Alfred recorded only the first four months of 1893. In April he left on a long trip to Europe and the U.S., not returning to Los Palmares until April of the following year. During his absence, this day-book was not maintained. Miguel Fraire, the mayordomo Alfred left in charge at Los Palmares, must surely have kept another for Alfred to review on his return. We assume that because Fraire’s record / day-book did not pertain directly to Alfred it was (sadly) not preserved as one of Alfred’s diaries and has been lost to us.
On February 25th, Alfred listed the workmen at Los Palmares: “Elia (capataz), Serapio, Mariano, Felis, Augustin, Hauser, Nicolas puestero, Polonio, Santos, Lorenzo & boy (puestero).” He omitted Evaldino (the palm-cutter) who was not there that day. On April 6th, assisted by William and Johnnie, Alfred “Counted cattle – Lorenzo tamberas 36 south rodeo 3875. Nicoles tamberas 177. North rodeo 4550, potrero 362. Estancia tamberas 124 9124 Total 9124.” Coincidently, the number of workmen at Los Palmares matches today’s rule-of-thumb for a breeding camp (in Corrientes, 2010), that is: a capataz (foreman) and one peón-de-campo (cowhand) per thousand head of cattle. Los Palmares had Elias and 9 peones-de-campo (Hauser & Evaldino were handymen, not peones-de-campo).
Transcription Notes: The day-book has been transcribed as written, without corrections to spelling or grammar; however, when in doubt we chose the most correct. We standardised the date format, adding the month where missing (abbreviated to 3 letters). Anything else we added or corrected is enclosed within [square brackets, with our comments in italics.] (Transcribed by: Michael Mohr-Bell.)
Written in English by Alfred (& others) the day-book is full of Spanglish terms as well as many other terms unfamiliar to us today. To assist with names (people & places), maps, measures, currencies, and Spanglish terminology, we have created a set of Reference pages. The reference pages open in a separate tab / window making them available in parallel to the diary (i.e. this window).
[Likely author: Alfred]
Alfredo came back from San Cristobal had to value the cattle there. $100 fee. Had a little rain on 2nd but lagunas are drying up fast. Elia had come back from apartes on 25th parted at Pedro Grans, 7 Camila, 1 Mercadito 4 and puesto.
Butchered 3 animals since I was gone.
Serapio’s wife got kid. Took remnant (about 1300) of puesto rodeo to water on Salado as lagunas near puesto drying. Finished cutting alfa. fine lot. Warm day.
Felix went to the Curva on a paseo. Alfredo was at Martin’s. Gave them some choclos & melons. Elia recorrered west of Salado. Covering melons up from sun. Very hot day and looks stormy.
Had on Palmar rodeo and disembechared a few calves and parted some of Robsons & Donkins
cattle out & put in potrero. Lorenzo & Agustin went to Calchaqui
bringing with pack mule.
Frightful hot day, no wind. Great seca! Butchered cow.
Sunday. Agustin came back with pack mule bringing 25 Kilos salt, 10 Kilos Tobacco, 1 bot essence vinagre. Another frightful hot day, but looks stormy. Every laguna on place dry except one at puesto house, and one at this rodeo. Serious! Will have to move the Palmar rodeo also to Salado. Plenty of choclos, sandias etc.
Moved the cattle that go north of puesto and south of Garzal to the Salado for water. Cloudy day but no rain. Gave Martin choclos etc.
Repuntared the cattle again to water. Very few had gone far from Salado. Buthchered old cow.- Another very hot day. North wind storm brewing.
The 3 carts went way up in Palmar & brought 17 long palms to make tajamar. Deepened well this afternoon. Two french dependenties of Julio Fargot (nutrieras) were here from up costa of Salado, on way to Laguna Gallerate. No nutrias. Report having met 21 indians montaraces about 7 leagues from here. Say will get reduced when the chiefs (Jose Manuel) brother goes out to them. Fearful hot day. A few drops of rain but no rain yet.-
Took palms down to Salado in front of Lorenzo’s to make tajamar, began work. Fearful hot day. Slight shower of rain this afternoon. Robson came this afternoon.
Sent Felix to look for mare down to Pedro Grands also to notify people going to make tajamar. Alfredo & Robson visited Martin’s. Mariano went to Calchaqui. Hotish day, seca again.
Another hot beastly day. Repuntared cattle to water again. Felix came back from Pedro Grands. Could not bring mare. Would not ‘cabrestear’. Report Salado very low down there and full of dead fish.
Sunday. Had rodeo on at Martin’s and counted his marked cattle 715 + 20. A change of weather came and strong south wind set in. Repuntared cattle to Salado again.
Elia took all hands to work on tajamar near Lorenzo’s. Butchered calf. Could not find horses at puesto, found afterwards.
All hands worked on tajamar again. Seems water filters through below. Repuntared cattle again to costa Salado. Hilario Saavedra came tonight with cart to await his brother from Mte. Aguara. Hacinto & wife also came. Warm day, south wind.
Finished tajamar; had to dig up part where brush was laid in at bottom. Water rises slowly. Showed Saavedro old cows in potrero. Wants to part in a few days @ $18.00. Butchered old cow. Looked like rain but nada.
Passed about 25 animals from other side of Salado. Salado rising very slowly at tajamar, about 10 inches in 24 hours. Looks like rain again and hot night. Hilario left. Sent the Cordobese tropilla 8 – ruans, and redomon tropilla of puesto 12 & madrina. 22 in all to the Yacare. Afraid of indians.
Hot day. Water rising very slowly in tajamar. Recorrered costa of Salado caught ciervo with dogs. South camp full of locusts.
Frightful hot day NE wind.
Jacinto made contract to haul posts for Robsons alambrado at 12.00 per 100. Gave him carts on halves. Robson came. Quick (greyhound) died from heat & salt water. Peons at Palmar huntaring palms to bring down.
Jacinto went to Calchaqui with pack mule. Had sharp shower of rain this morning early. Done world of good to chacra, but not enough to juntar water in charcos. No rain at Martin’s. Butchered old milk cow.
Drizzled some today, just enough to freshen up chacra and grass. Brought load of firewood and two loads of long palms. Robson left. Hauser harrowing.
Hacinto came back last night from Calchaqui. Bought some (2) chains and other necessaries for hauling. Repuntared cattle to Salado again as rain did not huntar water in camp. Water rising up in tajamar gradually. Fine day. Camp full of locusts, but none in chacra yet. Chacra looks flourishing. Hauser cutting some of the new alfa.
Jacinto left with the two carts and 24 oxen and 3 horses, to do Robson’s hauling. Robson lends other cart. Repuntared cattle to Salado again. Hot day – east wind. Butchered old cow. G. Martin here, goes out tomorrow with Alfredo to Laguna Cura.
A. came back from Lagunas Cura. Plenty of water there for cattle if seca lasts here, but lots of tigers. Killed aguara, and saw ciervo, tiger & cat. Repuntared cattle to water. Chap (Julian) from Cacique Mariana’s gente here, wants to hunt in camp. Dry storm blew over but no rain.
Chased 4 baguales in camp. Two got into potrero. Broke fence. Guess want of water brought them. J. Martin was here. Hot day east wind. Tremendous lot of locusts passed last week but none came to chacra, which wants rain again badly. Butchered old cow.
Sunday. Had races (3) against puesto. Estancia won. Very hot day – strong east wind. Maizal drying up. Looks stormy.
Took puesto tamberas to potrero 153 marked on account of water (scarcity). Had rain towards evening, just in time to sove maiz but not enough to juntar water in camp. Alfredo went down to Robsons.
Fine cloudy growing day. Camp looks improved already.—
Seca ended at last!
Had heavy downpour nearly all forenoon, which juntared lot of water in camp. Weather heavy still. Locusts last night got into chacra & looks bad for maiz, but new maiz will grow again.
Took back lecheras from potrero to puesto as there is plenty of water again. A. was at Martin’s. Got rid of locusts from chacra, but they had done a deal of damage to maiz, zaballas etc. Expect young maiz will grow again. Warm day foggy morning. Sent to recorrer coast of Salado. Butchered old cow.
Had a tremendous rain for about 3 hours at day break. Heaviest rain since March 30. All the esteros full of water to overflowing and Palmar at puesto swimming. Brought 13 milk cows up from potrero. Nicolas Figueroa stops night on way to Santiago. Looks like more rain. Splendid for camp and chacra.
Nothing going. All low places in camp full of water. Tajamar running over. Stormy day but no rain. J. Martin was here.
Sunday. Butchered old cow. Nothing going on. Awful hot sweltering day. Storm in afternoon and raining hard. Funny that up in Palmar & Martin’s had hardly rained before and here camp is full of water. Palmar lake very low. Water about 75 yds. from SE shore.
Rained a good deal last night and drizzled some this forenoon. Nothing going on. Brought some leña. Maiz etc. looking well again – locusts did not much damage except to old maiz & zaballos.
Splendid day, growing weather. ‘Devasaring’ horses etc. Putting thatch over dweling house over palms. Butchered at puesto last night.
Put on Palmar rodeo – tremendous big rodeo, capared some toritos. Cattle look well. Dispatched cart this afternoon for Calchaqui with hides and fat. Felix and Caseras go. Alfredo was up at Martin’s. Go to Calchaqui tomorrow and perhaps to Costa.
[No entries. Alfred went (most likely by train) to La California on account of Herman’s sudden death.]
Alfredo today came back from down south. On the 9th he had gone to Calchaqui and on the road met chasque with telegram announcing poor Herman’s death at Mar del Plata on 31 Jan. so next day went to La California where he had been buried. Sent the 88 hides (14 were Martin’s) to Alason Hall. and sold 201 Kilos fat to Pastorelli at 4.00/ 10 kilos. Sent out in cart patatas, 4 bags, 1 bag flour, bag yerba, bag sugar, etc. Found every thing here first rate, camp splendid and cattle rolling fat and chacra first rate. Michelos and Pedro Gran came to part and Nicolas & two peones went with them to part at Mercedito and Camila and La Vara. Hauser had planted about 20 ? arrobas patatas, and cut the alfa. Ciclon last Sunday blew down Martin’s house, Hacinto came Sunday from Robsons with carts – finished hauling posts, is working for Martin’s now. Elia had capared some old bulls. The old cows in potrero are very fat now. Weather is heavy and looks like rain. Paid all bills in Calchaqui except Cappatos which will reglar with hide money.
Butchered old cow. Finished putting paja on dweling house. J. Martin was here. Eujenio Junco stops the night, takes prisoner a man from Martin’s who had stolen a young Dutch girl from Luis Boustet. Looks like rain again and very close weather. Serapio making saddles. Men working on place – Elia (capataz), Serapio, Mariano, Felis, Augustin, Hauser, Nicolas puestero, Polonio, Santos, Lorenzo & boy (puestero).
Sunday. Hot overcast drizzly day. Nothing going on. Eugenio Junco left at madrugado.
Put on Palmar rodeo and parted out 8 mañero torunos and 28 old cows – 3 got out – for potrero, separated calves in corral and put on señal punta lanza. Ewaldino was here, told him to cut 100 picked palms 7 yds. long at least for Johnnie [likely: J.Martin ] and afterwards to cut 300 tiles for peon house. Had a hard summer shower with sunshine in afternoon but 10 squares [1300 metres] west did not rain at all. Hauser finished harrowing alfa which he had cut. Splendid growing weather but want no more rain.
Alfredo was up at Martin’s. Jacinto is building them a new house. Flabby [?] day and slight shower of rain. Apartadores came back parted from Mercedito, 1 Camila 0, La Vara 1. 3 of Robsons. Bad aparte again, rodeos mal parados. Chacra looks splendid. Splendid growing weather. Hauser cleaning zaballos. Elia recorriendo Palmar. 3 or 4 of old cows got out of potrero again.
Had on south rodeo and parted out 37 old cows and separated them from their calves and put them [out ?] potrero. Butchered old cow at puesto; resowed some alfa. Hot sweaty day.
Had on Salado rodeo and parted out 8 more old cows and put them in potrero. Making 163 parted into potrero since Dec. 1. Some 4 or 5 taken out again and estancia butchered from there regular. also discornared 6 yearling bulls in corral. It was another hot sweaty day and looks rainy damp weather._ _
Had on Palmar rodeo and capared 59 yearling bulls (2 yuntas) also disembechared some calves. Lorenzo bro’t sick child of croup or sore throat. Another hot sweaty day. Camp looking splendid.
Butchered old cow. Lorenzo’s kid died. Warm damp cloudy day. Bro’t leña.
Sunday. Peones had wake last night. Elia &b family went on a paseo to Calchaqui in cart. Lorenzo & family also went to bury kid. & Mariano also. Robson came. Hot day, looks rainy.
Apartadores from Camila had rodeo at puesto. Capared about 30 bulls also. Hilario Saavedra parted out 20 old cows at 18.00 from potrero. He did not pay. Will give vales. Hall sent a/c of hides 77 @ 410.28 11 M.D. 28.56.
Hauser cutting alfa. Serapio thatching ranchito. Tremendous hot day. Robson left.
Elias came back with family and cart from Calchaqui. Mariano stops to bring out Miguel Fraire. Fixed place up for maiz in galpon. Fearful hot day & looks stormy. Butchered old cow, also at puesto. Brought in alfa. (cut of new alfa). Serapio thatching his house.
Had on east side of Palmar rodeo and discornared 23 yearling bulls for padres, and capared about 30. Hacinto came with the carts from Martin’s. finished house there. Fixing carts up to haul palms from Palmar. Had storm last night with but little rain but twas fine cool day. J. Martin stops the night.
Had on north side of Palmar rodeo and discornared 27 yearling bulls for padres, and capared 33 yearlings. Jacinto & his two men began work to haul palms from Palmar to make mangas and estantes for galpon. Miguel Fraire came at noon with Mariano from Calchaqui. Hot day. Bro’t 24 long palms and 30 posts palms. Sent for Martin’s cart (loaned).
Had on south rodeo and disimbechared and then discornared 31 yearling bulls, making 87 yearlings bulls left for padres. Hottest day of season and storm came up in afternoon. Jacinto bro’t posts in 3 carts from Palmar.
Sunday. Began raining about midnight and rained until 11 o’clock very hard and same this afternoon. Hardest rain since last April. Butchered old cow.
Rained since midnight, and rained today about 4 hours fright full hard, and continues slowly tonight. A. and Miguel Fraire took a turn up Palmar to Ewaldinas barefoot. Lake low yet but rising fast.
Drizzly forenoon stopped rain at noon after 60 hours of rain. Peones report Calchaqui tremendously crecida also Palmar lake full. Nicolas butchered lame novillo. Began manga for corral this afternoon, also made desaguadero for corral. Looks muggy yet.
A. and Miguel Fraire took a big turn round by two puestos. Passed some animals over Calchaqui at puesto. Calchaqui and Salado very crecida. More water in camp than for last 3 years. Fine clear day – south wind. Elia recorrered other side of Calchaqui. Jacinto making manga.
Butchered old cow. Took señuelos to puesto to learn to swim. Bro’t maiz from field. Whitewashing sleeping room. Jacinto making manga for corral.
[no entries during hunt on Palmar]
Sunday. Jacinto, 3 peones & Alfredo and Fraire went to rinconado Palmar & made raft of 92 dry palms to swim to puesto on 17th. But river up there only about 8 ft deep so could not swim down. Left it tied up waiting creciente. Killed 2 ostrich & 1 ciervo. Fine weather.
Went up to Martin’s and counter marked the 15 2yr. old bulls traded to him and parted out the 3yr. old novillos and marked them here in corral. Butchered one of the novillos to cut up hide. Borrowed Martin’s cart. Finished manga to corral and got ready carts to haul palms again. Hauser gathering maiz.
Jacinto and peon brought 2 carts 20 long palms from Palmar. Felix went to Calchaqui with pack mule to bring out Fraire’s things etc. Put on north side Palmar rodeo and disembichared and capared about 40 toritos. Hauser huntando maiz. Warm day.
Put on east Palmar rodeo, disembichared about 10 and capered about 30. Robson came. Jacinto bro’t 20 long palms for ensenada. Sent telegram to Johnnie by Ponce not to send mares on account of creciente. Looks cloudy but south wind. Mosquites getting bad. Hauser gathering maiz in old chacra.-
Had on puesto rodeo and capared about 60 bulls. Butchered old cow at puesto. Jacinto brought 20 long palms for ensenado. Hot day. Mosquitos getting very bad. Robson still here.
Dug post holes for ensenada. Jacintha brought 10 long palms and 20 posts. 1 cart stopped back. yoke broke. Butchered old cow. Hot day. Robson here yet. Felix not appeared yet from Calchequi Saturday.
Began setting posts etc. for ensenada. Jacinto bro’t 10 long palms & 40 posts. Broke tire of old cart. Hilario Saavedra [in the diary, this entry is misplaced after April 10 (he skipped a blank page).] came this afternoon and parted 20 old cows from potrero (1 got away) at $18.00/. Felix came back from Calchaqui. Did not bring carga as he had lost his horse (oscuro Cordobese). Hot day. Ewaldino took mail to town.
Sunday. Helped Saavedro across Calchaqui which is very crecido still. Felix went back to Calchaqui to look for horse. Hot day.- [misplaced entries end here.]
All hands but cartmen worked on ensenada. Put up 60 palms besides planting 40 posts etc. Lorenzo & bro also helped. Jacinto bro’t with 3 carts 20 long palms and 20 posts. Warm day.
Put up 32 palms. Slight shower of rain. Jacinto bro’t 20 palms & 20 posts. Butchered old cow. Felix came back from Calchaqui, found horse and bro’t Fraires things, broke demijohn caña.
Put up 20 palms and 40 posts. Nothing else going on. Jacinto brot 20 palms and 20 posts. Hot day. Palmar lake falling again.
Put up 20 palms & 20 posts. Jacinto bro’t 20 long palms. Go tomorrow to Yacaré to bring horses & some carga with mule. Veloria tonight. Viernes Santo tomorrow. North wind & looks rainy.
[No entries while fetching horses from Yacaré.]
Alfred, Fraire, Elias, Agustin & Santos had gone to Yacare on 31 inst (Good Friday) to bring horses for marcacion. Counted 139 chucoros abajo marca. 6 had died from last yr. pd. Elias Salteno $60.00 for looking after mares to April.1. Bro’t 28 horses & madrina out for marcacion. 12 redomones. 4 colorados 8 Cordobese, Alasan, Saino Hopes, Tostado. William & Johnnie came out today with Alfredo & Miguel. Jacinto had made 3 trips to Palmar to bring palms for corral and today bro’t 3 loads fire wood. Butchered old indiano overo ox, also old cow saturday and vaquilla negro con cuero today. Had frost Apr.2 but did not do much damage.
Counted cattle – Lorenzo tamberas 36 south rodeo 3875. Nicoles tamberas 177. North rodeo 4550, potrero 362. Estancia tamberas 124 9124 Total 9124. Rec’d telegram from Pilar saying that Cecelia who is bringing mares from California could not come on a/c row with peones. So sent Juan Ojedo with bro. to help them gave him $50.00 for expenses.
Took a turn up Palmar as far as Ewaldinos with Bill & Johnnie. Rec’d 300 tiles from Ewaldino. All hands working on corral Bro’t load of palms to prolong manga. Indian signs about. Lock all horses in. Warm day looks stormy.
Johnnie & William left again this morning, 2 peones went along.-
Finished corral and manga for marcacion. Freire recorrered fence. Splendid day fresh weather again.
Sunday. Peones turning up for marcacion. Robson also here. Santos & Camila bro’t 3 new marks from Calchaqui. Fine day.- Butchered cow old.
Began marcacion; locked in north side of Palmar rodeo, very good lock in. marked 964 calves, 501 males, 463 hembras. 7 on horse back, about 20 outsiders work at 3.00. Make a streak on left cheek with hot irons. Good day for work – dusty. Butchered black cow. Broke 3 calves.
Put on east side of Palmar rodeo and locked in. good shut in. Marked 346 calves = 174 machos 172 hembras. Finished by 1.30 P.M. Had sent peones to recoger puesto rodeo, but only left there 3 oclock and had tremendous work to bring up so have to rondar near chacra. Guess they will have hard work to rondar as lots of cows are ballaring about. Butchered black cow.
Lots of cattle got away last night. 8 men with their own horses rondared, besides our men. Locked in early and by noon finished marking 285 machos & 278 hembras – 563. Total so far 1873. Finished until next week.- Paid off most of the outside peones. Zinfo Sasa came from Robson’s. Says he got there with Cecilio with the mares and horses from down south. Juan Ojeda seems to have missed them. Will go down there tomorrow to receive the mares. It was a hot day, with wind & lightening. Butchered black cow.
Came back from Robsons this afternoon left the mares there but brought the horses. 27 – 15 gateado horses 1 madrina 5 half tamed horses by Avelino. 1 from Cuellos tropilla, 5 baldera horses. 2 potritos had died on road up from La California, and 1 mare had died at Robsons, leaving 89 animals left at Robsons until roads are better for bringing them over. Señalared a calf of cow having our and Dickinsons mark. Juan Ojeda & companion who had gone to Pilar to bring mares up also cam back. pd. him the $50.00 he had taken along. Pd. Cecilia & companion $18.00 for way back and Calestro 2.00. Men had parrared rodeo yesterday here and at puesto, lot of calves left at puesto. Butchered yesterday. Hauser cutting alfa.
Slight shower of rain last night.- Bro’t 2 loads of fire wood. Saddled up some of the young horses bro’t up from down south. 1 ruano and 1 bayo bucked good deal. Took señueleros to puesto for work Monday. Counted señales 1874.
Sunday. A. & Fraire were up at Martin’s. Robson came. Eclipse of sun. Change to cold weather.
Parted out the remaining claves at puesto rodeo and marked them there in afternoon. Machos 148 hembras 120 total 268 also the tamberas calves machos 22 hembras 24 total 46. On their own horses worked Pancho, Madero, Juan Ojedo & 2 bros, Thomas, Camila, Palonio and Aristoble Ponce. Cool day east wind. Hauser bro’t in load of alfa.
Butchered cow also vaquilla con cuero (black) as it is last day of marcacion. Had on Palmar rodeo and parted out the calves and marked them in corral machos 60 hembras 31 total 91. Tamberas machos 18 hembras 11 total 29. Outsiders all regulated accounts.
[left margin, in pencil: 2887 – 230 = 2300 ]
Marked calves of Lorenza’s tamberas 9 machos 6 hembras total 15. Also recorrered as far as albardon south end of camp to see whether it is fit for Lorenzo to poblar to look after mares etc. Hilario Saavedro came to part tomorrow. Began raining tonight.
Don Hilario Saavedro parted out 21 old cows at $18.00/ and 1 cow & calf at 22.00/ of Benavides mark. Did hardly rain last night. Gave Ewaldino some horses for his puestito.
Had on rodeo at puesto and marked on rodeo 25 machos 19 hembras – 44 total. It was a foggy morning but fine day. Also parted out 25 old cows and about 14 torunos & novillos into potrero.
Had on Palmar rodeo and parted out about 25 torunos & big novillos and 4 old cows and some lame animals and put them into potrero. Marked the calves in potrero this afternoon – tamberas 10 machos 14 hembras total 24. Wild cattle 5 machos 3 hembras total 8. Broke two. Warm day.
Sunday.- Rained some today – nice slow rain. Had races today at puesto. Mrs Martin & two sons were here on way to Calchaqui. Arreglaring peones a/c.
J. Martin & mother left for Calchaqui in cart. Hauser drives. Fine bull died. Butchered old cow. Alfredo & Fraire recorrered monte. Alfredo getting ready to leave tomorrow for home and Chicago. hurroo! Misty morning.
[We assume Alfred appointed Miguel Fraire as mayordomo, with Elias Ledesma as capataz.]