Ceylon; an Account of the Island Physical, Historical, and eBook

James Emerson Tennent
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 712 pages of information about Ceylon; an Account of the Island Physical, Historical, and.

[Footnote 1:  Owing to the obstructions at its entrance, Galle is extremely difficult of access in particular winds.  In 1857 it was announced in the Colombo Examiner that “the fine ship the ’Black Eagle’ was blown out of Galle Roads the other day, with the pilot on board; whilst the captain was temporarily engaged on shore; and as she was not able to beat in again, she made for Trincomalie, where she has been lying for a fortnight.  Such an event is by no means unprecedented at Galle.”—­Examiner, 20 Sept. 1857.]

Tides.—­The variation of the tides is so slight that navigation is almost unaffected by it.  The ordinary rise and fall is from 18 to 24 inches, with an increase of about a third at spring tides.  High water is later on the eastern than on the western coast; occurring, on full and new moon, a little after eleven o’clock at Adam’s Bridge, about 1 o’clock at Colombo, and 1.25 at Galle, whilst it attains its greatest elevation between 5 and 6 o’clock in the harbour of Trincomalie.

Red infusoria.—­On both sides of the island (but most frequently at Colombo), during the south-west monsoon, a broad expanse of the sea assumes a red tinge, considerably brighter than brick-dust; and this is confined to a space so distinct that a line seems to separate it from the green water which flows on either side.  Observing that the whole area changed its position without parting with any portion of its colouring, I had some of the water brought on shore, and, on examination with the microscope, it proved to be filled with infusoria, probably similar to those which have been noticed near the shores of South America, and whose abundance has imparted a name to the “Vermilion Sea” off the coast of California.

THE POPULATION OF CEYLON, of all races, was, in 1857, 1,697,975; but this was exclusive of the military and their families, both Europeans and Malays, which together amounted to 5,430; and also of aliens and other casual strangers, forming about 25,000 more.

The particulars are as follow:—­

|Provinces   |Whites.        |Coloured.      |Total.     |Population|
|       |Males.|Females.|Males.|Females.|Males.|Females. | to the   |
|sq. mile. |
|Western.   |1,293|1,246|293,409|259,106|294,702|260,352 |  146.59  |
|N.  Western |   21|   11|100,807| 96,386|100,828| 96,397 |   59.93  |
|Southern   |  238|  241|156,900|149,649|157,138|149,890 |  143.72  |
|Eastern    |  201|  143| 39,923| 35,531| 40,124| 35,674 |   16.08  |
|Northern   |  387|  362|153,062|148,678|153,449|149,040 |   55.85  |
|Central    |  468|  204|143,472|116,237|143,940|116,441 |   52.57  |
|           |2,608|2,207|887,573|805,587|890,181|807,794 |   69.73  |

CHAP.  II.

CLIMATE.—­HEALTH AND DISEASE.

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Ceylon; an Account of the Island Physical, Historical, and from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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