Search for "St. Vincent"
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]
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[ of the captives as he thought fit, and his country-men presented to his choice the most beautiful oftheir daughters in reward of his valour. It wasprobably this last-mentioned testimony of publicesteem and gratitude that gave rise in these islandsto the institution of polygamy, which, as hathbeen already observed, prevailed universally amongthem, and still prevails among the Caribes of S.America ; an institution the more excusable, astheir women, from religious motives, carefullyavoided the nuptial intercourse after pregnancy.Though frequently bestowed as the prize of suc-cessful courage, the wife, thus honourably obtain-ed, was soon considered of as little value as thecaptive. Deficient in those qualities which alonewere estimable among the Caribes, the femaleswere treated rather as slaves than companions:they sustained every species of drudgery ; theyground the maize, prepared the cassavi, gatheredin the cotton, and wove the hammoc; nor werethey allowed even the privilege of eating in pre-sence of their husbands. Under these circum-stances, it is not wonderful that they were less pro-lific than the women of Europe. Father JosephGumilla, in his account of the nations borderingon the Orinoco, relates (tom. i. p. 207. Fr. trans-lation), that the Caribes of the continent punishtheir women caught in adultery like the ancientIsraelites, “ by stoning them to death before anassembly of the people ;" a fact not recorded by anyother writer. We know but little concerning theirdomestic economy, their arts, manufactures, andagriculture ; their sense of filial and paternal ob-ligations, their religious rights and funeral cere-monies. Such further information, however, inthese and other respects, as authorities the leastdisputable afford, we have abridged in the follow-ing detached observations. Besides the ornamentswhich we have noticed to have been worn by bothsexes, the women, on arriving at the age of pu-berty, were distinguished also by a sort of buskinor half boot made of cotton, which surrounded thesmall part of the leg. The same sort of brodequinor buskin is worn by the female Hottentots andother nations of Africa; a distinction, however, towhich such of their females as had been taken inthe chance of war dared not aspire. In otherrespects, both male and female appeared as nakedas our first parents before the fall. Like them, asthey knew no guilt, they knew no shame ; nor wasclothing thought necessary to personal comfort,where the chill blast of winter is never lelt. Theirhair was uniformly of a shining black, straight, andcoarse ; but they dressed it with daily care, andadorned it with great art, the men, in particular,
decorating their heads with feathers of various co-lours. As their hair thus constituted their chiefpride, it was an unequivocal proof of the sincerityof their sorrow, when, on the death of a relationor friend, they cut it short like their slaves andcaptives, to whom the privilege of wearing longhair was rigorously denied. Like most other na-tions of the new hemisphere, they eradicated, withgreat nicety, the incipient beard, and all super-fluous hairs on their bodies ; a circumstance whichhas given rise to the false notion that all the Abo-rigines of America were naturally beardless. Onthe birth of a child, its tender and flexible skullwas confined between two small pieces of wood,which, applied before and behind, and firmlybound together on each side, elevated the fore-head, and occasioned it and the back part of theskull to resemble two sides of a square ; a customstill observed by the miserable remnant of Red Ca-ribes in the island of St. Vincent. It has beensaid by anatomists, that the coronal suture of newborn children in the West Indies is commonlymore open than that of infants born in colder cli-mates, and the brain more liable to external in-jury. Perhaps, therefore, the Indian custom ofdepressing the os frontis and the occiput, was ori-ginally meant to assist the operation of nature inclosing the skull. They resided in villages whichresembled an European encampment, for their ca-bins were built of poles fixed circularly in theground, and drawn to a point at the top ; theywere then covered w ith leaves of the palm tree. Inthe centre of each village was a building of supe-rior magnitude to the rest: it was formed withgreat labour, and served as a public hall or statehouse, wherein we are assured that the men (ex-cluding the women) had their meals in common.These halls were also the theatres where their youthwere animated to emulation, and trained to mar-tial enterprise by the renown of their warriors andthe harangues of their orators. Their arts and ma-nufactures, though few, displayed a degreeof inge-nuity which one would have scarcely expected tofind amongst a people so little removed from astate of mere animal nature as to reject all dress assuperfluous. Columbus observed an abundance ofsubstantial cotton cloth in all the islands which hevisited ; and the natives possessed the art of stain-ing it with various colours, though the Caribes de-lighted chiefly in red. Of this cloth they madehammocs, or hanging beds, such as are now usedat sea ; for Europe has not only copied the pat-tern, but preserved also the original name. Allthe early Spanish and French writers expressly as-sert, that the original Indian name for their swing-
CATAMARCA, S. Fernando de, a city ofthe province and government of Tucumán, found-ed by Juan Gomez Zurita, in 1538, in the fertileand extensive valley of Conando. It has a fort torepress the encroachments of the Indians. Thename of Canete was given it in honour to the vice-roy who then commanded in Peru ; this was after-wards changed to London, in honour to the queenof England, wife of Philip II. king of Spain. Theinquietudes caused amongst the inhabitants by theinfidel Indians induced Don Geronimo Luis deCabrera, son of a governor of that province, in1663, to remove it to another not less fertile val-ley, and to give it the name of San J uan de la Ri-vero ; and lastly, by the permission of the king,in 1683, it was transferred to a spot in the valleyof Catamarca ; where it still remains, under thesame title, at 80 leagues distance from its first sta-tion. It has, besides the parish church, a conventof the Recoletos monks of St. Francis, with thededicatory title of San Pedro de Alcantara ; anhospital of Merced ; aud a house of residence,which formerly belonged to the regulars of thecompany of Jesuits. On the w. side of the val-ley is a mountain in which there are gold mines ;and on the w. also from n. to s. runs a serrama^ theskirts of which are for many leagues covered withestates and cultivated grounds, and filled, fromthe abundance of fine pastures, with lage and smallcattle and with mules. A tolerably large riverruns through the valley in the rainy season, andterminates in some lakes M’hich are formed by itabout 30 leagues s. of the city. The commerce ofthis city is very small, so that there is no coin cur-rent ; and even the payments of the royal dutiesare paid in effects, and in the productions of thecountry, such as cotton, linens, pepper, brandy,and wheat. Lat. 27° s.
Catamarca, a settlement of the same provinceand government ; situate in the district of thiscity.
Mapoyes, runs w. and enters the Orinoco close tothe torrent of Los Atures.
CATARAQUA, or Catarakui, a copiousriver of the province and country of the IroqueesIndians. It rises from the lake Ontario, runs n. e.and continues its course as far as Quebec, fromwhence it takes the name of St. Lawrence, andthen enters the sea.
CATARUBEN, a settlement of the missions ofSan Juan de los Llanos in the Nuevo Reyno deGranada ; one of the seven which were held bythe regulars of the company of Jesuits, and be-longing to the nation of the Salivas Indians. TheCaribes burnt and destroyed it in 1684.
(CATAWESSY, a township in Northumberlandcounty, Pennsylvania ; situate on the s. e. bankof the e. branch of Susquehannah river, oppositethe mouth of Fishing creek, and about 20 milesn. e. of Sunbury.)
(CATHERINE’S Isle, St, a small island inthe captainship of St. Vincent’s in Brazil, be-longing to the Portuguese, 47 leagues s. of Cana-nea island. It is about 23 miles from n. to s. in-habited by Indians, wiio assist the Portugueseagainst their enemies, the natives of Brazil. Lak27° 10' s. Long. 47° 15' w.)
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(CHICKASAW Bluff is on the e. bank of theMississippi, witiiin the territories of the UnitedStates, in lat. 35 n. The Spaniards erected herea strong stockaded fort, with cannon, and furnishedit with troops, all in the space of 24 hours, in themonth of June 1795. It has since been given up,.according to the treaty of 1796.)
(Chickasaw, a creek which falls into theWabash from the c. a little below Post St. Vin-cent.)
(Chickasaw, a river which empties into theMississippi, on the e. side, 104 miles from themouth of Margot, and 67 s. w. of Mine au Fer.Tlie lands here are of an excellent quality, andcovered with a variety of useful timber, canes, &c.This river may be ascended during high floods up-wards of SO miles with boats of several tons burden.)
(Chickasaws, a famous nation of Indians, whoinhabit the country on the e. side of the Mississippi,on the head branches of the Tombigbee, Mobile,and Yazoo rivers, in the n. zo. corner of the state ofGeorgia, and n. of the country of the Chactaws.Their country is an extensive plain, tolerably wellwatered from springs, and of a pretty good soil.They have seven towns, the central one of whichis in lat. 34° 23' «• long. 89° 30' w. The num-ber of souls in this nation has been formerlyreckoned at 1725, of which 575 were fighting men.There are some Negroes among the Chickasaws,who either were taken captive in war, or ran awayfrom their masters, and sought safety among theIndians. In 1539, Ferdinand de Soto, with 900men, besides seamen, sailed from Cuba with a de-sign to conquer Florida. He travelled n. to theChickasaw country, about lat. 35° or 36° ; and threeyears after died, and was buried on the bank ofMississipi river.)
Chico, a river of the province and governmentof Panamá in the kingdom of Tierra Firme. Itrises in the mountains to the s. of the istmo, oristhmus, near the settlement of Chepo ; and runss. ze. and enters the sea in the bay or gulf of Pa-nama.
CHICOLAPA, a settlement of the head settle-ment, and alcaldla mayor of Coatepec, in NuevaEspana ; annexed to the curacy of its capital. Itcontains 187 families of Indians, who celebrateevery Friday throughout the year a teanguis orfair, at which are sold cattle and other productionsof the country. At these times it is a place of ge-neral rendezvous for the inhabitants of all the con-tiguous provinces ; and this fair has, from the greatconcourse of people usually assembling here, ob-tained the title of the famous teanguis of S. Vi-cente de Chicolapa. It is extremely fertile and plea-sant, and surrounded by several very small settle-ments or wards.
CHICOMESUCHIL, a settlement and headsettlement of tlie alcaldia mayor of Yxtepexi ofthe province and bishopric of Oaxaca in NuevaEspana, is of a hot temperature, and contains300 families of Indians, who exercise themselves inthe making scarlet cloths and cotton garments.
CHICOMOCELO, a settlement of the provinceand alcaldia mayor of Chiapa. in the kingdom ofGuatemala ; [having a cave very narrow at theentry, but spacious within, with a stagnant lake,which is, however, clear, and is two fathoms deeptowards the banks.]
CHICONAUTA, St. Tomas de, a settlementof the alcaldia mayor of Ecatepec in NuevaEspana; annexed to the curacy of its capital;from whence it is distant one league to the n. n. e.It contains 160 families of Indians.
CHICONCUAC, S. Miguel de, a settlementof the head settlement and alcaldia mayor of Tez-cuco in Nueva Espana. It contains 123 familiesof Indians, and six of Spaniards. It produces agood proportion of grain, seeds, and cattte, fromthe fleeces of which they derive great emolument,as also from the coarse stuffs manufactured of thesame. It is one league to the n. of its capital.
CHICONCUASO, a settlement of the head