Dr. Ricardo I. Foster


Ricardo Ignacio Foster (Buenos Aires, Argentina; February 1, 1881 - Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina; June 17, 1959) was an Argentine lawyer and politician, deputy of the province of Santa Fe in 1934-1935 [1], and Minister of Public Instruction of the same Province in the two following years. [2]


Ricardo Ignacio Foster was the son of Adelaida Ponsati Vidal (1847-1916), originally from Buenos Aires, and Enrique Foster (1842-1916), Argentine colonizer and surveyor, founder of Monte Oscuridad and co-founder of the city of Resistencia, Province of Chaco, Argentina.

His father Enrique had a natural son around 1865 with Isabel Llames (1845-?): Enrique Arturo Foster (1865-?), but a few years later he married Adelaida Ponsati, on January 17, 1873 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and with whom he had 7 other 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-?).

Alejandro Foster (1877-1951) was an agronomist, founder in 1924 and president of the Sociedad Rural Argentina de Trenque Lauquen in 1933, 1934 and 1935, and he married María Magdalena Paula Nazar Miguens (c.1864-?).

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

The two remaining children, Maria Foster (1873-1873) and Ricardo Luis Foster (1874-1874) died at birth.

It should be noted that the son of his father Enrique's first marriage, Enrique A. Foster was a successful Argentine merchant and politician, who married the Spanish María Dolores Castaño (c.1870-?) in 1890.

It should be noted that the son of his father Enrique's first marriage, Enrique A. Foster (1865-?), was a prosperous merchant who married the Spanish María Dolores Castaño (c.1870-?) in 1890.

Ricardo I. Foster married Ana Mooney in the province of Santa Fe, Argentina and they were the parents of 3 children: Ricardo Tomás Foster (1924-?), Ana Amalia Foster (c.1926-?) and Alejandro Foster (1928-?), who gave him numerous offspring. [5]


Ricardo Ignacio Foster was born on February 1, 1881 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. [6] His parents had settled there for a time, and after the signing of the Peace and Trade Agreement between the Argentine Confederation and the State of Buenos Aires in 1854, they returned to the Province of Santa Fe, Argentina. [7]

He had a prosperous career after receiving the title of Doctor of Legal Sciences, for which he used the influences of his father Enrique Foster (1842-1916). He graduated in 1905 from the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences of the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Performance in the Argentine Republic

Ricardo Ignacio Foster was Professor of Economic Geography at the Faculty of Economic Sciences and the National University of Litoral; National School No. 91 and National School of Commerce of Rosario in the Province of Santa Fe from 1910 to 1942. [8]

He has been dean of the same Faculty from 1927 to 1930; again in 1934 and 1935, and Vice Rector of the National University of Litoral from 1928 to 1929.

He held the position of Chief of Police in the Department of San Lorenzo in the same Province from 1930 to 1931 and later was President of the Development Commission, an organization that sought to achieve benefits for the residents of Colonia Jesus Maria, Santa Faith from 1931 to 1933.

He served as Provincial Deputy of Santa Fe from 1934 to 1935 and was Minister of Public Instruction in Rosario, Santa Fe [9] from 1935 to 1937. [10]

He worked as a Member of the Board of Directors of the Nuevo Banco de Santa Fe, originally called Banco Provincial de Santa Fe from 1938 to 1939 and was Director of the Empresa Municipal Mixta de Transporte Rosario S.A. in 1942 and 1934, which belongs to various institutions. [11]

He was Founder and President of the stable choir of Rosario, one of the oldest choirs in Argentina from 1942 to 1945, and wrote several didactic books and the discipline of his profession.

  • Ricardo I. Foster, published in 1939 his Contribution to the History of the Chaco (Exploration of 1875-1876 and foundation of Resistencia) in order to rescue the deed of his father Enrique Foster (1842-1916), claiming that in Argentina 'is time begins to register the development of its different regions and the performance of those who were the meritorious citizens, military or civil, who still remain anonymous, and highlighted the patriotic value and the moral obligation of the cultivation of history'. [13]

Contribution of the History of the Chaco (Exploration of 1875-1876 and foundation of Resistencia) - By Dr. Ricardo I. Foster

In memory of my father ENRIQUE FOSTER (Titled National Surveyor on March 22, 1864)

On account of an inexhaustible debt

Conference given by the author at the Teatro S.E.P. in the city of Resistencia, on November 26, 1937, under the auspices of the Governor of the Chaco carried out by Dr. José C. Castells, the Rotary Club of Resistencia and the Society for Scientific Studies of the Gran Chaco.

CONTRIBUTION OF THE HISTORY OF THE CHACO (Exploration of 1875-1876 and foundation of Resistencia) - By Dr. Ricardo I. Foster.

It averaged the year 1874, and the northern regions of Santa Fe from 29º 2 'to 28º of southern latitude, current limit of the province of Santa Fe with the national territory of the Chaco, still belonged to the domain of the savage, except for one or another very small nucleus of white population embedded in the desert that extended on the right bank of the Paraná, a river that was the only way of contact between the old upstream and downstream settlements created in the time of the Spanish colony.

The entire interior, which today constitutes part of the 9 de Julio, Vera and General Obligado departments in the province of Santa Fe, were lands called mysterious due to the almost absolute ignorance in which they were held, except for the fleeting transit of some expeditions of whites, both at the time of the Hispanic conquest, and after the independence of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata, whose expeditions, moreover, had always been carried out through the regions close to the rivers and streams that crossed them.

Twenty years had passed since the fall of Juan Manuel de Rosas and since the Argentine Confederation was created, and even the territory of the Argentine Republic escaped the control of its rulers in the vast majority of its extension, due to the depredations of the indigenous people, that constantly lowered its malones on the outposts of civilization, represented by the Creole estancias that extended not far from the most important population centers, founded by the Spanish in their times of conquest and colonization.

The most dangerous and uncomfortable for the whites were the Indians from the south and west of Buenos Aires, because in this town that later would become the capital city of the Argentine Republic, the most important nucleus of urban population always settled. from the country; and also, because from it radiated the most prominent source of the national unity pursued with so much determination since the time of independence (1816), and especially since the triumph of Urquiza in Caseros (1852).

That is why our central governments, from the time of Rosas, made demonstrations of military force to defend rural inhabitants from the sporadic but endless punishment of the Indian malones, until culminating in the so-called "Desert Campaign" led by General Julio Argentino Roca, which resulted in parapeting the target behind the line of forts of the Negro River, forcing the Indians of the south to remain in the remote places of Patagonia, at that time impossible to be used as it is today at the end of the national rampage.

Just fifty-four years ago, in 1883, Colonel Racedo beat the last predatory Indians to the west, in the humid lands of Atuel, to the west of the current territory of the Central Pampa. Those that remained within the fence were reduced and domesticated, surrendering little by little to the civilizing action of the white man.

Towards the north of Buenos Aires, also the indigenous, partly absolutely wild and semi-wild for the most part, but conserving the stigmata of their uncivilized ancestry, dominated the extensive fields, in which they only appeared sprinkled at long distances from each other, as centers of white civilization, cities and towns founded in the colonial period.

Hence the tribulations of the whites when they had to move or transport their merchandise from one town to another, across the desert, always exposed to the surprises of the Indian or the gaucho who rose up against the emerging institutions of the authorities established in the urban centers.

Twenty years had elapsed between the presidency of General Justo José de Urquiza and that of Dr. Nicolás Avellaneda, and the general law that later would govern the administration and government of the national territories had not yet been enacted, whose extensions included not only the surfaces that today include them, but also many others that by later laws became part of the provincial territories.

Among the latter were part of the territory that was designated by the generic name of "Chaco", which was made up of what is now the Chaco itself, Formosa, Chaco Santafecino, Chaco Santiagueño and Chaco Salteño, being included between the right bank from the Paraná River to the east, the Pilcomayo River to the north, - leaving aside the Argentine claims to the Verde River that were reduced to the Pilcomayo by the arbitration award that resolved our question of boundaries with Paraguay, - and the Arroyo del King to the south, extending west to the end of the plain. From the eastern region of that portion of Argentine territory, the one from the Arroyo del Rey to the 28th parallel of south latitude, became part, after the province of Santa Fe; and the rest, until reaching the Bermejo river, was included in the area corresponding to the current national territory of the Chaco.

Given the lack of a general law that would establish in what form and manner the territories that escaped the action of the provincial governments should be administered, it was urgent that the National Government provide as soon as possible what is conducive to the administration of the Chaco region, since it is located On the coast, which was where the greatest momentum was gaining the civilization introduced by the European conquerors and colonizers, and which was later continued by their Creole descendants, due to the circumstance of being on one of the banks of a river as navigable as the Paraná.

At the initiative of the progressive government chaired by Dr. Nicolás Avellaneda, the same one that two years later was to enact the first general colonization law and seconded from his ministerial portfolio by the prominent Santa Fe statesman Don Simón de Iriondo, the National Congress issued a law that Later it was promulgated on October 6, 1874, in which it was provided that while the general law for the administration and government of the national territories was not dictated (Art. 1), the territory of the Chaco, located on the right bank of the Paraná River and between the Bermejo River and the King Stream, would be governed, under the dependence of the National Executive Power, by a Political Chief, justice of the peace and municipal commissions that would be appointed in accordance with the provisions of the same law.

As can be seen, in 1874 the Santa Fe regions still depended on the National Government, which more or less go from a parallel at the height of the current city of Reconquista, to the 28th parallel that today delimits the province of Santa Fe with the national territory of Chaco . It is about this region that I propose to do a bit of history, linking it to the one between the aforementioned 28th parallel and the Bermejo River, the border between Chaco and Formosa.

By law of October 6, 1874, the Political Chief should be appointed by the National Executive Power (Art.2), and said official must understand, in accordance with the laws of the Nation, in everything related to the administration, development, security and colonization, remaining at the same time as superior head of the garrison, gendarmerie and national guard (Art. 4).

It was also provided that the National Executive Power establish military cantons on the right bank of the Paraná river in the points located in front of Rincón de Soto, the towns of Bella Vista and Empedrado and the city of Corrientes (all of these on the left bank of the Paraná), choosing on that right bank, the most suitable localities for the layout of the towns that would later be delineated, dividing their territories into lots and lots of villas and farms (Article 10). SEE IN THIS LEGISLATIVE PROVISION THE OFFICIAL BIRTH ORDER OF THE CURRENT CITY OF RESISTANCE, the now beautiful and progressive capital of Chaco.

Shortly after the law was enacted, on March 29, 1875, Avellaneda and Iriondo signed a decree appointing Don Aurelio Díaz as Political Chief of the Chaco territory, between the King's stream and the Bermejo river (Art. 1); and providing that the latter, together with the head of the northern border, Colonel Manuel Obligado, a name that today one of the most promising departments in the north of Santa Fe, and with the Surveyor Don Arturo Seelstrang, should immediately proceed to recognize that territory and choose the most suitable points for the towns and cantons to which the law refers (Art. 2), each of which should be founded on four square leagues, allocating 100 blocks of 100 meters per side to form the town with plots of 50 by 50 meters; 200 blocks for the formation of farms, and the rest for farms 400 meters wide by 500 deep. In the layout of the town, four blocks united for a plaza should be reserved in its center, and in the adjacent blocks, places destined for a temple, school, headquarters, court of the peace and other public buildings. The width of the streets should be 20 meters (Art.3), which was a wise reaction on the narrowness of the streets of colonial towns, but not enough if we stick to the principles of urban planning of our times. It is human law that the man of any historical moment, always falls short in the forecasts of the future.

After this decree, the surveyor Seelstrang, a man somewhat older and without much experience in the Chaco regions, having possibly reconsidered the importance and difficulties of the scientific mission that he would have to fulfill in previously unknown lands, presented himself to the National Government stating that in order to carry it out successfully, he needed the appointment of another surveyor and two assistants, assuring that in this way the work would be shortened without increasing its cost.

In accordance with said petition and on those grounds, on July 14, 1875, President Avellaneda and his Minister Iriondo, signed a new decree naming (Art. 1) a member of the Commission created by the decree of March 29, the Surveyor Mr. Enrique Foster, my father, whose memory I cultivate as one of my most sacred duties; and designating assistants without professional title, Messrs. Felipe S. Velázquez and Wenceslao Castellanos.

On September 3, 1875, the Exploratory Commission and in charge of fixing the points and delineating the towns, cantons and colonies that were to be founded in the Chaco until then, the habitat of the savage, was definitely formed by the Political Chief Don Aurelio Díaz, Colonel Mr. Manuel Obligado and the Titular Surveyors Arturo Seelstrang and Enrique Foster, receiving from the Head of the Department of Engineers of Buenos Aires, Mr. Justiniano Lynch, the pertinent instructions for the fulfillment of the mission entrusted by the Superior National Government.

It is interesting to note that in those instructions (Article 1) it was recommended to the Commission, that for the election of the places in which the towns and military cantons would be delineated whose creation encouraged the main purpose of the remembered law of 1874, it be sought " to gather as much as possible the advantages of having elevated terrain adaptable to crops and close to the Paraná riverbank, where it is more accessible and can provide good piers".

IN THE SUGGESTIONS EXPRESSED IN THE INSTRUCTIONS OF LYNCH THAT I HAVE JUST TRANSCRIBED, THE SPIRITUAL ORIGIN, SO TO SAY, OF THE CURRENT CAPITAL OF THE CHACO AND ITS PORT OF LA BARRANQUERA, IS DISCOVERED, since the first had to settle on high ground adaptable to cultivation , but close to the banks of the Paraná where it could be accessible and provide a good jetty like the one that works today in La Barranquera.


After expressly setting out in Lynch's instructions the details to which the delineation of the colonies and towns to be founded should conform, in art. 10 it was briefly entrusted to the surveyors of the expedition that when measuring and subdividing them, they should also "survey all the topographic features of the terrain, as well as accompany the descriptive report that they should present to the Government of the Nation in due course, their appreciations on physical accidents of the soil, natural products, capacity for cultivation, etc., or other details that it is convenient to record, IN ORDER TO FORM AN IDEA ABOUT THEIR CONDITIONS AND PROBABLE OF CULTURE ".

It was, as can be seen, a whole scientific mission of high importance, which was entrusted to Surveyors Seelstrang and Foster, expeditioning in regions of which the government was very far from having a concrete idea, as is the result of the express recognition in the instructions to which I have been referring, that this precise idea would have to be formed only on the basis of the report that was recommended to be presented at the time to the expedition technicians.

With good reason, then, in the respective memory, they would have described then as "mysterious lands" to which they had to travel, and be proud of having carried out the first Argentine scientific mission, aboard the first steamship that crossed the waters from the Santa Fe-Chaco streams and arms of the Paraná, flying the Argentine flag and with a purely Argentine crew.

The territory that this scientific mission explored extends from the mouth of the "Curapi", a stream that links the Arroyo del Rey, with the San Javier stream, located at said mouth at 29º19'3 "south latitude, and 59º35'26" longitude west of Greenwich, to the mouth of the Bermejo River in the Paraná River, located at 26º51'50 "southern latitude and 58º28'30" western longitude, which meant an extension of fluvial shoreline over the Paraná and Paraguay rivers of 193 nautical miles, in addition to the exploration of rivers, lagoons and inland streams that cross those regions of dense Chaco forest at that time.

The expedition lasted six months, according to it is affirmed in the text of the memory that the Exploratory Commission raised to the National Government on May 31, 1876; but if we stick to eight dates established in the plans marking specific moments of the exploration, it can be stated that the expedition lasted on the ground at least until the first days of April 1876, despite the fact that in the section of the three plans which were attached to the memory, it is stated that it was issued from October 1875 to March 1876. Those eight dates appear in the handwriting of my unforgettable father and were later transported with the same features to the printed plans.

It is worth following them due to their chronological order, because they reveal the precise times of some of the journeys made by the expedition members, demonstrating the diligence used in the fulfillment of their mission, and because the historical truth always requires minute in the attestation of events.

Let us remember that Lynch's instructions were issued in the city of Buenos Aires during the month of September 1875. By the first days of October of the same year, the expedition had not only arrived on the ground to be explored, but already on the 7th of this month, after having gone up the Bermejo River from its mouth in Paraguay, for an approximate distance of 30 kilometers until it passed a group of Tobas Indian dwellings that was found on the right bank, it had to go back due to lack of water to continue browsing.

Fifteen days later, on October 22, after a journey of just over 15 'in length, counted from east to west, going up the Negro River on whose right bank the city of Resistencia proudly emerges, the expedition was forced to return also due to lack of flow and excess of pontederia crassipes in the stream. The map states that at that height there was no longer a water depth greater than two fathoms.

On February 17, 1876, when the course of the "Paraná-mini" stream was recognized, navigation was interrupted more or less at 28º27 'south latitude, because despite finding three fathoms of water sufficient for the draft of the boat , the water hyacinth completely obstructed the march.

The expedition was equally convenient four days later, on February 21, when attempting to navigate the "del Rey" stream from its mouth in the "Amores" stream; and on the same day, after going up the "Saladillo" stream, which flows together with the del Rey stream into the aforementioned Amores stream, he had to turn back due to lack of water since the depth was only 5/8 of a breaststroke, from more or less 29º 4 'of south latitude. Then penetrating the Amores river, which ran from north to south and emptied from the aforementioned latitude, where it was reached on February 27, being impossible to continue navigation due to the great existence of water hyacinths and due to the lack of flow, having the probe charged barely 6/8 of water.

Finally, when the expedition turned north, it was settled on the respective plane as the last date, April 4, 1876, at which date the Commission was going up the "Tragadero" river, which is a tributary of the Paraná, more or less at the intersection of the parallel of 27º 21 'with the meridian of 58º 59'.

The memory or report on the results of the exploration that the technical experts Seelstrang and Foster drew up and that was also signed by Colonel Manuel Obligado, was later published in Buenos Aires by the typography and lithography of the "Courrier de la Plata", in the year 1877.

It contains paragraphs and appreciations of a high historical-geographical suggestion, explored, with what they are today; because it shows the enormous development and social, political, economic and all kinds of progress that have occurred in the short span of sixty years, somewhat less than the life of a single man normally lasts.

The surveyors of the expedition began their memory, saying that with such an advantageous geographical position as the one they had just explored, "it seemed destined to form one of the first and most important bases of Spanish colonization, which at first tried to establish itself with preference in the upper part of the rivers, founding the flourishing towns of Asunción and Corrientes almost at the same time as that of Buenos Aires; but the character of those rivers and the nature of the terrain, opposed an insurmountable barrier to their efforts, reserving to our century and a republican and progressive government, the honor of undertaking a work from which the strong administrative power of colonial times desisted." And they add something later: "The complexity of the network of shallow and tortuous channels that separate the green islands, it is easily understood that they terrified the primitive settlers, making them prefer the high ravines of easy access of the left bank of the river, to the eventualities of the difficult navigation of those mysterious streams, to procure a point where to establish their homes in the new homeland they chose. For this reason, the Chaco remained for centuries, being a vast unknown territory, in the power of the aboriginal savages; And with the exception of the Jesuits, who were some time populated in it, it has only been visited from time to time by adventurers who looked for the valuable woods it contains, or who traded with the Indians, exchanging, at the risk of their own lives, articles of little value for the hides and feathers, products of their hunts, with which they carried out a lucrative business ".

The paragraphs that I have just transcribed show roughly the scene in which the scientific expedition of 1875-1876 had to act, to unveil the mystery that surrounded those regions; and, as stated in his written report, to "practice studies and gather data that could be used for science, being beneficial, at the same time, to introduce civilization in such a rich region."

What a clear vision of the future! If only the expedition members of 1875 had been able to observe the results of their exploration with their own eyes!

They began their odyssey through the rivers, lagoons and streams that make up the vast archipelago that lies on the shores of Chaco that bathes the formidable Paraná River.

They established the existence of the "Pira-cua" (fish cave), stating that it was only the beginning of the "Paraná-mini" in the northern part, Paraná-mini running parallel to the Paraná coasts, like two o three leagues inwards, it develops its course through low or flooded terrain; But since it is the closest to the cultivable lands of the west located on what the surveyors of the expedition described as "firm coast", they thought that it seemed destined to be the great artery for the commercial traffic of the territory, although for At that time they found it difficult to navigate, due to the large masses of aquatic plants that obstructed it for most of the year, even changing the quality of the waters and the direction of the current.

That "firm coast" of the west, which are today perfectly civilized and economically exploited highlands for the most part, the expedition members could only see from afar from their boat; but they marked it as a place on purpose for the foundation of colonies and towns, without being able to reach it by land or through shallow channels, for lack of the necessary elements, since they only had a small crew, operating in a steam ship that it required a certain flow of water for its navigation.

They calculated that to go by land they would have needed carts, many oxen, mules and horses, provisions for six weeks and a number of laborers and escort soldiers that could not be less than fifty people, because the Indians of the region showed themselves increasingly hostile.

The Commission judged that its action should be classified as reckless, if it had exposed to the eventualities of a surprise on the part of the savages, both the lives of its employees and laborers and the valuable material of the property of the Nation that it had on board, launching himself with a handful of men, is the expression used in the surveyors' report, exploring these inhospitable regions. That is why he decided to fulfill his mission by entering the little boat he had, through the waterways that could closest to the mainland, executing short terrestrial expeditions at the convenient points and from the end of each navigation, to make sure of the quality of the land and study its conditions for the establishment of the colonies and the possibility of their access by the Paraná waterway.

In order to comply with this plan, the exploration began by navigating all the accessible arms, rivers, streams, streams and lagoons in the region. Bermejo River, Laguna Negra, Amores stream with its tributaries, Ivirá-pitá, Paraná-mini, Palometa-cua, Pira-cua, Negro rivers, Tragadero Ancho, Oro, Quiá, etc., were the object of extensive explorations and surveys. This is what the three large-scale plans that the surveyors Seelstrang and Foster added to their final report, in which with great detail and a commendable detail, they recorded all their observations regarding the territory they crossed by water and also by land, that there were many landings to collect more precise data on the nature and conditions of the soil to achieve the purposes of the expedition, which were mainly to mark appropriate sites and even proceed to the delineation of the four colonies and cantons that would immediately have to be founded by the Government of the Nation.

As a consequence of the explorations, to which I have referred before and which were carried out by the Laguna Negra arm, Amores stream and its tributaries Arroyos del Rey and Saladillo, crossed by carob trees indicating dry land and dense palm groves of black palm that show the low From the soils, by land we crossed the region of shallows between the Amores river and the Saladillo stream until we reached the so-called "firm coast", which could be seen west from the boat.

Recognizing the land and finding it apparent, the "Timbó" colony was drawn up in those places, since in accordance with the provisions of art. 10 of the 1874 law, a colony was to be located facing the Rincón de Soto formed by the Paraná River on the coasts of Corrientes to the north of Goya and close to parallel 29. The colony was named Timbó, due to the existence of the eponymous stream, a tributary of the Saladillo, which crossed near the southern limit of the perimeter where the route was made.

Describing those short ones that go from the Paraná-mini to the firm coast, I do not escape the temptation to transcribe two short paragraphs from the memory of the surveyors. "Towards the west of this small river (they refer to the Paraná-mini and Pira-cua) and until reaching the mainland of the Chaco there are bathes of one and two leagues wide, which sometimes present serious obstacles to transit, but those that are going to disappear under the influence of work, since at most it is a matter of some dikes and bridges through estuaries and streams, for which there is plenty of material. After those humid lands that are already endowed with many groups of trees, a very slight hill suddenly rises twelve to fifteen meters high, from whose summit to the west an immense green plain sown with mountain islets that appear here and elsewhere, and furrowed by a large number of streams and permanent waters". And specializing with respect to the immediate regions to the settlement of the city of Resistencia, current capital of the Chaco, they added: "From the northern mouth of the Pirá-qué stream to the north, the general aspect changes considerably. The Paraná or one of its larger arms runs for an area of ​​15 miles at the foot of the mainland, which rises in the form of a small ravine from 3 to 5 meters above the surface of the water, thus making it easier for ships to board where it seems best.

The land rises insensibly towards the west; great number of lagoons and estuaries cross it in all directions and the forests are closer to each other and much larger; but in times of an exceptional flood like that of 1857, even the highest point of this coast, which is the San Fernando ravine (It is in this ravine that the seat of the current city of Resistencia was located), is flooded, finding over it 1 meter 89 centimeters of water, then ships can penetrate directly to the San Fernando and La Horqueta works to load wood. Immediate to these last points the Negro and Tragadero rivers flow. The first at 27º 27 '49 "south latitude and 58º 56' 4" longitude, despite its innumerable turns, is almost always navigable up to about 20 leagues inland; the second, at latitude 27º 27'30 "and longitude 58º 54 '35", is also navigable to a lagoon called La Horqueta, 7 leagues from the coast. The stream Jné (Hediondo) also has its immediate course to the previous ones; the water of all these three streams being impotable because it is brackish and its coasts are made up of flooded lands, expecting some slopes that are found in them and that make them very adaptable for breeding farms of cattle and mares".

In one of the phases of the expedition, its technicians specialized in exploring the streams and adjacencies of the region that faced the population of Bella Vista in Corrientes, because precisely in front of it is that art. 10 of the 1874 law provided for the establishment and delineation of another colony and the cantonment of troops for the defense against the indigenous.

It was for this purpose that they went up the Paraná-mini as far as navigation was possible; They then retreated to the Paraná, and sailing northwards, they penetrated the mouth of the small river "Ivirapitá" that is in front of the island "Yuruatá", and after crossing it in all its extension towards the south, when finding the influx of a River that later they confirmed to be an arm of the Paraná-mini, they went up this arm in a canoe, since it was not possible to do it with the expedition's steam ship.

The intrepid navigators of the canoe traveled that arm of Paraná-mini in a distance of more than 6 nautical miles, without later stating in their final report the hazards of that exploration, without exhaling the slightest complaint against excessive heat, against vermin characteristic of the region, nor against the always latent danger of the Indian attack. They only reported that the banks of the small river were constituted by "two slopes of 3 to 4 meters" in elevation covered with beautiful trees that offer beautiful views and "shadows to the navigators."

This allusion to the shadow of the surrounding forest is all the protest raised by the hard-working expedition members against the ambient heat in which they had to carry out their activities.

They also left evidence of the existence of large trees in the stream, some still conserving their green foliage, and others already dry and strongly rooted with their branches at the bottom of the river, presenting serious dangers for the boats; and they add: "This stream will have to be cleaned a lot by extracting the aforementioned stumps, to form a comfortable path from it and turn it into one of the main commercial arteries of the Chaco, for which it is destined for its location and depth that varies from one to half to two and a half fathoms."

Thus they reached the place that they called "The three mouths", because they were formed by the Paraná-mini, which coming from the north, from that point sends an arm that leaves the Ivirapitá, precisely the stream that the expedition members had just traced in canoe, detaching another arm towards the south until entering the so-called "Laguna Negra".

That place of "The three mouths" was used by the expeditionaries for the purpose of provisions and as a starting point for a land expedition that they practiced in a westward direction, looking for land suitable for the layout of the colony that according to the law should be based on the margin right of the Paraná in the regions that faced Bella Vista.

They built a ramada to shelter food and supplies and made their way through the "tacuaral", leaving it open to be able to communicate through it during the time that was later used in the layout of the "Las Toscas" colony, another of the colonies today thriving north of Santa Fe.

A fresh water stream that fell to "The three mouths", was providential to establish the base of the land expedition that was beginning next to its mouth, because those of the Paraná-mini were salted.

To get to the places where the geodetic works they were carrying out marking the plots of the future population and the lots of farms and farms, walking through the "tacuarales", it was necessary to cross the waters of the Palometa-qué stream and the streams "Paridi" (Hachiras) and "Las Toscas".

With good reason, in my childhood, I heard my father many times, recounting his adventures in the Chaco, affirm that on countless occasions he had no other food at his disposal than roasted slices of jaguar or puma meat, or any other means of appeasing the thirst to drink water from a muddy puddle through the filtering weave of his handkerchief. The blood in his veins, the one that many times I saw decorating the countless pages of his field surveyor notebooks like red stars, as a result of the outbreak of the swollen mosquitoes that were squeezed when they were overturned, that blood that I have inherited, and strengthened with the natural elements of the rough Chaco jungle in regions that Argentines today already see fully civilized and overflowing with the white gold of cotton, the friendly sucrose of its cane fields and the reddish wood of the quebracho, the unshakable pedestal of our main railways and of our ports of embarkation, as well as enduring supporter of the apparently subtle stringing of the country fences that have contributed so much to the high quality of the current Argentine livestock.

I apologize for the slight slippage in the few preceding paragraphs. It is the voice of the blood that can hardly be silenced, especially for those who, like the one who writes this, always saw the rich essence that distills the most useful and famous tree in Argentina, with those that for him sacred red stains of the field notebooks of a modest surveyor who with vigor and determination, founded on an eminently patriotic ideal, opened indelible furrows and planted in them the seed that with the passing of time would become the lush plant that is today an exponent of progress reached by the Argentine regions of the Chaco.

Silenced the impulse of the heart, I return to my historical-geographical account.

With the determination of the places and the marking of the lands that were to be the basis for the subsequent development of the Timbó and Las Toscas colonies, the first in front of Goya and the second in Bella Vista, which were colonial towns on the Paraná coast of Corrientes Half of the mission entrusted to the surveyors Seelstrang and Foster was completed in compliance with the provisions of the law of 1874.

The rest had already been done before, looking for an appropriate location for the other two colonies that should be traced respectively in front of Empedrado and Corrientes; But since in every human endeavor, no matter how tenacious will is used in its realization, at least some failure or hindrance, even partial, must be experienced, because it is a natural law that not all desire is achievable whose efforts from then I am now chronicling Overcome by insurmountable obstacles to the resources at their disposal, they also had their failure, being materially impossible for them to comply with Lynch's instructions regarding the colony and canton that should be traced in front of the town of Empedrado.

Twice they tried to defeat the Pira-how's navigation, whose current they had found was quite close to the coast. It was useless for them to wait for floodwaters that forcibly increased their flow and that the explorers observed on the Corrientes marker scale that he had placed there as well as in Goya, which accused up to 2 meters 20 centimeters above the average term of the heights observed until then in that locality. The Pira-cuá, regardless of its downspouts, had another genius defender of its mysteries and the virginity of its waters that the expeditionaries tried to violate no less than at the impulse of a noisy steam engine. That genius was made up of an endless tangle of subtle roots and stems and of the lush green litter of the "camalotaje", which extracted its vital sap from those waters, clasped with them in a loving embrace of powerful nature. One more proof of the truth of the adage that unity is strength. The camalote would be a very appropriate symbol to symbolize the solidarity that must always prevail among all the children of the Chaco, in order to ensure the prosperity and advancement of their land.

"It was impossible, simply say the surveyors in their report, to overcome the immense floating masses of camalotes that obstructed those streams in such a way that at some points they support the weight of a man, thus serving as a bridge to the few inhabitants of those lonely places" , and they added: "The attempt to explore that mysterious region through the upper mouth of the Pira-cuá in the arm of "La Barranquera" had the same luck, since being quite narrow, it was completely covered with aquatic plants, which was extremely sensitive because the firm coast is only three or four leagues from this entrance, following the course of the river".

That sentiment, simple and sincere expression despite the expeditionaries, is ratified when they conclude by saying: "With great feeling, therefore, the Commission was forced to abandon not only the recognition of such important waterways, but also at the same time, any idea of ​​being able to comply with the decree of the Excellency Government in the part referring to the layout of a colony in front of to the Empedrado".

Their brave spirits did not faint because of that, as evidenced by the fact of the later founding of the Timbó and Las Toscas colonies to which I have referred earlier. For the rest, they came comforted by having previously found an appropriate location for the colony they founded on the right bank of the Negro River, baptizing it with the suggestive name of Resistencia.

Let's go back to the prolegomena of this foundation, since of those colonies outlined in 1875 to 1876, it was Resistencia that prospered the most.

The expedition members sailed up the Rio Negro, upstream, up to a distance of almost 26 miles from its mouth in the arm of the Paraná, called La Barranquera.

They found that it was the most important river that penetrated into the interior of the Chaco, as evidenced by the fact that already at that time there were some valuable works on its banks, whose owners had chosen those places to establish them, not only due to its proximity to the capital of the province of Corrientes, located on the opposite bank of the Paraná River, but also, the surveyors say in their report, because of the advantages that "an exuberant nature" offers them for man's industry.

5 miles upstream of the Negro River, the explorers of 75 found some vestiges of the old chapel of San Buenaventura that in not remote times was founded in search of the conversion of Indians, whose chapel, located on the left bank of the river, at the The discovery of the few white settlers that at that time were exploiting some woods in the region in a primitive way, had been abandoned because the aborigines of the Vilelas tribe, who were its regulars and only concurrent, withdrew from its surroundings, disgusted because they did not gave them more cookie when they left mass. They were not satisfied with the holy water at the entrance; It was necessary to keep them addicted to worship, the eternal gift that makes the man of low morals, simulates feelings that he does not have, beliefs that he is empty and opinions that he will never share.

Three miles further up, the explorers marked some pretty ravines on the north shore of the river at a point they call "Cerrito" because of the elevation of the terrain; and continuing inwards, more or less at a distance of 11 miles from the mouth, after a navigation that the surveyors' report described as painful due to the excessive sinuosity of the river, they reached the port of San Fernando, "a large jetty of excellent woods that are brought to him or to La Barranquera from the works of the Center".

It was next to that port used by the generally unstable white settlers who were dedicated to exploiting wood, that the expedition technicians found the appropriate land to trace the colony immediate origin of the current capital of the Chaco, because after having traced the current from the Negro River 15 miles further inland from where they were forced to return because the little steam propeller could no longer work, imprisoned by the tenacious but thin threads of the great aquatic vegetation, they found that the banks were rising more and more, bringing them with it the evidence that they had reached the true land of the Chaco; and with regret, the surveyors say in their memory, they had to turn their backs on what they did not hesitate to describe as the "promised land."

Despite having found in that old port of San Fernando, where there was already a small nucleus of white population, the natural soil conditions to trace the colony that according to the law should be installed in front of the city of Corrientes, wanting to carry out its mission to fully aware exploring the entire northern area to the Bermejo River, they did research and study of other rivers and streams in the northern region of the Negro River.

This is how they also traced the current of the Tragadero River to a good extent, but not to where, according to them, the interest of science would have required. After navigating it for 15 miles, they had to go back, because the national steamer "Choelechoel" had given them too much, just 8 quarters, that for that aspect of the expedition had been provided by the then Governor of Chaco, Lieutenant Colonel D. N. Uriburu.

They then embarked on the navigation of the so-called "Ancho" river, a great arm of the Paraná, whose adjacent regions found completely abandoned and lonely. They described this river as the most beautiful on the entire coast of the Argentine Chaco, because it offered picturesque landscapes, always new and delightful to every block that the ship passed, following the elegant curves of its gentle course. The report adds that "nowhere is the mountain on the shore so beautiful, the vegetation so varied, nor the trees so tall and robust. An eternal spring seems to reign in the region."

The abandonment of these regions was due to the fact that at that time, the navigators of the Paraná preferred the shortest path that passes in front of the island of "Cerrito", and also because they feared the famous bank of the "Atajo", located in the northern extremity from the island, that bank where, at the time close to the War of the Triple Alliance, the Paraguayans tried to block the path that surrounded it, intentionally scuttling several boats.

They dedicated special attention to the study of the "Guaycurú" rivers, tributaries of the Ancho or Atajo "Quiá" and "Oro", tributaries in turn of Paraguay, whose channels were only unhappily able to navigate in the time of their waters down, without being able to do so later in times of floods that it was about to arrive, because, the expedition members say in their report, allowing themselves an irony that is certainly appropriate to the circumstances, "Later, when the state of the height of the waters had made it possible to study these important rivers, the funds available to the Commission were so low that it was not possible to think of making the necessary expenses to carry out such a thing."

It should not be forgotten that Argentina was in the midst of an economic crisis, in the so-called "Avellaneda Crisis" in the history of Argentine crises.

With respect to the Oro, Quiá and Guaycurú rivers, the expedition members ended up calling the attention of the Honorable National Government to these three waterways, because they declared themselves convinced that entering them in a future expedition, they would find beautiful and fertile lands, and above all , with easy and comfortable access to the mainland.

The important Bermejo River also fell under the study of surveyors, for whose navigation and reconnaissance they found serious inconveniences.

They reported that the numerous and rapid turns laid the waters with great violence in its concave part, threatening to throw the boat against the innumerable stumps that the annual floods deposited precisely in those points.

Once this danger was saved, they also found that of running the ship aground on the sandbanks that existed in the short direct stretches of the river over which the current had no fixed direction, therefore not indicating the narrow channel that, if it existed, cross the sandbar. That forced them at every moment to anchor and probe the waters that covered the banks before venturing out and risking the commission's steamer in such steps. They were only able to travel 26 miles in three days of sailing, and likewise, the ship left the company so seriously damaged in its hull by stumps, that a short time later it sank in the Goya stream.

Thus ended the epic, so to speak, of that almost unnamed little steamer that was hardly called "Luisita", which with its scarce keel was marking deep furrows through which the civilization and progress of the Great Argentine Chaco would later penetrate.

Let his remains rest on the bed of the great Paraná, in the assurance that dissolved by the action of time they became fertilizing particles of the river's silt, later reincarnating in some bright ceibo flower, a haughty red brushstroke in the greenery of some privileged island later formed by alluvium; and let's go back to the origins of Resistencia.

There, in the middle of the 17th century, when some of the missions founded in South America by the Jesuits "Fathers of the Society of Jesus" were already in full swing, reducing aborigines to Catholicism and improving their productive faculties by transforming them from the primitive economic regime technically designated by the name of "vagabond collectors" to that of "sedentary farmers and ranchers", they also extended their influence to the Chaco regions.

The reduction of the Mocoví tribe founded by the Jesuit Fathers with the name of "San Gerónimo del Rey" was renamed at that time, on the hill that forms in the northern part of the Cañada and Arroyo del Rey and on the lands waterlogged that extend to the current port of Reconquista, in the province of Santa Fe; and so was the reduction of "San Fernando", on the right bank of the Negro River, where today the prominent city of Resistencia is located.

The reduction of San Fernando had its time of prosperity during the Hispanic colony, because the tradition collected by the expeditionaries of 1875 attributed the existence in it of a large number of indigenous people who, under the direction of a few white Jesuits, dedicated themselves to work trading with hides, woods and other various products of the region.

The Lieutenant Governor Don Bernadino López Luján, one hundred years later, in 1760, left us a brief but interesting description of the reduction and town of San Fernando. By the way, when drafting it by order of Lieutenant General Don Pedro de Cevallos, he could not even suspect that this centennial reduction, just seven years later, in 1767, would disappear when he carried out orders from the Spanish Crown, its Governor of Río de la Plata Don Francisco de Paula Bucarelli, who was responsible for the expulsion of the Jesuits decreed by King Carlos III and his collaborator in the Conde de Aranda government. It is a great pity that the missionary establishments of the Fathers of the Company have not remained as temporalities in the power and under the administration of the State.

As a consequence of the estrangement of the Jesuits, the reduced Indians of San Fernando, lacking the spiritual influence of their former white leaders, were once again taken up by the virgin forest, returning to their former nomadic situation; but the memory and teachings about the convenience of the location of the place known by the name of San Fernando remained among the inhabitants of the then colonial town of Corrientes, which was so close, as evidenced by the fact that some of the whites established there, to settle temporarily in those regions to exploit woods that were of important industrial use.

Thus begins in the regions of the current seat of Resistencia, the time that we can call "The white workers".

During another century, although sporadically and without a true population center being constituted, perhaps due to the very proximity of Corrientes, some whites used the old Jesuit port of San Fernando on the Negro River, and that is how the members found it of the Exploration Commission of 1875-1876, who after ensuring the benefits of the region for the installation of one of the colonies ordered by the law of 1874, resolved to proceed with its delineation and layout, giving it themselves the name of RESISTENCIA as they say verbatim in their report, "due to the fact that a small number of men have resisted for quite some time, without protection from any government, the continuous threats of the aborigines. IN THIS BRIEF PARAGRAPH WE HAVE THE TRUE BIRTH CERTIFICATE OF THE CITY, EVEN WITH THE FORMAL ATTESTATION OF THE NAME THAT CORRESPONDED TO IT, a name that today it shows and should always bear in memory of those unknown inhabitants of the time that I call "The workers whites ", hard-working pioneers of the green desert of Argentina, who, although they were guided above all by the greed of the rich woods that they exploited, were admirable exponents of a human factor typical of a time when it was necessary to have a lot of decision, a lot of will and more courage, to expose life at every moment in a harsh environment like that of the Chaco at that time, and what is more, in the face of a very hostile indigenous population in an absolutely wild state.

Among those unknown and courageous San Fernando workers who acted during the century after the expulsion of the Jesuits, I am fortunate to be able to recall at least the last names of some of the very few established at the time when the expeditionaries arrived in those places of 1875, being able to cite only those of Seitor, Brignolli, Vázquez, Corci and Sicard; and one of those residents in particular, not only because of what is expressed in his respect in the report of the Exploratory Commission of '75, but also because of the memory that my father kept of him and the references that I recall that he made me adolescence sometime, citing him as one of the worthy Paraguayan warriors that he had met in his northern adventures. I'm referring to Colonel Don José M. Avalos.

From the report of the Commission I extract the following paragraphs that refer to it: "At present there is only from that reduction (that of San Fernando) the last remains of the Chapel in the fifth of Colonel Don José M. Avalos and the name of San Fernando with which the place is distinguished. The population of Colonel Avalos has ten comfortable rooms, with spacious sheds and a carpentry workshop; everything perfectly well arranged and ordered, causing astonishment to the traveler when he arrives at it, to find instead of the huts of the savages, which perhaps in his fantasy he imagined, a garden with precious flowers, which with a soft perfume make him understand that already in the Chaco is enjoyed in the joys of civilized life. It has a beautiful fifth of fruit trees with exquisite legumes (the population of Seitor also had it), which demonstrate with the admirable development they acquire, the great fertility of the land of Chaco, so benefited by nature and forgotten by men. A place like the one we have just mentioned, with such favorable antecedents, could not fail to attract the attention of the Commission, which carefully studied its topographic situation, the advantages it offered for agriculture and the communication routes that could be used to reach he, finally determining in view of the acquired data, choose it to establish in him THE FIRST COLONY IN THE NATIONAL TERRITORY OF CHACO". Afterwards, the places for the Las Toscas and Timbó colonies that I have referred to before were chosen.

Who was that Colonel Avalos who lived cultivating perfumed flowers within reach of the poisoned arrows of the Chaco aborigine?

It had to be some heroic military man used to danger and living facing it.

So it was indeed. Colonel Avalos was an eminent patriot who bravely fought in the Paraguayan War, contributing as the one who most avenged the affront that the tyrant Francisco Solano López infringed on our homeland in 1865, making us snatch the ship "25 de Mayo" in the port of Corrientes of our navy, with previous deceptive and treacherous greetings to hide the evil purpose, and immediately invading the territory of that province with numerous forces and violating our national sovereignty.

The refugee from San Fernando, was that same gallant Colonel who led to glory, under his command, the brave battalion that acted under the name of "First of Santa Fe" in the Paraguayan War and that was formed with the best of Rosario's youth, seriously punished in the bloody battle of Tuyutí that was fought on May 24, 1866, the eve of the national day, in which they received their baptism of fire, and that shortly after was decimated in front of the famous trenches of Curupaytí, at the In the extreme, the battalion having left Rosario with 375 seats, only many of them returned unharmed, although not without serious bruises, 197 soldiers and officers, as confirmed by a letter from Colonel Avalos himself, written in the Yataytí camp on October 10 1866. It was in that formidable assault on the trenches of Curupaytí, that the intrepid teenager from Rosario, who was barely seventeen years old, standard-bearer of the 1st Sub-Lieutenant Mariano Grandoli battalion, died for the homeland between the folds of the sacred insignia, imbibing it in his blood as if he wanted to cover with it the fourteen holes that the enemy's bullets had just produced. Thus we can still contemplate it, pierced and stained with the blood of the child hero of the Rosary, in the Historical Museum of the Federal Capital; And since the actions of the subordinates are generally a reflection of the behavior of the chiefs, the exemplary display of bravery of the Standard Bearer Grandioli, necessarily leads to deduce that of his Colonel, Don José María Avalos, whose moral portrait is exhibited in full In one of the last paragraphs of the aforementioned letter he wrote in Yataytí, in which, alluding to the Curupaytí assault, he says: "At this moment I have seen the General's part, we do not wonder that we are not mentioned, in that part we are unfortunate but even if nothing is ever said about what we do in the fulfillment of our duty, we will never stop filling it out. "

The letter to which I refer was addressed to the spectacular neighbor of Rosario, Don Antonio de Rosas, and is currently in the possession of a member of his family, Mr. Angel D. Alvarez.

That was Colonel Avalos from the memory of my father and whom he met ten years after Curupaytí, in 1875, resting his ignored laurels of a good patriot and a better military man among the flowers of his retirement from San Fernando, but upright in front of the Indian, as a precursor of the civilization that would soon dominate it. Justice has been done by giving its name to one of the avenues of Resistance, because that respectable citizen almost ignored by current generations, was an admirable exponent of the Argentine from before, a beautiful combination of civil and military heroism.

Regarding how the Resistencia colony was finally established in 1875, it only remains for me to relate the way in which the technical members of the expedition planned it materially.

On a total of 10,000 hectares, 96 fields, 148 lots of land and 100 city blocks were delimited, divided into plots of 50 meters in front by 50 in depth.

The streets of the town were drawn 20 meters wide, half way, and two wider streets, 30 meters wide, which intersected at right angles in the center of the main square.

Both the blocks destined to the formation of the town and the lots for farms, were located in the eastern end of the colony due to the higher elevation of the land and proximity to the ports that would tend to their better development.

The entire perimeter comprised by the layout of the town and the farms, was surrounded by an avenue 45 meters wide that separated it from the lots of farms. The farms, in turn, were separated from the town by another 30-meter street. The town blocks and fields were drawn in exact squares of 100 meters per side.

To the south and west of the perimeter of the farms, two lots of four blocks each were left free, destined to squares, and another one with the same object in the center of the town, leaving its central point marked in the geographical position of the 27º 27 '15 "south latitude and 59º 2' west longitude of Greenwich. Likewise, the town lots were destined for church, school, headquarters, jail, municipality and cemetery.

Whoever observes the city of Resistencia in its current state, cannot but note in its general appearance, the features that the surveyors who delineated it in 1875 drew.

At the time of the layout of the colony, the land occupied by the farms was quite undulating and crossed in all directions by streams, lagoons and estuaries that, according to the report of the Exploration Commission, occupied a good part of it. It was not considered then, as it is under the criteria of now, that this was a disadvantage. All on the contrary; Those canyons and lagoons assured the primitive settlers permanent waters that were inestimable, as those of the Negro River were brackish and impotent. There was no dreamed of a system like the current one for collecting water in the Paraná, which once clarified, is dumped even inside the houses by simply turning a tap.

Miracle performed by humanity in the last ages! Who knows what other precious things will emerge, perhaps shortly, from the very walls of our rooms!

The colony was crossed by a little stream without a name, which although it originated in the Negro river, because it received little water from it and much of the surrounding estuaries and streams, it was of fresh and drinkable water. That little stream then continued its course towards the southeast, to get lost in the humid lands of the "Palmar" that were already in contact with the Paraná.

The lands adjacent to the swamps and flooded that formed in the corners of the Negro River, were covered with pastures and were pointed out by the expeditionaries of 1875 as privileged places for raising ranches and wintering the animals that the colonists of the future could possess.

They indicated as apparent ports for the output of Resistencia products, that of La Barranquera, in the arm of the same name of the Paraná River, and that of San Fernando, in the Negro River, the first being 7,700 meters in a straight line from the town square, and only 1,800 the second.

They did not imagine, by the way, that despite its greater proximity, with the depth of its waters that allows the anchoring of vapors of a draft and tonnage unknown at that time and because a paved road between Resistencia and La Barranquera, like the one that now it exists, it would make the need to cross the floodwaters that at that time extended between both points completely disappear, making transit extremely difficult until it was impossible in times of flood.

It should be noted that the Commission stated in its report that it had been sensitive to not being able to locate the colony closest to the port where the delineation was made, because the land that is located between the colony and the aforementioned port.

Towards the southwest the existence of a good field with little forest was marked, so it was appropriate to extend the fields of crops, leaving an extensive palm grove towards the source that continued until almost facing the town of Empedrado, whose palm grove had specimens of extraordinary elevation.

Towards the northwest on the right bank of the Negro river, a high region with abundant forest that had been the most exploited at the time of the performance of "Los obrajeros whites", still had excellent construction wood "to entertain those who were engaged in their trade."

The report of the Commission, after stating that the Political Chief Don Aurelio Díaz was residing in the designated colony, having at his disposal part of a battalion of the line to guarantee the inhabitants of any advance that the natives intended to execute, as if by stimulating the immigration those distant and dangerous places, immigration that would have to mean the civilization and the mission in economic productivity of the same, concluded with the following paragraph: In a word, to conclude with the Resistencia colony, the first to be delineated in the national territory of the Chaco, we will add that immigrants who resolve to take advantage of the benefits that nature offers them so generously in the advantageous place where it is located, have a future flattering guaranteed, and they can count on finding all kinds of wood for the construction of their houses and corrals upon arrival, all kinds of wood for the construction of their houses and corrals; palms in abundance that will provide an excellent, lightweight, durable and inexpensive roof; pastures that leave nothing to be desired for their farms and farm animals; and a very fertile ground that will undoubtedly flatter the most demanding, the one who only waits to be furrowed by the plow handled by the industrious man, to repay his efforts with exaggerated generosity".

That beautiful cry of claim, more than a wake-up call, did not resound in vain about what the Chaco promised to every industrious man who wanted to establish his residence, that the worthy expedition members of 1875 said. This is proven by the fact that the first 25 inhabitants of the Chaco who occupied it in 1876, have already exceeded 300,000.

The 250,000 hectares planted with cotton that yielded a gross output of about 80,000,000 pesos in 1936; the ginning companies that already exceed a hundred; the fifteen cotton oil factories; the mills; sawmills; the exploitation of wood that also yielded in 1936, around 70,000,000 pesos; the million head of cattle that graze in their fields; the 10,000 tons of cane sugar produced in its factories; the formidable lead foundry in Puerto Vilelas, a port named after those Indians of the Chapel of San Buenaventura, who did not want to hear any more because they were denied the distribution of biscuits when they retired from the holy office; the railroads that cross the territory initiating on the earth itself with their rails the progress achieved in it; the more than two thousand ships that annually enter the port of La Barranquera, in whose customs the State collects more than half a million pesos in each period; the 330 primary schools outside secondary schools; the more than 40,000 students and 1,250 teachers who reflect the popular culture so necessary for the success of our democracy; the Model Prison; the Regional Hospital; and the 160 blocks paved with the money of its own inhabitants in the town, today the capital city, which was just outlined in the middle of the desert in 1875, are showing that those who then affirmed that the industrious man who decided to try those places were not lying, HE WOULD BE RETURNED IN HIS EFFORTS WITH EXAGGERATED GENEROSITY.

It seems like the repetition of the biblical miracle: a world was made from nothing. And now that we already have the essential raw material for the human factor of production that just sixty years ago was almost completely lacking, a human factor that is happily distinguished by the dynamism, strength and diligence of its components, it's much easier to predict a great future for the already next new Province of the Argentine coast.

I'm finishing this modest work on a piece of contemporary national history, to satisfy an intimate spiritual need to associate in some way and even if only before myself, to the celebration of the centenary of the birth of Dr. Nicolás Avellaneda, which was fulfilled this year; Because although it was other Argentines who exposed their health and life in the military campaign to conquer the desert from the south to the Negro River of the Government of the same name, and in the scientific conquest campaign of the Chaco desert to the Bermejo River, to the north, it was during his great presidency, in the times so aptly called "Epoch of the great laws", that he wisely seconded by the prominent Santa Fe Dr. Simón de Iriondo, his illustrious Minister of the Interior and great connoisseur of the needs of the north of its province whose small white population also lived ravaged by the savage, which considerably widened the borders of civilization in our homeland.

Men as cultured as Avellaneda and Iriondo, must have felt oppressed to the unspeakable by the proximity of the Indian women; and in a happy moment of determined purpose, a simple shaking of their minds concerned with the ghost of the uncivilized desert, like that of one who elbows to get rid of the mob that surrounds him, was enough for them to be able to spread with arms and united sciences, the dominion of the soil of our country, thus contributing to give greater space to all the men of the world who would like to inhabit it as stated in the constitutional preamble of 1853, previously assuring them the peace and tranquility necessary for the best productive performance of their work.

I propose to those who come to learn of this historical-geographical monograph and who have a tendency to record the development of the Chaco, divide that history into three periods, which would be: 1, "The one of the Jesuit colonization" that would include from 1660, until 1767, year of the completion of the Missions of the Company of Jesus; 2, "La de los obrajeros Blancos", from 1767 to 1875, year of the delineation of the Resistance colony; and 3, "That of the Argentine colonization", from 1875 to the present day.

In the already great, and why not say so, famous Argentine Republic, whose civilization and undisputed advancement stand out with clear profiles among the countries of Western culture, it's time that the development of its different regions began to be recorded, and the performance of who were the meritorious citizens, military or civilians, who despite having made an effort to strengthen the homeland after passing their first stages of birth to life independent and nationally organized, they still remain anonymous.

For illustration and example of future generations, now that the memories are still alive and that one can even appeal to the saying of eyewitnesses of responsibility, every true Argentine should consider himself obliged to relate what he knows of the country's history that has not yet been vulgarized. For my part, I consider it a duty of patriotism, and that is why I launch my modest seed into the air, for the possible use of the community.

ROSARIO, October 1937.


Ricardo I. Foster died on June 17, 1959 in Rosario, Santa Fe Province, after an extensive professional career, and his remains rest in the same city.


  1. Ricardo I. Foster, Doctor of legal sciences, Provincial Deputy for Santa Fe 1934-35, and Minister of Public Instruction from 1935 to 1937.
  2. Leoni, María Silvia. (2005). Historia y Construcción de Identidades en el Territorio Nacional del Chaco. Page 18. September 20-23, 2005. Accessed October 17, 2019.
  3. Census of 1895 in Buenos Aires, Argentina: "Ricardo Foster and Ponsati, from Argentina, 14 years old, student, can read and write." Foster research ®
  4. Deaths and Burials (FamilySearch Historical Records).
  5. Irish Genealogy and offspring of the Marriage Richard Foster and Amalia Kagel. Published on October 8, 2009.
  6. Quién es Quién en la Argentina, 1955. ​(Editorial Guillermo Kraft Limitada).
  7. Official Record of 1852-1856, Buenos Aires, Argentina 1882.
  8. Quién es Quién en la Argentina, 1955. (Editorial Guillermo Kraft Limitada).
  9. El Litoral de Rosario newspaper, Santa Fe, Argentina. Page 2. Saturday, May 2, 1936.
  10. El Litoral de Rosario newspaper, Santa Fe, Argentina. Thursday, December 19, 1935. Accessed October 17, 2019.
  11. EL ORDEN, Saturday, May 2, 1936 | EL LITORAL, Sunday May 3, 1936.
  12. Los usos del pasado en "el desierto verde". Historia y construcción de identidades en el territorio nacional del Chaco. Leoni, María Silvia (2005).
  13. Ricardo Foster. Contribución a la Historia del Chaco (Exploración de 1875-1876 y fundación de Resistencia. Rosario, s/e, 1939, p. 3.


  • Guillermo Kraft (1955). Quién es Quién en la Argentina, Editorial Limitada.
  • Foster, Ricardo (1939). Exploración de 1875-1876 y Fundación de Resistencia.
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