I. A S. government of European Russia, bordering on the governments of Kiev, Poltava, Yekaterinoslav, and Taurida, the Black sea, and Bessarabia; area, 27.475 sq. m.: pop. in 1867, 1,497,995, consisting of Russians, Cossacks, Poles, Bulgarians, Tartars, Greeks, Armenians, Jews, gypsies, and many foreign settlers, mainly Germans, who form a large number of colonies. With the exception of the N. W. and N. E. borders, where there is some wood, and some extensive forests in the neighborhood of Elisabethgrad, the whole country consists of an immense plain with but few trees. The soil, however, is covered with grasses and other plants, and produces in the interior rich pastures. The principal rivers are the Dnieper, the Bog, and the Dniester. Wild animals are very numerous, especially wolves and wild cats. The most common tame animal is the sheep. Oxen and buffaloes are numerous and used for draught; the horses (of which many are wild) are spirited and noted for their swiftness. The fisheries are important, especially in the Dniester. The minerals are freestone, slate, chalk, talc, saltpetre, agates, and garnets. The northern part of the government possesses many distilleries and tallow manufactories; rope walks and tile works are scattered all over the country, and much linen is manufactured.
The chief seat of manufacture as well as of trade is Odessa. II. A city, capital of the government, situated at the head of the embouchure of the Dnieper, 50 m. E. of the Black sea, and 90 m. E. by N. of Odessa; pop. in 1867, 45,926. It is divided into four quarters, and is the seat of the provincial government and of several learned institutions. Kherson was founded in 1778 by Potemkin, whose tomb is in the cathedral, and was destined by Catharine II. to become the southern St. Petersburg of the empire. But the bad climate of the town has proved unfavorable to its growth, and the vicinity of Odessa has still more contributed to reduce its importance. The imperial dockyards have been removed to Niko-layev. The small amount of trade of the town is almost entirely in the hands of the Greeks. John Howard the philanthropist died in Kherson, and a monument was dedicated to his honor by Alexander I.