Michael George Mulhall.

Handbook of the river Plate republics. Comprising Buenos Ayres and the provinces of the Argentine Republic and the republics of Uruguay and Paraguay online

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Online LibraryMichael George MulhallHandbook of the river Plate republics. Comprising Buenos Ayres and the provinces of the Argentine Republic and the republics of Uruguay and Paraguay → online text (page 1 of 36)
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M. G. & E. t. MULHALL, 118, SAN MAETIN.



I Sir



Intboduotion 1


BrvBB Plate Kepcblics .. .. II

Argentine Eepublio 11

Bepublio of Uruguay 12

Republic of Paraguay 13


Argbntimj Republic jg


Rio DE LA Plata AND Tbibdtaeibs 24

Buenos Ayres to Matto Grosso 25

River Paraguay 32

TJp the Uruguay .. 36

I and Vermejo 42


Colonies OT THE Argentine Republic 45"

Esperanza 47

San Geronimo 48

Las Tunas j. 4g

Frank 48

San Augnstin . . ; 48

San Carlos 49



Corondina 49

Orond .. ' 50

Guadalupe .'. 50

Cavour 50

Humboldt , 50

GruetU 51

Emilia 51

San-Justo 52

Oonde 52

Helvetia / 53

Bstaucia Grande 54

Prancesa 54

New Califomia 54

Welsh 55

Bloisa 56

Alexandra 56

Bemstadt 57

Oaroarani > 58

OaBada Gomez 58

Tortugas 59

Hansa -. . .. 59

Germania . . . . , 59

Nueva Italia . . /. 60

Jesus-Maria 60

Candelaria .. .. 61

Villa Urquiza 61

San Jose.. .. ' 62

Hugues 62

Baradero 62

Concordia 63

Chuput 63

Chivilooy 63



Argentine KepubUc 64

Republic of Uruguay 69

Eepublio of Pajaguay .. .. , 69

Telegraphs .. 70

Public Works 70

Tramways .. 71




The CrrY OF Buenos Aybes , 73

Theatres 76

Banks .. '. ' 76

Plazas ' 78

MarMs, Public Buildings, &o. 89 to 96

Suburbs 97


Province OF Buenos Aybes 101

Riverine Partidos 113

, Northern Partidos 116

North and West Frontiers 118

Western Partidos 122

South-Westeru Districts .. .. .. 128

Southern Districts 132

South Coast 135

The Far South 139


PEOvmoE OF Santa Fe 154


Pbovinoe of Cobboba 169


Peovinoe op San Luh ' 186


Pbovinoe of Mendoza 195


PEOvmoB of San Juan 207






PjBOviNOE OF Oatamaboa 221


Pbovinoe of Jcjjuy 239


Pbovince OP Salta 245


Pbovinoe of Tucuman 257


Pbovinoe of Santiago .. .. 266


Pbovinoe of Coseibntes 273


Pbovinoe op Entee Rios 293


Tberitoeies of Ohaco, Misiones, Pampas, and Patagonia .. .. 305


Eepublic of Ubuguat 310




CiTT AND Department op Montevideo 333


BcEAL Depaetments 350

Oanelones 350

San Jose ■ ■ ■ 352

Florida .. 353

Durazno 355

Cerro Largo . .
Taouarembo . ,

.. .. 356
.. .. 357


. .. 365


Soriano .
Colonia . .

Pabagtjat .. ..



. .. 376
.. .. 378

. .. 385


Falkland Islands 401


Historical record 405

Works published on the River Plate . . . . '. . . . . . . . 407

Argentine trade (1873) 408

Growth of exports (1853-1873) 409

Qrowth of revenue in ten years (compared with Chile) . . ' . . . . 410

Progress during five years of President Sarmiento's administration . . 410
Foreign capital in public debts and joint-stock companies in the

Biver Plate 411



, weights, measures, and distances 412

Comparative Table of Time 416

Land law at Buenos Ayres 416

Tariffs at Buenos Ayres 417

Argentine agents abroad 418

Foreign Ministers at Buenos Ayres 418

■ Argentine Customs duties 418

Englisb clergy in the jRiver Plate 418

Salaries of Argentine officials 419

Buenos Ayres tramways 420

Municipality of Buenos Ayres 420

Central prisons, Buenos Ayres . . . . 421

Table of wages, Buenos Ayres 421

Immigration 422

Cordoba Exhibition of 1871 .. 423

Carolina Mine 425

Buenos Ayres new gas works : 426

Statistics of the Kepublic of Uruguay 427

The New World 432





The Eiver Plate offers a fine field for immigrants, as is proved
by the thousands of Europeans here who have gained fortune
and position during the last twenty years. It is, however,
absolutely necessary to bear in mind the classes of emigrants
most needed in a new country : —

1st. I'arm servants ; unmarried men, of strong constitutions,
accustomed to country life, will find immediate employment at
801. per annum, being found in house, provisions, horses, &o.
After two or three years, they usually get a flock of sheep with
third profits, and ultimately become independent farmers.

2nd. Cooks and housemaids ; unmarried women at once get
situations in native or foreign families, at 351. to 551. per annum.
They often get married to the above class of sheep-farmers.

3rd. Young married couples ; when unencumbered with family,
this class is in greater demand than any other. The husband
as sheep-peon or gardener, and the wife as cook. If they hire
on an estancia in Buenos Ayres their joint wages may be
calculated at 50Z. to 601. per annum, but if they go to Banda
Oriental, Entre Eios, or the other provinces, they will earn
much more.

No passport is required on landing in the Eiver Plate, but if
the emigrant has no friends here, it would be well for him to
bring a certificate of baptism or other document showing his
name and nationality. In receiving letters at the Post Office,
taking out a marriage licence, receiving money from home, &c;,



positive proof of identity is required, and as passage tickets are '
often lost, an official document is more valuable.
There are fifteen, lines of steamers : —

1. The Boyal Mail Company dispatch a steamer on the morning
of the 9th and 24th of every month, from Southampton. Pares
— 1st class, 35Z. and upwards ; return tickets, available for twelve
months, issued at a fare and a half ; 2nd class, 25Z., good accom-
modation. Bed, bedding, plate, and utensils provided for both
classes. A reduction of one-sixth is allowed for families of
four or more persons travelliiig first-class. The steamer calls
at Lisbon, pape Verdes, Bahia, Pernambuco, and Eio Janeiro.
The voyage takes twenty-eight days to Montevideo, and twenty-
nine to Buenos Ayres. For regulations about luggage, &o., apply
to J. M. Lloyd, Esq., 55, Moorgate Street, London, E.G.

2. JTie Messageries Maritimes, or French mail line from
Bordeaux, established in 1861, also carry a fortnightly mail,
leaving Bordeaux on the 5th and 20th. Few Englishmen come
by this line, but if a person wishes to visit Paris en passant he
can reach Bordeaux from London in two days. The vessels
call at Lisbon, Dakar, Bahia, Pernambuco, and Eio Janeiro :
they are similar to the Eoyal Mail steamers. ^ First cabin,
including wine, 50Z, Second cabin, 20Z. Office — Messrs.
Fletcher and Co., Liverpool, and Messrs. Home, 4, Moorgate
Street, iondon.

3. The Liverpool and Biver Plate Mail Company dispatch a
mail steamer from Liverpool on the 20th of each month, calling
at Lisbon, Bahia, and Eio Janeiro, besides other steamers of this
line every fifteen or twenty days. The treatment and accommoda-
tion on board are excellent. The line was established in 1863,
and in 1868 obtained a mail charter from the British Government.
First cabin, 35Z. Second cabin, 25Z. Steerage, 16Z, The 1st
and 2nd classes are found in everything; steerage passengers
get rations on the emigration dietary scale. Agents — Messrs.
Lamport and Holt, 21, Water Street. Eeduction for families.
Eeturn ticket, for twelve months, at a fare and a half.


4. The Pacific Navigation Company dispatch a fortnightly
steamer from Liverpool for Valparaiso, calling at Eio Janeiro
and Montevideo ; the voyage to the Eiver Plate is made in
twenty-six days, the vessels being constructed for great speed.
The Company was established in 1868, and has a subsidy of
12,000Z. per annum from the Chilian Government.

Besides the above, there are two lines from Glasgow, two
from Havre, one from Hamburgh, one from Bremen, three
from Genoa and Marseilles, and one from Naples.

We advise the emigrant to provide himseK with an abundant
supply of light clothing, not only for the voyage, but because
they cost here three times their value in England, and may be
introduced duty free." They must be londfide for personal use.
A gun or revolver, saddle and equipments, should not be
omitted. '

Emigrants bringing money should obtain a letter of credit
through, any bank in England, Ireland, or Scotland, on the
Loudon and Eiver Plate, 'Mercantile, or Maua Banks of this
city and Montevideo.

The voyage is usually made in thirty days, the distance
being about 7800 statute miles. The outset is often disa-
greeable in crossing the Bay of Biscay, but the rest of the
voyage is generally delightful, and rough weather is exceed-
ingly rare between Lisbon and Eio Janeiro.

Lisbon is reached in four days from England. The entrance
to the Tagus is highly picturesque. The panorama of the
city is most attractive ; a crowd of steamers, war-vessels, and
shipping line the quays. We land at the Custom House, in
the Terreyro do Pago, or Black-horse Square. The streets of
the new town are spacious, the houses six or seven stories high,
and all built of stone. The three principal streets, Eua Aurea,
Eua Augusta, and Eua da Prata are on the site of the earth-
quake of 1755, when most of the old town, with 40,000 inha-
bitants, was destroyed.

Englishmen usually stop at the Hotel Braganza, which

B 2


surmounts one of the seven hills, and is situated close to the
Opera House, in the aristocratic quarter: charge, 8s. a day.
It may give some idea of Lisbon to say that it comprises
355 streets, 281 travessas or causeways, 12 plazas, 52 plazuelas,
5 public parks, 6 theatres, 200 churches, and 36 public foun-
tains. It contains. over 300,000 inhabitants, and enjoys a fine
climate. The traveller should visit the Cathedral, the Abbey
of Belen, the Paseo da Estrella, the Aqueduct, and the Opera
House. In the coffee-houses may be had capital port wiue at
2s. a bottle. The English book-store is in Eua do Carmo. If
the steamer delay more than one day the traveller should take
the tramway out to Cintra, 17 miles, one of the most charming
spots in the universe. There is now railway communication
from Lisbon to Paris, and some people come this way to avoid
the Bay of Biscay. The route is this — Paris to Bordeaux,
12 hours ; Bordeaux to Madrid, 20 hours ; Madrid to Badajoz,
16 hours ; Badajoz to Lisbon, 15 hours. Between Madrid and
Lisbon the traveller had better carry provisions.

Pour days from Lisbon we pass the Canary Isles, the Peak
of Teneriffe risiug to a height of 11,000 feet. The late
Marshal O'Donnell was bom here. The islands produce good
wine and fruits. Lord Nelson fought one of his battles here.

Lamport and Holt's steamers sometimes call at Madeira, a
very pleasant halt for passengers.

The Cape Verde Islands are made in seven days from Lisbon.
San Antonio is fertile and mountainous ; opposite to it is the
Island of St. Vincent, the most 'barren spot on the world's
surface ; sundry bold ranges of mountains, but not a particle of
vegetation. The port is spacious and secure ; on one side a
small port flying the Portuguese flag ; on another, the summit
of an adjacent mountain bears a resemblance to the head of
Washington. Mr. Miller has a cottage a little above the town,
which is a straggling collection of about, a hundred houses.
On the beach is the grave of an English colonel's wife, who
died returning from India. The water is so clear and blue that


the natives will dive for a shilling, and catch it before it
reaches the bottom. The boatmen sell mats and inlaid work-
boxes, which come from Madeira. There is a good supply of
fruit from the Island of San Antonio. The garrison of the place
consists of a company of Portuguese soldiers. The natives are
all black, and occupy themselves in coaling the steamers.

From St. Vincent to the Brazils the sea is always as smooth
as a mill-pond, and the heat is of course intense, crossing the
Line. You see myriads of flying-fish, and now and then a
shark, or a shoal of porpoises, or the tiny little nautilus. At
night the sea is phosphorescent, and the constellation of the
Southern Cross reminds us that we are in a new hemisphere.
Passengers should beware of catching cold, and on no account
sleep on deck. If they continue their usual morning bath they
win find it very relarLug, the sea-water being actually warmer
than the atmosphere.

Fernando Noronha is sighted on the seventh day from St.
Vincent. It is a small rocky island, used by the Brazilians as
a penal settlement, and has a lighthouse. As we approach the
coast of Brazil we see numbers of birds, and the first Jand
visible is Cape San Koque, a bold headland, 200 miles north of

Pernambuco is the worst port in the world. The mail
steamers lie out far to sea, and there is a nasty reef near the
shore. When the weather is at all rongh, passengers are
lowered over the side in an arm chair. There are sudden
changes in the weather about 1 p.m., which render it difficult
and dangerous for passengers to return aboard. Bathers had
better look out here, for sharks are numerous. The city has about
100,000 inhabitants, including a few English, and does a great
business with England and other countries in coffee, cotton, &e.

From Pernambuco to Bahia the voyage occupies thirty-six
hours. The overland journey would take as many days, there
being no road through the forests. The distance is imder 500
miles. In these waters we meet a number of " catamarans," the


strangest kind of craft ; tiey sometimes venture over 100 miles
from shore.

Bahia, or San Salvador, is the oldest city in Brazil, and next
in importance after Eio Janeiro. The bay is very fine ; the
city stretches along a hill-side, vdth numerous churches and
other massive buildings. The suburb called Victoria is the
residence of the English merchants, embowered ip gardens, and
enjoying the fresh breeze from the Atlantic. On landing the
traveUef finds a host of palanquins ready to carry him up the
hill. The heat is so great that the best plan is to take a coach
and four mules. Drive first to the Botanical Gardens, whence
a splendid view is obtained. Then see the old Jesuit Cathe-
dral, the Government House, Eailway Terminus, and Post
Office : if you have time to drive to the head of the bay, near
the Portuguese hospital, it will repay the trquble. More than
three-fourths of the inhabitants are coloured, and the city is so
filthy that foul odours assail one on, all sides. There is an
excellent coffee-house opposite the Post Office. There is an
English cricket club here. Bahia boasts the largest oranges
and the fattest black women in South America.

Eio Janeiro is about 800 miles from Bahia, and the voyage
takes nearly three days. The entrance to the Bay of Eio is
the grandest picture that ever delighted the eye of man : grand,
solemn, and imposing. At every instant, as the steamer ad-
vances into the bay, the scene changes like a kaleidoscope, the
mountains seem to move one behind the other, and to change
entirely in shape, till we get in full view of the city, with the
Organ Mountains in the back-ground, and the middle distance
occupied by sundry islands bristling with batteries.

The Sugar-loaf is the most striking feature. The peak of
Santa Cruz is on the right, overlooking a fort of a hundred
guns. All the navies in the world might ride at anchor in this
bay, which is 100 miles round. Small steamboats are plying in
all directions, to the suburbs along the water-line.

The steamer comes to her moorings alongside Coal Island.


The landing-place is close to the market. In coining ashore we
notice the Arsenal, where some of the ironclads were built for
the Paraguayan war. The houses are high, the streets as
narrow as those of Genoa, and the shops very small, but rich.
The vehicles are drawn by mules. Black Servants in livery
abound. The best hotels are the Exchange, Carson's, and Estran-
geiros. The Plaza Constituoion is a very handsome square,
with fountains, and in the'centre is an equestrian statue of
Peter I., the founder of the Brazilian monarchy. A little
farther is another plaza, where the Lyric Theatre, Senate House,
and other buildings claim notice. As we get to the outskirts
we see the reservoir of the grand aqueduct of Tijuca. The
pleasantest excursion from Eio is to Tijuca, situate in the
mountains, about twelve miles inland, by tramway from San
Francisco Square every half-hour. Numerous charming cot-
tages, among gardens and orange-groves, occupy the line of
route as we ascend towards Tijuca. The road winds round
a succession of precipices, discl9sing at every point the most
enchanting views. The English Hotel is at a great height;
the proprietor is Mr. Whyte. It would be difficult to find
anything to surpass the neatness and comfort of this house.
Mr. Whyte gets up pic-nic parties to all the finest points of
scenery in the lovely neighbourhood. After seeing Tijuca,
make a trip to Petropolis : in steamboat, 14 miles across the
bay ; the Baron Maua's railway, 16 miles, and the rest by
diligence. The ascent of the Sierra da Estrella, a branch of
the Organ Mountains, is most picturesque. The road is a
triumph of engineering, the mountain side being almost per-
pendicular. Petropolis, embosomed in the mountains, at a
height of 2600 feet above the sea, is the supimer residence of
the BrazUian Court and aristocracy. The Emperor's palace is
not unlike an Italian viUa. From Petropolis drive to Luiz da
Fora. Eeturn to Eio by Entre Eios railway.

The great attraction in Eio is the Botanical Garden, with an
avenue of palms that has no match in the world. The drives


around by Botafogo, Larangeiras, La Gloria, &c., are very
beautiful, and tramways ply every half-iour from the Sfl[uare
adjoining the Emperor's palace. In the shops of Eua Ouvidor
wUl be found feather-flowers; beetles, jewellery, and such like
articles. The English Consulate, is in the Eua Direita, Consul
Mr. George Lennon Hunt, who is also agent for the Eoyal Mail
' steamers. The Exchange and Post Office are in the same street
as the Consulate and Exchange Hotel.

Erom Eio to Montevideo takes four or five days, according to
the weather. Pamperos.are not uncommon on this coast. Ear
out to sea, before seeing land, we can perceive the efiect of the
waters of the Eiver Plate, changing the colour of the ocean.
Maldonado is situate at the mouth of the river, and a profitable
seal fishery is carried on at Lobos Island.

Montevideo, capital of the Eepublic of Uruguay, as seen from
the bay, looks to advantage, the towers of the Matriz Church,
and the Custom House and Caridad Hospital being conspicuous.
The best hotels are the Oriental and Americano, charge 83 ,per
day. Strangers are admitted to the Club. The Eev. Mr. Hoskin
reads Divine service at eleven o'clock on Sundays, at the English
, church. Major Munro is British Consul.

The steamers leave Montevideo in the evening and arrive at
the outer roads of Buenos Ayres by daybreak. The minarets,
church towers, and cupolas give a light and fantastic appear-
ance to the city, which, seated some 80 feet above the western
shore of La Plata, extends about 2 miles along the water's

Passengers are usually landed in a little steamboat, but faUing
this it will be necessary to take a whaleboat (McLean's are the
best), and be sure to bargain with the boatman before leaving
the ship : his charge wiU depend on the wfeather, say K20 to ^50
a head. On no account let any of your luggage be separated from
you. You will be assailed by an impetuous gang of porters ; pick
out one of them, count for him the number of your trunks, and let
him get others to help him if he like. At the Eesguardo, near


the end of the mole, open your trunk for examination; you will
find the officials most polite. If you have cigars, sUt, jewellery,
or firearms, declare the same. On arriving at your hotel, if
you have any difficulty with the porters about your luggage, ask
the landlord to settle with them. You will find the hotels very
cheap and good, the charge for bed and board not exceeding
eight sliillings a day. Lock your room whenever you go out,
leaving the key with the porter : lock it also at night. If any
of your, trunks have been detained at the Eesguardo or sent to
the Custom House, lose no time to employ Mr. McLean,, or
some other broker, to clear them fdr you.

The change of climate will oblige you to be careful as to
your manner of living. Eise early, take a cold bath every
morning, beware of walking about much in the sun, and re-
member that there are frequent changes of temperature even in
one day. Flannel singlets, light clothing, and a straw hat are
advisable in summer months. At all seasons the -mornings are
frequently cold, necessitating warm clothing. Be very careful
of a cut finger or other trifling wound, which must be kept
closely bandaged : many cases of lockjaw occur from a mere
scratch not attended to. It is very bad to drink much cold
water. The most wholesome drink at breakfast or dinner is
Trench wine, for which no charge is made in- the hotels. As
soon as convenient after arrival you may call at the Standard
office, 118, Calle San Martin, where the editors will give you
any advice in their power. Letters from home may also be
directed to their care free of charge. Poor emigrants looking
for employment have advertisements inserted gratis.
' The currency in Buenos Ayres is ^122^ to the 11. sterling,
making the paper dollar equivalent to 2d. : the National Bank
money is in hard dollar notes of 50d. each. In the upper pro-
vinces the currency is Bolivian dollars, worth 3s. English. In
Montevideo the dollar is worth &2d., the sovereign changing
for g4 70c. Distances are reckoned by the Spanish league,
nearly 3^ miles English. Weights, by arrobes of 25 lbs.


English, or quintals of 100 lbs. weight, and measures are alike
aU over the Eiver Plate, but in Paraguay the league is only
5000 varas, or about 2^ miles. A square league of ground is
nearly 6600 acres : in Buenos Ayres it is divided into 1660
manzanas or cuadras (say 4 acres each), and in Eanda Oriental
into 3600 cuadras of less than 2 acres each.

( 11 )



The Eiver Plate Eepublics are three in number, viz. : tlie
Argentine Confederation (or La Plata, properly so called),
Uruguay or Banda Oriental, and Paraguay. These immense
territories, formerly comprehended in the viceroyalty of Buenos
Ayres under the Spanish regime, cover nearly 1,400,000 square
miles, with a scanty population not reaching three millions, or
two inhabitants per square mile. The mineral and agricultural
resources of these countries are perhaps equal to those of the
United States, and the water system is almost unrivalled, the
affluents of the Plate ramifying one-half of the Continent. The
climate is the healthiest on the face of the globe, the inhabitants
are very friendly to foreigners, civil and religious liberty pre-
vail in the fullest sense, and treaties of amity and commerce
have been concluded with aU. the great Powers. Trade relations
and new enterprises of importance have brought the Eiver
Plate into close contact with Great Britain and the Lond,on
capitalists, and there are few countries which offer more induce-
ments to English emigrants than these, or few foreign nations
viewed with more respect, by Argentines, than Great Britain.

The Argentine Bepuhlic is for the most part an unbroken
plain, bounded on the north by Bolivia, on the west by the
Cordillera of the Andes, on the south by Magellan's Straits,
and on the east by Brazil, Banda Oriental, and the Atlantic.

Online LibraryMichael George MulhallHandbook of the river Plate republics. Comprising Buenos Ayres and the provinces of the Argentine Republic and the republics of Uruguay and Paraguay → online text (page 1 of 36)