The geographical and historical dictionary of America and the West Indies [volume 1]
alcaldía mayor of Chiapa, in the kingdom of Guatemala. Lat. 16° 53' N Long. 93° 52' W. It is situate on the Tobasco river, near the city of Chiapa, and not far from a bay in the S. sea, called Teguantipac.
ACAPONETA, the alcaldía mayor of the kingdom of Galicia, and bishopric of Guadalaxara, in Nueva España. Its jurisdiction is reduced. It enjoys various hot and cold temperatures, and has therefore the crops peculiar to both climates; and the same are sown in its district, and produce abundantly. The capital is the town of the same name, situate between the two rivers St. Pedro and de Cartas ; the latter dividing Nueva España from the provinces of Rosario and Cinaloa, as also the bishoprics of Durango and Gaudalaxara, from whence it is distant 83 leagues, W. N. W. It has a convent of the order of St. Francisco. Long. 105° 40' 30". Lat. 22° 43' 30".
ACAPULCO, the capital city of the government of Nueva España, situate on the coast of the S. sea. Its inhabitants amount to nearly 400 families of Chinese, Mulattoes, and Negroes. It has a parish church, with two vicars, and two convents, one of the order of St. Francis, and the other of St. Hyppolite de la Casidad, which is a royal hospital ; an office of public accounts, with an accountant and treasurer for the managing and keeping the accounts of the duties produced by the goods brought in the China ships. The city is small, and the churches and houses are moderately ornamented. The greater part of the city is on the seashore. The air is of an extremely hot and moist temperature ; for, independent of its being in the torrid zone, it is entirely shut oxit from the N. winds, being surrounded by lofty serranias. These circumstances render it very unhealthy, especially in the wet season, on account of the damps and seawinds blowing from the S. E. to the great detriment of the inhabitants and merchants who come to trade here ; this being the principal cause why there are scarcely more than eight Spanish families who reside here. It is equally in want of every sort of provision, owing to the reduced and barren state of the land, and is forced to seek its necessary supplies from the Indian settlements within its jurisdiction. The only commerce which it can be said to have, is afair which is held on the arrival of the ships from China ; and when these depart, there are no other means for the people of maintaining a trade, and if the above resource should happen to fail for three or four years, the place must inevitably be abandoned. At the distance of a musketshot, and on a promontory running far into the sea, is situate the castle and royal fort of San Diego, mounted with 31 pieces of artillery, the greater part of them 24 pounders, for the defence of the entrance of the port, which is safe, and so spacious, that 500 ships can lay at anchor in it with ease. It is surrounded by lofty rising grounds. Its principal mouth is on the S. side, formed by an Island of an oblong figure, and somewhat inclining to the S. W. The same Island forms also Acatlan mouth, which they call chica, or little. The canals on either side of the Island are 25 fathoms deep. The governor of the castle has the rank of castellano, with the title of lieutenant general of the coasts of the S. sea ; and for the defence of these coasts, there are three companies of militia, composed of the the whole of the inhabitants, namely, one company of Chinese, Acatlan another of Mulattoes, and the third of Negroes, who run to arms whenever they hear the cannon fired three times at short intervals. In the settlements of its neighbourhood they grow cotton, maize, and other seeds, vegetables and fruits. They have cattle of the large and small kind, and some tobacco, all of which productions are sufficient for the use of the castle and the city, which is 80 leagues distant from Mexico. — [The famous cut in the mountain, (Abra de San Nicholas), near the bay de la Langosta, for the admission of the sea winds, was recently finished. The population of this miserable town, inhabited almost exclusively by people of colour, amounts to 9000 at the time of the arrival of the Manilla galleon (nao de China). Its habitual population is only 4000. The chief trade of Acapulco continues still to be its commerce with Manilla. The Manilla ship arrives once a year at Acapulco, with a cargo of Indian goods, valued at 12 or 1300,000 dollars, and carries back silver in exchange, with a very small quantity of American produce, and some European goods. Lat. according to Humboldt, 16° 50' 29". Long, by ditto, 99° 46'. Lat. according to the Spaniards, 16° 50' 30". Long, by ditto, 160°. Both longitudes being measured from the meridian of Greenwich.] ACARAGA, a river of the province and government of Paraguay. It rises in the province of the Parana, and running n. enters the Uruguay where is the city of Asuncion. It is navigable by canoes throughout, and abounds in fish.
ACARAI, a settlement of the province and government of Paraguay, founded near the river Paraná, and rather towards the W by the missionary Jesuits, in 1624, where they also built a fort to protect it against the incursions of the infidel Indians.
ACARI, a settlement of the province and corregimiento of Camaná, in Perú, situate in a beautiful and extensive valley, in which there is a very lofty mountain, which they call Sahuacario, composed of misshapen stones and sand, in which, at certain times of the year, especially in the months of December and January, is heard a loud and continued murmuring, which excites universal astonishment, and which, no doubt, is to be attributed to the air in some of its cavities. On its skirts are two fortresses, which were built in the time of the gentilism of the Indians. There is a port halfway between the town of St. Juan and the city of Arequipa, which is 8 leagues distant from the latter, and 11 from the former. It is very convenient, and has an excellent bottom, but is frequented only by small vessels. It is in lat. 15° 15'. S Long. 75° 8' 30" W
another river, of the province and capitainship of Pará in the kingdom of Brasil. It is small, runs N afterwards inclines to the N N W and enters the river of Las Amazonas, just where this empties itself into the sea.
[ACASATHULA, a sea-port, situated on a point of land, in the province of Guatemala Proper, in Mexico, on a bay of the S. sea, about four leagues from Trinidad. It receives the greatest part of the treasures from Perú and Mexico. In its neighbourhood are three volcanoes.]
ACATEPEC, a settlement of the head settlement and alcaldía mayor of Thehuacan, where there is a convent or vicarage of the order of St. Francis. It contains 860 Indian families (including those of the wards of its district) in a spacious valley, which begins at the end of the settlement and extends itself above a league. In this valley are 12 cultivated estates, on which live 40 Indian families. It is four leagues S S W of its capital.
another settlement in the head settlement and district of Chinantla, of the alcaldía mayor of Cozamaloapan. It is situate in a very pleasant plain, and surrounded by three lofty mountains. The number of its inhabitants is reduced. A very rapid and broad river passes near this settlement; and as this is the direct way to the city of Oaxaca and other jurisdictions, and as the travellers, who come here in great numbers, must necessarily cross the river in barks or canoes, the Indians, who are very expert in this sort of navigation, contrive by these means to procure themselves a decent livelihood. 10 leagues W of its head settlement.
Tlacolula, from whence it is distant a league ant a half to the N.
ACATEPEQUE, S. Franciso de, a settlement of the head settlement of St. Andres de Cholula, and alcaldía mayor of this name. It contains 140 Indian families, and is half a league to the S of its capital.
ACATLAN, a settlement and capital of the alcaldía mayor of this name. It is of a mild temperature, and its situation is at the entrance of the Misteca Baxa. It contains 850 families of Indians, and 20 of Spaniards and Mustees. In its vicinity are some excellent saltgrounds, in which its commerce chiefly consists. The jurisdiction of this alcaldía, which contains four other head settlements of the district, is fertile and pleasant, abounding in flowers, fruits, all kinds of pulse and seeds, and is well watered. They have here large breeds of goats, which they slaughter chiefly for the skin and the fat, salting down the flesh, and sending it to La Puebla and other parts to be sold. In its district are many cultivated lands. It is 55 leagues leagues to the E S E of Mexico. Long. 275° 10' W Lat. 19° 4' N.
another settlement of the same name, with the dedicatory title of S. Andres, in the head settlement and alcaldía mayor of Xalapa, in the same kingdom, situate on a clayey spot of ground, of a cold moist temperature, rendered fertile by an abundance of streams, which in a very regular manner water the lands; although,it being void of mountains and exposed to the N winds, the fruits within its neighourhood do not come to maturity. It contains 180 Indian families, including those of the new settlement, which was established at a league's distance to the S of its head settlement, and which is called San Miguel de las Aguastelas. Acatlan is a league and a half distant from its head settlement.
another settlement, having the dedicatory title of San Pedro, belonging to the head settlement of Malacatepec and alcaldía mayor of Nexapa, in the same kingdom. It contains 80 Indian families, who trade in wool and in the fish called bobo, quantities of which are found in a large river which runs close by the settlement, and which are a great source of emolument to them. It is four leagues N of its capital.
another settlement of the head settlement of Atotonilco, and alcaldía mayor of Tulanzingo in the same kingdom. It contains 115 Indian families, and a convent of the religious order of St. Augustin. — Two leagues N of its head settlement.
ACATLAZINGO, Santa Maria de, a settlement of the head settlement of Xicula, and alcaldía mayor of Nexapa, situate in a plain that is surrounded on all sides by mountains. It contains 67 Indian families, who employ themselves in the culture of the cochineal plant.
ACAXEE, a nation of Indians of the province of Topia. It is well peopled, and was converted to the Catholic faith by the father Hernando de Santaren, and others of the abolished society of the Jesuits, in 1602. They are docile, of good dispositions and abilities. In the time of their idolatry, they used to bend the heads of their dead with their bodies and knees together, and in this posture inter them in a cave, or under a rock, giving them provisions for the journey which they fancied them about to make ; also laying by them a bow and arrows for their defence. Should an Indian woman happen to have died in childbed, the infant was put to death ; for they used to say, it was the cause of her death. These Indians were once induced by a sorcerer to make an insurrection, but it was quelled by the governor of the province, Don Francisco de Ordinola, in the year 1612.
ACAXETE, Santa María de, the head, settlement of the district of the alcaldía mayor of Tepcaca, situate on the slope of the noted sierra of Tlascala. It is of a cold and dry temperature, contains seven Spanish families, 10 of Mustees and Mulattoes, and 176 of Mexican Indians. In its vicinity is a reservoir, formed of hewn stone, which serves at once to catch the waters as they come down from the sierra, and to conduct them to Tepcaca, three leagues N N W of its capital.
ACHACACHE, a settlement of the province and corregimiento of Omasuyos, the capital of this province, in Peru. It contains, besides the parish chapel, another, in which is an image of Christ, with the dedicatory title of La Misericordia. [Lat. 16° 33' 30" S. Long. 79° 23' 20" W.]
ACHAGUA, a nation of Indians of the nuevo Reyno de Granada, who dwell among the plains of Gazanare and Meta, and in the woods which skirt the river Ele. They are bold in their engagements with wild beasts, but with human beings they have recourse rather to poison and stratagem; they are dexterous in the use of the dart and spear, and never miss their aim; are particularly fond of horses, of which they take the utmost care, anointing and rubbing them with oil ; and it is a great thing among them to have one of these animals of peculiar size and beauty. They go naked, but, for the sake of decency, wear a small apron made of the thread of aloes, the rest of their bodies being painted of different colours. They are accustomed, at the birth of their children, to smear them with a bituminous ointment, which hinders the hair from growing, even upon the eyebrows. The women's brows are also entirely deprived of hair, and the juice of jagua being immediately rubbed into the little holes formed by the depilatory operation, they remain bald for ever after. They are of a gentle disposisition, but much given to intoxication. The Jesuits reduced many to the catholic faith, forming them into settlements, in 1661 .
ACHIANTLAS, Miguel de, the head settlement of the district of the alcaldía mayor of Tepozcolula. It contains a convent of monks of Santo Domingo, and 260 families of Indians, who occupy themselves in cultivating and improving the land. It is eight leagues to the W with an inclination to the S of its capital.
ACHINUTLAN, a very lofty mountain of the province and government of Guayana, or Nueva Andalucia. It is on the shore of the river Orinoco, and to the E of the Ciudad Real, (royal city), the river Tacuragua running between them.
ACHOMA, a settlement of the province and corregimiento of Collahuas in Peru. In its vicinity is a volcano, called Amboto and Sahuarcuca, which vomits smoke and flames; the latter of which are seen clearly at night.
ACLA, a small city of the kingdom of Tierra Firme, in the province of Darien, founded by Gabriel de Roxas, in 1514, on the coast of the S. sea, at the mouth of the gulph of Uraba, in front of the island of Pinos, with a good fort, then much frequented and very convenient, from having a good bottom, but somewhat incommoded by currents. Pedro Arias Davila built here a fort for its defence in 1516; but the settlement, nevertheless, did not keep long together, the Spaniards having abandoned it, on account of its unhealthiness, in 1532. [Lat. 8° 56' N. Long. 77° 40' W.]
ACOBAMBA, a settlement of the province and corregimiento of Angaraes in Peru. It was the capital, but at present the town of Guancavelica bears that title, on account of its being the residence of the governor and other people of consequence. It is of a good temperature, and so abundant in grain, that its crops of wheat amount to 25,000 bushels yearly. In an estate near it, are some pyramidical stones, and in other parts
out various ways, and watering, from the place in which it rises, the extensive vallies of Curimon, Aconcagua, Quillota, and Concon; in which are cultivated large crops of wheat, flax and hemp; and it, moreover, enters the sea in as large a stream as if it had never undergone the like ramifications: its mouth is in 33° lat.
ACONQUIJA, the most lofty mountain of the province and government of Tucuman, in the district of the city of Catamarca, and very near it. It is perpetually covered with snow, and abounds with minerals of gold. Its jurisdiction is disputed by the province of Atacama.
ACOTITLAN, a settlement of the head settlement and alcaldía mayor of Autlan. It contains 15 Indian families, who employ themselves in breeding the larger sort of cattle, in making sugar and honey, in dressing seeds, and extracting oil of cacao, which abounds greatly, from the number of trees yielding this fruit. It is annexed to the curacy of Tecolotlan, from whence it is two leagues to the S W.
ACTOPAN, the district and alcaldía mayor of Nueva España, commonly called Octupan. Its productions and commerce are as follows: They consist in seeds, rigging, saltpetre, and the feeding of goats and sheep, chiefly prized on account of their skins and their fat. It is of a mild temperature; but the ground is infested with prickly plants, thorns, and teasels. There are some estates here of about eight or ten labouring families each. In this district, and in its environs, are many singing birds, which, in the Mexican language, are called zenzontla; and among otlicrs is the nightingale. The capital bears the same name, and in it there are no less than 2750 families of Othomies Indians, divided into two parties, and separated by the church, which is a convent of the order of St. Augustin, and a very ancient piece of architecture. It also contains 50 families of Spaniards, Mulattoes, and Mustees. 23 leagues N N E of Mexico. Long. 98° 49' W. Lat. 20° 19'30" N.