A British West India Island Dominica, one of the Lesser Antilles, Leeward group, 29 m. S. of Guadeloupe, in lat. 15° 18' N. and Ion. 61° 32' W.; length from N. to S. 20 m., breadth 1G m.; area, 291 sq. m.; pop.in1870, 28,517, of whom only a small number are whites, the majority being emancipated slaves. It is of volcanic origin, and when viewed from the sea presents the appearance of a confused mass of mountains; the highest summit has an elevation of 5,300 ft. Dominica has upward of 30 rivers and numerous rivulets, sulphurous and thermal springs, and a deep lake on a high mountain 6 m. from Roseau. Among its mountains are many fertile valleys, with a black and rich soil well adapted for raising every tropical production. The temperature ranges from 69° to 88°. The wet season continues from September to January, though rains frequently fall during the other months. The chief exports are sugar, molasses, rum, coffee, and cocoa; the chief imports are wheat, flour, dried fish, linen, and cottons. In 1870 the imports were valued at £G0,277, the exports at £G2,246; the revenue was £15,721, the expenditures £15,248, the public debt £7,230. There are 16 free schools; but the majority of the population being Roman Catholics, education is mainly in the hands of the clergy.
The woods swarm with bees, which produce great quantities of wax and honey. This is the European bee, much larger than the native bee of the West Indies. - Dominica was discovered by Columbus in 1493; and being equally claimed by England, France, and Spain, it was considered a neutral island by those three powers till 1759, when it was captured by the English; and it was ceded to England by France in 1763. It was recaptured by the French in 1778, and restored to England in 1783. Its government is administered by a lieutenant governor, aided by an executive council of 7 members, and a legislative assembly of 14 members, of whom 7 are nominated by the crown and 7 elected by the people. Capital, Roseau, on the S. W. side of the island; pop. about 5,000.