1902 Encyclopedia > Guiana

Guiana




GUIANA, GUYANA, or GUAYANA, an extensive territory in the north-eastern part of South America, comprehending in its widest acceptation all the extent of country lying between the rivers Amazon and Orinoco from 3° 30' S. to 8° 40' N. lat., and from 50° 22' to 68° 10' W. long.' It is bounded on the N. by the Orinoco and the Atlantic, E. by the Atlantic, S. by the rivers Negro and Amazon, and W. by the Orinoco and the Cassiquiare. Its greatest length from east to west is about 1200 miles, its greatest breadth, from the jnouth of the Orinoco to the confluence of the Rio Negro with the Amazon, about 800 miles; and the estimated area is 690,000 square miles. This vast territory is divided into Brazilian (formerly Portuguese) Guiana, Venezuelan (formerly Spanish) Guiana, and Colonial Guiana. The first two divisions, comprising about five-sixths of the entire region, are claimed by or included in Brazil and Venezuela respectively ; and stretching eastward from the mouth of the Orinoco towards that of the Amazon lie the territories of British, Dutch, and French Guiana, which are in that order noticed below.

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Columbus in 1498 decided that the Orinoco must flow through some vast continent. Vincent Yanez Pinzon, a Spanish navigator, is believed to have first sailed up the Amazon from the coast. Vasco Nunez landed on the coast of Guiana in 1504, but the discovery is also claimed for Diego de Ordas, one of the captains of Cortez in the con-quest of Mexico in 1531. Sir Walter Raleigh ascended the Orinoco in 1595 in search of the El Dorado. The first settlement is stated to be that of some Dutch people in 1580 near the river Pomeroon. This possession was contested by the Spaniards, but in 1613 a colony of Zealanders on the banks of the Essequibo was reported in a flourishing condition. English and subsequently French colonization was attempted up the Surinam river. The English returned in 1652 to Paramaribo, and in 1662 the whole colony was granted by Charles II. to Lord Wil-loughby. In 1669, however, Dutch Guiana covered all the territory now divided into British, Dutch, and French. In 1712 the French attacked the settlement and exacted a contribution. In 1732 Berbice received a constitution from the states-general, and in 1763 there was a formid-able insurrection of negro slaves who had been introduced from Africa. In 1781 Rodney took possession; and though the colonies were restored to Holland in 1783, they sur-rendered again to the British in 1796. The Dutch resumed authority in 1802, and in 1803 the proper history of British Guiana began.

I. BRITISH GUIANA, when finally acquired in 1803, and formally ceded in 1814, consisted of the three colonies, Demerara, Essequibo, and Berbice, so named after the principal rivers which drain them. These were consolidated into one colony in July 1831. It is bounded on the N. and N.E. by the Atlantic, E. by Dutch Guiana, from which it is separated by the river Corantyn, S. by Brazil, and W. by Venezuela. It lies between 0° 40' and 8° 40' N. lat., and 57° and 61° W. long., and has an estimated area of 76,000 square miles, but the boundaries are still dis-puted by Venezuela and Brazil. An engagement, however, exists between the British and Venezuelan Governments that neither shall occupy territory claimed by both. The colony has now three divisions, called counties :o—Berbice, extending from the Corantyn about 95 miles along the sea-coast; Demerara, from the Abari about 65 miles, in-cluding Georgetown, the capital ; and Essequibo, from the river of that name about 120 miles to the Barima near the Orinoco mouth. There is thus a length of coast of 280 miles, with an extent inland varying from 300 to 450 miles.

Surface.—From the coast-line seaward the ocean deepens very gradually, and at low tide extensive mud-flats and sandbanks are left bare. Traced inland, this fluvio-marine deposit is found to rise to 10 or 12 feet above high-water mark, and to end at an older deposit of sand and clay beds, which forms an extensive undulating country, rising to not more than 150 feet above the sea, and stretching back to where the solid rock strata underlying it crop out. Upon the rich alluvial soil of the depressed coast-land, and for a few miles up the rivers, the sugar estates are situated. They are not only protected by dams from the sea, hut, as in wet weather water rapidly accumulates in the savannahs behind, they are similarly defended on that side also. A narrow sand reef, some little distance farther inland, run-ning parallel with the coast-line, marks a previous sea limit, and still farther back a higher range of coarse white sand probably marks a yet earlier coast. The eastern portion of the colony from the sources of the Corantyn and Essequibo is a rough inclined plane, sloping down to the sea-level from a height of about 800 feet, the most elevated part being mountainous and rising to 2000 feet above the sea. This plain extends westward and northward, broken by ranges of mountains, its western portion constituting part of the extensive savannah which stretches eastward from Brazil. Two great parallel mountain systems cross the colony from west to east, the greater being that of the Pacaraima and Merume' mountains, and the lesser including the Canucu, Cumucumu, and Coratamung mountains, while the Sierra Acarai, a densely wooded chain rising to 2500 feet, forms the southern boundary of Guiana and the watershed be-tween the Essequibo and the tributaries of the Amazon. The Pacaraima mountains, a wide extent of rough country traversed by broad valleys, extend from about 4° to 5° 30' N. lat., and rise to 3000 feet between the Potaro and Siparuni rivers, and to 7500 feet at Roraima mountain, which rises, a perpendicular inaccessible wall of red sand-stone, at the extreme western limits of the colony. The southern portion of Pacaraima shows rugged hills and valleys strewn with rocks, but to the north, where the sandstone assumes table-shaped forms, there are dense forests, and the scenery is of extraordinary grandeur, The rivers in 7° to 8° N. lat. A sandstone formation can be traced from the northern Pacaraima mountains on the west to the Corantyn on the east. Interbedded with it are three great layers of greenstone. The surface of a very large portion of the colony is composed of gneiss, which is seen in large rounded bosses in the river beds. Schist of different kinds is associated with gneiss in many localities. Quartz-porphyry and felstone occupy extensive areas over the surface of the granite and underlying the gneiss. A large proportion of the surface rock in the interior is granite. The white sand at the sandhills on the Demerara and elsewhere is very pure and well-adapted for glass-making. Gold has been found about 40 miles up the Cuyuni river. Attempts to work it have met with small success, and have been complicated with questions of boundary.

Rivers.—The colony is traversed by numerous large rivers, the principal being the Essequibo, Corantyn, Mazaruni, Cuyuni, Berbice, and Demerara. The Corantyn forms the boundary between British and Dutch Guiana. It rises in 2° N. lat., 100 miles eastward of the Essequibo, flows generally northward, and falls into the Atlantic by a broad estuary in 6° N. lat., 57° W. long. It is navigable for small vessels for 150 miles from its mouth, and is remarkable for its magnificent cataracts. The Cuyuni, coming from Venezuela, runs a course of 120 miles through territory claimed as British. The Essequibo rises in the Sierra Acarai, 0° 40' N. lat., and after a course of at least 600 miles discharges itself into the ocean by an estuary 15 miles in width, in 7° N. lat., 58° 40' W. long. In this estuary are a group of islands where sugar is grown, several being from 12 to 15 miles long and 3 miles broad. The principal are Hog Island, Wakenaam, and Leguan; a smaller one is named Tiger Island. The entrance of the Essequibo is difficult owing to deposits of mud and sand. Its course lies through forests of gigantic vegetation. About 43 miles from its mouth it is joined by the Mazaruni, which is itself joined by the Cuyuni at 8 miles from its mouth. The cataracts, of which one of the greatest is the King William's Cataract of Schomburgk, in 3° 14' 35" N. lat., put a stop to the navigation of the Essequibo by large vessels about 50 miles up. In 3° 57' 30" N. lat. and 58° 3' W. long, it receives the Rupunuui, which has a course of 220 miles. Another large tributary is the Potaro, upon which is the celebrated Kaieteur (Old Man's) Fall, so named from an Indian legend, and discovered on April 24, 1870, by Mr _. B. Brown of the Geological Survey, who, owing to cataracts, took a fortnight to reach the fall from the coast up the Essequibo and Potaro. This fall, in 5° 8' N. lat. and 59° 19' W. long., is produced by the river flowing over a sandstone and conglomerate table-land 822 feet into a deep valley below. For the first 741 feet the water falls perpendicularly, as one great continuous whitish column, circled by rainbows, into a basin below, continuing thence over a sloping cataract 88 feet in height, and through the interstices of great blocks of rock, to the riverbed below. The head of the fall is 1130 feet above the sea. The river 200 yards above the fall is 400 feet wide, and the width of the fall itself varies, according to the season, from 240 to 370 feet. The Demerara or Demerary rises probably near 5° N. lat., and after a northward course nearly parallel with the Essequibo for more than 200 miles, enters the Atlantic near 6° 50' N. lat. and 58° 20' W. long. It is navigable for 85 miles, and at its mouth at Georgetown is 1J miles across. A bar, or deposit of mud and sand, prevents the entrance of large vessels at low tide. Farther east is the Berbice, whose source is probably about 3° 40' N. lat. It is 2J miles wide at its mouth in 6° 21' N. lat., 57° 12' W. long., and is navigable for 175 miles by vessels drawing 7 feet of water. The Canje creek falls into the Berbice near its mouth. Several large streams called creeks fall directly into the Atlantic between the Berbice and the Demerara. The Boerasiri creek divides the counties of Demerara and Essequibo, and between the Essequibo and the Barima are the rivers or creeks Pomeroon, Morucca, and Waini.

Climate.—The climate, especially in the interior, is healthy. The even temperature is considered suitable for pulmonary complaints ; and tubercular consumption is unknown, There are no hurricanes, and gales are not frequent. Occasionally there is a long drought, but the following order of seasons is generally maintained. From the middle of April to June there is a long season of heavy rains, which decrease in July; the long dry season lasts from August to November; December and January comprise the short rainy season, and February and March the short dry season. The winds during the rains are generally westerly. In the dry seasons they blow from the ocean and modify the heat. The thermometer seldom rises above 90° or falls below 75° Fahr. At Georgetown the mean annual tempera-ture is 81° 2'. The rainfall in 1878 was 69-94 inches, the average having been 74 inches for 1873-77.

Population.—The census of 1871 was as follows :— 113,570 born in British GuiaDa (including 70,000 to 80,000 negroes, 10,000 born of Indian and Chinese parents, and the "coloured" population), 42,681 immigrants fromIndia,6295 Chinese, 7925 from Madeira and Azores, 13,385 negroes from West-Indian Islands, and 9635 Europeans and others ; total 193,491, exclusive of aborigines, estimated at 7000. The estimated total population on 31st December 1876 was 225,365, and further explorations have increased the estimated number of aboriginal Indians. The aborigines are remnants of Indian tribes, such as the Arawaks, Warraus, Caribs, and many others, scattered in the interior of the country. They maintain themselves by fishing and hunt-ing. Traces of " Indian picture-writing," or sculptured figures, have been found in some granite blocks up the Essequibo. On December 31, 1877, 22,500 East Indian immigrants were working under a five years' indenture on the estates, and 26,000 not under indenture. Since 1857, 10,315 East Indian coolies (including women and children), with savings amounting to £260,479, have availed themselves of their right to return passage. A number re-emigrate to the colony. The Indian Government supervises the emigration. In the colony an immigration department regulates labour, wages, and general treatment. About 5000 are now annually introduced. Chinese have also been introduced with and without indenture.

Vegetation.—The vegetation is most luxuriant. The interior affords an exhaustless supply of valuable timber, such as the mora and greenlieart, largely used for shipbuilding. The climate insures a continuous succession of tropical flowers aud fruits. Many of the trees yield gums, febrifuges, oils, and juices of more or less value, among which may be mentioned caoutchouc, and a gum called "balata," with properties intermediate between those of caoutchouc and gutta pereha. The bark of the crab tree is used for tanning. The silk-cotton tree, which grows 100 feet high and 12 feet round, yields a light-grey silky cotton used for stuffing pillows. Among the palm-trees are the picturesque mountain cabbage palm, growing to the height of 100 feet; the cocoa-nut palm ; the sago palm ; the eta palm, much esteemed for its beauty and fruit; and the cockarite palm, which produces the most delicate cabbage of all the palm species. The mangrove tree, 15 to 20 feet high, skirts the sea-coast. The tobacco plant grows wild, and indigenous cottons are numerous A little rice is grown. The fruit of the plantain and banana if largely used for food, and the stems furnish fibre for paper-making. Orange, lime, guava, cashew, and pine-apple are among the fruits. Indigo used to be cultivated. Arnotto, from which the well-knowh. dye is obtained, is indigenous ; and logwood and vanilla are also found. Maize, cassava, yams, papaw tree fruit, sweet potatoes, peppers, and other productions are valuable for food or medicine. The largest of the water lilies, the Victoria regia, was first dis-covered in Guiana.

Animals.—Among the wild animals are the tapir or bush cow, the manatee (the flesh of which is sometimes eaten), the jaguar or | "tiger," three kinds of ant-bear, the sloth, opossum, armadillo, acouri (or hare), numerous monkeys, and vampires, measuring 30 inches from point to point of extended wing. The cayman, alligator, or crocodile of South America, 15 to 20 feet long, abounds in the rivers and canals. Among other reptiles are the iguana (the flesh of which is said to be suitable for eating), many lizards, and snakes (some venomous). Tortoises and turtles are common on the banks of the streams and in sandy districts of the coast. The bird, insect, and fish life of Guiana is of indescribable richness and variety.

Produce, Industries, ami Commerce.—There are 120 sugar and 12 small coffee estates in the colony. Cotton was formerly exported, but the cultivation has now ceased. Coffee, the export of which in 1830 was 9J million lb, is not now produced for the foreign market. The deep rich soil has induced large investments in the formation of sugar estates; but the industry has undergone great fluctuations. Exports in 1839, when negro apprenticeship terminated, fell from an average of 66,000 to 38,443 hhds. The equalization of the English duties on free and slave-grown sugar still further restricted cultiva-tion, exports in 1849 being only 32,000 hhds. In 1854 matters had begun to mend. The prospect of obtaining coolie labourers from India and China caused new capital to be introduced and fresh energy employed. Cultivation was improved and extended, vacuum pans came to be more used, steam ploughs and tile draining were suc-cessfully introduced. The value of machinery imported from 1867 to 1876 was £850,000. A quantity of 2 to 3 hhds. (of about 17 ewts.) per acre is often obtained, but the average is 30 cwts. The juice expressed by the powerful rollers is about 60 per cent, of the weight of canes. The "Demerara crystals" are very popular for their purity and saccharine strength, and command high prices. The sugar exports in 1876 were 119,891 hhds., fully equal to 100,000 tons ; in 1877, 111,156 hhds. ; and in 1878 (a year with prolonged drought), 86,075 hhds. Nearly all this last quantity went to the United Kingdom, but 20,000 and 32,000 hhds. went to the United States in 1876 and 1877 respectively. The rum exported in 1S76 was 36,000 puncheons; in 1877 it was 32,531, and in 1878 28,752. The quantity of rum issued for consumption in the colony in 1878 was 330,392 gallons. The export of molasses (of which less is made as the quality of the sugar improves) is principally to the United States and British provinces, the quantity being 14,320, 19,862, and 17,084 casks in 1876, 1877, 1878. The same years the timber exports (nearly all to the United Kingdom) were 464,436, 357,430, and 303,693 cubic feet. The woodcutting industry, under Government licence, is a considerable one, as is shown by the export of about 5 million shingles annually. Up the rivers and creeks charcoal-burning is carried on; 32,266, 35,631, and 46,746 barrels of charcoal were exported in 1876, 1877, 1878. There are 1,250,000 cocoa-nuts exported yearly. In 1853 the total value of imports was £847,183; in 1877, £2,229,908 (£1,079,898 from the United Kingdom); in 1878, £2,150,714. The exports were in 1853, £1,014,944; in 1877, £3,049,157 (£1,954,766 to the United King-dom) ; and in 1878, £2,507,571. The tonnage, inwards and out-wards, was 234,089 tons in 1853, and 519,986 tons in 1877.

Government.—The government is vested in a governor appointed by the British crown and a court of policy, originally instituted by the Dutch in 1773 for Demerara, and including Essequibo in 1789. Berbiee had until 1831 a separate constitution. The unofficial members of the court were elected by a college of kiezers or electors, who were themselves elected by duly qualified inhabitants. In 1795 this college commissioned some of their own members to act with the court of policy in financial matters. This resulted in an independent body, called financial representatives, being elected by the inhabitants who were qualified to vote for kiezers. The financial representatives and the court of policy meet in annual session as the "combined court," to discuss finance and pass the annual tax ordinance. The civil list is not permanent, being renewed every seven years. All other ordinances or local laws are passed by the court of policy,—every ordinance being subject to confirmation by the queen. The colony is divided into five elec-toral districts, with a total of 863 registered electors. These districts elect for life one or two kiezers, seven in all, and one or two financial representatives, six in all. "When a vacancy occurs in the court of policy the seven kiezers nominate two persons, one of whom is selected by the court. There are five unofficial members chosen as above, and five official members, viz., the governor, attorney-general, Government secretary, auditor-general, and immi-gration agent-general. The public revenue in 1853 was £250,017, and the expenditure £236,557. In 1877 the revenue was £389,872, and in 1878 £405,092. Half of this revenue is derived from import duties, and the remainder principally from wine and spirit duties, rum duty, and retail spirit licences. The expenditure in 1877 was £380,566, and in 1878 £417,995. The public debt in 1877 was £323,563. Public and mercantile accounts are kept in dollars (4s. 2d. sterling) and cents.

The Roman Dutch law is in force in civil eases, modified by criers in council and local ordinances ; the criminal law is based on that of Great Britain, and administered in the same way, except that there is no grand jury. The supreme court consists of the chief justice and two puisne judges. Appeal in cases involving £500 and upwards lies to the privy council. There are an inferior court of civil justice, courts of admiralty and vice-admiralty, of petty debt (conducted by stipendiary magistrates), of bail and review (of magistrates' decisions). One judge sits in the supreme criminal court; and there is an inferior criminal court. Questions of law are decided by three judges in the court of crown cases reserved. Besides apolice magistrate for Georgetown, there are thirteen districts, each with a stipendiary magistrate appointed bythe secretary of state.

Towns.—For a notice of GEORGETOWN, the capital (resident population about 40,000), see vol. x. p. 430. The lighthouse, with revolving light visible for many miles, is at the north end, near the mouth of the river. The lightship is 11 miles off in 6° 56" N. lat. and 58° 1J' W. long. The chief town of Berbiee is New Amsterdam, on the east bank of the Berbiee river. It is well laid out, and has a population of 6000. The Berbiee lightship is in 6° 29' 10" N. lat. and 57° 23' 40" "W. long.

Religion and Education. —The diocese of Guiana was established in 1842. The official list shows—1 bishop, 1 archdeacon, 10 rectors, 14 curates, 2 incumbents, and several missionary clergymen and chaplains to institutions. The Church of England has 69 churches or chapels. The Coolie Mission Association and Diocesan Society maintain missionaries and catechists. The Church of England claims 90,000 members. The Church of Scotland has 10 ministers. The Roman Catholics also have several churches and mission stations. The Church of England receives an annual grant of £10,000 from the public revenue, the bishop's salary (£2000) being paid from imperial funds ; the Church of Scotland has £5000, and the Roman Catholic Church £2500 from public revenue. There are also 14 "Wesleyan Methodist ministers, a Moravian mission, and several chapels of Congregational Dissenters and others belonging to the London Missionary Society. The system of education supported by the general revenue is denominational. There are 177 schools sanctioned by the board of education. The estimate for primary education in 1879 was £29,695. The Church of England has 81 schools, exclusive of those on estates for coolies.

[Further Reading] See Schomburgk's British Guiana; Martin's British Colonies; Dalton's History of British Guiana, 1855; Waterton's Wanderings in South America, 1852; Geological Survey Reports; J. G. Sawkins, "On Geology of British Guiana " in Quarterly Journ. of Geolog. Soc, London, 1871; Brown's Canoe and Camp Life in British Guiana, 1876; Brett's Indian Tribes of Guiana, 1876 ; Colonial Office List; British Guiana Directory; Bennet's British Guiana; Boddam-Whetham's Itoraima, 1879. (J. L. O.)





II. DUTCH GUIANA, or SURINAM, lies to the E. of British Guiana, from which it is separated by the Corantijn or Corantyn in 57° 5' W. long. Its coast extends for upwards of 220 miles to the mouth of the Maroni or Marowijne, which forms the boundary towards French Guiana. The Dutch claim possession of 58,530 square miles ; but of this exten-sive area, equal to more than four times that of Holland, not more than 3230, according to Wolbers, had been explored in 1868, the colonial territory did not comprise more than 640 square miles, and the actual area under cultivation was little over 200. In 1875 this last was 29,852 acres (47 square miles), and in 1876, 22,180. The principal settlements have been made in the lower valley of the Surinam, or between that river and the Saramacca on the W. and the Commewijne on the E. At its mouth the Surinam is 3 miles broad, and at Paramaribo, the capital, about half a mile. Ships of from 18 to 19 feet of. draught can reach the anchorage in front of the town, which has room for 100 vessels. The water is of a dirty yellow colour with brown bubbles on its surface, and its current can be traced far out at sea. As yet no one has seers the source of the Surinam, but it is understood to be high up in the Tumac Humac hills. The principal tributaries are the navigable Para on the left hand and the Paulus Creek on the right, both of which join it about 6 or 7 miles above Paramaribo. The Marowijne or Maroni is a much larger river than the Surinam. Its water is clear as crystal, so that stones can be distinguished at a depth of 12 feet. Unfortunately its mouth, though about 4 miles broad, is full of sand-banks, and consequently it has been less visited than might have been expected from the excellent character of the country through which it flows. The banks are high enough to confine the floods, though at Armina, about 45 miles inland, the difference of level between the dry and the rainy season is 23 feet. Between the rivers of Dutch Guiana there are remarkable cross channels available during the floods at least. The Maroni is even connected with the Corantyn on the one hand (though there is 200 miles of country between) and with the Oyapock on the other. As it communicates with the Cottica, which is in turn a tributary of the Commewijne, a boat can pass from the Maroni to Paramaribo; thence by the Sommelsdijk canal it can reach the Saramacca; and from the Saramacca it can proceed up the Coppename, and by means of the Nickerie find its way to the Corantyn.

Climate.—The climate of Surinam has long enjoyed a reputation for exceptional unhealthiness which it does not appear to deserve. Though hot and moist like a Turkish bath, it seems congenial even to the European constitution. The mean temperature of the year is 80-4° Fahr., that of the coldest month 78° and that of the warmest 99°. On the average of the eight years from 1847 to 1854 the rainfall at Monbijou is 129 inches, at Paramaribo 101, at Gelderland 108, at Groningen 91, and at Nickerie 67. According to the tables at the end of the Jaarboek of the Kon. Nederlandsch Meteor. Instil. (Utrecht), the greatest quantity falls in May, June, July, September, and December. There are no endemic diseases ; and though cholera, fevers, and small-pox have appeared from time to time, they are not more violent than in more temperate regions. Leprosy and elephantiasis, introduced it is believed from Barbados, are not infrequent among the negro population. The former is locally known as boassi. In 1790 there were only 7 patients in the lazaretto of Voorzoorg, but by 1797 they liad increased to 300, and in 1812 to 500. A new estab-lishment was founded at Batavia on the right bank of the Coppename in 1823. Between 1831 and 1839 an average of 103 suspected persons were examined yearly, and 46 declared infected. In 1853 there were 448 inhabitants (216 males and 232 females) in the settlement; of these however 112 were personally free from the disease, though born and brought up among the patients.

Population.—Between 1838 and 1852 the free population of Surinam increased from 8893 (4242 males and 4651 females) to 13,193 (6709 males and 6484 females). In 1855 the total number of slaves was 31,780, of whom 27,914 (13,556 males and 14,358 females) were on the plantations and 3866 (2027 males and 1839 females) in private service. Since the abolition in 1863 many attempts have been made to augment the working popu-lation of the colony. Up till 1874 the total number of immigrants was 9049, of whom at least 2028 died. In 1870 a convention was signed between Holland and England, for the regulation of the coolie traffic, and a Dutch Government agent for Surinam was appointed at Calcutta. In 1873 2448 immigrants arrived from British India, and 1405 in 1874; but owing to dissatisfac-tion on the part of England with the Dutch arrangements there were none in 1875 and 1876. In December 1875 the whole population was stated at 51,329 (26,074 males and 25,255 females), exclusive of about 17,000 bush negroes and an uncertain number of Indians. There were 706 Euro-peans besides the soldiers and seamen in garrison and har-bour, and the immigrants amounted to 4007 (2834 males and 1173 females), and comprised 2959 from British India, 598 from the West Indies, 352 Chinese from China, and 67 from the Dutch Indies, and 37 settlers from the Netherlands.

The bush negroes (bosch-negers) are the descendants of runaway slaves. They consist of three tribes—the Aukanians, the Saramaccans, and the Bekou or Moesinga. The first, who number from 3000 to 4000, have their chief settlements in the district near the junction of the Lava and the Tapanahoni with the Upper Marowijne, but they are also settled on the Sara Creek, on the Upper Cottika, and on the Curmotibo. The Saramaccans, who are numerically about as important, dwell between the Saramacca and the Upper Surinam. The bush negroes retain curious traces of their former connexion with Christianity, though they are and consider themselves pagans. Their chief god is Gran Gado (grand-god), his wife is Maria, and his son Jesi Kist. Various minor deities are also worshipped, Ampuka the bush-god, Toni the water-god, &c. Among themselves they speak a language based on a bastard English, mingled with many Dutch, Portuguese, and native elements. The Moravian missionaries have promoted its cultivation, but it is almost certain to give way before the Dutch.

Vegetation.—A large portion of Dutch Guiana is covered with primeval forests ; but hitherto the lack of labour and cost of tran-sport have prevented the utilization of its vast supplies of timber and cabinet wood. In some years indeed the export of these materials is actually exceeded by the import. An idea of the wealth that awaits the future prospector may be obtained from Focke's paper in the West Indie for 1855, where a list is given of 77 different kinds. Among the more important are the bolletrie (Lúcuma mamnwsum), known in the Netherlands as paardenfleesch or horse-flesh; the bruinhart (Vouacapoua americana, Aubl.) ; the barklak (Lecythis ollaria), which is never attacked by worms ; the geelhart (JS/ectandra Modioli, Schomb.); the male and female letterwood; the purpuurhart (Copaifera bracteata, L.) ; the kankan tree (Bombax Ceiba); the locust or courbaril, which is good both for timber work and furniture; and the kopie (Goupia tomentosa), largely used for flooring. Besides the banana, to which the negro is indebted for a large part of his sustenance, maize, sorghum, or Curagoa maize, yams, kayers [Arum esculentum), arrowroot, okro or gumbo, the ground nut or pienda (Arachis hypogced), Spanish pepper, the antrua (Solanum macrocarpum), the bilambi, the zuurzak (Anona mnricata), the pomme de Cythére (Spondias cyOierea), and the Mammea americana may be mentioned from the vast list of plants of interest for their edible products.

Commerce.—The great staple of Surinam industry was formerly sugar. Between 1849 and 1863 the average quantity exported was 302,857 cwts.; in 1865, two years after the emancipation of the slaves, it sank as low as 151,842 cwts.; and though it has again increased, the average between 1864 and 1874 is only 212,906 cwts. In 1876 the production was 218,115 cwts., and the export 198,274 cwts. The first cocoa from Surinam was sent to Amsterdam in 1733 ; but it is only since about 1855 or 1860 that it has risen into favour with the colonists. In 1876 the production was no less than 262,907 cwts., and the export 26,062 cwts. Cotton and coffee are next in order, the former having a yield in 1876 of 3806 cwts. and the latter of 245 ewts. The total exports of the colony had a value of 2,762,568 gulden or florins ; of which Great Britain took 969,945, the United States 872,277, and the Netherlands 505,064. Of the total imports, valued at 3,183,252 gulden, the mother country furnished the value of 1,228,408.

Minerals.—The gold-diggings of Surinam are beginning to attract attention, the commission of 1874 having found a rich auriferous district about the Marowijne. By May 1876, 519,000 acres of land had been rented to private persons, and a fair amount of success has attended their labours. The lead, silver, and iron ores may yet prove of importance.

Administration.—In 1865 several changes were introduced into the government of Surinam. The Code Napoleon was adopted, subject to modification from time to time by orders in council. A house of assembly was constituted, the members of which were never to be less than nine nor more than thirteen,—four being appointed by the Government and the others by the electors. The franchise was given to all citizens paying 40 gulden of taxes. Elected members serve for six years. The ordinances of the governor in council become law only if passed in the assembly and sanctioned by the king; but a royal decree may overrule the strongest opposition of the assembly, and not unfrequently the national assembly of the Netherlands disallows what has been in-serted in the budget by the colonial assemblies. Besides the supreme court at Paramaribo, there are three cantonal and three district courts. The president and four permanent members of the supreme court are nominated by the crown. " The king," says Mr Palgrave, "is almost everything;" the "Lords," in a consultative capacity, are something ; and the '' Commons " are merely honorary.

History. —The Dutch began to visit the coasts of Guiana about 15S0, and we find Adriaan ter Haaf sending vessels thither in 1599. Iu 1614 the states of Holland granted to any Dutch citizen four years' monopoly of any harbour or place of commerce which he might discover in that region. The first settlement, however, in Surinam (in 1630) was made by an Englishman, whose name is still preserved by Marshal's Creek. When Cayenne was taken by the French in 1664 a number of Jews who had settled in that part of Guiana removed to the Surinam district, where they soon consti-tuted an important and flourishing community. In 1666 the Eng-lish settlement was taken by storm by the Zealanders under Crijnssen or Krijnssen (the name is spelt in various ways), and 100,000 lb of sugar were exacted as a ransom. By the peace of Breda the Dutch were formally recognized as masters of Guiana, and though the Willoughbys, who considered their rights infringed, ilid all they could to weaken the colony and draw off a large part of its English population to Jamaica, it continued to flourish, and was confirmed to the Dutch by the treaty of Westminster in 1674. For some time the Zealanders claimed that they alone had right to the country, but it was ultimately decided that the possession was a national one in the full sense of the word. The New Dutch West Indian Company, founded in 1674 to replace the older company which had failed, received Guiana by charter from the states general in 1682. In the following year the company sold one-third of their territory to the city of Amsterdam, and another third to Cornells van Aerssens, lord of Sommelsdijk. The new owners and the company incorporated themselves as the Chartered Society of Surinam, and Sommelsdijk agreed to fill the post of governor of the colony at his own expense. The lucrative trade in slaves was retained by the West Indian Company, but the society could im-port them oil its own account by paying a fine to the company. Sommelsdijk's rule was marked by rare wisdom and energy. He repressed and pacified the Indian tribes; he erected forts and disciplined the soldiery; he constructed the canal which still bears his name; he established a high court of justice; he introduced the cultivation of the cocoa-nut; and in short he devoted himself in all ways to the welfare of the colony. But on 17th June 1688 he was massacred in a mutiny of the soldiers. The "third" which Som-melsdijk possessed was offered by his widow to William III. of England, but it was ultimately purchased by the city of Amsterdam for 700,000 fl. In 1712 the French, under Cassard, sailed up the river and put Paramaribo to ransom; and after their departure there was hot dispute between the Society and the colonists as to who should pay the indemnity. During the rest of the 18th century the chief troubles of Surinam were the bush negroes and the slaves. Peace with the Aukan negroes was made in 1760, and with the Saramaccans in 1762; but in 1776 the governor Nepveu still found it necessary to surround the colony with a military cordon against the attacks of the Bonni tribe. By the spring of 1786 pacification was complete. In 1795 the Society was abrogated, and the affairs of Surinam placed under a committee of twenty-one members. The English, who had assumed the protectorate of the colony from 1799 to 1802, took actual possession in 1804, and appointed Sir Charles Green governor. In 1807 the slave trade was abolished. At the restoration of the Dutch authority in 1815 the colonists of the district of Nickerie sought to remain under English rule, or at least to receive the right of trading with English colonies. In 1825 the privileges of the Jews were annulled, and the rights of ordinary citizens bestowed on them instead. Surinam and the West Indies were placed under a common government in 1828, but the governor was to reside at Paramaribo. In 1832 several negro slaves who had set fire to the city were publicly burned alive. The administration of Surinam was separated from that of the West Indies in 1845. Baron van Raders, who assumed the governorship in that year, had the honour of greatly improving the state of the slave-laws, and of declaring the commerce of Guiana open to all nations at peace with the Netherlands. The suppression of slavery and the organization of immigration, as already indicated, are the main moments of the recent history of the colony.

[Further Reading] Among the older works on Surinam the first rank is held by Hartsinck's masterly Reschrijving van Guiana of de Wilde Kust in Zuid Amerika, 2 vols. 4to, Amsterdam, 1770. A valuable Gesahiedenis der Kolonie van Suriname, by a number of "learned Jews," was published at Amsterdam in 1791; and it has been supplemented and so far superseded by Wolbers, Geschiedenis van Suriname, Amsterdam, 1861. Sketches of Surinam life are given in the form of a tale in Schaik's De Manga. Familie Tafereel uit het Surinaamsche Volksleben, Arnheim, 1866 ; and a number of ex-cellent pictorial illustrationswill befound in A. Halberstadt'sAoZoKi-satie van Europeanen te Suriname, Leyden, 1872, fol. The English reader is indebted to W. G. Palgrave for a brilliant study on Dutch Guiana, London, 1876, reprinted from the Contemporary Review. See also the Jaarboekje of the Letterliebendc Genootschap '' Oefning Kweekt Kennis," at Paramaribo; the Staatkundig Jaarboekje, pub-lished by the Vereeniging voor de Statistiek in Nederland (Amster-dam) ; and the Surinaamsche Almanak, published by the Maatsch. tot Nut van't Algemeen, Leyden and Amsterdam. (H. A. W.)





III. FRENCH GUIANA is bounded on the west by the Maroni or Marowijne, which separates it from DutchGuiana. Towards the south and east its limits are still uncertain. According to the treaty of Utrecht in 1713 it was to be bounded towards Brazil by the river of St Vincent Pinzón, but the identification of this river has never been officially determined. The Oyapock is accepted provisionally by both countries, but the French claim that the Arouari is the real St Vincent Pinzón, and consequently that they have a right to the country for 100 miles further south along the coast. Between the Maroni and the Oyapock the coast-line is about 130 miles. The fourteen quarters of the colony are estimated to have an area of 1,308,739 hectares, i.e., about 3,233,893 acres, or 5052 square miles, nearly as much as half the area of Belgium; but if the frontier be pushed back to the watershed, the whole area of the country could not be less than 53,000 square miles.

Surface.—A considerable portion of the low coast-land of French Guiana is occupied by swamps and marshes, the most deeply submerged of which are covered with a dense growth of mangroves, and receive the name of pripris, while the drier stretches are occupied by the pinot or wassay palm (Euterpe olerácea), and are designated pinotiéres. In a few places, as in the Sinnamary quarter, there are peat bogs in process of formation. About 40 or 50 miles inland, where the land begins to rise, the traveller reaches the outskirts of those primeval forests which stretch back vast and vague towards the mountains. Between the narrow maritime selvage^ so to speak, and the commencement of the highlands are undulating plains or savannahs. Hitherto the colony has confined itself almost exclusively to the littoral and alluvial region, with its fertile mud-banks. The savannahs are still in a state of nature; and though the earlier colonists made clearings in the highlands, they soon grew disappointed with the barrenness of the cold granitic soil. The mountains behind Guiana do not exceed 3000 or 4000 feet of elevation ; the principal range indeed, the Turnac Humac, was estimated by M. Creveaux, who crossed it in 1877, at no more than 1312 feet above the sea-level. But the dense tropical forests attract so much moisture from the ocean winds that the highlands are the birthplace of a large number of rivers which in the rainy season especially pour down vast volumes of water. Upwards of twenty are counted between the Maroni and the Oyapock. United as they often are in their navigable sections by cross channels, they constitute a valuable means of communication from dis-trict to district. Omitting the Maroni already described under Dutch Guiana, the first of importance as we proceed southwards is the Mana, which is navigable for large vessels 10 miles from its mouth, and for smaller vessels 27 miles further. Passing the Sinnamary and the Kourou we next come to the Cayenne, at the mouth of which lies the island on which the colonial capital is built. About a dozen lakes,of which Mepecucu, Macari, and Mapa are the largest, have been counted in the French territory.

During the rest of the year there is often hardly a drop of rain for months. At Cayenne the annual rainfall amounts on an average to from 10 to 11 feet, and it is naturally heavier in the interior. It has been calculated indeed that, if all the fluvial outlets were blocked, a single winter would be sufficient to submerge the whole colony to a depth of 15 or 16 feet. During the hotter part of the year—August, September, October—the temperature usually rises to about 86° F., but it almost never exceeds 88°; in the colder season the mean is 79°, and it seldom sinks so low as 70°. Between day and night there is very little thermo-metric difference. The longest day is 12 hours 18 minutes, the shortest 11 hours 42 minutes. The prevailing winds are the N.N.E. and the S.E. ; and the most violent are those of the N.E. During the rainy season the winds keep between N. and E., and during the dry season between S. and E. Hurricanes are unknown. Sudden rises of the sea are occasionally experienced in November and December. Within the present century there have been three earthquakes (1821, 1843, and 1877), none of which did much damage.

Population.—The population of French Guiana consists of a few pure whites, negroes from Africa, mulattoes, coolies, a decreasing number of Indians, convicts from France and its colonies (among whom are many Arabs from Algeria), and Chinese, Hindu, and Anamite immigrants. In 1877 the fixed population was stated at 17,230, and the floating population included 2300 aboriginal Indians, a military force of 1084, 338 Government officials and ecclesiastics, 4750 workmen connected with the commerce of immigra-tion, and 1380 convicts outside of the penitentiaries; so that in round numbers the total amounted to 27,000. Of the fixed population the males were 7972, and the females 9258. The widows were 1108, while the widowers were 298.

Vegetation. —French Guiana lias a rich variety of trees, and several of them are attracting increasing attention from their economic value. The Leguminosce are abundantly represented, including the gayac (Coumaronna odorata, Aubh), the courbaril or locust-tree of Surinam, which grows 70 or 80 feet high without branching, the angélique (Dieorenia paracusis), the bois violet or amaranthe (Copa-ifera bracteata), the pois sabre or oily wapa (Eperuafalcata, Aubl.), the waeapou or épi de blé (Anclira Anbletii, Benth.), the Robinia Paiiaeoco, the Saint Martin, and the Machœrium Schomburghii or tiger wood. To the family of the Myrtaeeœ belong the Psidium pomiferuni orguava, the Couratouri guianensis, the Lecythis grandi-flora or monkey-pot tree of British Guiana, the Lecythis ollaria, and other species of Leeythis ; to the Sapotaceœ, the Mimusops Batata, the jaune d'oeuf or Lucuma Rivicoa, and the bartaballi or Lueuma Bonplandii. Of the Laurinece it is enough to mention the black cedar (Nectandra Pisi), the taoub, the bois canelle or cinnamon wood, and several species of Acrodielidium. Among the palms are the cocoa-palm, the oil-palm of Africa, and the date-palm. The timber of the courbaril, the bois violet, and the balata has been found to be of very high excellence. Caoutchouc (Hevea guianensis) is com-mon in the contested territory in the south ; the elemi-tree (Idea elemigera) and the/. Araeouchini, which also yields a medical resin, are abundant in the colony. Large quantities of oleaginous seeds might be collected from the yayamadou ( Virola sebi/era) and the crab-wood (Oaropa guianensis).

The manioc is the principal source of food in French Guiana ; rice is becoming an important object of cultivation ; and maize, yams, arrowroot, bananas, and the bread-fruit are also known. The Guiana cocoa is excellent ; coffee, introduced in 1716, is extensively grown ; and vanilla is one of the common wild plants of the country. The clove-tree has been acclimatized, and in the latter years of the empire it formed agood source of wealth ; the cinnamon tree was also successfully introduced in 1772, but like that of the pepper-tree and the nutmeg its cultivation is neglected.

Minerals.—Great interest attaches to the gold of Guiana, which promises, or threatens, to modify the life of the colony. Indian traditions affirmed the presence of the precious metal, and Hum-boldt and Buffon agreed that the geological character of the country indicated the probability of auriferous deposits ; but it was not till 1819 that Felix Couy, at the instigation of a Portuguese Indian named Paoline, discovered and opened the first "placer." In 1856 the Approuague company was formed ; but, though 5762 oz. were collected between 1857 and 1860, it soon after sold its rights. The Martaroni company has been more successful : 23,342 oz. of gold were obtained in 1872 ; 46,044 oz., equal to 4 million francs, were exported from Cayenne inl874; and in 1875 and 1876 the yield was 4823 oz. per month. As various ferruginous minerals are abundant in some places, it is possible that iron ores may exist.

Commerce.—The total value of the imports into French Guiana in 1871 was 5,903,413 francs ; and it exported to the value of 2,556,158 francs to France, 10,600 francs to the French colonies, and 148,839 francs abroad. It is with Martinique that it stands in closest commercial relations, but the imposition in 1872 of a duty on eau de vie from that island has almost put a stop to its importation. Several small steamers maintain communication between different parts of the colony.

Convict Establishments.—It was in 1851 that Guiana was recommended to the French Government by a special commission of inquiry as a suitable place for criminal penitentiaries. In February 1852 transportation thither was offered as a favour to the convicts then under sentence, and more than 3000 of them accepted the change. As the minister of the colonies is allowed by a decree of 1853 to send to Guiana any Asiatics or Africans who are condemned to hard labour or solitary confinement, and as it has been deemed better since 1864 to take the European convicts to New Caledonia, the actual inhabitants of the penitentiary districts are mainly negroes, Arabs, and Anamites. The principal establishments are those of Cayenne, of the three îles du Salut, of the Kourou, and of the Maroni. The little island La Mère is reserved for the aged, the infirm, and the convalescent. At Saint Laurent on the Maroni there is almost a little town of wooden houses built on brick pillars. The convicts carry on their several trades as carpenters, tanners, bakers, &c. After two years in the colony, those whose conduct has been satisfactory are allowed to contract marriage, to send home for their families, to have a piece of ground assigned to them for culti-vation, and to receive the necessary implements. A tramway has been constructed for the use of the "concessions." (See Rev. Col. et Mar., 1876.)

Administration.—Besides the governor and the military commandant, the administrative personnel comprises an ordonnateur, a director of the interior, and a procurator-general, as well as a privy council and a director of the penitentiary service. There is a court of appeal and a tribunal of first instance, and justices of peace are appointed for each canton. Cayenne is administered by a municipal council. Religious affairs are under an apostolic prefect.

History.—According even to the French writers, the history of Guiana is little better than a series of disasters. La Revardière, sent out in 1604 by Henry IV. to reconnoitre the country, brought back a favourable report ; but the death of the king put a stop to the projects of formal colonization. In 1626 a small body of traders from Rouen settled on the Siunamary, and in 1634 a similar band took up their quarters at Cayenne. The Compagnie du Cap Nord, founded by the people of Rouen in 1643, the Compagnie de la France Équinoxiale, established in 1645, and the second Com-pagnie de la France Équinoxiale, or Compagnie des Douze Seigneurs, established in 1652, were so many lamentable failures, the result of incompetence, mismanagement, and misfortune. The Compagnie des Indes Occidentales, chartered in 1664 with a monopoly of Guiana commerce for forty years, proved hardly more successful ; but in 1674 the colony passed under the direct control of the crown, and the able administration of Colbert began to tell favourably on its progress. The year 1763 was marked by a terrible disaster. Choiseul, the prime minister, having obtained for himself and his cousin Praslin a concession of the country between the Kourou and the Maroni, sent out about 12,000 volunteer colonists, mainly from Alsace and Lorraine. They were landed at the month of the Kourou, where no preparation had been made for their reception, and where even water was not to be obtained. Mismanagement had reached its grotesquest limits ; there wasa shop for skates (!), and the necessary tools for tillage were wanting. By 1765 no more than 918 colonists remained alive, and these were a famished fever-stricken band. A long investigation by the parliament of Paris proved only that some one had blundered. Several minor attempts at colonization in Guiana were made in the latter part of the century ; but they all seemed to suffer from the same fatal prestige of failure. During the terrible times of the Revolution band after band of political prisoners were transported to Guiana. The fate of the royalists, nearly 600 in number, who were exiled on the 18th Fructidor, was especially sad. Landed on the Sinnamary without shelter or food, two-thirds of them perished miserably. In 1800 Victor Hugues was appointed governor, and he managed to put the colony in a better state; but in 1809 his career was brought to a close by the invasion of the Portuguese and British. Though French Guiana was nominally restored to the French in 1814, it was not really sur-rendered by the Portuguese till 1817. In 1823, at the suggestion of M. Catineau Laroche, an attempt was made to settle a colony of French agriculturists in the basin of the Mana ; but they were soon driven by fevers from the town of Nouvelle Angoulême, which they had founded. Since that date the principal facts in the history of the unfortunate country are the discovery of its gold-fields and the introduction of the convict establishments.

[Further Reading] A detailed bibliography of French Guiana will be found in Teniaux-Compans, Notice Historique de la Guyane française, 1843, and in Victor de Nouvion, Extraits des auteurs et voyageurs qui ont écrit sur la Guyane, 1844. Among the works of the present century are—Le Chevalier, Commission de la colonisation de la Guiane française, 1843 ; Bernard, Coup d'œil sur la situât, agricole de la Guyane française, 1843; Motézon, Mission de Cayenne, 1857; Vidal, " Voy. d'expl. dans le haut Maroni," in Rev. mar. et col., 1862 ; Gouy, Renseign. sur la navig. des côtes et des rivières de la Guyane française, 1865 (Dépôt de la marine) ; Bouyer, Notes et Souvenirs, 1867; Sagot, "Exploitation des forêts," in Rev. mar. et col., 1868, and Agriculture de la Guyane française, 1874; Delteil, Voy. chez les Indiens, 1870 ; Alfred de Saint Quentin, Introduction à Vhist. de Cayenne, 1872; Barveaux, "L'or à la Guyane française," in Rev. mar. et col., 1873; Mourié, La Guyane française, 1874 ; Crevaux, " Voy. en Guyane en 1877," in Bull, de la Soc. de Géogr., 1878, and in Tour du Monde, 1878; Catalogue des produits des Colonies françaises (Exposition Univ. de 1878), 1878; and Gaffaral, Les colonies françaises, 1880.


Footnotes

An interesting account of a voyage up the Surinam by Zimmerman]], with a good map on a large scale, will be found in Tijdschri/t van het Aardrijkskundig Genootschap, 1877

Seventeen publications are mentioned by Wullsclilaegel in his Kurzgefasste Neger-Englische Grammatik (Bautzen, 1854). Focke issued a Neger-Englisch Woordenboek (Leyden, 1855), and Wull-schlaegel a Deutsch Neger-Engliselies Worterbuch (Lobau, 1865).
Further information on the rich tropical flora of the colony will be found in Teenstra, Landbouw in de Kolonie Suriname, Groningen, 1835; Van Fermin, Hist. Nat. de la Hollande équinoxiale, Amsterdam, 1765; Dozy and Mofkenboer, " Prodromus Flora? bryologies Surina-mensis," in Verhandl. van de Holl. Maatsch. cler Wetensch. te Haarlem; and A. C. Focke, "De quibusdam orehideis Suriuamensibus," in Mold and Schlechtendal's Botan. Zeitung, 1853.

Compare Mr Cohen's Report in Parliamentary Papers [C1861], 1877.
See the Octroy or Charter in Hartsinck, or in Verzameling van
Stukken aangaande de Surinaamsche Aanoelegenheden, &c., The Hague, 1845


3 See " Memoria sobre os limites do Brasil com a Guyana Franeeza," by J. Caetano da Silva in Revista trimensal de Hist, e Geogr., Rio de Janeiro, 1850.




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