Search for St.
Christopher* "St. Christopher"
The geographical and historical dictionary of America and the West Indies [volume 1]
C A R I B E.
It was formerly a very rich tract of land, si-tuate on the shore of the river Cazanare, a streamwhich crosses and stops the pass into the coun-try and for this reason there was a consider-able establishment formed here by persons whobelonged to tlie curacy of Santa Rosa de Chire.Its temperature is hot, but it is very fertile, andabounds in productions, which serve to provide forthe other settlements belonging to the same mis-sions : at present it is under the care of the reli-gious order of St. Domingo.
CARIBANA, a large country, at the presentday called Guayana Maritania, or Nueva Anda-iucia Austral. It extends from the mouth of theriver Orinoco to the mouth of the Marahon ; com-prehends the Dutch colonies of Esquibo, Surinam,and Berbice, and the French colony of Cayenne.It takes its name from the Caribes Indians, whoinhabit it, and who are very fierce and cruel,although upon amicable terms with the Dutch.Nearly the whole of this province is uncultivated,full of woods and mountains, but watered bymany rivers, all of which run for the most partfrom s. to e. and empty themselves into the sea ;although some flow from s. ton. and enter the Ori-noco. The climate, though warm and humid, ishealthy ; the productions, and the source of itscommerce, are sugar-cane, some cacao, wild wax,and incense. The coast, inhabited by Europeans,forms the greater part of this tract of country, ofwhich an account will be found under the respec-tive articles.
Caribe, Caribbee, or Charaibes, someislands close upon the shore of the province andgovernment of Cumana, near the cape of TresPuntas. [The Caribbee islands in the West In-dies extend in a semicircular form from the islandof Porto Rico, the easternmost of the Antilles, tothe coast of S. America. The sea, thus inclosedby the main land and the isles, is called the Ca-ribbean sea; and its great channel leads n. zo. tothe head of the gulf of Mexico through the sea ofHonduras. The chief of these islands are, SantaCruz, Sombuca, Anguilla, St. Martin, St. Bar-tholomew, Barbuda, Saba, St. Eustatia, St. Chris-topher, Nevis, Antigua, Montserrat, Guadalupe,Dcseada, Mariagalante, Dominica, Martinica,St. Vincent, Barbadoes, and Grenada. These areagain classed into Windward and Leeward isles bv
seamen, with regard to the usual courses of shipsfrom Old Spain or the Canaries to Cartagenaor New Spain and Porto Bello. The geographi-caltablesand maps class them into Great and LittleAntilles ; and authors vary much concerning thislast distinction. See Antilles. The Charaibesor Caribbecs were the ancient natives of the Wind-ward islands ; hence many geographers confine theterm to these isles only. Most of these were an-ciently possessed by a nation of cannibals, the ter-ror of the mild anti inotfensive inhabitants of His-paniola, who frequently expressed to Columbustheir dread of these fierce invaders. Thus, whenthese islands were afterwards discovered by thatgreat man, they were denominated Charibbeanisles. The insular Charaibs are supposed to beimmediately descended from the Galibis Indians,or Charaibes of S. America. An ingenious andlearned attempt to trace back the origin of the Ca-ribes to some emigrants from the ancient hemis-phere may be found in Bryan Edwards ; and itis to the valuable work of this author that we areindebted for the following illustrations of the man-ners and customs of this people. — The Caribesare avowedly of a fierce spirit and warlike dispo-sition. Historians have not failed to notice theseamong the most distinguishable of their qualities.Dr. Robertson, in Note X Cl II. to the first vol. ofhisHistory of America, quotes from a MS. Historyof Ferdinand and Isabella, Avrittenby Andrew Ber-naldes, the cotemporary and friend of Columbus,the folloAving instance of the bravery of the Caribes :A canoe with four men, two Avomen, and a boy, un-expectedly fell in with Columbus’s fleet. A Spanish,bark with 25 men was sent to take them; and the fleet,in the mean time, cut off their communication withthe shore. Instead of giving way to despair, theCaribes seized their arms with imdauntcd resolu-tion, and began the attack, wounding several ofthe Spaniards, although they had targets as wellas other defensive armour ; and even after thecanoe was overset, it was with no little difficultyand danger that some of them Avere secured, asthey continued to defend themselves, and to usetheir bows with great dexterity while swimmingin the sea. Herrera has recorded the same anec-dote. Restless, enterprising, and ardent, it wouldseem they considered war as the chief end of theircreation, and the rest of the human race as theirnatural prey ; for they devoured, without re-morse, the bodies of such of their enemies (themen at least) as fell into their hands. Indeed,there is no circumstance in the history of mankindbetter attested than the universal prevalence ofthese practices among them. Columbus was not]
[archers of Copiapo, commanded by Cotco, anofficer of the ulinen of that province. Of the wholeband none escaped with life but the two officers,Monroy and Miranda, who Avere brought coveredwith wounds before the ulmen.
12. The compassionate ulmena.—^^ hilst thatprince, Avho had resoU’cd to put them to death, asenemies of the country, Avas deliberating on themode, the v.hnena, or princess, hisAvife, moved withcompassion for their situation, interceded Avith herhusband for tin ir lives; atid having obtained herrequest, uisbound them Avitli lier own hands, ten-derly dressed! +h -ir Avounds, and treated them likebrothers. When they Avere fully recovered, shedesired ihenr to teach her son the art of riding, asseveral of the horses had been taken alive in tliedefeat. 'I'he tAVo Spaniards readily cojisented toher request, hoping to avail themselves of this op-portunity to recover their liberty. lJut the meansthey took to effect this, Avere marked Avith an actof ingratitude to tlu'ir benefactress, of so much thedeeper dye, as, from their not being strictly guard-ed, such an e.vpedicnt Avas unnecessary. As theyountr prince Avas one day riding between tliem,escorted by his arcl!crs, and preceded by an officerarmed Avith a lance, Monroy suddenly attackedhim with a poniard Avhich he carried about him,and bro!ight him to the ground Avith tAvo or threemortal Avounds ; Miranda at the same time wrest-ing tlie lance from the officer, they forced theirAvay through their guards, Avho Avere throAvn intoconfusion by such an unexpected event. As theywere Avell-mounted, they easily escaped pursuit,and taking their Avay through the deserts of Peru,arrived at Cuzco, the residence at that time ofVascade Castro, Avho had succeededed to the go-vernment upon the death of Pizarro, cruelly as-sassinated by the partizans of Airaagro.
IS. Ilecruits from Perti under Monro7/.-—Oi\being informed of the critical situation of Chile,Castro immediately dispatclied a considerablenumber of recruits by land, under the commandof Monroy, who had the good fortune to con-ceal his march from the Cppiapins, and at thesame time gave directions to Juan Bautista Pas-tene, a noble Genoese, to proceed thither by seaAvith a still greater number. Valdivia, on receiv-ing these two reinforcements, Avhich arrived nearlyatthe same time, began to carry his great designs intoexecution. As he had been solicitous from the firstto have a complete knowledge of the sea-coast, heordered Pastene to explore it, and note the situa-tion of the most important parts and places, as faras the straits of Magellan. On his return fromthis expedition, he .sent him back to Peru for new
recruits, as since the alfair of Copiapo, the nativesbecame daily more bold and enterprising.
14. Stratagem of the Quillotanes. -~-Amon^others the Qiullotanes had, a little time before,massacred all the soldiers employed in the mines.To this end they made use of the folloAving strata-gem : One of the neighbouring Indians broughtto the commander, Gonzalo Rios, a pot biil ofgold, telling him that he had found a groat quaii-titv of it in a certain district of the country ; uponth is information, all were impatient to proceedthither to particip'ate in ti)c imagined treasure.As they arrived tumultuously at the place de-scribed, they easily became victims to an ambus-cade Avhich had been formed for them, not one ofthem escaping except the imprudent commanderand a Negro, Avho saved themselves by the supe-rior excellence of their horses. The frigate, Avhichwasthen finished, Avas also destroyed, being burnedtogether with the arsenal.
15. Serena founded.- — VixWivhx, on receivingadvice of this disaster, hastened thither with histroops, and having revenged as far as in his poAverthe death of his soldiers, built a fort to protect theminers. Being afteiAvards reinforced Avith SOOmen from Peru, under the command of FrancisViliagrau and Christopher Escobar, he becamesensible of the necessity of establishing a settle-ment ill the n. part of the kingdom, that mightserve as a place of arms, and a protection for theconvoys that should come that Avay. For this pur-pose he made choice of a beautiful plain at themouth of the river Coquimbo, Avhich forms a goedharbour, Avherc, in 1564, he founded a city calledby him Serena, in honour of the place of his birth ;it is not, however, knoAAn at present by this ap-pellation, except in geographical treatises, thecountry name having prevailed, as is the case Avithall the other European settlements in Chile.
16. Promoucian u///es.-— luthe ensuing year hebegan to think of extending his conquests, andfor that purpose proceeded into the country of thePromaucians. Contemponiry Avriters have notmade mention of any battle that Avas fought uponthis occasion; but it is not to be supposed thatthis valiant people, Avho had with so muchglory repulsed the armies of the Inca and ofAlmagro, would have alloAved him, Avithout oppo-sition, to violate their territory. It is, hoAvever,highly probable that Valdivia, in the frequent in^cursions Avhich he made upon their frontiers, haddiscovered the art to persuade them to unite withhim against the other Chilians by seducing pro-mises. In fact, the Spanish armies have eversince that period been strengthened by Promaucian’]
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wliich there is a bank of fine sand, extending amile into the sea, and affording good anchorage.Lat. 1° 59' n. Long. 157° 35' w.]
[Christmas Sound, in Tien a del Fuego, S.America. Lat. 55° 21' n. Long. 69° 48' tw.]
CHRISTOVAL, San, atown of the government and jurisdiction of Maracaibo in the Nuevo Rey no de Granada; foundedby Captain Juan de Maldonado in 1560. It is of•a hot but healthy temperature, produces abundanceof sugar-canes, of which are made honey, sugar,and conserves, in immense quantities ; also a greatproportion of smoking tobacco, which is carried toMaracaibo. It has a good church and a conventt)f St. Augustin, which latter has fallen much todecay with regard to its establishment. The po-pulation of the town consists of 400 housekeepers.It lies 20 leagues n. e. of Pamplona, from the juris-diction of which it is divided by the river Pam-plonilla. It is the native place of Don Gregoriode Jaimes, archdeacon of Santa Fe, and bishop ofSanta Marta.
Same name, a settlement of the provinceand corregimiento of Lipes, archbishopric of Char-cas in Peru ; in which took place the following ex-traordinary occurrence: The curate of this placegoing to confess a sick person in the settlement ofTahisa of the province of Paria, which was annexedto this, sunk into a spring of water in the pampasor llanos dela Sal, when he was drowned, and withthe two Indians who accompanied him on horse-back, never more appeared, nor were any vestigesever found of them : this was the reason why thelatter settlement has since been disunited from thecuracy of San Christoval.
Same name, a capital city of the provinceand captainship of Sergipé in the kingdom of Bra-zil ; being also known by that name. It is foundedon the sea-shore, and has a fine and well defendedport. It has a magnificent parish church with thetitle of Nuestra Senora de la Victoria ; two fineconvents, the one of the order of the Franciscans,and the other of the Carmelites ; also a chapel ofdevotion of the Virgin of the Rosary. The council-house is a very fine edifice, and in the suburbs isa hermitage of San Gonzalo, which is frequentedas a pilgrimage by this and other settlements of thejurisdiction. In this city resides the chief captain,who governs this province, and who is attended bya company of troops as a body-guard. In earlytimes it was filled with nobility, descended from thefirst families in Portugal; but it is now reduced to600 housekeepers. in its district, towards thepart called Coninquiva, is a parish with fourchapels, and towards the river Vaza-Barris fiveothers. It has also 25 engines, by which abundanceof sugar of an excellent quality is manufactured ;this article affords a great commerce w ith t!ic bayof Todos Santos. Lat. ll°40's. Long. ST'* SO' tw.
Same name, an island of the N. sea ; oneof the Antilles, discoverctl by Admiral Christoj)herColumbus, who gave it his name, in 149S. It isfive leagues in circumference, and is very fertile,and abounding in productions, particularly in cot-ton, tobacco, indigo, sugar, and brandy ; by allof which it carries on a great commerce. Here arcsome good salines, and in the mountains are somewoods of fine timber, well adapted for the buildingof ships. The English and the French both esta-blished themselves here in 1625, holding a dividedpossession, when they were driven out by the Spa-niards. After this the former again returned andre-established themselves in the greatest part of theisland, leaving, however, a small share to theFrench, until the year 1713, when the latter, inconjunction with the Spaniards themselves, cededit entirely to the English, who from that time haveheld it and kept it well fortified. [St. Christopher,situate in lat. 17° 21', long. 62° 48' ze. was calledby its ancient possessors, the Charibes, Liamuiga,or the Fertile Island. It was discovered in Novem-ber 1493 by Columbus himself, who was so pleasedwith its appearance, that he honoured it with hisown Christian name. But it was neither plantednor possessed by the Spaniards. It was, however,(notwithstanding that the general opinion ascribesthe honour of seniority to Barbadoes), the eldest ofall the British territories in the \V. Indies, andin truth, the common mother both of the Englishand French settlements in the Charibean islands.A Mr. Thomas Warner, an Englishman, asso-ciated himself Avith 14 other persons in the year1622, and with them took his passage on board aship bound to Virginia. From thence he and hiscompanions sailed from St. Christopher’s, wherethey arrived in January 1623, and by the monthof September following had raised a good crop oftobacco, which they proposed to make their staplecommodity. By the generality of historians whohave treated of the affairs of the W. Indies, it isasserted that a party oflhe French, under the com-mand of a person of the name of D’Esnambuc,took possession of one part of this island, on thesame day that Mr. Warner landed on the other;but the truth is, that the first landing of Warnerand his associates happened two years before thearrival of D’Esnambuc; who, it is admitted byDu Tertre, did not leave France until IG25. Un-fortunately the English settlers, in the latter end of
1623, had their plantations demolished by a dread- j
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[And the Import of Slaves, by report of privycouncil, 1788, at a medium of four years, andby a return to house of commons in 1805, at amedium of two years from 1803, was as follows :
Four years to 1787
Tw o years to 1803
By report of privy council, 1788, and by subse-quent estimate, the population amounted to
See Caribe (Leeward) Islands; and for thelater political inquiries, see West Indies.]
Same name, another settlement of the head settlement of Pinotepa, and alcaldia mayor of Xicayan,in Nueva Espana. It contains 24 families ofIndians, and is seven leagues to the n. of its headsettlement.
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and it lies 15 leagues to the w. of its capital, an^10 to the n. w. of the capital of the province ofGuadalaxara.
Same name, another settlement of the head settle-ment of Axixique, and alcaldia mayor of Zayula,in the same kingdom ; situate on the shore of thegreat lake or sea of Chapala. It contains 70 faj-milies of Indians, who employ themselves in fish-ing and agriculture ; is 13 leagues to the s. of itshead settlement.
Same name another settlement of the provinceand government of Cartagena in the district ofSinu ; situate on the bank of the river Pichelin, inthe division of this jurisdiction and that of Tolu.It is one of those which were founded, in 1776, bythe Governor Don Juan Piraienta.
[CHRISTOPHER, Sr. See Christovae.]CHUAO, a port of the coast of the kingdomof Tierra Firme, in the province and governmentof Venezuela, to the w. of the port of La Guaira.
and government of Neyba in the kingdom of Gra-nada. It rises in the paramo or mountain desertofQuindiu, traverses and waters the valleys ofLas Lanzas, and unites itself witli that of SanJuan, taking the name of Coello, from a Spaniardof this name having been drowned in it. It thenenters the Magdalena.
COMBINCUMA, a spacious, and but littleknown country of the kingdom of Quito. It isfull of woods, in which there are many wild beastsand snakes of various kinds, and it is watered bymany rivers, all of which enter the s. side of theMaranon. Amongst the various nations whichinhabit it is that of the Tontones.
COMBITA, a settlement of the province andcorregirniento oi Tunja in the Nuevo Reyno deGranada. It is of a cold temperature, and pro-duces the fruits corresponding with its climate.It contains 100 house-keepers, and as many otherIndians, and is two leagues to the n. zo. of itscapital.
(COMFORT Point is the s. easternmost partof Elizabeth City county in Virginia, formed byJames river at its mouth in Chesapeak bay. PointComfort lies 19 miles w. by n. of cape Henry.]Comfort Point, another point, which is also
of the same coast and province as the former, andwithin that bay, being one of the points which formthe entrance of the river York.
COMICHIGELES, Sierra de, in the pro-vince and government of Tucumán, and boundedby the sierra of Cuyo, in the kingdom of Chile. Itruns from 5. s. e. on the shore of the Concara, andin fact follows the course of that river.
COMO-LEWU, or Rio de los Sauces, call-ed also Gran Desaguadero. See Sauces.
COMONDU, San Joseph de, a settlementof the missions which were held by the regularsof the company of Jesuits in the province of Ca-lifornia ; situate near the sea-coast, between thesettlements of La Concepcion and San FranciscoXavier.
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vince and government of Buenos Ayres, foundedin ]629, in lat. 29° 29' 1" 5.]t])Cruz, Santa, an island oftheN. sea,^one of theAntilles, 22 leagues long and five wide. Its terri-tory is fertile, but the air unhealthy at certain sea-sons, from the low situation. It has many rivers,streams, and fountains, with three very good andconvenient ports. It was for a long while desert,until some English settled themselves in it, andbegan to cultivate it; afterwards the French pos-sessed themselves of it, in 1650, and sold it thefollowing year to the knights of Malta, from whomit was bought, in 1664, by the West India com-pany. In 1674, it was incorporated with the pos-sessions of the crown by the king of France. Itsinhabitants afterwards removed to the island of St.Domingo, demolished the forts, and sold it to acompany of Danes, of Copenhagen, who nowpossess it. It was the first of the Antilles whichwas occupied by the Spaniards ; is SO leagues
from the island of St. Christopher’s, eight fromPuertorico, six from that of Boriquen, and fivefrom that of St. Thomas. It abounds in sugarscane and tobacco, as also in fruits, which renderit very delightful. [It is said to produce SO, 000or 40,000 hhds. of sugar annually, and other W.India commodities, in tolerable plenty. It is ina high state of cultivation, and has about 3000white inhabitants and 30,000 slaves. A greatproportion of the Negroes of this island have em-braced Christianity, under the Moravian mission-aries, whose influence has been greatly promotiveof its prosperity.
The official value of the Imports and Exportsof Santa Cruz were, in
1809, imports ^^435,378, exports ^ig84,964.
1810, 422,033, 89,949.
And the quantities of the principal articles im--
ported into Great Britain were, in
Santa Cruz is in lat. 70° 44' n. Long. 64° 43' w.See West Indies.]
Cruz, Santa, a small island in the straits©f Magellan, opposite cape Monday. The Ad-miral Pedro Sarmiento took possession of it for thecrown of Spain, that making the tenth time of itsbeing captured.
Cruz, Santa, a sand -bank or islet near the n.coast of the island of Cuba, and close to the sand-bank of Cumplido.
Cruz, Santa, a point of the coast of the provinceand government of Honduras, called Triunfo dela Cruz, (Triumph of the Cross), between theport of La Sal and the river Tian, SO leagues fromthe gulf, in lat. 15° 40'.
Cruz, Santa, a port of the coast which lies be-tween the river La Plata and the straits of Magellan.On one side it has the Ensenada Grande, or LargeBay, and on the other the mountain of Santa Ines.Lat. 50° 10' s.
==Cruz, Santa, a river of the coastwhich lies be-tween the river La Plata and the straits of Magel-lan. It runs into the sea.
Cruz, Santa, a small river of the provinceand captainship of Los Ilheos in Brazil. Itrises near the coast, runs e. and enters the sea be-tween the Grande and the Dulce, opposite theshoals ofS. Antonio.
Cruz, Santa, another, of the province andcaptainship of Seara in the same kingdom. It risesnear the coast, runs n. and enters the sea betweenthe point of Palmeras and that of Tortuga,
Cruz, Santa, a cape or point of the coast of thx
[tration, (among savages), but that the extraordi-nary beauty of the unfortunate victim contributedto her destruction. These heroic effusions con-stituted a branch of solemnities, called arietoes ;consisting of hymns and public dances, accom-panied with musical instruments made of shells,and a sort of drum, the sound of which was heardat a vast distance. It is pretended that among thetraditions publicly recited, there was one of a pro-phetic nature, denouncing ruin and desolation bythe arrival of strangers completely clad, and armedwith the lightning of heaven.
6. Religious rites. — Like all other unenlightenednations, these poor Indians were indeed the slavesof superstition. Their general theology (for theyhad an established system, and a priesthood tosupport it), was a medley of gross folly and childishtraditions, the progeny of ignorance and terror.Historians have preserved a remarkable speech ofa venerable old man, a native of Cuba, who, ap-proaching Christopher Columbus with great reve-rence, and presenting a basket of fruit, addressedhim as follows. “ Whether you are divinities,”observed he, or mortal men, we know not. Y ouare come into these countries with a force, againstwhich, were we inclined to resist it, resistancewould be folly. We are all therefore at yourmercy ; but if you are men, subject to mortalitylike ourselves, you cannot be unapprised, that afterthis life there is another, wherein a very differentportion is allotted to good and bad men. If there-fore you expect to die, and believe with us, thatevery one is to be rewarded in a future state, ac-cording to his conduct in the present, you will do nohurt to those who do none to you.” This remark-able circumstance happened on the 7th of July1494, and is attested by Pet. Martyr, Dccad. i. lib.iii. and by Herrera, lib. ii. c. 14. If it be askedhow Columbus understood the cacique, the answeris, that he had carried with him to Spain, in hisformer voyage, several of the Indians ; one ofwhom, a native of Guanahani, who had remainedwith him from October 1492, had acquired the.Spanish language. This man, whose name wasDidacus, served him, on this and other occasions,both as a guide and interpreter. Their notions offuture happiness seem however to have been nar-row and sensual. They supposed that the spiritsof good men were conveyed to a pleasant valley,which they called coycha ; a place of indolenttranquillity, abounding with delicious fruits, coolshades, and murmuring rivulets ; in a countrywhere drought never rages, and the hurricane isnever felt. In this si at of bliss (the Elysium ofantiquity), they believed that their greatest enjoy-
ment would arise from the company of their de-parted ancestors, and those persons w'ho weredear to them in life. Although, like the Caribes,our islanders acknowledged a plurality of gods,like them too they believed in the existence of onesupreme, invisible, immortal, and omnipotentCreator, whom they named Jocahuna. But un-happily, with these important truths, these poorpeople blended the most puerile and extravagantfancies, which were neither founded in rationalpiety, nor productive of moral obligation. Theyassigned to the supreme Being a father and mo-ther, whom they distinguished by a variety ofnames, and they supposed the sun and moon to bethe chief seats of their residence. Their system ofidol-worship was, at the same time, more lament-able than even tliat of the Caribes ; tor it wouldseem that they paid divine honours to stocks andstones converted into images, which they calledzemi ; not regarding these idols as symbolical re-presentations only of their subordinate divinities,and useful as sensible objects, to awaken the me-mory and animate devotion, but ascribing divinityto the material itself, and actually worshippingthe rude stone or block which their own hands hadfashioned. Their idols were universally hideousand frightful, sometimes respresenting toads andother odious reptiles ; but more frequently the hu-man face horribly distorted ; a proof that they con-sidered them, not as benevolent, but evil powers ;as objects of terror, not of admiration and love.To keep alive this sacred and awful prejudice inthe minds of the multitude, and heighten its in-fluence, their bohitos or priests appropriated aconsecrated house in each village, wherein the zemiwas invoked and worshipped. Nor was it per-mitted to the people at large, at all times to enter,and on unimportant occasions approach the dreadobject of their adoration. The bohitos undertookto be their messengers and interpreters, and by theefficacy of their prayers to avert the dangers whichthey dreaded. The ceremonies exhibited on thesesolemnities were well calculated to extend thepriestly dominion, and confirm the popular sub-jection. In the same view, the bohitos added totheir holy profession the practice of physic, andthey claimed likewise the privilege of educatingthe children of the first rank of people ; a combi-nation of influence which, extending to the nearestand dearest concerns both of this life- and the next,rendered their authority irresistible. Religion washere made the instrument of civil despotism, andthe will of the cacique, if confirmed by the priest,was impiously pronounced the decree of heaven.Columbus relates, that some of his people enteringj