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PANAMA OF THE PRESENT DAY.

Panama, although forming the connecting AREA.

link between North and South America, shows its greatest dimensions ranging from east to west. Broadly speaking, the Republic represents a bent finger, the average width of this finger, 70 miles, being about equal to the state of New Jersey; its greatest length, about 430 miles, three times as great as that state. Although only about one-fifteenth the area of Colombia, and less than one-half the size of Uruguay, Panama compares favorably with many other countries which play an important role in the commercial life of the world. Compared with European countries, Panama is three times the size of Belgium, and more than twice the size of Switzerland. It has about the same area as the state of Maine, and is about two-thirds as large as Pennsylvania. The Republic contains about 32,000 square miles.

In the treaty of limits between Panama and LIMITS.

Costa Rica, the boundary line was definitely fixed. Commencing at Point Mona on the Caribbean coast, it follows the Sixola and Yurquin Rivers to the Cordillera, thence to the Santa Clara Mountains, and from there follows the Golfito River to its mouth in the Golfo Dulce. The treaty was signed March 5, 1905. The boundary line between Colombia and Panama is still an unsettled question. It is expected however, that the pendmg treaty between the two countries will permanently determine the limits. At the present time, Panama claims the territory to the Atrato River, which would forin a natural boundary, while Colombia disputes Panama's right to take more territory than what belonged to it before the secession, and under the former departmental division. The question is a very important one, and its solution is looked forward to with interest.

The Republic is well-nigh seagirt, having a COAST LINE.

land frontier of less than 350 miles, while the coast line provided by the Caribbean Sea, and the Pacific Ocean shows a total of 1,215 miles, 767 miles on the Pacific, and 478 miles on the Caribbean Sea.

In 1904, the population of Panama was esPOPULATION.

timated at 311,000. The resumption of canal operations under American management however, has attracted consid rable immigration, not only those who work on the canal, but others who have sought the Isthmus as a favorable place for new investments. The population of the cities of Panama and Colon, and the Canal Zone, falls but a little short of 120,000 at the present time, while other portions of the Republic, notably, Bocas del Toro, Chiriqui and Veraguas have grown considerably. No census figures of recent date outside of the two principal cities, and the Canal Zone, are available, but the Pilot and Guides estimate of the total population of the Republic and the Canal Zone at the beginning of 1908 is 475,000, this inclusive of the Indian tribes which will number close to 80,000. Panama is still sparsely populated, for although ten per cent. larger than Madagascar, that island has 3,500,000 inhabitants to Panama's 475,000.

The larger part of the surface of Panama is SURFACE.

mountainous, consisting of a number of short, irregularly disposed ranges. The most westerly of these ranges known as the Sierra de Chiriqui, entering Panama from Costa Rica, trends much nearer the Caribbean Sea than the Pacific Ocean, the plain of David lying between the mountains and the Pacific, while Almirante Bay and the Chiriqui Lagoon extend a considerable distance inland on the other side. The Sierra de Chiriqui has a elevation of 6,500 feet. The most conspicuous peaks are Chiriqui, 11,265 feet; Pico Blanco, 11,740 feet, and Rovalo, 7,020 feet. This range is broken by two passes, one 3,600 feet above sea-level, the other 1,000 feet. Farther east the Panama mountain system receives the name of the

mean

[graphic][merged small]

sea

Sierra de Veraguas. This range contains Mount Santiago, 9,275 fect; Tuta, 5,000 feet, and Santa Maria, 4,600 feet. Midway between the eastern and western extremities of the country, the mountain system is broken by the Culebra Pass, which has an altitude of only 290 feet above level, and is the lowest pass in the western mountain systems of North and South America, with the single exception of a pass in Nicaragua. East of Culebra, the mountains gradually increase in elevation, culminating in the peaks of Maria Enriquez, 1,340 feet, and Pacora, 1,700 feet. The Serrania del Darien, ranging in altitude 500 to 2,700 feet, skirts the Caribbean coast from Porto Bello to the Gulf of Urabá. Two peaks in this range have an altitude of 3,000 feet, while the Tihule Pass sinks as low as 120 feet. Lateral ridges connect the Serrania del Darien with the Baudo range, which forms the Pacific coast range from the mouth of the Chepo River to the southern boundary, passing through into Colombia.

Panama is intersected by many rivers, 150 RIVERS.

reaching the Caribbean Sea, while twice that number drain into the Pacific Ocean. The largest river of Panama is the Tuira, which l'ises in the southeast of the Republic. It flows north for 100 miles before receiving the waters of the Chucunaque, a tributary almost as large as the parent stream. At this point, a river 1,000 feet wide and 30 feet deep is formed, with a mean discharge of 1,100 cubic feet per second. During the dry season, the river above tide water is shallow and full of rapids. The Tuira empties into Darien Harbor, and is navigable for river schooners as far as Santa Maria del Real. The next largest river is the Chagres, already fully described in another part of this book. The Bayano River, 150 miles long, empties into Panama Bay through a wide estuary, and is navigable by small boats for .the greater part of its course.

The Coclé River flowing north into the Caribbean Sea is 70 miles long, and navigable for small craft for 40 miles. Other rivers in lessening importance are

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the Calabebor:, and the Rio de los Indios emptying into the Caribbean Sea; the Tarire near the Costa Rican boundary; the San Pedro emptying into the Gulf of Montijo, and the Sambu, 90 miles long, debouching into the Bay of Panama.

Almirante Bay on the Caribbean coast near BAYS.

the Costa Rican boundary, is 13 miles long from east to west, with a width ranging from 2 to 13 miles. It is entered from the sea by the Boca del Drago and the Boca del Toro, and affords safe anchorage for the largest vessels. The Chiriqui Lagoon, practically forming one body of water with Almirante Bay is 32 miles long and 12 miles wide in the center, with a width of five miles at the castern end and 10 at the western. The area of the Lagoon is 320 square miles. It is entered by the Boca del Tigre, which has a width of three and one-half miles. Secure anchorage is afforded in from 90 to 120 feet of water. The Gulf of San Blas, lying at the narrowest part of the

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