miles to the southwest of it; so that it is placed, as it were, right in the center of the four great Antilles, of which it is one and the next in size after Cuba. It is, besides, within 600 miles of the northern coast of South America, and to the north of it, not far away, are Inagua, Turk's, and other smaller islands. It lies be- tween 17** 37' and 20° north latitude and between 68® 20' and 74** 30' longitude west from Greenwich, so that it is to be noted that the whole island is well within the tropics, and that its topo- graphical position is such as to command the entrance to the Gulf of Mexico from the southeast and to give it importance on the great ocean highway leading from Europe and the United States to the isthmus which joins the two Americas and which must, in the opinion of many, open some day a convenient passage between the great oceans. The island under consideration is very large, so large indeed that a person on any central part of it would find it difficult to conceive that he is not on the mainland of a continent rather than a mere island. Its greatest length from east to west is a little more than 400 miles, while its breadth from north to south varies from about 160 miles, measured from near Point Isabella to Cape Beate, to about 17 miles across the narrowest part of the extreme western peninsula, and it is estimated that its perimeter, not including its very numerous bays and inlets, would measure not far from 900 miles. Compared with European countries as to square miles of surface, it is nearly three times as large as Belgium, one- fifth larger than the Kingdom of Greece, more than twice the size of Denmark, and is only a little smaller than Portugal or Ireland. Compared in this respect with the States of the American Union, it is one-fourth larger than the whole area covered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut together; it is more than six times as large as Connecticut, or a litde larger than South Carolina; that is, it contains about 31,000 square miles of surface.
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