Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V05, Page 134 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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CAMPECHE (CAMPEACHY), a southern state of Mexico, comprising the western part of the peninsula of Yucatan, bounded N. and E. by Yucatan, S. by Guatemala, S.W. by Tabasco and N.W. by that part of the Gulf of Mexico designated on English maps as the Bay of Campeachy. Pop. (1895) 87,264; (1900) 86,542, mostly Indians and mestizos. Area, 18,087 sq. m. The name of the state is derived from its principal forest product, palo de campeche (logwood). The surface, like that of Yucatan, consists of a vast sandy plain, broken by a group of low elevations in the north, heavily forested in the south, but with open tracts in the north adapted to grazing. The northern part is insufficiently watered, the rains filtering quickly through the soil. In the south, however, there are some large rivers, and the forest region is very humid. The climate is hot and unhealthy. In the north-west angle of the state is the Laguna de Terminos, a large tide-water lake, which receives the drainage of the southern districts. Among the products and exports are log-wood, fustic, lignum-vitae, mahogany, cedar, hides, tortoise-shell and chicle, the last extracted from the zapote chico trees (Achras sapota, L.). Stock-raising engages some attention. One railway crosses the state from the capital, Campeche, to Merida, Yucatan, but there are no other means of transportation except the rivers and mule-paths. The port of Carmen (pop. in 1900, about 6000), on a sand key between the Laguna de Terminos and the Gulf, has an active trade in dyewoods and other forest products, and owing to its inland water communications with the forest areas of the interior is the principal port of the state and of Tabasco. -

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