Terra-Firma, Guayana, New Granada
Amazonia, Brasil, Peru, Paraguay,
Chaco, Tucuman, Chili and
with Several Improvements and Additions,
and the Newest Discoveries.
Publiſhed by Laurie & Whittle. N.° 53 Fleet Street,
as the Act directs 12.th May 1794.
NB. Morro is a Bluff or Highland
Farellon is a Rock
This Mark + Signifies ruined or deserted.
Division of SOUTH AMERICA with a SUMMARY ACCOUNT of its Trade
SOUTH AMERICA is Divided into Nine Principal parts Viz.
1. Terra Firma to the Spaniards
divided into the Governements of
Panama, or Terra Firma proper, containing the Isthmus of Darien & the Adjacent Coast;
Carthagena, Sta. Martha and Rio de la Macha; Venezuela, Caraceas; Cumana, or new Andalusia;Paria, & part of Guayana, Popayan with Choco; & the NewKingdom of Granada wholse Capital Santa Fé is the Metropolis of all Tierrea Firma; with Several Islands belonging to the Spaniards, except Curaçao and Bonair which belongs to the Dutch. All along the Coast from Carthagena, there are Pearl Fisheries, the Principal of which are at Margartia, Cubagua, Cumanagotto & la Rencheria. The whole Country abounds in Mines of Gold and Precious Stones, Indigo, Cocheneal & The Trees that produce the Balsla generally known under the name of Balfam of Tolu grow in the Governement of Popayan. The City of Panana is the center of Commerce from Peru & Chili. As soon as ever the Galleons enter the Port of Carthagena an expreſs is dispatched over land to Panama, from whence he proceeds by Sea to Lima. In the mean time all the neceſsary preparations are made for Conveying ye Treasure as soon as it arrives, either by Sea or Land to Porto_belo. The [?] of Peru, on the other hand, makes all imaginable dispatch in Sending the Lima Fleet escortd by an Armadilla or Small Squadron of Men of War to Panama, where as soon as Arrived they are unladen, & the Goods forwarded to Porto-belo. This may be performed two ways by Land, which is a Journey of 50 Miles & a preity good road in Summer; or by Water, which is ye only method in Winter.& then the Plate & Goods are Convey'd to Venta de Cruz, which is 20 Miles by Mules, & then down ye Rio Chagre into the Sea, whence they are transported to Porto-belo which is about 18 Leagues distant. These different methods of Carriage are of vast utility, for in ye Summer Rio Chagre is frequently so low that Boats cannot paſs:& in Winter, when ye navigation by that River is free ye Road by land is altogether Imapſsable. As soon as the Lima Ships are unladen at Panama they Sail to Perico, a little Island at a small distance from Panama, & there wait the return of the European goods from Porto-belo, by the same Carriage their were sent thither, & having taken this on board they imediately Sail away for Lima.
2. Peru to the Spaniards.
Divided into the Audiences of
Quito, Lima er Peru Proper, called the Royal Audience and las Chareas er Audience of la Plata.
Peru abounds in Mines of Gold and Silver, the most Famous of which are the Mines of Potofi; in that Neighbourhood is the Town of Porco whose Mines are still richer, but harder to Work by reasons of the Water that is found in them;whereas there is none in the Mines of Potofi, even at a very great depth. Nearer the Coast are the famous Mines of Lipes & towards the North, those of Oruro,whence they draw a Fifth part of Silver from the Ore, besides many others. It may not be amiſs to Observe, that when Mines are shut up, & not longer wrought,we must not Suppose that they are totally lost, for after a Considerable Space, they open them, & draw from them fresh Riches, sometimes in greater quantities than at First. The Town of Arica is the proper Port of Potofi&laPlata. In the Month of March they begin to bring ye Silver from thence to Arica,& in June the Flora from Lima comes to Fetch it. There is a constant intercourse between la Plata, Lipes, Oruro, & this Port, by land, for conveniency of which there are Inns at every 4 Leagues insomuch that it is computed there are two Thousand Persons employ'd in the Management of these Inns and as Carriers.
Lima called also the City of the kings, is the Capital of all South America, as well as of Peru,& the residence of the Viceroy. Its Inhabitants have been so rich that in 1682, on the entry of the Duke de la Plata, their Viceroy, they paved tow of the Streets, thro which he paſsed, with Ingots of Silver, to the amount of Eighty Millions of Pieces of Eight, which is about Eighteen Millions Sterling but they are not conceived to be near so richt at present. Callao is the Port of Lima ; its road is by much the largest & Fairest in the South Seas. There are two Flottas annually Sail from thence, one for Arica, the other for Panama, having on board the Wealth from Potofi, the Silver from Chili, which comes in the Valparaiso Fleet, the Kings revenue & Merchandises from all parts of Peru and the Audience of las Charcas: and on the return of this Fleet laden with European commodities they are disposed of from hence, part by Sea & part by Land, to all the different places to which they are destined. Besides these Fleets, there Sail Annually two Ships for Acapulco; & the Indian Commodities which they bring are all deposited in the magazines at Callao and sent from hence to all the Souther Provinces of America.
3. Amazonia, where the Spaniards and
Portuguese have Miſsions & Settlements, is very little known;
It takes its name from the River Amazon that runs thro that immance Country from West to East.the Course of that River was drawn in 1713 & 14 by M.r de la Condamine.
4. Guayana, divided between
The Spaniards, Dutch & French.
Spanish Guayana, is comprehended in Terra Firma.
Dutch Guayana, contains the Colonies of Eſsquebe, Berbice and Surinam
French Guayana, contains the Colony of Cayenne, with Several Forts and Settlements.
The Dutch & French cultivate Coffee, Cotton, Sugar, Rocon,or Annate & Cocoa.
5. Brasil, to the Portuguese
Divided into 12 Captainships, Viz. of
the Bay of all Saints, Seregipe, Olinda Para iba, Riogrande Seara, Mranham & Para, os Ilheos, Porto Seguro, Spiritu Santo & Riojaneiro, with the Commanças of S.t Paul & of the Mines.
The Portuguese in the Northern Captainships, are Masters of all the Coasts and 10 or 12 Leagues up - - in the Country, but in the Southern Captainships their Settlements extend a Great deal further in the Interior parts of the Land. Brasil, produces Gold, Tobacco & the best Sugar in great Plenty. Some years since the Portuguese have Discover'd several Mines of Diamonds which are very Rich, & whose productions are almost as fine as those of the Mines of Asia.
6. Paraguay, to the Spaniards
Divided into the Great Governments
1st of Aſsomption, whose Easter part is the Province of Chaco
The Spaniards are become the absolute owners of that Country, since the expulsion of the Jesuits who had establish'd there an Independant Government, under the pretext of converting & civilizing the indians. Paraguay abounds in very rich Mines both of Gold and Silver; there is besides plenty of Valuable Commodities, especially the Herb-Paraguay. The use made of it, is to compose a Certain Draught, Infusion, or Tea which recovers such as Work in the Mines from those grevious Cholicks & intolerable disorders in the Stomach caused by the exhalations in such places. The amount of this Trade is at least a Million and a Half of Pieces of Eight per Annum. By the Help of Rio Pileomayo there is a quick & Straight paſsage from Potofi to Buenos-ayres; and a good Road thither aksi by Land. The importance of Buenos-ayres consiſts [?] in its Convenient Situation for Commerce, indeed for such a Commerce as no Port in the Spaniſh Indied, can boast of the like. Hither come(?) even from the most distant Provinces, the most valuable Commodities in order to be Exchanged for European Goods : ſuch as Vigonia Wool from all parts of Peru, and Chili, Copper from Coquimbo, Gold from Chili, & Silver from Potofi. Tobacco, Sugar, Cotton thread, wax, Cotton Cloth from Paraguay. The Herb of that name is transported from Santafé to Ptofi, partly in waggons & partly on Mules; and tho it be a Journey of five Hundred Leagues, yet they Commonly perform it in a Month. They dispose of the Herb for ready Money, & generally gain upon it Cent per Cent.
The Journey to the Mines of Chili is much more troublesome because the paſsage thro the Mountains which divide that Country from the Inlan parts of America, is paſsable only from December to March. The Commerce between Buenos-ayres, & Peru is Chiefly for the Sale of Cattle, & of Mules for the Mines. The Trade carried on between Buenos-ayres & Europe ought to be only by Register Ships from Spain, but besides these, the Inhabitants carry on a great Contraband Commerce. On the North Side of Rio de la Plata, in Paraguay, the Portuguese have a colony called Colonia do Sacramento which was granted to them by a Treaty with the Spaniards in 1750.
7. Tucuman to the Spaniards
8. Chili to the Spaniards
Divided into three Districts, Viz. those of
Chili-proper, Imperiale & of Chicuyto.
This country abound everywhere with Gold, Silver, Copper, Lead, Mercury, Saltpetre & Sulphur, & from such parts of it as the Spaniards have thoroughly Settled, they reap Immense Profits. The Soil is Wonderfully Fertile. Producing not only Indian but European Corn, Wine, Fruits & all the Neceſsaries of Life in abundance;
Whatever Herbs, Fruites or Flowers grow in Spain, are cultivated with Succeſs here: & we learn from the accounts of the latest travellers, that in the Gardens of the Cities near the Coast, Orange-trees are Kept bearing all the Year. The Richest part of Chili is still in the hands of the Natives, & like to remain so, their Mountainous Situations affording the Indians such Advantages as the Europeans, considering their small Number can hardly ever Surmount.
In the mean time, the Governors run away with the greatest part of ye Wealth arriving from this important Settlement, the King on the one hand being cheated of his revenues, and on the other paying prdigious Salaries; so that smaller returns are made to Spain, on(?) the King's Avvount from hence that can well be Imagined. It must however be owned that withint these Twenty Years, some pains have been taken to Remedy this abuse.
9.Patagonia, or the Country of the Gyants-Patagons
with the Magellanic Islands.
Known under the names of Tierra del Fuego and Falklands-Islands.
Tierra del Fuego, or the Land of Fire, so named from a burning Mountain that is seen at a great distance, is a Desolate & Barren Country.
The Isles of Falkland belong to Great Britain by Right of first Discovery. The English have a Fort & Settlement at Port Egmont, in Saunders Island, on the North of the Western Falklan, & the Spaniards have a Fort in the Eastern Isle. As Port Egmont, is a very safe & capacious Harbour, It will become of great utilisty to the British Navy & even to Privateers, in any future War, to annoy the Spanish Trade in the South Sea.