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.
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