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CARACAS.

SOT

[Of the population two tenths are whites, tliree
slaves, four freedmen and their descendants, and
the remainder Indians. There is scarcely any emi
gration from Spain to Tierra Firme. The govern
ment of Caracas, like tliat of other parts of Spanish
America, is so constituted as to keep it dependent
on the parent country. The governor or captain
general represents the monarch, and commands the
military force. There are delegated governors,
who have each an assessor : the royal audience of
Caracas consists of a president, who is tlie captain
general, a regent, three judges, two fiscals, one
for criminal afi’airs, the other for the finances, with
a reporter and other necessary officers. It adminis
ters justice, regulates the finances, and has other
great prerogatives. The naval force of Tierra
Firme is trifling, and could not resist a single frigate.
Several sea-ports have fortresses. Maracaibo has
25,000 inhabitants, is defended by three forts and
four companies of troops of tlie line, and a propor
tion of militia. The haven or port of Coro, called
La Vela de Coro, sixteen leagues e. of Maracaibo,
had at the time of General Miranda’s expedition in
1S06, two batteries with 15 or 18 pieces of cannon
of various calibres from six to 18 pounders. Puerto
Cabello, 58 leagues to the e. of Coro, has a strong
fort with a large and numerous artillery. In time
of war it is supplied with two companies of regular
troops. In case of attack, says Depons, 3000
militia might be collected here in eight days. La
Guaira, the haven of Caracas, 25 leagues to the e.
of Puerto Cabello, is very strongly fortified. Cu
mana, 100 leagues e. of La Guaira, is of difficult
access, has a fort, and might collect a force of 5000
men. The island of Margareta, four leagues n. of
Curnana, has trifling batteries, one company of re
gular troops, one of artillery, and several of militia.
Thus it appears tlie strong places are distant from
each other (30 or 100 leagues ; hence it is observed,
a debarkation on the coast might easily be efl'ected
in various places, and the troops proceed into the
country, whilst the ships, by attacking the forts,
would distract the military operations. The mili
tary force, as stated by Depons, is a regiment of re
gular troops of 918 fnen, distributed at Caracas,
La Guaira, and Puerto Cabello: 400 troops of the
line are at Maracaibo, at Curnana 150, at Guiana
150, and at Barpias 77. The artillery at the re
spective {jlaces is served by separate companies
besides militia ; the whole armed force of the cap
tainship-genera^regulartroopsand militia, is stated
at 13,059. There is no religion but the Homan
Catholic. To be suspected of heresy is dangerous ;
to be convicted, fatal. The tribunals of the in
quisition are erected at Mexico, Lima, and Carta-

gena, and are very powefful. They prohibit bad
books to the number of 5420. Spanish America
abounds in priests, who are held in great respect ;
the missionaries are numerous ; the churciies are
decent and often elegant. The tithes are paid, one
tenth part to the king, one fourth to the bisliop, one
fourth to the chapter, and remainder to the parish
priests and to other pious uses. The income of the
bishop of Caracas is 40,000 dollars. The produc
tions of this region are cacao, coffee, sugar, indigo,
and tobacco. Besides the present products, there
is a great variety 'of others which the soil offers to
the inhabitants, without requiring any advance, or
subjecting them to any trouble, but that of collect
ing and bestowing on them a light a?id easy pre
paration. Among these Depons mentions
wild cochineal, dyeing woods and barks, gums,
rosin, and medical oils, herbs, roots and bark for
medicine. From this country half Europe might
be supplied with wood for its furniture and cabinet
work. Commerce might draw much from the ani
mal kingdom. The neat cattle are calculated at
1,200,0(X) ; horses and mares 180,000 ; and mules
at 90,000 ; sheep are innumerable, and deer abun
dant : notwithstanding this abundance, agriculture
is at a low ebb in this country. La Guaira,
Puerto Cabello, Maracaibo, Curnana, Barcelona,
and Margareta, havearight to trade with the mother
country. In 1796 the imports from Spain to Ca
racas were estimated at 3,1 18,8117^^ dollars, and
the exports at 283,316 dollars. There is a limited
trade to the other colonies, which brings about
400,000 dollars into the country. It exports to
foreign West India islands articles of its own pro
duce, except cacao, in neutral bottoms ; part of the
returns must be in Negroes or in farming or house
hold utensils, and the remainder in specie. But
this remainder is principally smuggled in manu
factured goods. The contraband trade, divided
chiefly between Jamaica, Curasao, and Trinidad,
was estimated at 750,000 dollars annually before
the war of 1796. It has increased greatly since
that period. The whole regular exports of Ca
racas from 1793 to 1796 are stated at 12,252,415
dollars ; from 1797 to 1800, 6,442,318 dollars.
The finances of Caracas are under the direc
tion of an intendant. The revenue arises prin
cipally from the customs, a duty of five per cent,
on sales from stamps, licences, and tithes, and
from the produce of the cruzada and of the sale of
tobacco. T’he two last are destined for the treasury
at home. There is usually a deficit, even in time
of peace ; in 1797 the receipt was 1, 147,788 dol
lars ; expenditure, 1,886,363. According to
Humboldt, the dollars imported into Caracas in j

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