The geographical and historical dictionary of America and the West Indies [volume 1]
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as to render it impracticable to cross them. In theroad they usually take lies the steep declivity ofSan Antonio, extremely difficult to be passed.The mules however are so well versed in the man-ner of letting themselves slide down it, that therehas never been an instance of these animals falling.The 'vegetable productions of this province areconfined to bark, and from this no emolument isderived, although it was discovered, after muchsearch and solicitude, by the Lieutenant-colonelDon Miguel de Santistevan. It accordinglj'- pro-vides itself with all that it may require in this wayfrom the adjoining provinces of Riobamba andTacunga. It is of a very cold temperature, fromits being so near to the mountainous desert ofChimborazo. Its natives amount to 2000 souls,the greater part of them being Mustees, and the■whole are divided into seven settlements, of whichthe capital bears the same name ; and althoughthis was formerly the residence of the corregidor,yet has it of late been deserted for the settlementof Guaranda. The seven settlements are,
San Lorenzo, Guaranda,
CHIMBORAZO, a verylofty mountain or desert of the cordillera of theprovince and corregimiento of Riobamba, in thekingdom of Quito; which, in the language ofthe country, signifies mountain of the other side.It is covered with everlasting snow, and is theloftiest mountain in the known world, since itsheight, taken by the academicians of the sciencesof Paris, is 3220 toises from the level of the seato its top, which terminates in a cone or truncatedpyramid. Its sides are covered with a kind ofwhite sand or calcined earth with loose stones,and a certain herb called pajon, which affords pas-ture for the cattle of the neighbouring estates.The warm streams flowing from its n. side shouldseem toAvarrantthe idea that within it is a volcano.From its top flow down many rivers, which takedifferent winding courses; thus the Guarandaruns 5. the Guano s. e. and the Machala e. Onits skirt lies the road which" leads from Quito toGuayaquil ; and in order to pass it in safety, it isrequisite to be more cautious in choosing the properseason than were the Spanish conquerors of thisprovince, who were here frozen to death. Northof the town of Riobamba, in lat. 1° 21' 18" s. ac-cording to the observations of M. La Condamine.fThis mountain was visited, on the 23d of June1797, by Humboldt; who with his party reachedits €. slope on that day, and planted their instru-
ments on a narrow ledge of porphyritie rock Avhichprojected from the vast field of unfathomcd snow.A chasm, 500 feet wide, prevented their furtherascent. The air was reduced to half its usualdensity, and felt intensely cold and piercing.Respiration was laborious and blood oozed fromtheir eyes, their lips and their gums. They stoodon the highest spot ever trod by man. Its height,ascertained from barometrical observation, was3485 feet greater than the elevation attained in1745 by Condamine, and 19,300 feet above thelevel of the sea. From that extreme station, thetop of Chimborazo was found, by trigonometricalmeasurement, to be 2140 feet still higher.
CHIMBUZA, a large lake of the province andgovernment of Barbacoas, of the kingdom ofQuito, to the s. w. of the river Patia, formed by anarrow canal, through ■which the Avater of thisriver enters, and so forms the same lake into asheet of water of an oblong figure, two leagues inlength, and half a league in breadth. This lakehas another narrow canal, through which the wa-ter issues, and re-unites itself with the sameriver.
CHIMICA, a small province of the governmentof Santa Marta in the Nuevo Reyno de Gra-nada. It is almost as it were desert and aban-doned, notwithstanding that it produces a goodquantity of maize. The climate is hot and un-healthy ; and although it was formerly peopled bythe Chimicas Indians, none of these are now foundto reside here.
CHIMILAS, a barbarous nation of Indians ofthe Nuevo Reyno de Granada, in the province ofSanta Marta. They inhabit the Avoods to the e.of the large river Magdalena, go naked, and haveno fixed abodes. They are cruel and treacherous,and are bounded by the nation of the Guaxiros.
CHIMIRAL, a river of the province and corregimiento of Copiapo in the kingdom of Chile.It rises in the SnoAvy sierra, runs w. and enters thesea in the point of its name. It in many partsruns in so inconsiderable a stream as frequently tobe in all appearance lost before it enters the sea.