Sonora, a N. W. state of Mexico, bounded N. by the United States, E. by Chihuahua, S. by Sinaloa, and W. by the gulf of California and Lower California; area, 81,022 sq. m.; pop. in 1869, 109,388. The eastern portion of the state is extremely mountainous, being traversed by a branch of the Sierra Madre; the western is composed mainly of extensive plains. The principal rivers are the Mayo, Yaqui, and San Jose, the second having a course of 450 m., and all three emptying into the gulf of California. The most important mineral productions are gold and silver, of which there were 144 mines in 1870; the coinage of the mints of Hermosillo and Alamos in 1869 amounted to $1,116,397. Copperas occurs in some places, as do also amianthus, alabaster, and jasper; and carbonate of soda and nitrate of potash are found. The climate is hot on the coast, mild in the central portions, and cool in the elevated region of the east. Much of the soil is fertile, but agriculture is chiefly confined to the southern districts watered by the Mayo and Yaqui rivers. The staple productions are wheat, maize, barley, oats, beans, sugar, cotton, and tobacco; coffee is raised, and fruits are very abundant.
There are extensive forests, but little of the timber is suitable for building; copal, gum arabic, archil moss, cochineal, and many other dyes and drugs are produced. Seals, turtles, oysters (including pearl oysters), and fish of good quality are found in inexhaustible quantities. There are seven steam and a large number of other flour mills; coarse cotton fabrics are manufactured in a mill of 60 looms at San Miguel, the only factory of any kind in the state; and large quantities of cigars are made. Cattle rearing is extensively carried on, despite the depredations of the Apache and other Indians. The exports include hides, gold and silver coin and bullion, ores, hog skins, pepper and gum, flour, and cigars. In 1870 there were 105 schools, with an attendance of 3,871. The state is divided into eight districts: Ures, Hermosillo, Guaymas, Alamos, Montezuma, Za-guarita, Arispe, Altar, and Magdalena, The capital is Ures; the chief seaport, Guaymas.