National Geographic : 1891 Mar 28
Gardiner G. Hubbard-South America. pampas, but unable to live in the forests. The gauchos have hunted it for the last three centuries, but it is now passing away and will soon be lost to the pampas, as the buffalo has been to the North American prairie. The pampas are far better adapted to the raising of cattle than our prairies, for the grass is always green and the winters are milder. Cattle, horses, and sheep imported by the Spaniards and turned on to the pampas rapidly increased, and now immense herds feed on the plains. The Indians who inhabit the pampas, instead of being confined to one locality and journeying only by canoe, like the Indians on the Amazon, wander over the length and breadth of the pampas, hunting the ostrich and cattle. The cattle are tended by gauchos, as the cow-boys are called, half-breeds as wild as the herds they tend. Constant warfare exists between the Indians and the gauchos, unless they unite to attack the settlers. After one of the Indian raids the government dug an immense ditch from a river to the Andes and drove the Indians to the farther side, and since then there have been fewer raids-and fewer Indians. The land was held in large blocks of many thousand acres, worked by overseers and gauchos. The animals were killed by hundreds of thousands for their skins. This state of things is, however, gradually passing away, for during the last twenty years emigrants from the old world have settled in the country as farmers and planters. The fourteen provinces which form the Argentine Republic have never been welded into one nation, and have seldom had a moment's peace. The gauchos have been a continual scourge, and the gaucho generals its rulers and harriers combined. Unfortu nately, here, as in other Spanish states, one dictator has succeeded another. Thirty presidents, or dictators, have reigned within fifty years. At one time five provinces had each a separate dictator. The neighboring republic of Uruguay, formerly a part of the Argentine Confederation, had 26 revolutions in the twenty-three years from 1864 to 1887. For some time Buenos Ayres and its dictator ruled the repub lic; then the country provinces rebelled, and civil war ensued; one province was arrayed against another, and all against Buenos Ayres. The provinces prevailed and the gaucho general, Rosas, occupied Buenos Ayres. Scarcely was this civil war ended when a war arose with the republics of Uruguay and Paraguay.
1891 Apr 1