Assumption, the capital of Paraguay, stands on the east bank of the river Paraguay, a little above the
mouth of the Pilcomayo, and 977 miles from the sea. The population is 7000.
Corrientes, situated a little below the confluence of the Parana and the Paraguay, contains 5000 in-
Santa Fe, at the mouth of the Salado, has about 6000 inhabitants.
Cordova is on the small river Primero, which loses itself in one of the salt lakes to the north-west of
Santa Fe. Population 6000.
Santiago del Estero lies north of Cordova, on the west bank of the Dulce.
The principal towns in the mountainous country, not already mentioned, beginning in the south, are
.Meidoxza, which lies at the foot of the eastern declivity of the Andes, and contains 21,000 inhabitants;
St. Juan, lying also at the foot of the Andes, north of Mendoza, and containing 19,000 inhabitants; Rio-
ja, still farther north; Tucumnan, or St. Miguel de Tucuman, on the Dulce, more than 100 miles above
Santiago del Estero ; Salta, on a branch of the Vermejo, with 9,000 inhabitants; La Plata, or Chiyui-
sica, about 60 miles north-east of Potosi, with 14,000 inhabitants; Charcas, or Chayanta, lying north
of Potosi, and containing 30,000 inhabitants; and La Paz, near the south-east extremity of lake Titi.
caca, with 20,000 inhabitants.
GEOGRAPHICAL, STATISTICAL, AND HISTORICAL MAP OF THE
UNITED PROVINCES OF SOUTH AMERICA.
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COMMERCE AND MANUFACTURES.
Under the old government, commerce was a monopoly in the hands of the merchants of Spain. At
present the export and import trade is principally in the hands of the British, though the United States
Sand other nations participate in it to a certain degree. The exports consist, principally, of hides, beef,
and tallow, the great staples of the country; a variety of furs and peltry; with gold and silver from
the mines of Potosi. Mules are also sent in vast droves, from Salta over the Andes into Peru. The
imports are principally British manufactures, consisting of woollen and cotton goods of every descrip.
tion, hardware, hats, porter, &c. From the United States are imported lumber and naval stores of all
kinds, salted fish, furniture, boots, shoes, &c. and from Brazil, sugar, coffee, and rum. The value of
the exports is estimated at S10,000,000 per annum ; and that of the imports is about the same.
The Roman Catholic is the established religion.
This country was formerly a Spanish colony, under the government of a viceroy; but a new govern.
meant was established in 1810, which ruled in the name of the king of Spain, till the 9th of July, 1816,
when it declared itself wholly independent, under the title of the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata,
which has since been changed for that of the United Provinces of South America. Since 1810 there
have been three or four revolutions, in each of which the form of government, so far as relates to the
executive department, has been altered. During all the changes, however, there has existed a con-
gress consisting of representatives from the several provinces.
The revenue for the year 1817 was 3,037,187 dollars.
The discovery of the country now known by the name of Buenos Ayres, took place somewhat later
than that of other parts of South America on the Atlantic. The honour of the discovery is claimed by
Sthe Spaniards. Juan Diaz de Solis, having sailed from Spain in 1515, to explore Brazil, arrived at the
mouth of the Rio de la Plata, and took formal possession of the country ; but, deceived by the friendly
appearance of the Indians, and being off his guard, he was slain with the few attendants who had landed
in company. In 1526, Sebastian Cabot, then in the Spanish service, being also on a voyage to the
coast of Brazil, entered the same river, and discovered an island, which he called St. Gabriel. Ad-
vancing about 120 leagues, he found a fine river flowing into the great stream: this he named St. Sal-
vador, and, causing his fleet to enter, disembarked his men and built a fort, in which he left a garri.
son, while he proceeded further up and discovered the Paraguay. In consequence of receiving a con-
siderable quantity of silver from the Indians, who procured it from the mines of Peru, he imagined that
mines of this precious metal existed in the interior, and accordingly gave to the river the name of
Rio de la Plata, or the river of silver. The Spanish government, having conceived a high idea of the
value of the country, determined to colonize it; and, to prevent any interference on the part of other
nations, Don Pedro de Mendoza was sent out, and founded the city of Buenos Ayres in 1535. From
the earliest period after the colonization, until the establishment of a viceroyalty, the government was
dependent upon that of Peru; though the chief of Buenos Ayres had the title of Captain-General.
Buenos Ayres continued for a long time almost unknown, all the inhabited parts of the kingdom lying
at a considerable distance from the ocean; and in consequence of the restrictions imposed upon its
commerce, having no other communication with Europe than by the annual fleet from Spain, it lan-
guished in poverty and obscurity. So extensive and fertile a country could not, however, remain
tbr ever concealed. As the population increased, though it was but slowly, and the agricultural pro-
duce multiplied, the evil consequences of the restrictions were more severely felt. The reiterated
remonstrances of the people at last opened the eyes of the Spanish government to the importance of
the colony. A relaxation took place in the system of commercial monopoly which had been rigorous-
ly adhered to; and finally, in order to put a stop to a contraband trade that had been carried to an
alarming height, register ships were allowed to sail under a license from the council of the Indies, at
any time of the year. The consequence was, that the annual flota was lessened from 15,000 to 2000
tons of shipping; and, in 1748, it sailed for the last time to Cadiz.
Other amendments of the mercantile system were made soon afterwards. In 1774, a free trade was
allowed between several of the American ports; and, in 1778 and the succeeding year, several Span-
ish seaports were allowed an open trade to Buenos A\ res and the ports of the Pacific. Buenos Ayres
was now advancing rapidly into political and commercial importance : this was rendered stable by the
erection of the government into a viceroyalty in 1778, and since that period its trade progressively in-
creased until the war between Spain and England, when a material interruption was given to it. No-
thing of moment appears in the history of Buenos Ayres, until July, 1806, when the capital was
taken by surprise, by a British army under general Beresford, which suddenly invaded the country.
These troops proceeding from the Cape of Good Hope, found the country entirely defenceless, there
being only a handful of regular troops, and the militia being unarmed and undisciplined. The British
enjoyed their triumph only a few weeks, when a small body of the militia under the command of
general Liniers, a French officer, invested the city, and forced them to surrender at discretion, on the
12th of August. Soon after the surrender of general Beresford's army, another body of troops, in
number about 5000, arrived from the Cape of Good Hope, under sir Home Popham; who, after taking
Fort Maldonado, at the mouth of La Plata, laid siege to Monte Video. The Spanish garrison made a
resolute and glorious defence, and finally compelled the besiegers to withdraw disgracefully from the
contest. Other troops arrived some time afterwards, under sir Samuel Auchmuty, and the number of
the British bearing a vast superiority over that of the garrison, another attempt was made, and the
town was finally carried by storm, after a defence which reflects the highest honour upon its little
garrison. It was now determined by the British commanders to proceed against Buenos Ayres, as
soon as certain expected reinforcements arrived. In May, 1807, these succours arrived under general
Whitelocke, who assumed the chief command, and was joined on the 15th of June by general Craw-
ford. The invading army now amounted to upwards of 12,000 men, all regular disciplined soldiers.
On the appointed day they embarked in boats, and sailing up the river, debarked below the capital.
They were permitted to approach the town without molestation; but no sooner had they entered it,
than they were received by the indignant inhabitants with one tremendous and well-directed fire of
grape and musketry. Every house was converted into a fortress, from which vengeance was poured
out upon the invaders of the soil. The British troops were thrown into confusion, and endeavoured
to find safety in a disgraceful flight. General Whitelocke, finding that the patriotism of the people
was not to be overcome, and having no means of escape, surrendered this formidable army prisoners of
war to the militia of Buenos Ayres, and thus ended the second British invasion of this province.
The important services which Liniers had rendered the people, at once elevated him to distinct.
tion. The viceroy Sobremonte was deposed, and the French general placed in his stead. The inva-
sion of Spain, however, and the deposition of Ferdinand VII. produced a counter revolution in the
public opinion. Liniers was desirous of establishing the authority of the emperor Napoleon in America as
well as Old Spain; but Don Josefde Goyeneche, who had been sent out by the junta of Cadiz, caused the
inhabitants of Buenos Ayres to proclaim Ferdinand : advising, at the same time, that a junta should be
immediately formed. So powerful and well-concerted were his measures, that on the 1st of January,
1809, the people rose in all parts of the city, and demanded the establishment of a junta. They were,
however, dispersed, and the leaders punished by the troops, who still remained faithful to Liniers.
But this temporary triumph was not of long continuance. In August, 1809, Cisneros, the new viceroy,
arrived from Spain, and Liniers was deposed by the junta, which now solemnly declared their rights.
Liners was then exiled to Cordova; but the spirit of insurrection had spread itself too widely by this
time to admit of the new viceroy continuing long in the exercise of his functions. Commotion suc-
ceeded to commotion, and, on the 26th of May, 1810, a provisional government assembled itself, de-
posed the new viceroy, and sent him to Spain. Against this measure the interior provinces, and the
city of Montevideo protested. Liniers formed an army in the neighbourhood of Cordova: and in Po-
tosi another was assembled, under general Nieto. To check these a force marched from Buenos Ay-
res. Liniers and Nieto were defeated, and themselves and six of their principal officers beheaded.
These decisive measures did not, however, extinguish the spirit of disaffection to the cause of eman-
cipation. A force was put in motion in Paraguay, under the governor Velasco; who was, however,
defeated, taken prisoner, and sent to Buenos Ayres. Montevideo still remained faithful to the mother
country; but, in December, 1816, a body of Portuguese troops entered the Banda Oriental, and took
possession of the city. All thle principal places on the eastern shore of the Uraguay, and of the coun-
try between the Parana and the Uraguay, fell into their hands, and the province still remains in their
possession. Buenos Ayres, though independent in fact, after the revolution of 1810, was not so in
name. The junta professed to pay allegiance to the government of Spain, and all decrees were issued
in the name of Ferdinand VII. At length, on the 9th of July, 1816, the minds of the people being fully
prepared for it, a formal declaration of independence was made by the general congress. No opposi-
tion was made to the measure in Buenos Ayres, as no Spanish troops had remained there since
1810. An unfortunate dissension, however, broke out between the provinces on the east bank of the
La Plata, and the general confederation, which arose from a dispute between the government of Bue-
nos Ay'res and general Artigas, one of the officers appointed to reduce Montevideo. The contest be-
tween them continued for several years, and many engagements took place, in most of which Artigas
was successful. The province of Paraguay, too, although professedly favourable to independence, re-
fused to make common cause with Buenos Ayres, and adopted a kind of non-intercourse with the
Since the declaration of independence, political revolutions have been frequent in Buenoa Ayres.
All parties, however, favour the cause of independence. The most important events in the recent
history of this republic, are the annexation of the Banda Oriental to the kingdum of Brazdil and the re-
cognition of thle independence of Buenos Ayres by the Portuguese government, both of which events
took place in July, 1821.
S I I
SITUATION, BOUNDARIES, AND EXTENT.
This extensive portion of South America was formerly known by the name of La Plata, or Buenos
Ayres; but since the revolution the name has been changed to the United Provinces of South Ame-
The United Provinces are situated between 12 and 40 45' S. lat. and 51 '10 and 69 451 W. long.
It is bounded north by Peru and Brazil; east by Brazil; south by Patagonia and the Atlantic
Ocean; and west by Chili and the Pacific Ocean, and Peru. Its mean length, from north to south, is
about 1800 miles, and mean breadth about 800; the area being about 1,440,000 square miles, or
FACE OF THE COUNTRY, SOIL, AND PRODUCTIONS.
The chain of the Andes runs from south to north along the whole western boundary: andthe coun-
try for several hundred miles to the east of the Andes is generally mountainous. The territory east of
the rivers Paraguay and Parana, is a fine, waving, well-watered country; the intermediate district,
lying between these rivers and the mountains, and extending from north to south through the whole
length of the country, consists of extensive plains. In the north these plains are in many'parts liable
to be overflowed; in the south they are called pampas, and are remarkably dry and destitute of trees.
One of the pampas, which commences near the banks of the Parana, extends beyond the southern
boundary into Patagonia, and, measured in its entire extent, is 1500 miles long, and from the ocean to
its western limits, 500 broad. Over all this immense space there are no trees, no hills, not a single
object to relieve or vary the scene. The eye passes over it as over the ocean in a calm.
A large portion of the soil is fertile, and, owing to the variety of climate, capable of producing all the
common fruits and vegetables of the temperate and torrid zones. Such, however, are the temptations
to pasturage, for which the country is eminently adapted, that agriculture has hitherto been almost en-
tirely neglected. Immense herds of cattle and horses graze on the extensive plains, and constitute at
this time the principal source of wealth. The territory east of the Paraguay and Parana is considered
the fairest portion of the country, the soil being every where exceedingly fertile, producing the sugar
cane, the orange, fig, olive, and vine, together with wheat, Indian corn, and barley. Hitherto, how-
ever, this fine soil has been appropriated chiefly to pasturage. The grounds in the immediate vicinity
of the cities are in general highly improved. The province of Paraguay produces that singular herb
called matte or Paraguay tea, which, being prepared by boiling it in water like common tea, makes
the favourite beverage of the inhabitants, and is extensively used in various parts of South America.
Large quantities of it are annually exported to Peru and Chili.
This country is very rich in mineral productions. In the mountainous districts along the Andes,
almost every town and valley from Mendoza to La Paz, has had, or now has some productive mine in
its neighbourhood. A short time since there were 73 mines in actual operation, viz. 30 of gold, 27 of
silver, two of tin, seven of copper, and seven of lead. The richest of these are the celebrated silver
mines of Potosi, which were discovered in 1545, and from that time to 1803, yielded 237,358,334 pounds
sterling, or nearly L.1,000,000 annually. The extensive plains lying between the Paraguay and
the mountains, and watered by the Pilcomayo, the Vermejo, the Salado, and the Dulce, abound with
RIVERS AND LAKE.
The Paraguay is the principal river of this country. It rises in the very centre of South America,
and, pursuing a southerly course of more than 2000 miles, enters the ocean by a mouth 150 miles
broad, between cape Santa Maria on the north, and cape St. Antonio on the south. Its principal tribu-
taries are the Parana and the Uruguay from the east, and the Pilcomayo, the Vermejo, the Salado, the
Tercera, and the Saladillo from the west. From the junction of the Parana to the junction of the
Uruguay, it is usually called Parana river; and from the junction of the Uruguay to the ocean, the
Rio de la Plata. It is navigable for large vessels to Assumption, a little above the mouth of the Pilco.
mayo, and nearly 1000 miles from the ocean; and, for small craft, to the 18th degree of south latitude.
Just above this parallel it overflows its banks during the rainy season, and spreads itself over the flat
country, forming an immense lake, called lake Xarayes, which is generally 330 miles long, and 120
broad, but so shallow that it is not navigable in any part except for canoes and small boats.
The Parana, which robs the Paraguay of its name, rises in the mountains of Brazil, in the province
of Minas Geraes, and running on the whole in a south-westerly direction for about 1000 miles, joins the
Paraguay at Corrientes. It runs in a broad, deep channel, and seldom overflows its banks. In lat.
24 is the fall of Itu, formed by a collection of rocks, which rise from the bed of the river in separate
masses, and leave channels for the passage of the water. Boats pass down without difficulty, and are
drawn up by ropes.
The f ruguay rises on the declivity of the Brazilian Andes, in the province of Rio Grande, near the
parallel of 28Q south latitude; and pursues a south-westerly course of more than 1000 miles. It is na-
vigable for 200 miles from its mouth, but higher up the navigation is interrupted by rapids and falls,
which prevent the ascent of every thing but canoes and flat-bottomed boats.
The Rio JVegro is an eastern branch of the Uruguay, and joins it 54 miles from its mouth. It is na-
vigable for large vessels 40 miles.
The Pilcomayo, the largest western branch of the Paraguay, rises in the Andes, near the parallel of
20 degrees north latitude; and, after flowing in an easterly direction for 600 miles through the moun-
tainous country, turns to the south-east, and, traversing a level country for more than 400 miles, falls
into the Paraguay in 25 degrees south latitude. It is navigable nearly to its source.
The Vermejo rises near the sources of the Pilcomayo, and flowing south-east, joins the Paraguay in
about latitude 27 degrees south. Its current is very gentle, and few rivers are equally navigable.
The Salado, which discharges itself at Santa Fe, in latitude 31 40' south, after a south-east course
of 800 miles, is difficult of navigation.
The Saladillo, which falls into the Plata, about 50 miles from cape St. Antonio, after a south-east
course of several hundred miles, may be regarded as a continuation of the Rio Quinto and Rio Quarto,
which, during the greater part of the year, are lost in a marshy lake ;but, in the rainy season, commu-
nicate by various channels with the Saladillo.
The Rio Dulce rises in the mountains of the interior, and flowing parallel with the Salado for a con-
siderable distance, loses itself in the salt lakes of Povongos, 100 miles north-west of Santa Fe.
In the northern part of the country, the Mamore, and several other head streams of the Madeira,
rise on the north side of the Andes of Chiquitos, and pass into Peru.
Lake Titicaca is in the north-west part of the country, between two ridges of the Andes. It is about
240 miles in circumference, and is sufficiently deep to be navigated by the largest vessels. It contains
several islands, one of which was the residence of Manco Capac, the first of the Incas, and the illustri-
ous founder of the Peruvian monarchy.
In so extensive a country there is of course a considerable variety of climate. In the plains the heat
of summer is extremely oppressive, while in the more elevated regions the atmosphere is cool and
healthy. At the city of Buenos Ayres, in the southern part of the country, the thermometer occasion-
ally, in the course of the winter, descends to the freezing point; but if this happens frequently,the win-
ter is reckoned severe. The north winds invariably bring heat, and have the effect of the Sirocco on
the feelings. The south-west winds, blowing over the immense plains or pampas in the south, are
called pamperos. They are remarkably dry: and during their prevalence animal putrefaction scarcely
goes on at all.
CIVIL DIVISIONS AND POPULATION.
Some partial subdivisions have been made in this country since the revolution; but, as they are not
likely to be permanent, it is considered preferable to shew the divisions as they existed in 1810 : at
that time there were 11 provinces, one commander, eightintendancies, and two audiences. The in-
tendancies are laid down in the map, and are as follows :
Intendancies. Chief Towns.
1. Buenos Ayres. Buenos Ayres, Monte Video, Santa Fe, Corrientes.
2. Paraguay. Assumption.
3. Cordova. Cordova, Mendoza, San Juan de Jacban, S. Luis de la Punta:
4. Salta. Salta, S. Miguel de Tucuman, Santiago del Estero, Jujuy.
5. Potosi. Potosi, Chayanta, Chicas.
6. Charcas. Chuquisaca, orLa Plata, Yamparaes, Oruro.
7. La Paz. La Paz, Sicasica.
8. Cochabamba. Cochabamba, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Mizque.
According to the official estimates furnished in 1817, by the government of Buenos Ayres to the de-
puties of the United States, the population was 1,300,000, exclusive of Indians. The civilized Indians
alone, it is supposed, amount to more than 700,000. The population is composed, as in the other Span-
ish colonies, of whites, Indians, mestizoes, negroes, and mulattoes. The number of negroes and mulat-
toes, however, is very small. The most populous districts are around the towns on the coast, and near
the mouths of the great rivers, and the mining districts in the west; but particularly the north-west-
ern provinces, near the borders of Peru, which were formerly attached to that country ; and are still
called Alto Peru, or Upper Peru. The plains inthe north are almost exclusively occupied by tribes
of wandering Indians.
Buenos .Ayres, the capital, is built on the south-west bank of the Rio de la Plata, 180 miles from its
mouth. The river here is 30 miles broad, and is merely an open road. Ships cannot approach within
three leagues of the shore, and are compelled to unload by lighters. The commerce of the town is
very extensive, the port being the outlet for the produce, not only of the whole valley of the Plata
but also of large districts of Peru and Chili. The population is estimated at 62,000.
lMonte Video stands on the north shore of the Plata, 120 miles east of Buenos Ayres, and occupies
the whole of a peninsular promontory, which projects southward from the main land. The fortifica-
tions are on the isthmus to the north of the town, and are very strong, being regular works built of
stone. The harbour, which lies on the west of the town, is of a circular shape, four miles in diameter,
with a narrow entrance. It is deep enough for large ships, and is the best in the Rio de la Plata. The
population is variously stated, from 10 to 20,000.
Potosi, famous for its rich silver mines, lies in the Andes, in latitude 20 26' south, near one of the
sources of the Pilcomayo. The population is estimated at 100,000, of whom 30,000 are employed in
the adjacent mines.