Eng. Enrique Foster


Enrique Foster y Kagel (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 2, 1842; - Buenos Aires, Argentina; October 15, 1916) was an Argentine colonizer and surveyor, founder of Monte Oscuridad and co-founder of the city of Resistencia, Province of Chaco, Argentina.


Enrique Foster was the son of Ana Amalia Kagel y Asis (c.1819-?), Portuguese of German descent, and Ricardo Foster (1808-1865), Portuguese colonizer and landowner, founder of the city of San Jerónimo Norte and meritorious in the foundation of the city of Esperanza in the Province of Santa Fe, Argentine Republic.

His parents married in Lisbon, Portugal around 1830 and lived in Madeira for a time. However, as a result of the Portuguese Civil War (1832-1834), also known as the Miguelista War, they emigrated to Rio de Janeiro where their three children were born: Isabel Foster (1835-1932), Ana Adelina Foster (c.1840-?) and Enrique Foster (1842-1916).

Later, due to the yellow fever epidemic, the family moved to Uruguay where they stayed for a short time and finally settled in Argentina, settling in the province of Santa Fe, previously called Santa Fe de la Vera Cruz.

Isabel Foster married Máximo Fernando de Elía Álzaga (1811-1865), landowner of a prominent family and cousin of Justo José de Urquiza (1801-1870), the first president of the Argentine Confederation from 1854 to 1860. Ana Adelina Foster (c.1840-?) died single and had no children.

Enrique Foster had a natural son in Buenos Aires with Isabel Llames (1845-?) in 1865, named Enrique Arturo Foster (1865-?). However, years later he married Adelaida Ponsati Vidal (1847-1916) on January 17, 1873 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and with whom he had 7 children: Alejandro Foster (1877-1951), Ricardo Ignacio Foster (1881-c.1959), María Foster (1873-1873), Celia Cecilia Foster (c.1889-?), Ricardo Luis Foster (1874-1874), Enrique V. Foster (1878-1942) and Carlos Foster (c.1866-?).

It should be noted that Isabel Llames (1845-?) was the daughter of the Spanish attorney José Manuel Llames y Roldán (c.1815-?) and Manuela Saturnina Llames (1824-?). In turn, great-great-granddaughter of Melchor Maciel del Aguila (1583-1633), a rich landowner and merchant of Portuguese origin who during the dynastic union of his country with the Spanish crown was one of the first settlers of the city of Buenos Aires.

As for Adelaida Ponsati Vidal (1847-1916), she was a woman full of virtues and an excellent mother, very sociable and intelligent. Religious, brown-eyed brunette that radiated great sympathy. She was the daughter of Antonia Luisa Vidal Barbosa (1804-1891) and Anacleto Gregorio Antonio Ponsati López (1796-c.1881), both from Buenos Aires.

Enrique's first son, Enrique A. Foster (1865-?) was a prosperous Argentine businessman and politician who married the Spanish María Dolores Castaño (c.1870-?) in 1890.

From the second marriage, Alejandro Foster (1877-1951), agricultural engineer, founder in 1924 and president of the Sociedad Rural Argentina de Trenque Lauquen in 1933, 1934 and 1935, who married María Magdalena Paula Nazar Miguens (c.1864 -? ).

Celia Cecilia Foster (c.1889-?) who married Álvaro Francisco Leguizamón Ovalle (1883-1956), in turn son of Guillermo Leguizamón del Llano (1853-1922), politician and one of the founders and main architects of the formation of the Radical Civic Union with whom he maintained a close relationship with Leandro N. Alem (1841-1896) and Bernardo de Irigoyen (1822-1906) until the end of their days.

Enrique V. Foster (1878-1942), an Argentine university professor and pediatrician, who married Corina de Tezanos Pinto Torres Agüero (1879-1979), in turn daughter of David de Tezanos Pinto (1849-1934), a lawyer and Chilean university professor who stood out in both the public and private spheres and was considered an eminence in the field of law.

And finally Ricardo I. Foster (1881-1959), Argentine lawyer and politician, married to Ana Mooney and parents of 3 children.

The two remaining children, María Foster (1873-1873) and Ricardo Luis Foster (1874-1874) died at birth, in a much more difficult time than we currently live.


Enrique Foster was born on August 2, 1842 in Rio de Janeiro, Empire of Brazil. His parents had settled there for a time and then in Uruguay, but in 1843 they decided to emigrate to the Argentine Republic due to the yellow fever epidemic, settling in the province of Santa Fe, previously called Santa Fe de la Vera Cruz.

He had a prosperous career after receiving the title of public surveyor in 1864, for which he used the influences of his father Ricardo Foster (1808-1865). He is also the one who initiates him into Freemasonry that same year. [2]

In 1856, Enrique Foster conducted the First Census indicating families, number of individuals and lots awarded in the city of Esperanza. [3]

He acted in the Department of Topography of the Province of Santa Fe, Province of Buenos Aires and the Government of Chaco, being President of the First. [4] Then he participates in the measurement of the towns of Avellaneda, 9 de Julio, Vera, General Obligado, Las Colonias, San Cristóbal and General López. [5]

As a result of Law No. 686 of October 6, 1874, sanctioned under the presidency of Domingo F. Sarmiento (1811-1888), in 1875, Arthur Von Seelstrang (1838-1896) and Enrique Foster (1842-1916) formed the Foster-Seelstrang Exploration Commission and began their work, which lasted from October 1875 to March 1876 with the purpose of delimiting three colonies; Timbó, Las Toscas and Resistencia. The latter called "Resistencia", because of the way in which the new peoples resisted against the hostile natives. [6]

Finally, on May 31, 1876, the path to the Ministry was presented, where the 'Resistencia' area and it's characteristics were described. It's considered a work of incalculable historical value, which describes in great detail the area of ​​the Province of Chaco, it's flora and fauna. [7]

In 1886, Enrique Foster drew up the Graphic Register of Rural Properties of the Province of Santa Fe built by the Department of Topography. In July 1888, the measure of Monte Oscuridad was approved, presented by Enrique Foster and considered the founder of this city. [8]

Partnership between Enrique Foster & Mauricio Frank

The Franck Colony, as it was originally called, arose from a colonization contract signed by Mauricio Franck (1823-1879), a native of Nordstetten, Germany, with the Portuguese colonizer Ricardo Foster (1808-1865) and the Government of the Province of Santa Fe, on a 3-league plot of land near Santa Fe, which was subdivided into 33-hectare lots. [9] 

The lands were originally owned by Ricardo Foster (1804-1865) and Franck acquired a part with which he made his contribution to the society but later bought the rest. Sales of concessions to settlers began in January 1870, the year the colony that bears his name was founded. [10] [11]

Mauricio Franck was born in 1823 in Horb am Neckar, at that time the Kingdom of Württenbertg, currently the state of Baden-Württemberg, located in southwestern Germany, in the family of origin Bohemia (a region that is now part of the Czech Republic), from where they were expelled by the Empress Maria Teresa I of Austria (1717-1780) in 1744. [12]

With Enrique Foster (1842-1916) he maintained a Commercial Society from August 20, 1866 until August 1871, when it was dissolved and 4 concessions and 2 property deeds were issued, one of them for the purchase that Mauricio Franck made from Enrique Foster (as representative of his mother and sister, and son of Ricardo Foster) of the land that will be the future Franck colony in the province of Santa Fe, Argentina. [13]

Instructions for measuring Colonies & Villages

The Prussian surveyor Arthur Von Seelstrang (1838-1896) and Enrique Foster (1842-1916), received on Friday, September 3, 1875, the corresponding instructions to delineate the colonies of the Chaco territory, which were given by the Head of the Commission of Public Works, Justiniano Lynch. [14]

For the settlements of the colonies and the cantons, the Foster-Seelstrang Exploration Commission had to focus on choosing the most suitable places, in high plains and not flooded, suitable for agriculture and livestock, near the banks of the Paraná River, with communications accessible and good docks.

Under the instructions, they made known the surfaces to be measured for the footprints of cities, farms, farms, squares, widths of streets and avenues, whose delineations would be made to measured directions corrected for magnetic variation, they also had to astronomically calculate the latitude from the center of the square and, if possible, the length. [15]

Territory of San Fernando: Precursor Town of the City of Resistencia

The region of "San Fernando" in the Province of Chaco, Argentine Republic, was a reduction of Abiponese indigenous people founded in 1750 by Jesuit religious and a reference point for small wooden settlements that increased their population due to the influx of workers from Corrientes , mainly Paraguayans and Brazilians.

The expedition to the Chaco of Colonel Napoleón Uriburu (1836-1895) in 1870, found in that place a surprising concentration of carpentry, where some 1,500 aborigines worked. This concentration involved a significant number of Creole workers for those tasks that were not normally carried out by the aborigines: agriculture, forest loading and transportation, animal care, transportation, etc.

Among the causes ofaboriginal discontent against the place of San Fernando, the following should be taken into account: the abuses that were committed in the works with the payment of wages to the aboriginal workers; the sale of arms and beverages to the tribes by traffickers and people marginalized by the law; and the fear of being definitively evicted from their lands when political headquarters are established from that population.

In April 1875 it was learned that a General Coalition of Chaco Tribes was preparing for an attack against the San Fernando region. The Political Chief Aurelio Díaz, who already held the position, requested the help of the Corrientes Provincial Guard and together with Colonel José María Avalos (1825-1896) and other workers prepared for the defense.

The much-feared advance took place on June 10, when a force of a thousand aborigines armed with spears, arrows, and firearms, carried out an intense attack against the obrajes located south of San Fernando. The 15 men of the Corrientes Provincial Guard in union with the workers managed to confront and reject them, after an hour of battle, causing deaths and injuries. Faced with the danger of being captured, they withdrew to the Colonel Avalos fort while waiting for reinforcements.

That night, a relief force of thirty more men left Corrientes. This attack was the prelude to more violent ones that occurred on the 11th and 12th. The defense forces of Commander Verón and Mayor Quijano of the Corrientes Provincial Guard, together with the construction workers, added more than a hundred troops. In the fighting that followed around the palisades of Colonel Avalos's fort, a foreman of the Frenchman Félix Seitor (1857-1935) and two laborers were killed.

Another defender, Manuel Andino, was also injured in the confrontation on the 12th, and one of the attacking caciques was killed by Mayor Quijano himself.

The chronicles of these events published in the Buenos Aires newspaper "La Prensa", which had a correspondent in the province of Corrientes, consecrated the San Fernando region as a population capable of supporting itself despite the aboriginal attacks and demonstrated the effectiveness of the aid of Corrientes in Argentina.

The Foster-Seelstrang Exploration Commission had to collect from the mouths of the protagonists themselves, the history of these events that occurred four months before arriving at the site and they considered it appropriate to baptize the new colony with the name of "Resistencia". However, new attacks occurred in January, February, and April 1876.

Foster-Seelstrang Exploration Commission

The President of the Argentine Republic, Nicolás Avellaneda (1837-1885), promulgated on March 29, 1875 the regulatory decree of Law No. 686, which was endorsed by his Minister of the Interior, Simón de Iriondo (1836-1883), to recognize the territory and choose the most suitable places for the settlements of towns and cantons. [16] 

The Prussian surveyor Arthur Von Seelstrang (1838-1896) is appointed to act together with the Chief of the Northern Frontier, Colonel Manuel Obligado (1838-1896) and the Political Chief, Don Aurelio Díaz. [17]

On July 14, 1875, after Arthur Von Seelstrang declared that another inspector and two assistants were being sent to this operation, the President of the Argentine Republic decreed the following:

Article 1. That the surveyor Mr Enrique Foster, member of the Commission created by decree of March 29, 1875, be named.

Article 2. That Mr. Felipe S. Velásquez and Mr. Wenceslao Castellanos be appointed, assistants in the geodetic operations to be practiced.

Article 3. Communicate, publish and deliver to the National Registry. [18]

It should be noted that Arthur Von Seelstrang, was born in Tzulkiller, State of Prussia (German kingdom and historical state born from the union of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg, former kingdom of northern Germany and Europe) in 1838. In his youth he continued the arms race but at the age of twenty-five he left the service, traveled to the Argentine Republic in 1863 and lived in the province of Cordoba. [19]

On September 3, 1875, Arthur Von Seelstrang and Enrique Foster (1842-1916) received the corresponding instructions to delimit the colonies of the Chaco territory, which were given by the Chief of the Public Works Commission, Justiniano Lynch.

Seelstrang published numerous works, among which his "First Scientific Atlas of the Argentine Republic, 1885-1893" stands out among the main and most widespread.

Departure from Buenos Aires, Argentina

In mid-September 1875, the Chaco Foster-Seelstrang Exploration Commission left the Port of Buenos Aires aboard the steamer "Luisita". [20]

In the designated areas, the Exploratory Commission began to study the most appropriate places for the routes of the colonies, navigating the rivers and the arms of the Paraná River, as well as on foot through the places to obtain more knowledge. [21]

The surveyors Seelstrang and Foster, found some difficulties to be able to determine the zones of the future locations of the towns and colonies and their continuous explorations, reaching the conclusion that it was practically impossible to select some sectors on the right bank of the Parana River, because their the coasts were very low and prone to flooding, which forced the Foster-Seelstrang Exploration Commission to enter kilometers inland, in front of the places indicated by the Law, to establish the most appropriate points. [22]

Arrival of the Foster-Seelstrang Exploration Commission & Start of Works

Primitive cart with a couple of mules, a typical means of transport of the time. Oil by Alfredo Pértile.
Primitive cart with a couple of mules, a typical means of transport of the time. Oil by Alfredo Pértile.

They continued their march along the Paraná River arriving at theport of Corrientes. In the Chaco area they advanced their navigation along the Negro River, with dark, brackish and powerless waters that became a civilizing link path. [23]

After a journey of twenty-one kilometers, from its mouth in front of the province of Corrientes, the Foster-Seelstrang Exploration Commission disembarked in the so-called Port of San Fernando, where several workers lived with adequate facilities, facilitating their stay to carry out their designated tasks. [24]

On October 15, 1875, the surveyors began their measurement work for the design of the town's colony, and later Resistencia, a date of great importance for the history of the topography of the province of Chaco, since it was the beginning of it's colonization and settlement. [25]

The Foster-Seelstrang Exploration Commission devoted itself to studying the areas, their topographic features, the irrigation of their soil, as well as the distances to future ports, both on the Río Negro and the Río Paraná. From this examination and study, the Commission concluded that the areas were suitable for settlement, such as city, farm and farm, although with some reservations.

Regarding the work of measurements carried out by the surveyors Arthur Von Seelstrang and Enrique Foster, it can be said that the total area of ​​the parceled colony was composed of 10,000 hectares, including its streets and avenues, distributed as follows, 96 types of farms , each of 100 hectares, 148 lots of one hectare each and one hundred blocks for a city of one hundred meters on each side and subdivided into lots 50 meters wide by 50 meters deep. [26]

At each end of the fifth perimeter, a plot of one hectare has been left in each one, to be used as public places. Likewise, the places destined for the future church of the city, the police headquarters, the school, the jail, all located opposite the sides of the main square, were drawn and indicated on the measurement plan. [27]

Regarding the location of the city of Resistencia, it can be said that it was quite undulating and crossed in different directions by estuaries, lagoons and streams, which provided permanent water for the consumption of the inhabitants. [28] 

Approval of the Resistencia Colony

On Sunday, January 27, 1878, the Ministry of the Interior, Public Works and Housing of the Argentine Republic approved the urban and agricultural delimitation of Resistencia in the Province of Chaco, whose measurement operations were carried out by the surveyors Arthur V. Seelstrang (1838- 1896) and Enrique Foster (1842-1916) in 1875.

It should be noted that all the measurements carried out in the years 1875, 1879, 1882 and 1884 of Resistencia were approved in accordance with a decree of the President of the Republic General Julio Argentino Roca (1843-1914) and endorsed by the Minister Bernardo de Irigoyen (1822 -1906) on September 20, 1884 in full. [29]

Resistencia, begins to emerge as a city, which as of February 21, 1885, the department is designated as the capital of the Chaco, according to a decree of the Vice President of the Nation, Francisco Bernabé Madero (1816-1896), also implementing, the First Political Division of the Chaco and made up of Resistencia, Florencia, Las Toscas, San Antonio de Obligado, Villa Ocampo, President Avellaneda, Guaycurú, Saladillo and Martínez de Hoz.

It should be noted that in the report presented to the Central Government dated May 31, 1876 by the surveyors Seelstrang and Foster, together with Colonel Manuel Obligado (1838-1896), they decided to designate the place known as San Fernando del Río Negro, with the name of Resistencia, which is later approved, this being the origin of the name of the current capital of the Province of Chaco in Argentina.

The name of Resistencia, was chosen by the fact that the first settlers of the place, resisted almost without any protection, the continuous threats and the malón of the natives, integrated mainly by the Mocovíes group. [30]

Measurement of the Colony, Las Toscas

The second colony made in the territory of the Chaco, was established in front of the town of Bella Vista in the province of Corrientes, with the name of Las Toscas in the province of Santa Fe, further north of that town.

Once the area had been inspected, the Foster-Seelstrang Exploration Commission began its definitive itinerary from the Tres Bocas point, located on the right bank of the Paraná Miní river in Buenos Aires. On their march to the west, they first crossed the Palometa Cué River (Palometas Cave) and then a large ravine crossed by the Pairidí stream. [31]

From there, the elevation of the land begins to reach a high ravine area, higher than fifteen meters with respect to the average level of the Cañada, where the topographic characteristics are maintained from north to south and towards the west approximately.

The Foster-Seelstrang Exploration Commission decided to choose this area as the most suitable for the establishment of the second city and colony of the Chaco, calling it Las Toscas, since they took into account the conditions of the place for agricultural and livestock exploitation, abundance of permanent waters and it's proximity to a waterway. [32]

The surveyors Arthur V. Seelstrang and Enrique Foster measured the colony in an irregular way, taking into account the limited state of its topography on its eastern side, not being able to establish a perfect planning as was done in the city of the Resistance, but very similar in relation to the location and orientation with respect to the cardinal points of the city, neighborhood, streets, avenues, always measured in half as ordered according to the instructions received. [33]

The total measured area of ​​the colony was 9,800 hectares, of which 94 agricultural lots, 148 lots for villas and 96 blocks for the city were mixed.

The latter was located in a ravine approximately in the middle of the colony. Each block was subdivided into lots 50 meters wide by 50 meters deep, its regular figure being a square 100 meters per side separated by streets 20 meters wide. [34]

The avenues 30 meters wide, perpendicular to each other, parallel to the sides of the colony and intersecting at right angles at the central point of the main four-block plaza, the area of ​​the city is approximately 141 hectares. [35]

The plots were left around the square to be assigned to the Church, the School, the Police Headquarters and the Municipality Building. A fifth plot was destined for the cemetery. The fifth lots were located around the city and consist of a square one hundred meters per side.

It's streets are 20 meters wide, whose axes are extensions of those of the city, separated by avenues 30 meters wide. It was planned to leave four blocks at the north and west angles to be assigned to the squares and the fifths are separated from the farms by 45-meter wide avenues, placing the second on the outside of the colony in the southwest, northwest and northeast. [36]

It should be added that the farms are crossed by the Las Toscas stream, whose waters benefit the colony and meet in the ravine. Future ports included La Ramadita on the Palometa Cué River, Tres Bocas on the Paraná Miní River (Buenos Aires) or at it's mouth in the Paraná River.

Design of the Timbo Colony, currently the Municipality of Avellaneda

The third colony elaborated in the Chaco territory by the surveyors Arthur Von Seelstrang and Enrique Foster was the Avellaneda colony in the province of Santa Fe.

The aforementioned colony was located north of Reconquista and Arroyo del Rey, in front of the Corrientes de Rincón de Soto area, as a whole, in accordance with the instructions received by the professionals before starting their work, as ordered by the Law current. [37]

In February 1876, work began in the colony, Timbó; the Arroyo del Rey constituted the boundary between the Province of Santa Fe and the territory of the Chaco, which continued along the parallel of 28° 15'. [38] The Arroyo del Rey, born in Cañada del Rey and Cañada de Ombú respectively, at the height of the current railway station of the same name of the Manuel Belgrano Railway.

The water course goes south, passing through the north of Reconquista, and empties into the Amores river in one of its arms and the other into the San Javier river, which joins the San Jerónimo river, which belongs to the Paraná river. It should be remembered that Reconquista, located in the province of Santa Fe, is located eleven kilometers west of the port of the same name and was built on the right bank of the San Jerónimo River, in front of the Corrientes city of Goya. [39]

Measurement operations in the colony, Timbó

With all this background, the surveyors Arthur V. Seelstrang and Enrique Foster study the location and measurement of the third colony, in accordance with the instructions received by the Land Department of the National Government.

The Foster-Seelstrang Exploration Commission leaves Reconquista heading north, crossing the Cañada del Arroyo del Rey, as well as the projected colony, called Vanguardia. [40]

They find the Timboy Creek, which rises in a ravine to the west, directing its watercourse eastward until it empties into the Saladillo Creek, today Tapial Creek. The latter was born in Cañada Las Garzas and flows into the Arroyo del Rey, next to the Amores river. [41]

Professionals consider that the most suitable area for tracking the colony is between Arroyo Timboy and Arroyo Saladillo, taking into account that due to the favorable topographic conditions of the elevated terrain with respect to the east ravine with abundant water, mountains for exploitation of wood in construction, as well as good soil for the use of agriculture and livestock with abundant pastures. [42]

Once the site was chosen, surveyors Foster and Seelstrang began their measurement operations from February to April 1876. The area of ​​the colony was determined in approximately 10,192 hectares, divided into 98 agricultural lots, 156 fifths and 96 blocks for the city.

Similar to what happened in Las Toscas, they chose an irregular figure to track the colony, limited on its eastern side by a broken line that follows the path of the ravine. The same guidelines were followed for the Resistance and Las Toscas colonies, in terms of orientation with respect to the cardinal points, city, Quintas, Chacras, Width of streets and avenues, Squares, School building, Church, police station, Municipality, like a plot of land for the cemetery. [43]

Final Report of Topographic Works in the north of Argentina

Law No. 686 of October 6, 1874, declared that once the measurement of said Towns and Colonies had been carried out, the Chaco Exploration Commission had to present to the Executive Power a report of the work carried out, as widely as possible, accompanied by the plans , which would be presented to the Congress of the Argentine Nation for it's approval. [44]

In said report, the Foster-Seelstrang Exploration Commission declared that in front of the town of Empedrado in Corrientes, it was prevented from complying with the provisions of the Law, which was to establish a colony and city. [45] In fact, the Commission was unable to carry out the normal reconnaissance on the right bank of the Paraná River, as it was a camalote area, which hampered the progress of the vessel in which they were traveling. [46]

Therefore, it was not possible to explore the region and they had to leave the place without being able to achieve the objective, which was to obtain a suitable place to establish a new colony.

The report indicated that the measurement operations began on October 15 in the colony called Resistencia, and then continued through Las Toscas and Timbó, ending the journey in the latter on April 12, 1876. [47] That's, it took almost six months to carry out the measurement work of these three colonies.

At that time, fifty-seven days of rain must be deducted, that is, almost a third of the working days, as well as the days used to determine the places where the colonies were established.

Once the work was finished, the surveyors dedicated themselves to preparing the corresponding surface determination maps, drawing the measurement plans and the general locations of the three colonies with all their topographic features and references in the existing villages, rivers, streams, works , sawmills, ports, lagoons, characteristics and levels of the terrain, etc. [48]

On May 31, 1876, the Foster-Seelstrang Exploration Commission presented it's final report on the work carried out to the Central Government in Buenos Aires along with the corresponding documentation.

The report contained the following:

Full text of Law Nº. 686 and it's regulations; Appointment of the surveyor Enrique Foster according to the decree of July 14, 1875 to integrate the Chaco Exploration Commission; Instructions given by the Public Works Commission for the traces of the colonies in the Chaco; geographic descriptions of ponds, rivers, and streams; products and climate of the territory; weather observations; references on agriculture and livestock; Chaco population; Traced colonies; ideas on promoting future colonies; importance of the colonization of the territory and observations. [49]

In this way, surveyors Enrique Foster and Arthur Von Seelstrang accompanied the descriptive report with the greatest amount of information, as requested by the instructions in the tenth article.

With all this background of the work carried out, the surveyors finalized the measurements of the colonies in northern Argentina. After their efforts, the perseverance of European immigrants, mainly Italians, promoted colonization and encouraged the progress of these regions of the Argentine Republic for their aggrandizement.

Colonization of Resistencia in the Province of Chaco, Argentina

At the end of 1877, the "South American" steamer from the city of Genoa arrived at the port of Buenos Aires with a large contingent of immigrants from Italy, including the first 39 families to arrive in the city of Resistencia.

The set of institutional mechanisms provided for by the Migration and Colonization Law that would be a decisive factor in the settlement of settlers in the Province of Chaco and in other provinces and territories was put into operation.

The newly arrived immigrants made themselves available to the Central Migration Office, which had to locate the different contingents in their respective destinations. At first it was intended to locate them in the colonies of Entre Ríos and Santa Fe, as tenants. The colonists rejected this and demanded to be sent to a place as owners, in accordance with Law 817 and the promises of Dr. Calvo in Europe.

Faced with this determined attitude, the General Commissioner for Immigration decided to assign these 39 families (about 200 people) to one of the newly founded colonies in the Chaco: Resistencia. But for this it was necessary to approve the measure practiced in 1875, immediately resolved by the Land Directorate in 1878.

Law 817 on Immigration and Colonization laid the foundations to channel the immigration process in the Argentine Republic and on January 27, 1878, the first 39 families of Friulian immigrants arrived in the Resistencia colony, after a long journey along the Paraná River to the Province of Corrientes and a difficult navigation along the Río Negro to the port of San Fernando (currently Resistencia). They were received by the Administration Commissioner Jaime Sosa (1846-1906), of Paraguayan origin, who organized their accommodation and attended to their immediate needs.

This official, who depended on the general immigration commission and was appointed by the National Executive Power, was the highest military and political authority of the Colony.

Sosa was in charge of the difficult task of assisting the settlers in their acclimatization to the harsh conditions of a hostile environment full of dangers, as the Chaco was then. However, he managed to solve the refuge of all of them by building a large shed and drawing the new measure of the Colony, so that by the end of 1879 the great majority settled in the assigned lots.

However, the enormous difficulties that he could not overcome and his hard confrontation with the workers determined his resignation in June of that year, but Resistencia was already consolidated and very soon the residents would begin to reap the fruit of all their efforts.

First Italian Immigrants

From all the regions of Italy, the first families arrived between 1878 and 1881, and contributed with their efforts to the aggrandizement of the Argentine Republic.

Although the historical fact of the arrival of the first immigrants is well known, the accumulation of vicissitudes and difficulties that they had to face until their final installation is not so well known.

The dramatic circumstances that the settlers had to overcome to establish themselves should be evaluated and highlighted.

Among them, the adverse climatic situation and the fact of the floods, aspects that negatively affected the health of immigrants and produced a high mortality rate in the first year of their operation.

Recognition of the Municipality of Resistencia in the Province of Chaco, Argentina

In recognition of the work carried out by the Prussian Arthur Von Seelstrang (1838-1896), and Enrique Foster (1842-1916), the municipality of Resistencia, testified their tribute, remembering with the surnames Foster and Seelstrang the streets and avenues of the capital city and for having been pioneers of the Topography of the Chaco in northern Argentina.

  • The street that originates at 3,100 height on Avenida 9 de Julio in the city of Resistencia, is called Enrique Foster. [50]

Marriage & Offspring

Enrique Foster had a natural son with Isabel Llames (1845-?), Enrique Arturo Foster, born around 1865 and who would form the Foster-Castaño, Foster-Sofía, Foster-Turbatti and Foster-Ontiveros branches.

Then, on January 17, 1873, Enrique Foster married Adelaida Ponsati Vidal (1847-1916) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. They had nine children, who would form the Foster-Leguizamón, Foster-Nazar Miguens, Foster-Mooney and Foster-Tezanos Pinto branches.


Enrique Foster died after a long life, without lack of achievements and recognition, on October 15, 1916 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.


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  8. Cracogna, Manuel I. (1988). La colonia nacional Pte. Avellaneda y su tiempo. Municipalidad de Avellaneda.
  9. Historia del Capitalismo Agrario Pampeano. Teseo, 2010.
  10. Historia de la Comuna de Franck. Primeros Pobladores.
  11. Franck celebró sus 140 años de vida.
  12. La Familia Franck y los Judíos Alemanes.
  13. Franck: Celebraciones por el 148º Aniversario.
  14. Orígenes de la Agrimensura en el Chaco y Norte de Santa Fe. Baez, Carlos.
  15. Orígenes de la Agrimensura en el Chaco y Norte de Santa Fe. Baez, Carlos.
  16. Informe de la Comisión Exploradora del Chaco. Seelstrang, Arturo.
  17. Ley Nacional del 6 de Octubre de 1874, en Seelstrang, A. (1977). Informe de la Comisión Exploradora del Chaco. Eudeba, Buenos Aires, pp. 11-12.
  18. Decreto Nacional: Nombra al Agrim. Dr. Arturo Seelstrang, para hacer el reconocimiento del territorio del Chaco y elegir los puntos más adecuados para los pueblos y cantones, según Ley Nº 686. (29-03-1875).
  19. Decreto Nacional: Nombra aI Agrim. Enrique Foster como Miembro de la Comisión Exploradora del Chaco. (14-07-1875)
  20. Seelstrang, Agrimensor y Catedrático. (1989) Báez, Carlos A. Pág 8.
  21. Instrucciones de mensura (3-09-1875): Dadas por Ia Comisión de Obras Públicas, para la traza de las Colonias en el Chaco.
  22. Apuntes sobre buques de la Armada Argentina del Contraalmirante (RE) Pablo Arguindeguy. Estudio Nº 12.38. Registro Nacional RA año 1876 (Biblioteca del AGN).
  23. Instrucciones dadas por la Comisión de Obras Públicas para la traza de las Colonias en el Chaco. (28-9-1874)
  24. Decretos e Instrucciones de la Presidencia de la Nación, en Seelstrang, A. Informe de la Comisión Exploradora del Chaco (1977), op. cit., pág 19.
  25. Informe de la Comisión Exploradora del Chaco (1977), op. cit., pp. 23-33.
  26. "Orígenes de la Agrimensura en el Chaco y Norte de Santa Fe" Revista "Prever" Nº 37, Primera Parte. Rosario, Mayo de 1988 - p.15
  27. Revista "Prever" Nº 38, Segunda Parte, Rosario, Junio/Julio de 1988.
  28. Op. cit., Zusman, P. (2000), "Desierto, civilización y progreso. La Geografía del Gran Chaco y el proyecto político territorial de la formación del Estado Argentino", pág 64.
  29. "Trabajos sobre Agrimensura": Tomo I. Recopilado, ordenado y clasificado según índice general, temático y por autor, sobre trabajos publicados en diarios y revistas (1960-1986).
  30. Catálogo de Agrimensura, desde 1958 a 1988. Recopilado, ordenado y clasificado, según índice general, temático y por autor. Documentación parcial para la historia de la Agrimensura Argentina.
  31. Seelstrang, A. (1977), Informe de la Comisión Exploradora del Chaco, op. cit., pág. 94.
  32. Junta de Estudios Históricos del Chaco.
  33. Artículos periodísticos publicados en el diario "Norte" de Resistencia, Chaco. Enero de 2018.
  34. Informe de la Comisión Exploradora del Chaco. Seelstrang, Arturo. Editorial Universitaria de Buenos Aires (Eudeba). Segunda Edición. Buenos Aires, 1977. ↵ Primera Edición. Editorial Tipografía y Litografía del Courrier de la Plata". Buenos Aires, 1878.
  35. Informe de la Comisión Exploradora del Chaco (1977), op. cit., pp. 49-82.
  36. El Gran Chaco. Dimensión, Argentina. Estudio preliminar de Ernesto J. A. Maeder. ↵↵Ediciones Solar S.A. y convenio con Librería Hachotte. S.A., Biblioteca "Dimensión Argentina", dirigida por Gregorio Weinberg. Edición reproducida del original. Buenos Aires, 1977.
  37. "Antecedentes legales sobre registros catastrales y de Agrimensura en la provincia de Santa Fe". Redacción y recopilación, basada en un trabajo especial realizado por los alumnos Luis Alberto Blasco, Eduardo Patricio Peralta y Alberto Pestarini, presentado en Ia Cátedra de "Catastro y Valuación", a cargo del agrimensor Carlos A. Bianco de la Escuela de lngeniería Geógrafa, de la Facultad de Ciencias Exactas.
  38. Orígenes de la Agrimensura en el Chaco y norte de Santa Fe. Baez, Carlos Alberto. (1988). Pág 13.
  39. Orígenes de la Agrimensura en el Chaco y norte de Santa Fe. Baez, Carlos Alberto. (1988). Pág 14-15.
  40. Ley Nº 686 de 1874 sancionada bajo la presidencia de Domingo F. Sarmiento, para la creación de colonias-cantones en el Chaco, Argentina.
  41. Orígenes de la Agrimensura en el Chaco y norte de Santa Fe. Baez, Carlos Alberto. (1988). Pág 16.
  42. Orígenes de la Agrimensura en el Chaco y norte de Santa Fe. Baez, Carlos Alberto. (1988). Pág 15-17.
  43. Informe de la Comisión Exploradora del Chaco. Seelstrang, Arturo. Editorial Universitaria de Buenos Aires (Eudeba). Segunda Edición. Buenos Aires, 1977.
  44. Informe de la Comisión Exploradora del Chaco (1977), op. cit., pp. 51-75.
  45. Orígenes de la Agrimensura en el Chaco y norte de Santa Fe. Baez, Carlos A. (1988). Pág 18.
  46. Lopez Meyer, Cristina; Carrera, Nicolás Iñigo (1981). Pioneros en la Frontera Norte.
  47. Orígenes de la Agrimensura en el Chaco y Norte de Santa Fe. Revista "Prever" Nº 37, primera parte. Rosario, Mayo de 1988 - p.15
  48. Informe de la Comisión Exploradora del Chaco. Editorial Universitaria de Buenos Aires (Eudeba). Segunda Edición. Buenos Aires, 1977.
  49. Informe de la Comisión Exploradora del Chaco (1977), op. cit., pp. 27-57.
  50. Informe de la Comisión Exploradora del Chaco (1977), op. cit., pp. 70-84.
  51. Antecedentes legales sobre Registros Catastrales y de Agrimensura en el Chaco y Provincia de Santa Fe. Baez, Carlos Alberto.
  52. Informe de la Comisión Exploradora del Chaco (1977), op. cit., pp. 99-105.
  53. Hombres y Mujeres que Hicieron Chaco. Lidia Polich de Calvo.


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