United States of Columbia, Or Estados Unidos De Colombia, formerly New Granada, a republic of South America, lying between lat. 12° 21' N. and 1° 20' S., and lon. 68° 52' and 83° 5' W. It is bounded N. by the Caribbean sea, 1ST. E. and E. by Venezuela, S. E. by Brazil, S. by Ecuador, and W. by the Pacific ocean and Costa Rica. Its extreme length from N. to S. is about 1,000 m., extreme breadth about 760 m.; but its average breadth is much less, it being only 28 m. wide at the isthmus of Panama. The area is estimated at from 480,-000 to 521,000 sq. m. The republic is divided into nine federal states, which, with their areas, population, and capitals, are as follows:
Area, sq. m.
Bogota, the national capital, with its environs, forms a federal district, but the city is also the capital of the state of Cundinamarca. - The coasts of Colombia are deeply indented by large and fine bays, the principal of which are the gulfs of Darien and Maracaibo on the Caribbean sea and the gulf of Panama on the Pacific. There are many smaller bays on both oceans, which make excellent harbors. Among the chief ports, besides the free ports of Panama and Aspinwall or Colon, are Cartagena, Sabanilla, Santa Marta, and Rio Hacha on the Atlantic, and Buenaventura on the Pacific. Chiriqui lagoon and Porto Bello, on the Caribbean sea, and Humboldt, Cupica, and San Juan or Chirambira, on the Pacific, also furnish good harbors. There are numerous islands along the coast, none of which are very large. In the Caribbean sea are the islands of San Andres and Providence. In the Chiriqui lagoon are 11 islands, of which Boca del Toro is the largest, and there are many more along the coast of Cartagena. In the gulf of Panama are the island of Tobago and a group called the Archipelago of Pearls. - The surface of Colombia is more equally diversified than that of any other South American state, being nearly evenly divided into mountain, valley, and plain.
Not far from the borders of Ecuador, about lat. 1° 20' N., the range of the Andes separates into two branches. The W. branch, which follows the line of the coast, is called la Cordillera de la Costa. The E. branch pursues a N. E. course from the point of separation until it reaches lat. 1° 50' N., when it again divides and forms two chains nearly parallel, between which lies the valley of the Magdalena. The most easterly of these chains, which follows the right bank of the Magdalena, is called the E. Cordillera of Cundinamarca. Between the central and the coast range is the valley of the Cauca, and W. of the latter the mineral region of Choco. By some the eastern range is called the Cordillera de la Suma Paz, from the mountains of the name near Bogota; the central, the Quindiu; and the western, the Choco. The latter, though comparatively low, has few and difficult passes. The E. branch is much the greatest in extent, and consists of a series of table lands or plateaus, from 8,000 to 14,000 ft. in elevation. In this plateau, which is cool and salubrious, the ancient Chibchas had their seat. It produces in the greatest profusion the fruits and grains of the temperate zone, and contains more than one third of the population of the republic.
About lat. 5° N. the E. range rises to the height of perpetual snow, but the highest peak is that of Tolima, in the middle chain, lat. 4° 46' N., which rises 18,020 ft. This is the most lofty summit of the Andes proper north of the equator. The range of Santa Marta, which extends along the N. coast between the central and the E. chains, is 19,000 ft. high, but it does not belong to the Andes. The name Andes is here used only as a systematic denomination, for it is unknown in the countries N. of the equator. The mountains of the isthmus of Panama, by their direction and their geographical position, may be considered as a continuation of the mountains of Antioquia and Choco, or the western Cordillera. Between the mountain chains lie immense valleys and plains, which differ much in character. On the east the llanos, extending to the Orinoco, are generally either swamps or sunburnt deserts destitute of trees. In the rainy season immense herds of cattle and horses find pasturage on them. The W. coast and a great part of the isthmus are covered with luxuriant and almost impenetrable forests, and are little known.
The whole Atrato valley was once a vast estuary of the sea, whose waves broke upon the very feet of the Cordilleras. The fossiliferous rocks near the head waters of the Tuira show that the country was at one time submerged by the Pacific ocean, shell fish of the same character as the fossils being found living both in the Pacific and the Atlantic at the present time. The swamps about the Atrato river rest on beds of gold-bearing clay, which the natives wash with considerable profit. Toward the close of the last century a channel was cut by a monk across the so-called isthmus of Raspadura, connecting the head waters of the Atrato and of the San Juan, passing near Quibdo, lat. 5° 50' N., by which communication by boats is still maintained between the Atlantic and the Pacific. The valley of the Cauca, between the W. and central ranges of the Cordilleras, is one of the richest, most fertile, and most populous districts in South America. It consists of two plateaus of different elevation and temperature. The soil is deep, and tinged with a red or yellow color. The pastures are rich, and the lands are well cultivated. The valley of the Magda-lena comprises an area of about 75,000 sq. m. The soil is very fertile, but the climate is hot, and in portions insalubrious.
Owing to the wide ramifications of the Andes, a large part of Colombia lies at an elevation of from 5,000 to 10,000 ft. above the sea; but in consequence of the unhealthfulness of the coast and the inaccessibility of the mountain passes, the great resources of the country are comparatively undeveloped. - On the east the river Orinoco forms a part of the boundary line between Colombia and Venezuela, and on the south the Putumayo separates it from Ecuador. Into the former flow the Guaviare, Vichada, Meta, and a number of smaller streams. The principal affluents of the Marafion or Amazon in the republic, besides the Putumayo, are the Rio Caqueta, sometimes called the Japura or Hya-pura, and the Rio Negro. The Vaupes or Ucayari is a branch of the latter. Colombia has the right of navigating the Amazon and the Orinoco. But the most important of all its rivers is the Magdalena, with its tributary the Cauca. They traverse nearly the entire country from N. to S. They both rise in the Andes, about lat. 2° N., and pursue a nearly parallel course, the former on the east and the latter on the west of the central range, until they unite in lat. 9° 20' N., again to divide in* lat. 9° 57', and fall into the Caribbean sea by two deltas, one in lat. 10° and the other in lat. 11° 7', forming an island of 3,150 sq. m.
The Magdalena, navigated by steam to Honda, is on an average 1,750 ft. lower than the Cauca, whose stream is therefore very impetuous. The Funza, which rises 100 m. 1ST. of Bogota, runs in a S. W. direction to Tequendama, where it plunges down a precipice over 600 ft. high, falling from the region of oaks, willows, and wheat, to that of the palm and sugar cane. The Atrato rises in lat. 5° 20' N., flows N., and falls into the gulf of Darien. To the distance of 180 m. from the sea it is deep enough for the largest ships; and extensive traffic between Quibdo and Cartagena is carried on by bongos, or large canoes. The navigation of this river and those of the isthmus was prohibited on pain of death by Philip II., lest foreign powers should gain a knowledge of means of connecting the two oceans. The rivers draining the W. chain of the Cordilleras into the Pacific are small. The most important are • the Patia and the San Juan, which communicate with the high, salubrious, and fertile districts of Popayan, Pasto, Tuquerres, and the famous valley of Cauca, which Bolivar called the "Italy of America." Small lakes are numerous in the mountains, but there are none of large extent. Paletara, Las Papas, Una, and Caucagua are the most noteworthy.
Into Cuatavita, a small lake near Bogota, the Indians are said to have thrown their treasures when about to abandon the country to the Spaniards. Curious and valuable articles have been fished up from its depths, but attempts made to drain it have proved a failure. - The geological conditions of Colombia are equally extraordinary and perplexing. Everywhere are found traces of stupendous cataclysms, and a disarrangement and intermixture of primitive and sedimentary rocks, which seem to set classification at defiance. In some places great rivers and even small streams have cut through mountains of the hardest rocks, leaving dizzy escarpments on each side; • in others are enormous subsidences in the earth, as if the props of its surface had suddenly given way, or vast caverns glistening with stalactites; while everywhere colossal masses, lifted high above the general level, attest the violence of volcanic agencies. These agencies are still active in places, as in Batan near So-gamqso, where the soil is so much heated that, although in the heart of the Andes, it produces all the fruits of the tropics.
The celebrated Colombian geologist, Joaquin Acosta, describes great glaciers which he saw in the Paramo of Ruiz, a phenomenon which escaped the attention of both Humboldt and Boussin-gault. Col. Codazzi demonstrated that in the highlands of Bogota, Tunja, and Velez, where is now the densest population, there once existed a system of broad and deep lakes, which, breaking through their barriers, precipitated themselves through what is now the river Suarez or Sogamoso into the ocean, leaving the traces of their irruption boldly marked on the face of the country. The same authority conceives that this great cataclysm may have occurred within the past four centuries. Some evidence in support of his theory is afforded by two great stones which have been discovered on opposite sides of what must have been the borders of the principal lake; both face toward the points of rupture of the mountains, and the faces of both are covered with sculptures, among which are distinguishable figures of the frog (the Ohibcha sign of water) with outspread feet, and human figures with upraised arms, in attitude of surprise or alarm.
Among the natural curiosities of the country are the falls of Tequendama; the natural bridge of Pandi or Icononzo, spanning the river Suma Paz at an elevation of 600 ft.; the cascade of the Eio Vinagre, so called from the sulphuric acid with which its waters are charged; the great orifices called Hoyo del Aire and Hoyo de los Pajaros, near Velez; the Peflon de Quitisoque, from the symmetrically pierced summit of which fall three beautiful streams of water; the Fura-Tena (man and woman in the Chibcha language), and the Bo-queron de Pefia Armada, which are two stupendous cuts or excavations made by the Kio Minero, the second 10,650 ft. deep; and the natural tunnel of the Rio Suarez. - From Costa Rica to Venezuela, Colombia abounds in auriferous alluvions of great extent. There is hardly a state which does not possess in its soil more or less gold. It is claimed that Cho-co, Antioquia, Mariquita, Popayan, Pamplona, Ocaila, Bucaramanga, and other places are exceedingly rich in that metal. The auriferous sands of Antioquia, according to M. Dufrenoy, afford results very nearly coinciding with those of California. Small diamonds are found with the gold, and in the same district the sulphate of mercury is abundant.
Choco produces platinum, and Muzo emeralds; and in various parts of the country are mines of silver, copper, lead, iron, quicksilver, coal (in Bogota, Cali, Soata, Chiriqui, &c), amethysts, and other varieties of rare and valuable stones and minerals. The great coal bed of Cali, it is believed, extends beyond the Cordilleras to the Pacific. On the table lands of Bogota, Tuquerres, Tunja, and Pamplona rock salt abounds, and lime, sulphur, alum, magnesia, asphaltum, and other valuable minerals exist in inexhaustible quantities in various parts of the republic. - The climate of Colombia presents remarkable contrasts and nearly every variety of temperature. The lower part of the valley of the Magdalena is oppressed with almost tropical heat. The waters of the river are lukewarm, and at Honda, 1,000 ft. above the level of the sea, stones exposed to the sun's rays are too hot to place the hand upon. The mortality in this region is great, more especially among children. At Cartagena, as well as on the W. coast, the yellow fever is endemic, and the lowlands are dangerous to both Europeans and the people of the highlands. On the plateaus the air is salubrious and the temperature is that of perpetual spring.
On the plain of Bogota, which is 8,000 ft. above the sea, the thermometer ranges from 55° to 70° F., and the rain in the wet season falls but a few hours daily in the afternoon. The summits of the Cordilleras are usually covered with mists, and the tops of the highest with perpetual snow. In the forests of Darien the rain falls almost unceasingly, and the gulf of Choco is seldom free from violent storms. - The flora combines almost all the products of the tropical, intertropical, and temperate zones. Within a single day's journey one may encounter the four seasons of the year and the vegetable peculiarities of all these zones. Rice, cotton, tobacco, sugar cane, and all tropical fruits grow along the coast; and the elevated plains yield maize, wheat, potatoes, and all the European fruits. The vast forests, yet imperfectly explored, abound with valuable productions. In Popayan the cinchona grows to perfection, and the sides of the mountains of Tolima are clothed to an elevation of 8,500 ft. with wax palms 200 ft. high.
Besides these are found the pitayo, cedar, balsam of Tolu, vanilla, lignum vitee, mahogany, caoutchouc, and the three trees perhaps most precious of all, the albataque, the vine of the cross, and the arisa, all remarkable specifics, the first against inflammation, the second for stanching effusions of blood, and the third for instantaneously stopping bleeding at the nose. Notwithstanding the luxuriance of the vegetation, the species are not intermingled. Each kind occupies some tract of its own, where it flourishes to the almost total exclusion of others. - Colombia abounds in animal life. The rivers swarm with alligators and wild fowl, and myriads of flies render life almost unendurable in the lowlands. Boa constrictors and poisonous serpents, the jaguar, the puma, and others of the feline tribe, and monkeys of many species abound in the tropical forests. The sloth, armadillo, ant-eater, and cavy also inhabit the lower forests; deer of different kinds are found at all heights; and the bear and marmot approach the limits of perpetual snow. At the height of about 3,000 ft. the alligator and boa constrictor disappear, and the tapir, the largest quadruped of the country, is seen.
Popular tradition reports the existence in the vast unexplored forests of the panchique and mancarita, enormous quadrupeds never seen alive, but whose tracks, those of the first round, and those of the second marked with three great toes, have been often observed in the mountains of Coco-nuco in Popayan, and at Piedecuesta in San-tander. It is affirmed that on the line of the tracks of the panchique the branches of the trees have been broken off to the height of 15 feet. The condor soars above the snow line of the Andes, and the forests are alive with innumerable varieties of insects and birds. Among these the changeable butterfly of Muzo is without a rival in its beauty, and the tropial is not excelled by the nightingale for its song. The bird of Velez, called sol y luna (sun and moon), has the image of both those luminaries on its wings. On the coast turtles and fish abound, and pearls and coral are found in the bay of Panama and near Cartagena. - The population of Colombia is made up of whites, mostly of Spanish origin, negroes, and Indians, and their mixtures. The whites constitute rather less than 1,000,000 of the total population, and the mestizos about the same number.
Of mulattoes and civilized Indians, there are about 300,000 each, and the remainder is made up of negroes, zambos, and savage Indians numbering 120,000. The better classes of the people are distinguished for intelligence, festive humor, hospitality, and generous impulses. The educated classes rank among the first in South America for their scientific and literary culture. The people of Socorro and Antioquia are laborious and enterprising. The women of Antioquia, Bogota, Ocafia, and other cities are celebrated by travellers for their grace and beauty. In Bogota the French fashions predominate, and the inhabitants incline to European manners. Gaming is universal, and cock fighting is a favorite sport. On the coast the people, from the climate, are wanting in energy and color. The llaneros on the plains wear nothing but a shirt and light drawers, a straw hat, and bark sandals. They ride without a saddle, and live almost entirely on beef. The language is generally Spanish, excepting among the uncivilized Indians, who speak their own aboriginal tongues. - Industry is generally backward. Agriculture is mostly in the hands of the converted Indians, who cultivate the soil in the rudest manner, and the reclaimed land bears but a small proportion to the whole.
The cereals are raised to some extent on the elevated plains, and rice, cotton, sugar, coffee, tobacco, cocoa, and tropical fruits along the coast. On the eastern plains, toward the Orinoco, the inhabitants, who are chiefly Creoles, are devoted almost exclusively to the raising of horses, mules, and cattle. For want of both capital and labor, the mining industry is vastly inferior to the mineral resources of the country. The chief silver works are those of Santa Ana, near Bogota. Gold abounds in the entire Atlantic region, and, in spite of the rude machinery used, the quantity obtained is far from insignificant; the washings on all the tributaries of the Atrato are extremely productive, but less so E. of the Cordilleras. The emerald mines of Muzo, in the valley of Tunja, near Bogota, are worked carelessly, but produce enough to meet the constant demand from Europe. The pearl fisheries are mostly neglected. Coal, copper, and iron are mined to some extent near Bogota; and the salt mines at Cipaquira, about 30 m. N. E. of Bogota, produce enough to supply the neighboring states. Manufactures can scarcely be said to exist, native industry not sufficing to supply the wants of the country. Almost all manufactured articles in use are imported.
In Bogota and some other towns cotton and woollen cloths, carpets, straw hats, soap, and leather are produced, but not to any great extent. - The commerce of Colombia, though fast increasing, is still far below the capabilities of the country. The exports consist mainly of cotton, cinchona, coffee, cacao, India rubber, raw hides, tobacco, silver ore, cochineal, indigo, other dyestuffs, and emeralds; and the imports, of cotton, linen, woollen, and silk fabrics, clocks and watches, hardware, machinery, firearms, gunpowder, fermented liquors, etc. The total value of the exports and imports for 1870 was as follows:
Venezuela and Peru.............
One half the trade is carried on through the isthmus, the exports and imports of which in transitu average each about $50,000,000. The direct exports and the imports for 1873 show an increase of 75 per cent, as compared with those of 1870, chiefly due to a larger number of steamship lines to Colon (Aspinwall). About 75 per cent, of the goods exported through that port go to the United States. Most of the Colombian commodities are known in England only as Venezuelan (Maracaibo) productions. Steamers run weekly from Panama to the principal Pacific ports S., and to San Francisco and intermediate ports N.; to Aspinwall there are American steamers bi-monthly, and several British and French lines; and in 1873 an American line was established between New York, Santa Marta, Sabanilla, and Cartagena. The annual shipping movements in all the principal ports comprise about 1,200 vessels, steam and sail, with an aggregate of 300,000 tons. Steamers ply on the Magdalena, but the navigation of this river is growing more and more difficult each year. The internal carrying trade is done by bongos (large canoes) on the rivers, and by mules. Many new roads are in process of construction; but much has yet to be done in this respect.
Besides the railways from Panama to Aspinwall (48 m.), and from Sabanilla to Bar-ranquilla (18 m.), both in prosperous operation, proposals were made in 1873 to build other lines to the extent of 800 m., to be completed in 12 years, at a nominal cost of $85,000,000. Some surveying and grading have already been performed (January, 1874). With the telegraphs on the two railways now running, and that from Bogota to La Mesa, it is expected that at the end of 1874 1,500 m. of wires will be established. A submarine cable from Aspinwall to Kingston, Jamaica, has not been in use for over a year. - Bogota, Medellin, and some of the other state capitals have each a university or collegiate school, besides seminaries, and scientific, normal, and primary schools. Large appropriations were made by congress in 1873 for the establishment of new schools, so that Colombia will soon be in the matter of primary instruction among the most advanced of the South American states. The government supports a district school in each parish. - The government of Colombia is republican, founded on a written constitution adopted in 1863, modelled after that of the United States, but differing in some particulars.
The executive power is vested in a president elected for two years; the legislative authority in a congress, consisting of an upper house, or senate, and a house of representatives. The senate has 27 members, each of the nine states sending three. The house of representatives, elected by universal suffrage, is made up of delegates from the several states, each sending one member for every 50,000 inhabitants, and an additional one for a fraction of 20,000 and over. A vice president, elected for the same term as the president, acts as chairman of the senate. The president's powers are exercised through four ministers, or secretaries, viz., of the interior and of foreign affairs, of finances, of the treasury and the national credit, and of war, all responsible to congress. The highest court of justice is the supreme court, which has three judges and a procurator general. Each of the states has its own legislature and executive officer. The Roman Catholic faith predominates, the head of the hierarchy being the archbishop of Bogota; but there is absolute independence of church and state. All other religions are tolerated, and there is perfect freedom of worship. The army in time of peace consists of 1,420 men; in time of war, each state furnishes a contingent of 1 per cent, of the population.
There is no navy. The national income, about one half of which is derived from the customs,,was made up of the following elements in 1870:
The expenditures of the same year were a little over $3,000,000. The total income for the year ending Aug. 31, 1872, was $3,219,733; for 1873 it reached $3,400,730; and the expenditures for the latter year were $3,250,730, leaving a surplus of $150,000. According to the president's message of April 4, 1872, the foreign debt amounted to $33,362,250, and the home debt to $9,899,710. The interest paid on the former was about $750,000 annually, under the act of congress decreeing that 37 1/2 per cent, of the net customs receipts should be thus applied. The foreign debt has been, however, by agreement with the creditors, transformed into a debt of $10,000,000, at an annual interest of $450,000, dating from Jan. 1, 1873. - The inhabitants of the country on its discovery were, like those of Mexico and Peru, distinguished into two grand branches: the savages of the lowlands and ,coast regions, and the semi-civilized family of the table lands. The Colombian highlanders.were the Muyscas, or more properly Chibchas, the word Muysca in the Chibcha tongue merely signifying "men" or "people." The origin and the elements of civilization introduced among them were attributed to two mythical beings, Bochica, or Bochia, and Nemterequeteba, who are frequently confounded with one another.
Bochia was the more mythical of the two, was regarded as divine, and even as equal to the sun. His companion Chia, or Huitaca, occasioned through her magical art the submersion of the beautiful valley of Bogota, and for that reason was banished from the earth by Bochia, and made to revolve round it as the moon. Bochia next struck the rocks of Tequendama, and thereby opened a passage through which the waters flowed off in the neighborhood of the Giant's Field. Such is the traditional origin of the picturesque falls of Tequendama. Nemterequeteba, surnamed Chinzapogua (the messenger of God), corresponding to the second Buddha of the Hindoos, was regarded as a human being. The country was ruled by three powers. The spiritual chief was the electoral high priest of Iraca or Sogamoso; the temporal princes were the zaqui of Hunsa or Tunja, and the zipa of Funza, who would seem to have been in the feudal constitution originally subordinate to the zaqui. The Chibchas had a regular system of computing time; for money they used small circular gold plates, all cast of equal size. Their temples of the sun were built with stone columns, some vestiges of which were discovered in Leiva at the beginning of the present century. Their language was rich, sweet, and harmonious.
The people were frugal and industrious, but little versed in the art of war, for, although numbering about 2,000,000, Quesada subjugated them with 200 Spaniards. Other architectural relics in various parts of the country were probably the work of a still more highly cultivated race than the Chibchas, and perhaps allied to the Aymaras of Upper Peru. Of the origin of the coast Indians, such as the Mesayas, Goajiros, etc, still mostly in a savage state, and speaking their own languages, little is known, except that they bear no resemblance to any of the other American families. - The coasts of Colombia were discovered by Alonso de Ojeda in 1499, and visited by Rodrigo Bastidas in 1501, and by Columbus in 1502. It was first called Tierra Firme by the Spaniards, and Cas-tilla de Oro, or "Golden Castile." The conquest was effected in 1536-'7, and the country erected into a viceroyalty called New Granada in 1718. The first efforts for emancipation from Spain were made in 1781 and 1795; independence was proclaimed in 1811, and secured by Bolivar in 1819, when a union was formed with Venezuela and Quito, under the name of the republic of Colombia. (For an account of the struggle for independence, see Bolivar.) This union was dissolved in 1829 by the withdrawal of Venezuela, and in 1830 Ecuador also withdrew.
The republic of New Granada was organized Nov. 21, 1831. In 1832 a constitution was promulgated and the republic was divided into provinces, each of which controlled its local affairs. Under this constitution the president's term of office was four years. Gen, San-tander was president from 1833 to 1837 inclusive; Dr. Marquez, 1837-'40; Gen. Herran, 1841-4; Gen. Mosquera, 1845-8; Gen. Lopez, 1849-52; Gen. Obando, whose term was concluded by the vice presidents Obaldia and Mallarino, 1853-'6; Dr. Ospina, 1857-'60. In the beginning of 1860 an important revolution broke out. The liberal party, under the leadership of Gen. Mosquera, rose in arms against President Ospina, who was the representative of the federal or conservative party. Bogota was captured July 18, 1861, and the reins of government were assumed by Mosquera. The federals, who controlled the southern portion of the republic, made An-tioquia the seat of their government. The representatives of the liberal states met in a congress at Bogota which closed Oct. 20, 1861, assumed the name of the United States of Colombia, adopted a new constitution, and conferred dictatorial power on Mosquera. In November, 1862, Gen. Arboleda, the leader of the conservative troops, was assassinated, and was .succeeded by Gen. Canal. An agreement was finally made between the latter and Mosquera, Dec. 29, 1862, which put an end to the civil war.
Gen. Canal and his troops submitted to the authority of the United States of Colombia, and the latter granted an anmesty to political offenders. Deputies from all the states met in convention at Rio Negro, in Antioquia, Feb. 4, 1863. Mosquera resigned to this body his dictatorial powers, and the convention appointed a provisional government, composed of five ministers, who were to hold office during the forming of the new constitution. The constitution which was framed bears the date of May 8, 1863. Mosquera was appointed provisional president, to hold office till April 1, 1864, when the executive elected by the people in 1863 was to take his place. During Mosquera's administration there was to be no fixed capital, he having the power to move it where he pleased; after the close of his term it was to be at Bogota. The president's term of office was fixed at two years. Among the provisions of the constitution was one granting religious liberty, and another confiscating church property. These acts called forth an encyclical letter from the pope to the bishops of the republic, urging them to use every effort to secure their repeal, which, however, was not effected.
Dr. Manuel Murillo Toro was elected president for the term 1864-'6. He was succeeded by Mosquera, who was chosen for the two years ending in 1868. He re-' signed Dec. 6, 1866, giving as reasons that it was impossible to replenish the treasury, which had been robbed of upward of $1,000,000 by false certificates; that the archbishop of Bogota and other bishops were in rebellion against the executive; and that there was a general desire to disturb the public peace and to make way with him by assassination. His resignation was not accepted. In 1867, in consequence of attacks made on his policy by the majority in congress, Mosquera ordered that body to adjourn, and arbitrarily arrested 68 senators and representatives. Congress passed a resolution of impeachment April 29, and on the same day the president published a decree dissolving that body and declaring the country in a state of war. Most of the states declared in favor of congress, and Mosquera was arrested, May 25. His adherents were soon put down and peace restored throughout the country.
Mosquera was tried and sentenced to two years' imprisonment and to lose all civil and political rights; but the sentence was commuted to two years' exile, and he went to Peru. The remainder of his term was filled by Gen. Santos Gutierrez. In 1868 Don Santos Acosta was sent to the United States to conclude arrangements with the government at Washington in regard to the proposed canal across the isthmus. The Hon. Caleb Cushing was sent to Bogota for a. similar purpose. Santos Gutierrez was elected president for 1868-'70. Under his administration the state of Panama suffered much from internal dissensions. An act of general amnesty permitting the return of Mosquera, passed by the lower house of congress, was rejected by the senate. In January, 1869, a treaty was concluded between the plenipotentiaries of the United States and of Colombia granting to the former power the right to construct a canal across the isthmus. It was approved by the president, but through foreign influence rejected by the Colombian senate.
In the same year the United States government sent out an expedition under Commander Selfridge to make surveys in the valley of the Atrato. (See Canal.) In 1870 a new treaty for an inter-oceanic canal was concluded between Gen. Hurlbut, the United States minister, and the Colombian commissioners, Seilor Justo Arose-mena and Dr. Jacob Sanchez; and it was approved by the Colombian congress, with some modifications. Gen. E. Salgar, the liberal candidate, was elected president for 1870-72. He took great interest in popular education, and secured the passage by congress of a bill making an appropriation for normal schools. The bank of Bogota, with a capital of $235,000, was established Nov. 25, 1870. Manuel Murillo Toro succeeded to the presidency for the term 1872-'4. Among the important measures of his administration is the proposal to build an interoceanic railway from the bay of Buenaventura on the Pacific, across the valley of the Cauca, and thence down the Magdalena to the Atlantic. The portion from Buenaventura to the river Cauca has been put under contract.
A contract has also been made for a submarine cable from Aspinwall to Cartagena and Santa Marta. The act amending the constitution for the establishment of a federal district, comprising Bogota and its environs, was ratified by the senate Feb. 6, 1872. In December of the same year troubles broke out again in the state of Cauca between the conservatives and liberals, the latter led by Gen. Mosquera, who returned from exile in 1870. In 1873 Santiago Perez was elected president of the republic for the term 1874-'6. The interoceanic canal question had not been settled in 1873, but explorations were still making in the valley of the Atrato for a feasible route.