1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Colombia
COLOMBIA, a republic of South America occupying the N.W. angle of that continent and bounded N. by the Caribbean Sea and Venezuela, E. by Venezuela and Brazil, S. by Brazil, Peru and Ecuador, and W. by Ecuador, the Pacific Ocean, Panama and the Caribbean Sea. The republic is very irregular in outline and has an extreme length from north to south of 1050 m., exclusive of territory occupied by Peru on the north bank of the upper Amazon, and an extreme width of 860 m. The approximate area of this territory, according to official calculations, is 481,979 sq. m., which is reduced to 465,733 sq. m. by Gotha planimetrical measurements. This makes Colombia fourth in area among the South American states.
The loss of the department of Panama left the republic with unsettled frontiers on every side, and some of the boundary disputes still unsolved in 1909 concern immense areas of territory. The boundary with Costa Rica was settled in 1900 by an award of the President of France, but the secession of Panama in 1903 gave Colombia another unsettled line on the north-west. If the line which formerly separated the Colombian departments of Cauca and Panama is taken as forming the international boundary, this line follows the water-parting between the streams which flow eastward to the Atrato, and those which flow westward to the Gulf of San Miguel, the terminal points being near Cape Tiburon on the Caribbean coast, and at about 7° 10′ N. lat. on the Pacific coast. The boundary dispute with Venezuela was referred in 1883 to the king of Spain, and the award was made in 1891. Venezuela, however, refused to accept the decision. The line decided upon, and accepted by Colombia, starts from the north shore of Calabozo Bay on the west side of the Gulf of Maracaibo, and runs west and south-west to and along the water-parting (Sierra de Perija) between the drainage basins of the Magdalena and Lake Maracaibo as far as the source in lat. 8° 50′ N. of a small branch of the Catatumbo river, thence in a south-easterly direction across the Catatumbo and Zulia rivers to a point in 72° 30′ W. long., 8° 12′ N. lat., thence in an irregular southerly direction across the Cordillera de Mérida to the source of the Sarare, whence it runs eastward along that river, the Arauca, and the Meta to the Orinoco. Thence the line runs south and south-east along the Orinoco, Atabapo and Guainia to the Pedra de Cucuhy, which serves as a boundary mark for three republics. Of the eastern part of the territory lying between the Meta and the Brazilian frontier, Venezuela claims as far west as the meridian of 69° 10′. Negotiations for the settlement of the boundary with Brazil (q.v.) were resumed in 1906, and were advanced in the following year to an agreement providing for the settlement of conflicting claims by a mixed commission. With Ecuador and Peru the boundary disputes are extremely complicated, certain parts of the disputed territory being claimed by all three republics. Colombia holds possession as far south as the Napo in lat. 2° 47′ S., and claims territory occupied by Peru as far south as the Amazon. On the other hand Peru claims as far north as La Chorrera in 0° 49′ S. lat., including territory occupied by Colombia, and the eastern half of the Ecuadorean department of Oriente, and Ecuador would extend her southern boundary line to the Putumayo, in long. 71° 1′ S., and make that river her northern boundary as far north as the Peruvian claim extends. The provisional line starts from the Japura river (known as the Caqueta in Colombia) in lat. 1° 30′ S., long. 69° 24′ W., and runs south-west to the 70th meridian, thence slightly north of west to the Igaraparana river, thence up that stream to the Peruvian military post of La Chorrera, in 0° 49′ S. lat., thence west of south to Huiririmachico, on the Napo. Thence the line runs north-west along the Napo, Coca and San Francisco rivers to the Andean watershed, which becomes the dividing line northward for a distance of nearly 80 m., where the line turns westward and reaches the Pacific at the head of Panguapi Bay, into which the southern outlet of the Mira river discharges (about 1° 34′ N. lat.).
Physical Geography.—Colombia is usually described as an extremely mountainous country, which is true of much less than half its total area. Nearly one half its area lies south-east of the Andes and consists of extensive llanos and forested plains, traversed by several of the western tributaries of the Amazon and Orinoco. These plains slope gently toward the east, those of the Amazon basin apparently lying in great terraces whose escarpments have the character of low, detached ranges of hills forming successive rims to the great basin which they partly enclose. The elevation and slope of this immense region, which has an approximate length of 640 m. and average width of 320 m., may be inferred from the elevations of the Caqueta, or Japura river, which was explored by Crevaux in 1878–1879. At Santa Maria, near the Cordillera (about 75° 30′ W. long.), the elevation is 613 ft. above sea-level, on the 73rd meridian it is 538 ft., and near the 70th meridian 426 ft.—a fall of 187 ft. in a distance of about 400 m. The northern part of this great region has a somewhat lower elevation and gentler slope, and consists of open grassy plains, which are within the zone of alternating wet and dry seasons. In the south and toward the great lower basin of the Amazon, where the rainfall is continuous throughout the year, the plains are heavily forested. The larger part of this territory is unexplored except along the principal rivers, and is inhabited by scattered tribes of Indians. Near the Cordilleras and along some of the larger rivers there are a few small settlements of whites and mestizos, but their aggregate number is small and their economic value to the republic is inconsiderable. There are some cattle ranges on the open plains, however, but they are too isolated to have much importance. A small part of the northern Colombia, on the lower courses of the Atrato and Magdalena, extending across the country from the Eastern to the Western Cordilleras with a varying width of 100 to 150 m., not including the lower river basins which penetrate much farther inland, also consists of low, alluvial plains, partly covered with swamps and intricate watercourses, densely overgrown with vegetation, but in places admirably adapted to different kinds of tropical agriculture. These plains are broken in places by low ranges of hills which are usually occupied by the principal industrial settlements of this part of the republic, the lower levels being for the most part swampy and unsuited for white occupation.
The other part of the republic, which may be roughly estimated at two-fifths of its total area, consists of an extremely rugged mountainous country, traversed from south to north by the parallel river valleys of the Magdalena, Cauca and Atrato. The mountain chains which cover this part of Colombia are the northern terminal ranges of the great Andean system. In northern Ecuador the Andes narrows into a single massive range which has the character of a confused mass of peaks and ridges on the southern frontier of Colombia. There are several lofty plateaus in this region which form a huge central watershed for rivers flowing east to the Amazon, west to the Pacific, and north to the Caribbean Sea. The higher plateaus are called paramos, cold, windswept, mist-drenched deserts, lying between the elevations of 10,000 and 15,000 ft., which are often the only passes over the Cordilleras, and yet are almost impassable because of their morasses, heavy mists, and cold, piercing winds. The paramos of Cruz Verde (11,695 ft.) and Pasto, and the volcanoes of Chiles (15,900 ft.), Chumbul (15,715 ft.), and Pasto (13,990 ft.) are prominent landmarks of this desolate region. North of this great plateau the Andes divides into three great ranges, the Western, Central and Eastern Cordilleras. The Central is the axis of the system, is distinguished by a line of lofty volcanoes and paramos, some of which show their white mantles 2000 to 3000 ft. above the line of perpetual snow (approx. 15,000 ft. in this latitude), and is sometimes distinguished with the name borne by the republic for the time being. This range runs in a north-north-east direction and separates the valleys of the Magdalena and Cauca, terminating in some low hills south-west of El Banco, a small town on the lower Magdalena. The principal summits of this range are Tajumbina (13,534 ft.), Pan de Azucar (15,978 ft.), Purace (15,420 ft.), Sotara (15,420 ft.), Huila18,000 ft.), Tolima (18,432 ft.), Santa Isabel (16,700 ft.), Ruiz (18,373 ft.), and Mesa de Herveo (18,300 ft.). The last named affords a magnificent spectacle from Bogotá, its level top which is 5 or 6 m. across, and is formed by the rim of an immense crater, having the appearance of a table, down the sides of which for more than 3000 ft. hangs a spotless white drapery of perpetual snow. The Western Cordillera branches from the main range first and follows the coast very closely as far north as the 4th parallel, where the San Juan and Atrato rivers, though flowing in opposite directions and separated near the 5th parallel by a low transverse ridge, combine to interpose valleys between it and the Cordillera de Baudo, which thereafter becomes the true coast range. It then forms the divide between the Cauca and Atrato valleys, and terminates near the Caribbean coast. The general elevation of this range is lower than that of the others, its culminating points being the volcano Munchique (11,850 ft.)and Cerro Leon (10,847 ft.). The range is covered with vegetation and its Pacific slopes are precipitous and humid. The Cordillera de Baudo, which becomes the coast range above lat. 4° N., is the southern extension of the low mountainous chain forming the backbone of the Isthmus of Panama, and may be considered the southern termination of the great North American system. Its elevations are low and heavily wooded. It divides on the Panama frontier, the easterly branch forming the watershed between the Atrato and the rivers of eastern Panama, and serving as the frontier between the two republics. The passes across these ranges are comparatively low, but they are difficult because of the precipitous character of their Pacific slopes and the density of the vegetation on them. The Eastern Cordillera is in some respects the most important of the three branches of the Colombian Andes. Its general elevation is below that of the Central Cordillera, and it has few summits rising above the line of perpetual snow, the highest being the Sierra Nevada de Cocui, in lat. 6° 30′ N. Between Cocui and the southern frontier of Colombia there are no noteworthy elevations except the so-called Paramo de Suma Paz near Bogotá, the highest point of which is 14,146 ft. above sea-level, and the Chita paramo, or range, north-east of Bogotá (16,700 ft.). Between the 5th and 6th parallels the range divides into two branches, the eastern passing into Venezuela, where it is called the Cordillera de Merida, and the northern continuing north and north-east as the Sierra de Perija and the Sierra de Oca, to terminate at the north-eastern extremity of the Goajira peninsula. The culminating point in the first-mentioned range is the Cerro Pintado (11,800 ft.). West of this range, and lying between the 10th parallel and the Caribbean coast, is a remarkable group of lofty peaks and knotted ranges known as the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the highest snow-crowned summit of which rises 17,389 ft. above the sea according to some, and 16,728 according to other authorities. This group of mountains, covering an approximate area of 6500 sq. m., lies immediately on the coast, and its highest summits were long considered inaccessible. It stands detached from the lower ranges of the Eastern Cordillera, and gives the impression that it is essentially independent. The eastern Cordillera region is noteworthy for its large areas of plateau and elevated valley within the limits of the vertical temperate zone. In this region is to be found the greater part of the white population, the best products of Colombian civilization, and the greatest industrial development. The “sabana” of Bogotá is a good illustration of the higher of these plateaus (8563 ft., according to Stieler’s Hand-Atlas), with its mild temperature, inexhaustible fertility and numerous productions of the temperate zone. It has an area of about 2000 sq. m. The lower valleys, plateaus and mountain slopes of this range are celebrated for their coffee, which, with better means of transportation, would be a greater source of prosperity for the republic than the gold-mines of Antioquia. The mountainous region of Colombia is subject to volcanic disturbances and earthquake shocks are frequent, especially in the south. These shocks, however, are less severe than in Venezuela or in Ecuador.
There are few islands on the coast of Colombia, and the great majority of these are too small to appear on the maps in general use. Gorgona is one of the larger islands on the Pacific coast, and is situated about 25 m. from the mainland in lat. 3° N. It is 53 m. long by 13 m. wide, and rises to an extreme elevation Islands. of 1296 ft. above sea-level. It is a beautiful island, and is celebrated as one of Pizarro’s stopping places. It has been used by the Colombian government for political offenders. Malpelo island, 282 m. west by south of Charambira point, in lat. 3° 40′ N., long. 81° 24′ W., nominally belongs to Colombia. It is a small, rocky, uninhabited island, rising to an elevation of 846 ft. above the sea, and has no ascertained value. The famous Pearl islands of the Gulf of Panama are claimed by Colombia, and their pearl oyster fisheries are considered a rentable asset by the government. The group covers an area of about 450 sq. m., and consists of 16 islands and several rocks. The largest is Rey Island, which is about 17 m. long, north to south, and 8 m. broad, with an extreme elevation of 600 ft. The other larger islands are San José, Pedro Gonzales, Casaya, Saboga and Pacheca. There are several fishing villages whose inhabitants are largely engaged in the pearl fisheries, and a number of cocoa-nut plantations. The islands belong chiefly to Panama merchants. There are several groups of small islands on the northern coast, and a few small islands so near the mainland as to form sheltered harbours, as at Cartagena. The largest of these islands is Baru, lying immediately south of the entrance to Cartagena harbour. North-west of Colombia in the Caribbean Sea are several small islands belonging to the republic, two of which (Great and Little Corn Is.) lie very near the coast of Nicaragua. The largest and most important of these islands is Vieja Providencia (Old Providence), 120 m. off the Mosquito Coast, 41 m. long, which supports a small population.
The rivers of Colombia may be divided, for convenience of description, into three general classes according to the destination of their waters, the Pacific, Caribbean and Atlantic—the last reaching their destination through the Amazon and Orinoco. Of these, the Caribbean rivers are of the greatest economic Rivers. importance to the country, though those of the eastern plains may at some time become nearly as important as transportation routes in a region possessing forest products of great importance and rich in agricultural and pastoral possibilities. It is worthy of note that the principal rivers of these three classes—the Patia, Cauca, Magdalena, Caquetá and Putumayo—all have their sources on the high plateaus of southern Colombia and within a comparatively limited area. The Pacific coast rivers are numerous, and discharge a very large volume of water into the ocean in proportion to the area of their drainage basins, because of the heavy rainfall on the western slopes of the Coast range. The proximity of this range to the coast limits them to short, precipitous courses, with comparatively short navigable channels. The principal rivers of this group, starting from the southern frontier, are the Mira, Patia, Iscuande, Micai, Buenaventura or Dagua, San Juan and Baudo. The Mira has its principal sources in Ecuador, and for a short distance forms the boundary line between the two republics, but its outlets and navigable channel are within Colombia. It has a large delta in proportion to the length of the river, which is visible evidence of the very large quantity of material brought down from the neighbouring mountain slopes. The Patia is the longest river of the Pacific group, and is the only one having its sources on the eastern side of the Western Cordillera. It is formed by the confluence of the Sotara and Guaitara at the point where the united streams turn westward to cut their way through the mountains to the sea. The Sotara or upper Patia rises on the southern slope of a transverse ridge or dyke, between the Central and Western Cordilleras, in the vicinity of Popayan, and flows southward about 120 m. to the point of confluence with the Guaitara. The latter has its sources on the elevated plateau of Tuquerres and flows north-west to meet the Sotara. The canyon of the Patia through the Western Cordillera is known as the “Minima gorge,” and has been cut to a depth of 1676 ft., above which the perpendicular mountain sides rise like a wall some thousands of feet more. The upper course of the Guaitara is known as the Carchi, which for a short distance forms the boundary line between Colombia and Ecuador. At one point in its course it is crossed by the Rumichaca arch, a natural arch of stone, popularly known as the “Inca’s bridge,” which with the Minima gorge should be classed among the natural wonders of the world. There is a narrow belt of low, swampy country between the Cordillera and the coast, traversed at intervals by mountain spurs, and across this the river channels are usually navigable. The San Juan has built a large delta at its mouth, and is navigable for a distance of 140 m. inland, the river flowing parallel with the coast for a long distance instead of crossing the coastal plain. It rises in the angle between the Western Cordillera and a low transverse ridge connecting it with the Baudo coast range, and flows westward down to the valley between the two ranges, and then southward through this valley to about lat. 4° 15′ N., where it turns sharply westward and crosses a narrow belt of lowland to the coast. It probably has the largest discharge of water of the Pacific group, and has about 300 m. of navigable channels, including its tributaries, although the river itself is only 190 m. long and the sand-bars at its mouth have only 7 or 8 ft. of water on them. The San Juan is distinguished for having been one of the proposed routes for a ship canal between the Caribbean and Pacific. At one point in its upper course it is so near the Atrato that, according to a survey by Captain C. S. Cochrane, R.N., in 1824, a canal 400 yds. long with a maximum cutting of 70 ft., together with some improvements in the two streams, would give free communication. His calculations were made, of course, for the smaller craft of that time.
The rivers belonging to the Caribbean system, all of which flow in a northerly direction, are the Atrato, Bacuba, Sinú, Magdalena and Zulia. The Bacuba, Suriquilla or Leon, is a small stream rising on the western slopes of the Cordillera and flowing into the upper end of the Gulf of Uraba. Like the Atrato it brings down much silt, which is rapidly filling that depression. There are many small streams and one important river, the Sinú, flowing into the sea between this gulf and the mouth of the Magdalena. The Sinú rises on the northern slopes of the Alto del Viento near the 7th parallel, and flows almost due north across the coastal plain for a distance of about 286 m. to the Gulf of Morosquillo. It has a very sinuous channel which is navigable for small steamers for some distance, but there is no good port at its outlet, and a considerable part of the region through which it flows is malarial and sparsely settled. The most important rivers of Colombia, however, are the Magdalena and its principal tributary, the Cauca. They both rise on the high table-land of southern Colombia about 14,000 ft. above sea-level—the Magdalena in the Laguna del Buey (Ox Lake) on the Las Papas plateau, and the Cauca a short distance westward in the Laguna de Santiago on the Paramo de Guanacas—and flow northward in parallel courses with the great Central Cordillera, forming the water-parting between their drainage basins. The principal tributaries of the Magdalena are the Suaza, Neiva, Cabrera, Prado, Fusagasaga, Funza or Bogotá, Carare, Opon, Sogamoso, Lebrija and Cesar, and the western the La Plata, Paez, Saldaña, Cuello, Guali, Samana or Miel, Nare or Negro and Cauca. There are also many smaller streams flowing into the Magdalena from both sides of the valley. Of those named, the Funza drains the “sabana” of Bogotá and is celebrated for the great fall of Tequendama, about 480 ft. in height; the Sogamoso passes through some of the richest districts of the republic; and the Cesar rises on the elevated slopes of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and flows southward across a low plain, in which are many lakes, to join the Magdalena where it bends westward to meet the Cauca. The course of the Magdalena traverses nine degrees of latitude and is nearly 1000 m. long. It is navigable for steamers up to La Dorada, near Honda, 561 m. above its mouth, which is closed by sand-bars to all but light-draught vessels, and for 93 m. above the rapids at Honda, to Girardot. The river is also navigable at high water for small steamers up to Neiva, 100 m. farther and 1535 ft. above sea-level, beyond which point it descends precipitously from the plateaus of southern Colombia. The Honda rapids have a fall of only 20 ft. in a distance of 2 m., but the current is swift and the channel tortuous for a distance of 20 m., which make it impossible for the light-draught, flat-bottomed steamers of the lower river to ascend them. The Cauca differs much from the Magdalena, although its principal features are the same. The latter descends 12,500 ft. before it becomes navigable, but at 10,000 ft. below its source the Cauca enters a long narrow valley with an average elevation of 3500 ft., where it is navigable for over 200 m., and then descends 2500 ft. through a series of impetuous rapids for a distance of about 250 m., between Cartago and Cáceres, with a break of 60 m. above Antioquia, where smooth water permits isolated navigation. While, therefore, the Magdalena is navigable throughout the greater part of its course, or from Girardot to the coast, with an abrupt break of only 20 ft. at Honda which could easily be overcome, the Cauca has only 200 m. of navigable water in the upper valley and another 200 m. on its lower course before it joins the Magdalena in lat. 9° 30′, the two being separated by 250 m. of canyon and rapids. So difficult is the country through which the Cauca has cut its tortuous course that the fertile upper valley is completely isolated from the Caribbean, and has no other practicable outlet than the overland route from Cali to Buenaventura, on the Pacific. The upper sources of the Cauca flow through a highly volcanic region, and are so impregnated with sulphuric and other acids that fish cannot live in them. This is especially true of the Rio Vinagre, which rises on the Purace volcano. The principal tributaries are the Piendamó, Ovejas, Palo, Amaime and Nechi, from the central Cordillera, of which the last named is the most important, and the Jamundi and a large number of small streams from the Western. The largest branch of the Cauca on its western side, however, is the San Jorge, which, though rising in the Western Cordillera on the northern slopes of the Alto del Viento, in about lat. 7° N., and not far from the sources of the Sinú and Bacuba, is essentially a river of the plain, flowing north-east across a level country filled with small lakes and subject to inundations to a junction with the Cauca just before it joins the Magdalena. Both the San Jorge and Nechi are navigable for considerable distances. The valley of the Cauca is much narrower than that of the Magdalena, and between Cartago and Cáceres the mountain ranges on both sides press down upon the river and confine it to a narrow canyon. The Cauca unites with the Magdalena about 200 m. from the sea through several widely separated channels, which are continually changing through the wearing away of the alluvial banks. These changes in the channel are also at work in the Lower Magdalena. The remaining rivers of the Caribbean system, exclusive of the smaller ones rising in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, are the Zulia and Catatumbo, which rise in the mountains of northern Santander and flow across the low plains of the Venezuelan state of Zulia into Lake Maracaibo.
Of the rivers of the great eastern plains, whose waters pass through the Orinoco and Amazon to the Atlantic, little can be said beyond the barest geographical description. The size and courses of many of their affluents are still unknown, as this great region has been only partially explored. The largest of these rivers flow across the plains in an easterly direction, those of the Orinoco system inclining northward, and those of the Amazon system southward. The first include the Guaviare or Guayabero, the Vichada, the Meta, and the upper course of the Arauca. The Guaviare was explored by Crevaux in 1881. It rises on the eastern slopes of the Eastern Cordillera between the 3rd and 4th parallels, about 75 m. south of Bogotá, and flows with a slight southward curve across the llanos to the Orinoco, into which it discharges at San Fernando de Atabapo in lat. 4° N. Its largest tributary is the Inirida, which enters from the south. The Guaviare has about 600 m. of navigable channel. The Meta rises on the opposite side of the Cordillera from Bogotá, and flows with a sluggish current east-north-east across the llanos to the Orinoco, into which it discharges below the Atures rapids, in lat. 6° 22′ N. It is navigable throughout almost its whole length, small steamers ascending it to a point within 100 m. of Bogotá. Its principal tributaries, so far as known, are the Tuca, Chire and Casanare. The principal rivers of the Amazon system are the Napo, the upper part of which forms the provisional boundary line with Ecuador, the Putumayo or Iça, and the Caqueta or Japurá (Yapurá), which flow from the Andes entirely across the eastern plains, and the Guainia, which rises on the northern slopes of the Serra Tunaji near the provisional Brazilian frontier, and flows with a great northward curve to the Venezuelan and Brazilian frontiers, and is thereafter known as the Rio Negro, one of the largest tributaries of the Amazon. There are many large tributaries of these rivers in the unexplored regions of south-eastern Colombia, but their names as well as their courses are still unsettled.
The coast of Colombia faces on the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, and is divided by the Isthmus of Panama into two completely separated parts. The Pacific coast-line, omitting minor convolutions, has a length of about 500 m., while that of the Caribbean is about 700 m. The former has been of slight service Coasts. in the development of the country because of the unsettled and unhealthy character of the coast region, and the high mountain barriers between its natural ports and the settled parts of the republic. There are only two commercial ports on the coast, Tumaco and Buenaventura, though there are several natural harbours which would be of great service were there any demand for them. The rivers Mira, Patia and San Juan permit the entrance of small steamers, as also some of the smaller rivers. The larger bays on this coast are Tumaco, Chocó, Magdalena, Cabita, Coqui, Puerto Utria, Solano, Cupica and Octavia—some of them affording exceptionally safe and well-sheltered harbours. The Caribbean coast of Colombia has only four ports engaged in international trade—Barranquilla, Cartagena, Santa Marta and Rio Hacha. There are some smaller ports on the coast, but they are open only to vessels of light draft and have no trade worth mention. Barranquilla, the principal port of the republic, is situated on the Magdalena, and its seaport, or landing-place, is Puerto Colombia at the inner end of Savanilla Bay, where a steel pier 4000 ft. long has been built out to deep water, alongside which ocean-going vessels can receive and discharge cargo. The bay is slowly filling up, however, and two other landing-places—Salgar and Savanilla—had to be abandoned before Puerto Colombia was selected. The pier-head had 24 ft. of water alongside in 1907, but the silt brought down by the Magdalena is turned westward by the current along this coast, and may at any time fill the bay with dangerous shoals. The oldest and best port on the coast is Cartagena, 65 m. south-west of Barranquilla, which has a well-sheltered harbour protected by islands, and is connected with the Magdalena at Calamar by railway. The next best port is that of Santa Marta, about 46 m. east-north-east of Barranquilla (in a straight line), with which it is connected by 23 m. of railway and 50 m. of inland navigation on the Ciénaga de Santa Marta and eastern outlets of the Magdalena. Santa Marta is situated on a small, almost landlocked bay, well protected from prevailing winds by high land on the north and north-east, affording excellent anchorage in waters free from shoaling through the deposit of silt. The depth of the bay ranges from 4½ to 19 fathoms. The town stands at the foot of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, which restricts the area of cultivatable land in its immediate vicinity, and the enclosing high lands make the climate hot and somewhat dangerous for foreigners. Since the development of the fruit trade on the shores of the Caribbean sea and Gulf of Mexico by an important American company, which owns a large tract of land near Santa Marta devoted to banana cultivation, and has built a railway 50 m. inland principally for the transportation of fruit, the trade of the port has greatly increased. The population of this region, however, is sparse, and its growth is slow. The fourth port on this coast is Rio Hacha, an open roadstead, about 93 m. east of Santa Marta, at the mouth of the small river Rancheira descending from the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. It has little trade, and the undeveloped, unpopulated state of the country behind it affords no promise of immediate growth. There are other small towns on the coast which are ports for the small vessels engaged in the coasting and river trade, but they have no international importance because of their inaccessibility to ocean-going steamers, or the extremely small volume of their trade. The Gulf of Uraba is a large bight or southerly extension of the Gulf of Darien. It receives the waters of the Atrato, Bacuba, and a number of small rivers, and penetrates the land about 50 m., but has very little commercial importance because of the unhealthy and unsettled character of the neighbouring country, and because of the bar across its entrance formed by silt from the Atrato. The Gulf of Morosquillo, a broad shallow indentation of the coast south of Cartagena, receives the waters of the Rio Sinú, at the mouth of which is the small port of Cispata. Between the mouth of the Magdalena and Santa Marta is the Ciénaga de Santa Marta, a large marshy lagoon separated from the sea by a narrow sand spit, having its “boca” or outlet at its eastern side. There is some traffic in small steamers on its shallow waters, which is increasing with the development of fruit cultivation on its eastern and southern sides. It extends inland about 31 m., and marks a deep indentation of the coast like the Gulf of Uraba.
Geology.—The geology of Colombia is very imperfectly known, and it is only by a comparison with the neighbouring regions that it is possible to form any clear idea of the geological structure and succession. The oldest rocks are gneisses and schists, together with granite and other eruptive rocks. These are overlaid by sandstones, slates and limestones, alternating with porphyries and porphyrites sometimes in the form of sheets, sometimes as breccias and conglomerates. Cretaceous fossils have been found abundantly in this series, but it is still possible that earlier systems may be represented. Coal-bearing beds, possibly of Tertiary age, occur in Antioquia and elsewhere. Structurally, the four main chains of Colombia differ considerably from one another in geological constitution. The low Cordilleras of the Chocos, on the west coast, are covered by soft Quaternary sandstones and marls containing shells of extant species, such as still inhabit the neighbouring ocean. The Western Cordillera is the direct continuation of the Western Cordillera of Ecuador, and, like the latter, to judge from the scattered observations which are all that are available, consists chiefly of sandstones and porphyritic rocks of the Cretaceous series. Between the Western and the Central Cordilleras is a longitudinal depression along which the river Cauca finds its way towards the sea. On the western side of this depression there are red sandstones with coal-seams, possibly Tertiary; the floor and the eastern side consist chiefly of ancient crystalline and schistose rocks. The Central Cordillera is the direct continuation of the Eastern Cordillera of Ecuador, and is formed chiefly of gneiss and other crystalline rocks, but sedimentary deposits of Cretaceous age also occur. Finally the Eastern branch, known as the Cordillera of Bogotá, is composed almost entirely of Cretaceous beds thrown into a series of regular anticlinals and synclinals similar to those of the Jura Mountains. The older rocks occasionally appear in the centre of the anticlinals. In all these branches of the Andes the folds run approximately in the direction of the chains, but the Sierra de Santa Marta appears to belong to a totally distinct system of folding, the direction of the folds being from west to east, bending gradually towards the south-east. Although volcanoes are by no means absent, they are much less important than in Ecuador, and their products take a far smaller share in the formation of the Andes. In Ecuador the depression between the Eastern and Western Cordilleras is almost entirely filled with modern lavas and agglomerates; in Colombia the corresponding Cauca depression is almost free from such deposits. In the Central Cordillera volcanoes extend to about 5° N.; in the Western Cordillera they barely enter within the limits of Colombia; in the Cordillera of Bogotá they are entirely absent.
Climate.—Were it not for the high altitudes of western Colombia, high temperatures would prevail over the whole country, except where modified by the north-east trade winds and the cold ocean current which sweeps up the western coast. The elevated plateaus and summits of the Andes are responsible, however, for many important and profound modifications in climate, not only in respect to the lower temperatures of the higher elevations, but also in respect to the higher temperatures of the sheltered lowland valleys and the varying climatic conditions of the neighbouring plains. The republic lies almost wholly within the north torrid zone, a comparatively small part of the forested Amazonian plain extending beyond the equator into the south torrid zone. The great Andean barrier which crosses the republic from the south to north acts as a condenser to the prevailing easterly winds from the Atlantic, and causes a very heavy rainfall on their eastern slopes and over the forested Amazon plain. High temperatures as well as excessive humidity prevail throughout this region. Farther north, on the open llanos of the Orinoco tributaries, the year is divided into equal parts, an alternating wet and dry season, the sun temperatures being high followed by cool nights, and the temperatures of the rainy season being even higher. The rainfall is heavy in the wet season, causing many of the rivers to spread over extensive areas, but in the dry season the inundated plains become dry, the large rivers fed by the snows and rainfall of the Andes return within their banks, the shallow lagoons and smaller streams dry up, vegetation disappears, and the level plain becomes a desert. The northern plains of the republic are swept by the north-east trades, and here, too, the mountain barriers exercise a strongly modifying influence. The low ridges of the Sierra de Perijá do not wholly shut out these moisture-laden winds, but they cause a heavy rainfall on their eastern slopes, and create a dry area on their western flanks, of which the Vale of Upar is an example. The higher masses of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta cover a very limited area, leaving the trade winds a comparatively unbroken sweep across the northern plains until checked by the Western Cordillera, the Panama ranges and the Sierra de Baudo, where a heavy precipitation follows. Farther south the coast ranges cause a very heavy rainfall on their western slopes, which are quite as uninhabitable because of rain and heat as are the coasts of southern Chile through rain and cold. The rainfall on this coast is said to average 73 in., though it is much higher at certain points and in the Atrato Valley. As a result the coastal plain is covered with swamps and tangled forests, and is extremely unhealthy, except at a few favoured points on the coast. High temperatures prevail throughout the greater part of the Magdalena and Cauca valleys, because the mountain ranges which enclose them shut out the prevailing winds. At Honda, on the Magdalena, 664 ft. above sea-level, the mean temperature for the year is 82° F., and the mercury frequently rises to 102° in the shade. These lowland plains and valleys comprise the climatic tropical zone of Colombia, which is characterized by high temperatures, and by excessive humidity and dense forests, an exception to the last-named characteristic being the open llanos where dry summers prevail. Above this tropical zone in the mountainous regions are to be found all the varying gradations of climate which we are accustomed to associate with changes in latitude. There are the subtropical districts of the valleys and slopes between 1500 and 7500 ft. elevation, which include some of the most fertile and productive areas in Colombia; the temperate districts between 7500 and 10,000 ft., the cold, bleak and inhospitable paramos between 10,000 and 15,000 ft., and above these the arctic wastes of ice and snow. The temperate and subtropical regions cover the greater part of the departments traversed by the Eastern Cordillera, the northern end of the Central Cordillera, the Santa Marta plateaus, and the Upper Cauca Valley. They include the larger part of the white population and the chief productive industries of the country. There is no satisfactory record of temperatures and rainfall in these widely different climatic zones from which correct averages can be drawn and compared. Observations have been made and recorded at Bogotá and at some other large towns, but for the greater part of the country we have only fragmentary reports. The mean annual temperature on the eastern plains, so far as known, ranges from 87° F. on the forested slopes to 90° and 91° on the llanos of the Meta and Arauca. On the Caribbean coastal plain it ranges from 80° to 84°, but at Tumaco, on the Pacific coast, within two degrees of the equator, it is only 79°. At Medellin, in the mountainous region of Antioquia, 4950 ft. above sea-level, the mean annual temperature is 70°, and the yearly rainfall 55 in., while at Bogotá, 8563 ft., the former is 57° and the latter 44 in. At Tuquerres, near the frontier of Ecuador, 10,200 ft. elevation, the mean annual temperature is said to be 55°. The changes of seasons are no less complicated and confusing. A considerable part of the republic is covered by the equatorial belt of calms, whose oscillations divide the year into a wet and dry season. This division is modified, however, by the location of mountain ranges and by elevation. In the Amazon region there is no great change during the year, and on the northern plains the so-called dry season is one of light rains except where mountain ranges break the sweep of the north-east trades. The alternating wet and dry seasons are likewise to be found on the Pacific coastal plain, though this region is not entirely dry and vegetation never dries up as on the llanos. Above the lowland plains the seasons vary in character according to geographical position and elevation. The two-season division rules in the departments of Santander and Antioquia, but without the extremes of humidity and aridity characteristic of the eastern plains. Farther south, at elevations between 800 and 9500 ft., the year is divided into four distinct seasons—two wet and two dry—the former called inviernos (winters) and the latter veranos (summers). These seasons are governed by the apparent movements of the sun, the winters occurring at the equinoxes and the summers at the solstices. The sabana of Bogotá and neighbouring districts are subject to these changes of season. At higher altitudes long, cold, wet winters are experienced, with so short and cold a summer between them that the bleak paramos are left uninhabited except by a few shepherds in the short dry season.
Fauna.—The geographical position of Colombia gives to it a fauna and flora largely characteristic of the great tropical region of the Amazon on the south-east, and of the mountainous regions of Central America on the north-west. At the same time it is rich in animal and plant types of its own, especially the latter, and is considered one of the best fields in South America for the student and collector. The fauna is essentially tropical, though a few species characteristic of colder regions are to be found in the higher Andes. Of the Quadrumana there are at least seventeen distinct species, and this number may be increased after a thorough exploration of the forested eastern plains. They are all arboreal in habit, and are to be found throughout the forested lowlands and lower mountain slopes. The carnivora are represented by seven or eight species of the Felidae, the largest of which are the puma (Felis concolor) and the jaguar (F. onca). These animals, together with the smaller ocelot, have a wide geographical range, and are very numerous in the valley of the Magdalena. Two species of bear and the “coatí” (Nasua) represent the plantigrades and inhabit the mountain slopes, and, of Pachydermata, the peccary (Dicotyles) and “danta” or tapir (Tapirus) have a wide distribution throughout the lowland and lower plateau forests. The Colombian tapir is known as the Tapirus Roulini, and is slightly smaller than the Brazilian species (T. americanus). There are deer in the forests and on the open savannahs, the rabbit and squirrel are to be seen on the eastern slopes of the Andes, and partly amphibious rodents, the “capybara” (Hydrochoerus) and “guagua” (Coelogenys subniger), are very numerous along the wooded watercourses. The sloth, armadillo, opossum, skunk and a species of fox complete the list of the more common quadrupeds so far as known, though it is certain that a careful biological survey would discover many others. The large rivers of Colombia and the lakes of the lowlands are filled with alligators, turtles, and fish, and several species of fish are highly esteemed by the natives as food. The saurians are represented on land by several species of lizard, some of them conspicuous for their brilliant colouring, and by the large “iguana,” whose flesh is considered a great delicacy. Among the ophidians, which include many harmless species, are the boa-constrictor, rattlesnake, the dreaded Lachesis and the coral snake. The “manatee” (Manatus americanus) is found in the Atrato and other large Colombian rivers.
In bird and insect life Colombia is second only to Brazil. The condor, which inhabits the higher Cordilleras, is peculiar to the whole Andean region, and is the largest of the Raptores. Among other members of this order are the eagle, osprey, vulture, buzzard, kite and hawk, with about a dozen species in all. Parrots and paroquets are numerous everywhere in the tropical and subtropical regions, as also the gorgeously coloured macaw and awkward toucan. The largest class, perhaps, is that formed by the astonishing number of water-fowl which throng the shallow lagoons and river beaches at certain seasons of the year. They are mostly migratory in habit, and are to be found in many other countries. Among these are the large white crane and small crane, the blue heron, the snowy-white egret, the roseate spoonbill (Platalea ajaja), stork, bittern and many species of ducks. The largest and most conspicuous member of this interesting family is the Mycteria americana, the gigantic stork so frequently seen in the Amazon valley, and even more numerous about the lagoons of northern Colombia. One of the best game-birds of the forest is the “crested curassow” (Crax alector), sometimes weighing 12lb, which feeds on arboreal fruits and rarely comes to the ground. Colombia also possesses many species of the beautiful little humming-bird, among which are the tiny Steganura Underwoodi and the sword-bill, Docimastes ensiferus, which were found by Mr Albert Millican on a bleak paramo 12,000 ft. above sea-level. One of the most interesting birds found in the country is the “weaver-bird” (Cassicus persicus), which lives in colonies and suspends its long, pouch-like nest from the end of a horizontal branch of some high, isolated tree. In regard to insects, what has been said of Brazil will apply very closely to Colombia. Mosquitoes, butterflies, spiders, beetles and ants are infinitely numerous, and some of the species are indescribably troublesome.
Flora.—The Colombian flora is richer in species and individual characteristics than the fauna, owing in part to its greater dependence on climatic conditions. It ranges from the purely tropical types of the lowlands to the Alpine species of the more elevated paramos. It should be remembered, however, that large areas of the lowland plains have only a very limited arboreal growth. These plains include the extensive llanos of the Orinoco tributaries where coarse, hardy grasses and occasional clumps of palms are almost the only vegetation to be seen. There are other open plains in northern Colombia, sometimes covered with a shrubby growth, and the “mesas” (flat-topped mountains) and plateaus of the Cordilleras are frequently bare of trees. Farther up, on the cold, bleak paramos, only stunted and hardy trees are to be found. On the other hand, a luxuriant forest growth covers a very large part of the republic, including the southern plains of the Amazon tributaries, the foothills, slopes and valleys of the Cordilleras, a larger part of the northern plains, and the whole surface of the Western Cordillera and coast. The most conspicuous and perhaps the most universal type in all these regions, below an approximate elevation of 10,000 ft., is the palm, whose varieties and uses are incredibly numerous. On the eastern plains are to be found the “miriti” (Mauritia flexuosa) and the “pirijao” or peach palm (Guilielma speciosa), called the “pupunha” on the Amazon, whose fruit, fibre, leaf, sap, pith and wood meet so large a part of the primary needs of the aborigines. A noteworthy palm of the eastern Andean slopes is the “corneto” (Deckeria), whose tall, slender trunk starts from the apex of a number of aerial roots, rising like a cone 6 to 8 ft. above the ground. It is one of the most fruitful of palms, its clusters weighing from 120 to 200 ℔ each. Extensive groves of the coco-nut palm are to be found on the Caribbean coast, the fruit and fibre of which figure among the national exports. In north-eastern Colombia, where a part of the year is dry, the “curuas” form the prevailing species, but farther south, on the slopes of the Cordilleras up to an elevation of 10,000 ft., the wax-palm, or “palma de cera” (Ceroxylon andicola), is said to be the most numerous. It is a tall slender palm, and is the source of the vegetable wax so largely used in some parts of the country in the manufacture of matches, a single stem sometimes yielding 16-20 ℔. Another widely distributed species in central Colombia is known as the “palmita del Azufral” in some localities, and as the “palma real” and “palma dolce” in others. Humboldt says it is not the “palma real” of Cuba (Oreodoxa regia), but in the Rio Sinú region is the Cocos butyracea, or the “palma dolce,” from which palm wine is derived. Another palm of much economic importance in Colombia is the “tagua” (Phytelephas macrocarpa), which grows abundantly in the valleys of the Magdalena, Atrato and Patia, and produces a large melon-shaped fruit in which are found the extremely hard, fine-grained nuts or seeds known in the commercial world as vegetable ivory. The Colombian “Panama hat” is made from the fibres extracted from the ribs of the fan-shaped leaves of still another species of palm, Carludovica palmata, while in the Rio Sinú region the natives make a kind of butter (“manteca de Corozo”) from the Elaeis melanococca, Mart., by peeling the nuts in water and then purifying the oil extracted in this way by boiling. This oil was formerly used for illuminating purposes. The forests are never made up wholly of palms, but are composed of trees of widely different characters, including many common to the Amazon region, together with others found in Central American forests, such as mahogany and “vera” or lignum vitae (Zygophyllum arboreum). Brazilwood (Caesalpinia echinata), valuable for its timber and colouring extract, and “roco” (Bixa orellana), the “urucú” of Brazil which furnishes the anatto of commerce, are widely distributed in central and southern Colombia, and another species of the first-named genus, the C. coariaria, produces the “divi-divi” of the Colombian export trade—a peculiarly shaped seed-pod, rich in tannic and gallic acids, and used for tanning leather. The rubber-producing Hevea guayanensis is found in abundance on the Amazon tributaries, and the Castilloa elastica is common to all the Caribbean river valleys. Southern Colombia, especially the eastern slopes of the Andes, produces another valuable tree, the Cinchona calisaya, from the bark of which quinine is made. These are but a few of the valuable cabinet woods, dye-woods, &c., which are to be found in the forests, but have hardly been reached by commerce because of their inaccessibility and the unsettled state of the country. The adventurous orchid-hunter, however, has penetrated deeply into their recesses in search of choice varieties, and collectors of these valuable plants are largely indebted to Colombia for their specimens of Cattleya Mendelli, Warscewiczii and Trianae; Dowiana aurea; Odontoglossum crispum, Pescatorei, vexillarium, odoratum, coronarium, Harryanum, and blandum; Miltonia vexillaria; Oncidium carthaginense and Kramerianum; Masdevalliae, Epidendra, Schomburgkiae and many others. Colombia is also the home of the American “Alpine rose” (Befaria), which is to be found between 9000 and 11,000 ft. elevation, and grows to a height of 5-6 ft. Tree ferns have a remarkable growth in many localities, their stems being used in southern Cundinamarca to make corduroy roads. The South American bamboo (Bambusa guadia) has a very wide range, and is found nearly up to the limit of perpetual snow. The cactus is also widely distributed, and is represented by several well-known species. Among the more common fruit-trees, some of which are exotics, may be mentioned cacáo (Theobroma), orange, lemon, lime, pine-apple, banana, guava (Psidium), breadfruit (Artocarpus), cashew (Anacardium), alligator pear (Persea), with the apple, peach, pear, and other fruits of the temperate zone on the elevated plateaus. Other food and economic plants are coffee, rice, tobacco, sugar-cane, cotton, indigo, vanilla, cassava or “yucca,” sweet and white potatoes, wheat, maize, rye, barley, and vegetables of both tropical and temperate climates. It is claimed in Colombia that a species of wild potato found on the paramos is the parent of the cultivated potato.
Population.—The number of the population of Colombia is very largely a matter of speculation. A census was taken in 1871, when the population was 2,951,323. What the vegetative increase has been since then (for there has been no immigration) is purely conjectural, as there are no available returns of births and deaths upon which an estimate can be based. Civil war has caused a large loss of life, and the withdrawal from their homes of a considerable part of the male population, some of them for military service and a greater number going into concealment to escape it, and it is certain that the rate of increase has been small. Some statistical authorities have adopted 1½% as the rate, but this is too high for such a period. All things considered, an annual increase of 1% for the thirty-five years between 1871 and 1906 would seem to be more nearly correct, which would give a population in the latter year—exclusive of the population of Panama—of a little over 3,800,000. The Statesman’s Year Book for 1907 estimates it at 4,279,674 in 1905, including about 150,000 wild Indians, while Supan’s Die Bevölkerung der Erde (1904) places it at 3,917,000 in 1899. Of the total only 10% is classed as white and 15% as Indian, 40% as mestizos (white and Indian mixture), and 35% negroes and their mixtures with the other two races. The large proportion of mestizos, if these percentages are correct, is significant because it implies a persistence of type that may largely determine the character of Colombia’s future population, unless the more slowly increasing white element can be reinforced by immigration.
The white contingent in the population of Colombia is chiefly composed of the descendants of the Spanish colonists who settled there during the three centuries following its discovery and conquest. Mining enterprises and climate drew them into the highlands of the interior, and there they have remained down to the present day, their only settlements on the hot, unhealthy coast being the few ports necessary for commercial and political intercourse with the mother country. The isolation of these distant inland settlements has served to preserve the language, manners and physical characteristics of these early colonists with less variation than in any other Spanish-American state. They form an intelligent, high-spirited class of people, with all the defects and virtues of their ancestry. Their isolation has made them ignorant to some extent of the world’s progress, while a supersensitive patriotism blinds them to the discredit and disorganization which political strife and misrule have brought upon them. A very small proportion of the white element consists of foreigners engaged in commercial and industrial pursuits, but they very rarely become permanently identified with the fortunes of the country. The native whites form the governing class, and enjoy most of the powers and privileges of political office.
Of the original inhabitants there remain only a few scattered tribes in the forests, who refuse to submit to civilized requirements, and a much larger number who live in organized communities and have adopted the language, customs and habits of the dominant race. Their total number is estimated at 15% of the population, or nearly 600,000, including the 120,000 to 150,000 credited to the uncivilized tribes. Many of the civilized Indian communities have not become wholly Hispanicized and still retain their own dialects and customs, their attitude being that of a conquered race submitting to the customs and demands of a social organization of which they form no part. According to Uricoechea there are at least twenty-seven native languages spoken in the western part of Colombia, fourteen in Tolima, thirteen in the region of the Caquetá, twelve in Panama, Bolívar and Magdalena, ten in Bogotá and Cundinamarca, and thirty-four in the region of the Meta, while twelve had died out during the preceding century. The tribes of the Caribbean seaboard, from Chiriqui to Goajira, are generally attached to the great Carib stock; those of the eastern plains show affinities with the neighbouring Brazilian races; those of the elevated Tuquerres district are of the Peruvian type; and the tribes of Antioquia, Cauca, Popayan and Neiva preserve characteristics more akin to those of the Aztecs than to any other race. At the time of the Spanish Conquest the most important of these tribes was the Muyscas or Chibchas, who inhabited the tablelands of Bogotá and Tunja, and had attained a considerable degree of civilization. They lived in settled communities, cultivated the soil to some extent, and ascribed their progress toward civilization to a legendary cause remarkably similar to those of the Aztecs of Mexico and the Incas of Peru. They are represented by some tribes living on the head-waters of the Meta, and their blood flows in the veins of the mestizos of the Bogotá plateau. Their ancient language has been partly preserved through the labours of Gonzalo Bermudez, José Dadei, Bernardo de Lugo, and Ezequiel Uricoechea, the last having made it the subject of a special study. According to this author the Chibchas were composed of three loosely united nationalities governed by three independent chiefs—the Zipa of Muequetá (the present Funza), the Zaque of Hunsa (now Tunja), and the Jeque of Iraca, who was regarded as the successor of the god Nemterequeteba, whom they worshipped as the author of their civilization. The latter had his residence at Suamoz, or Sogamoso.
The Tayronas, of the Santa Marta highlands, who have totally disappeared, were also remarkable for the progress which they had made toward civilization. Evidence of this is to be found in the excellent roads which they constructed, and in the skilfully made gold ornaments which have been found in the district which they occupied, as well as in the contemporary accounts of them by their conquerors. Among the tribes which are still living in a savage state are the Mesayas, Caquetas, Mocoas, Amarizanos, Guipanabis and Andaquies of the unsettled eastern territories; the Goajiros, Motilones, Guainetas, and Cocinas of the Rio Hacha, Upar and Santa Marta districts; and the Dariens, Cunacunas, and Chocos of the Atrato basin. These tribes have successfully resisted all efforts to bring them under political and ecclesiastical control, and their subjection is still a matter of no small concern to the Colombian government. As late as the year 1900 Mr Albert Millican, while collecting orchids on the Opon river, a tributary of the Magdalena between Bogotá and the Caribbean coast, was attacked by hostile Indians, and one of his companions was killed by a poisoned arrow. These hostile tribes are usually too small to make much trouble, but they are able to make exploration and settlement decidedly dangerous in some districts.
The mestizos, like the whites and Indians, chiefly inhabit the more elevated regions of the interior. They are of a sturdy, patient type, like their Indian ancestors, and are sufficiently industrious to carry on many of the small industries and occupations, and to meet the labour requirements of the inhabited plateau districts. Those of the urban middle classes are shopkeepers and artizans, and those of the lower class are domestics and day labourers. The whites of Spanish descent object to manual labour, and this places all such occupations in the hands of the coloured races. In the country the mestizos are small agriculturists, herders, labourers and fishermen; but there are many educated and successful merchants and professional men among them. There are no social barriers in their intercourse with the whites, nor race barriers against those who have political aspirations. The negroes of pure blood are to be found principally on the coastal plains and in the great lowland river valleys, where they live in great part on the bounties of nature. A small percentage of them are engaged in trade and other occupations; a few are small agriculturists.
Bogotá was reputed to be a centre of learning in colonial times, but there was no great breadth and depth to it, and it produced nothing of real value. By nature the Spanish-American loves art and literature, and the poetic faculty is developed in him to a degree rarely found among the Teutonic races. Writing and reciting poetry are universal, and fill as important a place in social life as instrumental music. In Colombia, as elsewhere, much attention has been given to belles-lettres among the whites of Spanish descent, but as yet the republic has practically nothing of a permanent character to show for it. The natural sciences attracted attention very early through the labours of José Celestino Mútis, who was followed by a number of writers of local repute, such as Zea, Cabal, Cáldas, Pombo, Cespedes, Camacho and Lozano. We are indebted to Humboldt for our earliest geographical descriptions of the northern part of the continent, but to the Italian, Augustin Codazzi, who became a Colombian after the War of Independence, Colombia is indebted for the first systematic exploration of her territory. Geographical description has had a peculiar fascination for Colombian writers, and there have been a number of books issued since the appearance of Codazzi’s Resumen and Atlas. Historical writing has also received much attention, beginning with the early work of José Manuel Restrepo (1827), and a considerable number of histories, compendiums and memoirs have been published, but none of real importance. Some good work has been done in ethnography and archaeology by some writers of the colonial period, and by Ezequiel Uricoechea and Ernesto Restrepo.
Territorial Divisions and Towns.—Previously to 1903 the republic was divided into nine departments, which were then reduced to eight by the secession of Panama. This division of the national territory was modified in 1905, by creating seven additional departments from detached portions of the old ones, and by cutting up the unsettled districts of Goajira and the great eastern plains into four intendencias. The fifteen departments thus constituted, with the official estimates of 1905 regarding their areas and populations, are as follows:—
Of these departments the original eight are Antioquia, Bolívar, Boyacá (or Bojacá), Cauca, Cundinamarca, Magdalena, Santander and Tolima. The four intendencias are called Goajira, Meta, Alto Caquetá and Putumayo, and their aggregate area is estimated to be considerably more than half of the republic. The first covers the Goajira peninsula, which formerly belonged to the department of Magdalena, and the other three roughly correspond to the drainage basins of the three great rivers of the eastern plains whose names they bear. These territories formerly belonged to the departments of Boyacá, Cundinamarca and Cauca. The seven new departments are: Atlantico, taken from the northern extremity of Bolívar; Cáldas, the southern part of Antioquia; Galán, the southern districts of Santander, including Charalá, Socorro, Velez, and its capital San Gil; Huila, the southern part of Tolima, including the headwaters of the Magdalena and the districts about Neiva and La Plata; Nariño, the southern part of Cauca extending from the eastern Cordillera to the Pacific coast; Quesada, a cluster of small, well-populated districts north of Bogotá formerly belonging to Cundinamarca, including Zipaquirá, Guatavita, Ubaté and Pacho; and Tundama, the northern part of Boyacá lying on the frontier of Galán in the vicinity of its capital Santa Rosa. The Federal District consists of a small area surrounding the national capital taken from the department of Cundinamarca. These fifteen departments are subdivided into provinces, 92 in all, and these into municipalities, of which there are 740.
The larger cities and towns of the republic other than the department capitals, with their estimated populations in 1904, are:—
|La Mesa (Cundinamarca)||10,000|
|Pié de Cuesta (Santander)||12,000|
|Rio Negro (Antioquia)||12,000|
|Santa Rosa de Osos (Antioquia)||11,000|
|San José de Cúcuta (Santander)||13,000|
Among the smaller towns which deserve mention are Ambalema on the upper Magdalena, celebrated for its tobacco and cigars; Buenaventura (q.v.); Chaparral (9000), a market town of Tolima in the valley of the Saldaña, with coal, iron and petroleum in its vicinity; Honda (6000), an important commercial centre at the head of navigation on the lower Magdalena; Girardot, a railway centre on the upper Magdalena; and Quibdó, a small river town at the head of navigation on the Atrato.
Communications.—The railway problem in Colombia is one of peculiar difficulty. The larger part of the inhabited and productive districts of the republic is situated in the mountainous departments of the interior, and is separated from the coast by low, swampy, malarial plains, and by very difficult mountain chains. These centres of production are also separated from each other by high ridges and deep valleys, making it extremely difficult to connect them by a single transportation route. The one common outlet for these districts is the Magdalena river, whose navigable channel penetrates directly into the heart of the country. From Bogotá the Spaniards constructed two partially-paved highways, one leading down to the Magdalena in the vicinity of Honda, while the other passed down into the upper valley of the same river in a south-westerly direction, over which communication was maintained with Popayan and other settlements of southern Colombia and Ecuador. This highway was known as the camino real. Political independence and misrule led to the abandonment of these roads, and they are now little better than the bridle-paths which are usually the only means of communication between the scattered communities of the Cordilleras. In some of the more thickly settled and prosperous districts of the Eastern Cordillera these bridle paths have been so much improved that they may be considered reasonably good mountain roads, the traffic over them being that of pack animals and not of wheeled vehicles. Navigation on the lower Magdalena closely resembles that of the Mississippi, the same type of light-draft, flat-bottomed steamboat being used, and similar obstacles and dangers to navigation being encountered. There is also the same liability to change its channel, as shown in the case of Mompox, once an important and prosperous town of the lower plain situated on the main channel, now a decaying, unimportant place on a shallow branch 20 m. east of the main river. Small steamers also navigate the lower Cauca and Nechi rivers, and a limited service is maintained on the upper Cauca.
With three exceptions all the railway lines of the country lead to the Magdalena, and are dependent upon its steamship service for transportation to and from the coast. In 1906, according to an official statement, these lines were: (1) The Barranquilla and Savanilla (Puerto Colombia), 17½ m. in length; (2) the Cartagena and Calamar, 65 m.; (3) the La Dorada & Arancaplumas (around the Honda rapids), 20½ m.; (4) the Colombian National, from Girardot to Facatativá, 80 m., of which 48½ m. were completed in 1906; (5) the Girardot to Espinal, 13½ m., part of a projected line running south-west from Girardot; (6) the Sabana railway, from Bogotá to Facatativá, 25 m.; (7) the Northern, from Bogotá to Zipaquirá, 31 m.; (8) the Southern, from Bogotá to Sibaté, 18 m.; and (9) the Puerto Berrio & Medellin, about 78 m. long, of which 36 are completed. The three lines which do not connect with the Magdalena are: (1) the Cúcuta and Villamazar, 43½ m., the latter being a port on the Zulia river near the Venezuelan frontier; (2) the Santa Marta railway, running inland from that port through the banana-producing districts, with 41½ m. in operation in 1907; and (3) the Buenaventura and Cali, 23 m. in operation inland from the former. This gives a total extension of 383 m. in 1906, of which 226 were built to connect with steamship transportation on the Magdalena, 49 to unite Bogotá with neighbouring localities, and 108 to furnish other outlets for productive regions. There is no system outlined in the location of these detached lines, though in 1905–1908 President Reyes planned to connect them in such a way as to form an extensive system radiating from the national capital. Tramway lines were in operation in Bogotá, Barranquilla and Cartagena in 1907.
The telegraph and postal services are comparatively poor, owing to the difficulty of maintaining lines and carrying mails through a rugged and uninhabited tropical country. The total length of telegraph lines in 1903 was 6470 m., the only cable connexion being at Buenaventura, on the Pacific coast. All the principal Caribbean ports and department capitals are connected with Bogotá, but interruptions are frequent because of the difficulty of maintaining lines through so wild a country.
There are only five ports, Buenaventura, Barranquilla, Cartagena, Santa Marta and Rio Hacha, which are engaged in foreign commerce, though Tumaco and Villamazar are favourably situated for carrying on a small trade with Ecuador and Venezuela. Colombia has no part in the carrying trade, however, her merchants marine in 1905 consisting of only one steamer of 457 tons and five sailing vessels of 1385 tons. Aside from these, small steamers are employed on some of the small rivers with barges, called “bongoes,” to bring down produce and carry back merchandise to the inland trading centres. The coasting trade is insignificant, and does not support a regular service of even the smallest boats. The foreign carrying trade is entirely in the hands of foreigners, in which the Germans take the lead, with the British a close second. The Caribbean ports are in frequent communication with those of Europe and the United States.
Agriculture.—The larger part of the Colombian population is engaged in agricultural and pastoral pursuits. Maize, wheat and other cereals are cultivated on the elevated plateaus, with the fruits and vegetables of the temperate zone, and the European in Bogotá is able to supply his table very much as he would do at home. The plains and valleys of lower elevation are used for the cultivation of coffee and other sub-tropical products, the former being produced in nearly all the departments at elevations ranging from 3500 to 6500 ft. This industry has been greatly prejudiced by civil wars, which not only destroyed the plantations and interrupted transportation, but deprived them of the labouring force essential to their maintenance and development. It is estimated that the revolutionary struggle of 1899–1903 destroyed 10% of the able-bodied agricultural population of the Santa Marta district, and this estimate, if true, will hold good for all the inhabited districts of the Eastern Cordillera. The best coffee is produced in the department of Cundinamarca in the almost inaccessible districts of Fusagasagá and La Palma. Tolima coffee is also considered to be exceptionally good. The department of Santander, however, is the largest producer, and much of its output in the past has been placed upon the market as “Maracaibo,” the outlet for this region being through the Venezuelan port of that name. Coffee cultivation in the Santa Marta region is receiving much attention on account of its proximity to the coast.
The tropical productions of the lower plains include, among others, many of the leading products of the world, such as cacáo, cotton, sugar, rice, tobacco, and bananas, with others destined wholly for home consumption, as yams, cassava and arracacha. Potatoes are widely cultivated in the temperate and sub-tropical regions, and sweet potatoes in the sub-tropical and tropical.it is found growing wild, cacáo is cultivated to a limited extent, and the product is insufficient for home consumption. Cotton is cultivated only on a small scale, although there are large areas suitable for the plant. The staple product is short, but experiments have been initiated in the Santa Marta region to improve it. Sugar cane is another plant admirably adapted to the Colombian lowlands, but it is cultivated to so limited an extent that the sugar produced is barely sufficient for home consumption. Both cultivation and manufacture have been carried on in the old time way, by the rudest of methods, and the principal product is a coarse brown sugar, called panela, universally used by the poorer classes as an article of food and for making a popular beverage. Antiquated refining processes are also used in the manufacture of an inferior white sugar, but the quantity produced is small, and it is unable to compete with beet-sugar from Germany. A considerable part of the sugar-cane produced is likewise devoted to the manufacture of chicha (rum), the consumption of which is common among the Indians and half-breeds of the Andean regions.
Rice is grown to a very limited extent, though it is a common article of diet and the partially submerged lowlands are naturally adapted to its production. Tobacco was cultivated in New Granada and Venezuela in colonial times, when its sale was a royal monopoly and its cultivation was restricted to specified localities. The Colombian product is best known through the Ambalema, Girardot, and Palmira tobacco, especially the Ambalema cigars, which are considered by some to be hardly inferior to those of Havana, but the plant is cultivated in other places and would probably be an important article of export were it possible to obtain labourers for its cultivation. Banana cultivation for commercial purposes is a comparatively modern industry, dating from 1892 when the first recorded export of fruit was made. Its development is due to the efforts of an American fruit-importing company, which purchased lands in the vicinity of Santa Marta for the production of bananas and taught the natives that the industry could be made profitable. A railway was built inland for the transportation of fruit to Santa Marta, and is being extended toward the Magdalena as fast as new plantations are opened. The growth of the industry is shown in the export returns, which were 171,891 bunches for 1892, and 1,397,388 bunches for 1906, the area under cultivation being about 7000 acres in the last-mentioned year. Yams, sweet potatoes, cassava and arracacha are chiefly cultivated for domestic needs, but in common with other fruits and vegetables they give occupation to the small agriculturalists near the larger towns.
The pastoral industry dates from colonial times and engages the services of a considerable number of people, but its comparative importance is not great. The open plains, “mesas,” and plateaus of the north support large herds of cattle, and several cattle ranches have been established on the Meta and its tributaries. Live cattle, to a limited extent, are exported to Cuba and other West Indian markets, but the chief produce from this industry is hides. The department of Santander devotes considerable attention to horse-breeding. Goats are largely produced for their skins, and in some localities, as in Cauca, sheep are raised for their wool. Swine are common to the whole country, and some attention has been given to the breeding of mules.
Minerals.—The mineral resources of Colombia are commonly believed to be the principal source of her wealth, and this because of the precious metals extracted from her mines since the Spanish invasion. The estimate aggregate for three and a half centuries is certainly large, but the exact amount will probably never be known, because the returns in colonial times were as defective as those of disorderly independence have been. Humboldt and Chevalier estimated the total output down to 1845 at £1,200,000, which Professor Soetbeer subsequently increased to £169,422,750. A later Colombian authority, Vicente Restrepo, whose studies of gold and silver mining in Colombia have been generally accepted as conclusive and trustworthy, after a careful sifting of the evidence on which these two widely diverse conclusions were based and an examination of records not seen by Humboldt and Soetbeer, reaches the conclusion that the region comprised within the limits of the republic, including Panama, had produced down to 1886 an aggregate of £127,800,000 in gold and £6,600,000 in silver. This aggregate he distributes as follows:—
According to his computations the eight Colombian departments, omitting Panama, had produced during this period in gold and silver:—
Three-fourths of the gold production, he estimates, was derived from alluvial deposits. Large as these aggregates are, it will be seen that the annual production was comparatively small, the highest average, that for the 19th century, being less than £500,000 a year. Toward the end of the 19th century, after a decline in production due to the abolition of slavery and to civil wars, increased interest was shown abroad in Colombian mining operations. Medellin, the capital of Antioquia, is provided with an electrolytic refining establishment, several assaying laboratories, and a mint. The department of Cauca is considered to be the richest of the republic in mineral deposits, but it is less conveniently situated for carrying on mining operations. Besides this, the extreme unhealthiness of its most productive regions, the Chocó and Barbacoas districts on the Pacific slope, has been a serious obstacle to foreign enterprise. Tolima is also considered to be rich in gold and (especially) silver deposits. East of the Magdalena the production of these two metals has been comparatively small. In compensation the famous emerald mines of Muzo and Coscuez are situated in an extremely mountainous region north of Bogotá and near the town of Chiquinaquirá, in the department of Boyacá. The gems are found in a matrix of black slate in what appears to be the crater of a volcano, and are mined in a very crude manner. The mines are owned by the government. The revenue was estimated at £96,000 for 1904. Platinum is said to have been discovered in Colombia in 1720, and has been exported regularly since the last years of the 18th century. It is found in many parts of the country, but chiefly in the Chocó and Barbacoas districts, the annual export from the former being about 10,000 in value. Of the bulkier and less valuable minerals Colombia has copper, iron, manganese, lead, zinc and mercury. Coal is also found at several widely-separated places, but is not mined. There are also indications of petroleum in Tolima and Bolívar. These minerals, however, are of little value to the country because of their distance from the seaboards and the costs of transportation. Salt is mined at Zipaquirá, near Bogotá, and being a government monopoly, is a source of revenue to the national treasury.
Manufactures.—The Pradera iron works, near Bogotá, carry on some manufacturing (sugar boilers, agricultural implements, &c.) in connexion with their mining and reducing operations. Pottery and coarse earthenware are made at Espinal, in Tolima, where the natives are said to have had a similar industry before the Spanish conquest. There are woollen mills at Popayan and Pasto, and small cigar-making industries at Ambalema and Palmira. Hat-making from the “jipijapa” fibre taken from the Carludovica palm is a domestic industry in many localities, and furnishes an article of export. Friction matches are made from the vegetable wax extracted from the Ceroxylon palm, and are generally used throughout the interior. Rum and sugar are products of a crude manufacturing industry dating from colonial times. A modern sugar-mill and refinery at Sincerin, 28 m. from Cartagena, was the first of its kind erected in the republic. It is partially supported by the government, and the concession provides that the production of sugar shall not be less than 2,600,000 ℔ per annum.
Commerce.—In the Barranquilla customs returns for 1906 the imports were valued at $6,787,055 (U.S. gold), on which the import duties were $4,333,028, or an average rate of 64%. According to a statistical summary issued in 1906 by the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, entitled “Commercial America in 1905,” the latest official return to the foreign trade of Colombia was said to be that of 1898, which was: imports 11,083,000 pesos, exports 19,158,000 pesos. Uncertainty in regard to the value of the peso led the compiler to omit the equivalents in U.S. gold, but according to foreign trade returns these totals represent gold values, which at 4s. per peso are: imports £2,216,600, exports £3,831,600. In his annual message to congress on the 1st of April 1907, President Reyes stated that the imports for 1904 were $14,453,000, and the exports $12,658,000, presumably U.S. gold, as the figures are taken from the Monthly Bulletin of the Bureau of American Republics (July 1907). An approximate equivalent would be: imports £3,011,000, exports £2,637,000; which shows a small increase in the first and a very large decrease in the second. The imports include wheat flour, rice, barley, prepared foods, sugar, coal, kerosene, beer, wines and liquors, railway equipment, machinery and general hardware, fence wire, cotton and other textiles, drugs, lumber, cement, paper, &c., while the exports comprise coffee, bananas, hides and skins, tobacco, precious metals, rubber, cabinet woods, divi-divi, dye-woods, vegetable ivory, Panama hats, orchids, vanilla, &c.
Government.—The government of Colombia is that of a centralized republic composed of 15 departments, 1 federal district, and 4 intendencias (territories). It is divided into three co-ordinate branches, legislative, executive and judicial, and is carried on under the provisions of the constitution of 1886, profoundly modified by the amendments of 1905. Previous to 1886, the departments were practically independent, but under the constitution of that year the powers of the national government were enlarged and strengthened, while those of the departments were restricted to purely local affairs. The departments are provided with biennial departmental assemblies, but their governors are appointees of the national executive.
The legislative branch consists of a senate and chamber of deputies, which meets at Bogotá biennially (after 1908) on February 1st for an ordinary session of ninety days. The Senate is composed of 48 members—3 from each department chosen by the governor and his departmental council, and 3 from the federal district chosen by the president himself and two of his cabinet ministers. Under this arrangement the president practically controls the choice of senators. Their term of office is four years, and is renewed at the same time and for the same period as those of the lower house. The chamber is composed of 67 members, elected by popular suffrage in the departments, on the basis of one representative for each 50,000 of population. The intendencias are represented by one member each, who is chosen by the intendant, his secretary, and 3 citizens elected by the municipal council of the territorial capital. As the constituent assembly which amended the constitution, according to the president’s wishes in 1905, was to continue in office until 1908 and to provide laws for the regulation of elections and other public affairs, it appeared that the president would permit no expression of popular dissent to interfere with his purpose to establish a dictatorial régime in Colombia similar to the one in Mexico.
The executive power is vested in a president chosen by Congress for a period of four years. The first presidential period, dating from the 1st of January 1905, was for ten years, and no restriction was placed upon the choice of President Rafael Reyes to succeed himself. The constituent assembly gave the president exceptional powers to deal with all administrative matters. He is assisted by a cabinet of six ministers, interior, foreign affairs, finance, war, public instruction and public works, who are chosen and may be removed by himself. The office of vice-president is abolished, and the president is authorized to choose a temporary substitute from his cabinet, and in case of his death or resignation his successor is chosen by the cabinet or the governor of a department who happens to be nearest Bogotá at the time. The president is authorized to appoint the governors of departments, the intendants of territories, the judges of the supreme and superior courts, and the diplomatic representatives of the republic. His salary, as fixed by the 1905 budget, is £3600 a year, and his cabinet ministers receive £1200 each. The council of state is abolished and the senate is charged with the duty of confirming executive appointments.
The judicial branch of the government, like the others, has been in great measure reorganized. It consists of a supreme court of seven members at Bogotá, and a superior court in each judicial district. There are various inferior courts also, including magistrates or jueces de paz, but their organization and functions are loosely defined and not generally understood outside the republic. The supreme court has appellate jurisdiction in judicial matters, and original jurisdiction in impeachment trials and in matters involving constitutional interpretation. Under the constitution of 1886 the judges of the higher courts were appointed for life, but the reforms of 1905 changed their tenure to five years for the supreme court and four years for the superior courts, the judges being eligible for re-appointment.
The departments, which are administered by governors representing the national executive, are permitted to exercise restricted legislative functions relating to purely local affairs. Municipal councils are also to be found in the larger towns. The governor is assisted by a departmental council consisting of his secretaries and the president of the Corte de Cuentas, which places the political administration of the department under the direct control of the president at Bogotá.
The strength of the army is determined annually by congress, but every able-bodied citizen is nominally liable to military service. Its peace footing in 1898 was 1000 men. After the war of 1899–1903 its strength was successively reduced to 10,000 and 5000, a part of this force being employed in the useful occupation of making and repairing public roads. The navy in 1906 consisted of only three small cruisers on the Caribbean coast, and two cruisers, two gunboats, one troopship and two steam launches on the Pacific. There was also one small gunboat on the Magdalena.
Education.—Although Bogotá was reputed to be an educational centre in colonial times, so slight an influence did this exert upon the country that Colombia ended the 19th century with no effective public school system, very few schools and colleges, and fully 90% of illiteracy in her population. This is due in great measure to the long reign of political disorder, but there are other causes as well. As in Chile, the indifference of the ruling class to the welfare of the common people is a primary cause of their ignorance and poverty, to which must be added the apathy, if not opposition, of the Church. Under such conditions primary schools in the villages and rural districts were practically unknown, and the parish priest was the only educated person in the community. Nominally there was a school system under the supervision of the national and departmental governments, but its activities were limited to the larger towns, where there were public and private schools of all grades. There were universities in Bogotá and Medellin, the former having faculties of letters and philosophy, jurisprudence and political science, medicine and natural sciences, and mathematics and engineering, with an attendance of 1200 to 1500 students. The war of 1899–1903 so completely disorganized this institution that only one faculty, medicine and natural sciences, was open in 1907. There were also a number of private schools in the larger towns, usually maintained by religious organizations. The reform programme of President Reyes included a complete reorganization of public instruction, to which it is proposed to add normal schools for the training of teachers, and agricultural and technical schools for the better development of the country’s material resources. The supreme direction of this branch of the public service is entrusted to the minister of public instruction, and state aid is to be extended to the secondary, as well as to the normal, technical and professional schools. The secondary schools receiving public aid, however, have been placed in charge of religious corporations of the Roman Catholic Church. The expenditure on account of public instruction, which includes schools of all grades and descriptions, is unavoidably small, the appropriation for the biennium 1905–1906 being only £167,583. The school and college attendance for 1906, according to the president’s review of that year, aggregated 218,941, of whom 50,691 were in Antioquia, where the whites are more numerous than in any other department; 4916 in Atlantico, which includes the city of Barranquilla, and in which the negro element preponderates; and only 12,793 in the federal district and city of Bogotá where the mestizo element is numerous. Although primary instruction is gratuitous it is not compulsory, and these figures clearly demonstrate that school privileges have not been extended much beyond the larger towns. The total attendance, however, compares well with that of 1897, which was 143,096, although it shows that only 5% of the population, approximately, is receiving instruction.
Religion.—The religious profession of the Colombian people is Roman Catholic, and is recognized as such by the constitution, but the exercise is permitted of any other form of worship which is not contrary to Christian morals or to the law. There is one Protestant church in Bogotá, but the number of non-Catholics is small and composed of foreign residents. There has been a long struggle between liberals and churchmen in Colombia, and at one time the latter completely lost their political influence over the government, but the common people remained loyal to the Church, and the upper classes found it impossible to sever the ties which bound them to it. The constitution of 1861 disestablished the Church, confiscated a large part of its property, and disfranchised the clergy, but in 1886 political rights were restored to the latter and the Roman Catholic religion was declared to be the faith of the nation. The rulers of the Church have learned by experience, however, that they can succeed best by avoiding partisan conflicts, and the archbishop of Bogotá gave effect to this in 1874 by issuing an edict instructing priests not to interfere in politics. The Church influence with all classes is practically supreme and unquestioned, and it still exercises complete control in matters of education. The Colombian hierarchy consists of an archbishop, residing at Bogotá, 10 bishops, 8 vicars-general, and 2170 priests. There were also in 1905 about 750 members of 10 monastic and religious orders. There were 270 churches and 312 chapels in the republic. Each diocese has its own seminary for the training of priests.
Finance.—In financial matters Colombia is known abroad chiefly through repeated defaults in meeting her bonded indebtedness, and through the extraordinary depreciation of her paper currency. The public revenues are derived from import duties on foreign merchandise, from export duties on national produce, from internal taxes and royalties on liquors, cigarettes and tobacco, matches, hides and salt, from rentals of state emerald mines and pearl fisheries, from stamped paper, from port dues and from postal and telegraph charges. The receipts and expenditure are estimated for biennial periods, but it has not been customary to publish detailed results. Civil wars have of course been a serious obstacle, but it was announced by President Reyes in 1907 that the revenues were increasing. For the two years 1905 and 1906 the revenues were estimated to produce (at $5 to the £1 sterling) £4,203,823, the expenditures being fixed at the same amount. The expenditures, however, did not include a charge of £424,000, chiefly due on account of war claims and requisitions. During the first year of this period the actual receipts, according to the council of the corporation of foreign bondholders, were $9,149,591 gold (£1,829,918) and the payments $7,033,317 gold (£1,406,663). It was expected by the government that the 1906 revenues would largely exceed 1905, but the expectation was not fully realized, chiefly, it may be assumed, because of the inability of an impoverished people to meet an increase in taxation. An instance of this occurred in the promising export of live cattle to Cuba and Panama, which was completely suppressed in 1906 because of a new export tax of $3 gold per head. Of the expenditures about one-fourth is on account of the war department.
The foreign debt, according to the 1896 arrangement with the bondholders which was renewed in 1905, is £2,700,000, together with unpaid interest since 1896 amounting to £351,000 more. Under the 1905 arrangement the government undertook to pay the first coupons at 2½% and succeeding ones at 3%, pledging 12 to 15% of the customs receipts as security. The first payments were made according to agreement, and it was believed in 1907 that the succeeding ones, together with one-half of the unpaid interest since 1896, would also be met. It is worthy of note that this debt, principal and accumulated interest, exceeded six and a half millions sterling in 1873, and that the bondholders surrendered about 60% of the claim in the hope of securing the payment of the balance. It is also worthy of note that Panama refused to assume any part of this debt without a formal recognition of her independence by Colombia, and even then only a sum proportionate to her population. The internal debt of Colombia in June 1906 was as follows:—
|Consolidated||5,476,887 dollars silver,|
|Floating||2,345,658 dollars gold.|
Whether or not this included the unpaid war claims was not stated.
Money.—The monetary system, which has been greatly complicated by the use of two depreciated currencies, silver and paper, has been undergoing a radical reform since 1905, the government proposing to redeem the depreciated paper and establish a new uniform currency on a gold basis. The paper circulation in 1905 exceeded 700,000,000 pesos. The issue began in 1881 through the Banco Nacional de Colombia, its value then being equal to that of the silver coinage. Political troubles in 1884–1885 led to a suspension of cash payments in 1885, and in 1886 Congress made the notes inconvertible and of forced circulation. In 1894 the Banco Nacional ceased to exist as a corporation, and thenceforward the currency was issued for account of the national treasury. On October 16, 1899—the outstanding circulation then amounting to 46,000,000 pesos,—the government decreed an unlimited issue to meet its expenditures in suppressing the revolution, and later on the departments of Antioquia, Bolívar, Cauca, and Santander were authorized to issue paper money for themselves. This suicidal policy continued until February 28, 1903, when, according to an official statement, the outstanding paper circulation was:—
|National government issues||600,398,581|
|Department of Antioquia||35,938,495.60|
|” ” Bolívar||18,702,100|
|” ” Cauca||44,719,688.70|
|” ” Santander||750,000|
So great was the depreciation of this currency that before the end of the war 100 American gold dollars were quoted at 22,500 pesos. The declaration of peace brought the exchange rate down to the neighbourhood of 10,000, where it remained, with the exception of a short period during the Panama Canal negotiations, when it fell to 6000. This depreciation (10,000) was equivalent to a loss of 99% of the nominal value of the currency, a paper peso of 100 centavos being worth only one centavo gold. International commercial transactions were based on the American gold dollar, which was usually worth 100 pesos of this depreciated currency. Even at this valuation, the recognized outstanding circulation (for there had been fraudulent issues as well) amounted to more than £1,400,000. In 1903 Congress adopted a gold dollar of 1.672 grammes weight .900 fine (equal to the U.S. gold dollar) as the monetary standard created a redemption bureau for the withdrawal of the paper circulation, prohibited the further issue of such currency, and authorized free contracts in any currency. Previous to that time the law required all contracts to specify payments in paper currency. Certain rents and taxes were set aside for the use of the redemption bureau, and a nominally large sum has been withdrawn from circulation through this channel. On the 1st of January 1906, another monetary act came into operation, with additional provisions for currency redemption and improvement of the monetary system. A supplementary act of 1906 also created a new national banking institution, called the Banco Central, which is made a depository of the public revenues and is charged with a considerable part of their administration, including payments on account of the foreign debt and the conversion of the paper currency into coin. The new law likewise reaffirmed the adoption of a gold dollar of 1.672 grammes .900 fine as the unit of the new coinage, which is:—
|Double condor||= 20 dollars.|
|Condor||= 10 ”|
|Half condor||= 5 ”|
|Dollar (mon. unit)||= 100 cents.|
|Half dollar||= 50 cents.|
|Peseta||= 20 ”|
|Real||= 10 ”|
|Bronze:—2 cents and 1 cent.|
The silver coinage (.900 fine) is limited to 10%, and the nickel and bronze coins to 2% of the gold coinage. The new customs tariff, which came into force at the same time, was an increase of 70% on the rates of 1904, and provided that the duties should be paid in gold, or in paper at the current rate of exchange. This measure was designed to facilitate the general resumption of specie payments.
Weights and Measures.—The metric system of weights and measures has been the legal standard in Colombia since 1857, but its use is confined almost exclusively to international trade. In the interior and in all domestic transactions the old Spanish weights and measures are still used—including the Spanish libra of 1.102 ℔ avoirdupois, the arroba of 25 libras (121 kilogrammes), the quintal of 100 libras (50 kilog.), the carga of 250 libras (125 kilogs.), the vara of 80 centimetres, and the fanega. The litre is the standard liquid measure. (A. J. L.)
The coast of Colombia was one of the first parts of the American continent visited by the Spanish navigators. Alonso de Ojeda touched at several points in 1499 and 1501; and Columbus himself visited Veragua, Portobello, and other places in his last voyage in 1502. In 1508 Ojeda obtained from the Spanish crown a grant of the district from Cape Vela westward to the Gulf of Darien, while the rest of the country from the Gulf of Darien to Cape Gracias-a-Dios was bestowed on his fellow-adventurer, Nicuessa. The two territories designated respectively Nueva Andalucia and Castella de Oro were united in 1514 into the province of Tierra-firma, and entrusted to Pedro Arias de Avila. In 1536–1537 an expedition under Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada made their way from Santa Marta inland by the river Magdalena, and penetrated to Bogotá, the capital of the Muiscas or Chibchas. Quesada gave to the country the name of New Granada.
By the middle of the century the Spanish power was fairly established, and flourishing communities arose along the coasts, and in the table-lands of Cundinamarca formerly occupied by the Muiscas. For the better government of the colony the Spanish monarch erected a presidency of New Granada in 1564, which continued till 1718, when it was raised to the rank of a viceroyalty. In the following year, however, the second viceroy, D. Jorge Villalonga, Count de la Cueva, expressing his opinion that the maintenance of this dignity was too great a burden on the settlers, the viceroyalty gave place to a simple presidency. In 1740 it was restored, and it continued as long as the Spanish authority, including within its limits not only the present Colombia, but also Venezuela and Ecuador. An insurrection against the home government was formally commenced in 1811, and an incessant war against the Spanish forces was waged till 1824.
In 1819 the great national hero, Bolivar (q.v.), effected a union between the three divisions of the country, to which was given the title of the Republic of Colombia; but in 1829 Venezuela withdrew, and in 1830, the year of Bolivar’s death, Quito or Ecuador followed her example. The Republic of New Granada was founded on the 21st of November 1831; and in 1832 a constitution was promulgated, and the territory divided into eighteen provinces, each of which was to have control of its local affairs. The president was to hold office for four years; and the first on whom the dignity was bestowed was General Francisco de Paula Santander. His position, however, was far from enviable; for the country was full of all the elements of unrest and contention. One of his measures, by which New Granada became responsible for the half of the debts of the defunct republic of Colombia, gave serious offence to a large party, and he was consequently succeeded not, as he desired, by José Maria Obando, but by a member of the opposition, José Ignacio de Marquez. This gave rise to a civil war, which lasted till 1841, and not only left the country weak and miserable, but afforded an evil precedent which has since been too frequently followed. The contest terminated in favour of Marquez, and he was succeeded in May 1841 by Pedro Alcantara Herran, who had assisted to obtain the victory. In 1840 the province of Cartagena had seceded, and the new president had hardly taken office before Panama and Veragua also declared themselves independent, under the title of the State of the Isthmus of Panama. Their restoration was, however, soon effected; the constitution was reformed in 1843; education was fostered, and a treaty concluded with the English creditors of the republic. Further progress was made under General Tomas de Mosquera from 1845 to 1848; a large part of the domestic debt was cleared off, immigration was encouraged, and free trade permitted in gold and tobacco. The petty war with Ecuador, concluded by the peace of Santa Rosa de Carchi, is hardly worthy of mention. From 1849 to 1852 the reins were in the hands of General José Hilario Lopez, a member of the democratic party, and under him various changes were effected of a liberal tendency. In January 1852 slavery was entirely abolished. The next president was José Maria Obando, but his term of office had to be completed by vice-presidents Obaldia and Mallarino.
In 1853 an important alteration of the constitution took place, by which the right was granted to every province to declare itself independent, and to enter into merely federal connexion with the central republic, which was now known as the Granadine Confederation. In 1856 and 1857 Antioquia and Panama took advantage of the permission. The Conservative party carried their candidate in 1857, Mariano Ospino, a lawyer by profession; but an insurrection broke out in 1859, which was fostered by the ex-president Mosquera, and finally took the form of a regular civil war. Bogotá was captured by the democrats in July 1861, and Mosquera assumed the chief power. A congress at Bogotá established a republic, with the name of the United States of Colombia, adopted a new federal constitution, and made Mosquera dictator. Meanwhile the opposite party was victorious in the west; and their leader, Julio Arboleda, formed an alliance with Don Garcia Moreno, the president of Ecuador. He was assassinated, however, in 1862; and his successor, Leonardo Canal, came to terms with Mosquera at Cali. The dictatorship was resigned into the hands of a convention (February 1863) at Rio Negro, in Antioquia; a provisional government was appointed, a constitution was drawn up, and Mosquera elected president till 1864. An unsuccessful attempt was also made to restore the union between the three republics of the former federation. The presidency of Manuel Murillo Toro (1864–1866) was disturbed by various rebellions, and even Mosquera, who next came to the helm, found matters in such a disorganized condition that he offered to retire. On the refusal of his resignation, he entered into a struggle with the majority in the congress, and ultimately resorted to an adjournment and the unconstitutional arrest of 68 of the senators and representatives. To the decree of impeachment published by the congress he replied by a notice of dissolution and a declaration of war; but he soon found that the real power was with his opponents, who effected his arrest, and condemned him first to two years’ imprisonment, but afterwards by commutation to two years’ exile. The presidency of Santos Gutierrez (1868–1870) was disturbed by insurrections in different parts of the republic, the most important of which was that in Panama, where the most absolute disorganization prevailed. Under his successor, General E. Salgar, a Liberal candidate elected in opposition to General Herran, a treaty was finally concluded with the United States in connexion with an interoceanic canal, a bank was established at Bogotá, and educational reforms instituted. Manuel Murillo Toro (1872–1874) and Santiago Perez (1874–1876) saw the country apparently acquiring constitutional equilibrium, and turning its energies to the development of its matchless resources.
The election for the presidential term 1876–1878 resulted in favour of Aquiles Parra, who was succeeded in April 1878 by General Julian Trujillo. His administration was marked by a strong effort to place the financial position of the government on a more satisfactory footing, and the internal indebtedness was substantially reduced during his rule. In April 1880 Señor Rafael Nuñez acceded to the presidency. During his term of office revolutionary disturbances occurred in the provinces of Cauca and Antioquia, but were suppressed with no great difficulty. Provision was made in 1880 for a settlement of the boundary dispute with Costa Rica, and in July of that year the federal Congress authorized the formation of a naval squadron. A movement was now set afoot in favour of a confederation of the three republics of Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela on the basis of the original conditions existing after the expulsion of Spanish authority, and a resolution was passed by the chamber of deputies to that effect. The opposition shown by Venezuela and Ecuador to this project prevented any definite result from being achieved. In April 1882 Señor Francisco J. Laldua became president, but his death occurring a year later, General José Eusebio Otalora was nominated to exercise the executive power for the unexpired portion of the term. In 1883 the dispute in connexion with the boundary between Colombia and Venezuela was submitted by the two governments to the arbitration of Alphonso XII., king of Spain, and a commission of five members was appointed to investigate the merits of the respective claims. The decision in this dispute was finally given by the queen regent of Spain on the 16th of March 1891. In April 1884 Señor Rafael Nuñez was again proclaimed president of the republic in his absence abroad. Pending his return the administration was left in the hands of General Campo Serrano and General Eliseo Payan. The Liberal party had been instrumental in the re-election of Nuñez, and looked for a policy in conformity with their views and political convictions. President Nuñez had no sooner returned to Colombia than the Liberals discovered that his political opinions had changed and had become strongly Conservative. Discontent at this condition of affairs soon spread. Nuñez from motives of ill-health did not openly assume the presidential office, but from his house near Cartagena he practically directed the government of the republic. The Liberals now began to foment a series of revolutionary movements, and these led in 1885 to a civil war extending over the departments of Boyaca, Cundinamarca, Magdalena and Panama. General Reyes and General Velez were the two principal leaders of the revolt. In order to protect the passage of the traffic across the Isthmus of Panama during these disturbed times detachments of United States marines were landed at Panama and Colon, in accordance with the terms of the concession under which the railway had been constructed. After a number of defeats the leaders of the revolt surrendered in August 1885, and on the 5th of September following peace was officially proclaimed. Nuñez, who had meanwhile assumed the presidential duties, now brought about a movement in favour of a fresh Act of Constitution for Colombia, and a new law to that effect was finally approved and promulgated on 4th August 1886. Under the terms of this act the federal system of government for Colombia was abolished, the states becoming departments, the governors of these political divisions being appointed by the president of the republic. Each department has a local legislative assembly elected by the people. The national congress is constituted of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Senate is composed of twenty-seven members elected for six years, one-third retiring every two years, three of whom are nominated by each of the nine departments. The House of Representatives comprises members elected for four years by universal suffrage, each department forming a constituency and returning one member for every 50,000 inhabitants. Congress convenes every two years. The presidential term of office under the new act was fixed at six years in place of the two years formerly prevailing. The judiciary was irremovable, and trial by jury was allowed for criminal offences. Capital punishment was re-established, and the press was made responsible for matter published. The unlicensed trade in arms and ammunition thitherto existing was prohibited. Previous to 1886 the crime of murder was only punishable by 10 years’ imprisonment, a sentence which in practice was reduced to two-thirds of that term; slander and libel were formerly offences which the law had no power to restrain, and no responsibility attached to seditious publications.
After the promulgation of this new Act of Constitution President Nuñez was proclaimed as president of the republic for the term ending in 1892. He was unable, however, in consequence of ill-health, to reside at Bogotá and discharge the presidential duties, and consequently in August 1888 Señor Cárlos Holguin was designated to act for him. In 1892 President Nuñez was again elected to the presidency for a term of six years, his continued ill-health, however, forcing him to place the active performance of his duties in the hands of the vice-president, Señor Miguel Caro. In 1895 the Liberals made another attempt to seize the government of the country, but the movement was suppressed without any very great difficulty. In this same year Nuñez died, and Vice-President Caro became the actual president, an office he had practically filled during the three previous years. In 1898 Señor M. A. Sanclemente, a strong Conservative, and supported by the Church party, was elected to the presidency for the period ending in 1904. In October 1899 the Liberals organized another revolutionary outbreak for the purpose of trying to wrest the power from Conservatives, but this attempt had no better success than the movements of 1885 and 1895. In January 1900, however, Vice-President José Marroquin seized upon the government, imprisoned President Sanclemente (who died in prison in March 1902), and another period of disturbance began. The rebels were defeated in May in a desperate battle at Cartagena; and continuous fighting went on about Panama, where British marines had to be landed to protect foreign interests. As the year 1900 advanced, the conflict went on with varying success, but the government troops were generally victorious, and in August Vice-President Marroquin was recognized as the acting head of the executive, with a cabinet under General Calderon. In 1901 the rebellion continued, and severe fighting took place about Colon. Further complications arose in August, when trouble occurred between Colombia and Venezuela. On the one hand, there were grounds for believing that the Clericals and Conservatives in both countries were acting together; and, on the other, it was expected that President Castro of Venezuela would not be sorry to unite his own countrymen, and to divert their attention from internal affairs, by a war against Colombia. The Colombian revolutionary leaders had made use of the Venezuelan frontier as a base of operations, and the result was an invasion of Venezuelan territory by Colombian government troops, an incident which at once caused a diplomatic quarrel. The United States government in September offered its good offices, but President Castro refused them, and the state of affairs became gradually more menacing. Meanwhile both Panama and Colon were seriously threatened by the rebel forces, who in November succeeded in capturing Colon by surprise. The situation was complicated by the fact that the railway traffic on the Isthmus was in danger of interruption, and on the capture of Colon it became necessary for the American, British and French naval authorities to land men for the protection of the railway and of foreign interests.
On the 18th of September the Venezuelans, who had entered Colombia, were totally routed near La Hacha, and after fierce fighting the insurgents at Colon were compelled to surrender on the 29th of November. But the Civil War was not yet ended. For another eight months it was to continue, causing immense damage to property and trade, and the loss of tens of thousands of lives. In many towns and villages the male population was almost entirely destroyed. Not till June 1903 was internal peace finally restored. In the autumn of that same year Colombia, exhausted and half ruined, was to suffer a further severe loss in the secession of Panama.
The abrogation of the Clayton-Bulwer treaty in 1901, and the failure of the second French company to construct a canal between Colon and Panama (see Panama Canal) had, after many hesitations, induced the United States government to abandon the Nicaragua route and decide on adopting that of Panama. Negotiations were set on foot with Colombia, and an arrangement—under what was known as the Hay-Herran treaty—was made to the following effect. Colombia agreed (1) to the transfer of the rights, under the concession, of the French company to the United States; (2) to cede, on a hundred years’ lease, a right of way for the canal, and a strip of land 5m. broad on either side of the waterway, and the two ports of Colon and Panama. The United States agreed to pay Colombia (1) £2,000,000 down in cash, and, ten years later, an annual rental of £50,000, and further a share of the price paid to the French company, i.e. £8,000,000, in which Colombia held 50,000 shares. This treaty was signed by the plenipotentiaries and ratified by the United States Senate. The Colombian Congress, however, refused to ratify the treaty on the ground that when the negotiations had taken place the country was in a state of siege, really in the hope of securing a larger money payment. The adjournment took place on the 31st of October. On the 3rd of November a revolution broke out at Panama, and the state seceded from Colombia and declared itself to be an independent republic. This opportune revolution was no doubt fomented by persons interested in the carrying through of the United States scheme for piercing the isthmus, but their task was one that presented no difficulties, for the isthmian population had been in a state of perennial insurrection against the central government for many years. Whoever may have instigated the rising, this much is certain, that American warships prevented the Colombian troops from landing to suppress the revolt. On the 7th of November the United States government formally recognized the independence of the republic of Panama (q.v.). The other powers in succession likewise recognized the new state; the recognition of Great Britain was given on the 26th of December. Colombia thus sacrificed a great opportunity of obtaining, by the ratification of the Hay-Herran treaty, such a pecuniary recompense for the interest in the territory through which the canal was to be constructed as would have gone far to re-establish her ruined financial credit.
In 1904 the troubled term of President Marroquin came to an end, and by the narrowest of majorities General Rafael Reyes was elected in his place. He had been sent as a special envoy to Washington to protest against the recognition of Panama, and to attempt to revive the Hay-Herran treaty, and to secure favourable terms for Colombia in the matter of the canal. He failed to do so, but it was recognized that he had discharged his difficult task with great skill and ability. On his accession to office as president he found the country exhausted and disorganized, more especially in the department of finance, and the congress was on the whole hostile to him. Finding himself hampered in his efforts to reform abuses, the president dissolved the congress, and summoned a national constituent and legislative assembly to meet on the 15th of March 1905, and with its aid proceeded to modify the constitution.
Having personal acquaintance with the success of the rule of President Porfirio Diaz in Mexico, General Reyes determined to set about the regeneration of Colombia by similar methods. His tenure of the presidency was extended to a term of ten years from the 1st of January 1905, and the restriction as to re-election at the end of that term was withdrawn, other alterations being made in the constitution with the effect of placing General Reyes really in the position of a dictator. He soon proved that he had the ability and the integrity of purpose to use his great opportunity for the benefit of his country. His firm and masterful government and wise measures did much to allay the spirit of unrest which had so long been the bane of Colombia, and though an attempt at assassination was made in the spring of 1906, the era of revolution appeared to be over.
The chief foreign treaties entered into by Colombia in the last quarter of the 19th century were:—(1) A treaty with Great Britain, signed on the 27th of October 1888, for the extradition of criminals; (2) a treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation with Italy, signed on the 27th of October 1892; (3) two protocols with Italy, signed respectively on the 24th of May and on the 25th of August 1886, in connexion with the affair of the Italian subject Cerruti; (4) a consular convention with Holland, signed on the 20th of July 1881; (5) a treaty of peace and friendship with Spain, signed on the 30th of January 1881; (6) a convention with Spain for the reciprocal protection of intellectual property; (7) a concordat with the Vatican, signed on the 31st of December 1887; (8) an agreement with the Vatican, signed on the 20th of August 1892, in connexion with ecclesiastical jurisdiction; (9) an agreement with the republic of San Salvador, signed on the 24th of December 1880, in regard to the despatch of a delegate to an international congress; (10) a treaty of peace, friendship and commerce with Germany, signed on the 23rd of July 1892; (11) a treaty with the republic of Costa Rica, signed in 1880, for the delimitation of the boundary; (12) the postal convention, signed at Washington, on the 4th of July 1891; (13) a convention with Great Britain, signed on the 31st of July 1896, in connexion with the claim of Messrs Punchard, M‘Taggart, Lowther & Co.; (14) a treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation with Peru, signed on the 6th of August 1898; (15) an extradition treaty with Peru, signed on the 6th of August 1898; (16) a treaty of peace, friendship and defensive alliance with Venezuela, signed on the 21st of November 1896, and on the same date a treaty regulating the frontier commerce. (G. E.)
Authorities.—C. E. Akers, A History of South America, 1854–1904 (New York, 1905); J. J. Borda, Compendio de historia de Colombia (Bogotá, 1890); Salvador Roldan Camacho, Notas de viaje (Bogotá, 1890), and Escritos varios (Bogotá, 1892); Dr Alfred Hettner, Reisen in den colombianischen Anden (Leipzig, 1888); Angel Lemos, Compendio de geografia de la Républica de Colombia (Medellin, 1894); Albert Millican, Travels and Adventures of an Orchid Hunter (London, 1891); J. M. Cordovez Mauro, Reminiscencias Santafé y Bogotá (Bogotá, 1899); Norris and Laird (Bureau of Navigation), Telegraphic Determination of Longitudes in Mexico, Central America, the West Indies, and on the North Coast of South America (Washington, 1891); R. Nuñez and H. Jalhay, La République de Colombia, géographie, histoire, &c. (Bruxelles, 1893); J. M. Q. Otero, Historia Patria (Bogotá, 1891); Lisimaco Palaü, La Republica de Colombia (1893); M. Paz and F. Perez, Atlas geográfico e histórico de la República de Colombia (1893); R. S. Pereira, Les États Unis de Colombia (Paris, 1883); Felipe Perez, Geografia general, fisica y politica de los Estados Unidos de Colombia (Bogotá, 1883); F. Loraine Petrie, The Republic of Colombia (London, 1906); Elisée Réclus, Geografia de Colombia (Bogotá, 1893); W. Reiss and A. Stübel, Reisen in Südamerika. Geologische Studien in der Republik Colombia (Berlin, 1893); Ernesto Restrepo, Ensayo etnografico y arqueologico de la provincia de los Quimbayas (Bogotá, 1892), and Estudios sobre los aborigines de Colombia (Bogotá, 1892); Vicente Restrepo, Estudio sobre las minas de oro y plata de Colombia (Bogotá, 1888, translated by C. W. Fisher, New York, 1886); W. L. Scruggs, The Colombian and Venezuelan Republics (London, 1899; Boston, 1900); W. Sievers, Reisen in der Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (Leipzig, 1887); F. J. Vergara y Velasco, Nueva geografia de Colombia (Bogotá, 1892); Frank Vincent, Around and About South America (New York, 1890); R. G. Watson, Spanish and Portuguese South America during the Colonial Period (2 vols., London, 1884).
See also the diplomatic and consular reports of Great Britain and the United States; publications of the International Bureau of American Republics (Washington, D.C.); Bureau of Statistics, Commercial America in 1905 (Washington, 1906).
- See A. Hettner and G. Linck, “Beiträge zur Geologie und Petrographie der columbianischen Anden,” Zeits. deutsch. geol. Ges. vol. xl. (1888), pp. 204-230; W. Sievers, “Die Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta und die Sierra de Perijá,” Zeits. Ges. Erdk. Berlin, vol. xxiii. (1888), pp. 1-158 and p. 442, Pls. i. and iii.; A. Hettner, “Die Kordillere von Bogotá,” Peterm. Mitt., Ergänzungsheft 104 (1892), and “Die Anden des westlichen Columbiens,” Peterm. Mitt. (1893), pp. 129-136; W. Reiss and A. Stübel, Reisen in Süd America. Geologische Studien in der Republik Colombia (Berlin, 1892–1899),—a good geological bibliography will be found in part ii. of this work.