town french vessels
CAYENNE, a seaport town, and the capital of French Guiana, on the north-west extremity of the island of Cayenne, and near the mouth of the river of that name, in 4° 56' 5" N. lat. and 52' 20' W. long. The town forms an almost perfect square, and has clean and well-macadamized streets. The houses, mostly- of two stories, are of wood, strengthened on the first and ground floors by brickwork. In the old town, which contains the Government-house and Jesuits' College, the streets are not so regularly and well built as in the new. The Place d'Arines, a fine quadrangular space, lies between them. The streets are lighted with oil lamps, which burn for nearly twelve hours. Cayenne has a parish church, three Roman Catholic chapels, a nunnery, and two schools ; also a bank and savings bank under Government supervision, military and civil hospitals, and a hospital for leprosy ; but it has no hotel, theatre, club, reading-room, or any place of amusement. To the right of the governor's house is Mount Ceperon, on which stand Fort St Michell, the marine barracks, the signal station, and the light-house. Here, too, are the capacious reservoirs for the water-supply of the town, the source of which is a lake to the south of the island. The harbour is shallow at its entrance, but sufficiently deep within to float vessels of 800 tons' burthen ; craft drawing much water are obliged to load and unload at a distance of seven or eight miles from the town. There is no dock for the repair of vessels ; and the quay is small, though of sufficient size to meet requirements. The principal exports of Cayenne are native gold, raw sugar, arnotto, cocoa, coffee, limes (in brine), ruin, molasses, isinglass, cotton, hides, woods, and spices. In 1873 the gold which paid export duty weighed 2206 I troy. The imports are French wines, spirits, and liqueurs ; vinegar, silk and cotton stuffs, tobacco, hardware, glass, earthenware, clothing, preserved meat, fish, and vegetables, maize, flour, hay, bran, oils, and cattle. The value of the total exports in 1873 was £120,014, of the imports £282,808, - the import trade having increased and the export trade sensibly diminished during the preceding thirty-five years. In 1872 the vessels cleared were 90, tonnage 19,688 ; the vessels entered, 87, tonnage 18,530. There is a regular mail service between Cayenne, the West Indies, and Europe, once a month. The ports trading with Cayenne are Martinique, Nantes, Bordeaux, and Marseilles, and Salem in the United States. Cayenne is the seat of the Government of French Guiana, and a penal settlement for political offenders. It is provided with an efficient police force, and is well governed. Food as well as clothing is exorbitantly dear, the only cheap articles of consumption being bread and French wines. The temperature of Cayenne is between 76° and 88° Fahr. throughout the year ; but the heat is tempered by easterly winds. Between December and March a north wind blows, unfavourable to weak constitutions. Yellow and other fevers often attack the inhabitants of the town, which, owing apparently to the vast swamp that flanks one side of it is far from healthy. The death-rate amongst the coolies is especially high. Population, about 7000.