Besides these tribes, all the country on the Orinoco above the cataracts
of Atures, and indeed all the immense tract between the sources of the Ori-
noco and those of the Amazon, are inhabited by nations of savages, who have
hitherto resisted all the efforts of the Spaniards to civilize or subdue them.
Santa Fe de Bogota, formerly the capital of the viceroyalty of New Granada,
and now the seat of government for the republic, is on the small river Bogota,
a tributary of the Magdalena. It is handsomely built, on a spacious fertile
plain, elevated more than 8000 feet above the level of the sea, and contains
about 30,000 inhabitants.
St. Thomas is regularly laid out on the south bank of the Orinoco, and con-
tains 7000 inhabitants.
Leon de Caraccaas is situated among the mountains near the northern coast,
in a valley elevated 2900 feet above the level of the sea. It is regularly laid
out, and in 1802 contained 42,000 inhabitants, of whom one-fourth were
whites, and the rest negroes, Indians and mulattoes. In March, 1812, a dread-
ful earthquake destroyed mariy houses, and buried 12,000 persons in the ruins.
La Guayra, the port of Caraccas, is on the coast, 7 miles north of the city, in
an unhealthy situation, being surrounded by lofty mountains which exclude
the breeze. The harbour, though more frequented than any other on the
coast, is open to the wind, and continually agitated by the surge of the sea,
which renders loading and unloading extremely inconvenient, and sometimes
impossible. The population is about 6000.
Quito is situated in the Andes, almost under the equator, at the distance of
about 100 miles from the coast of the Pacific ocean. It is built on the side of
the volcanic mountain of Pichincha, at an elevation of 9510 feet above the level
of the sea. It has a delightful climate, but is exposed to dreadful earth-
quakes. The population is about 70,000, of whom one-sixth are whites, and
the rest Indians and mestizoes.
Carthagena, in long. 76 west, has a spacious harbour, defended from
every wind, with a sufficient depth of water and good anchorage; but the
entrance is very narrow. The climate is excessively hot and unhealthy;
but its advantageous situation has, notwithstanding, made it a place of ex-
tensive trade. The population is estimated at 24,000.
Porto Bello is on the north coast of the isthmus of Darien. It has an ex-
cellent harbour, but the situation is unhealthy, and the population is inconsi-
Panama, on the south side of the isthmus of Darien, 65 miles south of Porto
Bello, at the bottom of the bay of Panama, was formerly a place of great
trade. Guayaquil is on the west bank of the river of the same name, about
20 miles from its mouth. The river is navigable to the town for vessels of'
any size, and affords an excellent harbour.
.Maracaibo is on the western bank of the lake of the same name, near its
outlet. The harbour has a bar at its mouth, over which vessels drawing more
than 12 feet of water cannot pass. The population is 25,000, more than half
of whom are whites.
Cumana is situated near the mouth of the gulf of Cariaco, on an arid and
sandy plain, about a mile from the sea. The inhabitants, 18,000 in number,
are principally engaged in navigation and the fisheries.
Porto-Cabello, situated on a peninsula about 90 miles west of Leon, is the
commercial emporium of a considerable district. Its harbour is one of the
best in America, being deep, spacious, completely protected from the surge
of the sea and from every wind, and well defended by several forts. The
inhabitants, 7500 in number, are principally employed in commerce and na-
vigation, and have been heretofore extensively engaged in the contraband
trade with CuraCoa and Jamaica.
Popayan is situated on the Andes, under lat. 2 28' N. about 250 miles
south-west of the capital, on an extensive plain, elevated 5905 feet above the
level of the sea, and in the immediate vicinity of two great volcanoes. The
population is computed at 25,000, of whom one-third are negroes.
Angostura, situated on the Orinoco river, about 400 miles from its outlet,
is a place of considerable trade. It contains about 7000 inhabitants.
CANALS AND INLAND NAVIGATION.
Various plans have been proposed for connecting the two oceans by ca.
nals. The small river Chagre, which falls into the Caribbean sea a little
west of Porto-Bello, is navigable to ('ruces, 5 leagues from Panama. The
elevation of the country between Crices and Panama has never been accu-
rately ascertained; but it is supposed %would interpose no obstacle to a canal
for boats, though it might be wholly.impossible to construct one for large
In conformity with the fundamental law, the installation of the general congress of
Colombia took place on the 6th of May, 1821, in the city of Rosario of Cucuta. The
first measure considered by this body was the constitution, and it was finally determined
that the two states should form one nation, under a popular representative government,
divided into legislative, executive, and judicial. Bolivar, the president, was in the
mean time, actively engaged in bringing the war to a close, On the 24th of June, 1821,
was fought the memorable battle of Carabobo, in which the royalist army was totally
defeated, with the loss of their artillery, baggage, and upwards of six thousand men.
At the beginning of 1822, only Porto Cabello, in Venezuela, and the isthmus of Pana-
ma, in New Granada, remained in possession of the Spaniards.
SITUATION, BOUNDARIES, AND EXTENT.
Colombia is situated between 5 50'(Y S. and 120 30' N. lat. and 58 and 82 W. long.
It is bounded north by the Caribbean sea; north-east by the Atlantic ocean; east by
Guiana, from which it is separated by the river Essequebo; south by Brazil and Peru;
west by the Pacific ocean; and north-west by Guatimala in North America, with which
it is connected by the isthmus of Darien. Its mean length is estimated at 1500 miles,
and its breadth 900; the area being about 1,350,000 square miles.
FACE OF THE COUNTRY, MOUNTAINS, &c.
The chain of the Andes is continued from Peru along the coast of the Pacific ocean,
through the whole extent of this country from south to north. Near the southern boun-
daryv the range divides into two distinct ridges, which run in a northerly direction, par-
allel with each other for 200 miles, inclosing between them a longitudinal valley 20 or
30 miles broad, and elevated 9000 feet above the level of the sea. Between the 2d
and 3d degrees of N. lat. the range again divides into three separate chains; the east-
ern is the chain of Venezuela; the middle the chain of Santa Martha; and the western
the proper Andes. The chain of Venezuela runs in a north-easterly direction towards
the southern extremity of the lake of Maracaibo, where it divides into two branches,
one of which proceeds on the west side of the lake, and terminates near Cape de la VeS\
la on the Caribbean sea ; the other continues in a north-easterly direction, and winds along
the northern coast, continually diminishing in height, till it terminates on the gulf of
Paria, opposite the island of Trinidad. The whole country east of the Andes, and south
of the chain of Venezuela, consists of immense plains, which stretch out for hundreds of
miles in length and width, comprehending the vast tracts watered by the Orinoco and
its branches. The district along the banks of the Orinoco, in the lower part of its
course, extending 200 leagues from its mouth, and in some places 30 leagues broad, is
annually overflu,wed in the rainy season, and nothing is then discoverable but an occa-
sional hillock, and tile tops of the tallest trees.
The loftiest summits of the Andes are immediately south of the equator, in the two
ridges in the province of Quito. These ridges rise above the valley included between
then like two walls, and are beset with colossal summits, exceeding in height all the
other mountains of the new world. The loftiest peak is the celebrated Chimborazo,
which rist s between 1 and 2, S. lat. to the height of 21,440 feet above the level of the
sea, and for nearly 5000 feet from its top is covered with perpetual snow. Volcanoes
are very numerous. Of these thie most dreadful, on account of the frequency and vio-
lence of its eruptions, is Cotopaxi, which rises at the d stance of 40 miles south-east of
the city of Quito to the height of 18,890 feet above the level of the sea. Antisana is
situated to the north of Cotopaxi, and is 19,150 feet above the level of the sea.
All the large rivers which rise east of the Andes, and south of the chain of Venezue-
la, are tributaries of tile Orinoco, or of the Amazon ; those which rise west of the An-
des fall into the Pacific ocean, and those between the eastern and western branches flow
north into the Caribbean sea. The Orinoco, the A.mazon, and their branches, have alrea-
dy been described under the general account of South America.
The Mlagdalena, the largest of the remaining streams, rises near Popayan, near the
parallel of 2 N. lat. and pursuing a northerly direction between the eastern and middle
branches of the Andes, falls into the Caribbean sea, after a course of 1000 miles, for 600
of which it is navigable.
The Cauca rises also near Popayan, and pursuing a northerly course of about 500
miles, between tile middle and western branches of the Andes, falls into the Magdalena.
Tile Atrato is a considerable river, which falls into the gulh of Darien, after a northerly
course of 2 or 3 hundred miles.
The Guayaquil, which falls into the gulf of the same name, is navigable for 120 miles.
The Guarapiche river falls into the gulf of Paria.
BAYS AND LAKES.
The principal bays on the coast of the Pacific ocean are, the gulf of Guayaquil in the
south, the bay of Choco in the middle, and the bay of Panama in the north. On the
northern coast are the gulf of Durien, which is separated from the bay of Panama by
the isthmus of arien ; te us of ulfoJ g aracaibo, which is inclosed between two peninsu-
las, and communicates with the Caribbean sea by a mouth 40 miles wide; the gulf of
Cariaco, formed by a long narrow peninsula which projects from the main land to the
south of the island of Margarita; and the gulfof oParia, formed by the main land on the
west, and the island of Trinidad on the cast. Lake .Maracaibo is 200 miles long and 70
broad, and communicates with the gulf of Maracaibo through a narrow strait, which is
well defended by strong forts. A large lake, called lake Parima, is frequently laid down
on the maps a little to the cast of the sources of the Orinoco, but its dimensions and
even its existence have never been ascertained; it has therefore been omitted in this
SOIL AND PRODUCTIONS.
The soil of this country is fertile in all the richest productions of the temperate and
torrid zones. The low plains produce in abundance sugar cane, coffee, cacao, cotton,
tobacco, beautiful timber for ship-building, valuable dye-woods, and medicinal plants of
various kinds. The cacao of Caraccas is twice as valuable as that of the Antilles; the
indigo is inferior to none but that of Guatimala; the tobacco is said to be worth as much
again as the best Virginia or Mar) land; the coffee would rival that of Mocha it the
same care were used in its preparation. The plains of the Orinoco are covered with im-
mense herds of mules, oxen, and horses. Maize, wheat, and all the European plants and
vegetables are cultivated on the high plains, as successfully as in New Spain,
The climate varies according to the elevation. On the coasts and in the low country
it is excessively hot and unhealthy. Tile elevated plains between the double ridge of
the Andes, although directly under the equator, in the centre of the torrid zone, en-
joy a temperate and steady climate. The temperature in the city of Leon de Caraccas
also, which is elevated nearly 8000 feet above the sea, is delightful throughout the year.
CIVIL DIVISIONS AND POPULATION.
The republic is composed of the United Provinces of New Granada and Venezuela ;
and contains the following
Quito, recently New Granada.
There are other divisions; but, the republic being recently formed, considerable
alterations will probably be made in the organization. Panama has recently declared it-
self independent, and requested to be admitted into the confederation.
The population is estimated at nearly 3,000,000. It is composed of whites, Indians,
mestizoes, negroes, and mulattoes. Many of the Indian tribes in this country have been
brought into subjection to the whites, and have become partially civilized by the labours
of the Catholic missionaries. They are allowed to live in villages by themselves, and to
be governed by magistrates of their own choice. The principal Indians remaining un-
subdued, are the Goahiros, who are about 30,000 in number, and occupy a tract along
the coast to the west of the gulf of Maracaibo. They often make inroads upon the
neighboring settlements. The Guaraunos, who inhabit the islands formed by the
mouths of the Orinoco, are about 8000 in number. The Caribs occupy the coast of
Spanish Guiana, between the mouths of the Bssequebo and the Orinoco. They have been
troublesome neighbours, but itis supposed, might be subdued without much difficulty.
GEOGRAPHICAL, STATISTICAL, AND HISTORICAL MAP OF COLOMBIA.
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THE REPUBLIC OF COLOMBIA.
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tl-~l! ?? 57
The republic of Colombia is of very recent origin, although the history of the two
states, by the union of which it has been formed, is coeval with the era of Columbus.
Previously to the year 1811, these states were known by the name of the vice-royalty of
Granada, and the captain-generalship of Caraccas. Of these annals prior to the union, a
brief sketch will here be given.
The coasts of New Granada which border on the Caribbean sea, were first visited by
Columbus, during his fourth voyage. Sailing from Spain to the West Indies, he arrived
with his fleet at St. Domingo, where, having been refused permission to enter, he was
obliged to stand to the west ; and, after sailing in this direction for a few days, disco-
vered a little island off the cape of Honduras, where his brother landed and traded with
the natives. Prosecuting their voyage, they touched at the cape itself, on which they
landed to take possession for the crown of Spain. After performing this ceremony, the
fleet proceeded along the shore, and was compelled by the easterly winds to double a
cape, which the pilots performing with difficulty, gave it the name of cape Gracias A
Dios. Columbus touched in the course of the voyage at Veragua, Nombre de Dios,
Belos, Porto Bello, and many other places. At Veragua lie sent his brother up into the
country to search for gold, and Bartholomew returning with a considerable quantity,
the admiral wished to have planted a colony here: but after several fruitless attempts,
abandoned the design. Ojeda and Amerigo Vespucci, as well as many other adventu-
rous persons, followed Columbus in exploring parts of the coast of New Granada, and
Vespucci gave the first regular description of the people who inhabited its shores. In
the year 1508, Ojeda and Nicuessa obtained from the Spanish crown extensive grants in
this district and the adjoining country. Ojeda had the country from cape de la Vela to
the gulph of Darien included in his charter, which tract was to be styled New Andalu-
sia ; and Nicuessa was appointed to govern from the gulph of Darien to cape Gracias
A Dios; the territory included within these points to be named Golden Castile. Soon
after the arrival of Ojeda at Carthagena, he imprudently attacked the natives, and lost
the greater part of his men ; but was fortunately relieved by the arrival ot Nicuessa; he
then went to the gulph of Darien, and established a colony on the eastern promontory,
which he named St. Sebastian. The new colony was reduced to such distress in a short
time, that it was determined to proceed to Carthagena : but while on their passage they
met with two vessels bringing supplies; and returning to St, Sebastian, found their town
destroyed by the natives. The whole colony then sailed to the river of Darien, where
they attacked and conquere i an Indian tribe, and founded a town, which they named
Santa Maria del Darien. In the mean time Nicuessa endeavoured to establish a colony
at Nombre de Dios : but a deputation being sent to request him to assume the govern-
ment, (Ojeda having died,) he repaired thither: but, on his arrival, found that great dis-
sensions had arisen among the colonists; who, instead of appointing him to the govern-
ment, put him in a decayed vessel, and sent him to sea, where he is supposed to have
perished. The province of Terra Firma, including both the grants of Nicuessa and
Ojeda, was given by a subsequent charter, in 1514, to Pedro Arias de Avila, under
whose government Vasco Nunez de Balboa, the discoverer of the South sea, was behead-
ed on account of a revolt. Under the orders of Avila, the western coast of Panama,
Veragua, and Darien was explored as far north as Cape Blanco, and the town of Pana-
ma was founded. In 1536, Sebastian de Benalcarar, one of the officers who accompa-
nied Pizarro in the expedition to Peru, effected the conquest and colonization of the
southern internal provinces of New Granada: whilst Gonzalo Ximenes de Quesada, who
had been sent by Lugo, the admiral of the Canaries, overrun the northern districts from
Santa Marta. They met with considerable opposition from the natives: but finally suc-
ceeded in reducing the country, and the whole was formed into a kingdom, and govern-
ed by a captain-general, appointed in 1547; to check whose power the royal audience
was established, of which lie was, however, made president,
In the year 1718, New Granada was formed into a viceroyalty. This form of govern-
ment continued until 1724, when the captain-generalship was restored; but, in 1740, the
viceroyalty was re-established. Under this system, the evils of which were of a very
grievous nature, the inhabitants of New Granada continued until the invasion of Spain
by the French. The desire of independence had long been prevalent; but it was not
until 1846, that it began to be publicly avowed. The juntas then chosen were composed
of persons generally fatvourable to independence. A congress from the different pro-
vinces or departments of the viceroyalty soon afterwards assembled, and in ;811, a for-
mal declaration of independence was made. The country has since that period passed
through many vicissitudes of fortune. The cause of freedom and that of the royalists
have been alternately triumphant, and many frightful scenes of rapine and bloodshed
have occurred. In 1816 a decisive action was fought between the independents and a
Spanish army under Morillo, which ended in the total defeat of the former, and the dis-
persion of the congress. After remaining under the dominion of the royalists for three
years, Granada was again emancipated by the army of Bolivar, who entered Santa Fe in
August, 1819. His successes since that period have been uniform and brilliant; and at
the beginning of the year 1822, the only point occupied by the Spanish armies was the
isthmus of Panama. In December, 1819, an union was effected with Venezuela in one
CARACCAS, OR VENEZUELA.
The coast of this country was originally discovered by Columbus in 1498, during his
third voyage. He then sailed along the shores from the Oronoko to Margarita. Several
voyages were afterwards undertaken by adventurers, and some attempts being made to
colonise, the Spanish government came to the determination of settling the country un-
der its own direction. These expeditions being managed by priests were generally ill
conducted, and it was found necessary to subdue the inhabitants by force. When this
was partially effected, and the Spanish settlers were placed in some security, the pro-
prietorship was sold by Charles V. to the Weltsers, a German mercantile company. Under
their management the Spaniards and the natives suffered the most grievous tyranny.
The abuses of their administration becoming at last intolerable, they were dispossessed
in 1550, and a supreme governor with the title of captain-general was appointed. From
this period until the year 1806, Caraccas remained in quiet subjection to the mother
country. In 1806 a gallant but unfortunate attempt was made to liberate her from the
yoke. General Miranda, a native of Caraccas, formed for this purpose an expedition
partly at St. Domingo and partly at New York. A landing was effected on the coast,
but the force proved wholly inadequate to the designed object. Many were taken pri-
soners by the Spanish authorities, and several suffered the penalty of death. The de-
feat was decisive, and gave an effectual blow for the time to the project of indepen-
dence. In 1810, however, Spain being overrun by the French troops, the oppor-
tunity was seised by the principal inhabitants, to establish a freer form of government.
For this purpose a. unta supreme, or congress, was convened in Caraccas, composed of
deputies from all the provinces composing the former captain-generalship, with the ex-
ception of Maracaybo.
At first they published their acts in the name of Ferdinand the Seventh; but the cap-
tain-general and the members of the audiencia were deposed and imprisoned, and the
new government received the title of the confederation of Venezuela. The most violent
and impolitic measures were now adopted by the regency and cortes of Spain towards
the people of this district. The congress, finding the voice of the people decided in fa-
vour of independence, issued a proclamation on the 5th of July, 1811, formally proclaim-
ing it. A liberal constitution was established and affairs wore a favourable aspect for
the cause of freedom, until the fatal earthquake of 1812, which, operating on the super-
stition of the people, led to a great change in the public opinion. Monteverde, a royal-
ist general, taking advantage of the situation of affairs, marched against Caraccas, and
after defeating general Miranda, compelled the whole province to submit. In 1813, how-
ever, Venezuela was again emancipated by Bolivar, who was sent with an army by the
confederation of Granada. In 1814, he was in his turn defeated by Boves, and compel-
led to evacuate Caraccas. In 1816, he again returned with a respectable body of troops,
and was againdefeated. Undismayed by reverses he landed again in December of the
same year, convened a general congress, and defeated the royalists in March, 1817,
with great loss. In the month following, however, Barcelona was taken by the Spanish
troops. The contest was maintained for some time afterwards with various success. Bolivar
was invested by the congress with ample powers, the situation of the republic requiring
the energy of a dictator. On the 17th of December, 1819, an union between the re-
publics of Granada and Venezuela was solemnly decreed in conformity with the report
of a select committee of deputies from each state. This confederation received the
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vessels. A branch of the Rio Atrato, which falls into the gulf of Darien,
approaches within 5 or 6 leagues of the Pacific ocean, and the intervening
country is quite level and proper for a canal. Another branch of the Rio
Atrato approaches so near to a small river which falls into the Pacific,
that a small canal has actually been dug between them, by means of which
when the rains arc abundant, canoes loaded with cacao pass from sea to sea.
By means of the Orinoco and its tributary streams, all the country south of
the chain of Venezuela enjoys an easy communication with the sea. This river
forms a natural channel for thie conveyance to the ocean, of the cattle and
produce raised on the banks of the Apure, and its wide-spreading branches.
By means of the Meta also, a navigable communication is opened almost to
the very foot of the Andes. The flour and other productions of an extensive
district near Santa Fe de Bogota, are conveyed to market by the Orinoco in
preference to the Magdalena.
The principal exports are cacao, indigo, tobacco, coffee, and cattle. The
imports are manufactured goods of almost every description. The contra-
band trade has been carried on to such an extent by the foreign colonies
in the neighbourhood, that it is impossible, from the custom-house returns,
to form any estimate of the real value of the imports or exports. The Dutch
in Curacoa have been engaged in this trade for nearly two centuries, and
the English have recently prosecuted it very extensively from Trinidad, Jamai-
ca, and Guiana; and such are the facilities afforded by the vicinity of these co-
lonies, the extent of coast, and the navigation of the Orinoco, that it will be
very difficult to suppress it.
The religion is the Roman Catholic, and the number of priests was formerly
excessively numerous: but of late years military distinctions and the honours
and emoluments of civil life have drawn away great numbers of the young
men from the clerical office.