GRENADA, the most southern island of the Antilles, lies between 11° 58' and 12° 30', N. lat. and 61° 20' and 61° 35' W. long. It is 30 leagues S. W. of Barbados, and about 60 miles from the nearest point of South America. Its length from north to south is about 24 miles, and its greatest breadth is 12 miles. The area is 133 square miles.
Grenada is rendered highly picturesque by ridges of hills covered with trees and brushwood, and by an irregular but continuous range of mountains which traverses the island from north to south, in some parts rising to 3000 feet above the level of the sea. Lesser ridges branch off, forming rich and picturesque valleys. The mountains and some parts of the lowlands consist of red and gray sandstone, greywacke, hornblende, and argillaceous schist. The strata are much diversified and irregular. Sulphur and fuller's earth are found. Porphyry, limestone, and basaltic rocks occur at certain places. Rivers are numerous, but not large. In the centre of the island, 1740 feet above the level of the sea, is the Grand Etang, a circular lake 2 miles in circumference and 14 feet deep, feeding numerous small rivers. Lake Antoine is another remarkable natural feature. There are several hot chalybeate and sulphurous springs. Along the coast are numerous excellent bays and harbours. The waters abound with fish ; game and birds of various species are found. Hurricanes are comparatively unfrequent, but earthquake shocks are sometimes experienced. The average temperature is 82° Fehr., but the higher parts are cooler. Considerable rain falls. The soil is extraordinarily fertile; but cotton, indigo, and tobacco are not now cultivated. Fruits and some kinds of European vegetables grow luxuriantly. Sugar cultivation is not extending, but cocoa is now making rapid strides. The island is divided into six parishes. Formerly it had a house of assembly, but is now a crown colony under the general government of the Windward Islands. It has a lieutenant-governor and a council consisting of officials and members nominated by the crown.
The capital, St George's (population about 5000), is built upon a peninsula projecting into a spacious bay on the west side of the island, near the southern extremity. The houses are of brick or stone, and stand on high ground which rises from the bay. The town is divided by a ridge running into the sea, forming on one side the careenage, a large basin of water, where ships lie landlocked, close to wharves and stores. A saluting battery, Fort George, overlooks the entrance. On the left, the land rises to the fortifications of Hospital Hill ; and a long ridge connects this fort with Richmond Heights, which form the background of the scene and are also fortified. The ridge which connects Fort George with Hospital Hill separates the careenage from the larger portion of the town, which contains an extensive market-place, and looks upon the bay. Besides the careenage, there is a spacious sheet of water called the lagoon, separated from the former by a reef passable only by boats.
Between Grenada and St Vincent there are several small islands called Grenadines, some being included in the government of Grenada. Of these Carriacou is the most important. It is about 19 miles in circumference, and contains 3071 inhabitants. Ground provisions, live stock, and some cocoa are cultivated.
The exports in 1877 were - cocoa, 1244 tans; whale oil, 6720 galls. ; rum, 53,609 galls. ; sugar, 2792 tons. The cocoa exports in 1878 were 1900 tons, an amount considerably exceeded in 1879. The total value of imports amounted in 1877 to £127,204, - includMg X60,201 from the United Kingdom, and £46,724 from the British West Indies. The value of exports to the United Kingdom was £122,821, and to other countries, £23,085 ; - total, £145,906. The revenue was £29,084, of which customs produced £13,460, and the expenditure was £29,581. Population (1877), 41,355. About 400 Coolie immigrants Were introduced in 1877. Considerable immigration takes place from Barbados. The legislature grants £1200 annually for education, distributed among 30 sehools,-16 Anglican, 5 Wesleyan, 9 Roman Catholic, - with 2908 scholars.
Grenada was discovered by Columbus in 1498. The Spaniards, however, did not form a settlement there. The island is one of the " Caribbecs " granted to the earl of Carlisle in 1627; but it was inhabited only by warlike Caribs until 1650-51, when Du Parquet, governor of Martinique, organized two expeditions to it. The Frenchmen were at first well received by the natives, but great cruelty was exercised in the extirpation of the latter. The island made little progress until after 1700. In 1714 the French West India Company acquired their property in Grenada ; commercial intercourse sprang up with Martinique ; and when the company was dissolved the island became vested in the crown of France. In 1753 it contained 1262 whites, 11,991 slaves, and 83 sngar plantations. In 1762 Grenada capitulated to the British forces, and it was formally ceded in the treaty of peace of 1763. It was, however, retaken by the French in 1779, and not finally restored. to Great Britain in 1783 till the general peace.