Alfred A. Benitz Page last modified:
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1899 - First Entry
(Source: S.B. Pryor)

Ea. Los Palmares
Calchaquí, Santa Fé — 1899 (Nov. & Dec.)
(age: 40 years old)

To view transcriptions of this day-book, click:
(See Intro for page images in PDF files.)

The day-book includes only November and December, 1899.  The first 10 months of 1899 are in the previous day-book.

We summarized the activity for the entire year in the previous day-book.


The entries begin with a list of the workmen at Los Palamares, their roles, and how much they were paid per month (in Argentine pesos, each peso in 1899 is worth about 30 US dollars in 2015):

Baldomero Romero 36capataz
 & wife 8cook
Romulo Piedrabuena18peón
Rafael Barga 18peón
Domingo Sanchez 18peón
Remigio Ny 15pesebrero
Vicente Tioti 18caballeriza
Francisco Genin 50chacrera
 & wife 0cook
Gabino Nunez 20puesto potrero
Juan Gonzalez 20puesto Costa Laguna
Ewaldino Gonzalez 25puesto Palma
Domingo Ledesma 20puesto Mistolar
Damasio Ojido 20puesto paso Calchaqui
Felis Roman 25puesto Lomo Poi
Teofilo Ojido 18peón, puesto Lomo Poi
Jose Escobar 18peón, puesto Lomo Poi
?? 8washerwoman
Total employees (18): 355 (AABz: 342+8=350 !!)
Capataz: 36 
Chacrero: 42=50 - 8, wife cook
Cattle (11):220 puesteros & peones
Cooks & wash. (3): 24 
Other (2): 33caballeriza, pesebrero


Transcription Notes: The day-book has been transcribed as written, verbatim, without corrections to spelling or grammar.  Anything we have added is enclosed within [square brackets, with our comments in italics.]  (Transcribed by: Jorge Cáceres.)

Reference pages

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).

1899 - Qtr.4 (continued)

Note: The first 3 quarters and October of 1899 are in the prior day-book.

November, 1899

[Most likely author: Alfred]

— November 1 / 1899. —

Los Palmares, Calchaqui, Daily detail of work done on estancia.
Had on rodeo del Mistolar this morning; parted out about 100 ugly toros and toritos and capared them in corral at puesto Mistolar.  Also marked 5 calves.  All bulls we are keeping are being discornared.  Miguel Fraire from Olvidas gave hand.  Lent horse cart to Elias Ledesma to go Calchaqui; C. Dogherty went along on a paseo.  Sent in wild pig (barsina) to Consul Ayers (US) in Rosario as a present to U.S government.– Peones on place are Baldomero Romero 36 (capataz) wife as cook.– 8 Romulo Piedrabuena 18, Rafael Barga 18, Domingo Sanchez 18 peones, Remigio Ny 15, pesebrero; Vicente Tioti 18 caballeriza, Francisco Genin chacrera 50 & wife as cook.  Gabino Nunez 20 puesto potrero, Juan Gonzalez 20 puesto Casta Laguna, Ewaldino Gonzalez 25 puesto Palma Domingo Ledesma 20 puesto Mistolar, Damasio Ojido 20 puesto paso Calchaqui, Felis Roman 25 & peones Teofilo Ojido 18 & Jose Escobar 18 at puesto Lomo Poi — $ 342 per mo. & 8 washerwoman
This morning a strong south wind blew and looks like a seca.– Began cutting alfa in afternoon.—

— 2 —

Domingo Ledesma and 2 peones from here brought over 7 bulls from Harteneck’s camp.–
Montonared the alfa in afternoon.–
Made up accounts from end of year.–
Had lent horse cart to Elias, & Dogherty went with him on a paseo yesterday.– to Calchaqui.–
Juan (indio) came back from outside; had gone with Gordon & party last friday up to Chilcas, close to Cacique & back by way of Salado.– Other part went by way of Martin’s to San Cristobal.
Weather looked this morning like rain but it was a fine warm 85° day.– Domingo Arrivani was here.–

— Nov 3 / 99 —

Had on rodeo in potrero; dismamantared 5 calves by putting horn rings on nose; also castrated about 10 calves.  Butchered ablack cow.  Cut another bit of alfa in morning; too windy to bring it in.  Baldomero went to Mistolar with tropilla to part at Hartenecks tomorrow.  Strong South wind came up in morning, and quite a cool day.–

— 4 —

Miguel was here in morning; says his indians have orders to clear out from Santa Fé Land Co Comisario.  Dogherty came back from Calchaqui with Elias, has mail, yerba, vino, mattress cloth.  Bro’t in 3 loads of alfa for stack.  In afternoon "montonared" some more.– In afternoon capared 3 toritos at Juan’s (Indio).  Baldomero and gente came back from Hartenecks camp had parted out 24 animals.  Domingo had brought 10 bulls.  Strong S E wind and looks like garrua.

— 5 —

Sunday.– noon.– Chasqui came this morning from San Cristobal with letter from Gordon saying Prevost was in Santa Fé & should go & see him about rent of this camp.  So leave at now with Dogherty for Calchaqui.  Warm day.  Baldomero left in charge.–

December, 1899

[Most likely author: Alfred]

— Dec. 2 / 99 —

Alfredo came back at noon from La California.  When had gone to Calchaqui on 5th last month met Mr Prevost there and settled terms of contract with him then & there.– Mr Prevost promised to have contract made out & sent at end of that week.  William had written A. to came to La California next if possible as he wanted to get away to Venado Tuerto remates.– So next day went down with Dogherty who went only to Rosario.– Sold Tomas Trapaga the hides @ $ 7.– apiece, wool, hair etc. and told him to tell Miguel to reparar the place for me.  Stopped down at La California until the 26th.  Had heard nothing of the contract in meantime.  Bro’t Katie & Nanci in to hear Paccini sing in the opera "Barbera Sevilla".–
Stopped in Rosario 3 days.  Saw "Sonambula" also – Saw Middleton to take over our agency business in Rosario but left it to William to settled the matter definitely.  Had tooth re filled & cleaned.– Came up in day train to Santa Fé to see Prevost but he was in Buenos Aires.  When arrived in Calchaqui found contract had been sent out here a few days previously.  Borrowed horse from Carlos Rohr to come out.
Found here every thing well and had some nice rains, & every thing seems going on all right.– Miguel had been here off and on to look after things.– The contract was a bit diferent from what A estipulated with Mr Prevost in the following items: The rent was to have been charged at end of every 6 months and only estipulated to have fence on northern & southern boundary: where as in Contract states must make 3 leagues along Hartenecks boundary.– Miguel is here.–

— 3 —

Sunday.  Butchered cow.  Miguel left.–
Elias was here: told him must fix his corral & look his cattle in nights, as too many fine bulls go over there.– Miguels cart came from Calchaqui; bring for us yerba, Tobacco, an a few encomiendas.– Domingo Arrivani was here this morning to night and goes tomorrow to see about cutting posts for south fence which arrancars from south fence of Las Molles.– Fine day.  East wind.  Signed contract to send on to Prevost tomorrow.–

— Dec/4/99. —

Sent Chacrero in to Calchaqui with horse cart to bring out stores.– Had on rodeo de la tapera.  Few imbechados.  Cattle looking well.  Found calf of ours with Hartenecks mark, rosillo overo macho, put our señal & dispuntared its tail.– Very warm day.  N. Wind.– D. Arrivani went down to Muelles to see about posts for fencing south end of camp.

— 5 —

Had on rodeo Mistolar, ‘disembechared’ and capared a lot of small toritos.– Hartenecks people parted out 5 about animals.  Urcesino Gomez came in afternoon.  Cart came back from Calchaqui bringing stores: encomienda of matches etc sent by Macintosh a month ago has not come yet.  Very hot day 94° in forenoon, 10 Am.  In afternoon looked like rain.  Arrivani reports few posts at Muelles for fencing.–

— 6 —

Had on rodeo del Medio: Lots of calves embechados.  Capared some bulls – Robson came & stops night.  Miguel was here for breakfast & went with Gomez to JN. Dällers to see about rodeo at the Vara.– Looked very much like rain.

— 7 —

Had on rodeo del Estancia.  Cattle looking well and clean.  Hartenecks parted out 5 animals.  Pancho Martinez here for breakfast.  Robson left.  Miguel here for night.  Began cutting alfalfa.– Very hot day 90°.  Damp heat.–

— 8 —

Alfredo recorrered down south.  Went with Felis to south fence of Muelles, costa of Salado, and from there took boundary line to costa of Calchaqui – Had breakfast with Leandro Moreira of Medio Luna, who claims he has league of land north of Medio Luna.  Told him to reclaim in time from Co. de Tierras.– Mares & horses looking well.  Baldomero & peones & Sisto Martinez recorrered monte campo Aruffo to find cattle but found nothing— Very hot muggy morning & stormy afternoon with slight drizzles — Finished cutting ½ of alfa in morning – and montonared some —

— 9 —

Had on rodeo in potrero; Disembechared & put nose rings on 8 calves.  Capared some toritos & parted some vaquillas to camp.–
Butchered cow ~.–
Plowed between maiz in forenoon.
In afternoon all hands worked in alfa – bro’t in two big loads.  Weather looked threatening.– M. Fraire in for night on away to San Cristobal.

— 10 —

Sunday.  Very hot day 90°.  Bro’t in rest of alfa ½ of field 6 good loads in all.
A. was up at Ewaldino.  Cacique Mariano there.  Camp looks splendid up there.—

— 11 —

Very hot day.  N.E. wind 96° –
A. recorrered down to Elias & Damasio’s puesto.  Domingo Sanches went with horse cart to Calchaqui to bring out horse rake etc.–
Baldomero & peones went over to Harteneck’s estancia looking for toros. found 3 (capared 1) & some other animals.– Cacique Mariano was here.

— 12 —

Another very hot day 94°  In afternoon stormy S E wind.– Butchered cow in morning.—
Cut alfa in forenoon, and montonared it in afternoon.–
Cart came back from Calchaqui; did not bring rake which had not come yet.–
D. Arrivani came with 3 carts & gente to begin fencing south end of fence camp

— Dec 13/ 99 —

Domingo Arrivani took   bullocks from potrero making   bullocks he takes to work with at alambrado.  He & gente left in afternoon with his 3 carts for the Muellos.  M. Fraire was here for brfast on way back from San Cristobal.  Bro’t letter from Prevost for A.B. to go & see him in Santa Fé.–
M. F. had arranged with Cia. to go & take posecion at Cacique.– Fearful hot day 98° – Looked stormy at noon.  Bro’t in alfa today 3 loads.– Baldomero & 2 peones went to Gallareta today to part out with Sisto Martinez & gente.– Report that Felis parted out 8 animals from Micheluds’ camp.  Arranged with Arrivani to alambrar south camp.  Posts to cut $10 per 100 – 2.25 M. Long 45 c.m. Circumf.  1 req for every 1000 post Cuero vuelto.– Were to be post every 10 mts– 45 cm. from ground, 30 between each wire – 1.35 mts high fence.–

— 14 —

Sent Patricio for a capon to puesto Mistolar.  Cut alfa in morning and juntared in afternoon.  Fearful hot day 98° nearly all day.  Baldomero came back from aparte Gallareta & Harteneck’s North rodeo.–
Parted 4 from Avalos & 11 from Hartenecks.  Says Julian had rodeo on but would not let them part as they were working on rodeo says about 14 he saw on rodeo.  Rodeo there for next Friday.– Miguel here for night.– A goes in morning to Calchaqui & Santa Fé to see Prevost & remake the contract into Benitz Hnos name.–

— Dec 18 / 99 —

A came back at midnight last night from Santa Fé.– Signed contract before Escribano Publico (Basualdo) same as contract signed about a fortnight ago.  With exception that can use Palm posts along Calchaqui river, and Quebracho or Nandubay post along North & South fence.  Bought 30 quintales No 9 gal wire & 15 q pua – Been having fearful hot & dry days about 100° every day.– Nicolas Dällers cattle were dying of thirst.  and he let them rip, giving his men orders to let them pass to this side.  Had on rodeo tapera this morning, and only about ¼ were our cattle, rest belonging to Däller and Michelud.  Parted about 90 bulls of Dällers & Micheluds mark & put them in ensenada.  Sent note to both to come and take them away.– A fearful mixture and great perjuicia to us.  Wrote to Däller to come personally & take arrange about his cattle.–

— 19 —

Had on rodeo Mistolar about 4500 at least ½ were agenos.  Michelud & Nicolas Däller both turned up.  Michelud parted nearly all his out and took his toros away we had parted yesterday.  Nicolas Däller took his bulls away about 100.– did not know what to do about his cattle.  Told him to take away his bulls, and leave his cattle here until it rains on condition he fences in costa Calchaqui — He was very glad as by taking them back they simply die of thirst.– The man begins to fence in 6 days.  N. Dällers to allow no more cattle to come here.– It was another fearful hot day 100°  2 Carts, Domingo Ledesma and Surdo, left for Cachaquí tonight to bring out wire & torniquets for fencing direct to south fence, and other cargo for here.  (purchases in Santa Fe etc .–
Butchered capon also cow in afternoon –

— Dec. 20 / 99. —

Charquiared.  Afterwards cleaned well, & put up bebida for horses.
Strong N.E. wind and hot 97°.  Seca getting very serious.  Recorrered camp in afternoon.– Feliciano Gonzales came to make varillas, mt long 5 quartos - @ 3.– per 100 –

— 21 —

Alfredo went down to south end of camp where Domingo Arivani is fencing, and where Moreira had protested against fence.– Fixed the line greatly to Moreira’s disgust as lines goes through estero.  Moreira wanted to show that line should go to other codo about 4 Kil to the north on Calchaquí.– Cloudy day 90° .– E wind & looks rainy.  Baldomero & gente went to Guampita to part at Julians Camp looking fearful dry.—

— 22 —

Had a nice gentle rain from 1 AM until about 7, not enough to juntar water but splendid to freshen up camp and chacra.  Baldomero & gente came back from Guampita.  did not part on account of rain.– Splendid day.–

— 23 —

Butchered a cow from potrero.  A. was over at Martins in forenoon – M Fraire was here on way back from Godoys.– Men Recorred down Salado.– no animals impantanared.—
Warm 90° day 90 & muggy, looks like more rain.

— 24 —

Hot day muggy and looks stormy 94°.–
Nothing going.  A was up at Ewaldinos –

— 25 —

Xmas day.  Had feast day, no work.–
A was over at Hartenecks estancia where they were busy boring their well as they have no water for their cattle.  Mail came.  Carts(2) slept at Pencos on way out from Calchaqui with 30 q. 15 q, galvanized pua.– 80 double torniquetes, horse rake, some iron ware goods etc.– At about 11 A.M. had a tremendous tormento which came first from west & then south and had a tremendous show down pour of rain heaviest rain we had since April.  But camp being so dry soaked pretty well in —

— 26 —

Sent a note to Nicolas Daller to come and part on the 28 th  Alfredo was down at lower end of camp.  Arrivani had begun setting posts.  Cart had reached there with 30 q wire, 15 q barbed wire & 80 torniquets.  Measured 1 roll of galvanized No 9 wire – 460 mts.– Had not rained so much down there as here, but still lots of water about in tacurusal.  Told Felis would take him from puesto Lomo Poi by end of month.  A beatiful day.– Miguel was here.  Mail came.– Baldomero and 2 peones left to part at Julian Sanchez tomorrow.–

— 27 —

Fine warm day.– Butchered cow ~ – Robson came for breakfast and stops for night.– Nicolas Däller sent letter could not come to part tomorrow.  The two carts came from Alambrado bringing 6 cow hides & 2 horse hides from Lomo Poi – and 2 horse hides from Mistolar & other articulos from Calchaqui (horse rake, tools, bolts, etc.– Miguel passed on way to Hartenecks.

— 28 —

Sent letter to Nicolas Däller to come without fail tomorrow to begin parting his cattle out.–
Robson left.  Baldomero came back from reculecta at Julian Sanchez – parted 35 animals and 3 at Hartenecks (bulls).  Left gente at puesto to parrar rodeo tomorrow.  Miguel here for brfast; set rake up.  Fine cool day E. 88°. pity could not work on rodeo.–

— Dec 29 / 99 —

Had on rodeo Mistolar (a part about 1500) in morning, and as Nicolas Däller did not turn up began parting his cattle out: Elias, Pancho, Corriente, Romulo, Surdo & Chamorro worked on their own horses.–
Sent word letter with the policia to Calchaqui for the Comisario to oblige Däller to part out, & take his animals out of corral.  Parted out 450 animals by 8 A.M. & Elias pastoreared them to afterwards lock in corral.  Desimbechared & afterwards capared some ageno bulls.  Julian Sanchez was here with M. Fraire latter stops the night.– Warm day 94° N E wind

— 30 —

Had on rodeo Tapera (south part) about 2500 head.  Dällers gente parted about 400 head until 8 A.M. & then locked in.– only parted about ½ of their cattle in that rodeo.–
Very hot day.  N E wind 96° in shade –
Valentin Bravo came to see about hauling posts from Monte Aguara to Costa Salado.– The cutter J Andreas was here also & to see with gente for cutting.  Don Valentin says will send four carts in a week to haul posts.

— 31 —

Had on part of rodeo Mistolar about 1500 head.  Dällers parted about 400.
Very hot day.  N wind 97° .
Butchered cow ~

© Peter Benitz (Benitz Family)