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

Francis Bond Head (1793 - 1875)

“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. (Summary by Sue Anderson)

Genre(s): Travel & Geography, Memoirs

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 00 Introduction Sue Anderson
Play 01 Descriptive Outline of the Pampas Sue Anderson
Play 02 The Gaucho Sue Anderson
Play 03 The Town of Buenos Aires Sue Anderson
Play 04 Mode of Travelling, Town of San Luis Sue Anderson
Play 05 Gold Mines of La Carolina, Mendoza Sue Anderson
Play 06 Courier's Throat Cut, Viscachas Sue Anderson
Play 07 Province of Santa Fe, A Sabre for Pizarro Sue Anderson
Play 08 The Pampas, Pizarro Dragged by a Horse Sue Anderson
Play 09 The Pampas Indians Sue Anderson
Play 10 Passage Across the Great Cordillera Sue Anderson
Play 11 The Worst Pass in the Cordillera Sue Anderson
Play 12 The Summit of the Andes Sue Anderson
Play 13 Fleas and Figs, Santiago Sue Anderson
Play 14 Convent at Santiago, A Christmas Dance Sue Anderson
Play 15 Gold and Silver Mines: Caren, San Pedro Nolasco Sue Anderson
Play 16 Into a Gold Mine Down a Ladder of Notched Sticks Sue Anderson
Play 17 Dispute Over a River Crossing Sue Anderson
Play 18 Breaking Wild Horses, Carriage Abandoned Sue Anderson
Play 19 A Few Observations on Mining in South America Sue Anderson
Play 20 Past and Present Value of the Mines Sue Anderson
Play 21 Conclusion Sue Anderson