 
Hon of the Alleghanies is nearly 450 t., consequently at least 
200 t. less than the mean height of the Jura. The table to 
which this note refers, furnishes the comparisons only of the 
loftiest summits, the maxima of their ridges, which we must 
take care not to confound with their mean height 

VOL. VI. 2 o 


of the Alps and Pyrenees, on the contrary, tire 
most elcvuted secondary systems, the Carpa- 
thian and the Scandinavian mount^ns* do not 
attain 1300 toises of height. The depression 
of the line of elevation of the second order is 
consequently found in Europe as well as in 
America, on the side where the principal ridge 
is farthext removed from the shore. If we did 
not fear to subject great phenomena to too 
small a scale, we might compai-e the difference 
of the height of the Alps and the mottntams of 
eastern America, with the ditrercncc of height 
ohserved between the Alps or the Pyrenees, and 
the mountains Dores, Jura, the Vosges, or the 

We have just seen that the causes which 
heaved up the oxidated crust of the globe in 
ridges, or in groapes of mountains, have not 
acted very powerfully in the vast extent of 
country that stretches from the eastern part of 
the Andes, towards the ancient ccmtinent ; that 
depression and that continuity of plains are 
geologic facts, so much the more remarkable; 
as they extend no where else on more di&rent 

* The Lomnitzer Spiz of the Carpathian, is, according to 
M. Wablenberg, 1345 toises ; the Sneehaetta, in the chain 
of Dovrefielci in Norway (the highest summit of the whole 
ancient continent, on tiie north of the paroUel of &&°). it 
1S70 toiMB above the level of the sea. 


latitades. The five systems of mountains of 
eastern America^ of which we have indicated 
the limits, divide that part of the continent 
into an eqnal number of basins^ of which only, 
that of the Caribbean sea has remained sub- 
merged. From north to south, from the polar 
circle towards the strait of Magellan, we see in 
succession : 

•• Thb jUkBin OF THE Mississipi AND OP Canada. 
An able geologist, Mr. lEdwin James, has 
shewn recently * that this basin is compre- 
hended between the Andes of New Mexico, 
or the Upper Louisiana, and the chains of 
the AUeghiwies which stretch towards the 
north in crossing the rapids of Quebec. It 
being quite as open towards the north as to- 
wards the south, it may be designated by 
the collective name of the basin of the Mis- 
sissipi, the Missouri, the river Saint Lawrence, 
the great lakes of Canada, the Mackenzie 
river, the Saskatchawin, and the coast of 
Hudson's Bay. The tributary streams of 
the lakes and those of the Mississipi are not 
separated by a chain of mountains running 
from east to west, as traced on several maps ; 
the line of partition of the waters is marked 
by a slight ridge, a rising of the two counter- 

• Long, E»pedUim, Vol. i. p. 7 ; Vol. ii, p. 380, 428. 



slopes in the plain •. No chain exists be- 
tween the Kources of the Missouri and the 
Assiniboiii, which is abranch of the Red River 
and of Hudson's Bay. The surface of these 
plains, ahiiost all in sa\'annahs, between the 
polar'^ea and the gulph of Mexico, is more 
than 270,000 square marine leagues, nearly 
equal to the area of all Europe. On the 
north of the pai-allel of 42°, the general slope 
of the land runs towai*ds the east; on the 
south of the parallel, it inclines towards the 
south. To fonu a precise idea how little 
abrupt are these slopes -f, we must recollect 
that the level of Lake Superior is 100 toises ; 
that of Lake Eric, 88 t. : and that of Lake 


^ r 

Wards the i^est, between the Mounts Qsark. 

anit the foot of the Andtii. of Upper Ix>a- 
' iBlmoL (Bochif Mountains, lat 3S^--^38^, tW 

iM^ii of the Mississipi is considerably raised 

in the vast desart described by Mr. Nuttal. 

It pieaente a series of small table-lands, sob- ^ 
' cteding each other by' degrees/aitid of which 
'the most westerly (the nearest the Rocky •' 

Monntiuns. between the Arkansas "and tfie 

Pflidbiica)^ rises more than 450 toises. ', Major 

Long' measured a base to determine the p6- 

* , ■ • • ^^ . » 

sition and the height of James Peak. In the 

great basin of the Mississipi;, the line that 

■ ■ 

separates the forests and the savannahs runs^ 
not, as may be supposed, in thef manner of a 
parallel, but like the Atlantic coast, and the 
Alleghany mountains themselves, from N.E. 
to S.W*, from Pittsbourg towards Saint Louis, 
and the Red River of Natchitotchcs, so th&t 
the northern part only of the state of the Illi- 
nois is covered with gramina *• This line . 
of demarcation is not only interesting for 

* Manascript Observations of Mr. Gallatin. Beyond, 
lat ii^ on the west of the savannahs or fields of the Missouri, 
'e again find forests at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. Be- 
veen this chain and that of the coast (the Maritime Alps of 
^ew Albion), there are plains in which wood is scarce ; but 
I passing the Maritime Alps, the forests recommence, and 
le country as far as the mouth of the Rio Columbia, prc- 
mta all the advantages of Tennesse and Kentucky. 



ttie geography of plants, but exerts, as we 
have said above, a great influence on the 
feeble culture and population north-west of 
the Lower Missiasipi. In the United States, 
the savannah countries are more slowly co- 
lo7iized; and even the tribes of independent 
Indians, are forced by the ligour of the cli- 
mate to pass the winter along the rivers, 
where poplars and willows are found. The 
basinsoftbeMississipi, of the lakes of Canada 
and the Sai nt Lawrence, are the largest of Ame- 
rica ; and although the total population does 
not rise at present beyond three millions *, 
It may be considered as that in which, be- 
tween the 29° and 45° of latitude, O^Dg- 74" 
— 94°), civilization has made the greatest 
progress. It may even be stud that in the 
other basins (o{ the Oroonoko, the Amazon, 
and Buenos Ayres), agricultural life scarcely 
exists ; it begins on a small number of points 
only, to replace pastoral life, and tbatof fisfa- 
iDg and hunting nations. The plains be- 
tween the AUeghanies and the Andes of 
Upper Louisiana are of so vast an extent, 
that similar to the Pampas -f- of Choco and 

* Vol. Ti, p. 142. 

t The Palm-trees extend towards the south, in the Btrnpu 

of Bueooa Ayres, aiul in the Cisplatinc province, to 34« anJ 

3A*. (/lugutte it Saint Hilain, Jperm d'lm f^oyagt u 

Bruit, p. 60.) 



Buenos Ayres, Bambousadees {Ludolfia, 
Miega) and Palm-trees grow at one of their 
extremities, while the other during a great 
part of the year is covered with ice and 

0. The basin of the gulph of Mexico, and 
OF THE Caribbean Sea. This is^ a continua- 
tion of the basin of the Mississipi, Louisiana, 
and Hudson's Bay. It may be asserted, that 
all the low lands on the coast of Venezuela 
which are preserved on the north of the 
chain of the shore, and of the SietTa Nevada 
de Merida, belong to the submerged part of 
this basin. If I treat here separately con- 
cerning the basin of the Caribbean Sea, it is 
to avoid confounding what, in the present 
state of the globe, is above and below the 
surface of the watei-s. I have already shewn 
in another place, how ^uch the recent coin- 
cidence of the epochs of earthquakes observed 
at Caraccas, and on the banks of the Mis- 
sissipi, the Arkansas and the Ohio *, justi- 
fies the geologic views which regard as one 
basin the plains bounded on the south, by 
the Cordillera of the shore of Venezuela ; on 
the east, by the Alleghanies and the series of 
the volcanoes of the West Indies ; and on the 
west, by the Rocky Mountains (Mexican 

• Vol. iv^ p. 0. 


Andes) and by the series of the volcanoes of 
Giiatimala. The basin of the West Indies 
forms, as we have already observed, a Medi- 
ten'oneait with several issues, the influence of 
which on the political destinies of the New 
Continent depends at the same time on its 
central position and the great fertility of its 
islands. The issues of the basin, of which 
the four largest* are 75 miles broad, are all 
on the eastern side, open towards Europe, 
and agitated by the current of the tropics. 
In the same manner as we recognize in oar 
Mediterranean, the vestiges of three ancient 
basins by the proximity of Rhodes, Scarpento, 
Candia, and Cerigo, as well as by that of 
Cape SorcUo of Sicily, the island of Pantela- 
ria and Cape Bon of Africa ; in the same 
manner the basin of the West Indies, which 
surpasses the Mediterranean in extent, seems 
to present the remains of ancient dykes that 
join+ Cape Catoche of YucutaD, to Cape 

* Between Tabago and Grenada ; the isle Saint Martin 
and the Virgin Isles, Porto .Rico and Saint Domingo, and 
between the Small Bank of Bahama and Cope Caaaveral of 

t I do not pretend that thia hypothesis of the rapture and 
the ancient continultjr of lands can be extended to the eastern 
foot of the basin of the West Indies, that is, (o the series of 
volcanic islands in a line from Trinidad to Fortorico. Sk 
the information I gave. Vol. iv, p. 36, &e. 


Saint Antoine of the island of Cuba ; and that 
island Cape Tlburon of Saint Domingo^ Ja- 
maica, the Bank of La Vibora^ and the rock 
of Serranilla to Cape Gracias a Dios on the 
coast of the Mosquitos. From this disposition 
of the most prominent islands and capes of 
the continent, there results a division into 
three partial basins. The most northerly 
has long been marked by a particular deno- 
mination, that of the Gulph of Mexico; the 
intermediary or central basin may be called 
the Sea of Honduras J on account of the gulph 
of that name which makes a part of it ; and 
the southern basin, comprehended between 
the Caribbean islands and the coast .of Vene- 
zuela, the isthmus of Panama, and the coun- 
try of the Mosquitos Indians, would form the 
Caribbean Sea * . The modem volcanic rocks 
distributed on the two opposite banks of the 
basin of the West Indies on the east and 
west, but not on the north and south, is also 
a phenomenon well worthy of attention. In 
the Caribbean islands, a groupe of volcanoes, 
partly extinguished and partly burning, 

* This denomination is so much the more exact when ap- 
propriated to the southern part of the basin ,of the West 
Indies, that the people of Carib race were disseminated on 
the neighbouring continent and in the Archipelago, from 
the Caribana of Darien as far as the Virgins. See above> 
Vol. vi, p. 22 and 329. 


stretches from VT to 18°; and in the Cordil- 
leras of GuEitimala and Mexico from 9° to 
l9i° of latitude. I saw at Che north-west ex- 
ti'emity of the basin of the West Indies 
the secondary formations dip towards the 
south-east; along the coast of Venezuela, 
rocks of gneiss and primitive mica-slate 
dip towards the north-west. The basalts, 
amygdaloides, and trachytes, which are 
often surmounted by tertiary lime-stones, 
appearonly towards the eastern and western 

u. The Basin of the Lower Oroonoko, or 
THE Plains op Venezuela. This bas'm, like 
the pl^ns of Lombardy, is open to the 
east. Its limits are the chain of the shore of 
Venezoela on the n6rth; the eastern Cordil- 
lera of New .Grenada on the west ; and the 
Sierra Parime on the south ; but as the latter 
groupe extends on the west, only to the me- 
ridian of the cataracts of Maypures (long. 
70° 37'), there remains an opening or land- 
strait, running from north to south, by 
which the Llanos of Venezuela communicate 
with the basin of the Amazon and the Rio 
Negro. We distinguish between the basin of 
the Lower Oroonoko properly so called (on the 
north of that river and the Rio Apure), and 
the plains o/Meta and (ruaviare. The latter 


fill the space between the mountmns of Pa- 
rime and New Grenada. The two parts of 
this basin have an opposite direction ; bat 
being alike covered with gramina, they are 
usually comprehended in the country 'un* 
dei: the same denomination. Those Llanos 
(steppes, savannaks, or prahies) extend in the 
form pf an arch from the mouth of the Oroo- 
noko, by San Fernando de Apure, to the con- 
fluence of the Rio Caguan with tho Jupura, 
consequently on a length of more than 360 

1.) Part Gf the basin of Venezuela rtamk^ 
from east to west. The general slope is to- 
wards the east, and the mean height from 40 to 
50 toises. The western bank of that great sea 
of verdure (thar de jferhas) is formed by a groupe ' 
of mountains, several of which equal or sur- 
pass in height the Peak of Teneriffe and 
Mont Blanc. Of this number are the Para- 
mos del Almorzadero, Cacota, Laura, Por- 
quera, Mucuchies^ Timotes, and Las Rosas. 
The northern and southern banks are gene- 
rally less than 500 or 600 toises high. I 
have given elsewhere an ample description of 
the soil of the Llanos (Vol. iii, p. 285, 349; 
Vol. iv, p. 293, 300, 313, 317, 330, 394; Vol. 
v, p. 670 ; Vol. vi, p. 4, 17, 43, 73.) It is re- 
marked with some surprise, that the maximum 

of tlic (lepressiun of tlic basin is not in ft< 
tentei-, but on its southern limit, at the Si- 
erra Puriino, filong wliich runs the thala-eg of 
tlic Oroonolto. It is only betivecn the incri--» 
di:in5 of Cape Codera anil Cuniana, where a' 
great pai-t of the Cordillera of the shore of 
Venezuela iiaa been destroyed, that the 
waters of the Llanos (the Rio Unare and the 
Rio Ncvcri) reach the northern coast. The 
ridge of partition of this basin is formed by 
Small table-lands, known by the names of 
Mesas d'Aniana. Guanipa, and Jonoro. (Vol. 
iv, p. 30; Vol. vi, p. 48.) In the eastern 
part, between the meridians 63° and GB", the 
plains or savannalis pass, towards the south, 
beyond the bed of the Oroonoko and the 
Imataca, and form (in approaching the Co- 
juni and the Essequibo,) a kind of gulph 
along the Sierra Pacaraina (Vol. v, p. 760; 
Vol. vi, p. 504). 

2.) Part of the basin of Veneztiela run' 
ning Jrom south to north. The great 
breadth of this zone of savannahs, of from 100 
to 120 leagues, renders the denomination of 
land-strait somewhat improper, at least if 
it be not geognostically applied to every 
communication of basins bounded by high 
Cordilleras. Perhaps this denomination ra- 
ther belongs to that part where the' groupe 


of almost unknown mountains is placed, that 
surround the sources Of the Rio Negro. (Vol. 
vi, p. 512). In the basin comprehended be- 
tween the eastern declivity of the Andes of 
New Grenada, and the western part of the 
Sierra Pari me, the savannahs, as we have 
observed above, stretch far beyond the equa- 
tor, but their extent does not determine the 
southern limits of the basin we here examine. 
The latter are fixed by a ridge that divides 
the waters betwe^i the Oroonoko and the Rio 
Negro, a tributary stream of the Amazon. 
The rising of .a counterslope almost imper- 
ceptible to the eye, forms a ridge that seems 
to join the. eastern Cordillera of the Andes to 
the groupe of Parime*. This ridge runs 
from Ceja (lat. 1® 46'), or the eastern slope of 
the Andes of Timana 'f', between the sources 
of the Guayavero and the ilio . Caguan Xy 
towards the isthmus that separates the Tua- 
mjni from Pimichin ^. In the Llanos y con- 
sequently, it follows the parallels of 20° 3ff 
and 2P Ab\ It is remarkable, that we find 
the divorlicL aquarum more to the west, on 

• Vol. vi, p. 3»7. 

+ See my Map of Magdalena (Geogr, Atlas, pi. xxiv). 

!|: Xhc former is a tributary stream of the Guaviare, the 
latter of Yupura. 

§ Isthmus of Javita, or portage of Pimichin (Vol. v^ p. 
259, 260, 279, Geogr, Atlas, pi. xvi). 



the back of the Andes, in the knot ofnumn- 
tains containing the sources of the Magda- 
lena, at a height of 900 toises abow the level 
of the Llanos, bctn-cen the Caribbean Sea and 
the Pacific Ocean •, almost in the same lati- 
tude (1" 45'— 2° 20'). From the isthmus of .Ja- 
vita towards the east, the line of the partition 
of the water ia formed by the mountains of 
the groupe of Parime ; it first rises a little on 
the north-east towards the sources of the 
Oroonoko (lat. 3° 45' f) and the chain of Pa^ 
caraina-f- (lat. 4° 4' — 4'' 12"); aftenrards, 
daring a course of 80 leagues, between the 
portage of the Anocapra;} and the banks of 
the Rupunuri, runs very regularly from west 
to east; and finally, beyond the meridian 61° 
50*, again deviates towards lower latitudes, 
passing between the northera sources of the 
Rio Suriname, the Maroni, and the Oyapok, 
and the southern sources of lUo Trombetas, 
Curupatuba,andParu(Iat.2°— PSC). These 
indications suffice to prove that %\x\& first Une 
of partition of the water of South America 
(that of the northern hemisphere) . traverses 
the whole continent between the parallels of 
2* and 4*. The Cassiquiare only has cut its 

• Vol. V, p. aas, 326 i Vol, vi, p. 489. 

+ Vol.Ti, p. 520. 

% Road from Rio Borneo to RiaCarony. 


way across the ridge we have just described. 
Thq hydraulic system of the Oroonoko dis- 
plays the singular phenomenon of a bifurca- 
tion where the limit of two basins (of the 
Oroonoko and the Rio Negro) traverses the 
bed of the principal recipient. In that part 
of the basin of the Oroonoko which lies 
from south to norths as well as in that lying 
from west to east^ the maxima of the depres- 
sion are found at the foot of the Sierra Fa- 
rime, we n\ay even say on its outline. 


3. The Basin op thb Rio Nbgro and thb Ama- 


zoN. This is the central and Largest basin of 
South America. It is exposed to frequent 
equatorial rains^ and the hot and humid cli- 
mate developes a force of vegetation to 
which nothing in the two continents can be 
compared. The central basin, bounded on 
the north by the groupe of Parime, and on 
the south by the mountain^ of Brazil, is al- 
most entirely covered by thick forests, while 
the two basins placed at the two extremities 
of the continent (the Llanos of Venezuela 
and the Lower Oroonoko, and the Pampas 
of Buenos Ayres or the Rio de la Plata) are 
savannahs or prairies, plains destitute of 
trees and covered with gramina. This sy- 
metric distribution of savannahs bounded by 
impenetrable forests, must be connected with 


physical revolutions which have acted* at 
oDcc on great surfaces. 

1.) Part a/ the bastn of the Amazon, run- 
ning from west to east, between 2° north and 
12" south, is 880 leagues in length. The 
western shore of this basin is formed by the 
chain of tlie Andes, from the knot of the 
mountains of Huanuco to that of the sources 
of the Magdalena. It is enlarged by the coun- 
terforts of the Rio Beni +, rich in *gera-salt, 
and composed of several ranges of liilis (Ia(, 
8*> 11' south) that advance in the plains on 
the eastern bank of the Paro. These hills are 
transformed on our maps into Upper Cordil- 
leraa and Andes of Cuchao ;{;. Towards the 

• Vol. iv, 336 i Vol. \i, p. 01, &c. Martuu, Pigt. rfer 
P/lamen con Btom., p. 13. 

tVol.Ti, p. 442. Thercainome of thi» great river, respect- 
ing the coarse of which geographers have been so long divided, 
is Uchaparu, probably uafer (para) of Ucha ; Beni also sig- 
niGea rioer, mtter; for the language of the Maypares hu 
nialtiplied analogies with that of the Moxos (Vol. r, p. 
148) } and veni {oueni) signifies water in Maypurc, as una 
in Moxo. Perhaps the livcr retained the name of May* 
pure, when the Indians wlio spoke that language had emi- 
grated to the north, towards the banks of the Oroonoko. 

X The Andes of Cuchao, placed in Arrowsmith's map at 
lOJo-iSn Qorth of the fabulous lake of Itogagualo, are no- 
thing more than the mountains of Cuchao, placed by Lb 
Cruz, lat. 13", south-west of that lake. This gct^niphcr by 


north, the basin of the Amaoon, of which the 
area (244,000 eqoare leagoea) is only a mth 
less than the area of all Earope^ rises in a 
gentle slc^ towards the l^erra Ptoime. At 
66^ of west Imigitude the elevated part of 
this Sierra terminates at 3i^ of north lati- 
tude. The gronpe of monticules ^at sur- 
round the souree of the Rio Negro, the Ini- 
rida and the Xie (lat. 2^) the scattered rocks 
between the Atah^io and tiie Cassiquiare^ 
appear Hke groupes of fshiods aad rodks in 
the middle of the fdain. A part of those 
rocks is covered wkh signs or symbolical 
sculpture.. Nations, very diffisrent from ttose 
who now mhabit the banlcs of the Ctesi- 
quiare, penetrated into the savannahs ; and 
the zone of painted rookey extending more 
than 150 leagues in breadth, {nreslents traces 
of ancient civilization. On the east of the 
sporadic groupes of rocks (between the me- 
ridian of the bifurcation of the Oroonoko 
and that of the confluence of the Essequibo 
with the Rupunuri), the lofty mountains of 
Pktrime commence only at 9^ of latitude; 

ft atruige error, has covered plains with moimtains of which 
they are entirely deslitiite. He forgpt that in the oolopies, 
moute si^ifies almost exdusiTely a forest, and he has traced 
chains of mountains wherever he has written monies de cacao, 
as if the cacao-tree did not belong to the hottest region of 
the plains. 

VOL. VI. 2 P 


where the plains of the Amazon termiiiaie. 
The vast gulph which they seem to form id 
the upper part of the basin of the Rio Bnmco, 
jind the windings of the southern slope of the 
Sierra Parime, have been discussed above *. 
The limits of the plains of the Amazon are 
still more unknown towards the south than 
towards the north. The mountains that ex- 
ceed 400 toises do not appear to extend in 
Brazil on the north of the parallel of 14^ to 
15" of south latitude, and west of the merU 
dian of 52'^ ; but it is not known how far the 
tnountainous country is prolonged, if we may 
call by that name a territory bristled with 
hills of one hundred or two hundred toises 
high. Between the Rio das Vertentea and the 
Rio de Tres Barras (tributary streams of the 
Araguay and the Topayos), several ridges of 
the Mounts Parecis run towards the north. 
On the right bank of the Topayos, a aeries of 
monticules advance (according to manuscript 
maps recently framed at the hydrograpfaic 
Depot of Rio Janeiro) as far as the parallel of 
5° south latitude, to the fall (cachoeh-a) of 
Maracana; while further west, in the Rio 
Madeira, of which the course is nearly pa- 
rallel with that of the Topayos, the rapids 
and cataracts, (of which seventeen are rec- 

koned between Guayramerim * and the fiai^ 
mous Salto of Tbeotonio^) indicate no rocky 
ridges beyond the parallel of 8^. Theprin* 
cipal depression of the basin of which we 
have jost examined the outline, is not found 
near one of its banks, as in the basin of the 
Lower Oroonoko, but at the center, where 
the great recipient of the Amazon forms a 
longitudinal fiirrow inclined from west to 
east, under an angle of at least 25 secionds X» 
The barometric measures which I made at 
Javita on the banks of the Tuamlni, at Vadva 
on the banks of the Cassiquiare, and at the 
cataract of Rentema, in the Upper Marag- 
non, seem to prove that the rising of the 
plains of the Amazon towards the north (at 
the foot of the Sierra Parime), is 150 toises, 
and, towards the west (at the foot of the Cor- 
dillera of the Andes of Loxa), is 190 toises, 
above the level of the Ocean ^. It is to be 
hoped, that when steam-boats go up the 
Amazon from Grand Para as far as Pongo 

* Above the conflnenee of the Madeira and Mamor^> which 
ft Brazilian journal^ justly esteemed (Pairiota, 1813, p. 288)^ 
places in lO"" 22^ 30* of latitude, while it marks the con-^ 
flueDce of the Madeira with the Guapor^, at iV 64f 48*- 

f Above the confluence of the Madeira and the Jamary. 

I See above, Vol. vi, p. 396, note. 

§ Vol. Y, p. 251, 347, 650, 551, and Rec. d'Obs. Astr. 
(Tol. i. p. 315. 



de Manseriche, in the province of Mayitas, 
the barometric measurement of the coarse, of 
this river, which is the thalweg of a plain 
fifteen times the extent of the whole of 
France, will not be neglectefl. 

2.) Pari of the hasin of the Amazon slrttch- 
ing from atmtk in north. This is the zone or 
land strait by which, between 12° and 20° nf 
south latitude, the plains of the Amazon 
communicate with the Pampas of Bnenos 
Ayrcs. The western bank of this zone is 
formed by the Andes, between the knot of 
PoFCO end Potosi, and that of Hutamco and 
Pasco. Partofthe«Mm(er^/^*sg^rteRtoBeni, 
which is but a ^dening of the Cordilleras of 
Apolobamba and Cuzco*, and the whole 
promontory of Cochabamba'^, advance tow- 
ards the east tn the plnns of the Amazon. 
The prolongation of this promontory has 
given rise to the idea that the Andes are 
linked with a series of hills which the Serras 
dos Parecis J, the Serra Melgueira, and the 
pretended Cordillera of San Fernando, throv 
out towards the west. TTie almost unknown 
part of the frontiers of Brazil and Upper 

• Vol. vi, p. 432. 
t Vol. vi, p. 41». 
t Vol. Ti, p. 038. 


Beru merit the attention <tf traveliera* It 
appears from the most recent notions we can 
collect, that the ancient nussion <tf San Jose 
of ChiquitDS (nearly lat. V; long. O?"" 10", 
supposing Santa Cruz de la Sierrai lat. 17^ 
25' ; long, m^ AT), is situated in the plains, 
and that the mountains of die counterfort of 
Cochabamba terminate between the Guapaix 
(Rio deMazque) and the Phrapiti, wUchlower 
down takes the names of Rio San Miguel and 
Rio Sara. The savannahs oi the province of 
Chiquitos communicate on the north With 
those of MoxoSj and on the south with 
those of Chaco*; but^ as we have observed 
above, a ridge or line of partition of the 
water is formed, by the intersection of two 
plains slightly sloped, which takes its orij^n 
on the north of LaPlata(Chuqui8aca) between 
the sources oi the GuapaixandtheCachimayo, 
(a tributary stream of the Pikomayo), and as- 
cends from the parallel of 20^ to that of ISi^ 
of south latitude, consequently on the north- 
east, towards the isthmus of Villabella -f*. 
From this point, one of the most important of 
the whole hydrography of America, we can 
follow the line of the partition of the water to 

* Cdrta de las Missiones de los Moxot de la CompaSia de 
fetus de el Per^, 1709. 

f Between the tributary stream of the Paraguay and the 
ladeira^ Vol. vi, p. 685. 


' the Cordillera of the shore (Serra do Mar). 
It is seen winding (lat. 17°-'20°) between the 
northern sourcesof IheAraguay.theMaraohao 
or Tocantines, and the Rio San Francisco, and 
theaouthemsources of the Parana. Thissecond 
line of partition, which enters into the gi-oupe 

* of the mountains of Brazil, on the frontier of 

* the Capitainerie of Goyaz, separates the 
flowings of the basin of the Amazon firom 

' those of the Rio de la Plata, and corresponds, 

I' south of the equator, with the Une we have 

indicated in the northern hemisphere (lat. 

2^-4°), on the limits of the basins of the Ama- 

' zon and the Lower Oroonoko *. 

If the plains of the Amazon (taking that 
denomination In the geognostic sense we 
have given it) are distinguished in general 
from the Llanos of Venezuela and the Pam- 
pas of Buenos Ayres, by the extent and 
thickness of their forests, we are so much the 
more struck by the continuity of the savan- 
nahs in that part running from south to north. 
' It would seem as if this sea of verdure 
stretched forth an arm from the basm of 
Buenoe Ayres, by the Llanos of Tucuman, 
Manso, Cbuco, the Chiquilos, and the Moxos, 
to the Pampas del Sacramento •(-, and the 

• Vol. vi, p. 577. 

t This Pampasj which SobrevjeU first made kaown, besrs 


savannahs of Napo^ Guayiare, Metai, and 
Apiire *. His arm crosses^ between 7^ and 
3P of south latitude^ the basin of the forests 
of the Amazon, and the absence of trees on 
so great an extent of territory (the prepon- 
derance which the small monocotyledon 
plants have acquired) is a phenomenon of the 
geography of plants which belongs perhaps to 
the action of ancient pelagic currents, or 
other partial revolutions of our planet 

€. Plains of thb Rio db ul Plata, and of Pata- 
gonia, from the south-west slope of the groupe 
of the mountains of Brazil, to the strait of 
Magellan, from 20^ to SS"" of latitude, lliese 
plains correspond with those of the Missis- 
sipi and of Canada in the northern hemi- 
sphere. If one of their extrcimities draws less 
nigh the polar regions, the other eAters so 
much further into the region of palm trees. 

' cilsd the name of Pajonal (plain which prodacea straw), be- 
tween the Rio Paro, a tributary stream of the Ucayali and 

' the banks of the Huallaga. 

* I have named the plains covered with gramina^ In the 

' order in which they succeed each other from south to north, 
lirom the 30^ of south, to the 9^ of north-latitude. The sa- 

' vannahs between the Rio Vermejo and the Pilcomayo, 
{south lat. 22o-25p) are called LUtno8 de Manso, after the 
name of a Spaniard who made the first essays of cultivation 

• in those desert countries. {Brackenridge, Vol. 2, p. 17). 

That pavt of this vast baam cxtentling from the 
eastern coast towards the Rio Paraguay, (that 
is the Capitania of Rio Grande, west of tbu 
island Saint Catherine, theCisplatine province 
of Pai-aguay properly so called, between the 
Parana and the Rio Paraguay) does not present 
a surface so perfectly smooth as the part h- 
tuated on the West and south-east of the Rio 
de la Plata, and which has been known for 
ages by the name of Pwnpas, derived from 
the Peruvian or Quichua language*. Geog- 
nostically speaking, these two regions of east 
and west form only one basin, bounded on 
the east by the Sierra de Villarica or do Es- 
plnhazo, which loses itself in the Capitama 
of Sunt Paul, towards the panUkl of 34° ; 
issuing on the north-eaSt by the monticules^, 

" Hatm Pampa signifies in that language, a great pbin. 
We find the word PaSKpa aUo in Riobamha and QuaOahoM- 
ha i the Spaniards, in order to soften the geogiaphical names, 
change the p into h. 

t On the sooth of the VilU of tuyaba, or rather on the 
south of the RioHbotetey (Emboteteu or Mond^;o)t a raooa- 
tainous coantrr stretches towards the south, known by the 
pompous names of Cordiiitnu of Amambaj, of Sao Jose, and 
of Maraca|ou. Accordii^to the fioe manuscript loap <rf die 
ancient viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata (by Doo Miguel de 
Ifostairia, 1804), of which 1 owe the commnnicatioa to the 
kindness of M. Malte-Bnin, the whole uorthem part of IV 
raguay, between the mission of Curuguati (lat. 24|o) and 
the rivers Mbotetey and Monice (Yaguari) is full of hiUi- 


from the Serra da Canastra and the Campos 
Parecis towards the province of Parag^y ) 
on the west, by. the Andes of Upper Fteru 
and ChUi ; and on the north-west^, by the 
ridge of the partitiaii of the waters which 
runs from the connter-fort of Santa Graz de 
la Sierra^ across the plains of the Ghiquitos, 
towards the Serras of Albnqnerqne Oat. 19° 
20") and San Fernando* That part only of this 
basin lying on the west of the Rio Paragnay, 
and which is entirely covered with gramina 
(thick forests extend towards Parana, and 
the sources of the Uniguay)^ is 70^000 squai'e 
leagues* This snrfooe of the Pampas or 
Llanos of Manse, Tucuman, Buenos Ajrres, 
and eastern Patagonia, exceeds consequently 
four times the surfece of the whole of France. 
The Andes of Chili narrow the Pampas by 
the two counterforts of Salta and Cordova *: 
the latter promontory, of which we know 
with precision the extent by the astronomical 

Geographers also figure a chain of moantains between 
28^ and 34 Jo of latitude, in the province of the Missions and 
the Cisplatine) province of Brazilt a chain supposed to se- 
parate the waters of the Uraguay from those of the eastern 
coast ; but these Cordilleras are probably not 200 toises high. 
In comparing the maps of d'Anville, Varela, Dobrizhoffer, 
and Azara, we perceive that with the progress of geography 
the mountains of those countries gradually disappear. 
* Vol. vi, p. 418. 


'• observations of M.M. Espinosa and Ban- 
- za *j forms so projecting a point, that 
there remains (lat. 31°-32°) a plain only 45 
leagues broad between the eastern extrcmily 
of the Sierra de Cordova and the right bank 
of the river Paraguay, stretching in the di- 
rection of a meridian, from the town of Nu- 
eva Coimbra to Rosario, below Santa Fe. 
Far beyond the southern frontiers of the an- 
■ cient viceroyalty of Buenos Ayres, between 

■^' the Rio Colorado and the Rio Negro (lat. 4 
38°-39°) groupes of mountains seem to rise in 
the form of islands, in the middle of a muri- 
atiferous plain. A tribe of Indians of the 
south •(• (Tehuellet), have there long borne 

* The ofGcars of the Sponisli roarine quitted ihe expedi- 
tion of Malaapiaa at Lima to rejoin it at Buenos Ayre9. 
Tliey determiaed the latitude and longitude of Mendoza 
(lat. 32° 52' i long. 11' SS*) and S. Luis de la Panto (lat. 
33o IS' ; long. G8» 40- Meotwia* de lot NavegaMu, Vol. i. 
Appendix, p. 181). We find the town of CoidoTa, accoiding 
to those positions, to be lat. 31<>22'; long. 66*lT'i ad- 
mitting with M. Bauza, according to the Map of the toutk- 
em Ocean comprehaiiled betaeen Caye Horn and the Copt of 
Good Hope, (Madrid, 1604,) the town of Cordova to be 1° 
47' the east of San Luis de la Punta, La Cruz, and Airow- 
smith supposed this distance to be 9* SO* and 3" 4'. M. 
Baiiza, who has visited that country, admits the difference oC 
longitude of Cordova and Santa Fe to be 3*, while Anow- 
smith makes 2° 36'. Observations are wanting between 
Tucuman, Asuncion, and Santa Fe. 

i Het, man ; lehuel, noon. 


the characteristic name oi^ men of the numn^ 
tains {CalUleket) or Serranbs. Trom the pa- 
rallel of the mouth <tf the Rio Negro to 
that of Cabo Blanco (lat. 41''— 47^), scaU 
tered mountains on the eastern Patagonia 
coast denote more cdnsiderable inequalities 
in the inlands. All that part however of the 
strait of Magellan^ from the Cape of Virgins 
to the North Cape^ on a breadth of more than 
30 leagues^ is surrounded by savannahs or 
Pampas^ and the Andes of western Patagonia 
only beg^n to rise near the latter cape^ exert- 
ing a marked influence on the direction of 
that part of the strait nearest the South Sea, 
and going from S. E. to N. W. 

If we have given the plains or great basins of 
South America, the names of the rivers that 
flow in their longitudinal furrows, we have 
not meant by so doing to compare them to 
simple vallies. In the plains of the Lower 
Oroonoko and the Amazon^ all the lines of the 
declivity reach no doubt a principal recipient, 
and the tributaries of tributary streams, that is 
the basins of different orders^ penetrate far into 
the groupe of the mountains. The upper part 
or high vallies of the tributary streams are con- 
sidered in a geological tahle^ as belonging to 
the itiountainous region of the country, and 
placed beyond the plains of the Lower Oroo- 


noko and the Amazon. Tbe views of the geo- 
logist are not identical with those of hydrogra- 
phy. In the basin which we have called that 
of the Rio de la Plata and Patagonia, the waters 
that follow the lines of the greatest declivities 
have many issues. The same basin cmtains 
several vallies of rivers ; aiid when we examine 
nearly the polyedric snr&ce of the Pamfot and 
ttie portion of their waters which, l^e the 
waters of the steppes of Asia *, do not ga to 
the sea, we conceive that these plains are di- 
vided by small ridges or Unes of e2eMUtoii,and 
have alteniating slopes -f-, inclined, witli respect 
to the horizon, in opposite directirau. la ntler 


speakings according to one great division of the 
surface of South America in those haiAins^ we 
have called the basin of the Rio Negro and the 
Amazon. Tbe law reg^ons^ trhich are bounded 
by the southern and northern declivities of the 
mountains of Pfetrime and Brazil, and which 
the geologist ought to mark by one name, con- 
tain, according to the no less precise language 
of hydrography, two basins of rivers, those of 
the Upper Oroonoko and the Amazon, sepa- 
rated by a ridge (indication of alternating slopes), 
that runs from Javita towards Esmeralda. From 
these considerations it results, that 9Lgeolagioal 
basin (nt venia verbo) may have several reci- 
pients, several emissaries, divided by small 
ridges almost imperceptible^ and may contain 
at the same time the waters that go to the sea 
by different furrows iodependeiit of eacli other, 
and the systems of inland rivers flowing into 
lakes more or less charged with saline matter. 
A basin of a river, or hydrographic basin, has 
but one recipient, one emissary ; if, by a bifur- 
cation, it gives a part of its waters to another 
hydrographic basin, it is because the bed of the 
river, or the principal recipient, draws so near 
the banks of the basin or the ridge of partition 
that the ridge crosses it in part. 

The distribution of the inequalities of t^e sur- 
face of the globe does not display any limits 
strongly marked between the mountainous coun- 


try and the low regions, or geologic ba^M,'*' 
Evt^nwhei'ctlie real chains of mount^ns rise Hke 
rocky dykes issuing from a crevice, counter- 
forts that are more or less considerable, seem 
to indicate their lateral heaving-up. While I 
recognize the difficulty of well circumscrihiDg 
the groupes of mountains and the basins or 
continued plains, I have attempted to calcu- 
late their surfaces according to the statements 
coiitained in the preceding sheets. 


I. Hqontainous wa.x : 

HiuJH L«gun. 

Andes 68,900 

Chain of the shore of Venezuela 1,900 

Sierra Nevada lie Merida 200 

GrDUpeofParime 25,800 

System of the monntainB of Brazil 37,600 


II. Plains : 

LlanoB of Lower Oroonoko, Meta and 

Guaviare 20,000 

Flainsof the Amaeon 260,400 

Pampas of Rio dele Plata, and Patagonia 136,200 

Plains between the eaEtem chain of the 
Andes of Cundinamarca and the chain 
of Choco 12,300 

Plains of the shore, on the west of the 

Andes 20,000 



The whole surfiu^e of South America id 
571^300 square leagues (20 to a degree)^ and 
the relation of the mountainous country to the 
region of the plains is as 1 : 3^9. The latter 
region, on the east of the Andes, is more than 
424,600 square leagues, the half of which con- 
sists of savannahs, that is^ it is covered with 

Section II. 

General partition of lands.'^Direction and in- 
clination of the layers. — Relative height of the 
formations above the level of the Ocean. 

We have examined in the preceding section, 
the inequalities of the surface of the soil, that 
is, the general structure of the mountains, and 
the form of the basins left between those moun- 
tains variously grouped together. These moun- 
tains are sometimes langiiudinal, by narrow 
bands or chains, similar to the veins that pre- 
serve their tendency at great distances (Andes, 
mountains of the shore of Venezuela, Serra do 
Mar of Brazil, Alleghanies of the United States); 
sometimes they are in masses with irregular 
forms, in which the heavings-up seem to talce 
place as on a labyrinth of crevices or a heap of 
veins (Sierra Parime, Serra das Vertentes). 
These modes of formations are linked with an 


hypothesis of geognosy *, which has at least the 
.tdvantage of being founded on facts obaervtid 
on historic lines, and which strongly charac- 
terize the chains and groupes of niountaius. 
Considerations on the aspect of a country arc 
independent of those which indicate the nature 
of the soil, the hcterogenity of matter, the 
superposition of the rocks, and the direction 
and inclination of the bedS; the latter will be 
stated in the second and third sections of this 
memoir. With respect to the relief and the 
connection of the iDequ&lities of the soil, the 
half of the lunar globe ie now, perhaps, better 
known than the half of the terrestrial globe, 
and the geology o/Jbrmations, for ever inacces- 
sible to physical astronomy, if not devoted to 
dangerous errors, advances with extreme slow- 
ness, even in the countries of Europe nearest to 
each other. 

In taking a general view of the geol(^cal 
constitution of a chain of mountains, we may 
distinguish five elements of Erection too oftn 
confounded in works of geognosy and physicd 
geography. These elements are : — 

* See the new utd importaal observaliou on tbe origia 
of the chains of monntaiiis, io a work well fitted to fix tbe 
attention of geognoets : Resultatn der neueilen geogn. Fon- 
ciungtn des Herre Leopold eon Buch, ziuammonges telle wiW 
uberiezl von K. C. von Lemkard, p. 307, 382, 438, 470, 
476, 606. 


a.) The Longitadinal axis of the whkAe chain. 
fi.) The line that divides the Meters (dwartia 

7.) The line of ridges or elevation passing 

along the maxima of height. 
i.) The line that separates into horizontal 

sections, two contignbus formations. 
€.) The line that follows the rents of stra- 
This distinction is so much the morenecessary, 
as there exists probably no chain <m the globe 
that fhmishes a perfect paraUelifon of all these 
directing lines. In the Pyrenees,' for instance, 
m, fi, y do not coincide, but i and « (that is, the 
different bands of formations which come to 
light successively,' and the direction of the 
strata) are sensibly parallel to «, or to the di- 
rection of the whole chain *. We find so often 
in the most distant parts of the globe, a perfect 
parallelism between • and «, that it may be sup* 
posed that the causes which determine the di- 
rection of the axis (the angle under which that 
axis cuts the meridians), are generally linked 
with causes that determine the direction and 

* The direction of the longitudinal axis » in the Pyre- 
nees, and that of the formations 3> whfch appear successively 
at the surface of the soil, as in long bands^ are N. 08° 73"* 
W. Now, as the line of the maxima of height y, is not pa- 
rallel with the asus », it results from the fine observations of 
MM. Palassou^ Ramond and Charpentier^ that it must ne- 
cessarily pass by very different formations. 

VOL. VI. 2 Q 




incHnation of the strata. This direction of 
the stmta is independent of that of the hands 
of formations, or their visible limits at thewir- 
face of the soil; the lines i and « sometimes 
cross each other, even when one of them coin- 
cides with >, or with the direction of the longil 
dinal axis of the whole chain, Tlie relief o{ 
country cannot he explained with precision on 
a map, nor can the most erroneous opioions 
on the place and superposition of soils be 
avoided, if we do not seize with clearnesB the 
relations of the ^ectmg UtKi which we have 
jnst mentioned. 

In that pftrt of South America which makes 
the principal object of this memoir, imd which 
i& boimddd by the river Amazon on the sooth, 
and en the vest hy the meridian of the snowy 
monntains (Sierra Nevada) of Merida, the dif- 
ferent bands or zones of formations t, are senai- 
My paratle) with the longitudinal axis « of the 
chains of mountains, basins, or itttcrposed 
pkuns. It may he said in general that thegnr- 
nitic tone, (uniting under that demxainBtieB 
the rocks of granite, gneiss, and mica^late) 
follows the direction of the Cordillera of tbe 
shore of Venezuela, and belongs exclusively to 
that Cordillera and the groupe of the moan- 
tains of Parirae ; since it no where pierces the 
secondary and tertiary soils in the Llanos or 
basin of the Lower Onxmoko. It thence re. 


raltS) that the same formations do not ocHUti* 
tute the r^^on of plaiiiB and of moaniaina. 

If we may be permitted to judge of the ttme- 
ture of the whole Sierra Artme, from the ooa^ 
siderable part which I have examined in 8^ of 
longitude^ and 4^ of latitude^ we may believe it 
to be entirely composed of gneiss-granite; I 
saw some beds of green-^tone^ and ampiabdlio 
slate^ but neither miea-skte, clay^date, nor 
banks of greeii lime-ston*^ although many phe- 
nomena vender th» presenoeof tiiefomerof those 
rocks probable^ on the east of the Mayfmiesand 
IntheehainofPacaruna. The geological forma- 
tion of tibe groope ofBanme, is^consequcntlystill 
more simple than that of tbeBraoiliangrovpe^ in 
which granites^ gooiss^ and imca-slate^ areocfver- 
Mlwith thonscbiefer^ ohloritousqtiarti;(Itacelu^ 

'inite)^grauwakkeiandtran8itiottUme8tone'iH but 
those two groupes have in commonyUS we have 
already mentionedy the absence of a real i^s- 
tem of secondary rocks ; we find in both some 
fitegments only of sand^ttone or silicious eon- 
gplomerale. In theOordilkra of ^t& shore of 
Venezuela ^^ the granitic formations ptedomi- 
nate ; but they are wanting towards the east, 
and especially in the southern chain, where we 

* See my Esaay on the position of rockt, p. a6> asd 
fschwege, Oeogn. Oemilde, ^. 7> 17, 24. 

t On its liniils and divisions, <ee Vol. vi, pp. 48(!l^^505, 




observe (iu the missions of Caripe and around 
the giilpli of Cariaco) a great accumulation of 
secondaiy and tertiary calcareous rocks. From ^ 
the point wliere the Cordillera of the shore k 
linked with the Andes of New Grenada (long. 
7U°), we observe first the granitic mountains 
of Area and San Felipe, between the rivcre of 
Yaracui and Tocnyo*; these granitic fonua- 
tions extend on the east of the two coa-sls of 
the basin of the f'aliies of .-iragua, in tht 
DMiihem chain, as far as Cape Codera ; and is -i 
the -southern as far as the mountaioB {Altas 
■ Savanas) of Ocumare.- After the .remarkable 
interruption of the Cordillera of thesbore in 
the province of Barcelona, the graaUic rocks 
begin to appear in the Island of Marguerita 
and in the isthmus of Araya, and cpntlnue per- 
haps towards the Bocas del Drago ; but on the 
east of the meridian of Cape Codera, the 
northern chain only is granitic (of micaceous 
slate) ; the southern chain (Morro de Nueva 
Barcelona, Archipelago of the Caraccas isluids, 
Cerro del Bergantin, vicinity of Cumanacoa, 
Cocollar and Caripe,) is entirely composed of 
secondary limestone and sandstone. 

* Manuscript notes of General Cortes : my own obscrn- 
tioDB be^n only in the meridian of Fortocabetlo (long. ?0° 
37') and terminate at that of Cerro de Heapire (long. OS" 
Sl')> near Cariaco. 


If, in the gramiic sail which is here a Veiy 
complex formation^ we would distinguish mine- 
raiogically between the rocks of granite, gneiss, 
and micaslate, we must recollect, that accord- 
ing to my local observations, - the granite with 
large grains, ,not passing to gneiss, is very rare 
in this country. . It belongs peculiarly to the 
mountains that bound the basin of the lake: of 
Valencia towards the north ; for in the islands, 
of that lake, in the mountains near the. tovm of 
Cura, and in the whole northern chain, between 
the meridiaB of Victoria and Cape Godera^ gneiss 
predominates, sometimes alternating (Sillade 
Caraccas) with granite, or passing (between 
Guigue and Villa de Cura, mountain of Cha- 
coa) to micaslate*. The micaslate is the most 
frequent rock in the peninsula of Araya ^ and 
the groupe of Maoanao which forms the western 
part of the island of Marguerita. On the west 
of Maniquarez, the micaslate of the peninsula 
of Araya loses by degrees (Cerro de Chupai-u- 
paru) its half-metallic lustre ; it is charged with 
carbon and becomes a elayslate (thonschiefer) Xi 
even an ampelite (alaunschiefer). The beds of 
granular limestone are most common in the 
primitive northern chain, and, which is some^ 

♦ Vol. iv, p. 213, &c. 
+ Vol. u, p. 291. 
: Vol. vi, p. 101. 

vrint remarlmbte, tbey are SatmA in gagam, mi 
not in mlcaslate. 

We and at the back of thk gnuiitS^ or 
rather micaalatfr^iMiv aoil of ttn ■oMtaa 
cbun, on tbeuoth oftheViDaaf CaIi^afr■l- 
sition soil, compoaed of , 
serpentine, micaceooi 
carlmnted date*. Thm 
of thii territory is fiamed by 
Between Paiapara, Ortti, md tlM-iCkfiO ds 
Fiona (lat. 90 98'—^ S*'; Vmg. 7IPtf««r VT), 
pbonolitbci and am^dalosda an tamk aattM 
very border of the baiin of the Umm^ that not 
fattenul sea which beretolbre filM tha whob 


covered in the whole eastern part of South 
AmeridlL The doee connection obdenred in 
the soil of Parapara^ between greenstcoae^ am- 
phibolic serpentine, and amygdaloides contain- 
ing crystals of pyroxene; the form of the Morros 
of San Jaan, which rise like cylinders above 
the table-land s the granular texture of their 
limestone surrounded by trapean roduk, are ob- 
jects worthy the attention of the geolog^t, who 
has studied in the southern Tyrol^ &e effects 
produced by the contact of poroxenic porphy- 

The calcareous soil of the C!ordillera of the 
shore is tiosC frequent^ as we have already ob- 
served, on the east of Cape Unare^ in^ the 
southern chain; it extends to the gulph of 
Paria, opposite the island of Trinidad^ . where 
we find gypsum of Guire, contiuning sulphur. 
I have been assured that in the northern chain 
also, in the Montana de Paria^ and near Cam- 
pana, secondary calcareous formations are 
founds and that they only begin to appear on 

* Leopold de Buck, Tableau geoiogique du Tyrol, p. 17. 
I learn by very recent letters from M. Boussingault, that 
these singular Morros de San Juan which furnish a lime- 
stone with crystalline grains^ and thermal springs^ are hol- 
low» and contdn immense grottos filled with stalactites, 
which appear to have been anciently inhabited by the na- 


the eitst of the ridge • of rock (Ceri"© de Mea- 
pirc) which joins the calcareous groupe of Goa- 
charo to the groupe of micaBlate of the pain- 
sula of Araya ; but I have not had occasini io 
verify tlie justness of this observation. Tbe 
calcareous soil of the southern chain is com- 
j)osed of two tbrinations which ^pear distinct, 
the limestone of Cumanacoa and thatofCaripe. 
While I was on the spot, the fonner appeared 
to me to have some analogy with the zecbstein, 
or alpine limestone ; the latter with jarassic 
limestone ; I even thought that the latter gra- 
nular gypsum of Guire might be that which 
belongs in Europe to zechstein, or is placed 
between zecbstein and variegated sandstone. 


uperposed^ that the sandstone of the Impossible^ 
ad the Agtuis ealientes, constitute the same 
oil. The muriatiferous clay (with petroleum and 
unellar gypsum) cover the western part of the 
cninsula of Araya^ opposite the town of Cu- 
tiaoa, and at the center of the island of Mar- 
;iierita. This clay appears placed immediately 
»y micaslate, and covered by the calcareous 
irechia of tertiary soil. I shall not decide if 
iLraya, rich in disseminated muriate of soda* 
lelongs to the formation of sandstone of the 
^possible, which from its position ' may be 
compared to variegated sandstone (red marl). 

Fragments of tertiary soil surround indubi- 
ably the castle and town of Cumana (Castillo de 
kin Antonio), and they also appear at the south- 
west extremity of the peninsula of Araya (Cerro 
ie la Vela et del Barigon) ; at the ridge of 
Meapire, near Cariaco ; at Cabo Blanco, on the 
west of la Guayra, and on the shore of Portoca- 
)ello ; they are found consequently at the foot 
>f the two slopes of the northern chain of the 
Cordillera of Venezuela. This tertiary -f- soil 
is composed of alternate beds of calcareous 
iglomerats, compact limestone, marl, and clay, 
containing selenite, and lamellar gypsum. This 

• Vol. iii. p. 94. 

t Vol. ii, p. 206—209, 290, 291 ; Vol. iii, p. 204 -, Vol. 
v'l, p. 93. 




whole system of very new beds appears to roe'i 
constitute but one formation, which is found at 
Cerro de la Papa, near Carthagena, and in tiie 
islands of Guadalonpe and Martinico. 

Such is the geological distribation of the soils 
in the mountainous part of Venezuela, in the 
gToupe of Parime, and in the Cordillera of the 
shore. It remains to characterize the forma- 
tions of the Llanos (or of the basin of the Lower 
Oroonoko and the Apure) t but it is not easy to 
determine the order of their saperposition, be- 
cause in this region ravines or beds of torrents 
and deep wells dag by the faandi of man are 
entirely wanting. The fonnations of tbe JJano/i 
are, lat. a sandstone or conglomerate, with 
rounded fragments of quaftz, lydian, and kei- 
selschiefer * joined by a ferruginous clayey ce- 
ment, extremely tenacious, olive brown, some- 
times of a viTid red : 2d. a compact limestone, 
(between Timao and Calabozo) which, by its 
smooth fracture, and lithographic aspect, ap- 
proadtei the Jura limestone : 3d. alternate 
beds -f- of marl and lamellar gypsum (Mesa de 
San Diego, Orti2, Cachipo). These three for- 
mati<ms f^peared to me to succeed each other 
in t^e order I have just described, tbe saad- 

^'*See Humboldt, Euiu geognotlujue, p. S19, and above. 
Vol. iv, p. 384— SB7. 

t Vol. iv, p. 3«4 ; Vol. vi, p. 41). 


stone leaning in a concave position towards the 
north «, on the transition slates of Malpasso, 
and on the south, on the gneiss granite off Pto* 
rime.. As the gjrpsom often hnnediatdy corers 
the sandstone of CalabOEO^ whioh appeared to 
me on the spot, to be identical with oar soil of 
red sandstone, I am nnoertain of the age of its 
formation. The secondary rooiks of tiie Uamm 
of Cnmana, Baroelonft, and Caiaooas, occupy a 
space <^ more than 5000 sijnanft leagnes. Their 
continuity is so much the more remarkable, as 
they appear to be wanting, at least on the east 
of the meridian of Porto Cabello (70^ ST) in 
the whole basin of the Amazon, unless they are 
covered by granitic sands. The caused which 
have favoured the accumulation of calcareous 
matter in the eastern region of the chain of the 
shore in the IMmoa of Venezuela (from \QIP to 
8^ north), have not acted nearer the eqaator, in 
the groupe of the mountains of Pteime, and in 
the plains of the Rio Negro and the Amazon (lat. 
8^ north, to P south). The latter plains how- 
ever, furnish some shelves of fragmented rocks, 
on the south-west of San Fernando de Atabapo, 
as well as towards the south-east^ in the lower 
course of the Rio Negro and the Rio Branco. I 
saw a sandstone in the plains of Jaen de Braca- 
uoros which alternates at the same time with 

* Muldenlbraiigc Lageruog. 

__.-,_ „r.]W 

a nks of sand, and conglomerated ga/iV* of pd^ 
phyry and lydian *. MM. de Spix and Mardusf 
affirm that the banks of the Rio Negi-o, on the 
south of the equator, are composed of variegated 
sandstone; those of the Rio Branco, Jupnra,and 
Apoporis, of quader sandstone; and those of the 
Amazon on several points, of ferruginous sand- 
stone J. It remains to examine if, as I am now 
inclined to think, the limestone and gypsum 
formations of the eastern part of the Cordillera 
of the shore of Venezuela, dilTer entirely from 
those of the Llanos, and to what soil belongs 
that rocky wall ^ which, by the name of Galera, 

* GeogD. Ebb&j, p. S31. 

f Ueber die Pkyaiognomie det Pflamenreicht in SriuUien, 
p. 13, 14. 

% Braune) ei$eiuckumget Sandateia-CongUmerat (Jtonsani 
of the Engliah geolt^sts, between the jura-limestone aod 
green sandstone.) MM. Sptx and MarUos fiiund oo rocks 
of quBdersD ostein, between the Apoporis and, the Jsi>aTB, 
the e4UDe sculpture which we have made known from the 
Essequibo to tlie plains of Cassiquiare, and which seems lo 
prove the migrotioaa of a people more advanced in civifiza- 
tion than the Indians who now inhabit those countries. 
(Vol. V, p. 600.) 

^ VoL iv, p. 379. Is this wall a succession of rodu of 
dolomie or a dyke of quadersandstone, like mer du DiaUe, 
{TeufeltmaueTiJ at the foot of Harz ? Calcareous bands (corsi 
banks) either bands of sandstone {effects of the revulsion 
of the waves) or volcanic eruptions, are commonly fbond ou 
the borders of great plains, that is, on the shores of antienl 
inland seas. The Llmot of Venezuela furnish examples of 


hounds the steppes of Calubozo, towards the 
north ? The baain of the steppes is the bottom 
of a sea destitute of idands ; .it is only on the 
south of the Apure^ b<etween that river and the 
Meta, near the western; bjabk. of the Sierra, that 
some hills appear, Monte Parure ^^ la Galera 
de Sinaruco^ and the Cerritos of San Vicente. 
With the exoisption of the fragments- of tertiary 
soil which we have indicated above, we remfurk, 
from the equator to the parallel of 10^ north 
between the meridian of Sierra Nevada de Me- 
rida and the coast of Guyana), if not an absence, 
at least a scarcity of the petrifications which 
strikes the geognosts recently arrived from Eu- 

The nuuAma of the height of the diflTerent 
formations diminish regularly in the country 
we descrit;^ with theit relative age. Hiese 
maxima for gneUs^grmite (Peak of Duida in the 
groupe of P^ime, Silla de Caraecas, in the chain 
of the shore) are from 1300 to 1360 toises; for the 
limestone of Cumanacoa (summit or Cucurucho 

those eruptions near Parapara^ like the Harudje (AfoiM ater 
PUn,) in the northern boundary of the African desart (the 
Sahara). Hills of sandstone rising like towers, walls, and 


strong castles, and offering a great analogy with the qua- 
dersandstone, bound the American depart towards the west, 
on the south of Arkensas. (Long. Vol. ii, p. 298, 389.) 

* Near the Alto de Macachaba (manuscript of the Ca- 
non Madarioga). 


ofTui-imiquii'i), 1050 toises; for the limestoni: 
of Caripe (iiiountains that sarround the table- 
land of the Guarda of San Agmtia), 750 L; for 
the sandstone alternating with the UinestoDeof 
Cumanacoa (Cuchilla de Gaanaguana), 550t; 
for the tertiary soil (Punta Araya) SCO t. It 
appears to me superfluous to remark, tiist the 
relations between the age of the fonnations, 
and the height they attain, vary d^nitely in 
other regions of the globe, where the secondaiy 
rocks often rise above the primitive. The 
study of the absolute height of rocks presentB 
(ess interest since the geologists for the most 
part have abandoned the Wemeriaa faypotbe^, 
of a fluid of which the level has 


The extent of eountry of which I state 
the geological conBtitution, is distingaished 
by the prodigioas regalarity observed in the 
direction of the strata of which the rocks 
of diflTerent ages are composed. In ray per- 
sonal narrative, and my EMoy on the position 
of soils, I have already often fixed the attention 
of my readers on a geognostic Ikw, which is 
one of the small number that can be verified by 
precise admeasurements. Occupied, since the 
year 1792, by the parallelism or rather the lox- 
odromism of the strata^ examining the direction 
and inclination of the primitive and transitibn- 
beds, from the coast of Genoa across the chain 
of the Bochetta, the plains of Lombardy, the 
Alps of Saint Gothard, the table^land of Swa- 
bia, the mountains of Barentb, and the ]dmns 
of northern Germany^ I was struck vnth the 
extreme frequency, if not the constancy of the 
hot. directions 2f and 4 of the compass of Frei- 
berg (direction from south-west to north-east). 
This research, which I thought might lead to 
important discoveries on the structure of the 
globe, had then such an attraction for me that 
it was one <^ the most powerful motives of my 
voyage to the equator. In joining my own ob- 
servations with those of a great number of able 
geognosts, we perceive that there exists in no 
hemisphere a general and absolute umformity of 
Jirection, but that in regions of very considerable 


extent, sometimes an setierttl Otousand sqtiarr 
leagues, we obnei-ve that the d'trectityti, and still 
more rarely the incU»atiot>t has been determined 
hi/asi/stem of particular ftircen. Wc discovpr 
at great distiinces, a parallel ism ^loxoclroroisra), 
a dircctiou, of which tiie type is manifest amidst 
partial perturbations, and which ofti'n i*cniairt« 
the same in primitive and transitioa soils. Tbe 
direction of the strata pretty gencndly, and this 
fact must have struck Palasson and baussunv 
even that of the waters which are Ua distant 
from the principal ridges, is identic with the 
direction of the chains of mountains, that is 
with their longitudinal axis. 

In studying in a given system of rocks the 
relations which the direction of the strata pre- 
sent, either with the meridians or the horizon 
of the spot, I proposed to myself for every coun- 
try, the following quetions; Can wc recognize 
a cMiformity of direction, a loxodromismof the 
strata, comprehended in a great extent, where 
are the perturbations so frequent that no law 
manifests itself? Is there a simultaneous con- 
stancy in the direction and the inclination, or 
are the strata running N. E. — S. W. sometimes 
inclined to the N. W.. sometimes to the S. E. ? 
Do the laws comprehend the formations of dif- 
ferent ages, or may other relations of direction 
and inclination be observed in the primitive 
and secondary rocks ? Are not the disturbances 


tbemselves subject to certsdn rules^ so that the 
partial changes of direction are most frequently^ 
90^9 and lead to a total change of * inclination ? 
Is there a parallelism between the direction of 
the strata and that of the nearest chiun of 
mountains, cyr has that direction of strata a re- 
lation with the principal chiun, or a very dis- 
tant oceanic coast ? When we call the assem- 
blage of rocks of which the strata have the 
same direction^ a hxodromic system of rocks^ 
and when, in a vast country, several of those 
loxodromic mf stems touch each other, are the 
changes of direction always sudden, or are there 
progressive passages on tijbie limit of contiguous 
systems? The same soil does not furnish 
the traveller with the means of answering so 
great a number of important questions ; but the 
progress of positive geognosy can only be ad- 

* I allude to tbe case where^ in b chain of mounisini of 
mica-slate-gneiss, the general direction of the strata is hor, 
4 (from 8. W. to N. £.) with the inclination to the N. W.^ 
and where the deviations are generally her, 8 (from S. E. to 
N. W.) The inclination ohserred in that mvene dirMctum 
will not be as it would be towards the N. £., but towards 
the S. W. There is therefore a total change of inclination 
from north to souths or rather from N. V^. to S. W. Tlus 
regularity in the mode of deviation^ which often occupied 
my attention in passing over the Andes, has lately engaged 
the attention of M. Steininger {Erloschene f^ulkanej p. 3). and 
of M. Reboul, {Joum, de Physique, 1822, December, p.4t5)> 
on the banks of the Rhine, and in tbe Pyrenees. 

VOL. VI. 2 R 

vanceti by never losing night "f tlie totality of 
the elementH on which tlie knowledge of llie 
general structm-e of the globe depends. 

Venezuehi is one of the countries in which tlie 
parallelism of the strata of goeis-gnmite, miea- 
slate, and clay-slate is most strongly marked. 
The general direction of these strata is N. 50° 
E., and the general inclination from 60° to 70* 
north-west. Thus I recognized them on a 
length of more than an hundred leagues, in the 
chain of the shore of Venezuela ; tu the strati- 
fied granite of las Trincheras near Porto-Cabel- 
lo (VoL iv> p. 197) i in the gneiss of the isles 
of the l&ke of Valencia (Vol. iv, p. 122) ; and 
in the Ticinity of the Villa de Cura; in the tran- 
sition slate and greenstone on the north of Pa^ 
rapara (Vol. iv, p. 260) ; in the way from la 
Goayra to the town of Caraccas, and in all the 
Sierra de Avila (Vol. iii, p. 412, &c. and 488) ; 
in Cape Codera (Vol. iii, p. 375) ; and in the 
micfi-slate and dayalate of the peninsula of 
Araya (Vol. ii, p. 285 ; Vol. vi, p. 99). The 
same direction from N. E. to S. W. and this 
incliae^tiop to the N. W., are again observed, 
although less decidedly, in the limestones of 
Cumanacoa (Vol. iii, p. 80) at Cuehivano, and 
between Guanaguana and Caripe. The excep- 
tions • to this general law are extremely rare 

• Vol. ii, p. 285 i Vol. iii, p. 417—418 ■ Vol. iv, 69, 74— 


In the gneiM-granite of the Cordillera of the 
shore ; it may evto be affiritied^ that the i$werse 
directum (from 8. E. to N.' W.) often bears 
with it the inclination towards the S. W> 

As that part of the groupe of the Sieira Pa- 
rime which i passed over^ contains mnch more 
granite* than gneiss^ and other rocks distinctly 
stratified^ the direction of the layers' MtiM be 
observed in ^this groupe only on a rtanatt number 
of points ; btit I was dtea stmck in this region 
with the coito tanejr of the phenomenon of iaxo-- 
dromism. ■• The amphibolic slates ' of 'Angos- 
tura ran N: 45^ R like the gneiss of Guar- 
pasoso (Vol. ▼; p. 224)/ whiiih form the bed of 
the Atabapa, and like the micaidate of the pe- 
ninsula of Ara]^ although there is a distance 
of 160 leagues between the limits of those 

The direction of the strata, of which we have 
just related the prodigious uniformity, is not 
entirely parallel with the longitudinal axes of 
the two chains of the shore, and of Pbrime«f-. 
The strata generally cut the former of those 
chains under an angle of 35^, and their inclina^ 

* The granite of Baraguan only, is at the same time 
stratified, and crossed by veins of granite ; the direction of 
ihe beds is N. 2(^ W. (Vol. iv, p. 004.) 

t Vol. iii, p. 448. 



mes one of 

tioii towards the north-west, becomM"* 
the most powerful causes of the dryness which 
prevails on the southern declivity * of the 
mountains of the coast. Can It be admit- 
ted that the direction of the eastern Cordillera 
of New Grenada, which is nearly N. 45° E._ 
from Santa Fe de Bogota, to beyond the Sierra 
Nevada de Merida, and of which the chain of 
the shore is but a continuatiou, has had an in- 
fluence on the direction {hor. 3-4) of the strata 
in Venezuela ? That region presents a very re- 
markable loxodromism with ttie strata of mica- 
slate, grauwacke, and the orthoceratite lime- 
stone of the Alteghanies, and that immense ex- 
tent of country (lat. 56°-68°) lately visited by 
Captain Franklin -f-. The direction N. E. — 
S. W. prevails in every part of North America, 
as in Europe in the Fitehtelgebirge of Fran- 
conia, in Tannus, Westerwald, and Eifel, in the 
Ardennes, in the Vosges, Cotentin, in Scotland 
and intheTarentaJse, at thesouth-west extremity 
of the Alps X- If the strata of rocks in Vene- 
zuela do not exactly follow the direction of the 
nearest Cordillera, that of the shore, the paral- 
lelism between the axis of one chain, and the 

• Vol. iv, p. G2, &c., 240. This eoulhem tleclivily ia 
however less rapid ttian the northern. 

t Journey to the Polar Sea, L824j p. 629, &34. 
t See my Geognottic Ettag, p. 68. 


strata of the formations that compose it^ are so 
much the more manifest* in the groupe of 

Section III. 

Nature of the Bochs. — Relative Age and Supers 
position of the Formations. — Primitive, tran^ 
sition, secondary, tertiarjf J and volcanic Soils. 

The preceding section has developed the geo- 
graphical limits of the formations^ the extent of 
the direction of the zones of gneiss-granite^ 
micaslate-gneiss^ clayslate,. sandstone^ and in- 
termediary limestone^ which come succes- 
sively to light. It remains to indicate., suc- 
cinctly the nature and relative age o£ these 
formations. In order not to confound facts 
with geognostic opinions, I shall describe these 
formations without dividing them^ according 
to the method generally followed^ into five 
groupes of primitive^, transition^ secondary., 
tertiary, and volcanic rocks. I was fortunate 
enough to discover the types of each groupe, in 
a region where, before my voyage, no rock had 

* According to the manuscript notes of M. d'Eschwc^, 
and his Geogn. Gemdilde von BrasiUen, p. 6. The strata of 
the primitive and intermediary rocks of Brazil run Tcry re- 
gularly^ like the Cordillera of Villarica(Serra do £6pinha9o) 
hor, 1*4 or hor, 2 of the compass of Freiberg. (N. 88« E.) 
The inclination of the strata is generally towards the E.S.B. 

been named. The great iDCOnrcnience of ibe 
antient classifications is that of obliging' tbe 
geologist to establish fixed demarkatioas, whBe 
he remains in doubt, if not respecting tbe spot 
or the immediate superposition, at least on the 
number of the formations which are not deve- 
loped. How can we pronounce in many cir- 
cumstances, on the analogy which a limestone 
with but few petrifications may present with 
intermediary limestone, and zechstein, or a 
sandstone superposed on a primitive rock, with 
variegated sandstone and quadersandstone, or 
finally; mnriatiferous clay, with the red marl of 
England, and the gem-salt of the tertiary soils 
of Italy ? When we reflect on tfie immense 
progress made within twenty-five years, in the 
knowledge of the superposition of rocks, it will 
not appear surprizing that my present opinion 
on ^e relative age of the formations of Eqai- 
noxical America, is not identically the same 
with What I advanced in 1800. To boast of a 
stability of opinion in geognosy is to boast of 
an'extrem« indolence of mind ; it is to remain 
stationary amidst those who go forward. What 
we observe in any one part of the earth on the 
composition of rocks, the subordinate beds 
they contain, and the order of their position, 
aJ« facts immutably true, and independent of 
the prt^ress of positive geognosy in other 
countries, while tbe systematic names imposed 


on any particular formation of America^ are 
founded only on the supposed analogies be- 
tween the formations of America and those of 
Europe. Now^ those names cannot remain the 
samc^ if^ after farther examination, the objects 
of comparison have not retained the same place 
in the geognostic series ; if the most able geo- 
logists now take for transition limestone, and 
green sandstone, what they took formerly for 
zechstein, and variegated sandstone. I believe 
the surest means by which geognostic descrip- 
tions may be made to isurvive the change which 
the science undergoes in proportion to its pro- 
gress, will be to substitute provisionally, in the 
description of formations, for the systematic 
names of red sandstone,' variegated sandstone, 
zechstein, and jura-limestone, names drawn 
from American localities (sandstone of Llanos, 
limestone of Cumanacoa and Caripe), and to 
separate the enumeration of facts which are re- 
lative to the superposition of soils, from the 
discussion on the analogy of those soils * with 
those of the antient continent. 

* The whole of positive geography being uothing but a 
problem of the series or succession (either simple or periodi- 
cal) of certain terms which represent the formations, it will 
be necessary, in onier to understand the discussions con- 
tained in the third section of this memoir, to recapitulate 
succinctly the table of formations considered in the most ge- 
neral point of view. This sketch will rectify what was pub- 


There are countries (in France, the vicimty 
of Lyons ; in Germany. Freiberg, Naundorf) 

lished nine years ago, Vol. !ii, p. 108. 1. Soil, vwlgarli 
called primitite ; granite, gneiss, and micaslate (or oscilltf- 
ing gneiss, between grnnite and mlcaslate) ; very little pri- 
mitive day-slate ; weiastein with serpentine [ granite with 
disseminated amphibol ; amphibolic slate ; veins «nd sluft 
layers of grecnslone. 2. Transition sml, composed of frag- 
mentary rocks, (graawacke,) cakariferoua slate and green, 
stoae (first traces of organization ; bamboosacees, madre- 
pores, productus, trilobites, orthoceratlteSi evamphalites). 
Complex and parallel formations, a) aUereaM beds of gwy 
and stratitous limeslona, anthracitous micuUte, anhydre 
gypsum, and grauwacke; b) dayslate, Uack-limestone, 
grsuwacke with greenstone, syenites, transition-granite, and 
porphyries with a bose of compact feldspar ; c) euphotides, 
flometimea pure and covered with jaspar, someUmes mixed 
with amphibole, hyperstein, and grey limestone ; d) pyroy- 
cnic porphyries with amygdaloidcs and zirconien syenites. 
3. Stcondary toU, beginning by a great destmctian of mow^ 
cotyledon plants, a) co-ordinate and almost contemporaiy 
formations with red sandstone (rothei totes tiegende), qnarzier 
porphyry, and fem-coal. These beds are less connected by 
nltemance that; by opposition. The porphyriea isnie (like 
the trachytes of the Andes), in domes from the bosom of in- 
termediary rocks. Porphyrific brechias, which envelope the 
iinariifere porphyries, b} Zcchstein or Alj^ne limestooe, 
with mamo>bituminons slate, fetid limestone, and variegated 
gypsum i Productus aculeatus. c) vari^ated sandstone {hatlt 
tandstem) with frequent beds of limestone j falae oolithesi 


"where the formations of ^granite and gneiss, are 
•extremely distinct; there are others^ on the 
contrary, where the geognostic limits between 
those formations are little marked, and where 
granite, gneiss, and micaslate appear to alter- 

ibe upper beds «re of Taiiq^ted mBiA, oiken milriatiFeroaB 
{red marl, idUihan)^ with hydraled gypsum and fetid lime- 
stone. The gemsalt oscillatea flvm lechstein to mtMcliel- 
ftEalk. d) limettone of Gottingen or mvschelkalkf alternat- 
ing towards the top with white sandstone or qoadersand- 
stein ; .(Ammonites nodosoSi encrineii, Mjtiios socialis) : 
clayey marl is fbnnd at the two extremities of moscbelkalk. 
e .) while sandstone^ quadersandstdn^ altematiTe with lias^ 
or limestone a gryphees ; a ({oantity of dicotyledons mixed 
'With monocotyledon plants^ f.) jurtT limestone^ complex fbr- 
aaation ; a quantity of arenacioms intercalated marL Wc 
most frequently observe from below to above; lias (mamous 
limestone with gryphites), oolithes, limestone with polypiers, 
slaty limestone with fish^ and crostoices, and hydrated glo- 
bular iron. Amonites planuiatus> Ohryphaa arciiata. g.) se- 
condary sandstone widi Hgnites« Iron sand| weald clay; 
^reen sand, or green sandstone h.) chlorite, tufted, and 
'white chalk; (planerkalk, limestone of Verona). iV« Ter- 
Mary soil, beginning by a great destruction of deootyledon 
plants, a.) day and tertiary sandstone with lignites ; plastic 
clay ; moUass, and nagelfluhe, sometimes alternating, where 
chalk ia wanting, with the last beds of Jura limestone ; 
soecin. b.) limestone of Paris or coarse limestone, limestone 
with circles, limestone of Bolca, limestone of London, are- 
nacious limestone of Bognor; lignites, c.) silicious lime- 
stone, and gypsum with bones alternating with mad. d.) 
sandstone of Fontainebleau. e.) lacustre soil with porous 
mculieres. «.) alluvial deposits. 

nate by layers, or pass often fioin ooe to liie 
other*. These alternations, and these passages, 
appeared to me less common in the Coi'diUeni 
of the shore of Venezuela than in the Sierra 
Parime. We recognise successively, in the 
former of these two systems of mountains, above 
all, in the chain nearest the coast, as predo- 
minating rocks from west to east, granite (long. 
70°— 71°) gneiss, {long. 681"— 70°), and mica- 
slate (long. 65i° tiOj°) ; but considering in mass 
the geognostic constitution of the ahore, aad 
the Sierra Parimt^, \vc prefer to treat of granite, 
gneiss, and raicaslate, if not as one formation, 
at least, as three co-ordinate formations strictly 
linked together -f-. The clayey primitive slate 
(urtkonckiefer), is subordinate to tqicaslate, of 
which it is only a modification. It no more 
forms an independant soil in the New Conti- 
nent, than in the Pyrenees and the Alps. 

tt. Granitb which does not pass to gneiss is 
the most common in the western pari of tlic 
ctuun of the shore, between Turmero, Valencia, 
and Porto Cabello, as well as in the circle of 
the Sierra Parime, near the Encaramada, and 
at the Peak of Duida. At Rincon del Diablo 
(Vol. iv. p. 167) between Mariara and Hacienda 

* See my Bitay on the position of rocks in 1A« ttuo hani- 
iphetet, p. 67, 69, 71, 74, 7(f. 

t See iibovc. Vol. iv, p. 277 ; Vol. v, p. 867, 858. 


de Cura, and at Choao (Vol. iv. p. 116, 167), it 
has large grains, contidning fine crystals of 
feldspar, 1 i inches long. ^ It is divided in prisms 
by perpendicular vents, or stratified t^^larly, 
like secondary limestone, M las Trincheras 
(Vol. iv^ p. 198) ; the strait of BatBgnan in the 
valley of the Oroonoko, (Vol. 4v,'pw'602), and 
near Gnapasoso, on the badkA <if the JMl^bapo 
(VoL y, p. 224). The stratified gr»iit«^ of ^the 
Trincheras, giving* birth to vei^.hot springs (from 
90*3^ cent.),"appear8 firom the inclination of its 
layers, superposed upon gneiss^ #hich is seen 
farther southward in the islands of the lakes of 
Valencia; but conjectures of sufierposition 
founded only on the hypothesis of an indefinite 
prolongation of the strata, are little certain ; 
and perhai)S the granite masses which form a 
small particular zone in the northern range of 
the Cordillera of the shore, between 70^ 8^, and 
70^ 50" of longitude * were heaved-up in pierc- 
ing the gneiss. The latter rock is prevalent, 
both in descending from the Rincon del Diablo 
towards the south, to the hot-springs of Ma- 
riara, and towards the banks of the lake of Va- 
lencia, and in advancing on the east towards 
the groupe of Buenavista, and the Silla of 
Caraccas, and Cape Codera. In the region of 

* In supposing Nueva Valencia long. 70^ 34', and Villa 
deCuralong, 70** 5 \ 


the chain of the shore of Venezoela, where 
granite seems to constitute an independent for- 
mation from IS to 16 leag;ues in length, I saw 
no foreign or tubordinate layers of gneigs, mica- 
slate, or primitive limestone •. 

The Sierra Parime is one of the most exten- 
sive granitic aoits existing on the globe -t- ; but 
the granite which ia seen alike bare on the 
flank of the moantains, and in the pliuns by 
which they are joined, often passes to gneiss. 
(Vol. iv, p. 55i).) Granite is most commonly 
found in its granular composition, and inde- 
pendent formation, near the Encaramada (Vol. 
iv, p. 462), at the strait of Baraguan, (Vol. iv, 
p. 502), and in the vicinity of the mission 
of the Esmeralda. It often contains, like the 
granites of the Rocky Mountains (lat. 38°— 
40°), the Pyrenees, and Southern Tyrol, ara- 
phibol crystals;};, disseminated in the mass, 

• Primitive limestone, cTery where so comnion in mica- 
slate and gneUs, is found in the granite of the Pyrenees, at 
port d'OO, and in the monntains of Lobourtl {Ckarjitttifi, 
fur /a eonit. geogn, da Pyreneei, p. 144, 146. 

i Seeahove, Vol. vi, p. dOI. 620. To prove the extent 
of the continuity uf this granitic soil, it will sutHce to ob- 
serve that M.Lechenault de la Tour, collected id the bars of 
the river Mana, in French Guyana, the same gneiss ^- 
ni'es (with a little amphibol) which I ohservcd three faun' 
dTvi: Icngues more to the west, near the confluence of Ibe 
Oroviioko and the Guavinrc. 

t 1 did not observe this mixture ofumphibol in the gra- 


but without passing to syenite (Vol. v, p. 18, 
435). Those modifications are observed on 
the banks of the Oroonoko, the Cassiquiare» the 
Atabapo, and the Taamini. The blocks heaped 
together which are foand in Europe on the 
ridge of granitic mountains (Riesengebirge in 
Silesia^ Ochsenkopf in Franconia), are above 
all remarkable in the north-west part of the 
Sierra P^rime, between Caycara, the Encara- 
mada, and Umana, in the cataracts of the May« 
pures and at the mouth of the Rio Vichada 
(Vol. v, p. 177). It remains doubtftil if these 
heaved-up masses^ of cylindric form (Vol. iv» 
p. 540), parallelipedes rounded on the edge, or 
balls of 40 to 50 feet m diameter (Vol. v, p. 616, 
&c.), are the effect of a slow decomposition, or 
of a violent and instantaneous heaving-up. The 
granite of the south-east part of Sierra Farime 
sometimes passes to pegmatite % composed of 
laminary feldspar, enclosed in curved masses of 
crystalline quartz. I saw gneiss only in subor-^ 
dinaie layers ^\ but, between Javita, San Car- 

nite of the chain of the coast of Venezuela^ unless at the 
summit of the Silla de Caraccos (Vol. iii^ p. 605). 

* Sckryt-granii. It is a simple modification of the com- 
position and texture of granite, not even a subordinate layer. 
It must not be confounded with the real pegmatite, gene- 
rally destitute of mica, or with the geographic stones (wtgas 
mapajas) of the Oroonoko (Vol. v, p. 569), which ooraun 
streaks of dark green mica variously turned. 

f The magnetic sands of the rivers that furrow the gra- 


lofl ilel Rio Nfgio, and the Peak of Duida, th^ 
granite is traversed by numerous veins of diffei- 
rent ages (Vol. v, p. 401), spread over vritk 
rock-crystal, black touruialioe, and pyrittt 
(Vol. V, p. 229, 506). It appears that ihe«[ 
open veins become more common on the costofi 
the Peak of Duida, in the Sierra Pacarama, abi 
all between Xurumu, and Rupunuri (tributai^ 
streams of the Rio Branco, and ttie Essequiboji 
where Hortsman the traveller, discovered 
stead of diamonds * and emeralds, a mine, o^ 
oven of rock-crystal (Vol. v, p. 792 ; Vol. vi, 

d. Gneiss predokninates along the Cordillera 
of the shore 6f Venesuela with the aj^tearanceB 
of an independant formation in the northeni 

nftic cWn of the BnearaniBdft (Vol. ti, p. MS), seem b> de- 
note the proximitjrof amphibolic or chloritic ilate {lunbiavi 
or^ chloTtt tchUfir), either in layers in the granite, or aapcr- 
posed on that rock (Vol. v, p. 676). 

* TheM fables of diamondi are very ancient on the coast 
of Farla. Petras Martyr relates, that at the beginning of 
the sixteenth century, a Spaniard, Andr^ Mm^es, bought 
of a joDDg Indian of the coaat of Paria " adamanleni won 
pretiotum, duot wfantit digiti articulot longunt, nagtU tuUtm 
polUcii articulum tet/atmlem erauiludme, aculum utrohujae tt 
coatit 8 pulchre_fi>rmatU conttantem." This pretended adamat 
juoenii paritnsu resisted the lime. Fetrus Martyr distin- 
guishes it from topazes by adding, " offenderunt et topsoo* 
in Uttore," that is, on the coast of Faria, Saint Martha, and 
Veragua. See Oceanica, Dec. iii, lib. iv, p, 63. 



chain, from Cerro del Chuao, and the meridian 
of Choroni, as far as Cape Codera ; and in the 
southern chain, from the meridian of Guigue, 
to the mouth of the Rio Tuy. Cape Codera, 
(Vol. iii, p. 375), the great mass of the SiUa, of 
Galipano, and the land between Ouayra and 
Caraccas (Vol. iii, p. 417,620, 527, 528, 532), 
the table-land of BuenaTi8ta(Vol. iv, p. 74), the 
islands of the lake of Valencia (Vol. iv, jp. 161, 
168, 177X the mountains between Guigue^ Ma- 
ria Magdalena, and the Cerro de Chacao (VoL 
ii, p. 273, 277), are composed of gneiss ^ ; yet 
amidst this soil of gneiss, inclosed micaslate re- 
appears, often talquous in the Valle de Canri- 
mare, and in the ancient Provincia of los Ma- 
riches (Vol. iii, ^. 531) ; at Cabo Blanco, 'west 
of la Guayra (Vol. iii, p. 402) ; near Caraccas 
and Antimano (Vol. iv, p. 59, 60), and above all, 
between the table-land of Buenavista, and the 
vallies of Aragna^ in the mountain of the Co- 
cuyzas and af Hacienda del Tuy (Vol. iv, p. 78, 
91). Between the limits which we have here 
assigned to gneiss, as a predominant rock (long. 
68 i^ — 70i°), gneiss passes sometimes to mica- 

* I have been assured that the islets Orchila and Los 
Frailes arc also composed of gneiss. Curasao and Bonaire 
are calcareous. Is the island of Oruba> in which pepiies of 
native gold of a considerable size have lately been founds 
primitive ? 


slate, wliile tlie appearance of a 
granite is only found on the summit of ihu 
Silla de Caraccas * (Vol. iii, p. 508); it would 
still require to be examined with more care^ 
than I was able to do, whether the granite ot 
the top of Saint Gothard, and of (he SiUa of 
Caraccas, reposes effectively on micasiate and 
gocisst or if it has merely pierced those rocks 
rising in the form of needles, or domes. The 
gneiss of the Cordillera of the shore, in the pro- 
vince of Caraccas, contains almost exclostvely 
garnets, rutilc, titanite and graphite, dissemi- 
nated in the whole mass of the rock (Vol. iii^ 
p. 417, 418);. shelves of graniUar limestone 
(ib.) and some metatUferous veins (Vol. iii, p. 
525, 532 ; Vol. iv, p. 269). I sbaU not decide 
whethei' the grenatlferous serpentine of the 
table-land of Buenavista be inclosed in gneiss, 
or whether, superposed upon that rock, it do 
not rather belong to a formation of loeixcfeur 
(heptinite) similar to that of Penig and Mitt- 
weyde in Saxony (Vol. iv, p. 79, 92). 

In that part of the Sierra Parime wUichM. 
Bonpland and myself visited, gneiss forms a 
less marked zone, and osdllates more frequently 
towards granite than mieaslate. I found no 
garnets in the gneiss of Parime. There is no 

* The SiUa ia « mountiun of gneiss like Adam's Peak (iiv 
the island of Ceylon), and of nearly the some height. 


doubt that the gneiss-granite of the Oroonoko 
is a little auriferous on some points (Vol. iv^ 
p. 471 ; Vol. V, p. 678, 857 ; Vol. vi, p. 215). 

y. Micaslate forms with clayslate {thon- 
schiefer\ a continued soil in the northern cliain; 
of the Cordillera of the shore, from the point of 
Araya, beyond the meridian of Cariaco, as well 
ad in the island of Marguerita. It contains, 
in the peninsula of Araya, garnets disseminated 
in the mass, cyanite (Vol. ii, p. 285), and when 
it passes to clayey-slate, small layers of native 
alum (VoL ri, p. 93, 99, 102). Micashite con- 
stituting an' independant formation, must be 
distinguished from micaslate subordinaJte to a 
soil of gneiss, on the east of Cape Codera. The 
micaslate subordinate to gneiss, displays in the 
valley of Tuy, shelves of primitive limestone 
(Vol. iii, p. 92), and small layers Of graphic 
ampelite (zeicheschiefer) ; between Cape Blanc 
and Catia, layers of chloritic, granatiferous 
date, and slaty amphibol (Vol. iii, p. 404) ; and 
between Caraccas and Antimano, the more 
remarkable phenomenon of veins of gneiss in<- 
closing balls of granatiferous diorite * (grun^ 
stein) (Vol. iv, p. 59, 60). 

In the Sierra Parime, micaslate predominates 
only in the most eastern part, where its lustre 
has given rise to strange errors (VoL v, p. 838, 

* See my geognostic Ei^say, p. 337 
VOL. VI. 2 s 


857). Tlie amphibolic slate of Angostura (Vol. 
V, p. fi9y), and masses of diorite in balls, witU 
concentric layere, near Muitaco (Vol. v, p. 691), 
appeal- to be superposed, not on micaslate, but 
immediately on gtieiss-granite. I conid not, 
however, distinctly ascertain whethet- a part of 
this pyritous diorite was not inclosed on the 
banks of the Oroonoko, as it is at tbe bottom 
of the sea near Cabo Blanbo (Vol. iii, p. 405^ 
tknd at the Mohtafia de Avila, Id the rock that 
it covei-s. Very lai^ veins, with aa irregular 
direction, often assume the aspect of short 
tMfers; and the balls oi diorite heaped together 
ih hills, may well, according to the analogy of 
so many cones of basalt, have issued from the 

MicMlate, chloritic slate, and the rocks of 
slaty amphibol, contain magnetic sand in tire 
tropical regions of Venezuela, as in tbe most 
northertl regions of Europe. The gairiets are 
there almost equally dissf^minated in the gneiss 
(Caraccas), the micaslate (peninsula of Araya), 
the serpentine (Buena vista), the chloritic slate 
(Oabo Blanco), and the diorite or gr<eenstone 
(Antimano) : we shall see further oti, that these 
gtfrnets re-appear in the tractiytic prophyfies 
that crown the celebrated metal liferoBs moun- 
tain of Potosi, and in tlie black and pyroxenk 
masses of the small volcano of Yana-Urcu, at 
the back of Chimbofiuso. - - 

Tbe petnpleum, and this phenomeoon u well 
wwtby of attention, isauea from i^ aoil of piica- 
slate in tbe gulph of Cariaoo (Vol. li, p, 290). 
If; farther east^ an the banks of tbe Arco (Vol. 
iii, p. 97 s Vni, iv, p. SIX and near Carktco 
(Vol. ii, p» 216, 390)» it seems to gush from 
seoondaFy Umeakme formationSj it is probaUy 
only heoaose tlM^ forniations repoipe on mica* 
slate (Vol. vi, p. 97},. The hot springs of Vene<* 
isuela have nko thw origin in, or ratber bdow^ 
ihe primitire rooks. They issue from grwiite 
(Las Trinohf ras), gn^ss (Mariara and Onoto), 
aad tbe. cal«anM>ns and armaeioQi rooks that 
cover the primjctiye rocks (MArros de S. Juan^ 
Aergimtin^ Cariaep), The earthquakes and 
eabterraneow 4etonatiops, of which the seat 
bes been erroneoisly sought in the calcareooff 
moantaim of Oamaoa, hwe been fiilt with most 
^lence in the granitic soils o^f Cai9cca6y and 
Che Oreonoko (Vol. iv, p. 24» 45). Igneous 
lAenomena (if their existence be really well 
mrfilted)^ are attributed by tbe people to the 
graoitie peaka of Duida and Gnaraco, and also 
to the calcareous mounUun of Cuchivano (Vol. 
W, 9.9&i VoL V, p. 550,551). 

JProm the whole of these observations^ it re- 
suItSy that gneiss^ranite predominates in the 
immense groupe of the mountains of Parime, 
as micaslate-gneiss does in the Cordillera of the 
shore ; that in the two systems, the granitic 



soil, unmixed with gneiss and micaslate, occu- 
pies but a. very small extent of country; and 
that in the chain of the shore, the formations 
of clayey slate {thonschiefer), micaslatc, gneiss, 
and granite, succeed eacli other in such a 
manner on the same hand from cast to west 
(presenting a very uniform and regular tnclj- 
■nation of their strata towards the north-west), 
that according to the hypothesis of a subterra- 
iieoiis prolongation of the strata, the gitwiCa of 
las Triiicheras and the RIneon del Diablo, may 
•be superposed on the gneiss of the Villa de 
Cnra, of Buenarista, and Caraoeta ; and the 
j^neiss superposed in its turn, on the tnicaslate 
and clayslate of Maniquarez and Chuparnparu 
in the peninsula of Araya. I have already ob- 
served in another place, that this hyptotheas trf* 
a prolongation of every rock, in some sort in- 
definite, founded on the angle of inclination 
which the strata present on the surface of the 
soil, is not admissible, and that according to 
similar and equally vague reasoning, we should 
be forced to consider the primitive rocks of 
the Alps of Switzerland as superposed on tb« 
formation of the compact limestone (^ Achsen- 
berg, and that limestone (of transition, or iden- 
tic with zechstein ?) as being superposed on 
the mollassus of tertiary soil. 




If, in the sketch of the formations of Venezue- 
la, I had followed the received division into pri- 
mitive, intermediary, secondary, and tertiary 
soils, I might be doubtful what place the last 
layer of micaslate should occupy in the penin- 
sula of Araya. This layer, in the ravine (Aroyo) 
of Robalo, passes insensibly in a carbu rated and 
shining slate, into a real ampelite. The direc- 
tion and inclination of the strata remain the 
same, and the tJumschiefer, which takes the 
aspect of a transition-rock^ is but a modification 
of the primitive micaslate of Maniquarez, con- 
taining garnets^ cyanite, and rutile titanite 
(Vol. vi, p. 101, 102). These insensible passages 
from primitive, to transition soil, by clayey 
slate that becomes carburated, at the same 
time that it presents a concordant position with 
micaslate and gneiss, have also been observed 
several times in Europe * by celebrated gcog- 
nosts. The existence of an independent for- 
mation of primitive slate {urthonschiefer), may 
even be doubted, that is, of a formation which 

* See the excellent work of M. dc Ocynhausen^ f'ersuch 
einer geogn, Bexchreib, von Olferschlesien, 1822^ p. 67, 62, 


is not linked beluw by layers containing Bome 
vestiges of monocotyledon plants. 

The small thonschiefer bed of Malpagso (la 
the southern chmn of the Cordillera of the 
shore), is separated from micaslate-gneiss by 
a co-ordinate formation of Berpentiiie and dio- 
rite. It is divided into two shelves, of which 
the upper presents greea steatltous slate, mixed 
with amphibol ; and the i^ower, dark-blue slate, 
extremely fissile, and traversed by nnmerous 
veins of quartz (Vol. iv, p. 281). Icoolddil- 
cover no fragmentary layer (groutcacA'e), nor ktt- 
selschiefery nor chiastolithe. The kieseitehi^er 
belongs in those countries to a limestone for- 


iii. forbiation of sbrpbnti?^ and diorite 
(grbbnstonb of juncalito). 

We hwm indiented abawp, a Uyw of groimti- 
ferous serpentine inclo^d ip the gneiis of 3ye- 
navista^ or perhiq[M9 superposed on that rock; 
we here find a raal sml of serpentine^ altemtuing 
with diorite, and extending from the ravine of 
Tucutpjaemo 9s fpv as Juncalito. The diprite 
fprnjs the great mag^ of this sojil ; * it is of a darK* 
gre^n colour, granular with small grains, and 
destitute pf quartz ; its ma^s is formed of small 
crystals of feldspar, intermixed with crystc^ls 
of amphiboL This rock of digrite i/s covered 
at its surfece, by the effect of decomposition, 
with a yellowish crust li}(e that of basalts, and 
dolisrites. Serpentine pf a dpll olive-gr^n^ 4nd 
smoo|;h fcacture, mixed mth falueish steatite, 
^nd amphiboly presents, lilfLC alp^ost all the co- 
ordinate formations offliofrite ofid serpetftiife (in 
Silesi^ at Fichteljgpelirge^ if) the valley of Paj- 
gorry, jn the Pyrenees, ii^ the isle of Cyprus, 
.and in the copper mountains pf circumpplar 
America) •, traces of copper (Vol. iv, p, 279). 
TVhere the diorite, partly globular, draws near 
the i^een slate of Majpasso, real beds of 
green slate are found inclosed in diorite. 

* FrAoklin'a Jouri^ to the Polar Sea, p. 520. 


Tlie fiae Baussurlte n'bicb we saw in Che Upper 
Oroonoko in the bands of the Indians, seems 
to indicate the existence of a soil of euphotidc, 
superposed on gneiss-granite, or the amphibolic 
slate of the eastern part of Sierra Parime. (Vol. 
V, p. 383, 384, 563, &c.) 


The Morros of San Juan rise in a soil of dio- 
rite, like towers in ruin. They are formed of a 
cavernous greyish green limestone, of crystalline 
texture, mixed with some spangles cf mica, and 
destitute of shells. We recognize in tbem 
masses of hardened clay, black, fissile, charged 
with iron, and covered with a crust, yellow 
from decomposition, like basalts and ampfaibo- 
lites. A compact limestone containing vestiges 
of shells, is joined to this granular limestone of 
the Morros of San Juan, which is hollow with- 
in (Vol. iv, p. 279 ; Vol. vi, p. 583). It is pro- 
bable that in further examining the extraordi- 
nary soil, between Villa de Cura and Ordiz, ia 
which I could only collect specimens of rock 
during one day, many phenomena may be dis- 
covered- analogous to those which M. Leopold 
de Buch has lately described in South Tyrol •. 

• Tyroter Bothc tem -26 ten Julius, 1822 ; and Geognostic 
Letter of M. de Buch to M, de Mumholdt, 18£», p. 13. 


M. Boussingault) in a very instructive itaemotr 
which he has recently addressed to me/, calls 
the rock of the Morros a " problematic calca- 
riferous gneiss.** This expression seems to prove 
that the plates of mica take in some parts an 
uniform direction^ as in the greenish dolomie of 
Val Toccia. 


The soil of gneiss-granite of the Sierra Parime 
is covered by fragments^ (between the Elncara^ 
mada and the strait of Baragnan, and in the 
Island of Gnachaco), in its western part, of an 
olive-brown sandstone, containing grains of 
quaitz, and fragments of feldspar, joined by 
a clayey-cement, extremely compact. This 
cement, where it abounds, has a conchoid 
fracture, and passes to jasper. It is crossed by 
small veins of brown iron-ore, which separate 
into very thin plates, or blades. (Vol. iv, p. 
573.) The presence of feldspar seems to indi- 
cate that this small formation of sandstone (the 
sole secondary formation hitherto known in the 
Sierra Parime), belongs to red-sandstone or 
coal *. I have hesitated to join it to the sand- 

^ Broken or intact crystala of feldspar are found in the 
to^e liegende, or cool sandstone of Thuringia (Freiesleben 
geogn. Arheiien, Vol. vr, p. 82, 85, W, 104). I observed in 

9tone o/tke Umos, of which the relative anti- 
quity htts appeared to roe to be lees verified. 


OF CAL1.B0Z0. 

I place the foriaationB in the succe§afve order 
which I thought I perceived from my first tio- 
pi-essions on the spot. The carburated elate or 
tbonschiefer of the peninsula of Araya connect 
the primitiTe rocks of gneiw-granite, and mica- 
slate gneiss, with the transition soil (blue and 
grem slate, diorite'; and aerpentioe nixed with 
amphibol, granular greenialv^iwy fimataaej of 
Molpa6So,Tucutunemo,aadSanJuaB. Towards 
the soutfa, thesandstoneo/ihelJanMKStt OQ this 
transitioDHSoiU it is desUtuteof ihelle, aad com- 
posed (savannahs of Caloboza) of roHnded frag- 
nents of quartz *, kietelsehiefer and lydian, 

Hedeo a very aingUlu agglomerated feldspathic fonnntkw, 
superpeaed upon, pniutps inclosed In, red saadstone, ncsr 
GuWBXD^i. £et mj PoOiioat Emof, Vo^. U, p. IW, 18« ; 
Mmi nj work Ml the jmifim «/ roctm, 9. 2 », 

* Id QenBMty, jsaodstooea which belong ja^uUtaUy to 
red sandstone, cpntain aIso [near Weiderstadtj iv Tbnrii^) 
gatets, and rounded fragments {FrUfUbea, Vol. iv, p. T7)- 
7%e]r lisTe on that account been designated by the name of 
nagel/luhe (MeinickCj in the Nalur/oTicher, St. 17, p. 48). I 
ithall not «ile the pudding-stooes subordinate ,t« tlue jged «snd- 
stone of the Fyreoees, because the age of thft M«d- 
Mooe, destitute of wol, may be c^tested <Ckarpen/«er, p. 


cemented by a fiemigiiicmsy diye-brotro clay. 
(Vol. iv, p. 384, 885.) We there find fragmenls 
of wood^ In great part monocotj^edoD^ aod 
numies of brown fatm. Some lajen (Mow de 
Fafa) preMot gnons of very fioe qaarts? I nw 
no fir^menlB of porphyry, or limertone. Thoie 
Imtnenn beds of eaaditeiie tlwt cover the 
JUanM of cteLovrer Oroondko and theAma* 
zoo, merit die greatieet atteaitkmof tnurdlmi. 
By their aspect they draw near the nagelflnhes 
or pnddiiig-stonee of the niolassns soil, in which 
calcareow veetiigee are alio often wanting, 
(Schottwyl and Dieebacfa/ in Switoerland *) ; 
bat they appeared to me by their poeitioa to 
have rather a relation to red sandstone. They 
can no where be eonfonnded with the gran- 
wackes (fiagmentary transition-rocks) which 
MM* BoDssingaiiilt and fivreiti'f- foond along 

4t9). Layenof fCfrf Am roimdedgseiit'of ifwvtsafe in- 
iStrnd in the Me ^mde oTThiirbgiB, (Fneiakhen, Vol. hr, 
p. 97) ttnd in Upper Sileaift (Ooytoniai, Beich. van Ober^ 
sehktun, p. 110). 

* Bhimier, AnmHtn 4tr ailgem. siAiteh. GesdMiaft, P. I. 
p. 49. 

t Tkow traTelleTB -not oi^ lerelled their route by means 
of ihe barometer^ but alio dttermhied the position of a great 
number of points by meridian obserrations of the Sun and 
Canopus^ and by the use of a thne-l^eeper. 1 shall here 
trunscribe some liAitudes thvt are Tery uncertara on our 
maps : Maracay^ lOo 16' 58'^ ; San Cartes, 9o W 10^; Bar- 
quisimeto, 9» 64^ 35" } Tocuyo, 9'' 16^ 61 " -, TruxiUo, 


the Conlillcras of New Grenada, bordering the 
steppes on the west. Does the want of frag- 
ments of granite, gneiss, and porphyry, and the 
frequency of petrified wood *, sometimes dico- 
tyleilons, indicate that those sandstones beloii; 
to more recent formations, which fill the plum 
between the Cordilleras of Parime and the 
shore, as the molassus of Switzerland fills the 
space between the Jara and the Alps } 1 dis- 

»" 50' 36" } Famplona, 7° 17' 3". The foUowiag ue the 
namcf of the towns which MM, Uonuingnult, RWero, inA 
myself have obscrred at diffierait epochms. but not ahnyi 
ia the same setllemento. The firai iBlitude U thatiriiiAl 
have publisheil ; (he second, that of the twro irarellen I hftte 


cussed this problem in another work * ; but the 
materials hitherto collected are too incomplete. 
It is not easy, when several formations are not 
yet developed, to pronounce on the age of are- 
nacious rocks. Even in Germany, the classic 
soil of geognosy, the most able observers are 
not agreed on the sandstone of the Black Fo- 
rest, and of the whole country south-west of 
Thuringer-Waldgebirge. M. Boussinganlt, who 
passed through a part of the steppes of Veneasu- 
ela long after ine, is ^f opinion that the stmd* 
stone of the Lianas of San Carlos^ that of the 
valley of San Antonio of Cucuta^ and the table- 
lands of Barquisimeto, Tocuyo, Merida^ and 
Truxillo, belong to a formation of anlient red 
sandstone^ or coal. There is in fiict real coal 
near Carache, south-west of Paramo de las 

Before a part of the immense plains of Atne- 
rica was geognostically examined/ it might 
have been supposed that their uniform and 
continued horizontality^ was owing to alluvial 
soilsp or at least to arenacious tertiary soils. 
The sands which in the country qf the Baltic, 
and in all the north of Germany cover coarse 
limestone and chalk, seem to justify these sys- 
tematic ideas, which have not failed to be ex- 

* Sur ie g'uement dts roJie^ dans le$ dtujc Mmisphlrcg, p. 



tendrd to the Sahara, and the steppe^ of Ads. 
But the observations which we have beea able to 
colli-'ct, Ruflice tu prove that in both worlds, the 
pitiiiis, the ateppes, ami the desarts, cootaioa 
great number of formatioDS of different ages, 
and tliat those formations often appear with- 
out beiug covered by alluvial deposits. The Ju* 
riv-limestone, gem-saltj (plaios of the Meta and 
Pataj^niaJ and coal sandstone, are found in tbe 
Llanos of South America i the quadersaud- 
stone * (desart between the Arkansas aod tbe 
Canadian river; River Plata), a saliferous soil, 
beds of coal*^, (declivity of the AU^haniest 
baidts of the Ohio), and limesCooe vith ^ triio* 

* Long. Expedition, Vol. ii, p. 293. Tbe physiogTioinj 
of tbcM rocki cut in walls and pyramidi, or divided in 
rhombM blodcs, mmus no doubt to cbarmcteirae tbe qntder- 
sanditone ; but the aandatone of the euteni deeliTitya^lfce 
Rnckjr Mauntain, in wbidi tbe kamnd IrnveUcrHr.JMiei, 
Ibanl Hlt-aprlngs (ttefa), \Kf*n at gyfuaa, aad ao coal, 
(L. e, VoL a, p. 397, 404,) appear rather to bdong to Ta- 
Floated sandstone (bunit tatiditm), 

f Z. e Vol. i, p. IS, Tbii coal inuucdlatelj' corm, as 
In Bt^noi, (he gramraAe, or transitlon-«uubioae. 

t C. «., Vol. i, P.14T. In tko plaiu nTllie Upper MiaHny 
the luD ca tone ii incii^iwtely oorcnd by a McoDdaij lisae- 
•lone wiUi tvnituUa^ IteUevcd to be junaaic, while a lime- 
atone with ^;ypheei, rich in lead-ore, and which 1 sbonld 
ba*e believed to be Btitl more antient than ouCtbic limestone 
and analogoui to tiai, is, according to Mr. James, {L. c, 
VU. fi, p. 41t,) ^aced above the moat recent fonaatioB of 
■anditone. Has tbia superposition been well ascertained? 


biteB (Missou^y above Coyneil Bloff^ fill the 
va*t pUdns of LouisUma and Canada. In ex- 
amining the rocks which the inde&tigable 
CaillMd has collected in the Lybian desart^ 
and in the Oasis of SiWa^ we recognize sand- 
stone similar to that of Thebes ; fragments oi 
petrified dicotyledon wood (fixun 80 to 40 fioet 
long), with rudiments of branches and medul- 
lary concentric lajrers, coming perhaps from 
tertiary sandstone with lignites * ; chalky with 
spatanges and anachyteiB^ limestone (Jurassic) 
with nummulites partly agatized; another 
llmestenewith snotd) graiM^f aaijpfeyed in the 
MnBtrudtioQ tif the terapk ^ Jofnter Ananon 
(Dm la^Beydah) ; mud geasalt with SnlplHir sttd 
bitumen %. 'nvsse examples ^liffioiently prove 
itM tJhe ^iaiiis.^ (LimmJ sttppesi emd dcmrts, 
bat« ttot that iiiiif*rtnity of tertiarjr rocks 
wiiidb has been lo^ geniMdly 8Q(vposed. Do 
t!ie&ie pieMS>eftibbotted*5eqier/'or|wiUe«^ 
£gypt, *whleh VL Booplawl picked «|i in the 

* fohnation of ibollitoQi. 

t tt.tib Btfbb jttttiy MMM}tdi«8 \t tUt MMM17 liiiMIOfM) 
^bick YteMJblBii th^ miMt bf FllMft, and dkDoMic fafccottic 
Iprlmular ^^i^ oontool with the iQ^teioMlc <giaiite ^tf Em- 
dtfSM, is « modification t>f the limettone with niiiBiniilites of 
Siwa ? The primftive mountains from whieh the maiUe 
widi small gtains was believed to be ettracted, If there is no 
d^<^tion In Its ^gfatatiter appearance, ate far diMuii Item 

savntitinlis of Mni-culona (ncnr CurataqmclK), 
belong ti) tlu: sandstone of the Llanos of CaU- 
liozo, or to n soil superposed on that sandstonet 
The foi-mer of these suppositions would ap- 
proacli, according to the analogy of the obser- 
vations made hy M. Rozicre in E^pt, tbe 
sandstone of Calabozo of tertiary nageffinke. 
(Vol. vi, p. 49). 


A blueish-grey compact limestone, almost 
destitute of petrlfnctiona, often crossed by small 
■^ of carbu rated lime, forms monnt^nswitli 


iron-ore, spathic iron, (Vol^ iv, p. 384,) and 
even rock-crystal * ; and as subordinate layers^ 
1st. numerons strata of carburated and slaty 
marl, with pyrites (Cerro del Cuchivano, near 
Cumanacoa); 2d. quartzons sandstone, alter- 
nating; with very thin strata of clayey slate. 
(Qnetepe, south of Cumana; Cerro del Impos- 
sible; table-land of Cocollar; Cerro de Saca. 
Muiteca, near Catuaro, probably, also the basin 
of Guarda de San Agustin, and the Purgat6rio). 
This^ sandstone contains springs. . In general it 
only covers the limestone of Cumanacoa^ but 
it appeared to me to be sometimes inclosed 
(Vol. iri, p. 11, 23, 94, 181>; 3d. gypsum with 
sulphur, near Guire,^ in the Golfo Triste, on the 
coast of P^a (Vol. iv, p. 386). As 1 did. not 
examine odl the spof the position of this yellow- 
ish-white gypsum with small grains, I cannot 
pronounce with certainty on. its relative age. 
The only petrifactions of shells^ which I found 
in this limestone formation, are a heap of tur- 
binites and trochites on the flank of Turimi- 
quiri, at more than 680 toises high, and an 
ammonite seven inches in diameter, in the 
Montana de Santa Maria, north north-west of 
Caripe. I no where saw the limestone of Cu^ 
manacoaj of which 1 treat specially in this ar- 

* Tbe zechstein of Gross-Oenner in Thuringia^ also iu« 
closes rock-crystal. Fmeslehen, Vol. iii^ p. 17. 
VOL. VI. 2 T 


licle, repose on tlie sandstone of the LMitun ; if 
this superposition takes place, it must be found 
in descending the table-laud of Cocollar tow^ 
ards the Mesa of Aoaana. On tbe soatboi 
coast of tbe gulpb of Cariaco, the limestou 
formation (Punta Delgada), probably cove^ 
withont tbe interposition of auotber rock, 
micaslate that passes to carburated claysla 
In the nortbem part of tbe gulph I saw di^ 
tinctly this clayey formation at the depth oi tit 
or three fathoms in tbe sea. The sub marine hqf 
springs (Vol. iii, p. 199) appeared to me ta gush 
from ntica8late,Iike tbe petroleumofMaaiquares 
(Vol. li, p. 290). If any doubts remain as to the 
rook OQ which the limestone o^ (hmanacoa is 
immediately superposed, there ib none respect- 
ing the rocks which cover it, such w IsU. the 
tertiary limestone of Cumana, near Pugt» Del* 
gada, and at Cerro de Meapire (Vol. iii^p* Wl)i 
2d. the sandstone of Quetepe and Turimiqvirii 
which forming layers also in tbe limestooe of 
Cumanacao, belongs properly to tbe laltersoil; 
the limestone of Caripe, which we have often 
identified} in -the course of this work, with Ju- 
rassic limestone, and of which we sb^l apeak 
in the following article. 


In descending the Cuchilla of Guanaguam 
towards the convent of Caripe, we find another 


more recent for laaticm^ wfaite^ with smooth frac- 
ture, or imperfectly conchoid^ at^d divided in ireiry 
tfain layers, which (Vol. iii, p. 107,) succeeds to 
the bhtidi^'gny limestane/tnjiationofCkimanacoa. 
I call tins in the first instance the Hmestant 
fmrmatioa q^ Caripe, on account of the cavem 
of that name which is inhabited by thousands 
ef noctomal iNurds. This limestone appeared 
to me idffltical, 1st. with the limestone of Marro 
de fiarcdona^ and the Chimaaas Islands (Vol. 
iii, p. S65 ; Vol. Ti, p. j80) which contains snail 
layers of Idaok tUsekchi^er, (slaty jasper,) destir 
tnte of yeuis of (jpiartz, and bneaking into fing-- 
ments of paraUelopid form ; 2d. with whitish- 
grey limestone, with »nooth fracture of Hsnao, 
whioh seems to co^er the sandstcme of the 
Uanos (Vol. iv, p. 386). We £nd the /ormar 
Ham i^Canpem the Island of Cui)a (between^the 
fiayamiah and Batabano^ and HbetWeen ithe port 
4Xf Trinidad and Rk> OnauijaboX as in the idets 
^>tbe Caymans. 

i have hitherto described the secondary 
limestODe- formations of the chain of the shore, 
without giving them the systematic names 
wiiidi may connect ithem with the formations 
nf Europe. During my stay in America, I took 
the limestone of Cumanacoa for zechstein, or 
alpine limestone^ and that of Caripe iov Jurassic 
limestone. The carbu rated and slightly bitu- 
minous marl of Cumanacoa, analogous to the 


IS' J 



layers of bituminous slate, which are very no- 
nierous • in the Alps of South Bavaria, apt)eaf^ 
ed to me to characterize the former of th( 
formations; while the dazzling whiteness 
the cavernous soil of Caripe, and the fonn 
those steps of rocks rising in walls and cor- 
nises, brought strongly to ray mind the Ju- 
rassic limestone of Streitbcrg, in Franconia, or 
of Oitzow, and Krzessowice, in I'ppei" Silcwa. 
There is a suppression in Veneznela of the dif- 
ferent soils, which, in the antient continent, 
separate zechsteiu from jura-!iinet;toiie. The 
sandstone- of CocoUar, which sometimes covers 
the limestone of Cumanacoa, may be consider- 
ed as variegated sandstone ; but it is more pro- 
bable that in alternating by layers with the 
limestone of Cumanacoa, it is sometimes re- 
pulsed to the upper limit of the formation to 
which it belongs. The zechstein of £arope 
also contains very quartzous sandstone -t*. The 
two limestone soils of Cumanaco and Caripe 
succeed each other immediately, like the alpine 
and jura limestone on the western declivity of 
the Mexican table-land, between Sopilote, Mes- 
cala, and Tehuilotepec. These formations per- 
haps pass from one to the other, so thai iht 

* I fouDd them also ia the Peruvian Andes, near MonlaD, 
at 1600 toises high. 

+ Ste my Geogn. Essay, p. 367. 


latter may be only an upper shelf of zechstein. 
This immediate covering *, this suppression of 
interposed soils, this simplicity of structure, and 
absence of oolithic lajrers^ have been equally ob- 
served by able geognosts, in Upper Silesia and 
in the Pyrenees -f-. On the other hand, the im- 
mediate superposition of the limestone of Cu- 
manacoa on mica-i^ate and transition clayslate, 
the rarity of the petrifications which have not 
yet been sufficiently examined, the layers of 
silex passing to lydian stone, may lead to the 
belief that the soils of Cumanacoa and Caripe 
are of a much more antient formation than the 
secondary rocks. We must not be surprised 
that the doubts of the geognost, when obliged 
to' decide on the relative age of the limestone of 
the high mountains in the Pyrenees, the Appe- 
nine^ (south of the lake of Perugia,) and in the 
Swiss Alps, extend to the lime-stone soils of the 
high mountains of New Andalusia, and every 
where in America where the presence of red 
sandstone is not distinctly recognized. 


Between Nueva Barcelona and las Cerro del 
Bergantin (Vol. vi, p. 162) a quartzous sand- 

♦ L. c.p. 281^201. 

t Cart von'Oeyhausen, p. 258. 450 j Charpeniier, p. 444, 


stone covers the (jumssic) limestone of Camf* 
nacoB. Is it an arenacious rock, analogous to 
gre^t santiitone, or does it belong to the s&Q^ 
stone of Cocollar f In the latter case, its pre- 
sence seems to prove still more clearly, that 
the limestones of Cumanaco and Caripe art 
only two parts of the same system^ alteroatiag 
with sandstone, sometimes qnartzous, sotoft* 
times slaty. 


Deposits of lamellar gypsum, containing' nu- 
merous layers of marl, are found by fragments 
in the steppes of Caraccas and Barcelona; for 
instance, in the tabte-land of San Diego, be- 
tween Ortiz and JHesa de Ptija; near the 
mission of Cachipo. They appeared to me to 
cover the (Jurassic) limestone of Tisnao, which 
is analagoQs to that of Caripe, where we find 
it mixed with masses of fibrous gypsum (Vol. 
iv, p. 386; Vol. vi, p, 49). I have not giveH 
the name oi formaiions, either to the sandstone 
of the Oroonoho, or that of Cocollar^ to the 
sanilstone of Bergantiti, or the gypsum of the 
Llanos, because nothing hitherto proves the 
htdependcnce of those arenacious and gypsotis 
soils. I presume it will one day be ascertained 
that the gypsum of the Llanos covers not only 
the (Jurassic) limestone, of the Llanos, but Is 


sometimes enclosed in it like the gypsum of 
Golfo Triste on the east of the (Alpine) lime- 
stone of Cumanacoa. I'erhaps the great masses 
of sulphur (VoL iii, p. 104 ; Vol iv, p. 50, 386)> 
found in the layers, almost entirely clayey, of 
the steppes (Guayuta ; valley of San Bonifeuno; 
Buen Ptetor ; confluence of the Bio Pao with 
the Oroonoko), belong to the marl of the gyp- 
sum of Ortiz P These clayey beds are so much 
more worthy of the attention of travellers, since 
the fine observations of M. de Buch, and several 
other celebrated geognostSi on the ciwemmUy 
of gypsum, the irregularity of the inclination of 
its strata^ and its parallel position with the two 
declivities of Haras, and the (heaved-up) chain 
of the Alps, on the simultaneous presence of 
sulphur, oligist iron *, and the sulphurous acid 
vapours which preceded the formation of sul- 
phuric acid, seem to mamfest the action of 
forces that reside at a great depth in the in- 
terior of the globe ^, 

* GypMm wilh oligUl tnm la the Tsriegated itndstone, 
BOQth of Dftt (dqMurlment of the Landes). 

f Leopold von Buch, Besultate geogn. Forsch., 1824^ p. 
471-473. Friedrich Hoftnann, Beitr. xur geogn. Kenntnist von 
NorddeutsMand, 1822, Vol. i, p. 86, 93. Bou^, Mim. sur 
IM terroins $econd. du venant nord des ^Ips, p. 14. Frdei- 
Uben, Kupferichiefer, 1809, Vol. ii, p. 124. Boeislak, Geol, 
iTdl. i, p. 265. 

MN>ll V iF A3.\YA. 

i>.-.< i-. ■.'. iiTTTseiits a Striking analogy with 

■:.:.':->'.-.r .■■.--':fr-*M"n (muriatiferous clay), which 

*. :.»•■; -i7r:'<(:Eted as accorapanyiDg gem-salt in 

... .,.;.,. • I- -v^ salt-pits of Araya (Har^a), 

;.ii; ::--ii::-- :ie artention of Peter Martyr 

■ :_;■!. i--i. i: -::^ btsiiiiiing of the 16th cen- 

■: ■ " .. . .'. i"4 It probably fecQitated 

■ i;'i'i:~ . "iitf jufh. lad the formation of the 

, ■:::'.: i ," ;i-in.-,'. Pie dav is of a smoky co- 

v.:v •'.^'•-•^\\iix:-i YTii perr'jleiiiii. mingled with 


difficulties in both hemispheres : these masses, 
of which the forms are very irregular, display 
traces every where of great commotions. They 
are scarcely ever covered by independent forma- 
tions ; and after having long been believed on 
the continent of Europe, that gem-salt was ex^^^uliar to alpine and transition lime- 
stone/ it i& now still more generally admitted, 
either from reasonings founded on analogies, 
or from suppositions on the prolongation of the 
layers, that the real position of gem-salt is 
found * in variegated sandstone {hunte sand* 
stein). Sometimes gem-salt appears to oscil- 
late from variegated sandstone towards mus- 

I made two. excursions on the peninsula of 
Araya. In the former, I was inclined to con- 
sider the muriatiferous clay as subordinate to 
the agglomerate (evidently of tertiary forma- 
tion) of Barignon and of the mountain of the 
castle of Cumana, because a little to the north 

• See Klemschrod, in Ltimh. Tatckenb. 1821^ Vol. i, p. 
148. Humboldif Estai geogn, p. 271. Hantmann, Jung'ers 
fiozgeb., p. 177. Perhaps the gem-salt oscillates from 
variegated sandstone^ at the same time towards alpine lime- 
stone (zechstein), and towards muschelkalk. An excellent 
geognist, M. Oeyhausen, places it in the lower layers of 
muschelkalk. {Karsten, Archiv,, 1824^ St. 8^ p^ 11). See 
also MM. de Decker^ Oeyhaiuen^ and la Roche in HerthOj 
B. 1, p. 27. 


of that castle I had found shelves of hardened 
day *, containing lamellar ^psum incloMd in 
tertiary soil (Vol. iii, p. 11). I believed tbat 
the muriatiferouB clay might alternate with the 
calcareous agglomerat ofBarignon; and near 
the fishers' huts situated opposite Macanao, 
agglomerate rocks appeared to me to ptene 
the strata of clay. In a second excarnim to 
Maniquarez and the olaminiferous slates of 
Chaparuparu (VoL vi, p. 93), the connexion be- 
tween tertiary soil and bituminous clay, seemed 
to me somewhat problematical. I ezamined 
more particularly the spot oiPenas negratvxiat 
the Cerro de la Vela, E. S. £. of the mined 
castle ot" Aravii. The limestone of the Pti 


kalk (limestone of Oottingae), and the mlife- 
fous and bitummoag day of Araya as repre- 
TCnting variegated sandttanei but these pro- 
blems can only bd solved when the mines of 
those eoontries toe votked. Some geognosts, 
who believe that the gemsalt of Italy penetrates 
ihU^h sell above the jofa limeatone, and even 
chalks, may be led to take the liiiiestotie of 
Peiiae NegfOi^eftab of the layers of compact 
limestone, destitute of grains of quartz and 
petrificationg, which we i&eet with f^qnently 
amidst the teftiitry aggkmemte cf Barignon^ 
and of Castfno de CnmanA ; the salitoons clay 
of Amya, would appear to them analogoas to 
the ptastit eloff of Paris ; or to the clayey 
Selves (dief et tonttla) of secondaiy sandstone 
with ligaites, which cMitain salt-sprhigB, in iBeK 
gidm and Westphalia 4^. However difficult it 
may be td distingoish iepataiefy the layers of 
marl and tfoy belonging to variegated sand- 
Mcne, muschelkalk, quadersandstone, Jurassic 
limestone, secondary sandstone with lignites 
(green and iron sand), and to the tertiary soil 
above ebalk, I believe that the bitumen which 
every where accompanies gemsalt, and most 

• TettUry sambtdne with ligaitefl^ or molaatus of Ar- 

i Manuscript notes of BtM. Dechea and Oeybansen (See 
also Buff, in NoggenUh, RheMomd Wet^. Vol. iii^ p. 63). 


frequently ^jalt-spriugs, chaiucterizes tlie mu- 
riatifurous clay of the peninsula of Araya,&atf 
the island of Marguerita, as linked with fisrma- 
tions placed below the tertiary soil. I do not 
say that they are anierior to that soil, tor 
since the publication of M. de Bach's' observa- 
tions on the Tyrol, it is uo longer permitted to 
consider what is below, in space, as necessarily 
anterior, relatively to the epocha of its forma- 

The bitumen and petroleum still issue, as 
we have shewn above (Vol. W, p. 290 ; Vol. vi, 
p. 97), from micaslate; these substances are 
ejected whenever the soil is shaken by a 8ul>- 



stantly anhydrous) are the effect of overflowings 
across the cretrices which have traversed the 
oxidated crust of our planet, and penetrated to 
the seat of volcanic action. The enormous 
masses of muriate of soda (chlorure de sodium) 
recently thrown up by Vesuvius*^ the small 
veins of that salt which I have often seen tra- 
verse the most recent lithoide lavas, : and of 
which the origin (by. sublimation) appears 
similar to that of oligist iron deposited in the 
same vents -f*, the shelves of gem-salt and sali- 
ferous clay of the trachytic soil in the plaina 
of Peru, and around the volcano of the Andes 
of Quito:}:, are well worthy the attention of 
geologists who would discuss the origin of for- 
mations. In the sketch which I here trace, 
I confine myself to . the simple enumeration of 
the phenomena of position^ indicating at the 
same time some theoretic views by whidi ob- 
servers placed in more advantageous circum- 
stances than I was myself^ may direct their 

* Laugier and Gailla^ in the Annates du Mus,, 6e annte, 
No. 12, p. 485. . The ejected masses in ldStl2, were so con- 
siderable, that the inhabitants of some villages round; Vesu- 
vius, collected them for their domestic use. 

f Gay-iiUssaCj on the action of volcanos^ in the /inn, de 
chimie. Vol. xxii, p. 418. 

t See my geogn. Essay^ p. 261. 


Tbi8 is a very complex formatitm ; present- 
ing that mixture and that periodical return of 
compact limestone, of qnarzous sandstone, and 
of agglomerats (limestone brecbia) which pe- 
culiarly characterizes, under every zone, the 
tertiary sml. It forms the mountain of the 
castle of Saint Antonio, near the town of Cu- 
Hiana, the south-west extremity of the penin- 
snla ef Araya, the Cerro Meapire, south of 
Carf aeo, and the vicinity of POrto CabeHo (VdL 
ii, p. 2fi4, 290 ; Vol. ii^ p. 10, 181. 406; Vol. 
IT, p. 207 1 V<A. vU p. 96). It contaioa 1* a 
compact limestone, generally of a wlutlflb 
gr^, or yellowish white {Cerro de Barigm), ^ 
ifbicb some very thin ehrfves are entirely desti- 
tute of petHficationa, while others are filled 
with cardites, ostracites, pectens, and vesHges 
of Ilthophyte polypieri : '2^ a brechia in which 
an iqitymerable nujnber of pelagip shells are 
found inixedwith grains of cpi^^z aggiutinated 
by a cement of caH>onate ef lime; 3" a caka- 
reous sandstone with very fine rounded grmns 
of quartz (Punta Arenas, west of the village of 
Maniquarez), and containing masses of brown 
iron ore : 4*^ shelves of marl and slatey clay 


destitute of spangles of mica, but inclosing sele- 
nite and lamellar gypsum* These shelves of 
clay appeared to me to form constantly the 
lower layers. There also belongs to tbli ter^ 
tiary soil, the limestone tuf (fresh water forma* 
tion) of the vailies of Aragua (Vol. iv, pu IQO^ 
186)^ near Victoria, and the fiagmentary rock 
of Cabo Blanco, at the west of the, port of bi 
Guayra. I dare not designate the latter by the 
name of nagelfluhe, because that word kidi^ 
eates rounded fragments, while the ficagmenta 
pf Caba Blanco are generally angnlar, and 
compesed of gneiss, hyalin quarts, and diloriit- 
ous slate, joined by a limestone o^nent. This 
cement contains magnetic sand *^ madreporites, 
and vestiges of bivalve pelagic shells. .The 
diiferent fragments of tertiary soil which I 
found in the Cordillera of the shore of Vene- 
zuela, on the two slopes of the northern cbai% 
seem to be superposed near Cumana (be- 
tween Bordones and Punta DelgadaX in the 
Cerro of Meapire, on the (alpine) limestone of 
Gumanacoa ; between Porto Cabello and the 
Rio Guayguaza, as well as in the vailies of 
Aragua, on granite ; on the western declivity 
of the hill formed by the Cabo Blanco, on 

* The magnetic sand is no doubt owing to chkNritous 
slate, which, in these latitudes, forms the bottom of the sea. 
Vol. iu, p. 404 ; Vol. vi, p. 610. 


giieiss ; and in the peninsula orArafa/on salT 
ferous clay. Tins latter mode of position is 
perhaps but a simple opposition*. If we 
wonld range the different merabei-s of the ter- 
tiary series according to the age of their for- 
mation, we ought I believe to regard the bre- 
chia of Caho Btatico, with fragments of primi- 
tive rocks, OS the most ancient, and make it be 
succeeded by the arenaclous limestone of the 
castle e^Ciimana, destitute of horned silex, yet 
somewhat analogous to the (coarse) limestone 
of Paris, and the frah utter soil of f'ictoria. 
The clayey gypsum, mixed with calcareous 
brechia with madrepores, cardites, and oysters, 
which I found between Carthageoa and the 
CeiTo -de la Popa, and the equally recent 
limestonea of Guadaloupe, and Barbadoes "f-, 
(limestones filled with pelagic shells resem> 
bling those that now exist in the Caribbean 
sea) prove that the tertiary soil (soil of upper 
sediment), extends far towards the west and 

These recent formations, so rich in vestiges 
of organized bodies, furnish travellers who are 

* An-nicil ^ufiagerung, according to the precise lan- 
guage of the geognosts of my country. 

+ Moreau de JDnii^s, Hist. phy>. dei jlnhtle* franc. Vol. 
i, p. W4. Brotigniart, Descr^t. giol. des environs de Parit, 
1822, p. SOI. 


&miliarised with the zoological character of 
rocks, a vast field of observation. : To examine 
these vestiges in the layers superposed as by 
steps, the one on' the other, is to study the 
Faunes of different ageSy and compare them. to- 
gether. The geography of animals traces the 
limits in space according to the diversity of 
climates, which determine the actual state of 
vegetation on our planet. The geology of or- 
ganised bodies, on the contrary, is a fragment 
of the history of nature, taking the word his- 
tory in its proper acceptation : it describes the 
inhabitants of the earth according ta the suc- 
cession of time. ' We may recognise in mu- 
seums, kinds and species; hut the Faunes of 
different ages, the predominance of certain 
shells, the numerical relations that characterize 
the animal kingdom, and the vegetation of a 
place, or of an epocha, should be studied in the 
sight of those formations. It has long appeared 
to me * that in the tropics as well as in the 
temperate zone, univalve shells are much more 
numerous (in their species) than bivalves. From 
this superiority in number, the organic fossil 
world furnishes, in every latitude, a further 
analogy with the intertropical shells that now 
live at the bottom of the ocean. In fact, M. 

. • Essai geogn, p. 42. 
VOL. VI. 2 V 

64« ^^^B 

Defrance, in a work • full of new aiul ingauom 
ideas, not only recognizes this preponderance 
of the univalves in the number of kinds ; but 
also observes, that in 5500 foSBil species of 
univalve, bivalve, and mulHvatve shells, cihi- 
tained in his rich collections, there are 3066 
univalve, 2108 bivalve, and 326 mtdilvalve ; the 
univalve fossils are therefore to the bi\'alre = 


I place at the end of the formations of Vene- 
zuela the pyroxenic ainygdaloide soil, and the 
phonolithic {porphyrsckiefer), not as being the 
only rocks which I consider as pyrogenoas, 
but as those of which the entirely volcanic 
origin is probably posterior to tertiary soil. 
This result is not owing to the observatitms I 
made at the southern declivity of the Cordillera 
of Uie shore, between the Morros of San Juan, 
Parapara, and the Llanos of Calaboao. Id 
that region, local circumstances- would rather 
lead us to regard the amygdaloides of Ortis as 
linked to a system of transition rocks (amphi- 
bolic serpentine, diorite, and carburated slate 

t Table of organised fowil bodies^ 1814, p. 51-^ ISb. 


oi MalpasBo) which . I described above * ; but 
the imiptkMi of the trachytes across Mcks pos- 
terior to chalk in the Emfim^ieB,' and in other 
parts of Ekirope^ joined to the phepoBien<m of 
the total abMBce ^rf* fragments of pjmoenrc 
porphyry, tfach3rte^ basalt, and phonolithe -fs 
in the conglomerate, qr fragmentary rocks an- 
terior to the most recent tertiary soils, renders 
it probable that the appearance of ini^an 
rocks at the snf&ce of the soil^ ia tiis effeet of 
one of the last revolutions of oitr pteek, even 
where the irroptiob has taken place by crevices 
(veins) which cross the gneiss-granite^ or tran^ 
sition rocks, not covered by secondary and ter- 
tiary formati(ms« 

The small volcanic soil of Ortiz, (lat. 9^ 28" 
— S'' 36") forms the antient du>re of the vast 
basin of the Llanos of VeneBuelSr; it is com^ 
posed on the points wheie I <H>ttld iBsnmtne it, 
- of <mly twa kinife of rocks>- namely, of amygda- 
loide and ph<molithe (Vol. iv, pi 281, &c.) The 
•greyish bine amygdaloide contains fendilated 
crystals of pyroxene and mesotype. It forms 

• Vol. ▼!, p. 61S. 

t The fragments of these rocks appear only in tufs, or 
agglomerats> which belong essentially to basaltic soil, or 
surround the most recent Tolcanos. Every Tolcanic forma- 
tion is enveloped in hrechia, which is the effect of the iitup- 
tion rUxUfi^LeoipfHd von Buck, RuuUate geogn, Fanck, 
p. Stl. 



bfUls with concentric layiii-s, of which CM flat-' 
teiied centre is nearly as hard as basalt. Nei- 
ther olivine aor ainphibole can be distinguished. 
Before it appears like an independent soil, and 
rises in small conic hills, the amygdaloid^ 
seems to altcrrmte by layera with the diorite, 
which we have seen above mixed with carbu- 
ratcd sJEtle, and amphibolic serpenliqe. Tliese 
close relations of rocks so different in appear- 
ance, and so fitted to embarrass the geognosy, 
give a gi-eat interest to the vicinity of OrtU|. 
If the masses of diorite and amygdaloide which 
appear to ub to he layers, are very large veins, 
they may be supposed to be formed and 
heaved up simultaneously. We are now ao- 
quaiated with two formations of amygdaloide; 
«ne, the most common, is subordinate to ba- 
saltic soil ; the other, much more rare *, belongs 
to pyroxenic porphyry -(-. The amygdaloide of 
Oriit drawjs near, by its oryctognostic chs^ac- 
ters, to the former of those formations, and we 
are almost surprised to find it fixed, not to 
basalt, but to phonolitej;, an eminently feld- 

* We GdiI examples of the latter io Norway (Vardekullea, 
near Skeen), in the mouaCains of Tburingerwold, in Sputh 
Tyrol, at llefeld in Harz, and at Bolanns ia Mexico, &c. 

+ Black porphyries of M. de Buch. 

t There are pholoaitbcs of baaaltic soil (the most ao- 
"tiently known) and phonolithea of trachytic soil (Andes of 
Mexico). See my Geogn. £ssay, p. 347. The former are 


spathic rock, in which we find some crystals of 
amphiboly but pyroxene very rarely^ and never 
any olivine. The Cerro of Floi*e8 is a hill co- 
vered with tabulary blocks of greenish grey 
pfaonolithe, inclosing long crystals (not fiendi-- 
lated), of vitrons feldspar, altogether analogous 
to the phonolithe of Mittelgebirge. It is sur- 
rounded by pyroxenic amygdaloide ; it would 
no doubt be seen in the depths issuing imme- 
diately from gneiss-granite, like the phonolithe 
of Bitiner Stein in Bohemia, which contains 
fragments of gneiss stuck into the mass. 

Does there exist in South America another 
groope of rocks, designated preferably by the 
name of volcanic rocks, and which are as dis- 
tinct from the chain of the Andes, and advance 
as far towards the east, as the groupe that 
bounds the steppes of Calabozo? Of this I 
doubt, at least in that part of the continent 
situated to the northward of the Amazon. I 
have often directed the attention of geognosts 
to the absence of pyroxenic porphyry, trachyte, 
basalt, and lavas (I range these formations 
according to their relative age), in the whole 
of America eastward of the Cordilleras. The 

generally above the basalts; and the extraordinary deve< 
lopement of feldspar in that union, and the want of pyrox- 
ene have always appeared to me very remarkable pheno- 

existeace even of trachyte has not yet been 

verified in the Sierra Nevada de Merida, which 
lioks the Andes w^ith the chain of the shore of 
Venezuela. It would seem as if the votcanic 
fire, after the formation of primitive rocks, 
ODuld not pierce into eastern America (Vol. vt, 
p. 583). Perhaps the little wealth, and the 
little frequency of argentiferous veins observed 
in those countries, arises from the absence of 
more recent volcanic phenomena*. M. d'Escb- 
wege saw at Brazil, some layers (veins?) of 
diorite, but neither trachyte, basalt, doleiite, 
nor amygdaloide ; and he was therefore more 
surpriaed to see, in the vicinity of Rio Janeiro, 
an insulated mass of phonoUtbe, entirely uroilar 
to that of Bohemia, pierce the gneisG b(h1-(-. I 
am inclined to believe that Ameriia, on the 
east of the Andes, would have burning volcanos 
if, near the shore of Venezuela, Guyana, and 
Brazil, the series of primitive rocks were inter- 
rupted trachytes. The trachytes, by their fen- 
dillation, and open crevices, seem to establish 
that permanent communication between the 
surfiuse of the scul and the interior of tbe globe, 
which is the indispensable condition of tbe 
existence of a volcano. If we direct our course 
from tbe coast of Paria, by the gneiss-granite 

; * See mj geogn. Essay, p. IIB, 120. 
i Manuscript notes of Baron d'Eschwege. 


of the Silla of Caraccas, by the red sandstone 
of Barquisimeto aodTocuyo, the slaty moun- 
tains of the Sierra Nevada de Merida, and the 
eastern Cordillera of Cundinamarcai toPopayan 
and Pasto^ taking the rumb of the west and 
south-wieist^ we find in the vicinity, of those 
towns the first volcanic mouths of the Andes, 
still burning, those which are the most northerly 
of all South Amerioa; it may be added, that 
those craters are fpun4 where the Cordil)eras 
begin to furnish trachytes at a distance of 1 8 
or 25 leagues from the. actual coast of the Pa- 
cific Ocean *. Permanent communications, or 
at least such as ara frequently renewed, be- 
tween the atmosphere and the interior of the 
globe, have^only been preserved along that im- 
mense crevice on which the Cordilleras have 
been heaped up ; but the subterranean volcanic 
forces do not display less activity in eastern 
America, in shaking the soil of the Cordillera 
of the shore of Venezuela, and of the groupe of 
Parime *(*• In jdescribing the phenomena which 

* I l>dic¥e the first hypothesea on the relation between 
the buroing of volcanoes, and the proxinoity of Uie aea, are 
Ibund in a very eloquent work, little li^i^^n, of Cardinal 
Bembo : ^ina diahgus (See Opera omnia Petu BemH, Vol. 
ill > p. 60) 3 and in Fieenti AUaru Crucu Ftiuvim ardens, 
1632, p« 164 and 236). 

t See the dassical work oi M. de Hoff, on the spheres of 
oscillations, and the limits of earthquakes, bearing the title : 



accompanied the great earthquakeof Caraccas*^ 
the 26th March, 1812, I mentioned the deto- 
nations which were heard at different periods, 
in the mountains, altogether granitic, of the 
Oroonoko. The elastic forces which agitate 
the soil, the still-buniing volcanos, the hot 
sulphurous springs, sometimes coutainingfluoric 
acid/the presence of asphultum and naphtha in 
primitive soils, all lead us towards the interior 
of our planet, of which the high temperature is 

Garhichte ihr not. VeTandrTungen tier Erdolerfiadie. 1824. 
Vol. ii, p. 5lfl. 

* I stated iQ another place lUe influence which this great 
catnstrophe exerted on the counter- resolution which the 
royalist parly succeeded in producing at this epocha in 
Veneztiela. Nothing ia more curious than the negociation 
which was opened on the Sth of April, by the republican 
government, placed at Valencia in the vdlies ofArsgoa, 
with Archbishop Prnt (Don Norciso Coll y Prat), to eog»ge 
him to publish a pastoral letter fitted to tranquillize the 
yieople respecting the wrath of the divinity. The Arch- 
bishop was permitted to say that this wrath was merited no 
account of the disorder of morals j but he was enjoined to 
declare positively, that politics and syatematic opinions on 
the new social order had nothing in common With it; (dt- 
clarrtT que lajuttieia divina a lot mat ha querido eostigar a tot 
vicios moralfs, sin que el ttTrettiolo lenga conenon alguna con 
hs siitetnas y reformat politicas de Venezuelc). Archbishop 
Prat lost his liberty after this singular correspondence. 
Bee the official documents, published in Pedro de Vrquinaona, 
Reladon dommentada del origen y progretot del trastomo de 
lat provincios de Venezuela, 182B, Vol. i, p. 72 — 83) . 


felt even in our mines of the least depths and 
which since Heraclitus of Ephesus, and Anax- 
agoras of Clazomane^ to the Plutonism of mo- 
dern times, has been considered as the seat of 
the great agitations of the globe. 

The sketch I have just traced famishes all the 
formations we know in that part of Europe, 
which has senred as the type of positive geog- 
nosy. It is the fruit of a labour of sixteen 
months, often interrupted by other occupations. 
The formations of quartziferous porphyrj;;, py- 
roxenic porphyry and trachyte, of grauwacke, 
muschelkalk, and quadersandstein, which are 
frequent towards the west^ have not yet been 
recognized in Venezuela ; but it may be also 
observed that^ in the system of secondary rocks 
of the antient continent, muschelkalk and 
quadersandstein are not always clearly deve- 
loped, and are often by the frequency of their 
marls, confounded with the lower shelves of 
Jurassic limestone. The muschelkalk is almost 
a lias* with encrinite, and quadersandstone (for 
there are doubtless many above the lias or 
limestones with gryphites) seems to me to re- 
present the arenacious layers of the lower 
shelves of jurasdic limestone. I thought it my 
duty to give an extensive developement to the 

* See the judicious reflexions of M. Bou^^ in his Memoir 
on the Alps, p. 24. 


geognostic descnption of South America, not 
only on account of the interest of novelty which 
the study of the formations in the equiaoxial 
regions excites, but also on account of the ho- 
norable efforts which have recently been made 
in Europe to verify and extend the working of 
the mines in the Cordilleras of Columbia, Mex- 
ico, Chili, and Buenos Ayreg. Great capita 
have been formed to attain this useful end. In 
proportion as public confidence has enlarged 
and consolidated those enterprizes, from which 
both continents may derive such solid advan- 
tages, it becomes the duty of those who have 
acquired a local knowledge of tbese countries, 
to publish the materials that are fitted to give a 
juit appreciation of the relative riches aad po- 
sition of the ore-mises in different parts of 
Spaoisb America. The success of the associa- 
tion for Ote working of mines, and that of the 
labors undertaken by the order of free govem- 
megts, ifi far from depending solely on the im- 
prorement of the machines employed for drain- 
wg off the waters, and extracting the mineral, 
on the regular and economical distribntitui of 
ihe subterraneous worhs, or the ameliorations of 
preptf-tUion, aTMlgamatioH, and melting; the 
success d^)ends also on a thorough koowledge 
of the different £uper;H)£e(f soils. The practice 
of the art of the miner is closely linked with 
the progress of geognosy; and it may be proved 


tbat several millioiui of piastres have been 
rashly expended in South Ameriea, firom a 
complete ignorance of the nature <^ tlitfonna^ 
turns, and the position of the roekSy in direct- 
ing the labors ^research. It is not solely the- 
precious metals which should now fix the at* 
tention of the neW associatUms of mm^ ; the 
multiplication of steain-engijie9» riders |t in- 
dispensable^ i^^rever wood is not abundant, or 
of easy transport, to seek at the saone time to 
discover coal and Ugfdtes. In thi9 point of 
view, the precise knowledge of red wndstone, 
or coal-sandstone, quad^wmdstein and mplas- 
8US (tertiary formation of lignites), often cover- 
ed with basalt and dolerite, is of great practical 
importance. It would be difficult for a^ Euro- 
pean miner, recently disembarked, to judge of 
a country with a new aspect, and when the 
same formations cover an immense space* I 
flatter m3r8elf that the work I now publish^ as 
well as my Political Essay on New Spain, and 
my work on the Position of rocks in the two Ae- 
mispkeres, will contribute to diminish those ob- 
stacles. They may be said to contain the ^st 
geognostic knowledge of places of which , the 
subterraneous wealth attracts the attention of 
commercial naticms, and they will serve to class 
the more precise notions which ulterior re- 
searches will add to my labors. 

The republic of Colombia in its present li- 

mits, furnishes a vast field to tlie enterpWrinif 
spirit of the miner. Gold, platina, silver, mer- 
cury, copper, gem-salt, sulphur, and alum, may 
become objects of important workings, "nie 
production of gold alone amounted before the 
epocha of the civil dissensions*, mean year, to 
4700 kilogrammes (20,500 marks of CasdIleX 
This is nearly half the quantity furnished by 
all Spanish America, a quantity which has an 
influence so much more powerful on the vari- 
able proportions between the valne of gold and 
silver, that the extraction of the former metal 
has diminished at Bi'azil, during forty years 
past, with sui-prising rapidity. The quint (a 
tax which the government raises on gold-wash- 
ings), and which in the Capitania of Minas 
Geraes, was, in 1756, 1761, and 1767, from 
118, 102, and 85 arobas of gold (at 14! kilo- 
grammes), is fallen, according to manuscript 
notes kindly furnished me by the Baron d'Esch- 
wege, director-general of the mines of Brazil, tn 
1800, 1813, and 1818, to 30, 20, and 9 arobas; 
an arob of gold having at Rio Janeiro, the 
value of 15,000 cmzades. According to these 
estimations, the ancient produce of the gold 
of Brazil, making deductions for fraudulent ex- 
portation, was in the middle of the 18th cen- 
tury, in the years of the greatest wealth of the 

* See mj Folitlcal Easay, Vol. iiij p. 384. 


goU^washingSj 6600 kilogrammes, and in our 
days, from 1817 to 1820, 600 kilogrammes less. 
In the province of Saint Pkiul, the extraction of 
gold has entirely ceased ; in that of Goyaz, it 
was 803 kilogrammes in 1793, and in 1819 
scarcely 75. In the province of Mato Grosso 
it is almost nothing; and M. d*£schwege thinks 
that the whole produce of the gold of Brazil 
does not amount at present, to more than 
600,000 cruzades (scarcely 440 kilogrammes). 
I dwell on these precise results, because, in con- 
founding the different epochas of the riches and 
poverty of the washings of Brazil, it is still 
affirmed in all the works that treat of the com- 
raerce of precious metals, that a quantity of 
gold equivalent to four millions of piastres, 
that is 5800 kilogrammes of gold *, flows into 

*' The error u^donble^ {Eschwege, Journai vob BranUen, - 
Vol. i^ p. 218) ; it Ifl probable that BrazUian goU, paying the 
^umt, has not during forty years past, risen to 5500 kilo- 
grammes. 1 heretofore- shared this error with all the wri- 
ters -on political economy, in admitting, from a memoir of 
M. Correa de Serra, otherwise highly instructive, that the 
quint in 1810, was still (inste&d of 26 arrobas or 379 kil.) 
61,200 Portuguese ounces, or 1433 kil. j which supposed a 
product of 7105 kil. (See my Pol. Euay, Vol. iii, p. 394. 
Malte Brun, Geogr, Vol. v, p. 675. Lowe, present State of 
England, 1822, p. 267.) The very exact information given 
from two Portugueze manuscripts on the gold washings of 
Minas Grerues, Minas Novas, and Goyaz, in the Bullion Re- 
port for the House of Commons, 1B10, ace. p. 29, goes as far 


Earope annually, from PortDgueze America. 
If, in commercial value, gold in grains prevails 
in the republic of Columbia over the value of 
other metals, the latter are not on that accoant 
less worthy to fix the attention of government, 
and individuals. The argentiferous mines of 
Saint Anne, to Manta, Santo Cbristo de las 
Laxas, Pamplona, Sapo, and la Vega de Sapia, 
give rise to gi-eat hopes. The rapidity of the 
communioationa between the coast of Colom- 


only as 1794, when the firinto do ouro of Brasil was 53 ar- 
robas, which indicates a product of more than 3900 kil. 
paying the quint. In the important work of Mr. Tooke (on 
high and low pricet, P. II, p. 2), this prodnct is atiU esti- 
mated, meao /ear (L810— 1821), aceurding to Sir. Jacob, 
at 1,738,000 piaatres i while, according to official documcnis 
in my possession, the mesn of the quint of those ten yean 
amounts only to 15 arrobas, or a product ^inl of 109& 
kilogrammes, or 155,000 piastres. Mr. John Allm had al- 
ready reminded the Contmittet of the Bullion Report, in his 
critical notes on the table of M. Brongniart, diat the de- 
crease of Ae product of the gold-washinga of Bra^ had 
been extremely rapid since 1794 {Report, p. 44} i and die 
notions giren by H. Auguste de Saint Hilaire indicate the 
same desertion of the gold-mines of Brazil. The antiat 
miners become cultivators (Biat of the t»oH remarkaUt 
pUmti of Braxil md Paraguay, 1B24, fntrod., p. O, and 31). 
The value of an arrobe of gold is 15,000 crazades of Biaifl, 
(each cruiade being 50 sols.) According to H.Pranzini, the 
the Portugueze on^ is equal to 0,028 kil., and 8 ODfas 
make 1 mark ; 2 marks make 1 avrate), and 32 arratels make 
1 arroba. 


bia, and that of Europe^ gives the iame kiterest 
to the copper-mines of Venezvela^ and New 
Grenada. Metab aie a laerdMmdize pordnsed 
at the price of labour, and an advance of ca- 
pital ; in the conntries where they are produced 
they form a part of commercial wealthy and 
their extraction vivifies indostry in tbe most 
barren and mountainous soils. The profits of 
mines b^ing from their nature often irregular^ 
and as an interrnption in the subterranean 
labors, while it causes an irreparable loss, 
shackles the plans of a prudent administration, 
the system of as^dation now applied in Eng- 
land to the metallic riches of the New World, 
will produce the most happy effects, if these 
associations are of long duration, and if the men 
invested with their confidence, unite, with the 
practical knowledge of the art of the miner, 
that of mechanics and modem 4;bemistry ; and 
do not disdain to avail themselves of the light 
spread in America among men who have fol- 
lowed the labors of working and amalgama- 


tion; finally, if they know bow to guard 
against those illusions which the exaggerated 
hope of gain never fails to excite. 

In the map of Columbia which I now pul>- 
Itsh (Miarch, 1825), the limits are indicated 
such as they were when the congress, conform- 

imbk Bt!fui% the revolution of the coloaies, 
the wbote coaet of the Mosqiutos, from Cope 
Gracias a Dios to the Rio Cbogre. compre- 
hending the Island San Andres, had been sepa- 
rated, by the royal cedule of the 30tb Novem- 
ber, 1803, fioni the Capitania general of G»a- 
timala, and added to New Grenada. We find, 
for the mean extent of a departtneot of Colam- 
bia, 7700 square marine leagues; for the mean 
extent of a province, 2400 sqnare leagues ; one 
of the twelve new departments of Columbia con- 
eeqnently exceeds in extent thirty-three times, 
and oBe of the thirty-eight provinces twelve 
times a department <rf France (Vol. vi, p. 187). 
The mean population of a department of 
Columbia, of which the surface is equal to 
twice that of Portugal, is 232,000 souls^ that is, 
half less than the mean population of a depart- 
ment of France. Venezuela, that is the antient 
Capitania general of Caraccas, has nearly half 
the surfece of the actual presidency of Bengal, 
but its relative population is thirty-six times 
less. Nothing is more striking than this dif- 
ference between the antient civilization of 
India, and those countries of South America 
where mankind appears to be a colony recently 
established. In the tables of population of tjie 
fine map of Indostau, published by Mr. Carey, 
in 1824, under the auspices of Colonel Valentine 
Blacker, chief q£. the geographical engineers at 


Calcutta, the English possessions, and of the allies 
of Great Britain, are estimated at 123,000,000 ; 
namely : British territory in India, eighty-three 
millions ; allies and tributaries, forty millions. 
The states which I had considered above (Vol. 
vi, p. 336) with Mr. Hamilton, as being inde- 
pendent, are become allies of the company. 







Smtbmkmt «» *UB Hbioht. oy lui. Moar »x^*»K»aiAi3^^ 

oe VKi,(Bzi;m.A Auovt niK LtVEL of tde Sea. ■ 






lOAO raoM La Guavra to Ca- 




Tbe whole Ttrnlinp of Ibi! n»d i. 

•tCMl tbkt leads tu C>nccu 


iBdicaled in thi« MtU fren 

Ciirucnti - . - 


MM. BouaiiDgiiuh & Rircra. 

El SaIk., nncirnt fort 


P«6I(P1. rv. 465 1.) 

UVrntt - 


(UuD>boldt, 606 t.) 

La Cumbrc. tbr highest put 

or the roxd 


Ht., 713 t. 

Cnnn-u, m the middle of the 

■tract of Cnnbobo 


Ut., at lliB gnaX m^mn. UC t. 

Ettlera Peak of Itw »iUa 0/ 

Curacciis ■ 


Bw»MU,i*-.aS. UW-, Boot 

aiufTiiidt ADit Rirvro, (Jan 

Boao fhoji Cahaccas to Mr.- 

I2:b, 1823;, 1351 iL^i-o. 

Hill of BuemiviftA - 



Village of San Pedro 


Mnmcrin- in Ibe ».lliea of A™. 

590 I.) 

giia - - . 



LsViclorU . 


Hf. (R. aBdR.!g4 1.) 

NnvTs Vulencia 


Ht. [B. and R- 247 t. 

Villa of Curs 



Snn Carlos - 


B. and It. 

CiUj.boio(lbe sm.ll tsble- Uod , 

weio ID Ibe Llanoa 



B. and R. 

Tocuyo ... 


B. and R. 



B. and R. 


B. and a. 

Psnitno of Muciicbit*. liinitn; 

to SieiTB Nevadn dr Moridn 


B. and It. 

MottNTAiH* OF New Andalu- 








Table Ifiud of CorollAT 



Summit of Tnrimiquiri 


Ht.. . litUe douhtfnl, trigon. ma 

Cucbilta of GiianagugtiA 



Convent of Diripe - 



Tuble-land of Gmirda of San 

Angnilin - 






SiEHHA Parime and tbe bniihs 

of ibc Orooaoko ud tbe Rio 


Soil of the fon^ata round Jari- 

U and tbe EamenUda 



ThePeakotDuid. - 

Fort o( Sati Cu:\m &>;\ ¥.u] 


Negro - - -\ >'a \\\<..,«.\«i.'ift»**.'^\. 


The barometrical survey, of which I gave the 
results in my Collection of Astronomical Obser- 
vations (Vol. i, p. 295—298), has been recent- 
ly rectified and extended by two travellers well 
versed in every branch of the physical sciences, 
MM. Boussingault and Rivero. Wherever my 
early results differed from theirs, I have given 
the preference to the latter. M. Boussingault 
has transmitted the detail of his measurements 
to the Institute of France. . It must not be for- 
gotten, that in my profil of the road from La , 
Guayi-a to Caraccas (PI. iv.) published in 1817, 
the heights of Torrequemada, Curucuti, and 
Puente del iSalto, are simply founded on ap- 
proximative estimates, and not on real mea- 
sures. . {Per. Nar.y Vol. iii, p. 409.) At Salto, 
la Venta, and Cumbre, M, Boussingault's re- 
sults and mine differ but little ; in the measure- 
ment of la Silla, which is the loftiest mountain 
of those countries, the agreement (accidentally 
no doubt), is within one toise ; but in the town 
of Caraccas my heights appears less faulty. 
I believed the custom-house to be 491 toises; 
the barracks, 462 t. ; the Trinity, 454 t. ; the 
great square, 446. According to MM. Bous- 
singault and Rivero, who are furnished with 
excellent barometers of Fortin, the middle of 
the street of Carabobo is 477 toises above the 
level of the sea. W^c did not measure at the same 
parts of the town, and modern travellei-s give 


tlie bankii of Hio Guayre 406 t., while (if there 
is no incorrectness of cyphers in my jounifil) I 
found the height 414 t. nearlaNoria(5«ralwTe, 
Vol. iii, p. 449). In this uncertainty respecting 
the partial results, I have confined myself to tbe 
indication in the preceding table, for the torn 
uf Caraccas, of tbe kvel of the street ofCarabo- 
bo. Tbe agreement of ray observations with 
those of MM. Rivero and Boossingault, in the 
vallies of Aragua, is very satisfactory, for the 
latitudes, as well as for the heights. 

Observations made to verify the progress gf the 


sone^ had beeo conjectured from the begiimiDg 
of the 18th century ; and the questions which 
the Academy of Science addressed to M. de la 
Perouae * tended to explain the part which the 
attraction of the moon might have in these pe- 
riodical changes. MM. de Lamanon and 
MoDges made^ in 1785^ a series of very valuable 
observations in the Atlantic Ocean, lafe. P 5^ 
N. and 1^ 34' 8.^ during three days and three 
nights^ from hour to hour^ at a season when the 
temperature did not change from night to day 
li^ Reaum. : but it remained to verify the 
uniformity of the progress of the barometer in 
the interior of the continents, in changeable 
weather, at various heights above the level of 
the sea. The solution of those problems was 
the object of a study which I pursued with the 
greatest care during four years, north and south 
of the equator, in the plains and on the table- 
lands of the Cordilleras, at the height of from 
1800 to 2100 toises. As no other naturalist has 
hitherto had the facility of devoting himself to 
those researches on a scale of height so con- 
siderable, I shall insert by degrees, in this 
work, an extract of my horary observations. 
In order to give more interest to those I made 
at Venezuela, I have added the barometrical 

* Voyage de la Perouse autour du monde, Vol. i, p. 161 -, 
Vol. iv, p. 267. 


hci(^|tfi of Lima, in the southern hemisphere ; of 
Sierra Leone ; and of the southern table-land of 
India. The following tables fiiniish the horary 
variations of the shore of Cmnana, La Guayra, 
Peril, the coast of Africa, and the Isle Taiti ; 
those of Mysore (400 t.) ; of the valley of Ca- 
raccas (480 t.) ; of Ibague, in New Grena- 
da, at the foot of the Andes of Quindiu (703 U); 
of Popayan (911 t.) ; of Mexico (1168 t.) ; and 
of Quito (1492 t.). All these observations are 
unpublished, with the exception of those of 
Captain Sabine, which I borrowed from the 
excellent Meteorology of M. Daniell (His. Es- 
says, 1823, p. 254). 


HvRABY VA»uTio!it AT Cdmama, nob. LAT. 10* 27 fi2" 
HBiOBT. 16 ToiBBs. {OiitreaHont of MM. Humboldl am 

JULV 1799. 

JULY 1799. 



rbeSSrtSOk B>r.337.43 

Th. 18" 



+ 31 


13 IE 


21 U 1 

337 J4 





337 Jl 



— 4 


- 34 















+ 11 


Tb. 18° 

+ u 





137.21 Th. 18*" 




+ 21 

337.71 Th. 20=- 

19 >t I 


16 at 18b Bbt.. 136.63 

Th. 18" 


336.81 Th. 32" 

+ 21 







— * 




. .** 

:i36.76 Th. 21- 



+ 11 


17 at 




Th. 18" 







Tb. 23' 

, ?** 

338-14 Tb. 32« 



+ 214 


— 4 






Th. 19" 

20 It 3 

337 J3 Th. 24" 



— 4 





337.7* Th. 19" 



+ '. 


+ 11 




Th. IB" 



Th. 18" 

. i?* 




„.+ ^ 




Th. 1!» 

21 Bt 1 


Th, 23" 

+ 31 






— 4 


IS.t 04 

336 J 1 

, .^ 



+ ' 


Th. J9" 


Th. 31'' 






Th. ao" 

+ 214 


From the 18th 

to the 34th of 







Th. 23" 

ing from south- 

.<ut to aouth, alODg 

— 4 


On the letbuf Au- 

• ^ 


giut, dcren shocks of »a 

, ?* 


f'tr felt «( CaruMoD. The 


+ 1 


Th. lao 

Mr of Dclac, Id 

the momliur. GO" to 



58" ( in the •fUTOoon, 48" t«"50". 

HoRlKV Vasiatiumo « 

CuiuxA, HcisBT, l&TWMa- (CmA- 




12 33671 Tb.lB> 
IR S36.7S 

» 336.94 

+ 11 337.12 Tt.21. 

23 33J.07 

SS 337.07 

19 M 337.00 

1 336/» ■nu23» 
• 336.45 
H 336.30 
- 4 336JM 
5 336.32 
H 336J7 
10 3.T6.80 
+ 11 336 93 Th. 19* 

13 336-S< 

TWQtfiVk Bar. 336J0 

+ 21* 33t80 TV.J1. 

221 a37M 

S3j 336J0 

24 at I 33«70 

3 33<J* 

— 2t 53«5l TLS- 

7t 33CJ0 

9 33«« TLC 

+ 11 3J7ilS 

23 337J0 

ttat 3 33«-» 

- 4 336J» n.» 
S 33tB» 

7 33«-» 

+ to S3jje 



UORABY Va.RIAT10NS AT CuMANA, HsiGHT 15 TOiftBA. (Cofl^f- 

AUGUST 1799. 

Thc27at— 41k 

+ 11 





+ 23 
28at 0§ 



+ 11 

+ 21 


336 80 

AUGUST 1799. 



Th. 25,7o 

Th. 180 

The28iit23ib Bar. 336.76 

29 ac 





— 4 






Th. 19,7<» 



+ l» 

336 57 



Tb* ld,2o 



- m 





+ 21 






30at 2 


Th. 24« 



— 4 






+ " 


Th. 19o 

HoBART Variations at Cumana, Height^ 10 toisss. {Conti- 


6 at 



Ilie3dat20ih Bar 


Hie 5 at +1 lb Bar. 336.86 

+ 21 




4 at 1 


- IH 


— H 






+ 21 


+ H 






6 at 


On the 4th of November, at 4h 12^ ia the afternoon, a violent ahocfc of an 
earthquake took place. (See above, VM. iii, p. 315, 316.) Thermonicler in 
all the obaervationB at Comana, at the divirion of Reaumur. 

HoBABT Vamiatioks ATLAGtiAVBA.NoK. Lat. 1(K-38* IO"; Hnavr, 

& TOiaKS. {Ob.ieivatiunt of MM, BoiiiiiiigauU and RiMro.) 









Diiy». Houn. MilliuH-l. ''^™ 





7 7SJ.20 27 




8 7S3.0 27.0 






+ 9 763..SS 36Ji 






10 mas SSJ 





11 7'i3.>5 as.o efi 




mids>, 753.09 2S.3 I 3S 







Prom a n-dodi bi tb anriorlUI mtJ- 



niphl. Tlii'ie obsrTv utinm vcrc mudr niit 



27. .t 


m^mL-turccolciimBl. Hj^.ofS. 



NovEMneti 1829. 





State Of the 








Bug wothcr. 






























































^. •rnlkr. 





inc wealhpr. 
















760 60 

27 .S 




764 JO 







763 JS 

27 H 


me weatbcr. 












V« ,1 









76 f. 

27.0 1 





HoBARv Variatioks *t La Guayba, Hkioht 5 ioisbs. (C<tiitinuation.) 

NOTE mi B 1823. 

DKKHIU 1892. 












Stele of the 









i " 















































































































27 Ji 
























763 3S 









































fevcniiijrl . 











I hnre cited aborc, (Vol. iil, p. 3BS) 





toaiB bor.oburratioDB miuleM L<i GaHvni. 






OaU]e5tl> Miirch, 1832, Colonel Unif 





founil, at the bouse of the Coiuuianclnnt, 










in tlic morniiiK, and iit 4 iu ttto cvenini. 






761,50 : the til. mirkcd 24° aod 279 cent. 



27.9; 92 


M. Lhd. (26 Feb.) oUerred oi. tbe se.- 













HosARV Variations at Liha, Soittii Lat. 13' 3' S4" 
HudRT ai ToiBxi. {Obterv. uf HmtboUli). 



























329 J3 
























































































530 81 




















The vCKtLer vu foggj at CiUta 




de Lima lill Ore io ibe monmg. 




on the yth November. Tbe b*- 





wilh iin FicellcDl English hanisw 




(cr uf GHbary, beloo^ag to M. de 




Quereilo, captain of ■ »hip, enm- 




maodiDg the Spanish frigate ta A^ 




fy»,. (The hundredth, of EnflU 




incheawMcrethiceil iato fr»eti<™ 



of iine> of the audenl French foot). 





1 have hcru previously nou-cl Mine 







jooi, in 


' of tbc rqwilor. 

' north and tootb 


Horary Variations at xn Port of Callao, South Lat. 
12'' 3^19^'; HuGiiT a T018K8. (Observ. of M. de Hum- 

NOTXMBER, 1802. 

N0TRMBBR9 1802. 




Th. cent. 


■ — f~ 



th. cent. 

8 Not. 















9 Nor. 



. 20.1 















































. 16.3. 













i 337.65 

, 17.3 





337 J»7 











337 JO 
















336 S» 







1 a 




r Variations obiirtbd on tbb Coast or Aruci, 


At SiBkKA Lbonb (Lat. 6° 30'NoB.) BT Captain Sambb. 





M«-.», .tai*. 29.875 


H».9l«t.|. l«k 


+ aii 29 M< 




22 29.873 



Uar. 21 39^C 

+ KZi 


«i 2V.873 



a StJiK 


M*r. 33 3 


H 39J10 

- * 


— * 39.Me 




Si 30.813 



9 »JtU) 


+ 10 




Horary Variations at Chittlkdrooo, on tbx tablh- 

JLAND OF My sorb (NoRTB LaT. 14° llOf ^T TB* KLBVA" 









Aug. 5 


75 F. 

Aug. 6 



70 F. 














— . 
























Aug. 7 











15 . 




































Aug. 6 




I'be barometric heights, in 




hundredths and thodsandths of 



• 27.42 


the English inch, in the obscrra- 




tions of Africa, Taiti, and Asia. 




The latter were made during 




rainy weather, and at the season 





of monsoons. 







S AT C*I14CC*S, NOBTU Lat. 10" aCSO"; 





a! a. 




Nov. SO 











































303 8* 










303 92 












304 32 



HoBAET Variations at Caraccas, Hbioht 480 TOisci. 


I>BCRMBS&« 1799. 















303 JO 
303 45 

















From the 3Qith of Howaihtr, till 
the 8th of Daoenber, a aerm sky ; 
but from the iMth to the,^4th of 
December, lm||etaoiis raiy and 

Horary Variations at Ibaous, North'I^at. 4^ 27^ 46" ; 
Hriobt 703 ToiSRS. {Oiterv, of Af.dw Humboldt). 



Sbvtbmbrb, 1801. 

33 at Oh 

Bar. 292.8 Th.l8oR. 

24 at 20h 

293.0 Th. 19.30 



+ 21 

293.7 Th« 20.20 

— 4 

293.3 Th. 19<» 

25 at 




— 4 

292.8 Th. 20.00 




293.1 Th. I8.20 

+ 11 





293.1 Th. 17.60 

+ H 

293.5 Th. 17.70 

+ 21f 




S4at 0§ 


+ 21§ 



292.7 Th, 190 

26iil 2| 

293.7 Th.21.3» 

-« 4 


- 4| 

293.5 Th.l8.2o 






293.2 Th. I60 

+ " 


+ " 






+ m 

294.7 Th.2r 

Tlie small town of Ibague is situated 

27 at 1 

294.1 ^ 

in a hiffh n 

illey at the foot of ttie 

— 4 


Avdea of Qaio^a. 

2 Y 2 


ftoHAKv Vakiatioms at Popitax, Nob. Lat. 2° 26' 17"^ 
tlmaaT Oil toibes. (Obieri-aliott madr i» May, 1801, if 

Mat, leoi. 



16 IL .1h 


Til. IBa 


27n i 



19 Bt 2 


- S( 




+ 11 


+ 10 




20 HC 20 

a7o.3 Th, U- 



Tb. \W' 

+ 22 






]7Bt 3 

274 4 







+ U 

275 3 





+ a* 


+ ai 




Tb. 15- 





Th. 14-5° 

32 At Z 


+ 21 


— 3 




+ 10 


— 2 

27 4,,! 


r of (he divliLon of 



R«diimur ; 


hciilUU, M •! (°- 



miiDH, LimA, CaIIko. CBrRrnv iM 

276.3 Til. H" 


Horary Vamations obssavbd at Mexico^ axd at Qmro, 


At Mexico, Nor. Lat. 19o 25' 45"; height 1168 Toisst, in June 1803. 

26 at 8b 


Th. 6V> P. 

27 at 111" 


+ 11 


+ 12 


Th. 62* 






Th. 6r 

- 16 


— 16 





Tlu 58.50 

+ 204 


Th. 630 

+ 21 


Th. 650 












Th. 73.50 



Til. 680 

— 3* 3 


Th. 7lo 



Th. 68.50 



27 at Oi 


Th. 71« 



Th. 700 

— 4 


Th. 70O 

+ " 


Tb. 67o 







At Quito, South Lat. Oo 14'; height 1492 TOUEt; in April 1802. 

4 at 201" 

Sat 2 


Gat 04 


Th.57« F. 




Th. 59' 


Th, 540 

Th. 52« 
Th. 580 
Th. «7o 

Th. 6I0 

HoraryVariations at the Table- 
land Of Antisana, south lat. 
Oo .32^ 52" ; HEIGHT, 2104 TOisst, 
(Obsavaiions of M. tk Humboldt]. 

Mar. 16 at 4^ 



Th. 8« K. 
Th. 7.2o 
Th. 6" 
Th. 5.4o 

6 at H^ 




7 at 24 




Th. 560 


Th. 540 





Th. 45«. 




Th. 660 





Th. 66.50 


Th. 58« 


Th. 52o 



The horary variations of Quito and 
Antisana were obserred in raioy wea- 
ther. They are at that pen6d lean 
feasible 9 and less regular than at 
Mexico, and Santa Fe de Bogota. 


In order to avoid in the preceding tables the 
frequent repetition of the words morning and 
ei^ening, the hoTire are counted (according to 
the ancient method of astronomera,) from the 
passage of the sun over the meridian, so that 
the 21st hour corresponds to nine in the morn- 
ing. The barometric heights are indicated 
cither in millimetres (in the observations of 
MM. Boussihgault and Rivero), or io liDesf, and 
hundredths of lines of the French foot (in my 
observations at Cumana, la Guayra, Callao, 
Lima, Caraccas, Ibague, Popayao, Meuco, 
Quito, and Antisana) ; or finally, in inches, and 
hundredths of the English inch, (in the obser- 


from 16^ to 2U, are greater than the real 
variations, because at those epocbas the ba- 
rometer and thermometer rise and sink to- 

The sam6 thing has happened in respect to the 
horary variations of the bafdraeter,aj9 takes place 
with respect to a great nnmber of important phe- 
nomena, which the history of physfcal discoveries 
displays in the first instance, that are either 
vaguely perceived, or carefully examined, but 
published by insulated observers, who enjoy little 
celebrity. Thesie phenomena remain forgotten if 
the learned, or the academies, which in every 
age exert a great influence on the progress of the 
sciences, have not made them an object of theii' 
researches. When, afterwards, by the union of 
several observers known by other labours, or by 
a more complete disqussion of the phenomena, 
doubts are dissipated, things are then eagerly 
recognized as anciehtly known, which it is no 
longer permitted to neglect as ill-observed*. A 
learned man, father Cotte, who has rendered 
essential services to meteorology, attributed, in 
1774, notwithstanding the uniform testimony 
of so many travellers who had visited the tro- 
pics, the regularity of the horary variations to 
the imperfection of the barometers, that is, 
to a small quantity of air contained in the 
void of Torricelli, and susceptible of being di- 
lated and condensed by the increasing and de- 

creasing lietit of the day*. The first horary 
observations having beea made only near the 
coast, Mr. Playfuir, whose extensive knowledge 
and superior abilities have never been contested, 
believed for a long titne-f- that the atuiospheiic 
tides observed in the equinoxial zone, vere 
owing to the alteroatiog winds from land aad 
sea. The periodical regularity of those tides any 
now be regarded as one of the physical pheno- 
inena that are best known and most universally 
verified. It has been ascertfuned at the same 
time in the vast extent of the Ocean, and ia 
the interior of the land ; in plains, and at two 
thousand toises uf height ; between the tropics, 


'- MM. Varin, de Hayes, and de Glos* re- 
marked, in 1682, in a voyage undertaken by the 
King^s order, to Cape Verd and the American 
islands, *^ that the barometer at Goree is general- 
ly lowest when the thermometer is highest, and 
nsually two to four lines higher at night than 
in the day ; and that this instrument changes 
more from morning till night, than from night 
till morning.** 

The observations of father Beze, on the as- 
cension of the barometer in the coolest hours 
of the day, are also no less vague and inexact 'f*. 
He has been erroneously cit^d % by some natu- 
ralists, as having discovered at Pondicherryand 
Batavia, in 1690, the regularity of the horary 
variations in the tropics. Father Beze observes 
only, '^ that he is of the opinion of one of his 
friends, who thinks that the height of the baro- 
meter being so constant in the eq[uinoxial 
i*egions, may serve as a common measure, sure, 
and easily found, for all the different nations of 
the earth/' It appears singular that Richer, 
charged by the academy in 1671, to examine if 
the (mean) barometric height was the same at 
Cayenne and at Paris, had not fixed his atten- 
tion on the horary variations ^. 

* M^in. de fJcad., Vol. vii, p. 462. 
t The barometer and thermometer mount at the same 
time, from sunribe to nine m the morning. 

; L. c. p. U;;9. § L. c. p. 323. 


'I'liv ptiuuoiiieiioii of horury variations vas 
ubscrvcd in 1 72*2, for the first time, and pretty 
conii)li:tdy in the tides of day and nigbt, by a 
Dutcti naturalist, whose name has not descoid- 
cd to oiir times. It is said, in the IMfrsty 
Journal of the Hague: "The mercuiy rises* 
in that part of Dutch Guyana, every day regular- 
ly from O'' io the morning to nearly lli^; afta 
which It descends till towards S** or 3^ in the af- 
ternoon, and then returns to its first heigtL It 
baa nearly the same variations at the woe 
hours of the nigbt ; the variation is abont ) of 
a line or i of a line, at the utmost a whole line. 
It were to be wished that the philosophers of 
Etirouc woLiUI niiike tlieir conjecliires on this 


years later^ near this coast of SoriDam, oa the 
banks of the Oroonoko, confirmed, with the 
exception of the hour of the maximum . of the 
morning, the precision of the fi^st view ef the 
periods ; they prove also that the Dutch trayel- 
ler had watched several nights to determine the 
mifdmum which precedes, two or three hours 
the rising of the sun. With j^pect to the 
'^conjectures of the philosophers of Europe," 
of which the correspondent of Surinam desires 
to be informed, we cannot hitherto offer any 
that are satisfeetory. 

Father Boudier«, from 1740 to 1750, bad 
observed Uie barometer at Chandemagor in 
India. He remarked, in the manuscript jour- 
nals preserved among the papers of M. de Flsle, ' 
'^ that the greatest elevation of the mercury 
takes place every day towards nine or ten in the 
morning, and the least elevation towards three or 
four in the afternoon, and that during the great 
number of years that the barometer has been 
fixed at Chandemagor, there are not eight or 
ten days in which this uniform movement of 
mercury has not been observed.** Yet Chander- 
nagor is situated nearly at the extremity of the 
equinoxial region, in 22° 5r north latitude. 

The academicians who were sent to Quito in 

• Sec Cotte, Traits de Meteorologie, p. 24»., B. Memoiret 
Mur Ul MeUorohgie, Vol. ii, p. 802. 


1735, bad no knowledge when they left'^rope, 
of the observations made at Surinam, on (he 
regularity of the atmospheric tides ; MM. 
Boaguer and Condaraiiie attributed the disco- 
very of this regularity to oue of their col- 
leagues, M. Godin. " I also made some obser- 
vation, says la Condamine ♦, on the barometer, 
in the year 1741, at fii-st with M. Godin, and 
afterwards alone, in order to confirm M. Go- 
din's remark, who first perceived several daily 
and periodical variations. I found the baro- 
meter at its greatest height towards nine in thi? 
morning, and at its least towards three in the 
afternoon ; the mean difference (at Quito) was 
li of a line." M. de la Condamine, in his Re- 
lation du Voyage h CAmazone, returns to the 
same subject. " M. Godin," be says, " remarked 
that the variations of the barometer (iu the 
equinoxial zone,) alternate very regularly ; one 
experiment consequently suffices to judge of the 
mean barometric height-)-." 

* Voyage to the Equator, p. SO and 109. Bou^uer, who 
speaks with the same brevity of the observation of Godio, 
adds, tliat tlie variations of the buromeler at the equator, 
tve two to three liaes at the seashore, and about one line hC 
Quito, (figure de ta Terie, p. 39), We see by the work 
of M. ThibBult de Chanvalon, that Bouguer's manuscripts 
contaJncd agreat number of unpublished burary observations. 
Foyage H la Martinique, p. litS (22). 

t foyage H la Rio. den .4maz., p. 33. I have futmded on 


In 1736, a naturalist, whose sagacity and 
rare merit were not sufficiently appreciated by 
his contemporaries, M.Thibault de Chanvalon*, 
first reduced the horary observations he had 
made in the West Indies, into tables. " The ba- 
rometer,** he observes, in a work which was not 
published before 1761, " is entirely useless at 
Martinique to indicate the variations of the 
weather; but it affords a singularity which 
merits to be studied in all its details, and which 
had been already perceived by an observer at 
Surinam ; but either from the small confidence 
which travellers generally inspire, doubt was 
preferred to inyestigation, or because it re- 
quires some celebrity to give credit to extraor- 
dinary facts, the truth was never clearly pre- 
sented to the public. The regularity of the 
horary variations may be said to have been un- 
known till the journey of M. Godin to Quito. 
•Soon after my arrival at Martinique, I per- 
ceived that the barometet* mounted insensibly 
the whole morning, and after having remained 
some time without movement, began to lower 
at sunset. The most considerable revolutions 
of the atmosphere do not alter this periodical 
movement of the barometer, which coincides 

an analogous observation^ the table I have given for the ho- 
rary observations applied to the calculations of the height of 
places^ in my collection of Attron, Obs., Vol. i^ p. 289. 
• f^oyage to Martinique^ p. 136 CiO, 21, 26). 


safficiently with the horary Tuiatitms of tbe 
magnetic inclioation. Amidst the most vioknt 
rains, winds, and storms, the mercury rises or 
sinks, if it be its time to mount or descend, as 
if the air were perfectly calm. The same varia- 
tion takes place at Senegal ; for Mr. Adamsao, 
to whom I mentioned it on my arrival in 
France, had verified the fact by a long series of 
observations made by a friend in Africa, to 
whom he had sent a barometer." 

Since the year 1761, Doctor Mutis, who cul- 
tivated every branch of physical science with 
success, observed the atmospheric tides at 
Santa Pe de Bogota, with the greatest assidoity, 
and iliiriii^^ furty years. Above all, he fixed 




introduction of a memoir somewhat rai'e, and 
which bears the title of Ohservadanes meteoro^ 
logicas de las ultimos nueve meses de el aho^ 
1769. The horary observations made at Mex- 
ico were at first regarded by Cotte, as oiinng to 
the imperfection of the instruments ; bnt^ from 
the year 1784^ consequently long before he 
could have any knowledge of the labors of La- 
manon^ he recognized * his first error^ in attri* 
buting the phenomenon ^^ which he thinks he 
observed in Europe^ to a cause which has some 
relation to the atmospheric tides occasioned 
by the mpqn.'* 

Neither the observations of Thibault de 
Chanvalon (1751)^ nor the small number pub- 
lished by Alzate (1769) corresponded to the 
tropical hours, that is^ to the epochas when the 
barometer arrives at the convex, or concave 
summits of the curve of its diurnal variations ; 
in the voyage of Le Perouse, MM. Lamanon 
and Monzes made the first continued observa- 
tions in 1785, from hour to hour, during three 
days and three nights. They were then in the 
middle of the Atlantic Ocean, between the pa- 
rallels of 1^ nor. lat. and 1^ south lat. ^ 

The labors of Lamanon are eight years ante- 
rior to those which were undertaken at Calcutta 

• Memoirs of Meteorology, Tom. ii, p. 304. 

t f^oyage de la Perou$e, 1797, Tom. iv, p. 267, 264. 

by MM. Tmil, Farqiilmr, Pfiarce, and BalfbrDr; 

but as the results of the latter were inserted in 
the fourth volume of the Astatic Researchrs, 
published at Calcutta in 1795, while the voyage 
of the unfortunate Perouse appeared only in 
1797, the observations of India acquired more 
celebrity in Europe ; and from them, at my 
departure for America, I learat the regu- 
larity of the horary movemcuts of the baro- 
meter. Ideas too systematic on the periodicity 
of all the maladies in the torrid zone, and on 
the influence of the moon on the vital move- 
ments, had fixed the attention of some English 
physicians in the West Indies and at Calcutta, 
on the variations of the weight of the atmos- 
phere. Doctor Moseley • speaks of horary 
changes, in his Treatise on Tropical Diseases 
(1792, p. 3, 550, and 556), and Doctor Balfonr, 
who had not less faith in lunar and solar in- 

" " The barometer," saja Moseley, " presents a phenomc- theEngiish West India Islands, and otherregionsof the 
trnpjcs, which is not yet verifieil in the temperate zone; the 
mercury has two movements by day ; one of descent, the 
other of ascension ; they correspond to the diurnal progress 
of the sun. 'flie mercury mounts as the suu approaches the 
zenith and the nadir, and descends ns the sun recedes from 
those points." This coincidence is not rigorously trne. 
The author might have observed that the maxima precede 
the passage of the sun by the zenith and tht nadir, from one 
to three hours, and that the minima succeed that passa^ an 
equal number of hours. 


fluence on fevers tlian the physicianGi of Jamai- 
ca^ had the patience to observe the barometer 
at Calcutta in 1794^ during a whole lunar revo- 
lution^ every half hour. 

I began^ with M. Bonpland, the series of my 
observationsTon the variations of the weight of 
the atmosphere, July 18th, 1799, two days after 
our arrival atCumana^and continued them care- 
fully during five years, from the 12^ of south la- 
titude to the 23^ of north latitude, in plains, and 
on table-lands of the same height as the peak of 
Teneriffe. Since the period of my voyage to the 
equator, this phenomenon has occupied the at- 
tentionofalmostall the travellers and naturalists 
furnished with instruments fitted to m