Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Madeira

Madeira. 1. An elevated island off the west coast of Africa, belonging to Portugal, long. 17 W., lat. 32 30' N. It is surrounded by lofty cliffs broken by a few bays in which fertile valleys terminate, and is a well-known resort for sufferers from consumption. The capital is Funchal. The principal produce used to be the rich and delicately-flavoured wine which bore its name, but the vines were almost exterminated by oidium (q.v.); their culture is reviving, but now cochineal and sugar are largely substituted.

2. A large river of South America, a tributary of the Amazon. It rises in the mountains of Chuquisaca (Peru), and has a course of 1,100 miles; but the name Madeira only applies to the lower part, which flows to the north-east into the Amazon. It is named from the quantity of timber (Madeira) carried down by the stream.

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