The geographical and historical dictionary of America and the West Indies [volume 1]
C H O C H O
constitution left the lower people little more freedom than they would have possessed under the government of the Aztec kings.]
The capital is the city of the same name, founded as far back as the time ofthegentilism of the Mexican empire, when this nation was at enmity with that of Chichimeca ; it was then one of the most populous cities, and contained 30,000 inhabitants and 300 temples, and served as a barrier to Moctezuma, in the attack against the republic of Tlaxclala ; the latter place never having been subjected to the Mexican yoke. This was the city which of all others most thwarted the designs of Hernan Cortes, but the inhabitants were discovered in the conspiracy they had laid against him, when they pretended to receive him with open arrhs and a peaceable and friendly disposition, and were made by him to suffer severely for their hypocrisy ; after which he and his whole army escaped uninjured. This city has many monuments denoting its antiquity ; and although in ancient times idolatry was here carried to its highest pitch, yet the light of the gospel has spread widely around its enlivening rays. It is of a mild and healthy temperature, rather inclined to cold than heat, being situate on a level, fertile, and beautiful plain. It has a good convent of the order of St. Francis, which is also a house of studies. Its inhabitants are composed of 50 families of Spaniards, 458 of Mustees, Mulattoes and Negroes, and 606 of Indians. On a lofty spot which lies close to the entrance, on the c. side of the city, is a handsome chapel, in which is venerated the image of the blessed virgin, which also bears the dedicatory title of Los Rentedios. It is a little more than 20 leagues to the e. of Mexico, and four from Tlaxclala. Long. 98° 14'. Lat. 19° 4'. [Its population is at present estimated at about 16,000 souls.]
CHONE, a settlement which in former times was considerable, but now much impoverished, in the ancient province of Cara, which is at present united to that of Esmeraldas. It lies upon the shore of the river Chones to the n. and is of an hot and moist climate, in lat. 33° s.
CHONES, a large river of the province of Cara in the kingdom of Quito. It runs to the w. and collects the waters of the Sanchez and theTossagua on the n. and on the s. those of the Camaron and the Platanal. At its entrance on the n. stood the city of Cara, of which the vestiges still remain. Where it runs into the sea it forms the bay of Cara, between the s. point of Bellaca and the n. point of laca. Its mouth is nearly two miles and an half wide.
CHONGO, San Miguel de, a settlement of the alcaldíta mayor of Huamelula. It is of a very cold temperature, from its being situate in the vicinity of the sierra Nevada (or Snowy) of the Chontales, which lies on the n. side of it. Its inhabitants amount to 24 families of Indians, who trade in cochineal, seeds, and fruits, of which the country, being naturally luxuriant, produces great quantities. It is watered by rivers which pass at a little distance, and is annexed to the curacy of Tepaltepec of the jurisdiction and alcaldia mayor of Nexapa, from whence it lies 20 leagues. It is-, on account of this great distance, combined with the badness of the roads, that the natives so seldom can avail themselves of any instruction in the holy faith ; dying, as they often do, without the administration of the sacraments. Indeed, there is only one day in the year, which is the 29th of September, and on which the Indians celebrate the festival of their titular saint Michael, when they are visited by their curate, who then hears their confessions and says mass. At this time this settlement has somewhat the appearance of a Catholic people ; but being all the rest of the year left to themselves, it is not to be wondered that many relapse into their pristine state of gentilisra and idolatry. Three leagues w. of its capital.
CHONGON, a settlement of Indians of the province and government of Guayaquil in the kingdom of Quito; situate near a small torrent, renowned for the stones which it washes down, of a certain crystallized matter, which being polished, resemble brilliants, and are used as buttons, rings, and other trinkets.
CHONTALES, a district of the corregimiento or alcaldia mayor of Matagulpa, in the kingdom of Guatemala and province of Nicaragua. It is but small, and its natives have this name from the Spaniards, who would by it express their natural uncouthness and stupidity.