454

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454

C H O

Spaniards, and the rest having fled, and thus
penetrating n. have confounded themselves with
other nations. It abounds in maize, plantains,
and cacao of an excellent quality ; its gold mines
render it rich and well peopled ; it also carries on,
through this branch of revenue, a great commerce
with the province of Popayan, the nativ'es of that
place coming here to purchase gold, and leaving
in exchange whatever is necessary for the comfort
and convenience of life. There is no inconsider
able number of Negro slaves employed in work
ing the mines, and in 1750 they amounted to
20,000, without mentioning the men of colour,
such as the Mustees and Mulattoes, and even Whites
who are engaged in this lucrative concern. The
climate is warm, but moist from the continual
rains, and consequently unhealthy. This country
abounds in tigers, wild boars, alligators, parrots,
monkeys of various sorts, and a multitude of rep
tiles and insects, especially in vipers and ve
nomous snakes ; such as corales, exis, and rattle
snakes. Here are also an infinite variety of beau
tiful sorts of wood, curious balsams, herbs, fruits,
and flowers. It was subject to the government of
Popayan, until it became divided in the time of
Don Fernando Guerrero. All the gold which is
taken out of the mines here, and which is the cur
rent money, was formerly carried to be coined at
the mint of Santa Fe, until that the house of
Valencia established another, at its own cost, in the
city of Popayan ; this privilege having been first
granted that house by the mayoralty, though it
was afterwards taken away and added by the king
to the crown, upon the payment of a compensation
of 100,000 reals per annum to the original pro
prietors. This province extends 48 leagues from
s. to n. and is 39 in width from e. to w. The
capital is the city of Nevita.

[Choco, Canal of. In the interior of the pro
vince of Choco, the small ravine (quebrada) De
la Raspadura unites the neighbouring sources of
the Rio de Noanama, called also Rio San Juan,
and the small river Quito : the latter, the Rio
Andageda, and the Rio Zitasa, form the Rio
d’Atrata, which discharges itself into the Atlantic
ocean, while the Rio San Juan flows into the S.
sea. A monk of great activity, cure of the village
of Novita, employed his parishioners to dig a
small canal in the ravine De la Raspadura, by
means of which, when the rains are abundant,
canoes loaded with cacao pass from sea to sea.
Th is interior communication has existed since
1788, unknown in Europe. The small canal of
Raspadura unites, on the coasts of the two oceans,

C H O

two points 75 leagues distant from one ano
ther.]

CHOCO, San Juan Chrisostomo de , another
settlement of the province and corregimiento of
Condesuyos de Arequipa in Peru.

[CHOCOLATE Creek, a head-water of Tioga
river in New York, whose mouth lies 10 miles
s. w. of the Painted post.]

[CHOCOLOCO-CA, which the Spaniards call
Castro Vireyna, a town of Peru, 60 leagues s. e.
of Lima, is very famous for its silver mines,
which are at the top of a great mountain always
covered with snow, and but two leagues from the
town. The stones of the mine are, of a dark blue
colour ; these being calcined and powdered, then
steeped in water and quicksilver, the filth is sepa
rated, and the silver melted and formed into bars.
These veins are not very rich, but the metal is very
fine. They make plenty of wine here, where it
attains a greater degree of perfection, owing to the
pureness of the air, than it is observed to have else
where.]

CHOCONA, a settlement of the province and
corregimiento of Paria in Peru; annexed to the
curacy of Toledo.

CHOCONTA, a settlement of the corregimiento
of Guatavita in the Nuevo Reyno de Granada.
It is of a cold but healthy temperature, being
situate upon a llanura. It produces abundance
of wheat, maize, papas, barley, and garlic, of the
whole of which an abundant crop is gathered ;
these indeed form the principal branches of its
commerce, as they supply all the neighbouring
provinces. It was , in the time of the Indians a
large, rich, and populous city, and the barrier
of the province of Tunja; also the place where
the zipas held a garrison of their best troops.
This city was entered by Gonzalo Ximinez de
Quesada in 1537, when he gave it the name of
Espiritu Santo, from this festival having been
celebrated here. After the conquest of the Spa
niards it became a became a curacy of the relio-ion
of St. Domingo, and was one of those which was
considered the first step to the advantages to be
derived from these missions. It was close to this
settlement that the sanguinary conflict took place
which was fought between Michua, king of Tunja,
and Saguanmachica, zipa or king of Bogota, in
which both princes fell dead upon the field ; at
present it is a small village of Indians, who amount
to the number of 200, besides 400 other inhabi
tants, who consist of whites. Ten leagues n. of
Santa Fe, and as many from Tunja, just midway
betweeen these two jurisdictions.

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