BERMUDAS , a
See also:group of islands in the
See also:Atlantic Ocean, forming a
See also:British colony, in 32° 15' N. and 64° 5o' W., about 580 M . E. by S. from Cape Hatteras on the
See also:coast . The group, consisting of small islands and reefs (which mark the extreme
See also:northern range of the
See also:building polyps), is of
See also:form, measuring 22 M. from N.E. to S.W., the
See also:area being 20 sq. m . The largest of the islands is
See also:Great Bermuda, or the
See also:Island, 14 M. long and about a mile in
See also:average width, enclosing on the east Harrington or Little Sound, and on the west the Great Sound, which is thickly studded with islets, and protected on the
See also:north by the islands of
See also:Watford, Boaz,
See also:Ireland and
See also:Somerset . The remaining members of the group, St
See also:Smith, St
See also:Cooper, Nonsuch, &c., lie N.E. of the Main Island, and form a semicircle
See also:Harbour . The fringing islands which encircle the islands, especially on the north and west, leave a few deep passages wide enough to admit the largest vessels . Geology.—The Bermudas consist of aeolian limestones (cf .
See also:BAHAMAS) which in some of the larger islands form irregular hills attaining a height of some 200-250 ft . These limestones are composed chiefly of comminuted shells drifted and deposited by the
See also:wind, and they are very irregularly stratified, as is usually the case with wind-blown deposits . Where fresh the
See also:rock is soft, but where it has been exposed to the
See also:action of the
See also:sea it is covered by a hard crust and often loses all trace of stratification . The
See also:surface is frequently irregularly honeycombed . Even the reefs are not wholly formed of coral .
They are ridges of aeolianlime-
See also:stone plastered over by a thin layer of corals and other calcareous organisms . The very remarkable " serpuline atolls " are covered by a solid crust made of the convoluted tubes of serpulae and Vermetus, together with barnacles, mussels, nullipores, corallines and some true incrusting corals . They probably
See also:rest upon a foundation of aeolian rock . The Bermudas were formerly much more extensive than at
See also:present, and they may possibly stand upon the
See also:summit of a hidden
See also:volcano . There are evidences of small oscillations of levels, but no proofs of great
See also:elevation or depression .
See also:Climate, &c.--The surface soil is a curious kind of red
See also:earth, which is also found in ochre-like strata throughout the
See also:limestone . It is generally mixed with
See also:matter and coral sand . There is a
See also:total want of streams and
See also:wells of fresh
See also:water, and the inhabitants are dependent on the
See also:rain, which they collect and preserve in tanks . The climate is mild and healthy, although serious epidemics of yellow fever and typhus have occurred . The maximum
See also:reading of the thermometer is about 87° F. and its minimum 490, the mean
See also:annual temperature being 7a° . The islands attract a large number of visitors annually from
See also:America . Vegetation is very rapid, and the soil is clad in a
See also:mantle of almost perpetual
See also:green .
See also:principal kind of
See also:tree is the so-called " Bermudas
See also:cedar," really a
See also:species of
See also:juniper, which furnishes
See also:timber for small vessels . The shores are fringed with the
See also:mangrove; the prickly
See also:pear grows luxuriantly in the most barren districts; and wherever the ground is
See also:left to itself the
See also:bush springs up profusely . The citron, sour orange, lemon and lime grow
See also:wild; but the
See also:apple and peach do not come to perfection . The
See also:loquat, an introduction from
See also:China, thrives admirably . The mild climate assists the growth of esculent
See also:plants and roots; and a considerable
See also:trade is carried on with New
See also:York, principally in onions, early potatoes, tomatoes, and beetroot, together with
See also:lily bulbs, cut
See also:flowers and some
See also:arrowroot . Medicinal plants, as the
See also:castor-oil plant and
See also:aloe, come to perfection without culture; and
See also:cotton and
See also:tobacco are also of spontaneous growth . Few oxen or
See also:sheep are reared in the colony,
See also:meat, as well as
See also:bread and most vegetables, being imported from America . The indigenous mammals are very few, and the only
See also:reptiles are a small
See also:lizard and the green turtle . Birds, however, especially aquatic species, are very numerous .
See also:Insects are comparatively few, but ants swarm destructively in the
See also:heat of the
See also:year .
See also:Fish are plentiful round the coasts, and the
See also:fishery was once an important
See also:industry, but the
See also:fisheries as a whole have not been
See also:developed . Towns, and Administration.—There are two towns in the Bermudas: St George, on the island of that name, founded in 1794 and incorporated in 1797; and
See also:Hamilton, on the Main Island, founded in 1790 and incorporated in 1793 .
St George was thecapital till the
See also:senate and courts of
See also:justice were removed by
See also:Cockburn to Hamilton, which being centrally situated, is more convenient . Hamilton, which is situated on the inner
See also:part of the Great Sound, had a population in 1901 of 2246, that of St George being 985 . In Ireland Island is situated the royal dockyard and
See also:establishment . The harbour of St George's has space enough to accommodate a vast
See also:fleet; yet, till deepened by
See also:blasting, the entrance was so narrow as to render it almost useless . The Bermudas became an important naval and coaling station in 1869, when a large iron dry
See also:dock was towed across the Atlantic and placed in a secure position in St George, while, owing to their important strategic position in
See also:mid-Atlantic, the British
See also:government maintains a strong garrison . The Bermudas are a British
See also:crown colony, with a
See also:resident at Hamilton, who is assisted by an executive council of 6 members appointed by the crown, a legislative council of 9 similarly appointed, and a representative
See also:assembly of 36 members, of whom four are returned by each of nine parishes . The currency of the colony, which had formerly twelve shillings to the pound sterling, was assimilated to that of England in 1842 . The
See also:English language is universal . The colony is ecclesiastically attached to. the bishopric of
See also:Newfoundland . In 1847 an educational
See also:board was established, and there are numerous
See also:schools; attendance is compulsory, but none of the schools is
See also:free . Government scholarships enable youths to be educated for competition in the Rhodes scholarships to
See also:Oxford University . The revenue of the islands shows a fairly
See also:regular increase during the last years of the 19th century and the first of the loth, as from £37,830 in 1895 to £63,457 in 1904;
See also:expenditure is normally rather less than revenue .
In the year last named imports were valued at £589,979 and exports at £130,305, the annual averages since 1895 being about £426,300 and £112,500 respectively . The population shows a steady increase, as from 13,948 in 1881 to 17,535 in 1901; 6383 were whites and 11,152 coloured in the latter year .
See also:History.— The
See also:discovery of the Bermudas resulted from the shipwreck of Juan
See also:Bermudez, a Spaniard (whose name they now bear), when on a voyage from Spain to
See also:Cuba with a cargo of hogs, early in the 16th century .
See also:Henry May, an Englishman, suffered the same
See also:fate in 1593; and lastly, Sir George Somers shared the destiny of the two preceding navigators in 1609 . Sir George, from whom the islands took the alternative name of Somers, was the first who established a settlement upon them, but he died before he had fully accomplished his design . In 1612 the Bermudas were granted to an offshoot of the Virginia
See also:Company, which consisted of 120 persons, 6o of whom, under the command of Henry More, proceeded to the islands . The first source of colonial
See also:wealth was the growing of tobacco, but the curing industry ceased early in the 18th century . In 1726
See also:Bishop George
See also:chose the Bermudas as the seat of his projected missionary establishment . The first newspaper, the Bermuda
See also:Gazette, was published in 1784 . See
See also:Godet, Bermuda, its history, Geology, Climate, &c . (
See also:London, 1860); Lefroy, Discovery and Settlement of the Bermudas (London, 1877–1879) ; A . Heilprin, Bermuda Islands (
See also:Philadelphia, 1889) ; Stark, Bermuda
See also:Guide (London, 1898) ;
See also:Cole, Bermuda .
Bibliography (Boston, 1907) ; and for geology see also A . Agassiz, " Visit to the Bermudas in
See also:March 1894," Bull . Mils . Comp . Zool . Harvard, vol.
See also:xxvi . No . 2, 1895; A . E . Verrill, " Notes on the Geology of the Bermudas," Amer . Journ . Sei.
See also:ser .
4, vol. ix . (1900), pp . 313-340; " The Bermuda Islands; Their Scenery, &c.," Trans .Conn . Acad . Arts and Sei. vol. xi. pt . 2 (1901–1902) .
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