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The geographical and historical dictionary of America and the West Indies [volume 1]
of declaring war is by sending from town to townan arrow clenched in a dead man’s hand,which they call comocatoria; and this they didin the year 1723, making terrible havoc andslaughter. This kingdom is evidently, fromwhat has been asserted, the most fertile, abun-dant, rich, and delightful region of all America ;to which Nature has granted, in profusion, allthat she has given to others, either with a sparinghand, or at too high a price. The people areliealthy and robust. The wind which generallyprevails is thes. w. and the Puelche, which comesfrom the cordillera, is somewhat troublesome. [ThePuelche wind takes its name from some Indians socalled, and from whose country it blows.] Chileis divided into two bishoprics, suffragan to thearchbishopric of Lima ; and these are of Santiagoand La Concepcion. It is governed by a president,governor, and captain-general, which title wasfirst possessed by Doii Melchor Bravo de Saravia,and its government is divided into 18 provincesor districts, which are,
l-a Serena or CoquimbiQuillota,
And the islands of Juatal is Santiago.
Catalogue of the barbarous Nations and principalPlaces in the kingdom of Chile.
Coquimbo or La Se-
San Juan de la Fron-tera,
San Luis de Loyola,Valdivia,
Nubbe or Nuble,Pereroa,
Estancia del Rey or
Fernandez. The capi-
Estancia de Rey, gold,Larapangui, silver,Ligua, vole.
Llaon, gold,Llupangui, gold,Notuco, vole.
Petorca, gold,Quillacoya, gold,Sinn, vole.
De la Sal,
Catalogue of the Presidents, Governors, and Cap-tains-general of the Kingdom of Chile.
1. The Adelantado Pedro de Valdivia, conquer-or of the kingdom; he served much, and withgreat valour, in the conquest of Peru, was a colo-nel of foot under Francis Pizarro, entered in theyear 1537, founded the first towns, and governeduntil the year 1551 ; he was made prisoner, fight-
]^pean merchandise gold, silver, copper, vicugnawool, and hides. A trade with the East Indieswould be more profitable to the Chilians'than anyother, as tlieir most valuable articles have eitherbecome scarce, or are not produced in that wealthypart of Asia ; and the passage, in consequence ofthe prevalence of the s. winds in the Pacific, wouldbe easy and expeditious. No money is coined orhas currency in Chile except gold and silver, acircumstance very embarrassing to the internaltraffic. Their smallest silver coin is one sixteenthof a dollar, and their weights and measures are thesame that are used in Madrid.
13. Natural divisions. — Chile, properly called,or that part which is situated between the Andes andthe sea, and within lat. 24° and 45° s. is at least 120miles in breadth. It is commonly divided intotwo equal parts, that is, the maritime country, andthe midland country ; the maritime country is in-tersected by three chains of mountains, runningparallel to the Andes, between which are numerousvalleys watered by delightful rivers. The midlandcountry is almost flat ; a few insulated hills only areto be seen, which diversify and render the appear-ance of it more pleasing. The Andes, which areconsidered as the loftiest mountains in the world,cross the whole continent of America, in a directionfrom s. to n. for we cannot consider the mountainsin North America in any other light than as a con-tinuation of the cordilleras. The part appertainingto Chile may be 120 miles in breadth ; it consistsof a great number of mountains, all of tliernofaprodigious height, which appear to be chained toeach other, and where nature displays all thebeauties and all the horrors of the most picturesquesituations. Although it abounds witli frightfulprecipices, many agreeable valleys and fertile pas-tures are to be found there; and the rivers, whichderive their sources from the mountains, often ex-hibit the most pleasing as well as the most terrify-ing features. That portion of the cordilleras whichis situated between lat. 24° and 33° is wholly de-sert ; but the remainder, as far as the 45°, is in-habited by some colonies of Chilians, who areCcallcd Chiquillanes, Pehuenches, Puelches, andHuilliches, but are more generally known by thename of Patagonians. The surface of Chile isestimated at 378,000 square miles. There areabout eight or nine roads which cross its cordillera ;of which that leading from the province of Acon-cagua to Cuyo, although dangerous, as being nar-row, and having on either side lofty and perpendi-cular mountains, is the most travelled. Mules areoften precijiitated from these roads into the riversbeneath.
14. Political divisions . — The political divisionsof Chile consist of the part occupied by the Spa-niards, and that which is inhabited by the Indians.The Spanish part is situated between lat. 24° and37° s. and is divided into 13 provinces, viz.Copiapo, Coquimbo, Quillota, Aconcagua, Meli-pilla, and St. Jago, (which contains the capital cityof the country of the same name), Rancagua, Cal-diagua, Maule, Ytata, Chilian, Puchacay, andIluilquelemu. The Indian country is situated be-tween the river Biobio and the Archipelago ofChiloe, or lat. 36° and 41°. It is inhabited by threedifferent nations, the Araucanians, the Cunches,and the Huilliches. The Araucanians do not, asMr. De Paun pretends, inhabit the barren rocks ofChile, but, on the contrary, the finest plains in thewhole country, situate between the rivers Biobioand Valdivia.
15. Climate . — Chile is ono of the best countries
in America. The beauties of its sky, the constantmildness of its climate, and its abundant fertility,render it, as a place of residence, extremely agree-able ; and with respect to its natural productions,it may be said, without exaggeration, not to be in-ferior to any portion of the globe. The seasons suc-ceed each other regularly, and are sufficientlymarked, aithougli the transition from cold to heatis very moderate. The spring in Chile commences,as in all the countries of the s. hemisphere, the 22dSeptember, the summer in December, the autumnin March, and the winter in June. The followingaccount is from Robertson s History of America^vol. IV. c. 7. “ That part of Chile which may
properly be deemed a Spanish province, is a narrowdistrict, extending along the coast from the desertof Atacamas to the island of Chiloe, above 900miles. Its climate is the most delicious of thenew world, and is hardly equalled by that of anyregion on the face of the earth. Though border-ing on the torrid zone, it never feels the extremityof heat, being screened on the e. by the Andes, andrefreshed from the w. by cooling sea-breezes. Thetemperature of the air is so mild and equable, thatthe Spaniards give it the preference of that of the
provinces in their native country. The fertiliU’of the soil corresponds with the benignity of theclimate, and is wonderfully accommodated toEuropean productions. The most valuable ofthese, corn, wine, and oil, abound in Chile, as ifthey had been native in the country. Ail the fruitsimported from Europe attain to full maturity there.The animals of our hemisphere not only multiply,but improve in this delightful region. The hornedcattle are of larger size than those of Spain. Itsbreed of horses surpasses, both in beauty and in]