Rough Notes Taken During Some Rapid Journeys Across the Pampas and Among the Andes cover

Rough Notes Taken During Some Rapid Journeys Across the Pampas and Among the Andes

Francis Bond Head (1793-1875)

1. Introduction
2. Descriptive Outline of the Pampas
3. The Gaucho
4. The Town of Buenos Aires
5. Mode of Travelling, Town of San Luis
6. Gold Mines of La Carolina, Mendoza
7. Courier's Throat Cut, Viscachas
8. Province of Santa Fe, A Sabre for Pizarro
9. The Pampas, Pizarro Dragged by a Horse
10. The Pampas Indians
11. Passage Across the Great Cordillera
12. The Worst Pass in the Cordillera
13. The Summit of the Andes
14. Fleas and Figs, Santiago
15. Convent at Santiago, A Christmas Dance
16. Gold and Silver Mines: Caren, San Pedro Nolasco
17. Into a Gold Mine Down a Ladder of Notched Sticks
18. Dispute Over a River Crossing
19. Breaking Wild Horses, Carriage Abandoned
20. A Few Observations on Mining in South America
21. Past and Present Value of the Mines
22. Conclusion

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Summary

“Galloped on with no stopping, but merely to change horses until five o’clock in the evening—very tired indeed, but . . . saw fresh horses in the corral, and resolved to push on. At half-past seven, after having galloped a hundred and fifty-three miles, and been fourteen hours and a half on horseback got to the post—quite exhausted—I could scarcely speak . . . an hour before daylight was awakened by the Gaucho, got up, had some mate, mounted my horse, and as I galloped along felt pleased that the sun should find me at my work. . .” Later in life nicknamed “Galloping Head,” for his exploits on the Argentine pampas, Sir Frances Head Bond, went to the Argentine in 1825 as mining supervisor for the Rio Plata Mining Association, a group of English speculators whose ill-planed and financially disastrous idea it was to send Cornish miners to re-open old gold and silver mines in the former Spanish colonies. His “Rough Notes,” often written in a staccato style that is surprisingly fresh, show a gusty, resourceful adventurer— riding across the Andes on mules who sank into snow above their knees at every step, obliging the riders to balance their feet on the mules’ ears; clambering down 250 feet of notched sticks to inspect a silver mine; foraging bluntly for food for his men in a land of scarcity: “We found they had got dry peaches and live goats. We put some of the former in a pot to boil . . . and because I was very hungry, I put a pistol to (the goat’s) ear, and in a short time he was roasting on the burning embers.” Sir Bond Head later served as lieutenant –governor of Upper Canada 1835-1837.