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but the remainder of the surface consists of low plateaux and hills, in which lead, copper, iron, marble, jasper, and other minerals are said to be found, though none of the deposits are worked to any extent.
The capital, Rocha, is situated in the southern part, near the lagoon of the same name, and has a population of about 6,000. Its port, which is about 4 leagues distant, has some commerce. There are no other important towns in the Department, but there is an agricultural colony, Santa Teresa, established near the coast, which occupies about 50,000 acres of land. The leading occupation of the people is stock-raising. In 1886, there were estimated to exist in the Department 247,857 neat cattle, 511,278 sheep, and 20,159 horses. There were in 1887 only 505 pupils attending the public schools, but there were also eight private schools with a fair attendance. The commerce of the Department is limited and is conducted mainly with Brazil. The value of the landed property was, by the latest estimates, 6,779,329 pesos, and the number of tax payers 2,557. There were produced in this Department, in 1891, 17,298 bushels of beans and pease, 11,620 bushels of potatoes, 107,630 watermelons, 265,825 pounds of cheese, and 17,000 pounds of butter. There were harvested 84,512 bushels of wheat and 138,393 of Indian corn.
North of Rocha, is the Department of Treinta y Tres, so named from the number of persons composing a revolutionary movement in 1825. It was formed of sections taken from the adjoining Departments of Minas and Cerro Largo. Its area is 3,687 square miles and its population in 1887 was estimated at 15,748. It embraces one of the richest and most fertile regions of the country, the soil being of remarkable fertility and the surface watered by considerable streams and sufficiently well wooded.
Lead, copper, porphyry, and granite are found in certain parts, but the lack of laborers has prevented any systematic working of these deposits.
There were produced in the Department, in 1891,49,893 bushels of wheat. The attendance at the public schools in 1891 was: Males, 1,160; females, 220. The capital, Treinta y Tres, is the only considerable center of population in the Department. It contains upwards of 3,000 inhabitants, several schools and industrial establishments, and is the center of a considerable trade. The number of neat cattle, according to the latest accessible statistics, was 371,427; sheep, 575,990, and horses, 22,790.
The value of taxable property was stated as 7,170,052 pesos, many of the proprietors being Brazilians.
The Department of Cerro Largo occupies the extreme northeast portion of the country, bordering on Brazil. Its area is 5,754 square miles, and the most recent statement of its population puts it at 19,697, though by some as many as 28,000 are claimed for it. The surface is somewhat mountainous, and lead, copper, granite, porphyry, and coal have been discovered in certain districts. The greater part of the population is engaged in stock-raising, possessing, in 1886, 660,936 horned cattle, 551,920 sheep, and 34,445 horses. Many animals are sent into Brazil, amounting in value to 106,500 pesos in 1887. In the same year, the total exportation from the Department amounted to 623,030 pesos.
The most recent estimate of private property in the Department gives 3,405,565 pesos for 2,226 proprietors. The landed property was estimated at 11,440,507 pesos, on which taxes were paid by 2,966 proprietors, of whom 1,294 were Brazilians. Melo, the capital, is connected by telegraph with Jaguarão on the Brazilian border, where the telegraph system of Uruguay joins with the Brazilian system. Its population in 1887 was about 6,000. The town of Artigas on the river Yaguaron, opposite Jaguarão, has some 3,000 inhabitants, largely of Brazilian origin. In 1891, the Department had 45 public and private schools with 2,696 pupils.
The Departments of Durazno and Flores are situated in the
central part of the Republic; Durazno is the most central and the third in size in the country, having an area of
5,527 square miles, with a population which, in 1887, was estimated at 22,403. It is divided by a range of hills into two sections or basins, one of which extends to the Rio Negro on the north and the other to the river Yi, which forms the southern boundary of the Department. From this central chain of hills, flow numerous streams to the north or south, so that the whole surface is well watered. Most of the land is devoted to grazing; and in 1886, there were 576,714 horned cattle, 2,430,130 sheep, 32,802 horses, and 2,333 mules among the domestic animals reported from the Department.
Durazno, the capital, is situated in the southern part, a short distance from the river Yi. Its central position in the Republic and its situation on the Central Uruguay Railway, of which it is one of the principal stations, give it considerable commercial importance. It possesses some well-constructed buildings, a church, hotels, commercial houses, and industrial establishments, and near it is a fine bridge, over which the railroad crosses the Yi. Its population is about 2,000.
Sarandí, Nuestra Señora del Carmen, Farruco, and Polanco are other places of minor importance in this Department. The Department suffered severely from the civil wars and owes the revival of its prosperity to the opening of the Central Uruguay Railway. Some minerals, as marbles and sulphur, are said to exist within its limits. Its taxable property was estimated in 1886 at 10,906,087 pesos. There were, in 1891, 20 public and 14 private schools, with an aggregate attendance of 1,491 pupils.
The Department of Flores was formed in 1885 from a portion of San José. Its area is only 1,760 square miles and its population is estimated at 15,300. It is situated south of the rivers Yi and Negro, and its surface is broken by the hill chains of Porongos and Marincho. In agricultural importance it ranks fourth, having 100 square miles under cultivation and many rich pastures grazed by cattle and sheep. In 1887, it sent to Montevideo 18,100 neat cattle and 24,632 sheep. Its wool production was estimated at 350,000 pesos, and the aggregate value of its annual pastoral production is 500,000 pesos. The production of wheat in 1891 was about 5,000 bushels. It possesses numerous fine granite quarries and marble deposits. Slate is also found, and iron, copper, plumbago, and limestone are sent from the Department to Montevideo in considerable quantities.
Trinidad, also called Porongos is the capital. It is situated on the right bank of the river Porongos and has a population of about 4,000, a church, schools, printing office, hotels, many fine stores, and a club. In 1891, there were in the Department 14 schools, with 850 pupils.
The following table exhibits the area and approximate population of the different Departments:
These 19 departments contain 7 cities, 48 towns, and 39 villages and colonies.