The geographical and historical dictionary of America and the West Indies [volume 1]
THE GEOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL DICTIONARY OF AMERICA AND THE WEST INDIES.
ABACACTIS, a settlement of Indians, of this name, in the province of the Amazonas, and in the part or territory possessed by the Portuguese. It is a reduccion of the religious order of the Carmelites of this nation, situate on the shores of a lake of the same name. It lies between this lake and a river, which is also so called, and which is a large arm of the Madeira, which, passing through this territory, afterwards returns to that from whence it flowed, forming the island of Topinambes.
[ABACO, one of the largest and most northern of the Bahama islands, situate upon the SE end of the Little Bahama bank. The Hole in the Rock, or (as it is most commonly called) the Hole in the Wall, is the most southern point of the island, and bears about 18 leagues north from the island of New Providence, about 9 or 10 leagues in a NW direction from Egg Island, and about 10 or 12 in a NW direction from the Berry Islands. About 10 leagues to the N of the Hole in the Wall, on the E side of the island, is Little Harbour, the entrance to which is between the main land of Abaco and Ledyard's Key, and within which there is good anchorage. There is also an anchorage to the W of the Hole in the Wall. The island of Abaco is at present uninhabited. In 1788 it contained about 50 settlers and 200 Negroes. The lands granted by the crown, previous to May 1803, amounted to 14,058 acres, for the purpose of cultivation; but the settlers who occupied it have since removed. It contains great quantities of the various kinds of woods which are common to almost all the Bahama islands.] To the northward of Abaco, is a long chain of small islands or keys, (including Elbow Key, Man of War Key, Great Guana Key, the Galapagos, &c. &c.) reaching, in a NW direction, almost to the Matanilla reefs on the Florida stream; from whence the Little Bahama bank extends, in a southerly direction, to the west point of the island of the Grand Bahama. [Lat. 26° 22' N Long. 77° 14' W See Bahamas.]
ABANCAY, a province and corregimiento of Peru, bounded on the E by the large city of Cuzco, (its jurisdiction beginning at the parish of Santa Ana of that city), and on the W by the province of Andahuailas; N by that of Calcaylares, forming, in this part, an extended chain of snowcovered mountains ; S by the provinces of Cotabamba and Aimaraez; S W by Chilques and Masques. It extends 26 leagues from E to W and is 14 broad. Its most considerable river is the Apurimac, which is separated from it at the N W and bends its course, united with other streams, towards the mountains of the Andes. This river is crossed by a wooden bridge of 80 yards long and 3 broad, which is in the high road from Lima to Cuzco, and other provinces of the sierra. The toll collected here is four rials of silver for every load of goods of the produce of the country, and twelve for those of the produce of Europe. The temperature of this province is mild, and for the most part salubrious, with the exception of a few vallies, where, on account of the excessive heat and humidity, tertian agues are not uncommon. It produces wheat, maize, and other grain in great abundance, and its breed of horned cattle is by no means inconsiderable; but its principal production is sugar, which they refine so well, that it may challenge the finest European sugars for whiteness : this is carried for sale to Cuzco and other provinces, and is held in great estimation. It also produces hemp, cloth manufactures of the country ; and in its territories mines of silver are not wanting, especially in the mountain which they call Jalcanta, although the natives avail themselves not of the advantages so liberally held out to them. Its jurisdiction comprehends 17 settlements. The repartimento, quota of tribute, amounted to 108,750 dollars, and it rendered yearly 870 for the alcabala. The following are the 17 settlements : The capital, Limatambo, Huanicapa, Mollepata, Curahuasi, Pantipata, Cachora, Pibil, Antilla, Chonta, Anta, Pocquiura, Ibin, Surite, Chachaypucquio, Huaracondo. Sumata,
Abancay, the capital of the above province, founded in a spacious valley, which gives it its title: it is also so called from a river, over which has been thrown one of the largest bridges in the kingdom, being the first that was built there, and looked upon as a monument of skill. In the above valley the jurisdiction of this province, and that of Andahuailas, becomes divided. It is also memorable for the victories gained in its vicinity by the king's troops against Gonzalo Pizarro, in the years 1542 and 1548. It has a convent of the religious order of St. Dominic ; this order being the first of those which established themselves in Peru. 20 leagues distant from the city of Cuzco. Lat. 13° 31' 30" S Long. 72° 26' W.7
ABANES, a barbarous nation of Indians, of the Nuevo Reyno de Granada, in the plains of San Juan, to the N of the Orinoco. They inhabit the woods on the shores of this river, as well as other small woods ; and are bounded, E by the Salivas, and W by the Caberres and Andaquies. They are docile, of good dispositions, and are easily converted to the Catholic faith.
ABANGOUI, a large settlement of the province and government of Paraguay. It is composed of Indians of the Guarani nation, and situate on the shore of the river Taquani. It was discovered by Alvar Nuñez Cabezade Vaca, in 1541.
ABBEVILLE County, in Ninetysix district, S. Carolina, bounded on the N E by the Saluda, and on the SW by the Savannah, is 35 miles in length and 21 in breadth ; contains 9197 inhabitants, including 1665 slaves.
ABEICAS, a nation of Indians of New France, bounded on the N by the Alibamis, and E by the Cheraquis. They live at a distance from the large rivers, and the only produce of their territory is some canes, which are not thicker than a finger, but of so hard a texture, that, when split, they cut exactly like a knife. These Indians speak the Tchicachan language, and with the other nations are in alliance against the Iroquees.
finger, but of so hard a texture, that, when split, they cut exactly like a knife. These Indians speak the Tchicachan language, and with the other nations are in alliance against the Iroquees.
ABERCORN, a town of the province and colony of New Georgia, on the shore of the river Savannah, near where it enters the sea, and at a league's distance from the city of this name. [It is about 30 miles from the sea, 5 miles from Ebenezer, and 13 N W of Savannah.]
ABIDE, mountains, or serrania, of the province and government of Cartagena. They run from W to N E from near the large river of Magdalena to the province of Chocó, and the S. Sea. Their limits and extent are not known, but they are 20 leagues wide, and were discovered by Capt. Francisco Cesar in 1536; he being the first who penetrated into them, after a labour of 10 months, in which time he had to undergo the most extreme privations and excessive perils ; not that these exceeded the hardships which were endured by the licentiate Badillo, who entered upon its conquest with a fine army.
ABIGIRAS, a settlement of Indians, one of the missions, or a reduction, which belonged to the regular order of the Jesuits, in the province and government of Mainas, of the kingdom of Quito ; founded in the year 1665, by the father Lorenzo Lucero, on the shore of the river Curarari, 30 leagues from its mouth, and 240 from Quito.
[ABINGDON, a town at the head of the tide waters of Bush river, Harford county, Maryland, 12 miles SW from Havre-de-Grace, and 20 NE from Baltimore. Cokesbury college, instituted by the methodists in 1785, is in this town. Lat. 39° 27' 30" N Long. 76° 20' 35" W.]
[another, the chief town of Washington county, Virginia, contained but about 20 houses in 1788, and in 1796 upwards of 150. It is about 145 miles from Campbell's station, near Holston; 260 from Richmond in Virginia, in a direct line, and 310 as the road runs, bearing a little to the S of W Lat. 36° 41' 30" N Long. 81° 59' W.]
Abipi, a small settlement of the jurisdiction of Muzo, and corregimiento of Tunja, in the Nuevo Reyno de Granada. It is of a hot temperature, producing some wheat, maize, yucas, plantains, and canes ; it has been celebrated for its rich mines of emeralds, which are, however, at present abandoned from want of water; it is nearly three leagues distant from the large mine of Itoco.
ABIPONES, a nation of barbarous Indians, of the province and government of Tucuman, inhabiting the S shores of the river Bermejo. Their number once exceeded 100000; but they are certainly at present much reduced. They go naked, except that the women cover themselves with little skins, prettily ornamented, which they call queyapi. They are very good swimmers, of a lofty and robust stature, and well featured: but they paint their faces and the rest of their body, and are very much given to war, which they carry on chiefly against such as come either to hunt or to fish upon their territory. Their victims they have a custom of sticking upon lofty poles, as a landmark, or by way of intimidation to their enemies. From their infancy they cut and scarify their bodies, to make themselves hardy. When their country is inundated, which happens in the five winter months, they retire to live in the islands, or upon the tops of trees: they have some slight notion of agriculture, but they live by fishing, and the produce of the chase, holding in the highest estimation the flesh of tigers, which they divide among their relations, as a sort of precious relic or dainty ; also asserting that it has the properties of infusing strength and valour. They have no knowledge either of God, of law, or of policy; but they believe in the immortality of the soul, and that there is a land of consummate bliss, where they shall dance and divert themselves after their death. When a man dies, his widow observes a state of celibacy, and fasts a year, which consists in an abstinence from fish: this period being fulfilled, an assembly run out to meet her, and inform her that her husband has given her leave to marry. The women occupy themselves in spinning and sewing hides; the men are idlers, and the boys run about the whole day in exercising their strength. The men are much addicted to drunkenness, and then the women are accustomed to conceal their husband's weapons, for fear of being killed. They do not rear more than two or three children, killing all above this number.
Abisca, an extensive province of the kingdom of Peru, to the E of the Cordillera of the Andes, between the rivers Yetau and Amarumago, and to the S of Cuzco. It is little known, consisting entirely of woods, rivers, and lakes; and hither many barbarous nations of Indians have retired, selecting for their dwelling places the few plains which belong to the province. The Emperor Yupanqui endeavoured to make it subservient to his controul, but without success: the same disappointment awaited Pedro de Andia in his attempt to subjugate it in the year 1538.
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.