Mieva Sparta, Or Margarita, an island in the Caribbean sea, off the coast of Venezuela, of which it is a province; length about 45 m., breadth from 5 to 20 m.; area, 441 sq. m.; pop. about 21,000. It consists of two portions, connected with each other by a low and narrow isthmus. The surface is rocky and mountainous, especially toward the west, where it attains an elevation of 3,000 ft. above the sea. The coast is rugged and precipitous, but is indented with excellent harbors, the chief of which, Pampatar, on the S. E. coast, is a spacious basin, deep and well sheltered. The interior is fertile, producing maize, bananas, sugar, coffee, and cacao. It was formerly celebrated for its pearl fishery; but the pearls are now less abundant, smaller, and of inferior quality. It was discovered by Columbus in 1498, and in 1816 was the scene of a sanguinary struggle between the patriots and the Spanish troops, which resulted in the defeat of the latter. Capital, Assumption.
Mifflin, a central county of Pennsylvania, intersected by the Juniata river; area, 375 sq pop. in 1870, 17,508. It is traversed by several high mountain ranges; the valleys are fer-tue.The Pennsylvania canal and the Pennsylvania railroad, with its Lewistown division and Mifflin and Centre county branch, pass through it. The chief productions in 1870 were 322,835 bushels of wheat, 365,806 of Indian corn, 322,-487 of oats, 73,211 of potatoes, 20,457 lbs. of wool, 415,115 of butter, and 15,005 tons of hay. There were 4,373 horses, 3,908 milch cows, 4,944 other cattle, 7,552 sheep, and 8,449 swine; 10 manufactories of clothing, 1 of edge tools and axes, 2 of pig iron, 3 of iron castings, 1 of engines and boilers, 9 of saddlery and harness, 4 of woollen goods, 6 flour mills, 4 saw mills, and 11 tanneries. Capital, Lewistown.
Miguel Diaz, an Aragonese explorer, born after the middle of the 15th century, died about 1514. He took part in the second expedition of Columbus, and having arrived in Hayti in 1495, he became involved in a duel which forced him to flee to the southern part of the island, where he married the female ruler of an Indian tribe. From information given by her, and with the cooperation of Bartholomew Columbus, who was governor of the colony, he discovered the gold mines of St. Christopher, and afterward took a conspicuous part in the foundation of Nueva Isabella (afterward Santo Domingo) in the vicinity of the gold districts. He faithfully adhered to Columbus until his death.
Miguel La Fuente Y Alcantara, a Spanish historian, born in the province of Malaga, July 10, 1817, died in Havana in August, 1850. He studied law, devoted himself to historical investigations, became secretary of the cortes, and was appointed attorney general (fiscal) in the island of Cuba. He had barely arrived in Havana when he was attacked by the local fever and died. His vast researches into the history of his country, and his appreciation of its different political phases as well as its romance, are exhibited in his Historia de Granada (4 vols., Granada, 1843-'8; 2 vols., Paris, 1851). He also wrote a work on hunting, and one on the characters and revolutions of the different races in Spain at different periods, and especially of the Moors during the middle ages.