DOMINICA, or DOMINIQUE, a British West India island, lies in lat. 15° 18' n., and long. 61° 24' w., containing about 290 sq.m., and (1870) 28,517 inhabitants. It is of vol canic origin, hot and sulphureous springs still attesting the fact. It is the loftiest of the Lesser Antilles, attaining, at one point, an elevation of 5,314 ft., and nearly one half of the surface consists of precipitous mountains and deep ravines. Where capable of cultiva tion, the soil is fertile; and, even on apparently inaccessible sites, the emancipated negroes have successfully established provision grounds. The principal productions are sugar, coffee, cocoa, cotton, lime-juice, molasses, rum, tamarinds, sulphur, indigo, rose-wood, and other cabinet woods. In 1856, the exports were £79,755; in 1866, £106,452; in 1875, £71,621. The imports in the same years were respectively £64,124, £62,188, and £62,310 In 1860, the tonnage entered and cleared was 18,777 tons; in 1865, 16,176; and in 1875,. 24,748. In 1875, again, the revenue was £21,682, and the expenditure was £21,793; while in 1849, the returns had given £8,877 and £10,539. The public debt in 1878 was £8,000. The legislation of 1857 appropriated £700 for the purpose of affording aid, under statutory regulations, to schools of every denomination—a liberality which, while accepted by Protestants, whether of the church of England or of dissenting bodies, does not appear to have been appreciated by the Roman Catholic priesthood. The abolition
of. slavery, independently of inferences to be drawn from correlative statistics, is admitted by all parties to have worked well in Dominica. In 1839, the planters at a public meeting acknowledged, " with feelings of unmixed gratification, the peaceable and quiet disposition evinced by the laborers, as a body, since their entire emancipa tion; and, in 1852, the lieutenant-governor officially adverted to the prosperity and contentment of the same class. It is even said that most of the 20 members of assem bly are men of color. The temperature, according to season and altitude, ranges from 88° F. down to chilliness; and even in the dry months, from Feb. to Aug., rain fre .quently falls. D. was discovered by Columbus, on his second voyage, in 1493, on a Sunday (whence its name Dominica, i.e., the Lord's day), being then thinly inhabited by Caribs. From the commencement of the 17th c. to the middle of the 18th, it may be described as having been a neutral island; but in 1759, it was captured by England, and permanently ceded by France in 1763. In 1802, it again came into the possession of France, but was finally handed over to England in 1814.