MARGARITA , an
See also:island in the Caribbean
See also:Sea belonging to
See also:Venezuela, about 12 M . N. of the peninsula of Araya, and constituting, under the constitution of _ igo4i—with Tortuga, Cubagua and Coche—a
See also:political division called the Eastern Federal
See also:District . The island is about 40 M. long from east to west, has an
See also:area of 400 sq. m., and consists of two mountainous extremities, nearly separated by the
See also:Laguna Grande on the south, but connected by a low, narrow
See also:isthmus . The highest
See also:elevation on the island is the
See also:peak of Macanao, 4484 ft., in the western
See also:part, the highest point in the eastern part being the peak of Copei, 4170 ft . The higher valleys of the interior are highly fertile and are well adapted to grazing and stock-raising . The
See also:industries are fishing and the making of
See also:salt . The pearl
See also:fisheries, which were so productive in the 16th and 17th centuries, are no longer important . A domestic
See also:industry of the
See also:women is that of making coarse
See also:straw hats, which are sold on the mainland . The products of Margarita, however, are insufficient to support its population, and large numbers periodically emigrate to the mainland, preventing the increase in population which its healthful
See also:climate favours . The population was estimated in 1904 at 40,000, composed in
See also:great part of
See also:half-caste Guayqueri
See also:Indians . The capital is Asunci6n (pop. about 3000), on the east side of the island, and its principal
See also:port is Pompatar on the south
See also:coast . The two small ports of Puebla de la
See also:Mar (Porlamar) and Puebla del Norte are merely open roadsteads .
- The island of Margarita (from Span . Margarita, pearl) was discovered by
See also:Columbus in 1498, and was bestowed in 1524 upon Marceto Villalobos by
See also:Charles V . In 1 561 the freebooter Lope de Aguirre ravaged the island, and in 1662 the
See also:town of Pompatar was destroyed by the Dutch . For- a long
See also:time Margarita was attached to
See also:Cumana, but in the eighteenth century it was made administratively
See also:independent . Its traders and sailors rendered invaluable assistance to the revolutionists in the war of independence, and the
See also:Spanish general, Morino, was driven from its shores in 1817; in recognition of this it was made a
See also:separate state and was renamed Nueva Esparta (New
See also:Sparta) . In 19o4-1909 it was a part of the Federal District with Asunci6n as its capital . The first Spanish settlement in South
See also:America was Nueva Cadiz, founded in 1515 on the barren island of Cubagua; but the place was abandoned when pearl-fishing and slave-trading ceased to be profitable .
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