Alfred A. Benitz Page last modified:
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1902 - First Entry
(Source: S.B. Pryor)

Ea. Los Palmares
Calchaquí, Santa Fé — 1902 (January only)
(age: 42 years old)

To view the transcription of another year in this day-book, click:
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Months February–December, 1902, are in the 1902 Daybook.


The first 21 days of January, 1902, are included here as they were recorded in the 1899-1901 Daybook.  The entries for 1902 continue in the 1902 Daybook.

Alfred is dealing with a high death rate amongst his cattle, brought on by the peste, today known as aftosa or hoof-and-mouth disease.  At the time it was little understood and there were no vaccinations available.  Today it has been almost eliminated from Argentina, and entirely eliminated from the U.S. and Europe.

His other problem is a lack of water for the livestock.  It is mid-summer, dry with little prospect of rain.  He is having several wells dug on which horse-drawn draw-wells (jagüeles) will be installed.  He mentions the following areas/fields of Los Palmares: Lomo Poi, Mistolar, Salado, plano Salado, and South.  Elias, his capataz?, is collecting cattle the have drifted north in search of water: Punta Laguna, Laguna del Perro, Curupí – bringingt back about 1,170 head.


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: Michael Mohr-Bell)

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).

1902 - Qtr. 1

[Author: Alfred A. Benitz]

January, 1902

— 1 —

New Year.-  Entered nicely: had a strong tormento 11 P.M last night and a good shower of rain enough for cattle 2 days.-  Skinned 7 animals today.-
Men at jahueles did not work today.–
Horse cart came back from Calchaqui today.  Suarez the carpenter stopped at paso Calchaqui & bored the well at Cambas puesto in plano of river, at 4 mts found sand and a good current of good water.
Elias came back with gente from Laguna del Perro.  left Machengo there with 2 peones to pastorear the cattle.–

— 2 —

East wind and pleasant day.  Pozeros of Salado hahuel fixed up aguada there and desaguared to Salado to clean bebida out.
Two carts hauled palms there to fix up palenque and piso on edge.-  Skinned 12 animals mostly of mancha.-  The carpenter went to fix up jahuel at Cambas paso Calchqui.–

— 3 —

Carpenter finished fixing up the 3 bebidas jahuel paso Calchaqui with new peon and came home.  Chamorro calzaring Mistolar jahuel.  Digging down in Salado jahuel.-  close to water.  Peste set in very strong among Salado cattle skinned 40 today, mancha, mostly young animals novillos vaq. calves etc  Looks very serious & don’t know what to do, as the Salado jaguel is the only good aguada in camp noq.-  Drove some cattle to Mistolar jahuel.  Stprmy day  Hot 38° N. and E wind & cloudy.

— 4 —

Peste very bad today skinned 47 animals mostly young & cows in condition.-  Tried to cure with creolin & bleeding, no good.- Worst at jaguel Salado and as soon as they drink water seem to get sick.  Cattle looking badly.apestado  but plenty of water.  The 2 cuadrillas Salado & Mistolar getting along with their well-

— January 5 Sunday —

Sunday.  [inserted above: Carpenter went & began plano Salado saguel]  Elias & all hands ariared cattle towards Lomo Poi to change camp as in South potrero there is water and change may do cattle good.  Skinned 44 animals and any amount of hides lost from yesterday  Today mortality seems less maybe on account of cooler weather.
Had some drizzle today.-  Paying 50cts. for each hide taken off.  Carpenter & 4 peones began digging well near Chilcas in Salado bed.-

— 6 —

Stormy sort of day but no rain.-
The carpenter was trying to find water in a hole in the Salado by boring but could not.  had bored 11 mts.-  Skinned 25 here today.– peste seems a sort of tristeza.-  Some of the men came back from Lomo Poi.  Got then with cattle all right but skinned about 14.–
Chamorro & Gutt got finished at Mistolar jahuel at noon.  Well has about 3 mts of water.

— 7 —

Peste seemed to have got less, as only   were skinned today.  Regulated accounts of some of the well diggers today.–
Pancho Martinez came on a paseo in morning and stopped over siesta.  Elias & gente came back from Lomo Poi at 2 P.M.  cattle took there from here seem to have got better from peste.–  At about 4 P.M. a tremendous tormento came up and lasted about 3 hours. And took off lots of tiles, more like a cyclon.  Caffereto took some despintes of palmas to jaguel Salado.  had to leave cart half ways and xxx walk on foot to Estancia  Hot at noon about 38º-
Quien sabe how Don Pancho got home?
Skinned   today.–

— 8 —

Fresh cloudy forenoon south and good for camp after the hurricane we had yesterday.-  Cleared up around place dried hides skinned 17 animals from peste nearly all on Salado side.-
Calzaring the Salado jahueal, and worked on south middle Salado well.-

— 9 —

Skinned 3 animals here today,  Looks like peste is giving way.  It was also a fine morning with a very heavy dew, and afterwards slight N wind with a great bank of clouds to the north.-  Bidut & his 4 men finished the last Salado jaguel, and paid them off.-  Bergara hauled 20 calze from Palmar to jaguel Salado.  The carpenter bored the plano Salado jaguel which was about 3 mts deep 7½ meters & found water but not a very strong virtiente.   A started Chamorro & his 4 companions to dig a well in Calchaqui in rinconada at Lomo Poi near a virtiente dulce, on lower barranca dug about 2½ meters & found good water and started them to dig a well 3X3 mts.-  Plenty of water down there in charcas.-
Elias and gente left to juntar cattle up in Laguna del Perro.  Report it had rained up there and plenty of water which will be a nuisance to juntar cattle.-

— 10 —

Cloudy, threatening day drizzle near noon.-  Heavy dew & fine for camp
Skinned 1 animal peste.
Fixing up carts, rollos for manga etc
Juntared oxen for hauling calze etc
Sent 3 men to cut calze at jahuel Ensenada.  Julian Sanchez here for night.-

— 11 —

Well at Lomo Poi (Calchagra) desrumbando so had to suspend work until the calze from ensesnada should arrive there.  Tomas & the 2 carts left today to haul them.  3 mens yesterday had cut 140 from Ensenada.  Puestero Cacero from Palucar says Elias had parted yesterday about 200 head from rodeo Curupí & today was gathering cattle from Laguna del Perro.-  Cart came back from Calchaquí bringing a few stores.
Carpenter cut some alfa.-
Hot day NE wind & looks stormy want rain as by tomorrow cattle will have to come to water again.  Skinned 1 of peste.-

— January 12 Sunday —

Sunday.  Hot muggy day & thundering tonight.-  Skinned 1 bull today peste.-  Still some animals sick.  Zerabio went to Calchaqui to get his grano cured.  Another peon has it also.-  3 peones put calze on Salado (3d) well but not enough to reach.

— 13 —

Had a storm about 10 a.m. but no rain to speak of.-  Geo Martin here.  Skinned 4 animals of peste and butchered a cow.-  Got in a load of alfa.-  Cattle looking delgado want repuntaring to water.-

— 14 —

A. recorrered down as far Maderos.  Cattle in south potrero are all right now.  There is not more than a weeks water in tajamar.-  Well digger’s Chanorro & 3 mean are putting in calze in afternoon in jaguel Lomo Poi Calchaqui which had disrumbared a lot.–  Skinned 5 animals of peste today.–  E Varga the pesebrero left today.-  Hot day E wind.  Cutting alfa.-

— 15 —

The two carts hauled palmas for calze from ensenada to jahuel salado (medio).  Cut & brot in alfa.  Worms are all over & eating alfa & everything up.  2 horses died & 1 ox and 1 cow.peste Ration day.-

— 16 —

Had a nice rain from midnight until morning.  Storm first.  Not enough to juntar water except for 2 or 3 days.  Cool day.-
Elias & gente came back from aparte at Morells.-  on the 10th parted at rodeo Grasan 206 animals.  at Laguna 110 on the 11th
on the at Avalos 66 animals
 " "  15th  "  rodeo Guaranina 368  total 750.-
Another peon (por dia) hand swollen grano or mancha.-
Butchered novillo.-
Nothing particular going on.-

— 17 —

A was down at Lomo Poi in afternoon.  no water coming in to well in Calchaqui river, & so in afternoon sent the carpenter down to bore the well.-  The jahuel at Puesto Mistolar turned salty 3 days ago.  few cattle there as there are charquitos in camp.  Albert Huber & 2 of Morell’s gente were here wanting rodeo: put them off.-  Elias & gente left again for Laguna del Perro, to juntar more cattle.  Fine day South wind & bit heavy atmosphere.-  Worms eating everything up in chacra.-

— 18 —

Nothing particular going on.–
Machengo & 3 men came back from Rodeo de las Lijas & brought about 212 head of cattle which they had parted.  Elias & the rest had gone on to Punta Laguna where there is a rodeo tomorrow.  Skinned 2 from peste.-

— January 19 Sunday —

Sunday.-  Elias came back this evening from punta laguna where he had parted 28 animals.-  Goes again tonight to part at Morells wotj J. Sanchez.-
A was down at Lomo Poi where the carpenter had bored the Calchaqui well water came out with tremendous force & they say it is best jaguel on place.  Dug out & bored Lomo Poi house well but water turned out salt.–
Fine day.  Arreglaring a/c’s of all daily peones jaguel & their own horses.–

— 20 —

Dispatched all the jahuel men and paid them off.-  Caferata cut alfa.-
Warm pleasant day E & a bit cloudy.- J. Aso & carts here for night.–  A was over at Paso Calchaqui & Harteneck’s.-
2 carts took palms down to Lomo Poi for bebidas.

— 21 —

Sent Cafferata, the Carpenter of Machado down to Lomo Poi to begin putting up bebidas (palm) at jahuel Calchaqui.-  Sold hair 81 K to Juan Aso.-  Troperos of horses from La Clara here for night.  Hilario Martinez here in morning.  Elias & 3 peons came back from rodeos Tejas & Guarani bringing 180 animals making 1170 parted up that way (Morells, Avalos & Punta Laguna.–  East wind, hot, & seca  cattle drinking hard at jahueles–

—— JANUARY 1902 CONTINUES IN THE 1902 DAY-BOOK (next) ——

© Peter Benitz (Benitz Family)