A state of the Mexican republic, occupying the southern portion of the peninsula of Yucatan; area, 26,090 sq. m.; pop. according to a recent census about 90,000, a large proportion of whom are Indians. It is watered by the rivers San Francisco, Champoton, and some other streams, all of which are small and unimportant; and there are a few small lakes. The soil is in general sandy, except in the forest regions and in the vicinity of the capital; and there are some good pasture lands which support numerous herds of cattle, deer, etc. The chief productions are salt, rice, and sugar; and the industry is confined to the preparation of the fibres of the pita plant (agave Americana), here called jenequea, which grows in prodigious quantities in all parts of the state. II. A city, capital of the state, and the principal seaport of Yucatan, on the W. shore of the peninsula, on the bay of Campeachy, and at the mouth of the river San Francisco, in lat. 20° 5' N. and Ion. 90° 16' W., 550 m. E. of the city of Mexico; pop. nearly 19,000. The streets are irregular, and the houses are remarkable for their uniform height (one story), their square form, and for being all built of a sort of limestone abundant in the neighborhood.
Campeachy was founded near the middle of the 16th century; its site has since been twice changed, the present one being honeycombed with subterranean chambers, the handiwork of the Mazas Indians, ruins of many of whose structures are still visible in the vicinity. It was sacked by the British in 1659, suffered much by the pirate Lewis Scott in 1678, and by filibusters seven years later. It is surrounded by walls, behind which rise in amphitheatre a succession of hills. The city has two churches, a number of convents, a museum in which are preserved some curious aboriginal relics, a theatre, several colleges and primary schools, and a public pleasure ground or park (alameda) embellished with alleys of orange trees and with seats of native marble. Living is high at Campeachy, as compared with the other large towns of the peninsula, and the inhabitants suffer for lack of fresh water, most of the springs being brackish. The port, or more properly roads, is defended by three fortresses. Though favorably situated, it is so extremely shallow that few of the numerous vessels which frequent it can approach the mole constructed for that, purpose. Vessels drawing 10 feet of water have to anchor more than a mile from shore; and those drawing 15 feet, from 6 to 7 m. off.
The commerce of Campeachy, so flourishing in former days, under the Spanish colonial system, when it had the monopoly* of the imports to Yucatan, is now confined to the export of salt, sugar, wax (from stingless bees), tafia, hides, deer skins, and articles made from the textile fibres of the pita plant, which, with cigars, form almost the exclusive industry of the inhabitants. But the principal article of export is the famous logwood (palo de Campe-che), which, however, lias considerably diminished of late years, while that of cigars has increased. These are for the most part made of Tabasco tobacco, superior to that of Yucatan, and often sold in foreign markets for the Havana. The value of the imports from the United States in 1870 was $59,056 12; and the receipts of the custom house in 1871 amounted to $139,839 92. The climate is in general salubrious, the. heat being modified by the cool-•ing breezes of the morning and evening; but yellow fever still appears whenever a number of unacclimated foreigners sojourn in the city.