Online Encyclopedia

VERA CRUZ

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V27, Page 1015 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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VERA CRUZ, a city and seaport of Mexico, in the state of Vera Cruz, on a slight indentation of the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, in 19° 11' so" N., 96° 2o' W., slightly sheltered by some small islands and reefs. Pop. (moo) 29,164. Vera Cruz is the most important port of the republic. It is 263 M. by rail E. of the city of Mexico, with which it is connected by two lines of railway. It is built on a flat, sandy, barren beach, only a few feet above sea-level. The harbour is confined to a comparatively narrow channel inside a line of reefs and small islands, which is exposed to the full force of northern storms. New port works were completed towards the end of the 19th century, which, by means of breakwaters, afford complete protection. In 1905 the four railway companies having terminal stations in Vera Cruz united in the organization of a joint terminal association, with union station, tracks, warehouses, quays, cranes, &c. Vera Cruz dates from 1520, soon after the first landing there of Cortes. This settlement was called Villa Rica de Vera Cruz, but was soon after moved to the harbour of Bernal, in 1525 to a point now called Old Vera Cruz, and in 1599 to its present site. It was pillaged by privateers in 1653 and 1712, and this led to the erection of the celebrated fort of San Juan de Uliia, or Ulloa, on one of the reefs in front of the city. In 1838 it was captured by the French, in 1847 (March 29) by an American army under General Winfield Scott, who made Vera Cruz a base for his march upon the city of Mexico, and in 1861 by the French.
End of Article: VERA CRUZ
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