LatAm Digital Edition and Gazetteer


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





from six to 20 feet diameter, worn almost perfectlysmooth, into the solid body of a rock.]

(CAVIANA, an island in S. America, towardsthe n. w. side of Amazon river. Lat. 30' n.)

(CAVOGLIERO, a bay on the side of theisland of St. Domingo, at the mouth of the riverRomaine, 24 leagues e. of St. Domingo.)

CAXABAMBA, a settlement of the provinceand corregimiento of Riobamba in the kingdom ofQuito.

Caxabamba, another settlement of the provinceand corregimiento of Huamachuco in Peru.

CAXACAI, a settlement of the province andcorregimiento of Caxatambo in Peru.

CAXAMARCA, a province and corregimientoof Peru, in the bishopric of Truxillo ; boundeds. e. by the province of Caxamarquilla, e. by thatof Chachapoyas, n.w. by that of Luya and Chil-Igos : all these three being situate at that part oft^e Maranon which serves as a limit to this pro-vince of Caxamarca. It is bounded ». by the pro-vince of Jaen, n. w. by that of Piura, w. by thatof Saha and by a part of Truxillo, and s. by thatof Huamachuco. It is in length 40 leagues froms. e. ion. w. ; and in breadth, or across, 36 leagues.To enter it through the province of Truxillo, whichis the grand road, it is necessary to pass the cordil-lera, which is not here so lofty as in the s. pro-vinces. This province, however, abounds witheminences which are branches of the cordillera;and on account of the height and situation ofthese, a great variety of temperature is experienced,some parts being subject to an intense heat, andothers to , a severe cold. Thus it partakes of thenature of the sierra, and its uneven figure no lesscorresponds with it : but it is for the most part of agood temperature, particularly in the capital. Theprovince abounds greatly in all kinds of fruits andcattle : in it are fabricated cloths, baizes, blankets,canvas for sails of ships, and cotton garments of aVery fine and excellent quality. Formerly its prin-cipal commerce was in swine ; at present it is not,though these animals still abound in some parts.It is watered by many rivers, of which those risingon the w. side of the cordillera, as the Sana, Lam-bay eque, and those passing through the provinceof Truxillo, all enter the S. sea. The others,amongst which that of the Criznejas is the largest,incoporate themselves with the Maranon. On itsshores are lavaderos, or washing-places of gold;and its rivers in general abound in very good andwholesome fish. Besides the fruits and the pro-ductions of every kind found in this province, ithas to boast many gold and silver mines, some ofwhich are worked. There a e also some of copper,

very fine lead, brimstone, and alcaparrosa. To-wards the n. part, where it touches the province ofJaen, are found some bark-trees, the production ofwhich, although not equal to the trees of Loxa, isof the colour of heated copper, and possesses allthe virtues of the common bark. Here are alsomany medicinal herbs, and amongst them the cele-brated calagimla. In the time of the Indians, andbefore the conquest, it was so well peopled that itsnatives formed upwards of 500 settlements. Atpresent they amount to 46,000, being divided into46 settlements. The capital bears the same title,and the repartimiento of the corregidor used toamount to 80,000 dollars, and it paid an alcavalaof 640 dollars per annum.

The settlements are.

Caxamarca, the ca-pital,

Santa Catalina,

San Pedro,

San Joseph,Cherillo,






San Benito,

Trinidad de Chetu,S. Francisco doCay an,

Santa Cruz,


Santa Catalina deChugod,

San Pablo de Cha-lique,

S. Luis de Tuniba-din,

S. Bernardino de

S. Juan de Llallan,Nepos,


San Miguel de Pal-laques,



San Marcos,Catacachi,Amarcucho,Ichocan,

San Juan de Huam-bos,









Todos Santos deChota,Tacabamba,Yauyucan.

its figure is


The capital is large and handsomeirregular, and it is situate upon a level plainT Thehouses are of clay, and the streets are wide andstraight. The parish church, Avhich has threenaves, is of finely worked stone, and the buildingexpences of it Avere defrayed by King Charles the time of the viceroy the Duke of La Palata,in 1682. It has a parish of Spaniards, calledSanta Catalina ; two of Indians, which are SanPedro and San Joseph ; two convents of the orderof St. Francis, one of the Observers, and anotherof the Recoletans ; an hospital and a convent ofBethlemites, a monastery of nuns of La Concepcion,an house of entertainment of Nuestra Senora de

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tal, the settlement of this name, is 70 leagues tothe w. n. w. of Mexico.

Chilchota, another settlement of the headsettlement of Huautla, and alcaldia mayor of Cui-catlan ; situate at the top of a pleasant mountainwhich is covered with fruit trees. It contains 80families of Indians, who live chiefly by trading incochineal, saltpetre, cotton, seeds, and fruits.It is eight leagues from its head settlement.

Chilchota, another, with the dedicatory titleof San Pedro. It is of the head settlement ofQuimixtlan, and alcaldia mayor of S. Juan de losLlanos, in Nueva España. It contains 210 fami-lies of Indians.

CHILCUAUTLA y Cardinal, a settlementand real of the mines of the alcaldia mayor of Ix-miquilpan in Nueva España. It contains 215families of Indians, and in the real are 27 ofSpaniards, and 46 of Mustees and Mulattoes. Itis of an extremely cold and moist temperature,and its commerce depends upon the working ofthe lead mines. Some silver mines were formerlyworked here, but these yielded so base a metal,and in such small quantities, that they were en-tirely abandoned for those of lead, which yieldedby far the greatest emolument. Five leagues tothe e. of its capital.

CHILE, a kingdom in the most s. part of S. Ame-rica, bounded on the n. by Peru, on the s. by thestraits of Magellan and Terra del Fuego, on thee. by the provinces of Tucuman and BuenosAyres, on the n, e. by Brazil and Paraguay, andon the®, by the S. sea. It extends from n.ios.472 leagues ; comprehending the Terras Magal-lanicas from the straits and the plains or desertsof Copiapo, which are its most n. parts. TheInca A upanqui, eleventh Emperor of Peru, carriedhis conquests as far as the river Mauli or Maulle, inlat, 34° 30' s. Diegro de Almagro was the firstSpaniard who discovered this country, in the year1335, and began its conquest, which was after-wards followed up, in 1541, by the celebrated Pe-dro de Valdivia, who founded its first cities, andafterwards met with a disgraceful death at thehands of the Indians, having been made prisonerby them in the year 1551, 'These Indians are themost valorous and warlike of all in America ) theyhave maintained, by a continual warfare, their inde-pendence of the Spaniards, from whom they areseparated by the river Biobio. This is the limitof the country possessed by them ; and thoughthe Spaniards have penetrated through differententrances into their territories, and there built va-rious towns and fortresses, yet have all these beenpulled down and destroyed by those valiant de-

fenders of their liberty and their country. Theyare most dexterous in the management of the lance,sword, arrow, and w^eapons made of Macanawood ; and although they are equally so in thepractice of fire-arms, they use them but seldom,saying, “ they are only fit for cowards.” Theyare very agile and dexterous horsemen, and theirhorses are excellent, since those which run wild,and which are of the A ndalucian breed, have notdegenerated, or become at all inferior to the bestwhich that country produces. The part whichthe Spaniards possess in this kingdom extends itswhole length, from the aforesaid valley of Copiapoto the river Sinfordo, (unfathomable), beyond theisle of Chiloe, in lat. 44°-, but it is only 45 leagues,at the most, in breadth ; so that the country is, asit were, a slip between the S. sea and the cordillera ofthe Andes ; from these descend infinite streams andrivers, watering many fertile and beautiful valleys,and forming a country altogether charming andluxurious ; the soil abounds in every necessary for theconvenience and enjoyment of life, producing, inregular season, all the most delicate fruits of Ame-rica and Europe. The summer here begins inSeptember, the estio (or hot summer) in December,the autumn in March, and the winter in June.The climate is similar to that of Spain, and thetemperature varies according to the elevation ofthe land ; since the provinces lying next to ‘Peru,and which are very low, are of a warm tempera-ture, and lack rain, having no other moisture thanwhat they derive from some small rivers descend-ing from the cordillera^ and running, for the spaceof 20 or SO leagues, into the sea. In the otherprovinces it rains more frequently, in proportionas they lay more to the s. especially in the winter,from April to September ; for which reason theyare more fertile. These provinces are watered bymore than 40 rivers, which also descend from thecordillera, being formed by the rains, and the snowmelted in the summer, swelling them to a greatheight. They generally abound in fish of themost delicate flavour, of which are eels, trout, ba~gres, reyeques, ahogatos, pejereyes, and manyothers. The sea-coast is of itself capable of main-taining a vast population by the shell-fish foundupon it, of twenty different sorts, and all of the mostdelicious flavour. Other fish also is not wanting ;here are plenty of skate, congers, robalos, sienasya species of trout, viejas, soles, machuelos, dorados,pejegallos, pulpos, pampanos, corbinas, pejereyes,and tunnies, which come at their seasons onthe coast, in the same manner as in the Alraadra-bas of Andaluda. For some years past they saltdown cod-fish in these parts, which, although of a

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shoal of rock, Vfliich runs into the sea at the en-trance of the river Maranan, in the same pro-vince.

CUMAIPI, a small river of the country of LasAmazonas, or part of Guayana possessed by thePortuguese. It runs c. under the equinoctial line,and enl^ers tlie Marailon, at its mouth or entranceinto 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 Cu-inana, which contains in it also other provinces.It extends 76 geographical leagues from e. to w.from the point of Piedra, the oriental extremity ofTierra Firme, on the coast of Paria, and greatmouth of Drago, as far as the mouth of the riverUnare, the deep ravines of which form, as it Avere,limits to the w. between this province and that ofVenezuela; the waters of the aforesaid river run-ning for a great distance towards the serramaor settlement of Pariguan ; from wliich point theline of division is undecided as far as the riverOrinoco, 20 leagues to the s. From the w. to is 270 leagues, namely, from the sea-coast to thegreat river or country of Las Amazonas, the terri-tory of which is divided by the renowned riverOrinoco. On the e. it is terminated by the sea,which surrounds the coast of Paria, the gulfTriste, the mouths of the Orinoco, the riverEsquivo and Cayenne ; on the s. no. it is boundedby the Nuevo Reyno de Granada, which extendsits limits as far as the river Orinoco, being dividedby this river from Guayana. It is a continued ser-Tanitty running along the whole coast from e. to w.being nine or 10 leagues wide ; and although it isnot without some llanos or extensive plains, theseare but little known, and are entirely impassable,owing to the swamps and lakes caused by the in-undations of the rivers which flow down from thesierra. The sierra, in that part which looks to then. is barren, and in the vicinities of the coast thesoil is impregnated with nitre, and is unfruitful.The temperature is healthy but cold, especially atnight. The most common productions of this pro-vince are maize, which serves as bread, supplyingthe want of wheat, ^uca root, of which anotherkind of bread is made, cosabe, plantains, and otherfruits and pulse peculiar to America ; also cacao,although with great scarcity, and only in the n.part ; and sugar-canes, which are only cultivatedin a sufficient degree to supply the sugar consumedhere. It has some cattle ; and although there aremeans of breeding and feeding many herds, thenatives choose rather to supply themselves from


the neighbouring province of Barcelona, notwith-standing the difficulty of bringing them hither oversucli rugged and almost impassable roads. Tliewhole of the coast yields an immense abundance offish, also of shell fish of various kinds, and of themost delicate flavour. Of these the consumjitiouis very great, and a great proportion of them aresalted, and carried to the inland parts ; and to theprovince of Venezuela alone upwards of 6000quintals yearly. It has several convenient and se-cure ports and bays, and indeed the whole coast iscovered with them, as the sea is here remarkablycalm, and peculiarly so in the celebrated gulf ofCariaco, as also in the gulfs of the lake of Obispo,Juanantar, and Gurintar. It has many very abun-dant saline grounds, so much so, that the wholecoast may be looked upon as forming one ; sincein any part of it as many might be established aswere necessary ; and this without mentioning thatcelebrated one of Araya, and those of the gulfTriste, between the settlements of Iraca and Soro,and the Sal Negra, (Black Salt), used only by theIndians. In this province there are only threerivers of consideration, that of Cariaco, of Cumana,and of Guarapiche : the others which flow downfrom the serrama are of little note, and incorporatethemselves with the former before they arrive inthe valley. Its jurisdiction contains six settle-ments belonging to the Spaniards, seven belongingto the Indians, 13 to the missions supported bythe Aragonese Capuchin fathers, and 16 belong-ing to the regular clergy. [From the river Unareto'the city of Cumana, the soil is very fertile.From the Araya to the distance of between 20 and25 leagues, more to the e. the coast is dry, sandy,and unfruitful. The soil is an inexhaustible mineboth of marine and mineral salt. That which isnear the Orinoco is fit only for grazing, and this isthe use to which it is put. It is here that all thepens of the province are kept. All the rest of thiscountry is admirably fertile. The prairies, thevalleys, the hills, proclaim by their verdure and bythe description of the produce, that nature has de-posited here the most active principles of vegetablelife. The most precious trees, the mahogany, theBrazil and Campechy woods, grow even up to thecoast of Paria ; and there are found here manyrare and agreeable birds. In the interior of the go-vernment of Cumana are mountains, some of Avhichare 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 In-dians, is in this mountain. It is immense, andserves as an habitation for thousands of night birds, 14 B 2

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