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knowledge, it may be well to add a word about the “ Argentine Scientific Society," which was founded in 1872 for the purpose of stimulating scientific researches and encouraging the establishment of new industries. The useful propaganda of this association has made itself felt since its establishment, and many good results have come from it. At the end of 1891, the association had over five hundred members and a library with 6,000 volumes. It will soon have a handsome building of its own, showing its prosperous condition.
Another association which deserves special mention is the “Argentine Geographical Institute,” the aim of which is the encouragement of new explorations and the diffusion in general of geographical knowledge.
The “Argentine Industrial Society” is another prosperous association which has done much good in its line and in the encouragement of all industrial concerns. It was founded in 1875.
The “Argentine Rural Society” exercises great influence in agricultural and pastoral interests, having done much to foster and better these important industries.
All these associations publish monthly reviews, in which appear valuable articles written by experts on the subject treated.
The "Medical Society," the “ Lawyers' Society,” the “Engineers' Society," the “Naval Center” and the “Military Center” are also leading associations which publish important monthly reviews.
Although the Argentine constitution recognizes the Roman Catholic religion as that of the State, it declares also that all other religions are tolerated and that freedom of conscience is an inalienable right.
The State contributes to the support of the Roman Catholic religion, builds churches, pays the priests’ salaries, etc., but it controls all ecclesiastical appointments and retains or permits the passage of all decrees of the Holy See. · The National Congress has passed laws instituting civil mar
riages and prohibiting the teaching of religion in the public schools
. Besides several Protestant churches in other parts of the country, there are the following in the city of Buenos Aires: The English Episcopal Church, founded in 1831; the Scotch Presbyterian Church, founded in 1838; the German Lutheran Church, founded in 1847, and the American Methodist Church, founded in 1870.
Through the efforts of the English speaking population, an English hospital has been constructed in Buenos Aires, on which $200,000 has been spent. The Germans have also a very good hospital, as well as the French, Italian, and Spanish colonies. There are sixteen Argentine hospitals in Buenos Aires.
CATTLE AND SHEEP RAISING-THE “SALADEROS," EXPORTA.
TION OF FROZEN MEATS, ETC.
Recent statistics show that there are, in round numbers, 100,000,000 sheep and 30,000,000 cattle in the Argentine Republic. Regarding the condition of the cattle industry, methods employed, etc., Monsieur Emile Daireaux, author of an important book, “Life and Customs on the River Plate," published in French and Spanish, in 1887, says:
Near the cities, and in inclosures of 740 or 1,235 acres, selected animals are grazed, the number of which does not exceed the proportion of one for
every 2% The European is surprised to find in the method of breeding so many points of similarity with the methods of his own country. Although the cattle are not especially cared for, on account of the mild climate, nor is their food especially chosen, yet they have the same appearance as similar cattle grazed in the better pastures in France or England. Here, one finds the characteristic Durhams and Herefords. The cows have big teats, the bulls are robust and finely formed, and the early robustness of the calves reveals their precocity. If one asks the price of these animals, he is surprised to hear that certain bulls, born in the country, of mothers descended from bulls imported from Europe, have cost from $200 to $300, and that the cows are sold at $40 to $60.
These farms are occupied by dairymen, who provide the city with milk and butter, and to whom the sale of the calves constitutes an important item. These dairymen, the great majority of whom are Basques and Bernese, simplify as much as possible the work to be done, and reduce expenses to a minimum. The modern dairy establishments are unknown to them. The cows remain in the open air day and night, summer and winter; nor are they accustomed to be milked at all times, but only after they have been prepared by the calves. These, as soon as they reach the age of 10 months, are sold at a high price, owing to the good blood that runs through their veins, which makes them especially adapted to improve the race.
Later on, no doubt, the great establishments will better regulate the elements at their disposal. With the help of the railroads, the products, will be concentrated in the hands of a few merchants; but at present, there does not exist any intermediary between the producer and the consumer, and the former is obliged to produce and supply at the same time, carrying in person the milk to each of his clients in the city. This naturally prevents him from establishing himself very far from the city, and contributes to augment the rent he pays and the value of the property he occupies. It must be remembered that in a radius of 5 leagues around the city, the farms are rented at from $4 to $5 per acre, and the price of land varies to-day from $80 to $120 per acre.
It is well to add here that in the city of Buenos Aires, the modern English dairy company has, in a great measure, replaced the “lecheros” that formerly provided the city with all its dairy products.
Says Monsieur Daireaux:
In the same region, there are first-class breeding farms, where all other breeders apply for the animals they require to improve their cattle or flocks. The transformation of the cattle of the “pampas” began twenty years ago, and the work has been so successfully carried through that, to-day, it is not rare to find at 100 leagues from Buenos Aires, on lands that have been taken from the Indians within the last ten years, herds of cattle numbering two or three thousand head, in which the type of the native cow has completely disappeared, and in which the classic Durham type prevails.
One may see, at the district fairs of Rennes and Poitiers, how the breeders of the Argentine prairies could exhibit, with the probability of getting the first prizes, herds of 1,000 Durham oxen or cows, while others could exhibit an equal number of Herefords. The
groups of the 6 or 7 oxen that are now exhibited at these fairs would be entirely lost sight of, to the great surprise of their owners.
And what would these owners say were they told that only one of the fathers of those animals imported to the Argentine Republic from England had cost there $6,000, and that the price of the average imported bulls coming from the best breeding farms of England and France is from $1,000 to $1,200?
The cattle-growers of the prairies pay from $100 to $300 for the bulls of mixed bloods, descended from such valuable stock, in order to improve their cattle. Incredible to relate, the result of such mixture, valuable as it is, when sold at wholesale for the market on the “Saladeros,” owing to the great supply and small demand, does not exceed $8 or $10 in price for each fat animal, such being the average market price of
Notwithstanding this and other drawbacks, the improvement of the species has progressed to such a degree, that, at the Continental Exhibition held in Buenos Aires in 1881, a cattle-grower presented as a curiosity, an authentic native cow, descended from the Dutch cows introduced by the first settlers, and with all the characteristics communicated to it by the rough life of the “ 'pampas and three centuries of struggle in the virgin forests. All the visitors were surprised to see this degenerate witness of past generations, and to-day it would no doubt be impossible to find a new example.
Monsieur Daireaux then carries the reader to an “Estancia,” or ranch, situated in the extreme southwest of the Province of Buenos Aires, on the boundary line of the territorial Government of La Pampa.
After twelve hours of railroad and 300 miles of prairie, we reach the "Estancia.” The
is very large and in its size, may be taken as a model of the average ranch. There are united in one tract, three different lots of 24,710 acres each, under one management. The owner bought this ground of 12 square leagues, for $2,000 the square league, ten years ago, when the region where it is situated was threatened by the Indians, and the State was seeking a purchaser.
To-day, anybody would pay that sum for the mere lease of the land, which proves that the price per square league has increased to $24,000. The 74, 130 acres are surrounded by a strong wire fence, consisting of fine steel wires, sustained every 15 yards by solid posts of hard wood, brought here from the Provinces of Entre Rios and Corrientes. The total value of the fence for the 12 square leagues is about $24,000. The precaution of fencing the property is most useful, as it prevents the sheep and cattle from straying into neighboring properties, and reduces the number of men required for their keeping. The property thus fenced is, in its turn, divided by fences, the different spaces being for different cattle, sheep, stcers, etc.
In the “estancia” we are now visiting, there are 22,000 head of cattle and 60,000 sheep. In the different inclosures protected by wire fences, there are a certain number of cattle and sheep, according to the, extent and nature of the pasturage. The cattle are divided into herds and the sheep into flocks, under the charge of one man. The fences have, among their many advantages, that of allowing the owner to breed in one space Durham and in another Hereford cattle.
Durhams were the first to be introduced into Australia and the River Plate; yet in the latter country, although it had not been colonized by the English, they found the ground prepared for them by a coincidence as curious as it is