The geographical and historical dictionary of America and the West Indies [volume 1]
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Spaniards, and the rest having fled, and thus penetrating n. have confounded themselves with other nations. It abounds in maize, plantains, and cacao of an excellent quality ; its gold mines render it rich and well peopled ; it also carries on, through this branch of revenue, a great commerce with the province of Popayan, the nativ'es of that place coming here to purchase gold, and leaving in exchange whatever is necessary for the comfort and convenience of life. There is no inconsiderable number of Negro slaves employed in working the mines, and in 1750 they amounted to 20,000, without mentioning the men of colour, such as the Mustees and Mulattoes, and even Whites who are engaged in this lucrative concern. The climate is warm, but moist from the continual rains, and consequently unhealthy. This country abounds in tigers, wild boars, alligators, parrots, monkeys of various sorts, and a multitude of reptiles and insects, especially in vipers and venomous snakes ; such as corales, exis, and rattlesnakes. Here are also an infinite variety of beautiful sorts of wood, curious balsams, herbs, fruits, and flowers. It was subject to the government of Popayan, until it became divided in the time of Don Fernando Guerrero. All the gold which is taken out of the mines here, and which is the current money, was formerly carried to be coined at the mint of Santa Fe, until that the house of Valencia established another, at its own cost, in the city of Popayan ; this privilege having been first granted that house by the mayoralty, though it was afterwards taken away and added by the king to the crown, upon the payment of a compensation of 100,000 reals per annum to the original proprietors. This province extends 48 leagues from s. to n. and is 39 in width from e. to w. The capital is the city of Nevita.
[Choco, Canal of. In the interior of the province of Choco, the small ravine (quebrada) De la Raspadura unites the neighbouring sources of the Rio de Noanama, called also Rio San Juan, and the small river Quito : the latter, the Rio Andageda, and the Rio Zitasa, form the Rio d’Atrata, which discharges itself into the Atlantic ocean, while the Rio San Juan flows into the S. sea. A monk of great activity, cure of the village of Novita, employed his parishioners to dig a small canal in the ravine De la Raspadura, by means of which, when the rains are abundant, canoes loaded with cacao pass from sea to sea. Th is interior communication has existed since 1788, unknown in Europe. The small canal of Raspadura unites, on the coasts of the two oceans,
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two points 75 leagues distant from one another.]
[CHOCOLATE Creek, a head-water of Tioga river in New York, whose mouth lies 10 miles s. w. of the Painted post.]
[CHOCOLOCO-CA, which the Spaniards call Castro Vireyna, a town of Peru, 60 leagues s. e. of Lima, is very famous for its silver mines, which are at the top of a great mountain always covered with snow, and but two leagues from the town. The stones of the mine are, of a dark blue colour ; these being calcined and powdered, then steeped in water and quicksilver, the filth is separated, and the silver melted and formed into bars. These veins are not very rich, but the metal is very fine. They make plenty of wine here, where it attains a greater degree of perfection, owing to the pureness of the air, than it is observed to have elsewhere.]
CHOCONTA, a settlement of the corregimiento of Guatavita in the Nuevo Reyno de Granada. It is of a cold but healthy temperature, being situate upon a llanura. It produces abundance of wheat, maize, papas, barley, and garlic, of the whole of which an abundant crop is gathered ; these indeed form the principal branches of its commerce, as they supply all the neighbouring provinces. It was , in the time of the Indians a large, rich, and populous city, and the barrier of the province of Tunja; also the place where the zipas held a garrison of their best troops. This city was entered by Gonzalo Ximinez de Quesada in 1537, when he gave it the name of Espiritu Santo, from this festival having been celebrated here. After the conquest of the Spaniards it became a became a curacy of the relio-ion of St. Domingo, and was one of those which was considered the first step to the advantages to be derived from these missions. It was close to this settlement that the sanguinary conflict took place which was fought between Michua, king of Tunja, and Saguanmachica, zipa or king of Bogota, in which both princes fell dead upon the field ; at present it is a small village of Indians, who amount to the number of 200, besides 400 other inhabitants, who consist of whites. Ten leagues n. of Santa Fe, and as many from Tunja, just midway betweeen these two jurisdictions.