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The New York Times, November 4, 1877, p.4:|
HORSE BREAKING IN BUENOS AYRES.
The horses having been brought together, as I have said, into the corral, were driven round the inclosure at full gallop. Six gauchos, armed with the lasso, then entered the ring, and, singling out a mare or a foal, threw their lassos at the animal in such a manner as to catch both the front legs.
The horse, being caught by the fore legs, falls over on the shoulder with a heavy thud, and must often receive a serious if not permanent injury. The gaucho, holding the legs firmly, proceeds to make a circle round the fallen animal. He gradually succeeds in catching one of the hind legs, draws it close to the fore legs, and so binds the three together. After this the horse is powerless.
After witnessing for some time the dexterity with which the lasso can be used, the stallion which had been herded with the troop of mares was singled out and captured. He had never been ridden before; and we were now to see an exhibition of rare skill and courage in the saddle for which the gaucho horsemen are famous...
The process of saddling and bridling shall be explained in the graphic and accurate language of Mr. Darwin:
The gaucho, sitting on the horse's neck, fixes a strong bridle without a bit to the lower jaw; this he does by passing a narrow thong through the eye-holes at the end of the reins, and several times round both jaw and tongue. The two front legs are now tied closely together with a strong leather thong fastened by a slip-knot.
The lasso which bound the three together being then loosed, the horse rises with difficulty. The gaucho, now holding fast the bridle fixed to the lower jaw, leads the horse outside the corral. If a second man is present (otherwise the trouble is much greater) he holds the animal's head while the first puts on the horse-cloths.
When the saddling is finished the animal is, from fear and from previous exertion, white with foam and sweat.
The process as described by Mr. Darwin was closely followed in the present instance. A sheepskin, however, was substituted for a saddle, and the domidor, or horse-breaker, only used the stirrup to mount his horse.
Before he was saddled the horse made tremendous struggles to get free, but a powerful and active gaucho, arrayed in a red shirt, black riding-boots, his long black hair streaming in the wind--altogether a most striking and picturesque personage--held him firmly with the halter, and by the exertion of great muscular strength was able to resist the struggler.
At length the domidor mounted his hitherto unridden charger. The lasso was cast loose from the fore legs, and the animal, pursued by a gaucho on horseback, who plied him sharply with the whip, and harassed by a troop of dogs barking ferociously at his heels, was free to do his utmost to throw his rider.
The great object was to keep the horse in constant and rapid movement. While at a hard gallop, the horse could neither kick nor plunge in such a manner as to disturb the equilibrium of an accomplished horseman; but when, as it happened from time to time, the horse stopped abruptly, arched his back, threw his head down, and then made a great buck jump, executing, in a strange way, a figure of 8 in mid-air, alighting on his fore legs, and with his hind legs kicking desperately, it required horsemanship and muscular power of no ordinary kind on the part of his rider to keep his seat unshaken.
The domidor scarcely touched the bridle; but he clasped the horse with a grip of iron, his knees were buried deep in the sheepskin saddle, and his bare heels were fixed as firmly as with a vice under the horse's belly.
After many a desperate rush, many a vehement struggle, and many furious gallops to and fro, guided in his mad erratic course by the lash of his rider, and the attendant gaucho, the wild horse was brought back to the corral, exhausted, and for the moment subdued by the power of his rider and his own unaccustomed efforts.
After witnessing this most remarkable feat of horsemanship, we bade farewell to our host, and returned to the railway, escorted by Col. Donovan. We owe much to his kindness in preparing for our visit.
--The Nineteenth Century.
The New York Times, February 15, 1885, p.9:|
The peculiar characteristics of these vast level plains which descend from the Andes to the great river basin in unbroken monotony are the absence of rivers of water storage, and the periodic occurrance of droughts, or siccos, in the Summer months. These conditions determine the singular character both of its flora and fauna.
The soil is naturally fertile and favorable for the growth of trees, and they grow luxuriantly wherever they are protected. The Eucalyptus is covering large tracts wherever it is inclosed, and willow, poplars, and the fig surround every estancia when fenced in.
The open plains are covered with droves of horses and cattle, and overrun by numberless wild rodents, the original tenants of the Pampas. During the long periods of drought which are so great a scourge to the country, these animals are starved by thousands, destroying in their efforts to live every vestige of vegetation. In one of the siccos at the time of my visit, no less than 50,000 head of oxen and sheep and horses perished from starvation and thirst, after tearing deep out of the soil ever trace of vegetation, including the wiry roots of the Pampas grass.
Under such circumstances the existence of an unprotected tree is impossible. The only plants that hold their own, in addition to the indestructible thistles, grasses, and clover, are a little herbaceous oxahs, producing viviparous buds of extraordinary vitality, a few poisonous species, such as the hemlock, and a few tough, thorny, dwarf acacias and wiry rushes.
Although the cattle are a modern introduction, the numberless indigenous rodents must always have effectually prevented the introduction of any other species of plants. Large tracts are still honeycombed by the ubiquitous biscacho, a gigantic rabbit, and numerous other rodents still exist, including rats and mice, Pampas hares, and the great nutria and carpincho on the river banks.
That the dearth of plants is not due to the unsuitability of the subtropical species of the neighboring zones cannot hold good with respect to the fertile valleys of the Andes beyond Mendoza, where a magnificent hardy flora is found. Moreover, the extensive introduction of European plants which has taken place throughout the country has added nothing to the botany of the Pampas beyond a few species that are unassailable by cattle, such as the two species of thistle which are invading large districts in spite of their constant destruction by the fires which always accompany the siccos.
The New York Times, December 19, 1897, p. 24:|
INDUSTRY OF ARGENTINA.Exportation of Live Cattle Increasing Month by Month.
CONCESSION TO SOUTHERN RAILWAY
Opening to Civilization the Territory of Neuquen,
the Rio Negro, and Other Lands Rich in Cereals.
Buenos Ayres, Aug. 22.--The exportation of live cattle is assuming greater importance. The industry is in the experimental stage, but no doubt is entertained that its future is brilliant. This must be the outcome of the patient efforts made by the majority of the breeders.
Since Jan. 1 until this month the exportation of live cattle averaged 7,000 steers and 41,000 head of sheep per month, and each month the number increased over the preceding month.
This comparatively new traffic has found the railway companies unprepared, which has aroused complaint. As soon as their deficiency is remedied, as soon as better facilities are offered for embarkation of cattle, exports will increase considerably. The business is most profitable.
During the first ten days of August 4,500 steers were slipped in nineteen different vessels sailing from the ports of Buenos Ayres and La Plata. The freight paid for the steers shipped to England is $23, and for the sheep $2 per head. The average weight of live steers is 1,750 pounds, and their prices here vary, according to size and quality, from about $30 to $50.
The Secretary of the Interior has addressed a message to Congress, advising a concession to the Great Southern Railway to extend its lines, which now go as far south as Bahia Blanca, to the National Territory of Neuquen.
The new line will open an enormous zone, at present almost abandoned and unprofitable because of deficient means of communication. The new route has not yet been fixed, but it is believed that the company will make the extension from Bahia Blanca to Patagones, and thence along the valley to the Rio Negro to Neuquen.
The Valley of the Rio Negro is one of the most beautiful and fertile territories in the republic, and, once endowed with rapid means of communication, will be a great agricultural centre. The wheat of the valley is said to be the best in the country.
The Territorial Government of Neuquen is bounded on the north by the Province of Mendoza, on the east and south by the Territory of Rio Negro, and on the west by the Andes, which separate it from Chile. Its area is 42,116 square miles and its population about 30,000.
In the extreme southwest of the Territory, at the foot of the Andes, lies the beautiful lake of Nahuel-Huapi. The area of this lake is 309 square miles. A great many streams run into the lake, making it communicate with other smaller lakes that surround it. Thirty different islands, covered with the most luxuriant vegetation, are found in the lake, and many species of fish abound. Not far from the shore the depth of the lake is 1,000 feet.
Since Gen. Villegas, in 1884, reached Nahuel-Huapi, subjugating all the wild Indians of this territory, many people have settled in it, especially Chileans, who cross the Andes for this purpose. The capital of the Territory is the village of Chos-Malal, which will be the terminus of the new railroad. Before reaching Neuquen this railroad will open to civilization the rich valley of the Rio Negro.
The Governor of Neuquen, according to the Minister of the Interior, Dr. Zorrilla, has given free title deeds for 3,000 hectares of land for agriculture to 46 colonists. The country is most fertile, and especially adapted to the cultivation of wheat, maize, and other cereals. It is particularly good for vegetables and alfalfa. There are 96 farmers who have leased from the Government 100,000 hectares of land.
The exports from the territory last year were 11,780 cows, 20,270 sheep, 3,047 mares, 386 goats, and 500,000 pounds of wool, but these figures do not cover the clandestine export of cattle and sheep to Chile through the numerous passes of teh Cordilleras. The Minister estimates the real export to be 100,000 sheep and 40,000 cattle. The Territory is also rich in minerals and coal.
In the Andine portion, especially toward the south, are many fertile valleys, large streams, and lakes, alternating with immense forests, which entitle the region to be called the Switzerland of Argentina, on a bigger scale naturally. It is a zone of immense wealth, says an English newspaper of this city, and especially suited for emigrants from the north and centre of Europe, as well as from the United States. It is a land of wild apples and wild strawberries, of hill and dale, of beautiful scenery, of pastoral and mineral wealth.
This new railroad, when built, will open the country, which comprised a portion of Patagonia known as the land of the big men. The big men in this case are the London Directors of the Great Southern Railway, who are going to lay down the rails where the Indians camped not long ago, and be the first to reap the profit of their enterprise.
The company will not receive guarantee, advance, or emolument of any kind for the construction of the line, which must be finished in two years, more or less, after commencement. But as soon as the line is handed over to public service the Government will pay a subsidy of £15,000 yearly for ten years, which amount, it has been estimated, represents 1 per cent. interest on the capital necessary to build the line as far as Fuerte Roca, near the confluence of the Rivers Limay and Negro, to which point, it is understood, the line will be built first. Furete Roca is at a distance of 330 miles from Patagones, a port on the Atlantic, situated 200 miles south of Bahia Blanca, so that the whole line, if it touches Patagones, will cover 530 miles of rich territory, already populated to a certain extent.
There are thirty different railways in the country, and of these there are five belonging to the State, 1,027 kilometers in length; ten guaranteed by the State, having a length of 3,742 kilometers, seven private lines under national jurisdiction, having a length of 6,156 kilometers, and eight private lines under provincial jurisdiction. This makes a total of over 13,800 kilometers, or 8,600 miles. In this total Argentina can compare favorably with most countries.
The number of engines in use at the beginning of 1893 was 1,117, and of these 77 per cent. were of British make, 12 per cent. of North American, and the remainder of French.
The number of passengers carried in 1893 was 13,000,000, and the goods carried amounted to 7,500,000 tons.
The Federal Reserve Bank's estimated consumer price index
shows that $1 in 1897 was equivalent to $24.60 in 2007.
See also: Uruguay News - Paraguay News|
Brazil News - Chile News - Bolivia News
All of Argentina is 1 time zone at GMT-3; some areas have tried DST.
The Republic of Argentina, South America, is bordered by Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil, and Uruguay. The capital is Buenos Aries. The area of Argentina is 1,073,399 square miles (2,780,092 square km), larger than Mexico and the U.S. state of Texas combined. The estimated population of Argentina for July, 2007 is 40,301,927.
In 1816, the United Provinces of the Rio Plata declared their independence from Spain. Eventually, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay went their own way, but the area that remained became Argentina. The country's population and culture were subsequently heavily shaped by immigrants from throughout Europe, but most particularly Italy and Spain, which provided the largest percentage of newcomers from 1860 to 1930.
Up until about the mid-20th century, much of Argentina's history was dominated by periods of internal political conflict between Federalists and Unitarians and between civilian and military factions. After World War II, an era of Peronist authoritarian rule and interference in subsequent governments was followed by a military junta that took power in 1976.
Democracy returned in 1983, and has persisted despite numerous challenges, the most formidable of which was a severe economic crisis in 2001-02 that led to violent public protests and the resignation of several interim presidents.
The economy has recovered strongly since bottoming out in 2002. The government renegotiated its public debt in 2005 and paid off its remaining obligations to the IMF in early 2006.
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Lake Nahuel Huapi
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Lake Nahuel Huapi, Argentina, satellite photo
Latitude: -40.924927 Longitude: -71.478424
see also: The Argentine Capital by Theodore Child,
Harper's Monthly, vol. LXXXII, p. 491, March, 1891
an illustrated in-depth description of Buenos Ayres (Buenos Aires) in 1891