1902 Encyclopedia > Lima


LIMA, capital of the republic of Peru, as also of the department and province of Lima, is situated on an extensive plain, 500 feet above the sea-level, and 7 miles east from its port Callao on the Pacific coast, in 12° 2' 34" S. lat., 77° 7' 36" W. long. The general configuration of the main portion of the city, previous to 1870 surrounded by walls, is that of an irregular triangle, whose base rests on the river Rimac, which separates the city from its offshoot or suburb of San Lazaro. Sheltered on the north and east by the spurs of the Andes, the city is exposed to the winds prevailing from the south-east, as also to those from the south and west. Although the atmosphere is moist, and the transitions of the seasons are rapid, the climate is not unhealthy, the rainfall being slight, and the variations of price of labour has hitherto prevented any efforts on a large scale being permanently successful. There are, however, manufactories for tallow, soap, sperm candles, glue, gold lace, gilt leather, and silver filigree work, and the capital supplies the towns of the republic with coarse woollen fabrics. The market is attended daily by about a thousand dealers. Fish is supplied from Callao, and vegetables partly from gardens in the city and environs, and partly from the native villages. Since 1857 the water for drinking purposes has been obtained filtered from the Rimac, and supplied by pipes to the houses. The imports are various ; the exports include guano, cinchona, Indian wool, raw cotton, hides, sugar, saltpetre, gold, silver, and other minerals. Under ordinary conditions the imports and exports together exceed £5,000,000 annually. There are railways Loin Lima leading to Callao, Chancay, Chorrillos, and Oroya ; the construction of several other lines has been stopped by the war with Chili. In 1780 the population of Lima was 50,000 ; in 1860 it had reached 100,341, and in 1868 121,362, of whom 38,761 -were foreigners. A recent estimate (1877) gives the number at about 200,000, but, considering the vicissitudes the city has since then endured, these figures must be considered at the present time (1882) as far too high. The Spanish natives have the reputation of being courteous, affable, and generous, but at the same time fond of pleasure, improvident, and superstitious. By confession they are mostly Roman Catholics.

Lima was founded 18th January 1535, by Francisco Pizarro, who named it Ciudad de los Reyes in honour of the emperor Charles V. and Doha Juana his mother, or, according to some authors, from its site having been selected on the 6th January, the Feast of the Epiphany. The name afterwards gave place to that of Lima, a Spanish corruption of the Quichua word Rimae. In 1543 Lima received its first archbishop, and in 15S2 the earliest provincial council for the state was held there. Remaining under Spanish rule during the 17th, 18th, and early part of the 19th centuries, the city continued to increase in prosperity, though often visited by terrible earthquakes, of which the most disastrous was that of the 25th October 1746, when 5000 of the inhabitants perished and the port of Callao was destroyed (see CALLAO, VOL iv. p. 107). On the 12th July 1821, after a siege of some months, Lima was entered by a Chilian force under General San Martin, who on the 28th was proclaimed potector of Peru as a free state, but its independence was not finally secured until after the victory of Ayacucho (9th December 1824). In March 1S28 the city again suffered from an earthquake, and in 1854-55 the yellow fever carried off a great number of the inhabitants. On the 11th of August 1557, Mr Sullivan, British minister to Peru, was assassinated, In November 1864 a congress of plenipotentiaries from Chili and other South American states was held here to concert measures of•autual defence. Of the various revolts which have during the last few years taken place at Lima may be mentioned that of November 1865, when President Pezet was displaced for Canseeo ; the riots against religions toleration, 15th April 1367; and the military insurrection, 22d July 1872, when Gutierrez, minister of war, arbitrarily assumed power, had President Balta imprisoned and shot, but himself soon fell a victim to the popular fury; order being afterwards with difficulty restored by Vice-President Zavallos. In consequence of the ill-success of the war with Chili, Lima towards the close of 1879 was again in an unsettled condition ; President Prado fled, and on the 22d December, after a sanguinary coup d'etat, Pierola was proclaimed dictator. In April 1880 Callao was blockaded by Chilian war ships, and Lima had to be placed in a state of defence. On the 20th of November the Chilian army effected a landing at Pisco, a fortified place about 100 miles south of Lima, and, having afterwards advanced upon the capital, forcibly occupied it upon the 17th of January 1881.

See Mariana F. Paz Soldan. Merionarin gengrrifico estadistico del Perri. Lima, 1877, pa. 513-'27; 3Iaten 1517. Sohlan and M. F. Paz Soldnn, Geografia del Perti, Paria, 1852, vol. i. pp. 290-320 ; 51. A. Fuentes, Lima, cr Sketches of the Capital of Peru, Historical, Statistical, Administratire. ke.. London, 1866; C. II. Markham, Cuzro . , and Lima, London, 18;6. Fur further Infmmation as to the early history of Lima, see Lopez de (16mara, Hist. gen. de las Ind.; A. de Herrera, Hist. gen. tie las ha. occitL; w. H. Prescott. hint. of the Conquest of Peru; F. de Xeres. Conguml4 del Pern; A. de Zarate, lust. de la Conq. del Perri; and J. In Ferreras, 11i,1 d'Espagne (French translation by Ileoni11y), Paris, 17;1. (E. D. IL)

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