Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Tarn-et-Garonne

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From volume XXIII of the work.
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TARN-ET-GARONNE, a department of south-western France, was formed in 1808 of districts formerly belonging to Guienne and Gascony (Quercy, Lomagne, Armagnac, Rouergue, Agenais), with the addition of a small piece of Languedoc. From 1790 to 1808 it was divided between the departments of Lot, Haute-Garonne, Tarn, Aveyron, Gers, and Lot-et-Garonne. Lying between 43° 47' and 44° 25' N. lat. and 0° 55' and 1° 58' E. long., it is bounded on the N. by Lot, on the E. by Aveyron, on the S. by Tarn and Haute-Garonne, and on the W. by Gers and Lot-et-Garonne. The Garonne and its tributary the Tarn unite a few miles below Moissac, and separate the elevated lands to the north, which belong to the Cevennes and the central plateau, from those to the south, which are a continuation of the plateau of Lannemezan. The principal tributary of the Tarn on the right is the Aveyron, the affluents of which run through remarkably parallel valleys from north-east to south-west. The general slope of the department is from east to west; the highest point (1634 feet) is on the border of Aveyron, the lowest (164 feet) where the Garonne leaves it. The winter temperature is 37° F., that of spring and autumn 54° F., and that of summer 72° F. Rain falls seldom, but heavily, especially in spring, the annual rainfall being 28·9 inches.

Of a total area of about 1436 square miles, or 919,265 acres, arable land occupies 552,708 acres, meadows and grass 45,073, vineyards 102,849, woods 115,429, moorland and pasturage 41,819. The returns in 1883 showed 2,167,000 bushels of wheat, 35,062 of meslin, 62,975 of rye, 77,000 of barley, 2,722,500 of oats, 769,000 of maize, 1,867,250 of potatoes, 35,468 tons of beetroot, 172 tons 8 cwt. of colza seed, 399 tons of hemp, 394 tons of flax, 250,788 tons of fodder, 12 tons 15 cwt. of silk cocoons, 20,048,380 gallons of wine. The live stock in 1881 included 14,336 horses, 1680 mules, 2120 asses, 89,295 cattle of various descriptions, 116,349 sheep, 1358 goats, 32,375 pigs; 6347 beehives gave 25 tons 13 cwt. of honey and 8 tons 2 cwt. of wax. There are 57 quarries, employing 426 workmen, where phosphates of lime, lithographic stone, freestone, potters’ clay, gypsum, and schist for slating are worked, as are also iron and copper. The manufacturing industry is represented by flour-mills, various kinds of silk-mills (1317 workmen), and manufactories of linen, wool, and paper. Much fruit is grown, and the principal exports are fresh fruit, wine, flour, phosphates, lithographic stone. There are 83 miles of waterway, including 48 of canal, 156 miles of national roads, 3515 of other roads, 127 of railway lines, the centre of which is Montauban. Tarn-et-Garonne is one of the least densely peopled departments of France: in 1886 there were 214,046 inhabitants, and their number is decreasing. Except some 10,000 Calvinists, all are Roman Catholics. The department forms the diocese of Montauban, and belongs to the jurisdiction of the Toulouse court of appeal and to the district of the 17th corps d’armee (Toulouse). It has 3 arrondissements (Montauban, Moissac, and Castel-Sarrasin), 24 cantons, and 194 communes.