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The Chronicles of
Alfred Benitz
1815 - 1937
Lillian Marsh-Simpson.
May 1st., 1938.

Alfred's biography, written in 1952, was based upon these Chronicles.  Lilian Marsh-Simpson compiled the chronicles in 1938, shortly after Alfred's death.  She researched and recorded family anecdotes, old letters, estancia “La California” day-books, and Alfred’s diaries.  We have decided to make the Chronicles available because they contain quotes from sources (diaries mostly) that are not available to us today.  We know some estancia day-books were destroyed by mice and several of Alfred’s diaries have disappeared.

Transcriber’s Notes & Observations

  1. Included in these web-pages is the complete transcription of the type-written draft of the chronicles.  David Horner very kindly provided us a copy (in 2000!) that we are now transcribing verbatim (2017); with the exception of (i) obvious typos, (ii) extra commas, & (iii) amounts: we standardised the use of commas to separate thousands and periods to separate decimals, e.g. one-thousand is: 1,000.00.
  2. We will flag quotes not available elsewhere.  Be aware that quotes from day-books and diaries are not verbatim.  We strongly recommend that, where possible, quotes be verified with the original source from which they were taken.  The day-books and diaries are available on this site in PDF format and we have transcribed many of them – verbatim!
    Links to sources:
  3. List of Illustrations:  It is a wish-list for there is only one illustration included in this manuscript, in its last chapter, a photo of a plate.  Alfred’s biography includes most of the illustrations listed.

T H E   C H R O N I C L E S   O F
A L F R E D   B E N I T Z
1815 - 1937



May 1st 1938.


"Las Trés Lagunas"
Las Rosas.  

The original M.S.S. of these chronicles covers many hundreds of closely written pages in a diary commenced in the year 1873, when my husband was thirteen years of age. This was his last year in California before leaving for the Argentine Republic. It includes letters, scraps and cuttings, also his father's letters to relations in Germany, between the years 1852 and 1863.

Olga Blanche Benitz.

May 1st, 1938.


Frontispiece.     Page

[ To go to a PART or CHAPTER, click on its number. ]

C O N T E N T S.
Prefatory note by Mrs Alfred Benitz.
California.  1852 – 1867.
CHAPTERI  Birth and Parentage, Fort Ross, California.
  "II The Miners.
  "IIIFort Ross. Political Difficulties.
  "IV Fort Ross. Relatives.
  "V  California in 1862 – 1867.
Oakland.  California.  1873 – 1874.
  "VI School.
  "VIII begin my Diary.
  "VIIISchool Days and Holidays.
  "IX January – July. 1874.
The voyage to the Argentine Republic. 1874.
  "X  As far as Panama Bay.
  "XI Before Aspinwall.
  "XIIAt Hoboken. New Jersey.
  "XIIIThe voyage to Southampton. England.
  "XIVEngland to Buenos Aires.
  "XV The Founding of Buenos Aires. 1515 – 1810.
  "XVIThe Argentine Republic. 1816 – 1874.
  "XVIIBuenos Aires in October 1874.
  "XVIIIRosario. Santa Fe.
  "XVIIIIArgentine Territory. 1875.
  "XX La California.
  "XXIIFrank's Diary. 1876.
  "XXIIIAlfred Resumes his Diary. 1876.
  "XXIVLa California. 1887
  "XXVILa California. 1878 – 1879
  "XXVIIArgentine Commerce. 1880.
  "XXVIIILa California. 1880 – 1881.
  "XXIXHunting Expedition. Pampas District.
  "XXXLa California. 1882 – 1883.
  "XXXILaguna Yacaré, near Espin River. Chaco. 1884.
  "XXXIIDaily Log Book. 1885.
  "XXXIIIGeneral Progress in the Argentine. 1885 – 1900.
  "XXXIVLa California. 1886 – 1887.
  "XXXVLaguna Yacaré. 1887.
  "XXXVIThe Benitz Estancias. 1892.
  "XXXVIIExpedition Against the Indians. 1895
  "XXXVIIIThe Benitz Properties in 1897 – 1898
  "XXXIXThe Argentine Republic in 1931 – 1914.
  "XL Travel. 1904.
  "XLIHunting expedition in Alaska. 1908
  "XLIIOn Safari in British East Africa. 1910
  "XLIIIMarriage. 1915
  "XLIVDisaster. Cordoba. 1916
  "XLVTravels. 1916 – 1918.
  "XLVIEurope. 1920.
  "XLVIIPulmari and Chile. 1922.
  "XLIIIEngland and Scotland. 1925
  "XLIXIguazú Falls. Misiones. 1929.
  "L  Finis. 1937.

California. 1852 - 1863.

Birth and Parentage. Fort Ross.

I was born in Upper California, at our home "Fort Ross", Mendocino County, on June 15th, 1859, being the eighth of the ten children born to my parents. Their first three died in early infancy.

My father, William Otto Benitz, was born on February 9th, 1815, and was one of a numerous German family living at Endingen-in-Bresgau, Duchy of Baden. He left home when seventeen years of age, shipping as a sailor in a merchant brig bound for North America. They were wrecked off the coast of Mexico, however, and my father, who was among the few survivors, remained in that country for several years before making his way north to California.

He and my mother were married in the year 1846, when she was sixteen years old. She was named Josephine and was the elder daughter of Michael Kolmer and Josephine Wagner, also from Endingen, and was taken by her parents to North America in the year 1833, at the age of three. They lived at St Louis, Missouri, until she was nearly sixteen, when they crossed the plains in a covered wagon drawn by oxen, en route for California, a distance of about one thousand miles, and were among the first to make this terrible journey from which so few survived.

On March 14th, 1852, my father wrote to his brother Anthony who was living in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, saying that he had been in California since 1843, had written twice to his family but had received no answer, and after many years of struggles and hardships, had made his fortune. This letter was forwarded to his family in Germany, who had not heard from him for twelve years.

My parents had now been settled at Fort Ross for the past nine years. Their first child had died at birth. The second, a girl, was abducted by the Indians while playing in the garden. My mother hearing the child’s screams, jumped on to a horse and dashing into the Indian encampment snatched up her baby and made off. The savages were so surprised at her courage that they did not molest her, but she was too late, the child had already been scalped of her golden curls and died a few days later. Their third infant was equally unfortunate as he was smothered by his Indian nurse who tried to stifle his crying which kept her awake.

My eldest surviving brother Franz Josef (Frank) was now two years old, and my sister Josephine was born in October of this year (1852). The Kolmers were living, together with their son, John, and a younger daughter, Caroline, on a farm about two miles distant.

Fort Ross was situated on the sea-coast, and lay seventy miles north of San Francisco. Built in the year 1812, it was originally an old Russian property, protected by a wooden fort, when my father and his German partner, Meyer, bought it and transformed it into a farm. These forts were originally built by fur traders as a protection against the raids of robbers and Indians, as formerly large fortunes were made by hunting the Southern sea-otter, which was an important fur-bearer of California in the early nineteenth century, when from five to ten thousand of these animals were caught in a single year by the Russian fur-traders. Consequently, it was rapidly reduced in numbers until it was considered to be extinct.

Father and Meyer between them owned six square leagues of land, ten thousand head of cattle, and two hundred mares and horses. They planted grain and potatoes, and the resulting crops were sent by a schooner to Sonoma (about eighteen hours journey distant) to be sold, as quite big boats could drop anchor at one hundred fathoms close to our own stretch of coast and ship cargo. During the year 1852 they sold four thousand pounds of potatoes at five cents a pound.

Ever a generous and kindly man, my father was much distressed to hear from his brother, Thadeus, of their ill-fortune in Germany, and sent them money as regularly as he could; about five hundred dollars a month. He discouraged my uncle's idea of bringing his family to America, however, by saying:- "such a journey with a family would be very risky on account of the danger and sickness at Panama, and although some people have made their fortunes, thousands go astray and fail in these inhospitable countries. No one would envy me if I told them what I went through in all parts of America, on water and on land, and of the many things I have done (but nothing that an honest man would reject) and how many unfortunate fellow countrymen I have met."

Actually there were several members of my father's family living in different parts of North America. His brother, Anthony, had established a prosperous business in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, his married sister (the Mahrers) was living in Ohio; two cousins, Louis and Adolfus Benitz, who led the varied and uncertain lives of gold-prospectors, were in Mexico, while his youngest and favourite brother Franz Xavier (Uncle Frank) had thrown in his lot with ours and was for many years of affectionate memory, our guide, counsellor and friend.

The Miners.

From the year 1822, when allegiance was alienated from Spain, California had belonged to Mexico up to the year 1847. The people of Texas held that their State extended south-west as far as the Rio Grande, but the Mexican Government refused to admit that it extended further than the Nueces River.

The American Government after vainly trying to negotiate with Mexico, the outcome was the American-Mexican War of 1847-1848, after which California became an American possession. The coast had been explored by many nationalities, but for several years there were no settlements.

On January 24th, 1848, just before the Treaty of Peace with Mexico was signed, gold was discovered at John A Sutter's farm on the South Fork of the American River. A workman, James Marshall, while digging in a mill-race, observed that the soil was full of particles of gold, and soon realized that gold abounded there. (His monument now occupies the spot.) Although Sutter tried to keep it a secret, the news spread rapidly and the little towns in the west were deserted while the inhabitants dug for ore, and even with their jack-knives gouged chunks of the precious metal from hillside seams. Seven Americans were said to have taken out two hundred and seventy-five pounds of gold in a little more than six weeks while in one week two men obtained $17,000 worth from a trench a few feet wide.

When the news reached the Eastern States, thousands of farmers clerks, mechanics and professional men of all nationalities went to seek their fortunes. Some made the long journey in sailing vessels round Cape Horn, others crossed the disease-infected forests of the Isthmus of Panama and then made their way north; while many took the long and dangerous journey across the plains, which soon became strewn with the bones of animals who had died of hunger, thirst and exhaustion. One "forty-niner" wrote in his diary "on one fifteen-mile stretch of desert trail I counted 750 dead horses, oxen and mules; and in the last ten miles 362 wagons, besides quantities of leather trunks, clothing and other things, thrown away to lighten the load". Yet in spite of these hardships, to which were added the murderous attacks of the Indians, in the year 1849 nearly one hundred thousand people poured into California in search of gold. Unfortunately, there also came thieves, crooks and killers.

In the year 1845 my father was working with the aforesaid John Sutter who for many years was a constant visitor to our home. He used to bring sweets to us children and take us for rides on his magnificent white horse. He had a fine imposing figure and invariably wore a big black frock-coat, checked trousers (which my Mother once mended for him) and a huge broad-brimmed felt hat. In his right hand he generally carried his General's baton of which he was very proud. He was born in Kandern, Grand Duchy of Baden in 1803 and was one of the most prominent foreigners in the interior of North America. He held a grant of eleven square leagues of land around the present site of Sacramento, originally called "Sutter's Fort" whereon he built a trading-post and a fort, in the year 1839. Although Sutter himself was a Swiss, his position as a Mexican official, and the location of his fortified post station on the border, made him of great importance in the years proceeding and immediately following American occupation. Into Sutter's Fort in 1841 drove the first immigrant wagon to cross the plains. Eventually the lawless hordes following the gold stampede robbed and ruined Sutter and when he died in 1880 he was a poor man.

The year 1853 brought my father still greater prosperity, and he and his partner increased their activities. Between them they now owned two ranches, one of 20,000 acres, and another of 11,000 acres. They sold the latter for $26,500, and kept the more valuable one, which was Fort Ross. Father himself had invested $36,000, which brought him an income of $500 a month. He also owned privately a property up the Sacramento River which he called "New Bresgau", and as such it was inserted in the Government Map. This land was a grant from the Mexican Government in the year 1845 while he was with John Sutter.

In the year 1853 a spell of homesickness seems to have come over my father, as in a letter to Uncle Thadeus he expressed a longing to return to his native land, invest money there, and perhaps purchase a property; he even went as far as asking his brother to look out for a nice estate for him to buy. This idea never materialized, however, although he repeatedly broached the subject in after years. He was always delighted to hear that his former friends and comrades in Germany still thought of and enquired about him, in spite of his having lost touch with them for so long.

On September 22nd 1854 another little son was born to my parents. This was William Otto. They were a healthy happy little family, and, according to my father, he had changed from a slender youth to a corpulent man.

The following year gave a superabundance of potatoes. My father had stored over 200,000 hundredweights, which included last year’s crop of which he had unfortunately not been able to sell more than one cartload of a thousand. Consequently, they were mostly allowed to rot and many had to be thrown away. The country was overstocked with products of all kinds which grew in abundance. Times were not so good. In the month of February the banks in which he and his partner had invested $14,400, suspended payments, and there was a doubt whether they would ever recover their money; added to which he was losing money on account of the scarcity of business and the American Government had confiscated his property "New Bresgau". This he appealed against, and was eventually allowed to retain only 7,500 acres. Under the Mexican regime grants of land were generous and common, but the complicated formalities necessary for making them valid were often neglected. Instead of confirming all existing claims when the county passed to the United States and thus simplifying matters, the Government formed a land commission and contested all claims in the courts so that a large part of those dating from the last years of Mexican dominion was rejected.

My father decided to devote another year to agriculture, and if it still did not pay to turn his energies to cattle-breeding on a large scale. He already owned five hundred head of cattle, three hundred horses, and two hundred pigs. This stock he determined to increase by a few good bulls and stallions, as well as a thousand sheep, the latter being priced at between eight to twelve dollars apiece. He had bought his partner's half of the ranch, but still owed him $22,500 which was due to be paid on the 1st of May.

Fort Ross now extended ten miles south as far as the Russian River, which was the boundary of the property. He put a few hundred cattle on the riverside, with some herdsmen to watch them, and bought a boat to take travellers across the river to the ranch on the opposite bank. This belonged to Captain S. Smith who owned eight leagues. Smith's house was twenty-four miles away and was the nearest post-office, where my father sent every week for letters. This cost him fifty dollars a year.

He kept six permanent employees, namely a hunter, a surveyor, a head herdsman, a carpenter, a blacksmith, and a nurse for his children. These were mostly Americans whose salaries varied from thirty to sixty dollars a month. Besides these there were more or less six cowboys, two of whom helped in the kitchen, while the others milked the cows and tamed young horses. As California was a "free" state (anti-slavery) most of the field work, such as ploughing and planting, was done by Indians from the Reservation, which was just outside the Fort Ross property, and where there were about 150 Indians. These were obliged by the Government to work for eight dollars a month.

Last year's crop of potatoes had not been a very big one, about four thousand bags of one hundred and twenty-five pounds each. These sold at only two cents a pound. He also sold a comparatively small quantity of barley, oats, and corn. In the spring he received $2,500 for his steers, and an apple yield of 20,000 lbs. he sold for twenty-five cents a pound.

Fort Ross. Political Difficulties.

Louis Benitz, who lived in Sonora, a town situated near the mines in Tuolumne County, came to California for a while, and after making about ten thousand dollars he returned to Mexico, as he said he did not like living with the Americans, about whose treatment of foreigners my father always complained very bitterly, as they tried to oppress them and formed secret societies to contest the privileges of strangers, who were denied the right to vote, and could only become American citizens after a twenty years' residence in the country. They held the same status as the "free negro". One of these secret societies was called the "Know-Nothing Party" and it was formed for the purpose of opposing the easy naturalization of foreigners, as the immigration figures had become alarmingly great. Its nominations, made in secret meetings, must be voted for by all the members of the society, under a penality of expulsion. Only the members of the higher degrees knew the secrets of the convention, novices knew nothing about them, hence it was called the "Know-Nothing Society." It afterwards developed into, and formed the nucleus of the American Party, which was important enough in 1855 to carry nine state elections. As my father said:-"Why don't the German people emigrate to countries where Germans are better looked at? If I could sell out today or tomorrow, I would go immediately to another country, possibly back to Germany. I would rather go to Russia than to the dirty States (Verunreinigte Staaten). One hears everywhere of the ill-treatment of the Catholics and the burning of their Churches. That is freedom! Another American has just run off with $100,000. This sort of thing is not unusual here now, as last year twenty functionaries escaped with official money, and during the last few years the city of San Francisco has been robbed of at least a million dollars."

Country roads had become very unsafe on account of the highwaymen who abounded, and everyone went well armed. Father had a very narrow escape on one occasion he was shot at on the road to Sonoma. He was riding full gallop at the time, and the bullet grazed his nose and right eye. He always kept a collection of the best rifles and several six-chambered Colt revolvers handy, with which he taught all his household to shoot.

During the year 1856, conditions became more orderly. Land litigation was cleared up and everyone felt more hopeful of a better future. In spite of considerable monetary losses, my father was not discouraged. He had lost twelve thousand dollars in cash, and 14,000 acres of land at "New Bresgau". He had been unable to economise as he found it necessary to replace many of the old Russian cottages at Fort Ross, and likewise rebuild his mill which had been working for twelve years. However, he was doing better than most farmers, many of whom made debts in the bad times and went bankrupt, while he had built up a great deal in spite of the crisis. Fort Ross, and all it contained, was now his entirely, and he was free from all debts. He owned 17,000 acres of land, 900 head of cattle, 200 horses, and 900 sheep. He had reduced his agricultural outlay considerably, and now contemplated buying 500 young cows, as he could easily keep 2,500 head of cattle on his pastures. He had sold two hundred mares and horses but found them more difficult to breed than cattle. His next plan was to build six dairy farms, stocking them with two hundred cows on each. During the winter he constructed a twelve mile road across his camp.

Since the map of California had been changed, our address instead of being situated in Mendocino County, was now in Sonoma County. The postal service was still very unsatisfactory in spite of the many changes in postal regulations, and the great efforts made to improve letter transport. At present a letter to Germany cost thirty cents, and under existing circumstances there was always considerable doubt as to whether it would arrive at its destination. The Government had made heroic efforts to establish routes for communication through the plains and mountains of the Far West, and after an unsuccessful experiment with imported camels, the Post-Master General in 1857 awarded to John Butterfield of the Overland Mail Company, a contract for a semi-weekly mail service between the Mississippi and the Pacific Coast, and during the following year regular stage-coach and mail services, which covered the distance in twenty-five days or less, were established over the Northern and Southern routes to California. In 1860 the transport company of Russell, Majors and Waffell, inaugurated the famous pony-express, which carried mail swiftly by horseback from St. Joseph, Mo. to Sacramento, at a cost of $5.00 a letter. The animals used were, of course, not ponies but fleet American horses. These were stationed at "stages" from ten to fifteen miles apart, and each rider rode three animals successively, covering not less than thirty-three miles before he passed his pouch to his successor. The fastest trip made was in seven days and seventeen hours, but the regular schedule was ten days, about twenty-four days faster than the schedule of Butterfield's Overland Stage. The maintenance of this time-table, in all kinds of weather and in the face of Indian dangers and other hazards, won for the service a fame for all time, and although the pony-express venture demonstrated the efficiency of the service, it was a losing game, however, and its brief existence of sixteen months came to an end when the Union Telegraph Company completed the construction of its trans-continental wires in October 1861.

Fort Ross. Relatives.

It was now suggested that Uncle Thadeus’s two children, Xavier and Barbara, should come to live at Fort Ross, where they would be made very welcome. Father proposed to make Xavier an administrator of one of his dairy-farms, with the idea that eventually he could manage one of his own. But he was advised to first learn a profession, as there were no opportunities for so doing in California.

Barbara, who was fourteen, would be under the protection of her brother, but my father promised to pay her thirty dollars a month for helping my mother in the dairy, and he would also provide for her future. She would have every opportunity of learning English, and would be sure to get on admirably, as Father said:- "diligent girls could earn just as high wages as men, besides they usually made good marriages".

On July 2nd, 1856, Mother presented Father with another son whom they named Charles. They now had four children. Frank was just six, Josephine four, and William two. They had been married for ten years, and my mother was twenty-six years of age. She was an ideal helpmeet for my pioneer father, who was devoted to her and valued her advice on all matters of importance, as he said:- "she also works very hard, and is an excellent housewife". Their chief entertainment in the evening was reading. They had a small library of about one hundred and fifty books, they also had an organ, or musical box, which played thirty different tunes. They discussed the Crimean War, saying "people in general sympathise with the Russians, loving to see the English arrogance humbled".

This year political differences became more settled. The country had been badly governed by corrupt political leaders, and robbery and murder occurred every day. At last the honest citizens rose up in protest, and taking the law into their own hands, caught the criminals themselves, and sent them out of the country or hanged them. Then there was peace. This was how the Vigilance Committee was formed. On the whole the agricultural districts were fairly safe, but the mining districts were always dangerous on account of the robber gangs which infested them.

In September 1858, my father, who had been ill for three months, went to stay with an old friend, Dr Zeile, who lived in San Francisco. The previous year my maternal grandfather, Michael Kolmer, died of a stroke. He had been drinking steadily for several years, a habit which eventually ruined his health and his finances. He had always been badly off, and even the camp he owned was a gift from my father. He never fully forgave his daughter Caroline for her hasty marriage to William Howard, which came about in this way:- As clergymen did not live in California in those days, it was an important social event when a parson made the long journey from the East in order to legalize the several unions, which for lack of opportunity, had not received the blessing of the church or the sanction of the law. This collective ceremony took place in the most accessible town hall, and usually ended up with feasting and dancing. Such an occasion duly presented itself at Sonoma, and of course everybody for miles around went to see the fun, including my father and mother, who took Caroline with them. At the end of the evening the parson made a speech, and after thanking everyone for their very kind hospitality, he offered, as they had been so generous in the matter of wedding fees, to marry, free of charge, any other young couple who cared to come forward. At this young Bill Howard approached the blushing Caroline Kolmer and murmured, "Will you marry me, Caroline?" and Caroline said, "Yes", so they were married then and there with a ring taken from one of the curtains. When Caroline's father heard the news, he flew into a passion of rage, and rushing upstairs to her room, threw all her furniture and clothes into the back yard and made a bonfire of them, vowing he would never see or speak to her again. He kept his vow for several years but eventually relented.

At Fort Ross all were well and happy, Frank, who was now eight and a half, had his own horse and saddle and a small rifle. Father had engaged a teacher for his children, and both Frank and Josephine could already read and write, and were learning arithmetic.

Every year agriculture was proving less profitable, and my father decided to gradually abandon it. Potatoes now only fetched one cent per pound; barley one cent; oats one cent and a half, and wheat two cents and a half. Wages were high, from thirty to forty dollars a month. He paid his cook forty dollars, which was equal to one hundred guilden.

Live stock breeding proved to be the best paying business and he increased his number of animals to 12,000 head of cattle, 1,500 sheep and 150 horses. He had also taken up fruit farming, and owned an orchard of four hundred and fifty apple trees, and one hundred and fifty of other kinds of fruit. This orchard was to be extended, by sixty or more acres, to 6,000 trees, while another piece of land had been fenced off in readiness for the further planting of 1,800 apple trees during the coming winter. All these trees bore fruit in their second year. Between these two orchards there remained fifteen acres of land, and this was the spot my father selected as a site for his new house. The old home was too near the coast, and consequently was exposed to the strong northwesterly winds which became violent at times. The new house would be completely sheltered, have the best water, and the nicest outlook, and although a mere child when we left Fort Ross, I shall always remember how, situated as it was between the two orchards, in the springtime it stood amidst a veritable paradise of scented blossoms.

In July 1859, Adolf Benitz returned from the mines in Columbia. At the same time his brother Louis arrived from Mazatlan in Mexico, and together they went up to the Frazer River in New Caledonia, where gold was said to be so abundant that when the river was low it yielded from twenty to one hundred dollars worth a day. These mines were doing a good deal of harm to the Californian farmers, as in the year 1859 no less than thirty thousand people went from San Francisco. This created a scarcity of money, especially as many returned penniless, on account of the mines being flooded by storms.

With regard to the future, my father in a letter to Uncle Thadeus said: "If I had intended to remain here, I would have advised you to come long ago, but I cannot sell out so soon. I want $100,000 for Fort Ross as it stands. It now consists of 17,500 acres, and my new ranch "New Bresgau" of 6,750 acres. In my opinion these places will be worth double in three years time, also my live-stock will have doubled itself by then. You need not stamp your letters as I get them just the same and will gladly pay the postage.

"P.S. Break the seal of this letter and you will find a gold coin underneath."

California. 1862 - 1867.

For the next five years, up to the year 1867, the correspondence between my father and his brothers appears to have been interrupted, although my father continued to write to them at least once a year. The letters were probably lost on the overland journey as mail transport had again become very uncertain on account of the North and South War which had been waging for the past two years. As we were outside the fighting zone, with the exception of a very heavy war-tax and an increase in the cost of living, it did not trouble us very much. Nevertheless, California (Union) was prepared for emergence to the extent of one thousand men under arms, while at San Francisco there were fortifications, iron-clad ships, monitors, and several of the latest 400 lb. guns. The history of these iron-clad ships and monitors is interesting and noteworthy and is as follows:- In March 1862, the Confederates (South) seized the navy-yard at Norfolk, Virginia, and there found the United States frigate the "Merrimac". They transformed her into an iron-clad with sloping sides and an iron beak. On March 6th, the "Merrimac" attacked the five wooden warships belonging to the United States, which were lying in the Hampton Roads, and destroyed them. The following day Captain John Ericsson, the inventor of the screw-propellor, produced a warship which he had just completed, called the "Monitor". She was a small craft presenting very little surface for the enemy's cannon balls to strike. Amidships there was an iron turret, made to revolve by machinery, and which carried two enormous guns capable of throwing much heavier balls than had ever before been seen in naval warfare. The result was an encounter between the "Merrimac" and the "Monitor" the latter sending her formidable cannon-balls thundering against the sides of the "Merrimac" and then as the turret swung round, so battering her that she was forced to retire. This event completely revolutionized naval warfare, and all great nations replaced their wooden warships with ironclads and "monitors".

California was also prepared to contribute to the extent of 25,000 men, if necessary, towards helping to drive the French out of Mexico, as the Emperor Napoleon III of France, making the unjust treatment of foreigners in Mexico an excuse, in the year 1862 declared war and forced an Emperor of his own choosing, the Archduke Maximilian of Austria, on the country. In the end, however, after strong protest from the United States, Napoleon withdrew his troops, the unfortunate Maximilian was dethroned and deserted, and sometime afterwards was shot by the Republican Party.

In the meantime, I had appeared on the scene, also brother John. I was now three and a half years old, and Johnnie was aged seventeen months. Herman, the youngest and last, arrived on April 22nd, 1863.

Uncle Frank, Father's youngest brother, had been living with us for the past two years. His wife and their son, William, refused to come to California, as they preferred living in Cleveland, Ohio, with their two married daughters and their children, but Uncle was anxious for them all to join him in California, as he liked the climate, which he considered to be ideal, not too hot in summer, nor too cold in winter. The Californian climate is unique, the seasons as known in other countries do not exist. There is a season of somewhat greater heat and no rainfall, when even irrigated lands look brown and parched. That is summer. Again there is a season with delightful warm days followed by chilly nights and rainfalls, which transforms the country into one vast carpet of flowers and green vegetation, and the highest mountains are covered with snow. That is winter. There are giant geraniums, one mass of bloom, roses everywhere filling the air with their perfume, and fragrant violets appear in numbers almost beyond belief. There are groves of graceful palms and dark pepper trees with their bright red berries, while long avenues of the stately eucalyptus adjoin green fields of growing grain. The whole is bathed in an atmosphere of extraordinary mellowness and brilliance.

In addition to the hundreds of gold mines that had been worked since the year 1849, no less than two thousand silver and copper mines had been discovered in California during the last twenty months; consequently, the excitement was intense, and, as usual, many farmers left their homes to try and make their fortunes quicker that way. My father considered that too many were going, and contented himself with buying shares in six different mines. Unfortunately, it cost a great deal of money before good ore could be extracted from the average mine, and many years might elapse before they were in proper working order on account of the scarcity of capital and experienced workmen. However, steam pump-engines had been procured, and when finally in good running order, the output in ore was expected to reach to the value of $?000,000,000. a year.

So far only a few mercury pits, the output of which did not pay for the outlay, had been discovered in Sonoma County, but this year copper was found, the investigation of which led to the further discovery of still one hundred more veins of mostly copper, but also of gold and silver. In the adjoining counties of Marin, Napa, and Mendocino, research was still going on and new veins were continually being opened up. Copper had been found as near as four miles from Fort Ross.

Many changes had taken place in California during the last few years. Wages were still very high owing to the scarcity of workmen, many preferring to go prospecting in the mountains to working for a wage of two and a half to three dollars a day. Prices were down, as there was a super-production in everything. The State was rich in cereals of every kind, also in wine and tobacco, and meat cost from one to two cents a pound. The harvest being usually very productive and a crop failure almost unknown, the result was that the sheds were packed with products for which there was little or no demand, in spite of the fact that large quantities were being shipped abroad.

Threshing was now done in the open by new machines which had lately come into the market, a good one threshing 1,400 bushels per day and cleaning the product at the same time. Father had purchased a small one which threshed 2000 bushels in a fortnight.

The cattle-breeding had been so successful that my father found it necessary to reduce his stock on account of overcrowding his camp. He had sold 400 head of cattle to butchers in San Francisco, 300 he exchanged for horses, and a hundred cows and calves he sold for the low price of four dollars apiece. Besides this he killed four head per week, which usually gave five hundred pounds of meat, worth four cents a pound.

The previous winter had been unusually cold and wet, and the flat parts of the country so flooded that numerous houses were washed away and the animals drowned. We lost two hundred head of cattle and thirty horses through hunger and cold, but many farmers were completely ruined and became bankrupt. However, if the mines turned out well, my father anticipated being able to sell his products at better prices, and people in general believed in a golden future.

Oakland, California. 1873 - 1874.


The year 1873 found us in Oakland, where we had been living for the past six years. Father had finally made up his mind to sell his farms and move to town where he could put his children to good schools. In the meantime he made enquiries and considered as to which country he would go next. He was weary of the policy of the United States Government, whose unfair treatment of foreigners had harassed and humiliated him for so long; and latterly the depredations of the gold-seekers, with their overbearing and selfish methods of seeking for gold in any way or where they chose. They employed hydraulic hoses or "gushers" which tore away the hillsides, causing powerful streams of water to create a combination of mud, sand, and stones, called "slickens" which poured over fertile pastures and crops, fouled drinking water, and left wholesale ruin in its wake. For years open conflict raged between the farmers and miners, battles were fought and many killed, till finally, when the dispute reached a point of warfare that it alarmed the nation, a Federal Court declared in favour of the agriculturists, and the hydraulic miners were obliged to cease their operations.

Our home in Oakland was situated just outside the town. It was a comfortable two-story house built in the Colonial style with a verandah in front from which some steps led down to a garden where all kinds of flowers grew in profusion. At the back of the house there was a larger garden with shady walks and a croquet lawn. A row of cypress trees shut off a kitchen garden and a chicken yard. Beyond these came some hothouses, the stables, and a barn.

In these days, children at a very early age were expected to do their share of the house and farm work, and we were no exception to this rule. My duties consisted of daily errands to the post-office and shops, and in cleaning and watering the gardens, mowing the lawns etc. I was also always called upon to do any job requiring extra brawn and muscle being remarkably strong and tall for my age. Charlie was supposed to take it in turn with me to do the watering, but as he was not very strong, he often bribed me into taking on the whole, and although Mother and Josephine sometimes helped with the watering of the vegetables and flowers it generally meant my rising at a very early hour and getting some of it done before breakfast.

Johnny, Herman and I attended the "Lincoln Grammar School for Boys and Girls" which was situated a few blocks away from home. It was divided into three "Schools" namely Lower, Junior and Senior; with five Grades to each School, and about fifty pupils to each Grade. The Head of my School (Lower) was a Mr Craven, who with Mrs Craven and about four other teachers, taught us the usual English subjects. I took also lessons in German and later on in book-keeping. Once a week we had music and singing, the latter I disliked intensely, especially when we were required to sing alone, which as a matter of fact, finally I flatly refused to do, as my voice was at the breaking stage and therefore not always under my control, much to the amusement of my companions and to my furious embarrassment.

School opened at eight o'clock in the morning, and we worked until eleven, when we had fifteen minutes recess. We came out at noon, and returned in the afternoon from one o'clock until three, after which, with the exception of the usual homework, we were free for the rest of the day. Any time I had for recreation I usually spent in playing football, and also did quite a lot of reading. I had joined the Public Library in Oakland, for which I paid a monthly subscription of fifty cents out of my pocket-money allowance of fifty cents a week. I also subscribed to a periodical called "Frank Leslie's Boys and Girls" which appeared every Friday and cost ten cents.

On Thursday May 8th, 1873, when I was thirteen years of age I commenced my diary. I wrote the first few entries in a pocket-book, and on the 18th inst., when my brother Frank encouraged me by making me a present of a handsome leather-bound volume, I resolved to write it up regularly, a purpose which I am glad to say I have adhered to through the many years since then.

May. 1873. I begin my Diary.

Thursday 8th.

I went to school today as usual, and had grammar and analysis most all day. Uncle Howard came this morning and said that Johnny and I can come up to his farm for the vacations. He is going to stay overnight. I watered the garden after school, and after supper I went to the library and paid for this month. (fifty cents) This afternoon Mother took Charlie to San Francisco to see Dr Zeile.

Wednesday 14th.

I was watering the garden this evening after supper, when a man came to our house asking for help. He said he had been in all the Indian wars, Mexican war, and in the Rebellion. He was wounded in the right knee, and could not see out of his left eye. Then he began to talk in Indian. He said that in the Indian wars he had acted as guide, expressman, and interpreter.

Charlie said this morning that if I will water the garden always, he will give me his nice mother-of-pearl-handled knife, and help me with my other work.

The previous month I had been to San Francisco to have my photograph taken, and when I came home on Thursday evening, Frank had them on the parlour table. I gave one each to Father, Frank and Josephine. Frank then brought out some old photographs. There was a large one of our house at Fort Ross, one of Father taken about twenty years ago, and one of Mother taken about fifteen years ago, also one of Frank in the year 1861, and one of Josephine at the age of three.

The following Saturday when I went to the grocery store for Mother, I took the opportunity of weighing myself, and found that I was now 135 lbs. I didn't think I weighed as much as that.

The next day Charlie, Johnny and I went to Church in the morning as it was a pleasant Sunday. In the afternoon we went by boat to China Point, and then to a dredging machine on the other side of the creek, where we saw numberless little fish swimming about and which we tried to catch with our hands. I succeeded in catching a long thin fish like an eel, which I gave to Johnny. When we got home I went along to Frank's room, and he asked me what kind of book I had for my diary, and I told him it was a small pocket-book. He then gave me a beautiful red leather book, and said that if I kept it properly he would give me a present for Christmas. After supper Father, Mother and Josephine went to call on Captain and Mrs Fleming, and I spent the evening in copying from my old diary into the new one. On Monday Father gave me fifty cents in payment for some work I had done for him. I spent it on letter paper and envelopes. I saw in the newspaper "The Call" that there might be a training ship in the Bay, and asked Mother if I might go to school on her if there was one and she said "Yes". We had some Limburger cheese for supper that evening, and it smelled so that we had to hold our noses while eating it, and Wrota, our serving maid, refused to wash the dish it was on. After supper, when I was returning from the store, where I had been to buy some calico for Mother, I saw an old Sioux Indian, called Emperor Norton; he had an eagle's feather about a foot long in his cap. A man asked him why he did not beat the Modocs, and he answered "I would like to send that scalp of yours to them".

This month we were extra busy at school with the end of the term examinations, as the summer vacations commenced on June 1st. I always took great interest in my lessons, and on the whole did well in the examinations. This term I achieved an average of eighty per cent. The German paper I found especially easy, and as I said afterwards "I think I was perfect".

Thursday 22nd.

This was Frank's twenty-third birthday. I did not give him anything, but I wish I had been able to. After school I went into town and on the way I stopped to listen to a man lecturing about the "lightening reckoning". He was trying to sell some books about it.

The next morning Mr Craven handed me the programme of our School Entertainment, which was to take place that afternoon, and told me to make a copy of it. This took me some time, and when I had finished it I went home and picked some flowers and vines. These I took to the school and helped to decorate the room where the entertainment was to be held. At three o'clock precisely, we all took our places in the schoolroom, which was already half filled with the parents and relations of the pupils, but a great many people arrived late while the scholars were reciting. Great amusement was afforded by a dialogue given by six of the 1st Grade pupils, which was very clever. The entertainment closed with some remarks by a minister from Chicago.

Thursday 29th.

The last day of school. I hardly slept the night before on account of the strong gale which blew all night long. In the morning I had a written examination, and afterwards I went to the Exhibition of the 4th and 5th Grades, but their room was so crowded I couldn't get in, so I went along to the library and returned my book, as I was not going to belong the next month. On the way back I called in at the grocery store and measured my height. I found that I was now five feet seven inches tall, only one inch shorter than Father, and the same height as Charlie, who is three years older. Josephine is five feet five inches.

I saw the first Postal Card this morning, it was for Mother, and had an advertisement on the blank side.

The following morning I watered the garden, and then raked the whole of the stable-yard, which kept me busy till noon. As I wore no stockings, I got a large blister on the side of my foot, which was so painful I could hardly walk. After dinner Mother and I packed Johnny's and my trunks for our visit to the Howards next day.

I rose at six o'clock the next morning, and watered the chicken-yard and the garden. At ten o'clock I bathed and dressed myself in readiness to go to the country. Father gave me a dollar. We took the train to San Francisco, where we got a drayman to take our luggage to the steamer "Antelope", which started at 3.30, and arrived at Donahue at 5.30 p.m. From here we took the train for Petaluma, and from there on to Santa Rosa, which we reached at seven in the evening. Here we were met by Mr Harding and his son Theodore, who was coming with us. We then took the stage-coach for Sebastopol (I had to go on top) where we arrived at 10 p.m. and had to put up for the night at Wilson's Hotel. The following morning we breakfasted at half-past six, and then left by the stage-coach bound for Freestone, which we reached a couple of hours later. Uncle Bill Howard was waiting for us, and drove us the four miles to his house, where Aunt Caroline, and my cousins Charlie, Lizzie, Clara and Amelia, were very glad to see us, and to get the presents we took them.

After dinner Charlie, Theodore, Willie Morgan (also there on a visit) Johnny and I went after water-snakes. We succeeded in catching one large water-snake and three smaller ones. After supper Charlie and I went hunting with a musket, and Charlie shot a rabbit. I shot at a robin, but missed it. When we returned home we all played parlour games.

The next morning Charlie and I got up at half-past five and went after a horse that had got loose, but we couldn't catch him, coming home I shot a woodpecker. After breakfast we went to have another try at catching the horse. I caught him and rode him home, but his back bone was so sharp I could hardly walk afterwards, and I got a headache through being jogged so much. Uncle then took us to his big field and showed us how to use his new plough, and we ploughed the cornfield, Charlie driving the horse while I held the cultivator. While we were busy a crazy man came along and fell into the creek; he scrambled out and then got on to the fence and fell off that; then seeing my coat hanging on the fence, he tried it on, hollering and talking the whole time. We were on the other side of the fence then, but we ploughed on until we got to him. Just then Uncle Howard came along and the crazy man walked off, leaving my coat and hat in the creek. Poor man, he was afterwards sent to the asylum at Stockton.

The rest of our visit was spent in rambling over the countryside in search of blackberries and nuts, and helping with the ploughing and haymaking. When it was very hot, we paddled in the creek. In the evening after supper, we played games, or wrote letters. One morning Charlie, Johnnie, and I went to see the Chinamen at Olmstead, where there were three hundred of them. On the way back we stopped at Gifford's Mill to sail Charlie's boat and afterwards went in for a swim, and ugh! wasn't the water cold. I had a bad headache all day, which had been too hot for comfort.

Sunday June 15th.

This was my fourteenth birthday. I rose at 5.30 a.m. and went hunting behind the house for rabbits. I shot at a hare but missed it. Charlie and I intended riding to the Russian River after breakfast, but Uncle wanted the horses, so we could not go. We then thought we would go to Freestone, but this didn't come off either, so we went along to Mr Meeker's mill to see the remains of his house which had lately been burned down. We picked up some tools and things which were lying about, but when we got home Uncle made us return them, he said Mr Meeker was a "mean" man.

After dinner Mr Helmke, a friend of Father's, arrived and said that Father had made up his mind to go to South America.

Friday 20th.

In the morning I helped Aunt Caroline to make the butter, and then dressed myself in my Sunday clothes, in preparation for going to meet Mother and Herman, who were expected by the stage-coach arriving that afternoon. Charlie and Johnny went in the covered-wagon, while I was on horseback. We reached Freestone about a quarter of an hour before the stage came in with Mother and Herman inside. Herman said he weighed eighty-one lbs.

I got up very early next morning and picked some gooseberries to take to Josephine. After dinner we bid everyone good-bye and started for Freestone. I rode, and the others went in the covered-wagon. We had to wait some time before the stage-coach came along, and when it finally arrived it was so full that I had to go on top with the driver. We reached Sebastopol at half-past five, where we had supper, and then went to bed at eight o'clock. The next morning after breakfast, we took the stage and arrived at Santa Rosa at 8.30 a.m. which was half an hour's journey in the cars (tram) from Petaluma. Here we took a cab to the Washington Hotel. We usually stayed at the American Hotel but found that it had been burned down two days before. After lunching with some friends, Johnny, Herman and I went for a walk round the town, while Mother bought some goods. We had dinner at the hotel. As William (who is working with Mr Burdell) did not come to fetch us, we hired a coach to take us to the farm. We soon arrived there and the Burdells were very glad to see us. It is a fine ranch of 6.336 acres, and has five dairies on it. We stayed there four days. The night we arrived Willie received a letter from Josephine saying that Charlie was sick in bed with rheumatic fever.

The following day was Sunday, and I got up very early and gathered lots of hazel-nuts and manzanitas, which are small apples, rather like crab-apples. I afterwards showed Johnny where to look for them. I was late for breakfast.

After bidding everyone good-bye, William drove us to Haystack, where we took the steamer for San Francisco, arriving at 12.30 p.m. Frank met us at the landing-place and stayed behind to look after the luggage, while we went on board the Oakland boat. We arrived home in due course and everyone was very glad to see us. I gave Charlie my bag of hazel-nuts.

The next morning I went along to the stables to see the new cow that Father had bought, and which was to be my special care, to water, feed, and milk twice a day. I then went to the grocery store and measured myself. I found that I had grown another three-quarters of an inch while I was in the country. That evening Father told us that he was going to South America in October.

July. 1873. School days and Holidays.

The Wells, Fargo stage coaches mentioned in my diary were also armed road-agents who operated during the years 1850 - 1880, when fatal fights with Indians and highwaymen were all part of the daily business routine for this pioneer organization. Its bank, the first on the Pacific coast, bought gold-dust, paying the miners with drafts on New York. In the height of the gold-rush, the bank often bought and shipped East $1,000,000 in gold in a day. For many years the Overland Stage Line, carrying passengers, bullion and mail, crossed the continent on a regular time-table the only reliable means of transportation between scattered mining towns and the main routes. In one year, over Johnson Pass to Washoe Valley, Wells Fargo hauled more than £200,000 worth of silver bullion.

On Thursday July 3rd, I went to the town in the afternoon and bought some gunpowder and fireworks for thirty-five cents, which left me with fifty cents over. After dinner Mother gave me a packet of crackers, and Father gave Johnny, Herman and me fifty cents each. I went to Hardy's store and bought five rockets, one volcano, and a cracker that shoots six times; all for twenty-five cents. The next evening after supper, we took all our fireworks into the big field behind our house, and shot them all off. It was fine. We then went over to Hardy's where there was a grand display. There were rockets, flower-pots, pin-wheels, flying-wheels, bombs, roman-candles, and all kinds of coloured lights.

On Monday 7th, Johnny and I went back to school. We were both very glad to see that we had been promoted to the 1st Grade. After school I sat with Charlie and read to him out of "The Boy's Own Paper" until he was tired. I then went and played "Tally hie ho" with the children.

On Saturday morning there was some disturbance at school about some acacia beans that were brought into the school-room, but it passed off all right. In the evening Frank returned from a hunting visit to the Burdell's farm, and I had to go to the depot with a wheelbarrow to fetch a bag of hares which he had shot.

The next day being Sunday, in the morning I went to Church with Josephine, and spent the afternoon reading and sitting with Charlie. As I was going up to bed, I caught a large black June bug in the hall upstairs.

The following Thursday I went shopping with Father. Mother had given me a new brown coat of Charlie's, which I wore to school, and now Father bought me a pair of pants to go with it; and I bought myself a cravat, which cost twenty-five cents. After supper I took a parcel to the Wells, Fargo Express Office, and sent it to William. When I came home I went to bed early as I had a bad headache. The day had been rather warmer than I liked it.

On Sunday 20th, Charlie got up for the first time, but remained in his room. In the afternoon my god-father, Mr Rossiter, came with his two daughters to see us. He said that if I was confirmed in the Catholic Church, he would give me a present. William arrived home in the evening, and brought me a new hat.

The next day we were all very excited as Uncle Frank, Xavier, Father's brother, arrived from South America, where he had been living for the past seven years. I spent the whole of the afternoon listening to what he said about the place. He said that in the Argentine Republic when anyone sows any seeds, someone has to keep the parrots from eating them, and also that you can get one hundred oranges for a "real" (worth about 12 cents).

That day I decided that I would rather be a sailor than anything else, and Frank said that he was going to the Argentine Republic in October or November. Before supper, I went to the butchers after a beef-steak, but I forgot, and got mutton-chop instead. On the way back I found a thimble which I sold to Josephine for ten cents.

Mr Brodt, my teacher in Grade 1. said that I do not hold my pen right when I write, so I am learning a new way of holding it. We had to stay in after school today, and Mr Brodt gave us a talking to.

Saturday 26th, was the most delightful day of the year. It was rather hot, so I spent the afternoon reading and sleeping in the barn. In the evening Johnny, Herman, Eugene Howell and I went for a swim in Lake Merrit. When we came back I again listened to Uncle talking about South America.

August. 1873

The weather had now become much cooler, especially in the early morning and evening, and Mother had a fire lighted in the parlour. William came over for one week-end and brought us a big box of huge peaches, also two young coons for Johnny's museum. The same evening Father brought out his electricity machine, and we all had to stand in a row and catch hold of one another's hands, while those at either end grasped the machine. Together we only felt very little electricity, but afterwards, when we were electrified separately, I could only feel it in my arms, but I felt it hard enough. I had to tell them to stop as it seemed as though my arms were swelling, and the flesh was being pulled from my bones.

Sunday 10th. Uncle, Johnny, Herman and I took the train to San Francisco. We walked about for a while looking at the town, and then took the horse-car for Woodward's Gardens. First we went to see the bears and the birds on the hill, and then went to the museum where the stuffed animals were kept. We next visited the tropical gardens, the picture gallery, and the sea-lions. We afterwards went into the beautiful aquarium where we saw the "infant wonder" which was a six months old baby, who weighed only three lbs. After looking at the beavers, alligators, birds, and vampires; the menagerie and the skating-rink, we went along to the theatre and saw the Brinsley family act a play called "The Pantomime Doctor" which was very laughable. After partaking of some chocolate and sandwiches, we started for home, and got back about six o'clock.

The next morning at school, Mr Brodt occupied a great deal of time telling us about the bad effects of smoking and drinking. In the afternoon, we had to talk about something, and as I couldn't think of anything else, I talked about how I came very near to being drowned at Fort Ross. In the evening Charlie came down to supper for the first time, and afterwards, while Father made the musical-box play tunes, I read a book called "Jack Harkaway Among the Brigands".

Saturday 16th. Mother and Charlie left for the Parker's ranch at Cloverdale, Sonoma County where Charlie was going to stay for a while to get strong. I went to the depot to see them off, and carried Mother's valise.

The next day being Sunday, I was putting on my best shirt preparatory to going to Church, when the button came off at the neck. I made Josephine sew it on, but when she had gone downstairs, it came off again, so I had to sew it on myself. Our seat in Church was occupied, when I finally arrived, so I came home and spent the day reading and listening what Uncle was saying about South America.

Sunday 24th was Johnny's twelfth birthday, and I gave him a penholder. In the evening Mother returned from Cloverdale, leaving Charlie there.

The next day I bought a blank book from Frank. It had two hundred and fifty pages in it, and cost fifty cents. I called it my "fact book", or "the value of money" and kept my accounts in it. That evening I had a bad cold, so Mother gave me some medicine, and made me chew "yerba santa". Before going to bed, I listened to Uncle and Father talking about the lizards, crocodiles and snakes in South America, there seemed to be some mighty big ones. Father said he would go there as soon as he could sell some property, and take some of us boys with him, and buy land there.

Saturday 30th. A friend of Josephine's, Bella Williams, came to spend the day. In the afternoon I played croquet and "hide and go seek" with them, and after supper Josephine and I took Bella home. We went past our school and on the 12th Street, where we met Mr Williams. We walked on until about three blocks past the bridge, Bella and I going on way ahead. We listened to the band playing in the park for a while, and then Josephine and I came home. On the way back we met Mr Hesse, who invents water-wheels, and he walked back with us. Mother and the children (Johnny and Herman) went buggy-riding that afternoon, and later Uncle took them to the San Francisco Theatre to see the "decapitation act".

September. 1873

On Tuesday 9th. Father, Mother and Josephine went to the "Pioneers Picnic" at Badger's Park. The same evening we had a supper-party at home. The guests were Mr and Mrs Burdell, Mr and Mrs Flatt, Netty Verhave and Mr Hesse.

I got up at six the next morningf and milked the cow, and watered the garden, before breakfast. The cow gave me a good deal of trouble as she was feeling very wild, and wouldn't eat her hay while I milked her. She ended by stepping into the milk-bucket, half full of milk, which had to be thrown away. Mother was a bit scoldish about it. My nose bled several times during the day, and in the evening I had to take Seidlitz powders ana senna tea, and bad stuff it was too.

On Friday 19th, we started our Michaelmas vacation, which was a very short one, only until October 6th.

The following Sunday when I went to Church with Josephine and Bella, my nose bled during the service, and that night I had to take more powders and more tea.

October. 1873

On Wednesday 1st. Uncle went to Cloverdale to bring Charlie home. That afternoon I measured off a piece of ground, about five feet by ten feet. I then watered it well and afterwards made a low brick wall round it. Mother gave me about twenty plants, lilies, fuschias, and roses, and we planted them before dinner. The same day Josephine gave me a dozen packets of different kinds of seeds, which I sowed in a box, to be planted out later, in my garden. The next-day we, that is Mother, Bella, Johnny and Herman and I, went buggy-riding in the afternoon. First we went to the Piedmont Springs, and I drank a little of the sulphur water, but I did not like it very much. We then drove towards Summit House. I had taken a little gun, but could not get near enough to the ground-squirrels to shoot them. That evening I planted a few more plants in my garden. Among them was a "century plant" which, according to the dictionary is "a Mexican fleshy-leaved species of agave commonly cultivated as a house plant, formerly believed not to blossom until a hundred years old".

On Monday 6th, school reopened, and in the afternoon Charlie arrived home, bringing Ira Parker with him. We wanted to go swimming in Malpitas Lake, but Mother would not give us leave.

The following Sunday, Uncle, Charlie, Ira and Josephine went to Woodwards Gardens in San Francisco, while I stayed at home all day reading and playing with our two dogs, Pompey and Caesar. It was a delightfully warm day, being 80 f.h. at 2 p.m. After supper we all played croquet, and when it got dark, we placed stumps of candles by the arches.

The next day Uncle and I swept all the garden walks, the yard, front garden, and chicken-house, all before breakfast. I wanted to go boating with Ira after school, but Mother would not permit it, so we went for a walk round the town. In the evening I had to study my lessons as well as I could, because Ira stayed in my room all the time.

Sunday 19th. I read "Boys and Girls" most of the forenoon, and after dinner Ira, Charlie, Uncle and I went to Faskin's Gardens in Alameda. We went to the depot and there got on to a train, but had to jump off while it was in motion, as we found it was the wrong train. We waited for a while and then got on to a crowded car; we then got off at the wrong station in Alameda, and had to walk a long distance to reach the Park. We at length arrived, and went to see the German man-o-war "Nymph" which was in the harbour. There was a dance on board, and after watching the people dancing, we walked about the gardens, and then went home.

Friday 24th. Mr Brodt said that my paper on "analysis" was the best written of all the scholars. That afternoon we had to write a composition on "Astronomical Clocks in Washington", and some of us had to stay in after school, while Mr Brodt talked to us about some noise we made while he was out of the room. During history class he said that the United States would never be severed, and that Mexico and Canada would some day be part of the United States, and told us to "see if they wouldn't some time". Ira Parker went back to Cloverdale after dinner.

The next Saturday Mother and the children went fishing at China Point, and caught fifty fish. Charlie, Tom Rodolph and I went sailing on Lake Merritt. We sailed to Adams Point and back, and then the same thing over again.

November. 1873

On Tuesday 11th Frank returned from Burdell's farm where he had been on a hunting expedition. The buttons of my suspenders came off while I was at school, and I had to take care that my pants didn't fall down. Also I had to stay in three-quarters of an hour after school, because I wouldn't sing alone at singing class. I played football before school, at recess, noon, and after school, when we went to an empty lot on 12th Street and played for an hour. It was splendid fun. I gave Charlie $1.25. for a half share in a five-barreled pistol, and as my mother had given me 25 cents for wiping the dishes while our maid Wrota was away on a holiday and for helping her to wash our two dogs, I now had 30 cents over.

Saturday 22nd. Frank went up the coast on business for Father, where he was going to stay until he goes to South America.

Thursday 27th was Thanksgiving Day and we had a very good dinner, turkies, chickens, cakes etc. Mr and Mrs Hesse, and Mr and Mrs James Burdell dined with us. I think I eat too much at dinner. I read most of the afternoon and evening while they talked of South America. Although it rained all night long, a barn was burned down on 1st Street, and I watched the flames for a long time from my window. I gave Charlie another $1 for his share in the pistol, leaving me five cents over. School adjourned till Monday.

December. 1873

Wednesday 17th. The weather had become very unsettled. At the beginning of the month we had more than a week of continual rain, which had been pretty general all over California, and Uncle Frank and Johnny, who arrived back from a visit to Burdell's Farm on the 5th, said that on the previous Wednesday it had snowed over a quarter of a foot deep in Sonoma County. On the 10th, it cleared up for a few days and turned much colder, with heavy frosts in the early morning.

The following day School closed for the Christmas vacation. Also we received our School Reports for October, when I was pleased to see that I was second in my Class.

On Saturday 10th. Willie, who had come home for Christmas, Uncle and I went to the other side of Webster Street, to shoot with the former's rifle, which he had used in South America. There was a very high tide and when I went out to set up the target, I slipped and fell in the river and was very nearly carried away by the current. I managed to get to shore however and ran all the way home to keep from getting a chill.

Monday 22nd. After doing my chores, I put on my Sunday clothes and Josephine, Bella, William and I went to the city. We barely caught the train from Oakland, and arrived in San Francisco about 5 o'clock. We walked to Swain's Restaurant where we had coffee and cakes. We then strolled up and down Montgomery Street, Kearney Street, and Market Street for about two hours, looking at the sights. At half past seven, we made our way to the California Theatre and procured seats in the dress-circle. They gave a play called "William Tell" and Madame Bishop sang. I thought the singing was most superb, and was very well satisfied with the acting. Unfortunately, we were obliged to leave during the last act so as to catch the last train for Oakland. After paying all expenses we each had 75 cents over. It was a delightful day.

On Christmas Eve. Father gave me $5.00 in silver, making me $5.75. I then went to the grocery store and got a sack full of things for the poor, and took it to the poor-house in Webster Street. The store-keeper gave me a nice little pipe which I gave to Uncle Frank. After supper we all gathered round our Christmas Tree. I got a smelling-bag from Bella, and Josephine gave me a bottle of red ink. I scared Herman by putting on a false face and a sheet. I met him on the landing as he was going to bed and succeeded in frightening him pretty well.

On Christmas Day we had a very good dinner at one o'clock, after which Charlie and I took a walk down to the Washington Street wharf and looked at the tugs and schooners, and also at the engine in the gas works. In the evening I read "The Headless Horseman" by Mayne Reid, till bedtime. The next morning I woke up with a feeling of dizziness on account of having eaten some painted candy. I also had a headache and a pain in my inside. I read most of the day, and in the evening Father operated on us with the electricity machine.

Saturday 27th. I did not sleep very well during the night. After breakfast I helped Uncle and Willie sweep and clean the garden and croquet lawn, and then I beat out some carpets for my mother. In the afternoon I went with Johnnie and Herman to the Bank. I put in six dollars, Father lending me fifty cents, which made me about nine dollars in the bank altogether.

The next day I woke with a bad headache and a pain in my throat. I got up early, milked the cow, and then went back to bed again, where I stayed until eleven o'clock. I then got up and went to Church with Willie. We heard Mr Hamilton preach about "Love your Enemies".

It was a lonesome disagreeable day, and I spent the rest of my time reading about Brazil.

Wednesday 31st. The weather had become unsettled again. I was still not feeling well, had a sore throat, a cough and a sore eye, so after doing the milking, I lay down most of the day and read about ostriches. Today was the last day of the year. I wondered how I should spend the close of the next year.

January 1874.

Thursday 1st. I did not sleep very well during the night. I still had the sore throat and my eye was still bad, also I felt very hot and uncomfortable, besides there was a lot of shooting going on at twelve o'clock letting in the New Year. As it rained continually all day long I stayed indoors and read, until supper. In the evening we all played "horse race" and the game of "alphabets". When I went up to bed I sewed up a hole in my pants.

Monday 5th. was the first day of school. I played football at recess and at noon. It wasn't much fun though as I merely stood around. In the afternoon I kept house and read. Several real estate agents came to the house who wanted to sell Father's property for him.

Tuesday 6th. was Mother's forty-fourth birthday.

On Thursday 29th. I went alone to the Brayton Hall Theatre in Oakland, and sat with some boys I knew. The acts were very comical and there were also some very good speeches. It began at 7.30 and was over at 9.45. It was very good. As it was such a beautiful moonlight night I walked home.

On Saturday 31st. Johnny, Herman and I went down town with Father, and he bought us all some boots and shoes. We got them at Alexander's and mine cost $8.00. I left my old ones to be re-soled. In the evening a nice little boy, Harry Schmidt, who is about nine years of age, came from San Francisco to stay with us for a while for his health, and Mr Parker, who had been on a visit to us for a few days, left for Cloverdale.


Sunday 1st. Uncle, Willie, and I went to Woodward's Gardens for the day. This time we visited the Tropical Gardens, and the picture gallery. We also saw a small house with all kinds of the most beautiful little birds in it. After seeing the sea-lions fed, we went to the Theatre and saw the Brinsley Family perform on trapeses and ladders. After that there was a comic pantomime. We saw the sea-lions fed again, and then came home in time for supper. We had no dinner. I paid my expenses which amounted to sixty-five cents.

Monday 9th. was Father's sixtieth birthday. Frank started back to Oregon in the morning by water. Valentines for the children began to arrive.

Saturday 14th. was St Valentine's Day. I received two comical valentines before breakfast, they were found under the doors. After Breakfast I bought a valentine at Hardy's with 25 cents borrowed from Josephine, and sent it to Bella Williams in East Oakland.

Monday 16th. I had to wipe the dishes after breakfast, as the Chinese New Year began today and our Chinaman servant went to San Francisco to enjoy himself.

Saturday 21st. was the day before Washington's birthday, so there was no school. As I was returning from the library where I had been to change my book, I heard the firebell ringing, and saw a large light in Washington Street. I ran to see what it was, and it was the fire-engine house on fire. The building was completely burned down before the engines began squirting water. Louis, our Chinaman returned in the evening and brought us a quantity of fire-crackers to celebrate Washington's Birthday.

The weather was now very cold, and I was suffering from badly chapped hands.


Sunday 8th. Josephine, Bella and I went to Church (Independent Presbyterian) and heard Mr Eyejamb preach. After dinner Charlie and I went down 1st street and Broadway to see Mr Hesse's new water-wheel engine. The following day I had a quarrel with a boy at school. He threw some dirt at me, so I threw some in his face; I wasn't afraid of him as he was smaller than I was.

On Friday 20th school closed for a week's vacation and we had the usual Exhibition in the afternoon, but only a small one. There was singing and speeches, but Mr Brodt did not call upon me to speak, greatly to my relief. Towards the close a little girl about three years old sang a song very well.

The next day a man came to the house and said that he wanted to buy all our property in Oakland.

Saturday 28th. Willie and I took Ada and Annie Ogilsby, who were staying in our house, for a row on Lake Merrit. We rowed for about two hours, and it was hard work. That afternoon Charlie left for another long visit to Cloverdale. I was now studying the Spanish alphabet.


Wednesday 1st. (April Fool's Day) was very cold and foggy, so after milking the cow, I got into bed again. I received a letter from Cousin Lizzie, and we were all very glad to hear that Mr Burdell had won his law-suit over the Black Mill property, and was therefore the richer by $250,000.

Sunday 5th. was Easter Sunday and we celebrated it by eating plenty of coloured eggs, and a good dinner. Uncle John Wagner and his two daughters came in the morning and stayed over dinner. I remained at home reading most of the afternoon, and in the evening Harvey Burdell and Willie took Mother and Josephine to Church. I had already been to the morning service so did not go again.

Tuesday 7th. I started lessons in book-keeping. There was trouble at school that day as after school the night before, two boys had a fight and one boy hit another over the head with a bat, and he was in a critical situation.

The following Saturday, Bella, Johnny, Herman and I went fishing at the long wharf (Market Street) in San Francisco. Bella and I bought five cents of bait and borrowed rods from the bait men. We fished until two o'clock without getting anything, all except Herman who caught a starfish. After looking at several large ships we returned home. Josephine and Willie left that afternoon on a visit to Uncle Bill Howard and Aunt Caroline.

The next day Father said that we would all go to South America in June. He has the rheumatism pretty badly nowadays.

On Friday 17th. I took Mother and Bella to an evening Concert in aid of the Independent Presbyterian Church, which was held at Braytons Hall in Oakland. The programme consisted of singing and piano solos, and was very well done. We got home about ten o'clock after having had hard work squeezing ourselves through the crowd.

The next day Arthur Matthews, Leonard Fisher, and I walked to the hills and took our lunch with us. We started down Broadway Street, and then went in the direction of the Deaf and Dumb Asylum. We had some very hard climbing to do, but at last we reached the top of the highest peak and I went down the other side for water. We stayed up there, rolling rocks down the hill, and playing around until 3 p.m. when Leonard Fisher started a severe headache. As Arthur did not want to leave him, I started for home alone, getting a lift on a wagon, and arriving very tired about six p.m. I had a headache in the evening. The sun had been very hot all day.

Tuesday 21st. I had to get up a five in the morning to see Father off at the depot. He was going to Napa Springs for a week for his rheumatism.


There was no school on the 1st as it was May Day. In the afternoon Mother, Bella, Herman and I went to the Masonic Picnic in Almeda. We saw some men running and jumping. One man jumped, standing still, ten feet and two inches, and another jumped while running sixteen feet eleven inches. We also saw some people dancing, and a hairless horse.

The following Sunday we went to Church and saw two young ladies baptized. Father gave me twenty-five cents to put in the collection-plate, but as there wasn't one, my finances increased to $3.60. As it was a very warm day, I stayed at home during the afternoon and played with Caesar and Pompey, and then wrote to Cousin Lizzie and Frank.

On Friday 8th. I started going to a dancing school, After supper I  dressed myself in my Sunday clothes and went to a Music Hall on Sixth Street, where I paid $2.00 for a Month's tuition in dancing. Mr Lundt  showed us the steps, and those who could find partners danced the waltz schottische, quadrilles, and lancers. I could not get a partner so I had to look on. I came home at 9 p.m.

The following Friday Bella and I went to the dancing class accompanied by Mother and Josephine. We went through all the steps, but I did not dance the waltz or the schottische, only the lancers with Bella. We weren't going again for a month as the Hall had been engaged by another party.

On Friday 22nd Harry Burdell took Josephine to a calico ball, and the next day took her out buggy-riding. Nuts on her I think. During the afternoon Mother said I could go to Uncle Howard's again for vacations, but Father said we should probably go to South America in July.

Friday 29th. After supper Charlie and I went to the Temperance Meeting which was held in a tent. There were several speeches, and at half past nine the meeting adjourned to the plaza in 4th Street, where there were more speeches lasting for about an hour. Great enthusiasm prevailed. The next day the elections took place, and in the morning I went to the City Hall to see how they were going.

In the afternoon Charlie and I went for an hour's sail on Lake Merrit and I took a swim from the boat. In the evening I gave Josephine five cents in payment of a bet I had with her that we should be gone from Oakland by May 1st.

The next day we received the news that the "Against Licence Party" had won the Temperance elections, and that night there was a great ringing of bells.


Monday 1st. Charlie and I had fixed up a trapeze in the garden and I overtired myself exercising on it, and strained my heart so that for some days I could hardly run or take a large breath. I also tried to hang by my heels and fell down rather hard.

Friday 5th. was the last day of school, so I put on my best clothes and took some flowers to decorate the rooms. In the afternoon we had our Exhibition and afterwards Mr Brodt read out the promotions. I was promoted to the Senior Class. After the performance was over I said good-bye to Mr Brodt. In the evening Bella and I went to the dancing class again, and I danced the lancers and the quadrille. I also waltzed with a boy. When we got home we found a drunk lady taking a nap under our hedge. When we aroused her she took out a pipe and smoked it. She was at last induced to move away.

On Wednesday 11th. at ten minutes past eight at night, we felt a slight shock of earthquake, but only enough to scare us a little.

The next day I went shopping in the town and bought a powder flask for Cousin Charlie, a two-bladed knife for myself, and a large one-bladed knife for Theodore. In the evening Bella, Hela Fleming and I went to the dancing class.

The following day I started on my Journey to Uncle Howard's Farm. Before I left Father gave me $2.50 making me 14.60. After dinner Willie took me as far as the Petaluma boat. The rest of the journey I took alone. I bought a copy of "Boys of America" to read on the boat, and two oranges and some peanuts. When I arrived at Wilson's Hotel, Sebastopol, I had a good supper before going to bed. The next morning I got up at half-past four, thinking that the stage-coach was about to start, but it did not go until after breakfast, at nearly seven o'clock. I had to wait nearly two hours at Freestone until Cousin Charlie arrived with the wagon, and we drove to the farm, where they were all very glad to see me again.

Monday 15th. was my fifteenth birthday.

I spent a very happy time on my uncle's Farm, which was mostly woodland, and therefore only a small portion of it could be cultivated. Behind the house there was a small hill with an empty ruin on it. This property was known as "Stanford's Old Place" and was a favourite haunt of ours, and where we hunted rabbits, snakes, and butterflies, and sometimes went swimming in the mill-pond. We also took long rides to Colmar Valley and Smith's Mill.

Sunday 28th. I received a letter from Josephine saying that Father had sold his Oakland property for $100,000. Hurrah! Off to South America in July.


On Wednesday 1st. Cousin Charlie and I determined to go deer hunting; Unfortunately, I got up at midnight thinking it was about 3 p.m. and I aroused Charlie, but he was so mad, that I went to bed again and did not wake up until daylight. The next day Uncle killed a rattlesnake, and I got eight rattles from it.

Monday 6th. I left for home. I spent the night at the Grand Hotel at Santa Rosa, and continued my journey next day, arriving home about noon. They were all very glad to see me, and said that I had grown a great deal while in the country. Mother paid all my expenses. That evening Frank gave me a cavalry sword, but it wasn't very sharp. The next day Father, Mother, Willie and I went shopping in San Francisco. We went to Hasting's Clothes Store, and Father bought me a suit of black summer clothes ($18) a greyish coat ($5.00) and a linen coat (2.50). He then bought me a pair of gaiters ($6.) and a pair of good slippers for $2.50. We then went to a trunk factory and bought several trunks and a valise. We afterwards went to a saloon where we had a very good dinner. After buying me a black straw hat, we walked around a little while, and then returned to Oakland.

Thursday 9th. I took my money out of the bank ($14) which I gave Father to keep for me, leaving myself 20 cents.

The next day Mother, Josephine and I went to San Francisco and had our photographs taken. Mine in the small size. We then went again to Hasting's Store and bought underclothes and shirts, and after a good dinner returned home.

On Saturday morning Father went to San Francisco and bought eight saddles and in the afternoon we were very busy packing swords and books and the saddles. Father said that we would probably start for South America on the 20th.

Thursday 16th. We sent our slow freight in advance. In the afternoon Mother took the children to San Francisco to buy them clothes. There was an article about us in "The Tribune" of the 28th. That day I rose early and helped to pack the pictures and send them to the buyers. The piano ($225) and the carpenters stool ($20) were also sold and taken away.

The following day I had to go round the house with the auctioneers, who were pricing the beds, furniture etc. Afterwards Father sold everything that was left very cheaply for $475.

On Thursday I walked with a brass band to the Central Hotel to attend a serenade in honour of Senator Page, who made a speech.

The next day Father went to San Francisco and engaged berths for us on the steamer "Arizona" bound for New York via Panama, which sails on Wednesday 29th. The berths cost $100 each.

On Saturday 25th. Johnny, Herman and I went with some friends to the theatre in San Francisco and saw a play called "The Royal Marionettes". It consisted of stuffed people acting little plays such as "Red Riding Hood" etc. Although we had balcony seats we could not see much of it as all the children stood up. When we got home I went to see my best friend Eugene Howell, and he walked home with me. He promised to write to me if I write to him, and as we shall not see each other again, I bid him good-bye.

Tuesday 28th. was our last day in California. In the morning we carried all the trunks downstairs. In the afternoon I had my hair cut and went with Father to get our tickets for the steamer to New York. Last night Josephine's boy friends came and serenaded her so that I did not get to sleep till late for the noise they made. Today there were a good many visitors who came to say good-bye to us. Charlie went over to the Williams in the afternoon, and Bella sent me her photograph. The steamer goes tomorrow. Hurrah! Hurrah!

The voyage to the Argentine Republic. July. 1874.

As far as Panama Bay.

Wednesday. July 29th. Off the coast of California on "S.S. Arizona"

Today we commenced our trip to South America. I got up at five o'clock in the morning, put on my Sunday clothes, and helped to carry the trunks to the sidewalk, in readiness for their removal by the express-wagon.

I then wrote a short note to Uncle Howard and took it to the post-office. Willie rode on the express-wagon, while we all walked to the depot, where we took the train, and afterwards met Willie with the luggage in San Francisco. From here Frank and I walked to the steamer "Arizona", and the rest of the family went in a hack. After we had been on board for about an hour a great many friends arrived who had come to see us off. Dr Cole, who was also sailing, was surrounded by a crowd of people and had a brass band playing. At twenty minutes past twelve the ship cast loose from the wharf, a cannon was fired from on board, and we steamed slowly out of the harbour. "Good-bye Oakland and friends, never expect to see you again".

We passed Fort Point at ten minutes past one, Pasadero at about three o'clock, and an hour later were still in sight of land.

Dinner is at 2 p.m. and supper at six. There are a good many nice things to eat, and so far I have felt no signs of sea-sickness.

After supper Josephine and I walked arm in arm about the deck and watched a school of porpoises which followed the ship for nearly an hour. They were very graceful as they jumped out of the water, and generally go two by two. Their colour is brown on top and white underneath. We also saw in the distance, two whales spouting. Towards night time the sea became rougher, and at 10.30, after waiting a while for a lantern, I went to my room. Frank, Herman and I sleep in one room, No. 5. I am in the top bed Frank in the middle, and Herman underneath. It was a very pleasant day, and they all said that "it could not have been better for the beginning of a voyage".

Thursday 30th. I slept pretty well last night, and when I woke this morning we were out of sight of land. Before breakfast Charlie and I walked about the deck. Afterwards I read a book I got from a book-case in the parlour. It was called "Wild Oats". I thought it was going to be a book on farming, but it wasn't. After dinner I walked over to the steerage and looked at the engine. I then held some worsted for Josephine to wind, and after that walked around with Charlie. We then went into the parlour and listened to a man play the piano. At four o'clock precisely there was a false alarm of fire, so as to train the Chinese sailors what to do in case of real fire. They all rushed to the boats and buckets and squirted water from a hose into the sea. I could not help wondering if they would do it so well if the ship was really on fire. We received our eating tickets today. All the passengers sit together for meals at one long table. It is now getting much warmer, although the sun hardly appeared all day. I went to bed at half past six.

Friday 31st. Off the Southern Coast of California. After a restless night I got up at 6.30 a.m. and walked around the deck with Charlie. We saw a flying fish skimming above the water for a distance of about fifty feet. It had four wings, or fins, two above its tail, and two at its shoulders, and was about eight inches long. This forenoon I watched Captain Seabury take the observations. At midday we had run 261 miles in twenty-four hours. The Arizona burns forty tons of coal per day. I read Harper's Magazine all the afternoon until supper, which was at five o'clock, and which consisted of clam soup, deep-sea bass, roast-beef, tea and cakes, and mush melon. After supper I walked around the upper deck until I went to bed. At ten o'clock that night we were opposite the boundary line between Mexico and California, and were out of sight of land.


Saturday 1st. Off the coast of Lower California. Fourth day at Sea.

When I got up this morning I eat an orange. At 8.30. we had breakfast. I had beefsteak, sausages, fried rice, and coffee. In the afternoon we saw some more flying-fish. They have no wings, only fins, and jump out of the water, when the wind blows them along like a kite. They can stay out of the water as long as their fins are wet, and have anything but a happy time really, as in the sea they are preyed upon by dolphins and tunnies, and when they try to escape by flying in the air, gulls swoop down upon them. This afternoon passed very lonesomely. This thing is getting very monotonous, nothing in sight but water and sky or fog.

Sunday 2nd. Latitude 24° 07., and Longitude 112°. 1017 miles from San Francisco. I got up at eight o'clock this morning, after another restless night, and walked around the ship before breakfast. At ten o'olock there was Divine Service, but I did not attend. Today an awning was stretched over the upper deck, and it is pleasant to sit there and read. In the evening the wake of the steamer was covered with phosphorescence. It was very pretty and looked as though the stars had fallen into the sea. After supper I went to the bows of the boat and listened to the foreign emigrants, Russians I think, singing some sad but beautiful songs. It was a very hot day, and in the evening a hot wind started to blow. I bought two apples at the barber's shop for ten cents, leaving me sixty-five cents.

Monday 3rd. In the Gulf of California. We are in the Tropic Zone today. It was dreadfully hot last night and I did not sleep much. This morning, as it was still very warm, I put on my linen coat and lounged about the deck. I felt a bit seasick this afternoon, and after trying, unsuccessfully to sleep on my bed, I went on deck and fell asleep in a chair. It was very hot all day.

Tuesday 4th. Off the coast of Mexico. 7th day at sea.

I got up at seven this morning and eat an apple before breakfast. This forenoon, as I felt seasickish, I lay on a bench on deck. I eat very little all day, only beefsteak at breakfast, soup for dinner and roast-beef at supper. I lay on my bunk the whole of the afternoon and tried to read. After supper we met the steamer "Montana" from Panama, bound for San Francisco. We stopped and a boat was lowered to deliver the mail. Today we saw a good many more porpoises around the steamer.

Wednesday 5th. Latitude 17° 05. Longitude 100° 46. 1781 miles from San Francisco. Last night I slept on top of the cover as it was so hot, and this morning put on very little clothing, only thin pants, shirt, linen coat, stockings and slippers. We had been in sight of land since yesterday, and today could see the woody hills very plainly. In the evening we arrived at Acapulco. We entered the harbour, which is guarded by a lighthouse, at five o'clock, and came to anchor about half a mile from the shore. As soon as the steamer stopped, the harbour officials came on board, and we were soon surrounded by passenger boats and fruit canoes. These canoes are hollowed out logs which the Mexicans and Indians propel with paddles. Permission being obtained from the Captain, Josephine, Frank, Willie and I hired a boat and went on shore. We had to pay fifty cents each for the passage there and back, which left me with 65 cents over, as Mother gave me a dollar before we started. We walked up to the town and strolled around it followed by a great many half-clad boys and girls who wanted to sell flowers, shells, small parrots, squirrels and fruit. I bought a string of shells for ten cents which I gave to Johnny; a basketful of larger shells for twenty-five cents and ten cents worth of guavas. We saw the ruins of two old churches which had been destroyed by earthquakes, also several little naked Indian boys with very white even teeth. The streets are very narrow, from ten to twenty feet wide, and the roofs of the long, low houses were mostly covered with either tiles or thatching. The town is guarded by a large low fort, in front of which grow several oak trees, and some very tall trees with cocoanuts on them. Everything looked very green, quite different to California. We remained on shore for about three quarters of an hour, and when the cannon sounded from the "Arizona" we got into the boat and were rowed back to the ship. I bought twenty oranges and a couple of bananas from the Indians in the canoes. At about 7 p.m. we steamed out of the harbour en route for Panama. Acapulco Bay is practically land-locked by the hills so much so that when we were inside it we could not see where the entrance was.

Thursday 6th. Off the Coast of Southern Mexico. It rained a good deal last night. This forenoon I listened to the others talking about religion while I eat oranges and bananas, and drank lemonade. At noon we ran into a very heavy rain which lasted for about an hour. After supper I stayed on deck for about a couple of hours. I have not eaten much these last two or three days for my health.

Friday 7th. Latitude 13° 38. Longitude 95° 39. 2243 miles from San Francisco. At noon we were off the Isthmus of Tehautepec, and during the afternoon we saw several whales. The rain started again about eleven o'clock so I went down to my cabin and lay in my bunk and read a paper called "Jolly Joker" which I had borrowed. After supper I went on deck and listened to some people discussing war. Nearly all the waiters and workmen on this ship are Chinamen.

Saturday 8th. Off the coast of Central America. 10th Day at sea. Frank's bunk broke down last night, and he had to sleep in the dining room. When I woke this morning we were going through an awful thunderstorm. It lightened very near the ship, and thundered very loudly for about an hour. In the afternoon I went to the upper deck to read and study Spanish. It turned out a pleasant day after the storm, not to hot or too cold.

Sunday 9th. Latitude 10. Longitude 87° 19. 11th day at sea.

I awoke this morning with a fearful headache, and from it was seasick all forenoon. I attended Divine Service at 10.30 however. The surgeon only read some chapters out of the Bible. The whole of the afternoon I lay in my bunk and tried to learn the Spanish numerals. I know them nearly all now. At supper I made a good meal of oxtail soup, roast pork, ice-cream pudding, cream pie, cakes etc., and afterwards walked about the deck laughing and talking with some of the boys and girls on board.

Monday 10th. Latitude 80° 09. Longitude 83° 34. 3123 miles from San Francisco. I arose this morning about seven o'clock, and eat a couple of oranges before breakfast. We were in sight of land all day, and expect to be at Panama by tomorrow night. This afternoon Mother gave me 15 cents for taking her blanket and pillow on deck, so now I have fifty cents. At eight o'clock in the evening we met the steamer "China" which sent up a rocket and fired two blue lights, but did not stop. We replied by showing a blue light. There is an amateur minstrel troupe on board, and this evening they sang and recited, winding up at 11.30 by singing "Auld Lang Syne".

Tuesday 4th. In Panama Bay. 13th day at sea. It rained hard all forenoon and thundered and lightened, but we stayed on the upper deck under the awning. Just before dinner we saw several large whales and porpoises quite near the ship. All day we had kept in sight of land, and at four o'clock we commenced to see the many islands in front of Panama. Very soon we could see the Pacific Mail Steamship Company's workshops, and at six o'clock we dropped anchor three miles outside Panama, which is surrounded by the most charming scenery. Behind us there is a large green island, which seems to be less than a hundred yards away, while on our left there are several smaller islands with houses on them. The United States man-o-war "Richmond" was anchored not far off, and as we came in her band began to play "Mollie Darling" which sounded very well over the water. After supper six of the officers from the "Richmond" came on board.

Wednesday 12th. Panama Harbour. At four o'clock this morning I could see the native boats already hanging round the ship. I watched a large flat boat come alongside, and an engine on a boat next to that, which was unloading the "Arizona" of wine-casks and hides. Later on all the family except Charlie and I, went ashore at Panama, some in rowing boats and the rest in little steamers. When they came back in the afternoon they gave a very discouraging report of the town, its uncleanliness, and high prices for everything. At about eleven o'clock Charlie and I hired a native to row us, and two girls from on board, to one of the larger islands where we walked along the shore and picked up some shells. We then went for a walk through the cool thick woods to another part of the beach. The butterflies and flowers in the wood were beautiful, and the trees so low and close together that it was impossible to get through where no path had been cut. We then walked back to the boat, and the native rowed us back to the ship, for which I paid him a dollar. We missed our dinner through going to the island, but I made it even by eating a very hearty supper. After supper I fished from the side of the steamer, and was rewarded by catching a very large catfish about a foot long, which I gave to a Chinaman. It rained a little in the evening after a very warm day.

Thursday 13th. Panama Harbour. This morning I watched them unloading the ship, and after breakfast hired a boat to take Johnny and Herman to the nearest island. We took off our shoes and stockings and waded along the beach looking for shells until we came to some large rocks. Here we found several little pools which were full of starfish, sea-eggs, and live shells. When we got back Willie and Mr Hamerstede, who plays the piano very well, were just starting off to row to another island, and as they invited me to go with them I did so, and helped them to row across. We walked along the beach, and then round the island, which is much smaller than the others. When we got back, I climbed up on to the ship by a rope. We were just in time for dinner. In the afternoon I did nothing in particular, as there were too many rumours afloat respecting our departure. Some say we are leaving tomorrow at 11 a.m., others say Saturday at 5 a.m. or perhaps Monday. Mother went to Panama in a tug boat this afternoon and arrived back in time for supper. It was a very hot day, and rained a good deal in the afternoon.

Friday 14th. Panama Harbour I wanted to hire a boat again this afternoon, but could not find one, so I stayed on the upper deck and watched the others playing games. This evening the officers from the "Richmond" brought their brass band over to the ship to play dance music, and everyone danced. Then our minstrel troupe gave an entertainment of songs and recitations, which lasted until midnight, when we went to bed. We are crossing the Isthmus of Panama tomorrow morning.

Before Aspinwall.

Saturday 15th. On board "S.S. Acapulco". Before Aspinwall. The gong sounded at half past four this morning for us to get up, and at five we had breakfast. We then left in a little steamer which took us to Panama and landed us at the shipping company's warehouses, which was also the depot for the Panama railroad. The way from the boat to the depot was lined with soldiers to prevent our smuggling anything in.

After about half an hours delay, the cars started, and we were whirled to Aspinwall, a distance of forty-seven miles, which we made in two hours and forty-five minutes. I stood on the observation platform for most of the journey, looking at the changing scenery. The railroad runs through forests, swamps, and luxuriant vegetation. We passed a few groups of houses here and there, some with tiled roofs, but most of them were covered with large leaves. At a quarter past ten we arrived at Aspinwall, where the S.S. "Acapulco" was waiting alongside the wharf, which was about a hundred yards from the depot. As soon as the train stopped a great many niggers, who were very bold, crowded into the cars to carry our baggage to the steamer. She is a magnificent iron ship of 3000 tons, with screw propeller, and is about a year old. She is a great deal prettier than the "Arizona" and has white sailors and black waiters on board.

Before dinner Father, Willie and I went into the town to buy oranges and limes. It is a very miserable and stinking place, and all the inhabitants are niggers, and very impudent. We walked about the town for a bit, and then went into a saloon and drank iced lemonade.

There is only one two-storied building of about three hundred feet long, and most of the shops are either fruit stores or saloons.

We bought fifty oranges and a hundred limes, and then returned to the steamer for dinner. Mother gave me 40 cents, making me 90 cents. After dinner Johnnie and I went ashore and walked round the town buying cakes and candy. Meanwhile it had begun to rain very hard, so that we were obliged to wait in a shop for about an hour before we could get on board again. We afterwards heard that it had rained eight inches, but it was a very hot steamy day in spite of the rain. The rest of the afternoon we watched the ship being loaded with bananas and canned salmon.

After supper we left for New York, and are once more at sea.

Sunday 16th. S.S. "Acapulco". In the Carribean Sea. Seasick. Lost my breakfast. Missed dinner and supper. We were out of sight of land all day.

Monday 17th. Latitude 15° 40. Longitude 76° 31. 431 miles from Aspinwall. I got up this morning at six o'clock and eat an orange before breakfast. I still did not feel very well, so I lay around on deck most of the afternoon. After some supper I went on deck again and fell asleep on one of the benches. When I awoke my hat had disappeared and I supposed it had fallen into the sea, as there was a strong head wind which had been blowing all day, and which kept the ship back a great deal. Charlie and I are in the same cabin.

Tuesday 18th. Third day at sea, and 679 miles from Aspinwall. I woke very early this morning after a good sleep, which made me feel much better. I had some breakfast, and then went up on deck. I wore one of Charlie's straw hats as I had no more left. In the afternoon a sailor, who fortunately found my hat on the deck, returned it to me. Early this morning we sighted San Domingo, and in the afternoon we passed Cuba. The sea was quite rough this evening, and the steamer rolled a good deal.

A "booby" alighted on one of the masts and a sailor climbed up after it and caught it. I read in a book afterwards that "the "booby" is a sea-bird belonging to the Gannet, or Solan Goose family, but smaller. The American species traverses the ocean from the shores of Greenland to the Gulf of Mexico. Their plumage is white, tinged on the head and neck with light brown, while the outer edge of the principal quills is black. There are bare spaces round the eyes, and the legs are red. Known to sailors as "Boobies" on account of the extraordinary stupidity they display in allowing themselves to be easily caught."

After supper I stayed on deck for a while, and then went down to the parlour to watch the minstrel troupe perform. The sails are up all the time now.

Wednesday 19th. Off the coast of Southern Florida. When I woke this morning the sea was quiet, but after breakfast it became very rough and the steamer rolled ever so much. I stayed on deck all the morning to keep from getting sick, but when I went downstairs to wash for dinner, I vomited right off. We sighted some islands today, and at noon had run 273 miles in the last twenty-four hours, and were 952 miles from Aspinwall. It rained several times during the afternoon and evening, but I stayed on deck.

Thursday 20th. Off the coast of Georgia. It was not so rough today, so I went in to the parlour and watched them play cards. In the afternoon I lay on the deck and tried to get some sleep. After supper, which by the way consisted of, green turtle soup, turkey, pudding, cakes, ice-cream and nuts, I walked up and down the deck afterwards and listened to the ladies singing in the parlour. It was a pleasant day.

Friday 21st. Off the coast of South Carolina. I did not sleep very well last night, probably the result of eating too much supper, so I felt very tired today, and did nothing in particular except lie on deck and try to sleep. In the evening I sat with the rest of the family. The sea was very smooth, like glass, and the weather was delightful, though pretty hot.

August 22nd. Off the coast of New Jersey. Last night we were off Cape Hatteras, and the sea was rough again, but as I was in bed I did not feel it much. I got up late this morning, but was in plenty of time for breakfast. We saw a great many sailing vessels in the distance during the day. At noon we had gone 296 miles in the last 24 hours (pretty good run) and expect to be in New York tonight. The weather had turned very windy and rainy this evening, but we stayed on deck and saw several lighthouses, a sign that we are nearing New York.

At Hoboken. New Jersey.

Sunday 23rd. Busch's Hotel. Hoboken, New Jersey, near New York.

After the pilot had come on board at 2 a.m., Charlie and I could not sleep so at 4 o'clock we got up and went on deck to look at the land and houses we were passing. At five o'clock we went by Sandy Hook, which is about twenty miles from New York, and at six a.m. we saw some forts. Half an hour later we were still waiting for the health officer to come on board, and after he arrived we still had to wait in front of the dock for a steamer to get out of the way. Finally at 7.30 a.m. we fastened to the wharf. We then waited for an hour for Uncle Frank, but as he did not appear we carried our baggage ashore, and I helped to check it. Father got an express wagon to take our things to Hoboken, also two hacks to drive us to the steamer which took us across the Hudson River (about 1 half mile) to Hoboken, where we drove to Busch's Hotel.

Last night I had my pants hanging up in my state-room by the window, and in them my purse which contained 80 cents. This morning before leaving the "Acapulco" I looked in my purse and all the money was gone, so I suppose one of the negro waiters stole it, and I have no more money left. This forenoon Charlie and I took a walk up and down the streets. Hoboken is a very pretty little city of 20,000 inhabitants, and lies right across the Hudson River from New York. After dinner Frank, Charlie and I walked way up the main street and back by the North River. It was a splendid walk, through groves of trees. The rest of the afternoon we stayed in the hotel. Mr Busch, the proprietor, is an immense man weighing 420 pounds. Johnny and I are sharing a bed in one room, while Charlie and Herman are in another. Nearly everyone in Hoboken is German, and today a large number arrived from New York.

Monday 24th. Last night a burglar tried to get into our room with a pair of nippers, but the key would not turn for him, and also the door was bolted, so he left. This morning we could see the marks on the key made by the nippers.

This morning Father gave Charlie and me 75 cents each, so we crossed over to New York. We went first on board the steamer "Idaho" to see if one of Charlie's friends was on board, and afterwards strolled around the town looking at the cutlery and gun shops. Afterwards we walked to the Fulton Ferry and back. We then took the ferry to Hoboken, arriving at the Hotel in good time for dinner. It was very tiring walking on the hard streets and sidewalks.

My expenses today were:

Lent Charlie 25 cents for him to buy a compass.
1 cent for an apple.
6 cents for the ferry, which came to 32 cents, leaving me 43 cents.

We had our money in green backs and nickels.

In the afternoon Charlie and I walked about the business part of Hoboken and I bought three "Boys and Girl's Weekly's". After supper we all took a walk along the river, and came back by the principal street. I forgot to say that Uncle Frank and Mr and Mrs Mahrer came to the hotel today to see us, they arrived last Thursday, and are staying in New York. Mr Mahrer and wife, who is Father's sister, are also going with us to South America.

Tuesday 25th. Hoboken. There are a lot of street musicians in Hoboken. A brass band went past last night after I had gone to bed, and woke me up so that I could not get to sleep again for some time. When I at last went off, the band came back again. This morning Father gave me $l.50 making me $1.75 so Frank, Willie and I went over to New York by the Barclay Street ferry, which landed us away on the Southern part of the city. From there we went to see the "Acapulco", and then on to the offices of the Brazilian Steamship Line in Bowling Green, where on enquiry, we found that the fare to Rio de Janeiro is $200. After walking up to the end of Broadway and stopping at Remington's Store to price guns, we took a horse-car for Central Park, where we strolled along the delightful walks, made of asphaltum, to the menagerie, looked at the animals, walked round the lake, and saw the boars. We then went to the Casino, a beautiful eating-house, where we ordered cups of chocolate, sandwiches and doughnuts. After visiting the "Deep Dark Cave" and the "Stone Castle", we sat down for a while in one of the many pretty summer-houses, and watched the wonderful fountains playing. We then took the horse-cars to the ferry, then the ferry for Hoboken, and arrived at the hotel just in time for supper.

Wednesday 26. Hoboken. This afternoon everybody went to New York, but I stayed at home and wrote a six page letter to Mrs Howard. After dinner Charlie and I went to New York to visit the Castle Gardens. We then went to Fuller's Ferry, returning to the hotel for supper, after which we went down town where I bought eighty-four feet of strong fishing line for sixty cents. We then walked around the town for a bit to pass away the time. Charlie paid me back my 25 cents today.

Thursday 27th. As there is no steamer going direct from here to the Argentine, and no sailing vessel will take us, we are leaving on Saturday next by the S.S. "Wesser" for Southampton, England, and on from there by another ship to Buenos Aires.

This morning Charlie and I went down to Hoboken harbour to see the "Wesser". She is nearly as nice as the "Acapulco". After dinner we went with Father down town and carried back a new trunk for Josephine.

Friday 28th. This forenoon Father, Frank, Willie, Charlie, and I went to New York. We walked to a gun store on Broadway, where Father bought four Winchester rifles, and I bought some hooks for my fish line. We then went to a banking house, and Father had his money fixed, after which he took us to a saloon and bought us iced sodas. The three youngest then came home in time for dinner. Mother and the children went over to Central Park in the afternoon, and had a good time.

The Voyage to Southampton. England.

Saturday August 29th. Off Sandy Hook in S.S. "Wesser". Bound for Southampton. Today we left for Southampton. This morning I stayed around the hotel and helped to fix the baggage, and later went with Father to buy a barrel of apples, a checker board, magazines and papers. After dinner we went down to the wharf and aboard the "Wesser" which was crowded with people, but most of them went ashore before she left at 3 o'clock. We are a party of twelve, including nine of our family, Uncle Frank, and Uncle and Aunt Mahrer.

The "Wesser" is a North German Lloyd Steamer of 3,000 tons burden and 700 horse power, with iron screw propeller. The second class cabins, where we sleep, are down below, and cost $60 for each person. Frank and I and another man are going to sleep in one cabin, which is very large and has four bunks. We have breakfast at 7.30 p.m., dinner at midday, coffee at 3 p.m. and supper at seven. There is a brass band composed of the waiters, which plays daily at 11 a.m. but it is not a crack band.

Sunday 30th. In Atlantic Ocean. It was a cold and wet day, so I stayed inside and read magazines all day. The steamer smokes a great deal and drops much soot, which dirties everything. After supper I walked up and down the deck with Josephine until bedtime. We are out of sight of land, and have run 227 miles in the last eighteen hours.

Monday 31st. Latitude 41° 92. Longitude 62° 47. I lay on the sofa in my cabin most of the day and read, as although the weather was fine, there was an unpleasant ground swell, and I did not care to walk about. The seasick ones are Mother, Mrs Mahrer, and Herman.

September. 1874.

Tuesday 1st. On Atlantic Ocean. S.S. "Messer". This morning we passed a number of fishing smacks which were catching codfish. They were like small schooners, and were accompanied, at some distance away, by a lot of little boats. We also saw several porpoises, and later in the afternoon a great many stormy petrels followed the ship. They are sometimes called Mother Carey's Chickens and generally appear when a gale is blowing and is a harbinger of storms. When the storm is over it disappears. They are small pretty birds, rather like swallows.

There was a thick fog during the early part of the day, and the captain had to keep on blowing the whistle to avoid collisions. It cleared away however during the course of the afternoon, but in the evening the weather turned miserably cold and rainy, with a furious wind blowing. After supper I sat with Father and my uncles in the smoking-room listening to them talking about California, in the year 1848. I afterwards went to the saloon to hear the fiddlers play. Before going to bed, I thought I would go on deck for a while, but the wind was so strong I could not stand.

Wednesday 2nd. 1091 miles from New York. Lat. 44° 56. Long. 50° 27. I spent most of the day in the smoking-room reading, and in the evening sat in the saloon listening to the music. It was a miserable day and the sea was very rough.

Thursday 3rd. In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. S.S. "Wesser". Pretty much like yesterday. The weather was wretched, and the waves were very high. At noon we had run 295 miles in the last twenty-four hours, and were 1386 miles from New York.

Friday 4th. Latitude 48° 32. Longitude 30° 25. After a sleepless night I got up this morning just in time for breakfast. I spent the morning on deck reading, and in the afternoon went to sleep on the couch in my room. There was a very pretty sunset this evening. The clouds were all colours, and very nicely arranged. No ships in sight all day. The weather was a little better than yesterday, and so were the waves.

Saturday 5th. Seventh day at sea. This morning, after a slight breakfast, I went on deck and saw several whales in the distance. Two appeared to be fighting, as the water was dashing about all round them. Father has given me the Steamship Company's Guide Book, which is a neat little blue pocket book, with descriptions of London and Paris. It has advertisements and a memorandum, and also a track map, showing the course of the steamer.

Sunday 6th. Lat. 49° 54 N. Long. 21° 52 W. At noon we had run 308 miles in the last twenty-four hours and were 3293 miles from New York. After spending most of the day in the saloon reading and listening to the music, I went to the smoking-room and sat with the fellows of the stateroom opposite to ours, who were cracking jokes etc., some times they were quite funny. It was a miserably disagreeable day, raining and foggy.

Monday 7th. S.S. "Wesser". Nearing the English Channel. There were a great many more porpoises today, swimming quite close to and almost touching the ship. They have long noses, and a hole on the top of their heads. We passed two ships, but they were a long way off. In the evening the waiters made a collection for the music, father gave them $20.

Tuesday 8th. Off the South-west coast of England. 10th day at sea. We expect to be in Southampton some time tonight. At 9 a.m. we could see the island of Scilly, near to Land's End, which we passed two hours later. We were in sight of land all day. After dinner we passed quite close to Cape Lizard, which is high hills, and has on it the largest lighthouse I have ever seen. There are many small villages in the sheltered part of the hills, which most of the way are divided up into little fields, and look like beautiful gardens full of scarlet and blue flowers (poppies and cornflowers). It was a very pleasant and sunny day. At three o'clock I had some coffee, and eat five coffee cakes, after which I went to my room and slept until five o'clock. After supper I stayed in the saloon and played a game of checkers with a woman. After listening to the music for a while I went to bed. At noon we had run 312 miles in the last twenty-four hours, and were 166 miles from the Needles.

England to Buenos Aires.

Wednesday 9th. S.S. "Boyne". In the English Channel. Last night I got up at 11.30 to see the pilot come aboard, and then went back to bed again. When I awoke this morning (5.30)    we were opposite the great hospital on the Island of Wight. This is Netley hospital, an immense building, the largest hospital in the world, and is built of rock. We also saw a castle which is Osborne House and is Queen Victoria's summer residence. It overlooks the channel of Spithead. We arrived at Southampton about 6.30 a.m. and after breakfast went ashore to the Customs House. Mother had some loose luggage, and she was not allowed to take it on shore at first, but an officer made it all right. Father also had some difficulty in satisfying the custom-house officer's demands, but £6.00 did it.

At about 9 a.m. Father and I went in to the city of Southampton. I tried to buy a knife, but could not find what I wanted, and Father bought our tickets for the voyage to Buenos Aires, which cost $146.00 apiece. At 11 o'clock we took a little steamer which took us out to the South American ship the S.S. "Boyne". She is a magnificent steamer of 3318 tons, has an iron screw-propeller, and, although three years old, everything looks so nice and new. A lovely yacht sailed round us several times, she was a wonderful affair.

We left Southampton at 3 o'clock, an hour later were going regularly. When we passed the Needles at five o'clock, the pilot took his leave. The sea is pretty rough, and the ship rolls a great deal, also the rudder makes a lot of noise.

We had some difficulty in getting seats for supper as there are a great many passengers, but finally managed to get a table to ourselves. There are two bunks in each room, and this time Frank and I are sharing a room.

Thursday 10th. In the Bay of Biscay. Off the coast of France. The sea was very rough today, and the ship rolled a great deal. Nearly everybody on board was seasick, and although I was pretty ill myself I could not help laughing at some of the men on deck, who were looking into the water and feeding the fishes. I lay on the deck all the morning, and when the steamer rolled, I would slide to one side of the ship and then back again. I eat very little all day, only a biscuit and a piece of bread, and they soon appeared again. In the afternoon I still lay on the deck, but managed to hold on to some ironwork so as not to slide away. In the evening it was so rough that the plates hopped out of the partitions (fiddles) on the dining-room table, and a great many were broken. It was very cold all day.

Friday 11th. Bay of Biscay. 2nd day at sea. I had some breakfast this morning, after which I went on deck and spent most of the day lying on some sort of woodwork at the back part of the ship, and tried to sleep or read. The sea was not quite so rough, though still pretty bad, and the temperature was a little higher.

Saturday 12th. Off the coast of Portugal. As today was warm and sunny, and the sea had become calmer, nearly all the passengers came up on deck. We expect to be in Lisbon tomorrow morning.

Sunday 13th. Off Lisbon. When I got up at six this morning, we were in sight of land, and after passing a few lighthouses, ruins, and old houses we entered the harbour at 9 a.m. and were anchored to a buoy, about a mile from the city. The ship was immediately surrounded by passenger boats, coal barges, and boats full of fruit etc. Father, Uncle, Mr Mahrer, Willie and Frank went on shore. When they returned they told us that Lisbon is all built of stone. The houses are tall and well built, and the straight long streets beautifully paved. There are four large public squares, the finest of which is the Praca de Comercio. It is open on one side of the river, and on the other three sides is surrounded by Government buildings. This square is beautifully paved with coloured tiles arranged in a wavy design. Lisbon was once destroyed by a terrible earthquake and most of the old city lies under the water. It is a very hot day.

Mother bought a big basket of very good white grapes, and Father paid $2.50 for a basket chair. A great many passengers got off here, but a still greater number came on board. We left again at 5 o'clock and were soon out of sight of land. Frank and I have our room changed to one under the stairs.

Wednesday 16th. On the high seas. Lat 278° N. Long. 17° 8 W. I spent the last two days doing nothing much but sit on deck reading an interesting novel called "Under Two Flags". When I woke this morning we were opposite the peak of Teneriffe, which is one of the Canary Islands. We could only see the outlines of the mountain through the clouds in the distance, and the patches of snow on the summit, which towered above the clouds. The weather is now delightful, and all the passengers look pleased. I find there is so little to do and get lonesome.

The rest of the voyage was pretty much the same every day, and nothing unusual occurred during the following three or four weeks.

On September 19th. we were at St Vincent, one of the Cape Verde Islands, where the natives came alongside in boats, and dived for money thrown to them by the passengers, bringing the coins to the surface before they could reach the bottom of the sea. It was curious to see them sham fighting in the very clear water.

On September 25th. we arrived at Pernambuco, entering the harbour through a very narrow passage, close by a fort built on a reef. The hill on the right is called Olmida, and is covered with houses and convents. On the left there is an island thickly planted with tall cocoanut trees. There are two forts on the isthmus between Olmida and Pernambuco, and a lighthouse midway to help the pilot. The town itself is very dirty, the streets look as though they were never cleaned, and all the rubbish seems to be thrown from the houses. The buildings are high, and while some are newly whitewashed, others are stained and mouldy. All have dark and gloomy balconies with bars to them, like a dairy window. The port is full of ships, and close by the shore stands what is called the Palace of the Captain-General of Pernambuco. This was once a Jesuit College, and was built by the Fathers, but several years ago, the governor drove them out of the country. The surroundings of the city are very pretty. You can see several country houses and sugar plantations. There are lots of palm trees, cocoanut trees, and orange and lemon groves. At Olinda there is a Botanical Gardens, but it is very poorly kept. Willie and I went ashore, but the others said it was too rough, and they watched us getting ducked by the waves coming over the staircase as we tried to get back on the ship.

Two days later we were in Bahia, where we all went ashore in a row boat. We were taken up in an elevator about 300 feet, and then walked to a park where we obtained a splendid view of the harbour. We had dinner at the Hotel de Mulem, which cost Father $26.00.

On September 30th. we arrived at Rio de Janeiro, and stayed here two days. It is a most beautiful harbour surrounded by green hills and mountains, one of which rises in a peak with a rounded top and is called the Pan de Azucar (the Sugar Loaf). The town is built in terraces and there are lots of brightly painted houses of all colours built on the hills, which look very pretty among the trees in the bright sunshine. We all went ashore and took a train to the Botanical Gardens, where we saw a splendid array of palms. The tallest and thinnest of these is said to be the Mother palm of all the palm-trees in South America, and is over a hundred years old. There were also some very large water-lilies in a pool, with huge leaves, about four feet across. The trees were crowded with little brown squirrels, some of them so tame that we fed them with nuts.

After leaving Rio we ran into a heavy fog in the Catalinas Bay, which lasted nearly all the way to Montevideo. It took us 50 hours to make the last 170 miles. We remained in Montevideo all day on the 7th October but we did not go ashore. It is not much of a place, and has a small mountain in front of the harbour with a fort and guns on top. All round the coast there are some very pretty bays with sandy beach. We left here a 7 p.m. On October 8th, and the following morning at 5 a.m. came to anchor 11 miles from the city of Buenos Aires.

The Argentine Republic.

The Founding of Buenos Aires 1515-1810.

The Rio de La Plata was first discovered in the year 1515, by a party of Spanish Explorers, who were searching for a south-west passage to the East Indies. Their leader, a celebrated sea-captain named Juan Diaz de Solis, anchored off the north coast, between the present cities of Montevideo and Maldonado. Uruguay at that time was peopled with several savage tribes, namely the Querandis, Timbus, and Charrua Indians, which had settled on the banks of the river. As Solis brought his ships to anchor, a small band of men, women and children, naked except for brilliant feather headresses, and a profusion of silver ornaments, ran down to the beach and made friendly signs of welcome. Solis was at first distrustful, but on the Indians showing that they were completely unarmed, he was induced by a few of his companions to land, and they accompanied him in a small boat to the shore. The Indians immediately ran back into a belt of trees, and before the Spaniards could regain their boat, they were surrounded by hordes of savages, armed with spears and arrows, who seemed to literally rise out of the ground. In a few seconds Solis and his eight friends were annihilated. Their bodies were then dragged into the bush, from whence in a few moments smoke was seen to arise. Within full view of the horror-stricken party on board the vessels, Solis and his companions were cooked and eaten by the savages, who then rushed down to the water's edge to destroy and sink the boat in which their victims had landed. This does not necessarily mean that they were habitual cannibals, as it was the custom among certain tribes when they had killed an enemy of exceptional merit, with the idea of thus acquiring his courage and superiority and thereby adding to their own. The survivors of this ill-fated expedition, however, abandoned the country and returned to Spain, reporting the discovery of a fresh-water sea. In the year 1519, Magalhaes, while in the service of the King of Portugal, entered this "mar dulce", but finding no outlet to the west, he departed without landing, and from there achieved his famous voyage to the East Indies, passing through the Straits which bear his name, in the year 1520. In 1527, the celebrated navigator Sebastian Cabot, in the service of Carlos I of Spain, sailed in command of an expedition fitted out for the purpose of colonising the discoveries of Magalhaes in the East Indies. Instead, however, he entered the Rio de la Plata, and anchored off the present site of Buenos Aires. He then ascended the Parana, where he established a settlement, which he named San Espiritu, among the Timbu Indians in Santa Fé, and succeeded in bringing them to apparently friendly terms with his colony. After penetrating still further up the Parana as far as the Falls of Iguazu in Misiones, he explored the River Paraguay, from whence he entered the Rio Bermejo. Here a savage fight ensued with the Paraguá and Agaces Indians. The quantities of silver ornaments worn by the several tribes he encountered, led him to give the name of Rio de La Plata, or the Silver River, to the splendid stream he had explored. Returning to the fort at San Espiritu, he found that an attempt on the part of the chief of the Timbus to abduct one of the Spanish ladies in the settlement, had led to the treacherous massacre of the garrison. Disheartened he returned to Spain.

In August 1534, Don Pedro de Mendoza, a Basque nobleman, left Cadiz for the Rio de la Plata, at the head of two thousand men and the largest and wealthiest expedition that had ever left Europe for the New World. In January 1535 he entered the Rio de la Plata, and following the northern shore to San Gabriel (Colonia) he crossed the river and landed in the pampas. The name of Buenos Aires was given to the country by Del Campo, the first of the party to step ashore, and where, on February 2nd, the settlement of Santa Maria de Buenos Aires was founded. This attempt was doomed to failure, however, as the Indians surrounding Buenos Aires were implacable in their hatred of the invaders, and in the year 1537, while Mendoza was in Spain, it was reduced to the last extremity by the Querandis. The few surviving inhabitants therefore abandoned it and fled to Asuncion. Here a fort had been built two years previously by a lieutenant of Mendoza's, Don Juan de Ayolas, who ascended the Parana to Paraguay, and founded the city, naming it after the day (August 15th, 1536) on which he fought and defeated the Guarani Indians on the spot where the fort was erected. This city was then the chief of the Spanish possessions in South America.

In the year 1539, Buenos Aires was utterly destroyed by the Charruas, rehabilitated three years later, and again destroyed on February 3rd, 1543, when Cabeza de Vaca arrived with another expedition from Spain, just in time to save the inhabitants from extinction by the Charruas, who were the most savage and hostile of the southern tribes. Of the three thousand Europeans who had settled on the banks of the Rio de La Plata, only six hundred now remained at Asuncion. The rest had fallen victims to the climate, the savage attacks of the Indians and wild animals (jaguars and pumas) and the continual hardships to which they had been exposed.

On his way up the Parana, Aloyas had also built and garrisoned a fort, which he named Corpus Cristi, among the Timbu Indians in Santa Fe, and near the now deserted settlement of San Espiritu. This ultimately shared the fate of its neighbour, through a wanton attack by the Caracara tribe who slaughtered the men, and took the women captive.

Aloyas succeeded Mendoza as governor of Asuncion, but he was eventually together with two hundred of his party, by the Paraguas in the Chaco, while returning from an expedition laden with plunder.

In 1538, Domingo Irala was elected Captain-General of Asuncion, but was soon deprived of his authority by the arrival of Don Juan de Alvarez, with a commision from Spain. In 1544, Irala made a counter-attack on Alvarez and defeating him, sent him back to Spain. Until his death thirteen years later, Irala was the dominating personality of the colony. The population was composed of mostly Guarani Indians, whose dialect has since remained the prevalent language of Paraguay. Irala treated the Indians with consideration and justice, and they revered him as their benefactor. After his death, Gonzalez de Mendoza was appointed Lieutenant-General and Commander, which post he held until his demise a few years later, which was followed by a long period of civil dissension and unrest.

In 1560, the Guaranis of Paraguay were definitely crushed in the battle of Acari, but it was not until the year 1573 that the Spaniards from Asuncion succeeded in founding a city south of the River Parana and the Paraguay. Santa Fé was the first permanent Spanish settlement of the Rio de la Plata and it was founded in the year 1572 by a Basque named Juan de Garay. In the year 1580 he sent overland from Santa Fé two hundred families of the more peaceable Guarani Indians. They were accompanied by a thousand horses, two hundred cows, and fifty sheep, besides the mares, oxen, carts and other necessities. Boats also carried down from Santa Fe arms, munitions, seed and grain, and were harboured in a nearby creek, which he named the Riachuelo. Garay himself went by land with forty soldiers, and notwithstanding the determined hostility of the Querandis, he succeeded in planting the Spanish flag on the old site of Buenos Aires, and under the name of "Ciudad de Santissima Trinidad, Puerto Santa Maria de Buenos Aires", the city was rebuilt for the third time. Four years later Garay, while on an exploring expedition, was treacherously ambushed by the Indians, and stabbed while he slept. The settlement prospered, however, and gradually grew into an important town, while the cattle and horses brought from Europe by the Spaniards, multiplied in great numbers, many of them spreading over the pampas to the south, and to the eastern sides of Uruguay, and eventually becoming wild. Previous to the Spanish conquest there were no dogs, sheep, goats, cows or horses in the country. The indigenous animals, the llamas, vicuñas, alpacasr and guanacos, hunted for their beautiful, soft, furry skins, are now practically extinct. A species of ostrich called the ñandu still exists, while in the more remote parts may still be found jaguars, pumas, wolves, wild-cats, tapir, carpinchos, ant-bears, venados and yacaretes. Of the smaller animals the foxes, skunks, hares, nutrias, cuatis, viscachas, armadillos and otters are still plentiful, also a large lizard or iguana which sometimes measures over three feet long. In the rivers there are still seals, sea wolves, alligators and turtles.

The founding of Buenos Aires was confirmed by Royal Decree on February 1, 1594 and Francisco de Zarate, the governor, began to construct fortifications on the banks of the river. By the year 1620 it had grown into a province of over three thousand people, and was definitely established. In 1586 the Jesuit missionaries first made their appearance in Paraguay, and in 1601 Father Torres, their principal, made many Indian converts and formed townships. During the next twenty years a great many Indians were educated and trained in habits of industry by the labours of the Jesuits, though some of the tribes of the Chaco, even before the advent of the Spaniards, supported themselves to some extent by agriculture, and were not so nomadic as the hunting tribes of the south.

One of the most prominent names in the early history of Buenos Aires, is that of Hernandarias de Saavedra, who was governor of the city in 1601. Of distinguished ancestry, and pure Spanish blood, he was born in 1561 at Asuncion, where he was educated at the monastery of the Franciscan Fathers. Here he lived until he was fifteen years of age, when he formed an expedition against the Indians in the Andes, and later joined Juan de Garay in his expeditions in the south. In 1588 he distinguished himself in the defence of Corrientes against the Indians of the Chaco, and by the time he was thirty, he was the leading creole in the vast region which lay between the Upper Paraguay and Buenos Aires. When the Spanish Lieutenant-General of Asuncion was deposed, Saavedra was called upon to fill the vacancy, and eleven years later was unanimously elected Governor of Buenos Aires. Although severe with the Indians when the occasion demanded, he was nevertheless kind and just, and protected them against the tyranny of his fellow-countrymen, who for many years had forced them into slavery. At the end of his term of office as governor, he was named "official protector of the aborigines" and when in 1610 the Spanish government promulgated laws forbidding the further enslavement of the Indians, Saavedra did his utmost to secure its enforcement. In spite of this law however, captive Indians still continued to be sold as slaves, and after the battle of Quilmes (a village in the Andean mountains) where the Calchaquis made their last brave stand, forty thousand of them were reduced to slavery. The town of Rosario was composed almost entirely of the families of this tribe, while eleven thousand of them were exiled to each of the cities of Santiago del Estero, Santa Fe and Buenos Aires.

In 1630 the Jesuit colonies were attacked by the Portuguese settlers (Paulistas) and during the following two years of continual persecution, sixty thousand Indians were either destroyed or carried off. In order to defend their settlements, the Jesuits, who had heretofore taught the Indians to renounce violence of any kind, were obliged to appeal for authority from Spain to imbody and arm their converts in the manner of the Europeans. In the year 1668 they rebuilt the city of Santa Fe, and the following year five hundred Jesuits worked on the fortifications of Buenos Aires and on the building of the Cathedral. The increasing prosperity of the Jesuits eventually began to excite prejudice and jealousy, and various accusations were brought against them, which were afterwards proved to be groundless, and although their rights were upheld and confirmed by a Royal Decree of 1745, their prosperity and power soon began to decline, and the expulsion of their order from Spain in 1767 was soon followed by the subversion of their dominion in South America. Their possessions when subsequently annexed by the government of Paraguay, amounted to 769,358 horned cattle, 94,983 horses, and 221,537 sheep.

A series of wars and treaties extending over nearly a century and a quarter, now waged between Portugal and Spain for the possession of Uruguay. In 1860, an expedition sent by the Portuguese governor of Rio de Janeiro, landed opposite the city of Buenos Aires and built a fort, calling it Colonia. This was the first permanent European occupation of Uruguayan soil, either by Portugal or Spain. The latter never lost their dominion over the lands in the interior, however, and formed several cities on the shores of the Atlantic and Rio de La Plata. The foremost of these was Montevideo. When these disputes were finally settled, the Spaniards held all the land between the southern limits of Misiones, the sources of the Rio Negro and Lake Mirim, and the coasts of the Atlantic and Rio de La Plata. The bounderies of Montevideo, as conceded to it by General Brunio Mauricio de Zabala, (governor of Buenos Aires) and approved by Spain in 1726, were as follows:- "On the south, as far as the Rio de la Plata; on the west, the River Cufre; on the north, the Cuchilla Grande; and on the east bv the mountain Pan de Azucar".

The country had now become more populated, and as civilization among the Indians increased, many of them intermarried with the Europeans. In 1629, a Royal Decree united into a single vice-royalty, the hitherto separate governments of Buenos Aires and Asuncion, and the provinces of Charcas, Potosi and Cochabamba. Until the eighteenth century there was but one viceroyalty in South America, that of Peru, which extended from the western to the eastern shores, but on account of the inconveniences of so large a territory, four new vice-royalties were created in 1776, namely in New Spain (all Spanish possessions in North America, including Mexico), Peru, New Granada, (afterwards Colombia) and Buenos Aires; and Captain-Generalcies in Chile, Venezuela, and Guatemala. These seven governments were independent of each other and were sub-divided into provinces, each with its own Governor or "corregedor") and also intendents under the jurisdiction of an officer called an "intendente". This latter division was principally for that part of the government relating to the Indians. These provinces were again divided into departments, each of which was presided over by a delegate ("delegado") with the likewise subordinate magistrates called "alcaldes", and appointed by the municipality or "cabildo".

The appointing of a viceroy at Buenos Aires led to the establishing of the government at the city in 1778. From this period its trade and prosperity increased rapidly. The following year it was promoted by a Royal Ordinance, which permitted the exporting of salted meat, tallow, and horsehair, to Spain and other colonies free of duty. It rose steadily in rank and importance, as, the viceroys maintained all the pomp and dignity, and the luxury of the court at Madrid. Their term of office lasted five years, with a salary of $30,000. This, however, was but a small part of their income, as, by manipulating certain branches of commerce, disposing of lucrative posts, by presents, and innumerable frauds and abuses of power, they usually, when their term of office expired, retired to Spain with a princely fortune. It is asserted that one viceroy, at a festival given in honour of his birthday anniversary received $50,000 in presents. These viceroys as well as the captain-generals, governors, and intendents, also all archbishops and bishops, were appointed by the King of Spain, and were almost entirely Spaniards. Up to the year 1810, out of the one hundred and sixty viceroys and six hundred other officials appointed, eighteen alone were natives of the country, and these only obtained their appointments through having received their education in Spain. Ten viceroys in succession occupied the post in Buenos Aires from 1777 to 1806, and the Marquis de Sobremonte was the King of Spain's representative at the time of the British invasion, and during the disputes between Spain and England.

On June 27th, 1806, General Beresford landed a few miles below the city at Quilmes, with a body of 1500 troops from a British fleet, under the command of Sir Home Popham, and took possession of Buenos Aires. The viceroy fled to Cordoba. The Governor of Montevideo, Ruis Huidobro, made efforts to reconquer the city, but while the expedition was in preparation Santiago de Liniers, the French captain of a vessel in the employ of Spain, arrived at Montevideo with the same purpose, and assembled an army in Cordoba collected from all parts of the country, and on August 12th retook the city. Beresford surrendered and was taken prisoner. For the following eight months he was detained as a political guest, in the historic municipal building at Lujan. This building or "cabildo" was built in the early 18th century. It is built and decorated in the early picturesque Spanish style, and is now used as a museum, which includes several mementoes of the English officers who were also prisoners there, amongst them being a gilt ormulu clock presented to Liniers by his prisoner General Beresford. Other prisoners of interest in later times were General Manuel Belgrano, General Paz, and Bartolomé Mitre. The Royal Tobacco Revenue building, erected in 1780 stands nearby, and was also used for political prisoners, amongst them being the Viceroy Sobremonte after his fall from power.

After his desertion of Buenos Aires, Sobremonte was forced to_ appoint Liniers to the military command of the city, and delegate his own powers to the Cabildo, after which he retired to Montevideo.

In February 1807, Sir Samuel Auchmuty stormed and took Montevideo and on July 5th, reinforcements arrived from England under the command of General Whitlock, who with an army of 8,000 men endeavoured to regain possession of Buenos Aires. Liniers, assisted by the inhabitants, had meanwhile made great preparations for resistance. Every avenue to the city was obstructed by barricades, fifteen to twenty feet deep, made of hides. Small pieces of artillery were fixed at the corners of the streets and on the low roofs of the houses, which at that time were built with their windows projecting over the street, and were protected with strong railings like prison bars, so that each house with its flat roof, was a fortress in itself.

As the British troops advanced, the canons planted in the trenches poured a destructive fire of grape shot on their column, while an incessant shower of stones, bricks, boiling water, and musketry fire was rained from the windows and the roofs of the houses. The British unable to retaliate on their hidden enemies, dropped in hundreds. For two days the conflict raged, and finally the column under General Auchmuty took refuge in a building where bull-fights were held in the then Plaza de los Toros,(now known as Plaza San Martin. This bull-ring occupied the site where the statue of San Martin stands today, and was demolished in the years 1807-1818. Tradition has it that on one occasion the Plaza changed ownership for the price of a white horse and a guitar.) while the column under General Crawford, after losing half its number, retired to take shelter in the Santo Domingo Church, in Calle Defensa, and were finally obliged to surrender. The following day an armistice was declared and the British agreed to evacuate the Rio de la Plata within two months.

The Spanish Government then appointed Liniers as viceroy, and he was still in office when the news arrived of the crowning of Joseph Bonaparte as King of Spain. The people of Buenos Aires refused to acknowledge this dynasty however, and demanded the deposition of Liniers. On July 19th, 1809, Cisneros became viceroy in the name of Ferdinand VII of Spain, who in compliance with the urgent appeals of the people, opened the trade of the country to foreign nations.

Revolutionary movements now began to agitate Buenos Aires, which met with decided response from the towns in the interior. The idea of independence had taken possession of the populace, and the first step in this direction was the forming of a Council, under the title of "The Provisional Government of the Provinces of the Rio de la Plata". Of this Council, Mariano Molino, the secretary, was the most prominent member. An attempt on the part of Spain, supported by the Spanish troops quartered in the city, to make Cisneros President of the Council, put a match to the already smouldering embers of revolt, which resulted in the patriotic forces raised by Artigas in Montevideo, Vicente Lopez in Santa Fe, Ibarra from Santiago del Estero, and Facundo Quiroga from the Llanos (this latter territory was situated between the Orinoco River in Terra Firma, Colombia, and the Rio de la Plata, and was a hilly oasis or "traviesa" on the slopes of the Andes. In the dry season it resembled a desert, but in the wet months it was covered with lush grass and vegetation. It was peopled with shepherds and butchers, who, like the gauchos of the pampas, led a hard, frugal and nomadic life. As soldiers armed with their pikes, they were a formidable and bloodthirsty body of men) securing a complete triumph with the most famous revolution in the history of the Argentine, that of the 25th May 1810, when they declared themselves an independent nation, namely "La Republica Argentina", with Cornelius Assvedra as its first President.

The following year they prepared to spread the fire of revolution to the Banda Oriental, and entrusted the command of the Uruguayan army to General Artigas. The people of the rural districts rose in a body, and after nearly three years conflict, Spanish power was forever banished from the Rio de la Plata, by the taking of Montevideo by Alvear in 1814.

On the 9th July 1816 the separation from Spain was formally declared, with Buenos Aires as the seat of the Governing Body.

The Argentine Republic from 1816 - 1874.

On March 1st, 1822 the organization of social matters in accordance with the new ideas with which the country had become impregnated, was initiated in the presence of the representatives of all the liberated states, and a general amnesty was declared. The Spanish Government acknowledged the independence of the country in 1824, and on January 23rd, 1825, a national constitution for the federal states was decreed. The same year the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Mr George Canning, signed a commercial treaty, by which the British government recognized the new Republic.

Being now tolerably secure from external interference through the acceptance of its status by Great Britain, and the United States of North America, the young nation devoted itself to the task of organizing and consolidating its internal affairs. The difficulties of the situation soon became apparent during the presidency of Bernado Rivadavia, who was elected in 1826. Hitherto Gervasio Posadas (1813) Coronel Pueyrredon (1816), General Las Heras (1823), in turn had been laying the foundations of a free government. Amnesty laws, individual security, respect for property, and public education, were being established, and everything was in a peaceful course of construction. Rivadavia returned from a visit to Europe and continued the work of Las Heras, but on a much larger scale, now necessary for the demands of a growing Republic. He brought over from Europe, men of learning for the press and the schools. Ships for the rivers were purchased, and he founded a national bank to encourage trade. Freedom for all creeds was established, and he introduced the social theories of the day for the formation of his government. In fact he sought to accomplish in ten years what in other countries had required centuries of development, and this without the shedding of blood or destroying of property. His policy was to establish a strong central government, and he invited the provinces to unite in a Congress and assume the form of a general government, under a president, independent of the government of Buenos Aires, but the seat of the provinces and the general government, was to be in Buenos Aires. This idea which eventually proved so disastrous for himself and his country, was everywhere favourably received, and he became the head of a party known as the "Unitarios" in contra-distinction to their opponents, who were called the "Federalistas". The Unitarios were those who advocated a consolidated central government, and formed a distinct class of men, recognizable by their ceremonious politeness and refinement of manner and speech. The federalists on the other hand were those who held to a confederation of the old provinces, or union of States, and represented the more uncouth, barbarous, and arbitrary south American community. This party, or power, was scattered throughout the Republic, in the provinces and Indian territories. Rivadavia introduced the complete system of a Republic, with legislative revenues etc. modelled on that of the United States, and advised the other provinces to do likewise, each for itself. The foundations for the Federal system were thus unconsciously laid by the Unitarians themselves, though at the time they were opposed to Federation.

Under the government of Rivadavia, the Argentine Republic became involved almost single-handed in a War with Brazil. This was in defence of the Banda Oriental, which on July 18th, 1821, had been seized by the forces of the Brazilian Emperor, and was now known as the Cisplatine State. A few natives of Uruguay, political refugees living in Buenos Aires, formed a plan to invade the Cisplatine State for the purpose of freeing it from Brazil and restoring it to the United Provinces. They called themselves "The Band of the Thirty Three" and soon won many others to the cause. On April 19th, 1825 they entered their native land under the command of Juan Antonio Lavallega, and equipped with a few carbines, pistols, and swords; a few horses and a few ounces of gold to pay preliminary expenses. This expedition is worthy of mark as one of the most daring and praiseworthy on account of the great courage and confidence it reveals, in spite of its pathetic lack of resources, and the sublime indifference to the heavy odds against them in facing the numerous troops on the boundary line defending the Brazilian posts, which were under the command of the redoubtable General Rivero, famous for his ability in guerilla warfare. Amazing result awarded their heroism, however, for within ten days they had captured Rivero by strategy, who promptly deserted and joined them. They besieged the fortress of Montevideo, and within two months, the first revolutionary movement was established in Florida. Six months later Uruguay gained a splendid victory on the fields of Sarandi, and obtained from the Argentine Congress recognition of the incorporation of the Banda Oriental with the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata. Brazil now lost no time in declaring war on the Argentine, which, with an army under the command of General Carlos Alvear, a vanguard of Uruguayans under Lavallega; and a fleet equipped in Buenos Aires and under the orders of Admiral William Brown, invaded Brazil in 1826. A series of hand to hand battles followed, one after another, for eighteen months, terminating in the utter defeat of the Brazilians by the forces under General Juan de Lavalle, at Ituzango in 1827, which established the independence of Uruguay.

Rivadavia's term of office was also remarkable for the Constitution of the 24th, December 1826, passed by the Constituent Congress of all the provinces, and by which the bonds uniting the confederate states of the Argentine Republic were strengthened. This project met with much opposition, both at Buenos Aires, and in the provinces, and the following year the opposition in the Congress was in the majority. Rivadavia resigned and Vicente Lopez, a federalist, was elected. He, however, was soon supplanted by Manuel Dorrego, another representative of the same party. Dorrego was driven out of office by a revolution, at the head of which was Juan de Lavalle, the hero of Ituzango, who pursued Dorrego into the country and after capturing him, had him shot on December 9th, 1828. Lavalle in turn was overcome by Vicente Lopez, Governor of Santa Fe, who assisted by a Federalist leader, Juan Manuel Rosas, defeated Lavalle under the walls of the city. Dr José Viamonte was the next President, but he only remained in office for barely a year.

In 1830 he was replaced by the aforesaid Federalist leader Juan Manuel Rosas, one of the most remarkable men of his time. The scion of a wealthy Buenos Aires family, Rosas from his childhood had lived on the vast family estates in the Southern pampas, where he became the model and idol of the "gauchos". By the time he was twenty-five he was the acknowledged king of the Southern plains, with a thousand hard-riding, half savage horsemen at his command. When he was declared Governor of Buenos Aires he was crowned by the women, the city was illuminated, bands of music paraded the streets, and everyone rejoiced with cries of "Viva the Restorer of Law" and "Death to the Unitarios". But their hopes were sadly disappointed. For more than twenty years he held them in abject terror by his tyranny and despotic rule. The Unitarios were relentlessly hunted down, and innumerable atrocities committed in the name of patriotism. Rosas gradually concentrated all power into his own hands, and in 1835, with the title of Governor and Captain-General, he acquired dictatorial powers, which made him the nominal head of the whole of the Argentine. The offices in the provinces were filled by his partisans, and he formed a band of desperados and cut-throats whom he called the "Mazorca" who swore to do his bidding, even though it meant murdering their own relatives. These men wore a uniform of scarlet tunics and pointed caps, and carried long staffs to which were attached long scarlet pennants, on which were inscribed "Viva las Federalistas" and "Muerte a los Unitarios". The blue and white of the National Flag was replaced everywhere by the red of the Rosas faction, and any wearing of a scrap of blue was considered a proof of treason punishable by death, with one of the hideous knives patronized by the Mazorca. This colour scheme even extended to the colouring of the houses, which the inhabitants were obliged to paint pink or red as an outward sign of loyalty. Many ancient buildings still bear traces of this colour, and Government House has ever since that time been painted a dull pink shade and is known as the Casa Rosada.

A formidable revolt finally took place in 1839 under General Lavalle who had returned to the country accompanied by a number of banished Unitarians, who had taken refuge in Uruguay. In 1840 Lavalle invaded the districts of Buenos Aires at the head of troops raised chiefly in the province of Entre Rios, but he was defeated by Rosas and shot the following year. Foremost of the partisans of Rosas were General Ignacio Oribe, and the notorious Facundo Quiroga, who endeavoured to exterminate the Unitarians, throughout the provinces.

Juan Facundo Quiroga represented the Federal party in Cuyo, and gathered his swarms of fierce "gauchos" from the Llanos (see page 42). A son of Prudencio Quiroga (a man much beloved by the inhabitants of the Llanos where he lived) Facundo was born in the province of Rioja, where he received a limited schooling, learning to read and write indifferently. From the age of eleven he became notorious for his excesses and brutalities, and although of respectable family, he preferred to live a wandering life, sometimes working as a common labourer, and always to be found in low taverns and gambling dens, stabbing and killing any who opposed him. He went to Chile, but returned to Buenos Aires in 1810, when he joined the army from which he soon deserted. After further criminal exploits, he was arrested and imprisoned in San Luis prison. One day a party of political prisoners rose in revolt, and overcoming the warders, opened the cells of the criminal prisoners to help them in a general escape. Quiroga, using the iron bar of his fetters, killed the man who was helping him, and aided by the soldiers and prisoners, whom his example encouraged, suceeded in surpressing the insurrection. He returned to Buenos Aires, covered with glory and fortified with a pardon and recommendation from the Government. In 1820 Ocampo the governor, gave him the title of Sergeant-Major of the Llanos, and his public career started from this moment. In 1835 Rosas appointed him Governor-General of Buenos Aires, but within a few months he was shot by a gaucho-outlaw named Santos Perez, near the post-station of Ojo del Agua, while on his way back from quelling difficulties which had arisen in the northern part of the Republic.

The scene of slaughter was now extended to the Banda Oriental by the attempt of Oribe, supported by Rosas and Justo José Urquiza (Governor of Entre Rios) to establish himself as President of the Uruguayan Republic, whose existing government was hostile to Rosas and was sheltering all political refugees from the Argentine. Montevideo resisted bravely, and maintained a siege for nearly ten years. This was the longest and most stubborn war ever fought on Uruguayan soil. Montevideo seemed doomed to surrender, when an opportune interruption by France and England upset the plans of Rosas, who had quarrelled with the French Government concerning the domicile and obligations of foreign merchants and residents in Buenos Aires. The French fleet, assisted by Great Britain, blockaded Buenos Aires and drove Argentine vessels from the Rio de la Plata. Rosas defied them however, and eventually France and England were obliged to raise the blockade.

About this time Justo José Urquiza, who for many years had been one of Rosas' strongest supporters, came into open conflict with his chief. The first breach between the two men occurred in 1846, and early in 1851. Urquiza obtained an alliance with Brazil and Uruguay. An allied army of twenty-four thousand men assembled at Montevideo, and on January 8th, 1852 crossed the Parana. Here Rosas met them with a body of troops fully equal in number to their own, but was routed at Monte Caseros, about ten miles from the city on February 3rd, when it is said that many of Rosas' army deserted him and joined Urquiza. The Dictator fled from the battlefield in disguise and sought refuge at the house of the British Charge d’Affaires, from whence he was conveyed on board H.M.S. "Locust", which carried him and his daughter Manuelita into exile at Southampton, England, from where he never returned. It was revealed later that he had already taken the precaution of sending his money secretly to England hidden in bags of grain exported by an English firm of corn-chandlers in Buenos Aires.

Rosas literally applied the knife of the gaucho to the culture of Buenos Aires, thus destroying the work of centuries of civilization, law, and liberty, and died the most bitterly hated man in Argentine history.

A provisional government was next formed under Urquiza, and the Brazilian and Uruguayan troops withdrew. All the provincial governors met at San Nicolas (in the province of Buenos Aires) and a new Constitution was proclamed with Urquiza as provisional director of the country. A constituent assembly was duly elected, in which each province had equal representation, and in order that Buenos Aires should not receive undue prominence, Santa Fe was chosen as the place of session. This however did not suit the "porteños" (people of Buenos Aires) and they refused to take part in the congressional proceedings. Urguiza would not use force, and when Congress appointed him President of the Confederation, he established the seat of government at Parana. The province of Buenos Aires was recognized as an independent, and under the enlightened administration of Dr Obligado made rapid strides in commercial prosperity.

The first passenger mole was erected at the harbour and opened in the year 1855, and 1863 saw the commencement of the first railway, the Central Argentine which ran from the Central Station, near Government House, to the Tigre, and was constructed by British firms with British capital. The following year also saw the commencement of the Buenos Aires Southern Railway, likewise capitalized and constructed by Great Britain, as foreign capital was very welcome and invited. All rivers and harbours were carefully surveyed, and Rosario, in Santa Fe, was made a port of entry, and began a growth that has made it second only to Buenos Aires.

The separate governments continued to operate until 1859, when the long drawn out tension snapped and led to the outbreak of hostilities. The army of "porteños", under Colonel Bartolomé Mitre, was defeated at Cepeda by the Confederate forces under Urquiza, and on November 11th, Buenos Aires agreed to re-enter the confederation.

Urquiza at this juncture resigned the Presidency, and Dr Santiago Darqué was elected President of the fourteen provinces, while Urquiza once more became Governor of Entre Rios, and Bartolomé Mitre was appointed Governor of Buenos Aires. The struggle for supremacy between the two provinces had to be fought out however, and in 1861 the armies of Generals Mitre and Urquiza met at Pavon in Santa Fe. The ensuing battle ended in the disastrous defeat of the provincial forces. General Mitre used his victory in a spirit of moderation and sincere patriotism, and later was elected President of the Argentine Confederation.

In 1863 circumstances forced Bartolomé Mitre into war with Paraguay. Lopez, the President of Paraguay, seized the Brazilian province of Matto Grosso, which lay along the River Paraguay, and demanded free passage for his troops across Argentine territory. Mitre’s refusal was followed by a Paraguayan invasion, which the Argentine was obliged to resent, and joined in an alliance with Brazil and Uruguay. In the two years of fighting, both the Brazilian and Argentine armies suffered tremendous losses both in the field and cholera hospitals. Eventually Mitre resigned the command of the troops into the hands of the Brazilian General Caxias, and the last two years of the war were carried on principally by the Brazilian troops. In 1870 peace was proclaimed.

When the presidental term of General Mitre came to an end in 1868, Dr Faustino Sarmiento, a native of San Juan, was elected. This election is said to have been the most peaceful and popular that up to that time had been known in the Republic. His conduct of affairs, was broadminded and upright, and particularly outstanding for his earnest and successful efforts to promote education in the form of National Schools, and to develop the natural resources of the country.

Immigration began to pour in at the rate of twenty thousand people per annum, and in 1869 the city of Buenos Aires alone had a population of one hundred and eighty thousand. The world has not seen a more rapid rise to wealth than that which took place between the years 1870 and 1890. Within forty years, more than two million immigrants of all nationalities made their homes in Argentina.

Sarmiento's period of office was marked also by an expansion of trade that was unfortunately accompanied by financial extravagance. The year 1870 brought an insurrection in Entre Rios headed by the last of the "caudillos" namely Lopez Jordan. Urquiza who was still governor of the province, was captured by the rebels, and although an old man, was assassinated, and the province was terrorized into proclaiming Jordan as Governor. The Federal government refused to acknowledge him however, and troops were despatched by Sarmiento to Entre Rios. The contest lasted for more than a year, but finally Jordan was defeated and driven into exile.

The presidential election of 1874 resolved itself into a struggle between the provincials and the porteños. The candidate for the former Dr Nicolas Avellaneda triumphed over General Mitre, and the unsuccessful party appealed to arms. Julio Roca, then a young Colonel, defeated them at Santa Rosa, and the new President was installed in office on October 12th, 1874.


Buenos Aires in 1874.

Friday October 9th. Hotel del Norte. Buenos Aires. We said good-bye to the S.S. "Boyne" this morning about 9 a.m. and went part of the way in a little steamer, and then the rest of the way in a rowboat to the mole, which is a kind of long wooden bridge jutting out of the water. We walked along this to the Custom House, where our trunks were examined. We then took two "coches", (which is a kind of open carriage drawn by two miserable half-starved horses) and drove to the Hotel del Norte, which is situated in the principal street, Calle 9 de Julio, and near to the river. The hotel is roomy and has a large courtyard paved with red tiles, and ornamented with rows of tubs in which are planted small lemon trees and flowering shrubs of several kinds.

The next day, and likewise Sunday, it poured with rain all day. There was an alarm of fire in the hotel on Sunday night. Frank came thumping at my door at 2 a.m. and shouting "Fire". The lightening outside made me think it was the flames, so I quickly put on my pants, shoes and coat. Then the door would not open, although I hammered against it. When at last I managed to open it, I found that the fire, which had started in the top story, had been put out by Mother and Josephine.

The weather cleared up on Tuesday, so Charlie and I went for a walk around the city. The streets, which are very straight and narrow, are paved with round boulder stones, about the size of a football. The pavements, made of brick or stones, are so narrow that only two people can walk abreast. Along the edges of the pavements, on each side of the streets, there are rows of posts placed at a distance of about ten yards apart. These once held ropes made of hide, which were stretched along the side of the pavements to protect foot-passengers from runaway horses and wild cattle, driven by the "gauchos" or cowboys, from the plains. The streets in some places are full of holes, and big carts without any springs, bump over the stones and make a fearful noise as they clatter past.

For the next fifteen days of our stay in Buenos Aires, Charlie and I spent most of our time wandering around the city and looking at the sights. Sometimes I went by myself to the water-front and watched the big ships in the distance, and the numerous small steamers that come from them with cargoes of merchandise, which they unload into carts these going out from two to three hundred yards from the shore to meet them, and standing in the shallow water. There are also the water-carts hundreds of them continually going to and from the river. As there is no proper supply of water to the houses, the watermen take the muddy water from door to door and sell it by the bucket. The Rio de la Plata is like the sea, with no land visible beyond, and is also tidal. Sometimes on a clear day, with the sun shining on it, it really looks like silver, but usually it is a muddy red. I also often went to watch the washerwoman or "lavanderas" under the cliffs just behind Government House. It is the place where all the washerwomen of Buenos Aires are allowed to do their washing. All over the ground the women (mostly negresses) kneel beside the pools among the rocks, scrubbing and thumping away at their work, and like most niggers, gabbling and shrieking all the while. The clean linen is then spread on the broad beach under the cliffs, covering the ground for yards around, hanging from long lines, and covering the rocks and patches of green grass above the beach. You have to be mighty careful not to go too near them, as they shriek and swear at you if you go too close. This is because some of the young fellows like to amuse themselves by pretending not to see the clothes, and walk over them so as to make the lavanderas mad.

We also visited the Central Produce Market, which is some way from the central part of the city, and situated on the banks of the Riachuelo, which is a small stream full of a crowd of brightly painted boats at anchor there. The Market is a huge red brick building containing three floors. The ground floor is for hides, while in the upper floors, wool and grain are stored. The railway goes inside the building itself, and there are holes in the upper floors at which the trains halt, when the roofs are removed from the cars and their contents hauled by cranes to which ever floor is required. The produce comes from all over the country.

One Sunday afternoon Uncle Frank and I visited the National Museum which contains stuffed birds, and skeletons of extinct animals. It was not very interesting. On our way there we crossed the principal square, the Plaza 25 de Mayo, which is in front of Government House, and went past the Cathedral, where there was a great festival, and we stopped for a while and watched the people as they came in and out of the Church. The ladies were beautifully dressed, and the gentlemen with them wore silk hats, and were dressed entirely in black except for beautiful coloured waistcoats. At the door of the church the gentlemen bowed and then went and stood in front of the building, so that there was quite a large crowd of men waiting for service to end, when they would take the ladies home again. The men, mostly young, waved their arms and hands about while they talked in small groups. At the end of the service, the church bells began to ring very loudly and the crowd of ladies came out. In a short while everyone had disappeared.

On October 22nd. Father, Uncle Frank and Mr and Mrs Mahrer, went by train and steamer to Rosario for a few days, to see some camp. My room at the hotel has been changed and I now slept with Herman in a room near the roof. I did not mind this as I did not hear the night-watchmen or "serenos". These are a poor looking lot of men, mostly old, who wear big cloaks and carry long staffs and heavy lanterns with a light inside. I used to lie awake at first listening to them calling the hours from the stroke of eleven p.m. when they give a long wailing call of "Las once han dado y sereno" which means "eleven has struck and all is serene". If the night is foggy the end of the sentence is "nublado" and so on according to the weather. The young fellows of the city often start battles with them, and take away their lanterns and staffs as trophies. The policemen are dressed in dark blue uniforms with brass buttons on their coats. They wear white spats, and small square hats with a peak, like French soldiers, and long swords at their sides. They are mostly very short and have big moustaches.

On Wednesday 28th. Father returned from Rosario, and reported that the prospects of getting a good farm are splendid, and that he will take us all there on Sunday next. In the afternoon Father, Frank, Bill and I went into the town and Father bought me a knife. He also bought a map of Santa Fe, and a tool-chest. I bought a pair of green goggles which cost $7.00, and 264 feet of fish-line. Afterwards we went for a walk round the town. The beggars here are dreadful. They sit on the sidewalks and are the worst looking men I have ever seen. Most of them are old soldiers who have been condemned to serve in the army for sometimes as long as twenty years, according to the kind of crime they have committed, and when set free, live on what they can pick up in the streets. They ring at the door continually asking for alms in the name of God, and you cannot walk along for five minutes in the streets without being stopped and even clawed at by one of these people. Unless you give them something or say "perdon por Dios" they will keep following you, cursing and using the most awful language.

The milkmen are very curious and interesting. They are dressed in a kind of black shawl for pants, and have white cotton stockings, and canvas shoes with rope soles, called "alpargatas" on their feet. They wear a white embroidered shirt and a beautiful wide leather belt covered with countless silver coins, which fastens in front with large silver clasps. On their heads is a small round black cap without any brim. The milk is brought in from the villages outside the city in two long tin cans which are strapped on either side of the horse. The milkman sits in between them on a very wide and high sheepskin saddle called a "ricado". The butter is made by the horse trotting, which seems to be its usual pace, and the butter, together with the milk is taken from door to door and sold straight from the cans. As a rule their horses are very fine looking animals, well groomed and cared for, and with their very long tails nearly touching the ground. Sometimes a man comes to the door driving two or three cows with their calves, and the milk is sold straight from the cow.


On Sunday November 1st, we left Buenos Aires for Rosario. We took the 9.50 train from the Central Station, which arrived at the Tigre Terminus at noon. From here we walked a short distance across to a small steamer carrying our hand baggage. After showing a pass, we were allowed to go on board. The steamer left at 1 p.m. when we had breakfast. Most of the afternoon the steamer went through sloughs, and had to be pushed off with a pole, and at four o'clock we entered the Parana River. It was not as wide as I expected, and I could not see the other side as there were so many islands. At six o'clock we had supper, when there were a good many nice things to eat. Afterwards Charlie and I went to sleep in a room with two other men. It was a warm day.

Monday 2nd. I did not sleep very well during the night, as it turned cold. At 11 o'clock this morning we stopped at San Nicolas for about half an hour. After breakfast I went and sat alone near the end of the boat as it was getting rather rough. I was nearly seasick, and many of the others really were. At 2 p.m. we arrived at Rosario, and after our luggage had been examined at the Customs, we drove to the Globe Hotel, where we are going to stay for a few days. The rooms are good, but the eating is bad.

A week later we moved into a house Father had rented for us, No 159, Calle Rioja. We slept in folding beds called "catres". A few days later Father ans Frank left for Cordoba to take a look at the country round there. That afternoon Uncle Frank, Mr Mahrer, Willie, Charlie and I went for a walk along the river for about a league. We saw a soldiers camp of about 3,000 men, and also a huge black spider called a "tarantula" sitting near a "piscatchie" (viscacha) hole. We also saw some owls, drunken soldiers, and a lizard about three feet long. The next day we went fishing among the wharfs, where we saw a little boy fall into the water and nearly drown. Some oxen also fell down between a chain and the wharf, and their necks were almost broken, but they were saved allright. We fished for a long while, but without success, and when we got home Mother was cross.

Father and Frank returned from Cordoba on the 18th, and a week later Father, Willie and Mr Mahrer left for Parana. As the weather had become very hot I went swimming a great deal in the river below the city (the River Parana). When Father returned from Parana on the 6th December, he said that the country round Entre Rios was very good, but that they had been troubled a great deal by the "bicho colorado", which is a tiny red insect that crawls under your skin and dies, and itches like anything.

The next day Father and Mother went by steamer to Buenos Aires, and the rest of us went for a walk outside the city to see the murderer of an Englishman and his daughter, get shot. The military formed three sides of a large square, with a brick wall on the fourth side. The murderer was made to sit down near the wall, and was then shot at thirteen times by the soldiers, and killed.

Tuesday December 13th. was a feast day, so we went to see the military exercise in the Plaza. That afternoon we were astonished to hear Mr Mahrer say that he was going by the brig "Blitz" to Rio Janeiro, and from there back to the United States. As the "Blitz" was leaving the following morning early, he had to be on board that night. After supper we all went down to the wharf to see him off. At half-past ten they left in a small boat, and were rowed out to the ship. "Good-bye Mr Mahrer and Aunt."

The following Monday, Father and Mother returned from Buenos Aires bringing a good many kitchen utensils etc. with them. We spent most of our time swimming and fishing in the river, and one day came home with twenty-two minnows. Another time we went hunting after the big lizard, but couldn't see him, but we caught another large tarantula which we drowned.

December 17th. was another feast day to celebrate the advent of peace with Paraguay. At ten o'clock we went to the Plaza to see the soldiers. After walking around for a little while, Frank and I took our stand underneath the porch of the Church, and watched the soldiers exercise. They shot off their rifles and fired the cannons. The latter were so loud that the windows of the houses were broken.

Argentine Territory. 1875.

The Argentine Territory may be divided into four categories, namely, mountains, rivers, forests and plains. The most important of the mountain chains is the Cordillera of the Andes, which extends along the entire length of the continent of South America in the west, and constitutes the boundary line between Argentina and Chile.

Next in importance are the Cordoba Mountains which form three distinct chains; the first in magnitude being the "Sierra de Cordoba" which lies thirty miles west of the city of Cordoba, and extends 200 miles, from Cruz del Eje in the north, to Chaján in the South, and covers an area of 4,500 square miles. The second in importance, the "Sierra de Pocho" lies ten miles west of the preceeding range, with which it runs parallel in its northern section, for 100 miles, its total extent being about 1,200 square miles. The third is the "Sierra de Ischelin" which lies north of the City of Cordoba, and forms a straight line due north as far as the Salinas desert, and covers an area of 2,300 square miles. Numerous streams descend from these Sierra and irrigate the surrounding country, but the rivers find their source in the Sierra de Cordoba.

The Rio Primero rises above the town of Saldun, flows through Cordoba, and after a course of 100 miles in length, is lost in Mar Chiquita, a vast lagoon in the Gran Chaco in the Santa Fe region.

The Rio Segundo rises near Malagueño, flows parallel with the Primero, and is likewise lost in the Mar Chiquita. This river which is mostly wide and somewhat shallow, is crossed by the Central Argentine Railway at a point about twenty-five miles south-east of Cordoba. It may be mentioned that prior to the year 1863 there were no facilities for communication in the way of railways or telegraph posts. A journey by cart or by horse might take weeks to accomplish, and the caravans of slowly moving bullock-carts which conveyed merchandise would sometimes take months to cover a few leagues. In the year 1863, William Wheelwright obtained a concession and through him a British Company constructed a railway from Rosario to Cordoba. This concession included the grant of a strip of land six miles wide along the 280 miles of railroad, for colonization purposes. The completion of this line in the year 1870 was a historic event in the annals of the Argentine, as it was the first of the greater railways which brought distant cities in touch with one another.

The Rio Tercero has a course of some 300 miles long, and after flowing through the towns of Villa Nueva, Frayle Muerto and Cañada de Gomez, it joins the River Parana at San Lorenzo. On entering the province of Santa Fe at Cruz Alta, it changes its name and from there onward becomes known as the Carcarañal. It measures ordinarily from 100 to 120 feet in width, with a current running at approximately two miles an hour.

The Rio Cuarto has its source near Santa Catalina, and after losing itself in the swamps, it reappears some miles further east as the "Saladillo" and eventually joins the Tercero before reaching Cruz Alta.

The Mar Chiquita Lagoon lies in the N.E. corner of the province of Cordoba, it receives many streams but has no outlet. The great salt lake "Lago de Porongos" lies some miles further north near Santiago del Estero.

The great forests cover about one half of the Gran Chaco, and extend over an area of about 60,000 square miles, with occasional open spaces. There are also the forests of "Montiel" in Entre Rios, Pay Ubre in Corrientes, and "Chañar" in Cordoba. The trees indigenous to the country are the "Ñandubuy", quebracho, espinillo, algorrobo, lepacho, cedar and urunday. Of these the quebracho is mostly in demand for railway sleepers as it is of a very hard quality; an extract of tannin is also obtained from it. European species, and most of the fruit trees, were primarily introduced into the country by the Jesuits, and in the year 1852 the Australian eucalyptus, or gum-tree, was brought over by Mr Thomas Tomkinson, and has since then formed the favourite avenue of approach to many "estancias".

The plains are the vast spaces covered with a coarse grass, over which one may ride for days without seeming to advance any further on this apparently limitless sea of waving grass, bounded only by the horizon in all directions. These plains extend from the River Salado in the North, to the Rio Colorado in the South, and are only broken by the ranges of hills in the south of the province of Buenos Aires, called the "Sierras de Curumalan". Westward they extend to the Cordoba range. Further south the "pampa" becomes wider and eventually reaches to the foot of the Andes mountains. Generally stoneless and with few trees, on nearing Cordoba it becomes sparsely covered with low scrubby woods. Northwards it extends along the valley of the Rio Parana and its tributaries, where it becomes diversified by forests, swamps and watercourses lakes and islets, and so on northwards to the Chaco, where it ends in this region of tropical forests, stagnant swamps and sluggish rivers, a region which harbours many wild creatures and savage tribes of Indians.

La California. 1875

On strike!

Curious blank area

On February 19th, my father purchased four leagues of camp from Señor Carlos Vernet. It was a property of excellent virgin pasture land, situated about thirty-five leagues from the ancient city of Santa Fe, five leagues above the mail-road, north-west of the town of Cañada de Gomez, and seven leagues from Cañada de Gomez itself. For these four leagues, or 10,808 hectareas, my ——— equivalent to $37,563.r ——— ty is worth about $500 m/ A "peso fuert ——— and a quarter or 35. gramme ——— ales", viz.twenty "reale ——— being called "peso fuerte" ——— "peso" worth only eight si ——— ammes). The "peso fuerte" ——— in the colonial days

Three ——— le, Frank, Willie, Charl ——— t work on the new property, ——— a".

After leaving ———  level, which at Cañada de ——— 160 feet. At Carcaraña, ——— a fine iron bridge which ——— Cañada de Gomez at 9.38 ——— met by a son of Mr Ver ——— were drawn up outside the ——— off in the first wagon; ———  ; and the other two, pi ——— s, impliments food, etc brou ——— in shape and size to those ——— lt very high on either side ——— and had two immense wheels ——— awn by, from four to sixteen ——— charge of them either wal ——— lves on a board, or yoke ——— thongs of hide called "coj ——— t two inches wide, which is ——— d and round to its whole le ———

They also had a ——— d a "picana" with which they ——— d cursing at them most of ——— w crawl of about two miles ——— il just before sunset to ——— nce it was too, not only o ——— diately after leaving C ——— also because of our ——— d which blew most of th ——— oxen, who with their tai ——— s which pestered them. ——— ; was better. At mi ——— e sheep roasted on an iron ——— ellent. There was also bread ——— e of the wagons also ate the me ———  called "galleta". Afterwards we ——— of tea from Paraguay, which was made wi ——— d called a "Mate" and is sucked up through a s ——— rated bulb at one end, called a "bombilla". I thought I liked it pretty well, but the others said it looked and smelled like cow-dung. It is said to be very sustaining and everyone drinks it. After an hours siesta we started off again across the wide flat open country, now covered with a shortcoarse grass, which stretched away before us like a vast green sea, as far as the horizon. Occasionally we came across patches of little scarlet flowers rather like verbena. We saw several "biscachas" who darted into their burrows at our approach, and once a skunk moved slowly across our trail. Fortunately it did not squirt its perfume on our wheels, as the smell w ould have stuck to them for weeks afterwards. There were lots of little grey and brown owls which followed us for a time with angry cries trying to chase us away from their holes in the ground in which they build their nests. They have short curved beaks, wide flat faces and round black eyes. There is always one sitting on each post along the railway fence, and they follow the train with their eyes, screwing their heads almost right round in the most amusing way. Uncle said that in Cordoba they say that if you want to kill one you just walk round it and it twists its own neck.

We arrived at our destination just before sunset. The boundary of the property was marked by posts about a foot high called "mojones", otherwise there was nothing to be seen except a well, which had recently been opened, covered by a piece of corrugated iron and marked by a pile of stones. After the animals had been watered, they were allowed to roam around and crop at the grass. The wagons were drawn up in a circle, in case of an attack from the Indians, and a fire made of dried bones and dead grass was built in the centre. After supper we sat around the fire for a while listening to one of the men twanging a guitar and singing a sort of moaning song something about "mi madre, me muero, mi amor". Mr Vernet was telling us about the Indians and he said that a colony was first founded at Cañada Gomez in 1860, which was constantly raided by the Indians up to the year 1864. The villagers used to take refuge at an estancia near belonging to an Englishman called Major St John, who had a trench and a stockade. At Armstrong, eleven miles further along the railway line, the workmen constructing the permanent way were so bothered by the Indians that they were obliged to keep an engine continually under steam, and on one occasion the savages tried to "lasso" the engine. We then rolled ourselves in our rugs and blankets and slept in the wagons. Frank, Willie and I took it in turns to keep watch during the night. I took the first watch and occupied myself by looking at the stars, which seemed to be so much nearer and brighter than I had ever seen them before. I think it must have been the complete flatness of the country that gave me this impression.

The wind had dropped at sunset, and the night had become very cold and frosty, so I was glad of the fire. At 10:30 I built up the fire, wakened Frank and turned in.

The next morning we were roused by the "boyero" which is a small black bird which follows the cattle and feeds on the vermin in their fur. It has a piercing cry rather like a cuckoo, and is always the first bird to awake just before the dawn. This was the sign for the rounding up of the animals. After breakfast two of the wagons started back to Cañada de Gomez. They subsequently made many journeys backwards and forwards, bringing out the building materials etc. required for our new "estancia house", as everything had to be sent out from Buenos Aires. I helped to unload the two other wagons, put up the tents for us to sleep in, and store away our belongings. At 10 a.m. the architect, accompanied by a surveyor and a carpenter, arrived in a square carriage covered over with a hood and curtains made of American cloth. It was drawn by three horses driven abreast. We then drove over the camp revising it, and finally chose the site for the house. Father stuck a two-pronged fork into the ground to mark the place. It was decided to build a house not only suitable for our own wants, but one in which we could entertain our friends, and to which passers-by could be welcomed. Father also thought that it would be better to build with regard to our future requirements, so the result was that a two-story building sufficient to accomodate twenty-five people was planned, the north-west wing to be completed first. Early that afternoon a wagon loaded with wood arrived with several men on horseback, who with the carpenter started to put up a large "galpon" (shed). The following day being a Sunday, no work was done by the men. For breakfast I made flapjacks for everybody, which were much appreciated. I must have made over forty in all, and we had a great feast. In the afternoon we drove over the camp again to a "puesto" which is a smell plot of ground, marked out by a fence or shallow ditch, on which is built an "adobe" (unbaked mud bricks) hut thatched with straw. These are the homes of the "gaucho" and generally have a well of brackish water, a shed for the horse and cow, and an "ombu" tree which provides a certain amount of shade. A few chickens, a turkey or two, and several odd looking dogs of the yellow greyhound breed seem to be everywhere, together with crowds of children of all ages.

On Monday morning, after watching the men mark out the foundations of the house, Uncle and I drove into Cañada de Gomez in the "volanta" which is a sort of high coach, which took us four hours. We approached the town through a rough dusty road, past white-washed mud houses with flat roofs, which lined the principal streets, and before whose doors stood hobbled horses waiting patiently in the sun. There were several women sitting on benches or stools on the mud sidewalk. The "store" or "pulperia" had a number of horses tied to wooden posts ("palenques") outside. It was a long mud house, surrounded by a shallow ditch nearly full with rubbish of all kinds. Uncle and I went in and sat down at a dirty table. Uncle ordered steak and onions with fried eggs on them which is called "bife a caballo", ("steak on horseback") bread and "mate" for both of us. Meanwhile I looked around. Here one could buy cheese, long loaves of bread, sardines, dried figs, raisins and soap. Behind a counter was the bar, with a lot of bottles of "vino seco" (a native dry wine), rum, gin, and a cheap native wine called "caña" which is made from the sugar cane and tasted like methylated spirits to me. The bar was protected by a strong iron grating reaching to the ceiling, behind which the proprietor stood with his revolver handy. In one corner there was a huge heap of stinking sheepskins, and piled on shelves on the walls were stacks of "ponchos", saddlecloths, alpargatas, and cheap underclothing, also bundles of cotton materials; while from the ceiling hung strings of onions and garlic, held together with plaited straw. It seemed to be the custom of the country for anyone entering and seeing us eating to say "Buen provecho" which means "may you benefit by what you are eating". While Uncle was making some purchases I looked at the man lounging at the counter drinking. He was dressed in a heavy black "chiripa", like the milkmen in Buenos Aires wore, beneath which showed long, lace-trimmed drawers. The tops of his high paten-leather boots were embroidered in scarlet and blue thread, while his wide leather belt was covered with silver coins and fastened with huge silver buckles in front. Into this belt was stuck a long thin silver-handled knife, while hanging over one arm was an expensive looking fringed shawl called a "poncho", which is a native hand-woven shawl made from the wool of the "vicuña". It has a slit down the centre through which the wearer passes his head so that it falls over the shoulders forming a warm and comfortable cloak. His forehead was bound with a scarlet silk handkerchief, the ends falling over one shoulder, while on his head he wore a soft round black felt hat tied under the chin with two long strings. He had a wonderful pair of great silver spurs and a silver-mounted "rebenque" (whip), and I was completely fascinated by his splendid black horse, with long flowing mane and tail and glossy coat, which was tied to a post outside, and had silver-mounted reins and bridle, white "coquinillo" (sheepskin rug) under the black leather "ricado" with its enormous silver stirrups.

There were several other gauchos with iron spurs tied to their naked feet with thongs of raw hide, who wore long black sashes wound several times round the waist, which served to hold up their coarse woolen "chiripa" and also held the long wicked-looking butchers knife, which they use for everything and are never without. Several women dressed in cotton frocks with black shawls on their heads came in to buy things and the men made jokes with them.

On the way back we drove past the station to see if there were any letters. There were one or two for Father and Mother, but none for me. We went back by a different road and passed by a large white estancia house in the middle of some eucalyptus trees. Several dogs ran out and barked as we went by and three or four men came out of some huts and called out "buenas tardes". Further along we met some gauchos. They had very wide saddles, their bare toes only just gripping the small openings in their long stirrups. Each man had his coiled "lasso" fastened to his saddle and his "boleadores" slung round his waist.

The west wing of the house was finished towards the end of the year 1875, when Mother with the rest of the family joined us and we moved in for Christmas.

In the early part of the new year we commended to stock our camp on a large scale. In February, just before Carnival, Father bought five hundred head of cattle from Señor Mansilla at $9.50. We spent two days "marcando" (branding) them with our mark.

The following April further purchases were made of 800 head from Mr Tregarthen also at $9.50, and 300 from Señor Pereira at S7.00. We had five milch cows, which I milked every morning before coffee, assisted by one or other of the two servant girls, Mauree and Elisa.

The house-staff consisted of the wife of the "capataz" as cook; a washerwoman called Dona Rosa; and Father's favourite attendant an Indian named Isidro, who also waited at table, dressed in a white suit and worked a "punkah" while we were at meals. The two girls, Mauree and Elisa helped in the house as housemaids, and also with the milking and in the garden. There was also a German "peon" named Braun who worked about the house and garden. I had started to grow a vegetable garden, which I stocked plentifully with beans and potatoes.

Father had been ailing for some time past. His heart was weak and worn out with the strenuous life he had led since a lad. He hardly ever went to bed, as he was unable to lie down; but used to sit up in a chair to sleep at night. On the night of Tuesday June 27th, he had been sitting up before the fire. Mother left him for a few moments to go and prepare his bed in case he felt like lying down. When she returned he was poking the fire. He lay back and said "I am getting dizzy" and died.

The dogs howled all night, and when Mother went out with a candle to try and quiet them, as she passed through the door the candle suddenly went out, although there was not a breath of wind.

© Peter Benitz (Benitz Family)