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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half is occupied by the great estates of Martinez-de-Hoz and
Saenz-Valiente. The former ig remarkable for its Moravian
Negretti sheep, Durham cows, and blood horses, comprising 52
puestos with over 100,000 sheep. The Saenz-Valiente or Eincon
de Lopez has thick woods called Eiojanos. The Alzaga estan-
oia at Postrera is also a fine establishment. Those of less
note belong to Islar, Anchorena, Gonsalez, Tapia, Sacristi,
Alvarez, Botet, Agtiero, Mendoza, Sotelo, Pereyra, Almiron, and
Eeynoso. At the Martinez estancia there is an orphan asylum
of 86 boys and girls.

Tordillo, with an area of 47 square leagues and only 704
inhabitants, comprises 16 estancias, viz. those of Anchorena,
San Eoman, Morete, Joseph Butler, Vallejo, William Thomson,
Peter Crinigan, Madrid, Eamirez, Arance, Alday, Laferriere,
Boer, John Hardy, Michael Hessiger, and Thomas Davis. The
Anchorena estanoia, 25 square leagues,' occupies most of the
department, and stretches along the coast from Vivoras to Ajo,
low, marshy ground. The forest of Tordillo begins 5 leagues
from the coast and extends up to Dolores. Stock : 100,000 cows,
50,000 horses, 300,000 sheep. There is no town or village.



138



HANDBOOK OF THE KIVEE PLATE.



Ajo, witli a coast-line of 20 leagues, is well known for the
Gibson and Gilmour estancias, besides tbose of Cobo, Pardo,
Leloir, Suarez, George Bell, Patrick Moran, G. Palmer, Esco-
bar, Campos, Falcon, Girardo, Diaz, Sancbez, Gorosito, Ibarra,
Quinteros, Cordoba, Fernandez, Cabrera, Eodriguez, Alvarez,
Mendez, Blanco, Bello. The country is wild, woody, and
watered. The port of Tuyu, 2 leagues up the Ajd river, has
vessels weekly to and from Buenos Ayres, 50 leagues distant.

Tuiju extends along the Atlantic from Montes Grandes to
Mar-Chiquita, 12 leagues, with an average width of 8 leagues,
comprising a dozen estancias and barely 700 inhabitants. It
was formerly part of Monsalvo, and has no town or village,
being wholly distinct from Ajo and the town of Tuyii. Land
is worth ^300,000 m/c per league. The Alzaga and Anchorena
properties cover 40 square leagues, the rest being divided be-
tween Aguirre, Leloir, Subiaurre, Lastra, Pena, Trelles, Sigis-
mundo, Herrera, Serrantes, Gomez, and Villagos. The country
is wild and thickly wooded, numerous lagoons, coast-line of
sand-hills, and Montes Grandes famous for the best Creole
horses. Tuyii department is over 60 leagues S. of Buenos
Ayres.

Mar-GMquita, with a coast-line of 9 leagues, derives its name
from a gulf resembling an inland sea, 5 miles long, and com-
prises 14 estancias, viz. Anchorena, Aguirre, Gomez, Barbosa,
Ibanez, Peralta, Eamos, Bernal, Torres, Ezeyza, Sosa, &c. The
Anchorena estates are 600 square miles, including Loma de
Gongora, where Dr. Holder and Mr. Eeddy fatten cattle for
Buenos Ayres. The inhabitants are mostly natives of San-
tiago, the proprietors rich men who reside in Buenos Ayres
and visit the estancias rarely. Stock, 840,000 cows, 65,000
horses, 1,500,000 sheep. Distance from Buenos Ayres 75
leagues.



THE PKOVINCE OF BUENOS ATBES. 139

THE TAE SOUTH.

From the Salado to Patagones.

Pila is separated from the Eanchos by the Salado, has an
area of 141 square leagues, of which more than one-half belongs
to the Anchorena family, the only other estancias of note being
Stegmann, Miguens, Elizalde, Agiiero, Girada, Casco, Senillosa,
Aguilera, Marin, Izurrieta, Casalins, Gamboa, Scott, Barragan,
Gallo, and Prado. The lands of Anchorena run 50 miles in a
line to the Vecino. The estancia Stegmann, at Poronguitos,
obtained a medal for Negretti wool at the Paris Exhibition.
Camarones, the Agiiero estate, is also a model sheep-farm.
Land is worth ^300,000 per league. Stock : 220,000 cows,
90,000 horses, 200,000 sheep. About 35 leagues from Buenos
Ayres.

Vecino takes its name from a river which floods the country
for miles in wet seasons. The principal estancias are Ocampo,
Agiiero, Pinedo, Ponce, Eodriguez, Fresco, Castano, Iturralde,
Sosa, Olivares, Pizarro, Garcia, Puyol, Vasquez, Pereyra, Lara,
Maldonado, Cepeda, and Newton. The lands are low, with
numerous lagoons, but suitable for sheep. Stock : 100,X)00 cows,
25,000 horses, 200,000 sheep, the latter of inferior quality.
About 50 leagues from Buenos Ayres. No town or village.

Monsalvo occupies a large stretch of country between Dolores
and Mar-Chiquita, mostly low and swampy, but in part thickly
wooded. The family of Eamos Mejia own half the department.
The other proprietors are Alzaga, Pena, Lastra, Pereyra,
Eodriguez, Areoo, Diaz, Acosta, Gonsalez, Logan, Varela,
Invaldi, Arosa, Centurion, and Soriano. The forest of Monsalvo
is of great extent, about 8 leagues from the seaboard. Stock :
300,000 cows, 60,000 horses, 1,500,000 sheep. Distance from
Buenos Ayres over 60 leagues. No town or village. There are
77 English residents.

Ayacucho lies between the Vecino and Tandil; it is a wild.



140 HANDBOOK OF THE EIVEB PLATE.

unsettled country with numerous lakes and streams, about
midway between the Sierras of Tandil and the Atlantic, the
nearest point being 13 leagues from the coast. The estaneias
belong to Castano, Iraola, Girado, Basualdo, Subiaurre, Lezama,
Monasterio, Ferreyra, Senillosa, Morales, Diaz, Lopez, Garay,
Burgos, Fernandez, Mayol, Eebol, Miro, Vignal, Gomez, Bargas,
Bisuarra, Barrientos, Pereyra, Salinas, Henrique. Dolores may
be reached on horseback in a day, and then by rail another day
to Buenos Ayres. Statistics are included with TandU.

Arenales another new partido, between Pila and TandU, com-
prises 5 large estaneias averaging nearly 200 square miles
each, viz. Pereyra, Lezama, Diaz Velez, Eufino, and Vela. It
is a wild, thinly-settled territory, well watered, and skirted on
the south by the high road from Dolores to Tandil. Among
the lesser estaneias are Aroyo, Balbin, Iraola, Miguens, Godoy,
Alvarez, Merlo, Corbera, Eodriguez, Dominguez, Pourtale,
Palacios, Gonsalia, Eivas. Stock : 600,000 cows, 100,000 horses,
2,000,000 sheep. Distance from Buenos Ayres, 60 leagues.
No town or vUlage, There are' 37 English residents.

Ranch, called after a valiant German officer who conquered
all these territories from the Indians in 1822. It embraces a
large tract between Las Flores and Tandil, and is well watered.
Proprietors : Vela, Diaz Velez, Udaquiola, Casal, Basualdo,
Portela, Centurion, Eojas, Echeverria, Silva, Licate, Moujan,
Rodriguez, Alzaga, Martinez, Letamendi, Casalins, Serpa,
Gonsalez, Geneva, Chiclana, Medrano, Eoldan, Nunez. The
statistics are included with Azul. There is no town or village.
Distance from Buenos Ayres, 50 leagues.

Azul, a fertile, picturesque, and well-populated district, about
60 leagues from Buenos Ayres, with the following estaneias :
Anchorena, Aoosta, Llavallol, Rosas, Leloir, Martinez, Pardo,
Mancilla, Vidal, Botet, Iturralde, Dominguez, UUoa, Lahitte,
Alcantara, Luques, Planes, Mifiana, Gomez, Alvarez, Barda,
Roldan, Peiialba, MuSoz, Serrantes, Reynoso, Lawrie, Cox,
Tucker, Gordon, Freres, Tenor, Grierson, &c. The frontier



THE PEOVINCE OF BUENOS ATEES. 141

runs S.E. along a range of hills from Sierra Quillalanquen to
Sierra la Tinta at the Quequen Grande, about 25 leagues from
the ocean. Land may be bought for ^200,000 to ^300,000
per league. Some Englishmen do a lucrative business in
fattening cattle for the Buenos Ayres market. Agriculture has
made much progress, there being 200 wheat-farms with 150,000
acres under tillage. A branch of the Southern Eailway will
shortly connect Azul with the metropolis. Stock : 1,300,000
cows, 100,000 horses,, 3,000,000 sheep. One-third of the
inhabitants are " tame Indians,'' and the district has a lawless
reputation. The town of Azul, 21 leagues S.W. of Las Flores
Eailway terminus, is a thriving frontier post and garrison, with
162 houses, church, schools, bank, town-hall, prison, &c. ; also
some mills and fine quintas on the Azul river. A large Indian
trade is done, including stolen hides.

Tandil, a hilly district on the verge of civilization, remarkable
for its picturesque sierras and famous rocking-stone. The
Sierra Tinta abounds in marble of the agate family, varying
from 12 to 20 feet below the surface, especially on the Vela
estancia : it assumes various colours according to depth, and is
found about 10 leagues beyond the town of Tandil. The rock-
ing-stone, about a league from the town, is a huge boulder so
nicely poised that a gentle breeze moves it, but Eosas yoked
1000 horses to pull it down and failed. A superstition was
attached to this stone a few years ago, when a gaucho fanatic
assembled a band of 100 followers and murdered forty Europeans
about Tandil. The sierras give birth to some fine streams,
such as Huesos, Chapaleofii, Tandil, &c. The lands-are coarse,
and best suited for horned cattle; the usual price is ^300,000
per league. Large quantities of wheat are grown on the slopes
of the sierras, and potatoes also do well, but maize often suffers
from frosts. Tandil is situated in a pleasant valley lined by
poplars and willows. It has church, school, bank, hotel, mill
town-hall, and numerous inhabitants. The journey to Buenos
Ayres takes three days iiid Dolores or Las Elores. Estancias :



142 HANDBOOK 01" THE EITBE PLATE.

Miguens, Vela, Casares, Lumb, Gomez, Saenz- Valiente, Lopez,
Solanet, Butler, Arana, Fugh, Hinde, Osgood, Crebbis, Good-
fellow, Burnett, Guinness, Gebbie, McKinlay, Latirie, Leonard,
McAusland, Harrow, Coony, James, Uriarte, Bamirez, Saavedra,
Anchorena, Iraola, Machado, and Cordoba.

Balcarce, better known as Laguna de Los Padres, lies between
the ocean and tbe Sierra Vulcan, with a seaboard of 15 leagues,
including Cape Corrientes. The country is traversed by
streams and hill-ranges, the latter being known as Los Padres
and Vulcan. It is now perfectly secure from Indians, and
large estancias of sheep and cattle are held, chiefly by natives.
The coast abounds in seals. The estancias are Martinez-de-
Hoz, Peiia, Lezama, Baudrix, Peralto-Eamos, Pereyra, Auld,
Subiaurre, Saenz - Valiente, Otamendi, Anchorena, Suarez,
Trapani, Campos, Burgos, Vivot, Llanos, Eeynoso, Sueldo,
Deodria, Escobar, Castelli, Barragan, Nero, Luengo, Sanchez,
Amarante, &c. The pastures are so rich that the whole district
is a kind of fattening farm for the city markets. It is exactly
midway between Buenos Ayres and Bahia Blanoa, 75 leagues
from each.

In 1747 the Jesuits founded a settlement on the lake
which still preserves their name, situate 4 leagues inland in a
N.W. course from Cape Corrientes. The site was well chosen,
being suitable for an agricultural establishment, of easy access
to the sea, and offering every facility for defence. The Fathers
were unable to reduce the wild pampa tribes to habits of order
and industry, and the establishment was abandoned after ten
years of unavailing labour. Some remains of the buildings and
the fruit trees planted by the Jesuits still remain. The lake
covers about 2 square miles in extent, and is surrounded by
thick plantations. About 3 leagues eastward, at the mouth of
Arroyo Cardalito, near Loberia Chica, a site has been marked out
for a town, and there is a port suitable for vessels of some size.
Don Patricio Peralta Kamos has a saladero here with an iron
pier, also a school, church, &c., and a town is being commenced.



THE PKOVINOE OP BUENOS ATBES.



143



Necochea stretches from the sierras of Tandil to the Atlantic,
having a seaboard of 16 leagues between Quequen-Grande and
Cristiano-Muerto, and extending inland 32 leagues to Fort
Otamendi. The lands are watered by numerous streams tri-
butary to the above two rivers. This district was formerly
included in Loberia : there is not half an inhabitant to the
square mile, the lands being held by wealthy proprietors. The
Diaz Velez estancia covers 350 square miles, that of Nepomne
Fernandez 300, and the other proprietors are Alzaga,
Anchorena, Areco, Homos, Lanuz, Prat, Ezeiza, Vela, Lopez,
Iraola, Lastra, Echenegucia, TJdaquiola, Herrera, Perez, Cobo,
Fulco, Arze, Negretto, Olivera, Kico, Larriba, Chaves, Eoque
Perez, Viton, Santamaria, Eodriguez, Tobal, Lara, John Cornell,
Canal, Echeverria, &c. It is proposed to build a town at Paso
Otero on the Quequen-Grande, in front of Olivera's] estancia
house. This is 12, leagues from the month, and another ford
half way down is Paso Galisteo.

Loheria a wild, thinly-settled district, watered by the Quequen,
Moro, a,nd other important streams, with a seaboard of 10 leagues
lined with sand-hills. The pastures are excellent, raising the
largest cattle in the province. Estancias : thgse of Guerrico,
Saenz- Valiente, Diaz Velez, Martinez-de-Hoz, Gaynor, Lastra,
Luro, Peredo, Saavedra, Cuestra, Cobo, Dasso, CastaSera, Nep-
Fernandez, Maohado, Otamendi, Barbosa, Arruda, Alegre,
Torres, Casares, Pieres, Eeynoso, Flores, Eico, Sabatte, Suarez,_
Gandara, Gainard, Arze, Diana, Galianoj Maldonado, Pita,
Otero, Picado, Albarellos, &o. Stock: 1,500,000 cows, 150,000
horses, 1,000,000 sheep, it being remarkable that in this depart-
ment there are more cows than sheep. Land may be rented at
g20,000 per league, or bought at ^300,000. The Quequen-
Grande is navigable for some leagues from its mouth, where it is
proposed to dredge the bar and form a port for these remote
camps, 88 leagues from Buenos Ayres and 60 from Bahia
Blancha. Loberia derives its name from the seals or Lobos
that abound on the coast.



144 HANDBOOK OF THE EIVBE PLATE.,

Tres Arroyos' com^Tises nearly 6000 square miles of almost
uninhabited country, until lately held by the Indians, extending
for 24 leagues along the Atlantic from Christiano Muerto to
Sauce Grande, and traversed by the Tres Arroyos and Quequen
Salado, which run parallel and fall into the ocean. The Sierra
Pillahuinc6 is the boundary on the side of the Indian pampas,
being some 20 leagues from the coast; farther south is the
Sierra Ventana, the highest peak of which is fixed by Fitzroy at
3350 feet. Estancias: those of Vasquez, Soaje, Olabarria,
Pereyra, Eohl, Elizalde, Macias, Baigorria,' Dantes, Valdez,
Aldao, Segui, Lefrangois, Moreno,' Diaz, Sanders, Mird, Machaly,
Eodriguez, Madero, Casas, Herrera,' Jardin, Viton, Pintos,
Subiaurre, Garcia, Letamendi, Anchorena, Miguens, Vela, Ochoa,
Salas, Saravia, Chiclana, Arzac, Alvarez, Orejero, &c. At the
confluence of the three streams which form Tres Arroyos river
is the point known as Tres Horquetas, or " three-fork fort," and
here a new town called Olabarria is being built, 100 leagues
from Buenos Ayres, and nearly 40 from Bahia Blanca or Azul.

BaMa Blanca, situate 115 leagues S.W. of Buenos Ayres, may
be said to have an area of 200 square leagues, taking its limits
as the following: north, the Sierra Ventana; west, the Eiver
Sauce Chico ; south, the bay of Bahia Blanca and the Atlantic
Ocean ; and east, the Eiver Sauce Grande. This part of the
country, though so remote and little known, offers many advan-
tages to settlers. In the low grounds the soil is rich and
alluvial, and well suited for agriculture : irrigation is easily
obtained. All the quintas of the town are irrigated by a system
of water-works constructed by Eosas in his expedition of 1833,
and it still bears the name " Zanja de Eosas." The cultivation
of wheat is attaining great dimensions. All kinds of fruits
thrive here remarkably, especially grapes, and from these is
made the Chocoli wine. Snow is seen at rare intervals, once in
three or four years. The temperature is dry and windy, and it
'rains less than at Buenos Ayres. On the high camps the
grasses are " pastes fuertes," which grows so wide apart that in



THE PEOVINOB OP BUENOS AYKES.



145



wet seasons a soft grass springs up between. The low grounds
abound in soft grasses, viz.: alfilerillo, trefoil, trevo de olor,
and gramiUa.

Timber is indigenous ; willows of the " sauce Colorado "
species are found on the banks of the Sauce Grande and Sauce
Chico, suitable for building or firewood. Near Salina Chica,
about 15 leagues W. of Bahia Blanca, there is an abundance of
timber, the algarroba being much sought both for firewood and
for making corral posts.

This district is one of the most favoured in the province as
regards an abundance of watercourses. A number of fresh
water streams flow from the Sierra Ventana through the low
grounds, never running dry at any season. The salt bed of
Salina Chica supplies excellent salt, which is gathered in
summer.

The town of Bahia Blanca stands 2 leagues from the port.
The entrance to the bay is easy. The steamer ' Patagones,' for
which Aguirre and Murga receive a subvention, makes regular
trips to and from Buenos Ayres. The garrison usually com-
prises 200 soldiers and 120 National Guards, besides which the
" friendly Indians '' form a company of 70 lances : these last
are under the Cacique Francisco Ancalao, who ranks as a
lieutenant-colonel. The Indians of Salinas Grandes frequently
come to the town to barter their home-made ponchos and the
skins of animals and ostrich feathers.

The history of Bahia Blanca is quite modern. In 1828 the
fort was founded by Colonel Martiniano Eodriguez, who had
already founded Tandil. The garrison suffered greatly from
privation, sickness, and the Indians, till 1833, when Eosas came
into power. The fort was soon changed into a town, a regular
service of post-horses was established in all directions, the
camps were speedily covered with cattle, and r,ll the arable
lands up to the Sauce Grande laid under grain. The faU of
Eosas in 1852 was attended with a terrible change ; the Indians
everywhere spread desolation; they burned the ranches, kUled



146 HANDBOOK OF THE EIVEE PLATE.

the, settlers, and carried off the cattle. It was only in 1863 that
the first efforts were made to re-people the estancias around the
town. The Naposta valley was the first place settled on, as it
was suitable for sheep, and these offer little temptation to the
Indians. Instead of ranches the settlers buUt substantial brick
houses with flat roof and a parapet all round, a ladder from
within giving access thereto in case of danger.

The first sheep-farmers were Sigfior Caronti, a native of
Como; Messrs. Heusser and Claraz, from Switzerland, wh<>.
settled in 1864 in the Naposta valley, 4 miles from the town.
In 1865 came Mr. Arnold, a North American, also in the
Naposta. The present English settlers are Fred. B. Cobbold,
John C. Sinclair, James Donner, M. J. Cobbold, Thomas W.
Smith, C. 8. Broadbend, C. Shuttle, WiUiam Lane, J. Hutchinson,
Thomas G. Nicholson, G. Shuttle, John G. Walker, Enrique P.
Cheeke, George E. Catley, Henry John Edwards, Arthur Mildred,
Thomas E. Wood, John Mildred, H. Linwood, Percy Dobson,
Brian Smith, H. A. Brackenbury, E. E. Hutchinson, J. E.
Fawcas, Joseph Eushton, A. W. Parker, Philip H. Holmes,
A. MoLachlan. There are at present over 200,000 sheep io
the district. The climate being dry the wools are light and
not very greasy, but the increase of the flocks is something
extraordiuary.

There is at Bahia Blanca an unpretending inn, but English-
men usually put up at the house of Mr. George Little, a North
American, who has one of the best shops in the place. The
Comandante, Colonel Jose Llano, is also very kind to strangers, ,
as well as the Justice of Peace, Don Mariano Mendez, and
Captain Coronti. The principal wholesale houses are those of
Francisco Bozano, Mariano Mendez, Galvan and Co., Julian
Calvente, Miranda, and B. Costa. Parties wanting wagons
may apply to Santiago Bonfiglio or Manuel Echagues, the first
a Lombard, the second a Basque : both are worthy of all con-
fidence, and their charges are reasonable. There are no livery
stables in the place, but if the stranger wish to make an



THE PROVINCE OF BUENOS ATEES.



ia



excursion lie must look up Hypolito Bramajo, Cayetano Arze,
or J. Bustos, who tave always fine relays of horses at a rea-
sonable charge : these men are experienced guides and riiost
trustworthy. If the visitor wish to push his excursions some
distance into the Indian country he will do well to hire an
Indian guide, and the most trustworthy are Pedro Lucero
and Jose Andres Milipil ; the latter is brother-in-law to the
Cacique Ancalao. These men also serve as guides in making
the journey overland to Patagones, a distance of over 40 leagues.
The traveller must be careful in hiring any other guide than
the above named, unless well recommended by Mr. Little,
Senoi Coronti, or the Justice of Peace.

Bahia Blanca is only 115 leagues overland from Buenos
Ayres, but the distance by sea is double. The land journey is
tedious and dif&cult : there is a regular mail-coach service.
The sea voyage varies according to the weather, and may be
reckoned at five days.

The state-schools are attended by 54 boys and 42 girls. The
port returns show 21 vessels, with 16&5 tons burden.

Patagones, situate 160 leagues from Buenos Ayres, compre-
hends the tail-end of the South American continent, from the
Eio Negro to the Straits of Magellan, between the 41st and
53rd degrees of south latitude, and 65 and 72 west longitude,
the eastern boundary being the Atlantic, and the western a
snowy range of mountains called Cordillera de Nieve, a pro-
longation of the Andes chain. This vast territory is about six
times the extent of England: it is as yet for the most part
unexplored.

The first impressions of the Eio Negro, as the traveller
proceeds up the river towards the port of El Carmen, are
highly agreeable: the bluffs on the north side are about
150 feet high, and the valley is about 2 leagues wide, the
river winding its way picturesquely between the cuchillas of
sandstone. Ascending the cuchilla we come upon a vast plain,
in some places sandy, in others of argillaceous soil, and again

L 2



148 HANDBOOK OP THE PJVEE ELATE.

covered with small pebbles caUed "piedras chinas." The
vegetation is mostly of " pastos fuertes " intermiagled ■witli
" alfilerillo," and here and there a number of thorny shrubs,
such as "chanar," "piquillin," "algarroba," " mata-perro,"
"una de gato," "maqui de inoienso": this last gives a resin
which when burnt yields an odour like incense. These shrubs
seldom grow higher than a man on horseback, although the
" chanar " trees often give good spade and axe handles. The
brushwood is no obstacle to horses or cows, but it tears the
wool off sheep.

The soil in the valley is of rich alluvial deposits, sometimes
a little salty, and is fertilized by the river, which has two
annual floods, one in summer from the melting of the snows of
the Andes, the second and greater one in winter from the rains
in the same mountain ranges. Eain is rare, and the climate
may be called dry.

It is a pity somebody does not project a joint-stock company
for farming the beautiful island of Choelechoel, six days by
steamer from Patagones, up the Eio Negro. Last AprU the
National Government sent a steamer to explore, which ascended
390 miles, or 30 miles higher than any previous expedition,
and the party reported this island to be 60 miles long, with an
average width of 7 miles, the soil exceedingly rich, the woods
in clumps on all sides, affording shelter to abundance of
deer and ostriches. With a steamer of 4 feet draught for the
Eio Negro, a settlement at Choelechoel of twenty well-armed
Englishmen would have little to fear from Indians.

There is no part of the province where trees thrive so well as
here, and the traveller is struck by the rows of poplars and
fruit trees on all sides, especially in the islands of the river.
The vine does remarkably well, and the Chocoli wine would be
much better if more care were taken with this industry. ■ The
rivers and lagoons are lined with indigenous willows, called
" Sauce Colorado " : the wood-cutters make " balsas " of this
timber, which they sell at El Carmen, as it is very useful for



THE PKOVINCB OF BUENOS AXKES. 149

corral posts, building, &o. The river in winding througi the
valley forms a number of "rincones" of amazing fertility,
which are easily fenced in for grazing and agricultural purposes.

Of all the settlements attempted by the old Spaniards on the
shores of Patagonia, that of the Rio Negro or Patagones is the
only one now existing. In 1833, when Eosas made his grand
expedition to the desert, he gave a great impulse to Patagones ;
he distributed cattle and agricultural implements among the
poor inhabitants, garrisoned the island of Choelechoel, and
founded a new town called Guardia Constitucion. The place
being thus protected, cattle multiplied amazingly, and the salt



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 12 of 36)