CAUSTIS, a genus of plants of the class Triandria, and order Monogynia. See BOTANY, p. 107, and Brown's PrOdr0711 US Plantarum Xov. Holland. &c. p. 239. CAYENNE, or FRENCH GUIANA, a province of South America, situated between 11° and 51° N. Lat. and 51° and 54° W. Long. It is bounded on the west by Surinam, on the north and cast by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the southward by the Portuguese territories, whence, as far as its boundaries have been defined, it is separated by the course of the Oyapoco. The extent of this province i3 computed to be 350 British miles in length, by ;240 in breadth. Its immediate limit towards the west is the small river Amano, and on the east that called Aracara.
The project of forming a settlement here was first entertained in the year 1635. A report had prevailed for sonic time before, that, in the interior parts of Guiana, there was a country known by the name of El Dorado, which contaimd immense riches in gold and precious stones, more than had been found even in Mexico and Peru. This fable having fired tile imaginations of every nation in Europe, it is supposed that it was in quest of the ideal country which it brought into view that Sir Walter Raleigh proceeded on his last voyage. The French were not behind their neighbours, in their en deavours to find out so desirable a ceuntry ; and in the progress, or in the result of the attempts set on foot for this purpose, a substitute, however inadequate, was found by the adventurers, in the possession of a part of the province of Cayenne. Merchants of Rouen were the chief patrons of the scheme of colonising this pro vince. The contempt for justice, which appeared in the conduct of the French, was here fatal to their in terests. The native Indians, expelled from their lands, without even an attempt at consent or purchase, robbed of their huts for t ie accommodation of strangers, deprived of the society and labour of their women by the seduc tions or violence of the whites, and often compelled to toil for their oppressors, conspired against the intruders, murdered the governor, and greatly harassed and thin ned the settlers. A new company was established ; but unfortunately, the Abbe de Marivault, a man of great %irtue, who had been a principal mover in this business, and who was to succeed to the office of governor, was drowned as he was stepping into his boat. Roiville, who was to have sustained the part or general, was as -,assinatcd during the passage. Those who arrived at Cayenne. di•,played there the same insubordination and atrocity which had broke loose on ship-board. They quarrelled with each other, with the former settlers, and with the natives. Many died of wounds, more of the climate. The garrison deserted to the Dutch. The savages, roused by numberless provocations, fell upon the remainder, so that those who clung longest to their properties were obliged to fly, and thought themselves happy in being able to escape to one of the leeward iSEtIKIS in an open boat and two canoes. The settlement
thus abandoned, fell for a short time into the hands of 'he Dutch, but it was, in 1663, on the formation of a new company, wrested, through the vigorous interference of the French government, out of their possession. In 1667, it was taken by the English, and again by the Dutch in 1676. Finally, it was restored to the French on the con clusion of a peace. Soon after this period, some pirates, laden with the spoils they had gathered in the South Seas, came and fixed their residence here, resolved to employ the treasures they had acquired in the cultiva tion of the lands. In 1688, Ducasse, an able seaman, having arrived with some ships from France, proposed to those people the plundering of Surinam. They were, without much difficulty, induced to enter anew upon their early mode of life ; and many of the other colonists took part also with them in the expedition. It was how ever unfortunate; some of the assailants fell in the at tack, the rest were taken prisoners, and sent to the French Caribbee Islands, where they settled,—a loss which the colony did not afterwards recover. Soon after the peace of 1763, the court of Versailles, influenced by the Duke of Choiseul, used vigorous endeavours to restore or to increase the importance of this province. For that purpose, 12,000 men, engaged in France as labourers, were landed in the adjacent isle du Salset, and on the banks of the Kourou. But no habitation or pro per provision having been prepared for this multitude of people, and arriving, as they did, at their places of destination in the commencement of the most rainy season of the yeti', when they could neither find subsis tence nor employment, great numbers of them fell victims, as was then alleged, to the insalubrious climate. A million sterling was uselessly expended on this enterprize ; and that prejudice which ought to have attached to the manner of conducting the affair having been transferred to the country, government was pre vented for a time from paying the 'least attention to it, and a number of Europeans and inhabitants of the West Indian islands, who might otherwise have thought of doing so, were deterred from settling in Guiana. The force of the mischievous prejudice alluded to, has how ever subsided by degrees; and, from the peace of 1783 to the Revolution, the French government was meritori ously attentive, by the introduction of new articles of cul tivation, and by other means, to the improvement of this valuable district.