The geographical and historical dictionary of America and the West Indies [volume 1]




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linas and that of Chirgua, in the space left by these rivers as they run to enter the Portuguesa.

CULEBRAS, rio de, a settlement of the same province and government (Venezuela) as is the former lake ; situate on the sliore of the river Yaraqui, to the e. of the town of San Felipe.

CULEBRAS, RIO DE, an island of the N. sea, near the coast of the province and government of Cartagena, at the entrance of the large river of La Magdalena.

CULEBRILLAS, a small island of the S. sea, in the bay of Panama, of the province and government of Tierra Firme; is one of those which Ibrm with that of Perico the port of this name. .

CULIACAN, a province and alcald'm mayor of the kingdom of Nueva Galicia ; bounded n. and n. e. by the province of Cinaloa, s. by that of Copala, s. w. by the kingdom of Niieva Fizcaya, s. by that of Chiamatlan, and w. by the gulf of California. It is 60 leagues in length and 50 in Avidth. It is fertile, apd abounds in all sorts of productions; is watered by various rivers, particularly the Umaya, Avhich is very large, and in which are caught great quantities offish. It empties itself into the S. sea, in the port of Navitoos. It abounds in various earths, salt, and silver mines, and in many settlements of Mexican Indians, reduced by the missionaries of the religion of St. Francis. The capital is of the same name. Lat.24°58'??.

CULIACAN, with the dedicatory title of San Miguel, a town which was founded by Nunez de Guzman in 1531 ; situate on the banks of a small river, Avhich afterwards unites itself Avith the Umaya. It is 160 leagues from Guadalaxara, and 260 from Mexico. The other settlements of this province are,

Cozela Real de Minas==, ==Binapa, Tacuchameta==, ==Baita.


CULIACAN, a settlement of the intendancy of Sonora in Nueva Espana, celebrated in the Mexican history under the name of Hueicolhuacan. The population is estimated at 10,800 souls.]

CULIACAN, a river of this province (Sonora), which divides the jurisdiction of the same from that of Cinaloa. It runs into the sea at the entrance of the gulf of California, or Mar Roxo de Cortes. At its mouth or entrance are some very dangerous shoals of the same name. See St. Michael.

CULLI, a settlement of the province and corregimiento of Canta in Peru j annexed to the curacy of Pari.

CULLOUMAS, a settlement of Indians, of ths province and colony of Georgia ; situate on the shore of the river Apalachicola.

CULLOUMAS, a settlement of the province and corregirnienlo of Canta in Peru ; annexed to thecuracy of San Buenaventura.

CULLUE, a large lake of the province and corregimiento of Tarma in Peru. From it is formed the canal Avhich empties itself into the river Paria.

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

CULLURQUI, a settlement of the province and corregimiento of Cotabambas in Peru, in the vicinity of which, in an estate for breeding cattle, is a poor chapel of Santa Rosa, and near to this two very large rocks, Avhich, being touched with small stones, send forth a sound similar to bells of the best temper and metal.

CULPEPPER, a county in Virginia, between the Blue ridge and the tide waters, which contains 22,105 inhabitants, of whom 8226 are slaves. The court-house of this county is 45 miles from Fredericksburg, and 95 from Charlottesville.]

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

CULTEPEQUE, a settlement of the real of the silver mines of the province and alcaldia mayor of Tlaxcala in Nueva Espana.

CULUACAN, San Lucas de, a settlement of the head settlement and alcatdia mayor of Yzucár in Nueva Espana. It contains 50 tamilies of Indians, and Avas formerly the capital of the jurisdiction. Here there still remain some baths of warm water, celebrated for the cure of many infirmities. It is two leagues to the s. Avith a slight inclination to the 5. e. of its head settlement.

CUMA, San Antonio de, a town of the province and captainship of Marañan in Brazil. It contains a good parish-church, two convents of monks, one of the order of Carmen, and the other of La Merced ; and at a short distance from the town is a house Avhich was the residetice of the regulars of the company of .Jesuits. This town belongs to the lordship of the house of Antonio Alburquerque Coello de Carballo. It is three leagues from its capital.

CUMA, San Antonio de, another settlement in this province and kingdom (Marañan Brazil); situate near the coast and the cape of its name.

CUMA, San Antonio de. This cape is .also in the same captainship^ (Marañan) between a bar and the bay of Cabelo de Yelha. The aforesaid bar is a

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shoal of rock, Vfliich runs into the sea at the entrance of the river Maranan, in the same province.

CUMAIPI, a small river of the country of Las Amazonas, or part of Guayana possessed by the Portuguese. It runs c. under the equinoctial line, and enl^ers tlie Marailon, at its mouth or entrance into the sea.

CUMANA, a province and government of S. America, called also Nueva Andalucia ; though, properly sj)eaking, the latter is only a part of Cuinana, which contains in it also other provinces. It extends 76 geographical leagues from e. to w. from the point of Piedra, the oriental extremity of Tierra Firme, on the coast of Paria, and great mouth of Drago, as far as the mouth of the river Unare, the deep ravines of which form, as it Avere, limits to the w. between this province and that of Venezuela; the waters of the aforesaid river running for a great distance towards the serrama or settlement of Pariguan ; from wliich point the line of division is undecided as far as the river Orinoco, 20 leagues to the s. From the w. to s. it is 270 leagues, namely, from the sea-coast to the great river or country of Las Amazonas, the territory of which is divided by the renowned river Orinoco. On the e. it is terminated by the sea, which surrounds the coast of Paria, the gulf Triste, the mouths of the Orinoco, the river Esquivo and Cayenne ; on the s. no. it is bounded by the Nuevo Reyno de Granada, which extends its limits as far as the river Orinoco, being divided by this river from Guayana. It is a continued serTanitty running along the whole coast from e. to w. being nine or 10 leagues wide ; and although it is not without some llanos or extensive plains, these are but little known, and are entirely impassable, owing to the swamps and lakes caused by the inundations of the rivers which flow down from the sierra. The sierra, in that part which looks to the n. is barren, and in the vicinities of the coast the soil is impregnated with nitre, and is unfruitful. The temperature is healthy but cold, especially at night. The most common productions of this province are maize, which serves as bread, supplying the want of wheat, ^uca root, of which another kind of bread is made, cosabe, plantains, and other fruits and pulse peculiar to America ; also cacao, although with great scarcity, and only in the n. part ; and sugar-canes, which are only cultivated in a sufficient degree to supply the sugar consumed here. It has some cattle ; and although there are means of breeding and feeding many herds, the natives choose rather to supply themselves from


the neighbouring province of Barcelona, notwithstanding the difficulty of bringing them hither over sucli rugged and almost impassable roads. Tlie whole of the coast yields an immense abundance of fish, also of shell fish of various kinds, and of the most delicate flavour. Of these the consumjitiou is very great, and a great proportion of them are salted, and carried to the inland parts ; and to the province of Venezuela alone upwards of 6000 quintals yearly. It has several convenient and secure ports and bays, and indeed the whole coast is covered with them, as the sea is here remarkably calm, and peculiarly so in the celebrated gulf of Cariaco, as also in the gulfs of the lake of Obispo, Juanantar, and Gurintar. It has many very abundant saline grounds, so much so, that the whole coast may be looked upon as forming one ; since in any part of it as many might be established as were necessary ; and this without mentioning that celebrated one of Araya, and those of the gulf Triste, between the settlements of Iraca and Soro, and the Sal Negra, (Black Salt), used only by the Indians. In this province there are only three rivers of consideration, that of Cariaco, of Cumana, and of Guarapiche : the others which flow down from the serrama are of little note, and incorporate themselves with the former before they arrive in the valley. Its jurisdiction contains six settlements belonging to the Spaniards, seven belonging to the Indians, 13 to the missions supported by the Aragonese Capuchin fathers, and 16 belonging to the regular clergy. [From the river Unare to'the city of Cumana, the soil is very fertile. From the Araya to the distance of between 20 and 25 leagues, more to the e. the coast is dry, sandy, and unfruitful. The soil is an inexhaustible mine both of marine and mineral salt. That which is near the Orinoco is fit only for grazing, and this is the use to which it is put. It is here that all the pens of the province are kept. All the rest of this country is admirably fertile. The prairies, the valleys, the hills, proclaim by their verdure and by the description of the produce, that nature has deposited here the most active principles of vegetable life. The most precious trees, the mahogany, the Brazil and Campechy woods, grow even up to the coast of Paria ; and there are found here many rare and agreeable birds. In the interior of the government of Cumana are mountains, some of Avhich are very high : the highest is the Tumeriquiri, which is 936 fathoms above the surface of the sea. The cavern of Guacharo, so famous among the Indians, is in this mountain. It is immense, and serves as an habitation for thousands of night birds, 1 4 B 2

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C U M A N A.

[a new species of the caprimulgas of Linnaeus, the fat of which makes the oil of Guacharo. Its situation is majestic, and ornamented with the most brillant vegetation. A pretty large river issues from the cavern, and in the interior are heard the dismal cries of the birds, which the Indians ascribe to departed souls, which they think are all obliged to enter this cavern, to pass into the other world. The principal colonies belonging to Cumana lie to tlie w. ; as Barcelona, Piritu, Clarinas, &c. At 12 leagues to s. e. of Cumana is the valley of Cumanacoa, where are tobacco plantations belonging to the king. The soil there is so adapted to this species of produce, that the tobacco ground has obtained a decided preference throughout the country over that which is cultivated in any other part of Tierra Firme. Cigars made of the tobacco of Cumanacoa fetch easily double the price of those made v/ith the tobacco of any other place. In the environs of Cumanacoa, are the Indian villages of San Fernando, Arenas, Aricagua, which are all situated on an extremely fertile soil. Farther in the interior are the valleys of Carepe, Guanaguana, Cocoyar, &c. which are also very fertile, but uncultivated ; but the part which appears most to promise prosperity is the coast of the gulfof Paria, between the most s. mouth of the Orinoco and the mouth of the Guarapiche. The whole territory of the government of Cumana is completely hemmed in by ravines, rivulets, and rivers, equally useful for the purposes of watering the land, working hydraulic machines, and for navigation. The rivers that discharge themselves into the sea to the n. are the Neveri and Mansanares, both possessing little water, and having but short courses. Those that fall into the gulf of Paria to the e. flow through greater extent of country. Some join the river Guarapiche, which is navigable as far as 25 leagues from the sea ; and of these are the Colorado, Guatatar, Caripe, Punceres, Tigre, Guayuta^ &c. There are others which run to the s. and after having watered the province, fall into the Orinoco. The produce of the government of Cumana can therefore be shipped, according to convenience, to the n. by Barcelona and Cumana; to the e. by the gulf of Paria, and to the s. by the Orinoco. At an average of four years, from 1799 to 1803, the quantity of cacao exported from this province amounted to 18,000 fanegas. Its population is 80,000 persons, including the missions of the Aragonese Capuchins. The capital is

Cumana, Santa Ines de, a city founded by Gonzalo de Ocampo in 1520. It is of a hot and unhealthy temperature, and its territory is dry and

unfruitful. It lies within a cannon’s shot of the seashore, in the gulf formed by the sea in the shape of a semicircle, where all kinds of vessels may be built. On its beech is a saline ground, which, without being regularly worked, supplies sufficient salt both for the use of the city and of the immediate settlements. It lies in the middle of the llanura, or plain of the river of its name. The same river passes in front of the city, serving as a barrier to it, and so enters the mouth of the gulf. At the back begins the serrama, which for more than eight leagues is sterile and impassable, on account of brambles and thorns. The soil towards the front of the city is composed of pebble, gypsum, and sand, which, during the prevalence of the wind Brha, occasions an excessive heat, (and is very offensive to the eyes ; bad sight being here a very common malady. Nearly in the centre of the town, upon an elevated ground, stands the castle of Santa Maria de la Cabeza, which is of a square figure, and commands the city. In the lofty part of the sierra are seen three round hills ; upon the highest of which stands a castle called San Antonio, and upon the lowest a fort called La Candelaria. There is upon the beach another castle, which is denominated the fort of Santa Catalina : The same is at the mouth of the river, just where a sand bank has of late been formed, so as to block up the entrance of the river, and to render it dangerous for large vessels. The fort is at some distance from the gulf; and as a wood has of late sprung up between this and the shore, it is not possible to see the water from the fort. It has, besides the parish church, which is very poor, two convents of monks, one of St. Francis, and the other of St. Domingo. These form its population, amounting to 600 souls, who maintain themselves in the poor estates, which are about 50 in number, and produce some sugar-canes, of which are made brandy, and sugar of the colour of a yellow wax used in the country : some fruits and yucasy maize and cacao, are also grown here, but in such small quantities that a crop never yields upwards of 100 bushels. These estates are, for the most part, at some distance from the city, and the greater number of them are inhabited by their masters, the poorer inhabitants alone dwelling in the city. At a small distance from it, is an hermitage dedicated to Nuestra Sefiora del Carmen. [Reaumur’s thermometer rises here generally in the month of July to 23° daring the day and to 19° during the night.

The maximum, 27°.

The minimum, 17°.


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C U M A N A.

The elevation of the city above the level of the sea is 53 feet. In July, Duluc’s hydrometer generally indicates from 50° to 53° of humidity.

The maximum, 66°.

The minimum, 46°.

By Seaussure’s cyanometer, there are 24|° of blue in the sky, whilst at Caracas there are only 18, and in Europe generally 14.

The seat of the government of the two provinces is at the city of Cnmana. The governor, nominated for five years, is also vice-patron, and in this capacity nominates to all vacant cures, and fills all the church offices, the appointment to which forms a part of the prerogative of the crown. He has the administration of the finances of his department, as deputy of the intendants ; and in this capacity he superintends the levying of the taxes, decides disputes, directs the ordinary expences, and receives the accounts of the offices of administration ; but the political relations Avith foreign colonies, and all military matters, depend on the captain-general of Caracas. The governor is also under the orders of the intendant in his fiscal regulations and commercial measures. To the «. of the city of Cumana lies the gulf of Cariaco. The river Mansanares, which separates on the s. the city from the suburbs inhabited by the Guayqueris Indians, surrounds the s. and the ay. sides of the town. This is the only water that the inhabitants of Cumana drink. It has the inconvenience of often being not limpid, though rarely unwholesome. The city enjoys a healthy, but scarcely ever a fresh air ; the heat is continual. The sea-breeze is nevertheless very regular, and moderates, during a great part of the day, the blaze of the sun. The only defence that , Cumana has is u fort, situated on an elevation ranging along the back of the city. The city itself has but a garrison of 231 troops of the line, and a company of artillery. The militia increases the public force in time of Avar. The total number of inhabitants is 24,000. The city is now four times as large as it Avas fifty years ago. It increases Avith so much rapidity that the ancient boundaries not affording convenient space for ncAv houses, people have been obliged, within this short time, to build upon the left bank of the Mansanares, to the w. of the village of the Guayqueris. These ncAv houses are already so numerous as to form a village communicating Ay'ith the city by a bridge : and the inhabitants, for their convenience, had built, in 1803, a church. The first street that was formed was named Emparau, in honour of the governor of this name. All the houses of Cumanti are loAV, and rather solidly built. The frequent earthquakes


experienced here since these ten years, have obliged them to sacrifice beauty and elegance to personal safety. The violent shocks felt in December 1797, thrcAV down almost all the stonebuildings, and rendered uninhabitable those that were left standing. The earthquake experienced here in November 1799, caused a variation of the needle of 45 minutes. According to M. de Humboldt, Cumana is exposed to these earthquakes in consequence of its proximity to the lake of Cariaco, Avhich appears to have some communication Avith the volcanoes of Cumucuta, which vomit hydrogen gas, sulphur, and hot bituminous water. It is observed that the earthquakes happen only after the rains, and then the caverns of the Cuchivano vomit during night inflammable gas, which is seen to blaze 200 yards high. It is probable that the decomposition of the water in the slate marl, Avhich is full of pyrites, and contains hydrogenous particles, is one of the principal causes of this phenomenon. The population of Cumana, amounting to 80,000 souls, is a great part composed of white Creoles, amongst Avhom much natural capacity is discovered. They are very much attached to their native soil, and generally give themselves up entirely to the occupation IhatEirth or fortune has assigned them. Some are employed in agriculture, commerce, and navigation, and others in fishing. The abundance of fish found about Cumana enables them to salt an astonishing quantity, Avhich they send to Caracas and the other cities of these provinces, as well as to theWindAvard islands, from whence they import in return iron tools for husbandry, provisions, and contraband merchandise. The cargoes are ahvays of little value. They are satisfied with small profits, Avhich they augment by the frequency of the voyages. Capitals of 4 or 5000 dollars, which in other places Avould appear insufficient for any' commercial enterprise, support five or six families at Cumana. Activity and perseverance form almost the only source of the comfort that reigns here. The Creoles of CumaiiciAvho engage in literary pursuits are distinguished by their penetration, judgment, and application. They have not e.xactly the vivacity' observable in the Creoles of Maracaibo, but they compensate for this by superior good seiise and solidity of parts. The retail trades of Cumana are carried on by Catalonians and people from the Canaries. Among the productions in which this cit^ trades, the racno and cacuooil deserve to be mentioned. Medicinal plants might also form an important article of commerce,, were not the inhabitants ignorant of their qualities, and the manner of preparing them. There is-

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found in the environs of Cumana what the Spaniards call til spa, a species of the Jesuits’ bark ; the calaguala, a plant, the root of which is dissolvent, aperitive, and sudorific ; the pissiphii, a species of emetic ; the caranapire, a species of sage ; and the tualua, a more powerful purgative than jalap. There arc also a great number of spices, which are suffered to rot on the spot where ' first they grew. In lat. 10° 27'. Long. 64° IS'.] The settlements of the province of Cumana are,

San Baltasar de los Cum pa,

Arias, Rio Caribes,

San Felipe de Austria, A raja.

Those of the missions,

Cocuisas, San Francisco,

San Feliz, Santa Maria de los An-

San Lorenzo, geles,

Chacaracuan, San Antonio.

Of the doctrines {dodrinas),















Cumana, a river of the above province (Cumaná) and government, which rises in the spot called Cocoyan, in the serrama. It runs n. following this course continually through the sierra until it flows down to the plain near the city, from whence it enters the gulf, first having divided itself into four arms. In the winter time it generally overflows ; but as the distance from the sierra to its mouth, or where it enters the sea, is so short, it quickly subsides within its proper bed, when it leaves water enough for the navigation of a barge ; and there w ould be sufficient for large vessels, were it not for the bar which is at its mouth and impedes its entrance. In the summer time, however, it becomes so dry, tliat it is scarcely navigable for canoes.

CUMANACOA, a city lying s. e. of Cumana 14 leagues ; in the middle of the valley of the same name. The population amounts to 4200 people ; the air is wholesome, the w aters have a diureticquality not commonly to be met with. This city wants nothing but hands to avail itself of the productions which the richness of the land would yield, if it were cultivated. The fruits have here an uneommonly fine savour, taste, and substance. The government gives this city the name of San Baltasar de los Arias, but that of Cumanacoa has so much prevailed, that it is the only one by which it is now known. See Cumana.


CUMANAGOTA, a city of the former province and government ((Cumaná), in the kingdom of Tierra Firme, called also San Baltasar de los Arias. It has a good, convenient, and secure port ; is situate on the skirts of the most elevated part of the serrama, in a fertile valley, which abounds in streams, which irrigate 26 estates of yucales, some small plantations of cacao, and some cattle. The productions of all these estates are consumed in the country ; since, through the unevenness of the roads, it is impossible to carry^them out of it, with the exception, however, of tobacco, with which Cumana is supplied. The soil is the most fertile of any in the province, especially to the n. of the sietTa, where there might be established some very good cacao estates ; but this is not to be accomplished, considering the scarcity of its inhabitants, and their great poverty. This city, just after the conquest of these countries, was noted for its famous pearl-fisheries, which were afterwards abandoned. Its vicinity was inhabited by many gentile Indians, who were at continual enmity with the Spaniards and the other inhabitants ; but these troublesome people were reduced to obedience by Don Juan de Urpin, who had held consultations for that purpose with the council of the Indies. The population amounts to 800 souls, including the Negro slaves and the people of colour.

CUMAPI, a large lake of the country of Las Amazonas. It is a waste water of the large river Caqueta, in the territory of the Guayonas Indians.

CUMARA, a river of the province and country of Las Amazonas, in the territory possessed by the Portuguese, is an arm of the Cuchivara or Purus, which enters the Maranon before the other streams which are tributary to this river.

CUMAREBO, a settlement of the province and government of Venezuela ; situate on the seacoast, and at the point of its name, with a good, though small port, and one that is much frequented by vessels.

CUMARU, Los Santos Angeles de, a settlement of the province and country of Las Amazonas, in the part possessed by the Portuguese; situate on the shore of a large river.

CUMATEN, a small river of the province and colony of Surinam, or part of Guayana possessed by the Dutch. It rises in the mountain of Areyuctuquen, and runs, collecting the waters of many others, to enter the Cuyuni on the s. side.

CUMATl, a small river of the province and government of Paraguay. It runs s. and enters the large river of the Portuguese.

CUMAYARIS, a barbarous nation of Indians,

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