Letters from the Battlefields of Paraguay/Introductory Essay

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SECTION I. INTRODUCTORY ESSAY: PARAGUAYEdit

I HAD intended to spare my readers the mortification of -■- readings and myself of writing, this essay. Returning^ however^ to England, and once more restored to civilized society, my astonishment was great to find the extent of ignorance touching what has been called " La Chine Americaine'^ — both grow tea, but that is their chief point of resemblance. I was mortified to see the want of interest attached to perhaps the most remarkable campaign fought during the present century, and I applied myself during my six weeks of leave to find out the cause of the phenomenon.

It proved on inquiry, that after the interest of Dr. Francia faded away, Paraguay had dropped clean out of general vision. Many, indeed, were uncertain whether it formed part of North or of South America; and it is, I need hardly say, impossible to take any interest about the fortunes of a race whose habitat is unknown. Moreover, the periodicals of Europe, wanting, like their public, accurate topographical knowledge of the scene of action, managed to invest a campaign whose grand movements are simple in the extreme however complicated by terrain may be its details, with a confusion that lacked even the interest of mystery. Hence most readers of journals have, during the last four years, studiously avoided leaders, articles, or intelligence headed " Hostilities in the River Plate,^"* and in so doing they were justified.

This Essay proposes to itself an abstract of the geography and the history of Paraguay, compressed as much as possible without being reduced to a mere string of names and dates.

And first of the word " Paraguay,^ which must not be pronounced ^' Paragay.^^ The Guarani languages, like the Turkish and other so-called ^' OrientaP^ tongues, have little accent, and that little generally influences the last syllable : a native would articulate the name Pa-ra-gua-y.*

For this term are proposed no less than nine derivations.

" Paraguay ,^ says Muratori (p. 92), " means ^ River of feathers,^ and was so called from the variety and brilliancy of its birds .^^

" Paraguay ,^ says P. Charlevoix, " signifies ^ fleuve couronne,^ from Para, river, and gua, circle or crown, in the language of the people around the Xarayes lake, which forms as it were its crown. ^

"Paraguay,'"* says Mr. Davie (1805), "would signify ^variety of colours,' alluding to the flowers and birds. Para, in fact, may mean ' spotted,' as in the name Petun Para, the speckled tobacco familiar to all Paraguayan travellers."" Mr. Wilcocke (1807), who borrows without acknowledgment from Davie and other authors, echoes " variety of colours."


  • " Y " is written in the Tupi or Brazilian dialect, " ig," or " yg."

The sound, somewhat like the French " eu " in " eut," for instance, was and is still, a shibboleth for foreigners. We find, by a curious coincidence, which of course has no serious etymological significance, the Celtic Gauls expressing water by the terminal "y," for instance in vich-y = vich (strength or virtue) and " y," water.


INTRODUCTORY ESSAY. 3

" Paraguay/' says D. Pedro de Angelis (1810)^ " must be translated, the River running out of the lake Xarayes, celebrated for its wild rice. The derivation would be Para, sea, gua, of, and y, water/'

"Paraguay," which in some old MSS. is written Paraquay, says Rengger, " is simply ' sea-water hole,' from Para, the sea, and qua-y, water- hole."

" Paraguay," says popular opinion, " merely expresses water of the (celebrated) Payaguaor Canoe tribe of Indians, corrupted into Paragua by the first Spanish settlers." *

" Paraguay," says Lieut. -Col. George Thompson, C.E., "is literally, ' the river pertaining to the sea' (Para, the sea, gua, pertaining to, and y — pronounced ii — river or water) ." Colonel Thompson, I may here remark, is spoken of as an excellent Guarani scholar, and he has prepared for publi- cation a vocabulary of that interesting moribund tongue.

An eighth derivation, for which there exists no authority, is " Water of the Penelope bird" (the Ortalida Parraqua, still common on its banks).

Without attempting to decide a question so disputed by authorities so respectable and so discrepant, I would observe, that even as late as 1837, a tribe of Guaranis had for chief one Paragua; that such names have been handed down amongst them from extreme antiquity; and that, both in Portuguese and in Spanish America, the conquerors often called geographical features after the caciques whom they debelled or slew. Paraguay therefore, may mean the river of (the kinglet) " Paragua."

It is not easy to treat of the topography and geography of Paraguay. Some portions, — for instance, the Paraguay river and the Parana to the parallel of Villa Rica, and even to the rapids of La Guayra — have for three centuries been travelled over and surveyed. On the other hand, the most tropical division of the Cordillera, which, runniDg north

1—2


4 INTRODUCTORY ESSAY.

from Villa Rica to the Apa River^ traverses the Republic like a dorsal spine^ may be pronounced to be in parts com- pletely unknown.

The limits of the Republic are undetermined ; upon this subject she has differences with all her neighbours^ — with Brazil_, with Bolivia^ and with the Argentine Confederation. A detailed history of these disputes would fill many a volume. She claims to extend between S. lat. 22° 58' and 37° 50' j and she traces her frontier up the Parana after its confluence with the Paraguay River to the Cordillera of the Misionesj thence to the line of the S. Antonio Mini till it falls into the River of Curitiba, then again bending west- ward up the Parana, and more westward still up the Ivenheima affluent (so called by the Brazilians, the Igurey or Yaguarey of the Spaniards), and finally over the moun- tains to the valley of the Rio Blanco (S. lat. 21°). Westward the limitation remains for adjustment with Bolivia, and to the southwest the Rio Bermejo separates the Paraguayan from the Argentine Republic. This demarcation, including the disputed territory between the Rio Blanco and Rio Apa (the Crooked Stream alias Corrientes) and others, in- volves a trifle of square 860 leagues.

Under these circumstances, as may be imagined, the area of the Republic is a disputed point. I will briefly cite the extreme views of other authors.

Messrs. Rengger and Longchamps (1825) allow to her 10,000 square leagues.

Mr. Demersay^s estimate is :

Square Leagues. Lands between the Parana and Paraguay Rivers . . . 10,413

Ditto ditto in Grand Chain 16,537

Ditto the Parana and Uruguay Rivers . . . 1,820


Total square leagues . 28,770*


  • These are square Spanish leagues=26,759 French, or 26,935 of 25 to

the deyrree.


INTRODUCTORY ESSAY. 5

Colonel du Graty conjectures the extent of the Republic to represent a total of square Spanish leagues 29,470 — viz.,

Land east of the Paraguay River . . 11,123

Land west ditto . . 16,537 (purely fanciful).

The Misiones claim 1,820

Of these vast areas, only 2500 square leagues are supposed to be inhabited, cultivated, or used for cattle breeding.

We may concisely lay down the limits of Paraguay thus : the river of that name and the Gran Chaco limit the west, the Parana bounds the east and south, separating her from the Argentine Confederation; and northwards begins the Brazilian Empire. The parallelogram admits of two great divisions : the northern is a mountainous mass averaging, as far as is known, 1200 metres above sea level ; the southern is a delta or doab, in places lower than the two rivers which form it. Between the two is a middle part, called the " Cordilleritas,-'^ rarely exceeding in height 120 metres ; and here, the uplands fall into the lowlands. Such, for in- stance, are the Campos Quebrados (broken prairie), north of Asuncion; the Altos'^ about Paraguay and Asciirra, one of the places where Marshal President Lopez established his guerilla head quarters; and the "Lomada"" — a continuity of "Lomas,^^ or land-waves, immediately south of Asuncion.

The northern mountain-masses are conjectured to be of trap formation, and to inosculate with the Highlands of the Brazil, especially with the Serra do Espinha90, whose out- lines extend to the Andine system. The trend is laid down as quasi-meridional; the Oriental slopes are the more abrupt, and the ridge divides the Republic into two planes. Thus there is a double watershed of about equal areas, E.S.-eastward to the Parana, W.S.-westward to the Paraguay, and the streams are unimportant. The Cordillera is supposed to rise in Matto Grosso, about S. lat. 19°, under the names of Sierra de Amambay (the Tupi Samambaia, or poly-


6 INTRODUCTORY ESSAY.

podium), de S. Jose or de Maracaju (the Jesuits' Mbaracuyu, the Passion Flower). Running with southerly rhumb it fines off into a dos d^ane, under the names of Nabi- leque, Caa-guazu (large Yerba), and Cuchilla Grande, the divortium aquarum which throws ofi* the Tebicuary River. It then sinks into low hills some six miles north of the line of railway ; whilst the main ridge diverging to the east, forms, where traversed by the Parana River, the Rapids south of La Guayra. Finally, entering the Brazilian provinces of Parana and S. Paulo, it inosculates with the Eastern ghauts, the Serra do Mar; and in the south-east it joins the Cordillera of Misiones. This mountainous sec- tion of the Republic, deeply cut by streams and torrents, abounds in game, and is rich in primaeval forests of valuable timber : the savage Redskins, however, still hold possession of the land, and exploration will be costly, if not perilous.

The remainder of the republic is an expanse of drowned Savannahs lying between the two mighty rivers, and it is believed that the western half, drained by the Paraguay, is on a lower plane than that discharging into the Parana. The ground much resembles the Gran Chaco, an alluvial detritus from the Andes, filling up the great basin of Pampas formation. Here is supposed to grow the Abati Guaniba or wild maize,* and this is said to be the home of the Ombii Fig, as the mountains are of the Araucaria (Braziliensis) pine. I need not now describe the features of the land to which my diary will lead me.

As regards her political distribution, Paraguay consisted


  • Old writers give four kinds of maize in these regions: — 1. Abati

nata, a very hard grain. 2. Abati moroti, in Tupi " Marity" (means shining), a soft and white grain. 3. Abati mini, a small grain which ripens after a month. 4. Bisingallo, an angular and pointed grain, which gives the sweetest flour.


INTRODUCTORY ESSAY. 7

ill 1857 of twenty-five departments^ including one in the Gran Cliaco, and the other on the left bank of the Parana River. Each of these divisions had one or more towns, villages, or chapels, with a military commandant, a juge de paix, and a curate. The capital is Asuncion, numbering some 12,000 souls, which anchors raise to 15,000, to 21,000, and Colonel du Gratz to 48,000. Other places of name are El Pilar, which we shall visit, Villa Rica, a pauper central set- tlement in the richest lands, hence generally known as Villa Pobre, and differing little from the various Pueblos, Pueblitos, and Capillas, south of the Tebicuary. It lies in south latitude 25° 47' 10, and west longitude 56° 30' 20", some 323 feet above Asuncion, and 580 higher than Buenos Aires. Villa Real is built on the river eighty leagues above Asuncion. Twenty leagues further is Tevego, now Fort Bourbon or Olympo, the " Botany Bay of Dr. Francia ; and there are sundry minor places, as Encarnacion on the Parana, and La Villeta, S. Pedro, and Concepcion on the Paraguay, rivers. These are dignified with the pompous titles of cities and towns. They are mere villages and hamlets.

Where the limits of a country are not accurately laid down we know what to think of its census. Moreover, the case of Paraguay is complicated by the admission or non-admission of the so-called " Indian " element. We" must therefore not be astonished to find that, about the beginning of the war, the extremes of estimate varied be- tween 350,000 and 1,500,000.

In 1795 the accurate Azara gives the official census as 97,480 souls, including 11,000 ^'^ mission Indians.-*^ In 1818 Messrs. Rodney and Graham* report 300,000. In


  • Mr. (sometimes called Colonel) Graham, United States' Consul at

Buenos Aires, was sent to Paraguaj^ by Mr. Brent, American Charge d' Affaires to the Argentine Confederation. He was received with great suspicion, and he was long delayed at El Pilar.


8 INTRODUCTORY ESSAY.

1825 Messrs. Rengger and Longcharaps suggest 200,000, of whom 800 only were whites or Spaniards. The Brothers Robertson (Jan. 1st, 1838) increase the figure to 300,000 souls, with a regular force of 3000 but never 4000 men. In 1839-40, the census of Paraguay, ordered by Dr. Francia before his death, numbers 220,000 souls, and this estimate is probably the most reliable. In 1848 General Pacheco y Obes* suggests 600,000 to 700,000 souls. In 1857 Colonel du Graty, probably including the Indians, exaggerates it to 1,337,449, whereas the vast Argentine Confederation had at that time about one and a-half millions. Since 1856 all children of strangers born in Paraguay have become by law citizens, but they are too few to be of any importance. In 1860 M. Demersay allows 625,000 souls, and after the calculations of Azara, 18,041 female to 16,753 male births. The book officially published in the same year, under the direction of the Paraguayan Government, increases the sum to 1,337,439, which at the beginning of the war, in 1865, would give in round numbers, 400,000. The "Almanac de Gotha,^^ in 1861, suggests 800,000, and this number is repeated by Captain Mouchez in 1862. On the other hand, the late Dr. Martin de Moussy unduly reduces it under official in- spiration to 350,000. Mr. Gould (1868) places the total between 700,000 and 800,000, justly remarking that there are no reliable data for the computation. He estimates the loss during the war at 100,000 men (including 80,000 by disease), and this would exceed the whole number of


  • "Le Paraguay, son Passe, son Present et son Avenir; par un

Etranger qui a vecu longtemps dans le pays. Ouvrage public ^ Eio Janeiro en 1848, et reproduit en France, par le General Oriental Pacheco y Obes. Paris : Lacombe. 1851." The general prefixed a preface to the work of a resident of more than six years' standing, probably a medical man.


INTRODUCTORY ESSAY. 9

the army at first levied.* The Times newspaper adopts the figure 600,000, with a fighting force of 20,000. And it is understood that Dr. Stewart and other officers tho- roughly conversant with the country, further diminish it to 400,000.

Colonel du Graty would make the population double in seventeen years ; but this formula is also officially inspired, and is probably greatly exaggerated. The population of Buenos Aires has trebled in twenty-five years ; but in her case there has been a most important influx of foreigners. Moreover, from the days of Azara, it has been believed that in Paraguay the births of the sexes are not equal. ' Un fait assez notable est la proportion plus forte des naissances du sexe feminin que celles du sexe masculin.^' (Du Graty, 265.) This peculiarity would doubtless be the effect of the hot damp climate of the lowlands aff'ecting the procreative powers of the male, and combined with the debauchery of the people, would, to a certain extent, tend to limit multiplication. We may, I believe, safely adopt the 220,000 souls of Dr. Francia's census in 1840, and double them for 1865, thus obtaining at most 450,000 inhabitants, of whom 110,000 would be fighters between the ages of fifteen and fifty-five, and perhaps 150,000 of twelve to sixty years old. It is evident that the male popu- lation must now be almost destroyed or deported. Since early 1865, marriages have been rare, and of late they have ceased to be contracted. Paraguay will presently be left with a population of some 200,000 women and children— our 1,500,000 of inutilized women are nothing to such propor- tions as these. Unless she establish polygamy her history is at an end.

The Paraguayan race may be divided into four dis-


  • Colonel Thompson, C.E. (Chap. Y.), computes the Paraguayan army

in April, 1865, at about 80,000 men.


10 INTRODUCTORY ESSAY.

tinct types. The few hundred " Whites ^^ forming the aristocracy of the land^ are descended from the blue blood of Spain and Biscay through Guarani and other red- skin women^ and they have kept themselves tolerably pure by intermarriage,, or by connexion with Europeans. The nobility, therefore, is Spanish ; the mobility is not. The mulatto or ^^ small ears " is a mixture of the white with the Indian or the Negro, the third and fourth breeds ; as usual, he is held to be ignoble : an " Indian^^ might enter the priesthood ; not so the mulatto. The same was the case in the United States, and in the Brazil — the instinct of mankind concerning such matters is everywhere the same. It is only the philanthropist who closes his ears to the voice of common sense.

It is a mistake to consider the Paraguayans as a homogeneous race. The Whites or Spaniards preponde- rated in and about Asuncion ; whereas at Villa Rica the " Indian element was strong. About 1600-1628, the " Mamelukes of S. Paulo having seized and plundered the nearest Reduction of Jesus and Mary in the province of La Guayra, distant only 900 miles from their city, the people fled to Central Paraguay, and their descendants, the Villa Ricans, are still known as Guayrenos. In the southern and south- eastern parts of the country the blood was much mixed with Itatins"^ or Itatinguays, a clan which also migrated from the banks of the Yi River to the seaboard of Brazilian S. Paulo. When independence was declared, the negroes who were household servants did not exceed 2000 — others reduce them to 1000. The Consular Government decreed the womb to be free, and forbad further import. Until very lately, however, slaves were sold in Paraguay.


  • Thej may be called so from their original settlements, Ita-tin, mean-

ing a white stone.


INTRODUCTORY ESSAY. 11

The Paraguayo — not Paragueno, as some travellers write the word — is, then^ a Hispano-Guarani, and he is, as a rule, far more " Indian'^ than Spanish. Most of the prisoners with whom I conversed were in fact pure redskins. The figure is somewhat short and stout, but well put together, with neat, shapely, and remarkably small extremities. The brachycephalic head is covered with a long straight curtain of blue-black hair, whilst the beard and mustachios are rare, except in the case of mixed breeds. The face is full, flat, a ad circular ; the cheekbones are high, and laterally salient; the forehead is low, remarkably contrasting with the broad, long, heavy, and highly-de- veloped chin ; and the eyes are often oblique, being raised at the exterior canthi, with light or dark-brown pupils, well- marked eyebrows, and long, full, and curling lashes. The look is rather intelligent than otherwise, combined with an expression of reserve ; it is soft in the women, but in both sexes it readily becomes that of the savage. The nose is neither heavy nor prominent, and in many cases besides being short and thin it is upturned. The masticatory ap- paratus is formidable, the mouth is large and wide, the jaws are strong, and the teeth are regular, white, and made for hard work. The coloration is a warm yellow lit up with red ; the lips are also rosy. In the " Spaniards," the complexion, seen near that of the pure European, appears of that bleached- white with a soup9on of yellow which may be remarked in the highest caste Brahmans of Guzerat and Western Hindostan. The only popular deformity is the goitre, of which at Asuncion there is one in almost every family ; the vulgar opinion is that all who suffer from it come from the uplands. Obesity is rare, yet the Paraguayan is ebrius as w^ell as ebriosus, and his favourite " chicha" beer of maize or other grains, induces pinguefaction. Until the late war, he was usually in good health. The only medicines known


12 INTRODUCTORY ESSAY.

to the country were contained in various manuscripts of simple recipes^ written by Sigismund Asperger, a Hungarian priest J who spent (says Azara) forty years amongst the missions of La Plata^ and who, after the expulsion of his order^ died, aged 112. The Paraguayan is eminently a vegetarian, for beef is rare within this oxless land, and the Republic is no longer, as described by DobrizhofFer^, the " devouring grave as well as the seminary of cattle.^^ He sickens under a meat diet; hence^ to some extent, the terrible losses of the army in the field. Moreover, he holds with the Guacho, that ^' Carnero no es carne^ — mutton is not meat. Living to him is cheap. He delights in masamora (maize hominy), in manioc, in the batata, or ^' Spanish potato/^ grown in Southern Europe ; in various preparations of cow^s milk^ and in fruity especially oranges. Of course he loves sweetmeats, such as " mel,^^ or boiled- down cane-juice, not the common drained treacle. His principal carbonaceous food is oil of " mani^^ — the Arachis, here the succedaneum for the olive — and the excellent fish of the Paraguay river : the latter aliment has of late years become an especial favourite, as the ready phosphorus- supplier to the brain, and " ohne phosphor keine gedenke.^' Concerning the Paraguayan character, authors greatly differ, though mostly agreeing that in some points it is singular and even unique. ^^ He is brave because he is good,^ said Mr. Mansfield, overjoyed to find a man and yet a vegetarian, free, moreover, from the " disgusting vice of shopkeeping.' " Un peuple vertueux et vaillant,^^ endorses General Pacheco. " Paraguayo,^^ is now applied by the Brazilian to a stubborn mule, to a kicking horse, or to a drunken man : the women give the name to their naughty children. On the other hand, the Spanish Paraguayans call the Brazilians " Rabilongos," the long-tailed (monkeys) ; and the Guarani speakers " Cambahis,^^ or niggers. In


INTRODUCTORY ESSAY. 13

Argentine land the Luso- American is always talked of as Macaco, the ape. Travellers have noticed the manifold contradictions of the national mind — such as its " Indian^' reserve mixed with kindness and seeming frankness; its hospi- tality to, and dislike of, foreigners ; the safety of the purse, not of the throat, throughout the Republic; and its ex- cessive distrust, mefiance, and suspicion, concealed by ap- parent openness and candour. Some of our countrymen employ Paraguayan captives as shepherds and labourers ; they are found to work well, but the man will, if possible, lie all day in his hammock or about the hut, and send his wife afield. Personally, I may state that in every transaction with Paraguayans — of course not the upper dozen — they invariably cheated or robbed me, and that in truthfulness they proved themselves to be about on a par with the Hindu. Even the awful Marshal President was not safe from their rascality.

It is pretended by his enemies that Dr. Francia, the better to sustain his despotism, brought about amongst a semi- Republican, semi-patriarchal race, a state of profound immorality, in the confined sense of the word, and that to the encouragement of low debauchery he added that of gambling. The fact is, he ruled the people by systematising the primitive laxity and the malpractices which he found amongst them ; and in autocracies generally, the liberty conceded to society is in exact inverse ratio to the strictness with which political latitudinarianism is curbed. Dr. Francia rose to power over a nation of ^vhom each member was profoundly satisfied with his family, his native valley, his country ; with his government, which he adored, and with his religion, to him the only one upon earth. The con- tempt of mankind was the beginning of his wisdom. He asserted, as do his friends, that Paraguay has no other fault but that of being the strongest and the most prudent of


]4 INTRODUCTORY ESSAY.

States, and that all who speak against her are actuated by mere envy and jealousy. A serf, the descendant of mere serfs — Yanaconas and Mitayos* — a fervent patriot more- over, the only freedom to which he aspired was that of morals. Everywhere the woman of Guacho-land takes a most matter-of-fact view of a subject into which most peoples of the world attempt to infuse a something of poetry and romance. Love is with her as eating and sleeping — a purely corporeal necessity. Like Rahel Varnhagen, she is constant : she always loves some one, but not the same. As everywhere in South America^ marriage is not the rule, and under Dr. Francia it was forbidden, or rather it was conceded under exceptional circumstances only ; this would tend to make of the whole race one great household, and to do away with onr modern limited idea of the family. Of course the women were faithful to the men as long as they loved them, and when that phase passed away they chose for themselves anew. Like the Brazilians, both sexes are personally clean, and the Paraguayan camps were ex- ceptionally so, but the people do not keep their houses in Dutch order.

The Paraguayan soldier has shown in this war qualities which were hardly expected of him. He has, in fact, de- stroyed himself by his own heroism. Most foreigners are of opinion that two Paraguayans are quite a match for three Brazilians. The enemies of the Marshal President assert that he forces his subjects to fight; that the first line has orders to win or fall, the second to shoot or bayonet all fugitives, and so forth till finally the threads are gathered together in one remorseless hand — this idea of


  • In the Encoraieiidas that belonged to laymen, the Yanacona system

made the "Indian" de facto a life-long slave. The Mitayo was a temporary Redskin serf who owed a " mita" or corvee of two months per annum to his feudal lord.


INTRODUCTORY ESSAY. 15

the triple line seems the invention of Ercilla's Lautaro. If a point be carried by the enemy, the Paraguayan officers are, it is said, " passed under arms,^^ and their wives and children flogged, outraged, and put to death ; the men are merely decimated. As will presently appear, the dis- cipline of Marshal President Lopez allows no mezzo termine ; with him it is fight or die, either bravely in the field, or if a coward, by the executioners^ shot in the back. The Paraguayan soldier has certainly fought, in his hatred of the sterile anarchy of the purer race, and in resisting the usurpations of his neighbours, with a tenacity of purpose, with a fierce intrepidity, and with an impassible contempt of death which do him the highest honour. On the other hand, he is a savage who willingly mutilates the corpse of his enemy, and hangs strings of ears to the shrouds of his ship. The secret of his success is, that he holds himself single-handed a match for any half-dozen of his enemies. The secret of his failm-e is, that his enemies have divined him. Thus, when he attacks in bodies of 7000, he is opposed by 20,000. In one notable point is the Paraguayan soldier de- ficient, and that is in intelligence. He wants initiative : his arm is better than his head. This is the inevitable result of the '^ Indian " being mixed with European blood ; and the same may be seen in the Chilian and the Peru^dan — good soldiers, but lacking brains. He despises pain, to which he is probably little sensitive, and he has not that peculiar ferocity which characterizes the people of the Pampas, as it does all the shepherd races of mankind. M. Alberdi said well, '^ Le desert est le grand ennemi de FAmerique, et dans un desert, gouverner c^est peupler.^^ Man who lives with beasts rapidly brutalizes himself. A single day in the Guacho^s hut suffices to show how his cruelty is born and bred. The babies begin to " balF^ and lasso the dogs, cats, and poultry, and the little boy saws at the lamVs neck with a blunt


16 INTRODUCTORY ESSAY.

knife, little sister the while looking on amused. From lambs to sheep, to black cattle, and to man the steps are easy.

Paraguay instances the truism, that you may learn reading, writing, and the four first rules of arithmetic, yet you may know nothing. The Commonwealth had, according to Colonel du Graty, 500 primary schools, and a total of 20,000 pupils. The census of 1845 registered 16,750 male pupils, which, ac- cording to the proportions calculated in the United States, represents ^th of male population — this remark was made by M. T. M. Lasturria (Chilian Minister to the Platine Republics and the Brazilian Empire) . Assuming Azara^s computation regarding the diflPerence of sexes, 16,750 boys would be the equivalent of 18,041 girls who are not educated. Since 1861 the justices of the peace were ordered to send to school all children between nine and ten who had no excuse for staying away. Each district had its school, but only those of the principal places were subsidized by the State. The usual pay tcTthe teacher was one riyal (sixty-five cents) per month irregularly paid by paterfamilias ; consequently the school- master was despised almost as much as amongst the gold diggers of Australia.

Instruction was made, as everywhere it should be, — an- other truism — elementary, compulsory, gratuitous, universal. Unfortunately, it was not made purely secular. As usual in South America, Paraguay indulged herself in the luxmy of a State religion — namely, the Catholic, Apostolic, and Holy Roman, modified by the presence of a second and a stronger Pope, in the shape of a President. The amount of religious instruction was, however, confined to the " Chris- tian doctrine,^^ an elementary catechism learned by heart ; in fact, they acquired theology enough to hate a heretic neighbour, without knowing the reason why. No Para- guayan was allowed to be analphabetic — a curious contrast


INTRODUCTORY ESSAY. 17

with England and her two millions of uneducated children. The handwriting became so similar^ that a stranger would have thought the Republic confined to a single writing- master. But the educational element was completely sterile. The only books allowed were silly lives of saints^ a few volumes of travels, subsidized and authorized by the State, and hideous lithographs probably put on stone at Asuncion ; the worst and ignoblest form of literature once popular in " Bookseller's Row."*^ There was little secondary instruction, and only one institute in which superior teaching was at any time allowed. The newspaper, more potent than the steam engine, was there, but the organ of publicity was converted to Governmental purposes.

" II n^y a pas de Journaux a TAssomption,^^ says the Revue des Deux Mondes, with customary and characteristic veracity. As early as April 26, 1845, a weekly paper was established to refute the calumnies of the Argentine press. El Paraguayo Independiente was issued on Saturdays, but irregularly, by the Printing office of the State, and it was purely official, no advertisements being admitted, whilst the price per number was one riyal (65 cents). Some years afterwards it was judged advisable to modify it after a civilized fashion, to vary the matter, and to admit feuil- letons and announcements. It was still the official sheet, the Moniteur of the Republic, and it changed its name to El Semanario — the weekly — not as often written Seminario" — "de Avisos y conocimientos utiles J' It was published at the official capital, Asuncion, Luque, Paraguary, or wherever head-quarters might be ; forming a single sheet, 2 spans long, by 1-30, printed upon Caraguata fibre. This wild Bromelia makes a stiff" whitey-brown paper, good for wrapping, but poorly fitted to receive type, especially when the ink is made from a species of black bean. The first two columns are the ^' seccion officiel "' and the rest is '^ no

2


18 INTRODUCTORY ESSAY.

officiel j " at times a little Guarani poetry appears at the end. The single number costs four riyals, or twelve = three dollars. August^ 1868^ saw its sixteenth anniversary. El Semanario is published purely under Governmental inspi- ration, hence the perpetual victories over the Brazil, and the superhuman valour of the Marshal President. It is said that the copies forwarded to the out stations are ordered, especially since paper became so scarce, to be read, and to be returned. A complete set of Semanarios will be necessary to the future historian of the war, and they will not be easily procured.

The Cabichui newspaper, translated Mosquito, or Mouche k Miel, is a kind of Guarani Punch or Charivari, established by Marshal President Lopez, to pay off in kind the satirists and caricaturists of Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires, and printed by the Army Press. I saw but one number, bearing date year 1 Paso Pucu. The paper was of Caraguata, prepared by M. Treuenfeldt of the Telegraph Office, and the size 1|- span long by 1 broad. The single sheet begins with a vignette of a Sylvan man surrounded by a swarm of brobdignag flies, like the Gobemouche sketched by French children. It has an almanac for the week, sundry articles, all political, and caricatures of the Emperor and Empress of the Brazil, the Triple Alliance, Marshal Caxias and his army, and Admiral Inhauma with his iron-clads. The illustrations, drawn by some amateur military Rapin, and cut in wood, are rude in the extreme, but they are not more unartistic than was the Anglo-Indian Punch in my day. The Lambare is published only in Guarani for the benefit of those who cannot enjoy Spanish. The Continela was in Spanish, with an occasional Guarani article. Thus ^^ il n^ a pas de journaux ^^ means that there are four.

The commerce of Paraguay is nominally free, but the Government, that is to say, the President, owns more than


INTRODUCTORY ESSAY. 19

oue-half of the surface of the republic, and is, like the old Imam of Muskat, the strongest and the most active of merchants. The country is, in fact, a great estancia of which the chief magistrate acts proprietor. The so-called public property supported about 300,000 head of cattle, and thus the army was easily rationed ; it also bred poor horses for the cavalry, the Paraguayan being an equestrian race, but not so notably as the Guacho of the Pampas, the Centaur of the south. An absolute Government, a supreme authority, buys from its subjects at the price which best suits it; sells the produce, and employs means to maintain a certain level of fortunes ; thus the Krumen of the West African coast temper riches ("too plenty sass"), which would give the individual power and influence unpleasant or injurious to his brother man. The rudimental agriculture, in which a wooden plough is used to turn up the loose soil, is limited to procuring subsistence, and even before the war began it was considered rather women^s work than men^s. The permanent military organization and the excessive armaments always carried off hands, whose absence, combined with drought and insects, rendered a surplus impossible. The following are the exports, and there is always a ready market for them down stream :■—

In 1846, when the present tariff of import dues was settled, Yerba or Paraguay tea was made a monopoly of Government, who bought it from individuals for $1 (f.) per arroba (251bs.), and sold it to the exporting merchants for $6 (f.)* The "herb was in fact gold in the presi- dential pocket, its superior excellence made it in demand throughout South America, and it promised to be an inex- haustible mine of wealth. By means of it only, Paraguay,


  • Lieut.- Colonel Thompson says that in his day Government piirchased

at one shilling per 25 lbs., and sold at 21-32*.

■2—2


20 INTRODUCTORY ESSAY.

comparatively rich thougli positively poor^ never had a public debt, and was not^ like the adjoining States^ whose revenues and expenses were unequal^ dependent upon foreign loans. At one time she was rich enough to assist deserv- ing citizens with small advances at 6 per cent. — economies effected by lessening her number of employes^ quite the reverse of her neighbours^ policy. The tobacco (petun)"^ has been compared with that of the Havannah^ and the similarity of the red ferruginous soils of Paraguay with the celebrated Vuelta de Abajo has not escaped observa- tion ; about 3,000_,000 pounds in bale and 6^000^000 cigars were the annual produce. The forests abound in admirable timber for building and bark for tanning — such are the Cebil and the Curupay. During the six months ending March, 1858, Paraguay planted 4,192_,520 ridges of cotton seed, and 195,757 shrubs and fruit trees : and in 1863 some 16,600,000 Cotton plants were set and the yield was 4000 bales. The cotton, except only the Samuhu or Nankeen, whose fibre wants cohesion, has length, force, and fineness, in fact, all the requisite qualities. Rice and sugar, wool and fruits, can be supplied in any quantities. Cochineal appears spon- taneously upon the Cactus ; the woods abound in honey, and the wild indigo has been compared with that of Guate- mala. Other rich dyes are the Yriburetima or " vulture^s leg^^ which gives a blue metallic tint, and the Acaugay root which stains scarlet. Leeches have been found, but they

  • As M. Demersay remarks, it is not a little singular that the Bretons

have preserved for tobacco the Guarani name " Pe-tun," which expresses the sound of the breath escaping from the lips. He quotes the couplet —

" Quant il en attrape quelqu'un De leurs chair il fait du petun."

It is a far better name than " tobacco," which means a pipe, or than the selfish " Angoulmoisine," proposed by Thevet of Angouleme, who for thirty-six years " navigua et peregrina.'* The modern Bretons, I believe, pronounce the word "butun."


INTRODUCTORY ESSAY. 21

are still sent from Hamburg to the Plate. The principal fibres are from tliePiassaba palm now becoming so well known in England, the Caraguata and the Ybira, fitted for ropes. The Caoutchouc of the Curuguati and the Cuarepoti moun- tains is called Atangaisi. The medical flora is rich in gums_, resins, and drugs ; for instance, the Oriissi, the Cana- fistula, the Copaiba, and the Aguaribay, popularly termed " Balm of the Missions. ^^ Some authors mention rhubarb, but I do not know to what plant they refer.

The imports comprised all things wanted by a poor and semi-civilized country : arms were in especial demand — the Paraguayans occupied Corrientes in 1849 solely in order to secure the free importation of warlike stores. Even lime was introduced, although there is abundance of it in the land. The other articles were mainly wet goods (wines and liqueurs) ; dry goods (silks, cottons, and broad cloths), and hardware. The Messrs. Ash worth, of Buenos Aires, supplied the stout baize for the use of the troops : since the beginning of the war that occupation has gone. The total value of the books imported in ten years Jiardly reached $3299, and of these, few if any treated of the arts or sciences, mechanics or industry.

There were four taxes in Paraguay which, in ordinary times, sufficed to support the commonweal. The tithes abolished by Dr. Francia were re-established by President Lopez I., " rillustre magistrat,' who gave impulsion to the Code of Commerce, perfected the financial system, and established a mint to stamp coin with the arms of the Be- public. He raised them in lieu of $1 on head of cattle sold ; of the " Alcabala, or 4 per cent, on yearly sales, and of the vexatious 6 per cent, on purchases from foreigners. The custom-house dues, as in the Brazil, w^ere of all the most important items of income, and this evil is apparently unavoidable in young lands. The demi-annatte or conceded


22


INTRODUCTORY ESSAY.


lands were made to pay 5 per cent, of their proper value^ not one-half, as in its unwisdom the old Spanish law di- rected. Lastly was stamped paper, which hrought in con- siderable sums : the highest class of $7 (f.) was used for patents of administration. As a rule taxation was exceed- ingly light,, and public works were paid for out of the treasury hoards or by the profits derived from Yerba.

A book published in Paraguay by " supreme" dictation, contains the following scale of imports and exports during the ten years of 1851-1860 :—





EXPOETS.




Impoets.


Years. Yerba, tobacco, hides, Wet goods, dry goods, wool, fruits, &c. iron ware, &c.


1851 . . . $341,616 . . . $230,907


1852




470,010


.



715,886


1853




690,480




406,688


1854




777,861


.


.


595,823


1855




1,005,900




431,835


1856




1,143,131




. 631,234


1857*




1,700,722




. 1,074,639


1858




1,205,819




. 866,596


1859t .




2,199,678




1,539,648


1860




. 1,693,904




885,841


10 years. Total $11 ,229,121


,379,107


In 1861 the total revenue was estimated at 8 millions of francs, about 4j millions resulting from the profits on Yerba, and the residue from the sale of stamped paper, public lands, and other taxes.

In 1862 the commerce of Paraguay was represented by exports $1,867,000, and imports $1,136,000.


  • Others estimate the revenue of 1857 at $2,441,323.

f It has even been asserted that in 1859 the export and import dues rose to 3,500,000 patacoons.


INTRODUCTORY ESSAY. 23

In 1863 by exports $1,700,000, and imports $1,148,000.

Under the senior Lopez the country was well pierced with roads, despite the many difficulties of " Cienega and swamp. Of these one, twelve leagues in length and fifty feet broad, was run over Mount Caio, and a second over Mount Palmares, thirteen leagues long. A third, numbering six leagues, and thirty-six feet broad, traversed the Cora- guazu, whilst a cart-road was commenced from Villa Rica to the Parana River, about parallel with the mouth of the Curitiba or Iguazii^s influent. A single pair of rails with sidings was proposed to run from Asuncion to Villa Rica, a distance of 108 miles. This line began in 1858, and was wholly the work of the Paraguayan Government : it had reached Paraguari, only a distance of seventy-two kilometres, when the allies captured Asuncion. The chief engineer was Mr. Paddison, C.E., now in Chili : that gentleman, fortu- nately for himself, left Paraguay before the troubles began, and he was succeeded by Messrs. Valpy and Burrell, who did not.


SECTION II.

HISTORICAL SKETCH.

The history of Paraguay — she never forgets that she is a province senior to her sister, the Argentine Confedera- tion — naturally divides itself into four distinct epochs, namely, the

Age of Conquest (1528-1620); the Period of Colonial AND Jesuitic Rule (1620-1754) ; the Government of THE Viceroys (1754-1810); and the Era of Indepen- dence (1811).

Discovered by Sebastian Cabot, who in 1530, after a navigation of three years, returned to Europe, Paraguay


24 INTRODUCTORY ESSAY.

was granted by the Spanish monarchs to ^'^ Adelantados^ or private adventurers,, men mostly of patrician blood, " as good gentlemen as the king, but not so rich/" This is the romantic period, the childhood of her annals, upon which the historian, like the autobiographer, loves to dwell : no new matter of any interest has, hoAvever, of late years, come to light. We still read, in all writers from Robertson to the latest pen, of the misfortunes that befel D. Pedro de Mendoza ; of the exploits of his lieutenant, D. Juan de Ayolas, who on August 15th, 1537, founded Asuncion; of the wars, virtues, and fate of Alvar Nunez (Cabeza de Vaca), against whom his contador, or second in command, the vio- lent and turbulent Felipe Caceres, rebelled ; of the conquest of D. Domingo Martinez de Irala, who settled the colony ; of the subjugation of the Guaranis by the Captain Francisco Ortiz de Vergara, for whom the audience of Lima substi- tuted D. Juan Ortiz de Zarate ; of the lieutenant-governor- ship of the double-dyed rebel Felipe Caceres, who had again revolted against Vergara, and who expiated his offences by imprisonment and deportation to Spain ; and lastly, of the chivalrous career of the valiant Biscayan, D. Juan de Garay, who after conquering and settling an extensive province perished miserably (1581) by the hands of the ignoble Minuano"^ savages. Thus by conquest and violence arose a state which was doomed to fall, in the fulness of time, bathed in its own blood.

As early as 1555 Asuncion became the seat of the first diocess : its juniors were Tucuman, originally established at Santiago-dcl-Estero, and transported to Cordoba in 1700; Buenos Aires, founded in 1620; and lastly Salta, in 1735. From the beginning, as in the days of Dr. Francia and


  • The word is generally written " Minuane," but I am assured by

Mr. R. Huxham, of the Hio Grande do Sul, a competent judge, that Minuano is the correct form.


INTRODUCTORY ESSAY. 25

the two Lopez, the spiritual was made subordinate to the temporal power. Ferdinand the Catholic obtained from Pope Alexander VI. the right of levying chureh tithes, upon the express condition of Christianizing his own hemisphere. Shortly afterwards (1508) Julius II. made over to him the entire patronage of ecclesiastical interests. Such concessions created the Spanish kings heads of the South American Church, and proprietors of her property ; the Chief Pontiff confirmed all their appointments, and Papal Bulls had no power in their colonies unless sanctioned by the Consejo de Indias. The first oath of the Bishop elect was to recognise the spiritual superiority, and to swear that he would never oppose the prerogative [patronato real), of his sovereign. In other points the ecclesiastical hierarchy was placed on the same footing as in Spain : the prelates received a portion of the tithes, whilst the rest was devoted to propagandism, and to the building of churches.

The government of the Adelantazgo of private adven- turers — the era of conquest and confusion — was succeeded by the norm of order, and by the despotism laical and clerical of the parent country. A royal decree in 1620 divided Paraguay into two governments, completely independent of each other. The first was Paraguay Proper : the other was the Rio de la Plata, which thus ob- tained her own capital, Buenos Aires, and the seat of her bishopric. To both colonies a king irresponsible by law gave laws and functionaries. Both Paraguay and the Argen- tine Provinces were governed for more than two centuries by the Vice-royalty of Peru, and the '^Audience of Charcas,^' whose only peer was then that of Nueva Espaiia.

It was at this period that the Society of Jesus obtained permission to catechize the indolent, passive, receptive child-men called Guaranis. They were rather barbarians than savages like the nomads of the Pampas j they culti-


26 INTRODUCTORY ESSAY.

vated maize and sweet potato^ tobacco and cotton, and they had none of the headstrong independence that cha- racterizes the Gaucho or mixed breed. Philip III. having, by his decree of 1606, approved of the project to propagate the faith, allowed two Italians, Simoni Mazeta and Giuseppe Cataldino to set out (December 8, 1609) en route for the colony of La Guayra, where some Spaniards had settled and had laid the foundations of future empire. The Jesuits began to form their rival government in the regions to the east and south-east of the actual republic, the fertile valleys of the Rivers Parana and Uruguay ; and between 1685 and 1760 they established the Misiones or Reductions of Paraguay. The whole Guarani Republic, for it might so be called, contained thirty-three Pueblos or towns. Of these, seven, now hopelessly ruined, lay on the left bank of the Uruguay River ; fifteen, also destroyed, were in the modern provinces of Corrientes and Entre Rios ; and eleven, of which remnants of church or chapel still exist, were in Paraguay Proper, that is to say, north of the Great River. These thirty-three Reductions numbered at one time 100,000 souls and 743,608 head of cattle.

It is a popular error to suppose that all Paraguay was occupied by the Jesuits ; their theocracy extended over but a small portion of the modern Republic ; on the other hand their influence flew far and wide. In the west and about Asuncion was the civil government, one of pure immobility as regards progress, and occupied only by contemptible wars, civil and foreign. The clergy was in the last stage of corruption and ignorance, except when its own interests were concerned. New Spain alone numbered 15,000 priests. About 1649 South America supported 840 monkeries with enormous estates : a will that left nothiog to a religious house was held an irreligious act in those days, and even now the prejudice is not quite obsolete. Moreover, every


INTRODUCTORY ESSAY. 27

landed property was mulcted in impositions known as Capellanias. Its nunneries were equally wealthy, and most of them admitted only ladies of Spanish origin, thus foster- ing the spirit of aristocracy in the very bosom of religion.

It is interesting to see how, in the organization of those early times, we find adumbrated the system of Paraguay in the heart of the nineteenth century. Then, and not as vulgarly supposed with Dr. Francia, commenced the isola- tion which afterwards gave to Paraguay the titles of Japan and " Chine Americaine.^ Then began the sterile, extra- vagant theocratic despotism which made the race what it still is, an automaton that acts as peasantry and soldiery ; not a people but a flock, a servum pecus knowing no rule but that of their superiors, and whose history may be summed up in absolute submission, fanaticism, blind obe- dience, heroic and barbarous devotion to the tyrant that rules it, combined with crass ignorance, hatred of, and contempt for, the foreigner. Then first arose the oligarchy, the slavery of the masses, the incessant corvees which still endure, the regimentation of labour, and even the storing of arms and ammunition. Bearing this fact in mind, we have the key that opens many a fact, so inexplicable to the world, in the events of the last five years^ war.

The Jesuits appeared as Thaumaturgi, missioners and martyrs : in those days they headed progress and they strove to advance science, until the latter outstripping them, they determined to trip her up. Their system justified hunting- expeditions to catch souls for the Church ; and Azara has well described their ingenuity in peopling the Mission of San Joachim. By founding in every city churches and religious houses they monopolized education, beginning even with the babe, and by immense territorial property they rose to influence and power. The Guaranis, taught to hold themselves a saintly and chosen^ a privileged and


28 INTRODUCTORY ESSAY.

God-elected race, and delighted to be so patriarclially and caciqually ruled, prostrated themselves before the Fathers in body and mind ; looked up to them as dog does to man, and bound up in them their own physical as well as spiritual existence.

The Superior of the Missions being empowered by the Pope to confirm, bishops were not wanted. That high official usually resided at Candelaria, on the left bank of the upper Parana River. In each of the reduced villages was a ^' College^^ for two Jesuits — misite illos binos, the practice of the earliest Christian Apostles, was with them a rule as in Japan and Dahome. One charged with temporals was the Rector, Misionero, Cmxta or Curate ; the other, called Doctrinero or Companero, the Vice-Curate, managed spiritual matters. Each settlement also had its Cabildo or municipality, composed of a Corregidor, an Alcalde (magistrate) and his assessors; but as in the native corps of the Anglo-Indian army, these were native officers under command of the white strangers. The Fathers also decided, without appeal to the ordinary judges or to the Spanish tribunals, all cases civil and criminal; the only rule or law was the Jesuit^s will, and the punishments were inflicted through the Cabildos over which they presided. Presently the royal tithes and taxes were replaced by a fixed levy in order to avoid communication with the agent at the head-quarters of civil power.

A system of complete uniformity was extended even to the plan of the settlement and of the houses. Travellers in the Missions have deemed themselves victims of delusion when after riding many leagues from one Reduction they found themselves in a facsimile of that which they had left. All the settlements had, like the settlers, saints^ names. The normal plan was a heap of pauper huts clustering about a church of the utmost procurable magnificence, and


INTRODUCTORY ESSAY. 29

the establishments of the Fathers were in the church, not in the hut. The Jesuits were forbidden to converse singly with women or to receive them in their home ; but Jose Basilio da Gama and their other adversaries declare that most of them had concubines and families.

The community was a mere phalanstery. The Guaranis w^ere taught by their Fathers to hear and to obey like schoolboys, and their lives were divided between the chapel and farm work. Their tasks were changed by Jesuit art into a kind of religious rejoicing, a childish opera. They marched afield to the sound of fiddles, following a pro- cession that bore upon the Anda or platform a figure of the O^oTOKog ; this was placed under an arbour, whilst the hoe was plied to the voice of psalmody, and the return to rest was as solemn and musical as the going forth to toil. This system is in fact that of the Central African Negro — I have described the merrymakings which accompany the tilling of Unyamwezi and the harvest-home of Galla-land. The crops of yerba and tobacco, dry pulse and cotton, cut with the same ceremony, were stored with hides, timber, and coarse hand-woven stuff's, in public garners under the direction of the Padres. After feeding and clothing his lieges. King Jesuit exported the remains of the common stock in his own boats, and exchanged it at Buenos Aires for the general wants — hardware, drugs, looms, agricultural implements, fine clothes to be given as prizes, and splendid stuff's and ornaments for the Chm-ch. No Guarani could buy or sell ; he was, however, graciously permitted to change one kind of food for another. Feminine work was submitted to the same rule as masculine, and " Dii laboribus omnia vendunt'^ became strictly true, but only of the priestly purchasers.

In some Missions the toil was constant and severe, indeed so much so as to crush out the spirit of the


30 INTRODUCTORY ESSAY.

labourers. A curious report^ alluded to at the time by most Jesuitical and anti-Jesuit writers^ and ill-temperedly noticed by Southey^ spread far and wide — namely, that the Fathers were compelled to arouse their flocks somewhat before the working hours, and to insist upon their not preferring Morpheus to Venus, and thus neglecting the duty of begetting souls to be saved. I have found the tradition still lingering amongst the modern Paraguayans. Everything, pleasures as well as labours, meals and prayers, was regulated and organized by the Fathers. The saints day was duly celebrated with feasting, dancing, drinking, tournaments, bull-baiting, and cock-fighting ; in the simple, childish Indian brain religion consisted of fetes and processions. The ceremonies of worship and even the mode of entering church were made matters of etiquette. The Fathers wore their golden copes ; the children, robed in white, swung their censers, and the faithful paced in complacent ranks with measured steps under the perfumed shade of their orange groves. The description reads like a scene of piping and fiddling in a play. Dress was regulated — the women wore petticoats and armless chemises girt at the waist, with hair plaited into one or two tails and adorned with a crimson flower; the men were clad in ponchos and drawers ; both sexes looked like big babies, and they went barefoot, still the fashion of middle and lower class Paraguay.

Education in the Missions was, in the seventeenth century, what the Republic has preserved in the nineteenth. The Jesuits, whose university was at Cordoba in the modern province of Santa Fe, had their o\>ti printing-presses in the Reductions ; they were diligent students of the barbarous native dialects, which they soon advanced by means of grammars and vocabularies to the rank of semi-civilized tongues; they did the thinking for their converts, but they


INTRODUCTORY ESSAY. 31

taught them to read, to recite the Doctrina Christiana in Guarani, and to study certain books of piety. The people were forbidden to learn Spanish; and when the Inquisition put a rindex"' poor Robinson Crusoe (1790), doubtless because he managed to live so long without the aid of a ghostly father, we may imagine what must have been the Jesuitical succedaneum for education. To educate is to enfranchise, to enfranchise is to disestablish, or rather to disendow. We in England at least understand that, other- wise we should long ago have made education compulsory _, gratuitous, secular, universal.

The Jesuits established their system by the means most efficacious amongst savages, the grasp of the velvet-gloved iron hand. Their prime object was complete isolation, to draw a cordon between the Missions and the outer world ; even communication between the " Indians'*^ of the several Reductions was rarely allowed. It succeeded, this deadening, brutalizing religious despotism, amongst the humble settled Guaranis who were eager to be tyrannized over, and the tree planted by the hand of St. Ignatius began to bear its legitimate fruit in 1864. I need hardly say that the fruit is the utter extinction of the race, which the progress of mankind is sweeping from the face of the earth. When tried amongst the fiercer and more warlike nomads of the Gran Chaco the system was an utter failure. The Guaranis themselves made, as might be expected, so little progress in civil life that after the expulsion of the Fathers they found self-government impossible, and Sint ut sunt aut non sint^ seems to have been the clerical axiom. It was deemed necessary to organize under the Dominicans an imitative Jesuitism. The converts speedily relapsed into their pris- tine barbarism, and many of them flying the settlements returned to their woods and swamps.

The Missions of Paraguay have often been described — of


32 INTRODUCTORY ESSAY.

course in the two opposite ways. The Jesuit Charlevoix and the devout Muratori^ undeterred by qualms of con- science touching pious frauds, have given the rosy side of the view. And considered from the clerical stand-point, these Missions were the true primitive Christian idea of communism, the society presided over by Saint Paul, and the establishment which Fourier, Robert Owen, Mr. Harris, and a host of others have attempted to revive in this our day. Severe taskmasters, and carrying out propagandism by the sweat of their scholars^ brows, the Fathers made this world a preparatory school for a nobler future ; they crushed out the man that he might better become an angel, and they forced him to be a slave that he might wax fit for the kingdom of heaven. The learned and honest D. Felix de Azara (Vol. I. Chapter XIII.), who visited the Missions shortly after the expulsion of the Jesuits, and a host of less trustworthy and more hostile authors, show the reverse of the medal. The latest study upon the subject of the Jesuit Reductions is that of the late Dr. Martin de Moussy. Its geo- graphy must be studied with some reserve, but much of the historical matter was, I am assured, contributed by the literary ex-President of the Argentine Confederation, D. Bartholome Mitre.

In most writings, especially those inspired by the Jesuits, two remarkable features of the Missions-* system have either been ignored, or have been slurred over.

The first is the military organization which the preachers of a religion of peace and goodwill to man introduced amongst their neo-Christians. All the adult males were regimented; the houses were defended by deep fosses and stout palisades ; leave was obtained from Spain to manu- facture gunpowder and to use fire-arms, and when these were wanting the converts were armed with native weapons. The ostensible cause was the hostility of the " Mamelucos,'-'


INTRODUCTORY ESSAY. 33

the bold Brazilian Paulistas, the " sinful and miserable Paulitians or Paulopolitans, whom Muratori attacks with the extreme of odium theologicum. I may here remark that no movement has been more systematically maligned and misrepresented^ than the hostilities carried on between the years 1620 and 1640 by the people of S. Paulo. They had justly expelled from their young city the meddling and greedy Jesuits ; and the employes of the society, Charlevoix, for instance, happened at this time to have the ear of Europe. The quarrel was purely political. The Spanish Crown, which had absorbed Portugal in 1580, was en- croaching rapidly through its propagandists, as does Russia in High Asia, upon the territory claimed by and belonging to the Paulistas ; and the latter, who in that matter were true patriots, determined to hold their country's own with the sword. I do not wonder to see half-read men like Wilcocke (p. 286) and Mansfield (p. 441) led wrong by the heroic assurance of the Jesuit historians ; but the accurate Southey, a helluo librorum, ought certainly to have known better.* Working, however, the Mameluco invasion, the Company of Jesus managed to form under the sway of its General an imperium in imperio, which in ] 750 could resist the several campaigns directed against it by the united arms of the Brazil, of Buenos Aires, and of Montevideo. We may still learn something from their military regulations ; for instance, from the order of Father Michoni, " The chil- dren ought also to be drilled, and to undergo review."

It is interesting to see in the present year the same dis- position — oflPensive and defensive, the individual superiority of the descendants of Sepe and Cacambo, and the leader- ship of one more terrible than the terrible Father Balda.


  • I propose to reconsider this interesting subject in a forthcoming

volume, " The Lowlands of the Brazil."

8


34 INTRODUCTORY ESSAY.

The second is the secret working by the Missioners of gold mines — a subject kept in the profoundest obscurity. A host of writers^ the latest being M. Demersay^ doubts their very existence, and makes the precious metals an extract of agriculture. But their opinions are of little value in the presence of earlier authors ; for instance, of ^^ Mr. R. M.^ ['^ A Relation of a Voyage to Buenos Ayres, 1716 â– 'â– '), who declares that the Misiones had gold diggings, and of Mr. Davie^ (^' Letters from Paraguay"), who, travelling in 1796-1798^ asserts that the Fathers of the Reductions had 80,000 to 100,000 disciplined troops to defend their mines. The latter author saw pure gold collected from the banks of the Uruguay, upon which, we may re- member, were seven of the thirty Missions. He imprudently travelled through the old Missions in a semi-clerical dis- guise, and he suddenly disappeared without leaving a trace. I have myself handled a lump of virgin silver from the High- lands of Corrientes, known as the Sierra de las Misiones ; and a French painter at S. Paulo, who was also aware of its existence, proposed to exploit the diggings, setting out from Brazilian Rio Grande do Sul with an armed party strong enough to beat off hostile '^ Indians.""

The Jesuits, it may be remembered, were almost all foreigners — Italians and French, Germans and Portuguese, English and Irish. Their communistic system, their gold, and their troops at last seriously alarmed the Spanish monarchy. Men had heard of Nicholas Neengiru, " King Nicholas of Paraguay ;" f and a proverb-loving race quoted the saying, " La mentira es hija de Algo." By his decree of April 27, 1767, issued some 220 years after the Jesuits had landed upon the shores of South America,


  • I do not know why this traveller has had the honour to be so severely

abused by M. Alexandre Dumas (pere).

t Concerning this personage, see Southey, vol. iii. 469.


INTRODUCTORY ESSAY. 35

Charles III. " estranged them from all his dominions/' The peculiar secresy, the sealed orders,, and the other pre- cautions with which they were deported show what Iberia believed to be their power of resistance.

The era of progress seemed to have dawned, but it was fraught with misery to the Misiones. Deprived of their Jesuits, a few lingered on to the present century, and now they are virtually extinct. About 1817, General Artigas raised the " Indians against the Portuguese, who punished them by destroying their settlements, whilst their ^^ Protector" finished wasting all those between the Rivers Parana and Uruguay. In 1838 the cattle, which nearly two centuries before had numbered upwards of 700,000, were reduced to 8000 ; and in 1848 the 6000 souls of the eleven Para- guayan Missions were dispersed by the first President Lopez.

Whilst ecclesiastical Paraguay was thus rising to decline and to fall, laical Paraguay, subject as has been said to the Viceroy alty of Peru, was slowly advancing in the colonial scale. Her port, Buenos Aires, advantageously situated for the carrying trade between Europe and the Andine Regions, became the nucleus of important commerce, and demanded defence against the Portuguese. By royal rescript of August 8, 1776, the King of Spain created the Viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata, independent of Peru, and it presently embraced the Intendencies or Provinces of La Plata, Paraguay, Tucuman, Potosi, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, High Peru now Bolivia, and Cuyo alias Chile East of the Andes, now Mendoza, and S. Juan. These Intendencies all preserved certain privileges which gave them a manner of autonomy. The new division, with Buenos Aires as a capital, contained about 3,000,000 souls, and could ex- pend upon government $3,000,000, remitting the while $1,000,000 per annum to the king. It was separated into two Presidencies — Paraguay and Buenos Aires, whose Royal

3— :2


36 INTRODUCTORY ESSAY.

Audience was established in 1783^ and thus it became inde- pendent of Ch areas (Chuquivaca) where the high Court dated from 1559.

The first Viceroy of the Provinces of the Rio de la Plata, appointed March 21, 1778_, was Lieutenant- General D. Pedro de Zeballos. This officer was at once Captain- General with command of army, fleet, and church, and with civil as well as military powers. His successors kept up con- siderable state ; they lived pompously upon gifts, unlawful to accept ; and they cared little for the orders which forbad them to trade, to borrow, or to lend money ; to marry with- out permission, to become sponsors, officially to attend marriages or funerals, to have intimate friends, or even to possess land. The Viceroys were removable at will; and, at the end of their term, each was expected before he went home, to justify his acts before a Tribunal de Resi- dencia. The latter was held for sixty to ninety days by a doctor of laws^ whom the King chose out of three nomi- nees^ proposed to him by the Council of the Indies. This was some check upon a bad man ; otherwise, as a Viceroy himself said, the Viceroy could be " more sovereign than the Grand Turk.^^ At first, the locum tenens, during the absence of the King^s representative, was the Rejente, or senior Oidor, the Auditor-judge of the Supreme Court (Audi- encia). In the latter days of colonial rule, the senior military authority claimed the place, and thus in the revolutionary times and to the present age, Spanish America, it may be remarked, has ever preferred the rule of generals.

Meanwhile, the province of Paraguay, here the cradle of Spanish colonization, that Mediterranean state, distant from the ocean and from the Platine ports affected by Europeans, isolated from the world, and deeply depressed by Jesuitic Socialism,, owed all her advantages to the suavity of the climate^ the fertility of the soil, and the easy simple life which.


INTRODUCTORY ESSAY. 37

however relaxed, favoured to some extent, population. The early Spaniards had attempted to make it a high road to Peru and to the Cobija port on the Pacific, but the inordinate difficulties which it presented diverted the current of trade to the western lines, via Tucuman and Mendoza. It still preserved much of the ecclesiastical system, so adverse to moral dignity and mental independence, and so fatal to development and progress. In fact, at the date when the revolution broke out, the Paraguayans were the people least prepared for independence. They cared little whether of 170 Viceroys of the Rio de la Plata, only four were American born, or if the New World had given but fourteen out of 602 Captains -general ; they had transferred to the Crown the allegiance which they once owed to the Church, and in their ignorance and apathy, they felt themselves happy.

We now approach the fourth epoch of Paraguayan history. It begins in 1811 with the birth of a Republic, which now numbers nearly two generations. The last of the sixty-five intendents or provincial governors was Lieu- tenant-Colonel D. Bernardo de Velasco, a brave but unin- telligent soldier, whose patriarchal kindness pleased his subjects. Influenced by this popular ruler, the people heard with indiff'erence the glad tidings brought by an emissary from the Buenos Airean Junta, who announced the depo- sition of the Viceroy and the revolution of May 25, 1810. A general assembly of the province, especially convoked, hesitated to accept the new regime, and pointedly refused to recognise the " hegemony ^^ of Buenos Aires. Thereupon the Revolutionary Junta resolved to try the effect of a corps of 800 men, headed by one of their best soldiers. General D. Manuel Belgrano. He was allowed to advance nearly 300 miles, till his force was reduced from 800 to 600 men ; he was beaten by the half-armed Paraguayans under Colonel Cabanas, at the Convent of Paraguary, in the heart of


38 TNTRODUCTOEY ESSAY.

ParagTiay^ and di'iven back to the Tacuari River,, in the Misiones^ and on March 10^ 1811^ he was disgracefully compelled to capitulate. The army was allowed to retire without molestation^ and Belgrano^ spending the end of the month with the Paraguayan officers^ used his time in show- ing the advantages which their country would secure by throwing off the yoke of Spain. Shortly afterwards were heard in the mouths of the soldiery allusions to liberty, liberal ideas, independence and nationality, which a few days before would, if they could have understood them, have made them tremble.

After the " conferences of Tacuari and a brief occupa- tion of Corrientes, the Paraguayan army returned to Asuncion, leaving at Ytapua, now Encarnacion, 200 men under D. Fulgencio Yegros. This officer, who had been second in command to Colonel Cabanas, still kept up com- munications with Buenos Aires, and he was ably assisted by a native of that city and a relative of General Belgi'ano, Dr. D. Pedro Somellera,* in arousing the spirit of the Paraguayans to adopt a change of Government. The Governor, Velasco, who was fonder of humming-birds than of public affairs, had lost his prestige during the campaign. Suddenly, on the night of April 3, 1811, a band of soldier conspirators, headed by their officers, occupied the barracks, and D. Bernardo, unable to resist, accepted a declaration of independence, unaccompanied by a single death and animated by an usually moderate patriotism.

The viceregal power thus overthrown. Dr. Somellera


  • The two Swiss naturalists Rengger (known as Juan Rengo) and Long-

champs lived in Paraguay between July, 1819, and May, 1825. They then returned to Europe, and produced in 1827, amongst other works, the " Essai Historique sur la Revolution du Paraguay." This naive and highly interesting volume was translated into Spanish by D. Florencio Varela (Monte Video, 1846) ; and it was enriched with the curious notes of this Dr. Somellera, Assessor of the Intendency of Paraguay.


INTRODUCTORY ESSAY. 39

proposed a Junta, composed of three members — namely Generals D. Pedro Juan Caballero, and D. Fulgencio Yegros, with Dr. (D.C.L. — others say D.D.) Jose Gaspar Rodriguez de Francia. The two former were at once accepted, the latter, whose name was fated to sound sinister in the ears of men, owed his rise to the peculiar persistence of his character. Born about 1757, ten years before the expulsion of the Societas Jesu, he was at the time when this Revolution broke out, of mature age. He began life as a student of theology at the college of Cordoba, and for many years he was supposed to be half a Jesuit. Of an ascetic tui-n of mind, and fond of study and solitude, he acquired also the reputation of a Cabalist. Become by profession a lawyer, he secm-ed by his talents, his expe- rience, and his unusual integrity, the esteem of his fellow countrymen, who selected him for various important offices in the Province. For some years during middle age he had retired to his house in the suburbs of the capital, and to a farm not distant from Asuncion ; there he devoted himself to the perusal of the few books on science and politics which were then procurable. He read greedily everything published about the French Republic, the Consulate, and the Empire, and evidently, as says M. Quentin (copying Rengger), he had mastered his Rollin, and dreamed in early days of becoming Consul, Dictator, and Imperator.

The portrait of this truly remarkable man has been pre- served : I secured a photograph taken, of course, from a portrait, which showed him in about his sixtieth year. He sits opposite his library, deeply concentrated in the presence of his books, with a look of penetration and intelligence, and that painful, distrusting, care-worn expression which belongs to men whom hope deferred has made sick, and who have risen to the height of their ambition only when Siren life has lost many of her charms. Of a purely nervous-


40 INTRODUCTORY ESSAY.

bilious temperament,, and '^castey^^ aspect^ he is spare and delicately made, and his brow is tall and broad^ ending in thick eyebrows, which overshadow fine^ black, deep-set piercing eyes; his lips are morose, thin and drawn, his cheeks are fleshless, his nose is high and aquiline, and his chin is powerfully yet symmetrically formed. He wears a tall white cravat and waistcoat, a square-cut coat, and black knee-breeches and silk stockings ; whilst his hair is tied up in the then ceremonious pig-tail — a costume which, when out of uniform, he affected on all ceremonious occasions to the end of his life. Such physically was the man who was about to attract the attention of the civilized world. His portrait contrasts favourably with that of the " great American,'^ as Dictator Rosas was called by his friends : the latter, who never looked straight at a man, had only regular beauty of feature, whilst the expression of his countenance denoted when at rest nothing but calm and stolid cruelty.

Dr. Somellera strove manfully to send an emissary, an- nouncing that Paraguay would adhere to the policy of Buenos Aires. But Dr. Francia was like Mirabeau, one of the few capable of guiding a revolution to its logical end ; he strenuously opposed the project, and with an iron will imposed his supremacy upon his colleagues. He simply imprisoned all who favoured Buenos Aires, including the ex- Governor Velasco and Dr. Somellera. The general idea of liberty in the new Republic was a something consisting of Faith, Hope, and Charity under a new name. By his influence the first Congress or General Assembly, meeting between June 17-20, 1811, despatched not an accredited agent, but a note dated July 20, 1811, and addressed to the Junta of Buenos Aires, defining the action taken by Para- guay, and decreeing amongst other points that the infant Bepublic — who now for the first time chose for herself a coat


INTRODUCTORY ESSAY. 41

of arms — categorically refused, except as a member of the Confederation, to unite herself with the Commonwealth about to be founded upon the ruins of the Spanish vice- royalty. He declared in the broadest terms that Paraguay, having reconquered her liberty, would not shift allegiance from Spain to a colony of Spain ; and, it must be observed, that whilst the former had declared herself a free and sovereign state in 1811, Buenos Aires acted till 1816 in the King^s name. The latter, then at war with the Spaniards of the Banda Oriental and High Peru (Bolivia), commis- sioned General Belgrano to sign in person a provisional treaty of amity. The instrument, dated October 12, 1811, was drawn up at Asuncion, upon the conditions imposed by Dr. Francia — namely, the independence of Paraguay, who was at liberty to become, or to refuse to become, a member of the ConfederatioflL whenever the latter might be organized. On January 31, 1813, Buenos Aires installed a Constituent Assembly, and by the mouth of an Envoy Extraordinary invited Paraguay to contribute to it her deputies. But by this time Dr. Francia had pitilessly crushed all resistance. He feared nothing from the old capital of the vice-royalty, he probably foresaw the troubles and the anarchy which would spring from that Pandoras box, " Centralization,^^ and he determined upon the foreign policy to which he adhered till the end. By his influence, on October 1, 1813, a second General Congress of all the representatives of the people, about a thousand in number, assembled at Asuncion. The deputies, who were the chiefs of the several districts, ap- peared more like criminals than legislators, and voted all that was required of them in order the sooner to return home — hence it was called a mere feint, and was compared with a horde of Indians '^ choosing their cacique. This Congress not only refused point blank to send deputies to Buenos Aires, it also, in confirming the independence of the


42 INTR01>UCT0RY ESSAY.

Republic^ annulled the treaty of 1811^ alleging that its terms had been violated by its neighbours. From that time Paraguay remained definitely separated from the provinces forming the Argentine Confederation^ and her citizens, in- different as usual to politics, which concerned only their rulers, persisted in being absolutely quiet and contented.

The same Congress changed the Governmental Junta for a duumvirate. Two Curule chairs, one inscribed " Cesar^^ and the other " Pompey,^^ were placed in the Assembly; Dr. Francia took Cesar, and Pompey was left to the Gaucho General, the Commandante Fulgencio Yegros. Here again it is easy to see the effects of Dr. Francia^s studies under the Franciscans of Cordoba; in Classicism he imitated Robes- pierre, and in the fulness of time he copied Napoleon I. In fact he became a mixture of both, or rather of what his ideas concerning them were.

This ephemeral Consulate definitively broke off" relations with Buenos Aires, and despatched an envoy, D. Nicholas Herrera, to declare that Paraguay would not take part in the proposed Assembly of the Platine provinces. A third Congress met at Asuncion, October 3, 1814, to nomi- nate new magistrates, and these legislative bodies began to assume the type which they have ever since borne. The chief authority. Consul, Dictator, or President, chooses the members by his right to appoint the President of Congress, the latter chooses the commandants of dis- tricts, and these again choose their delegates for each

  • ' partido '^ or arrondissement : thus all the citizens vote,

and Congress chooses the Consul, Dictator, or President, who virtually chooses himself. It is said that the third de- liberative body at first preferred Yegros, but that Dr. Francia delayed the members at the capital till, fearing to offend him, and sorely wishing to return home, they voted for him on the third day with a large majority. In pre-


INTRODUCTORY ESSAY. 43

sence of the crisis produced by the internal disorders of the Hispano- American States^ he persuaded them to choose after the fasliion of the Roman Republic^ a Dictator for three years, and to make him their Dictator. The troops under Yegros refused to acknowledge the civilian, but the storm was averted by the neglected triumvir Caballero, who went to the barracks and succeeded in appeasing the mutineers. Caballero, it is said, strangled himself in prison about 1821, and Yegros, according to the Robertsons, was afterwards shot or bayonetted by his successful rival.

Dictator Francia at once established himself in the palace of the ancient Spanish Governors, and began to govern in real earnest. The dark and mysterious figure, morally as well as physically, has excited abundant interest. Pen-and- ink portraits of him have been left by Rengger and Long- champs, by the Robertsons, and by D. Santiago Arcos (La Plata, Etude Historique, p. 295; Paris, 1865). He is alluded to by Sir Woodbine Parish, with whom he had an official correspondence touching some eighteen or nineteen British subjects; but he did not release them until 1826. The Pharoahnic practice of not letting the people go was found therefore, ready made in Paraguay by Marshal President Lopez, and in these days '^ circumstances ^^ do not much encourage the type of British naval officer represented in 1815 by the very gaUant Captain the Honourable Percy Jocelyn of H.M.s ship Hotspur, commanding H.B.M.^s ships in the river Plate.

England unfortunately derived her knowledge of Dr. Francia from the works supplied to the book-trade in an age when Negro Emancipation, Constitutional Government, the rule of the '^ Anglo-Saxon ^^ race, and the mercantile " Civis sum Romanus "'â– ' were rampant. " Dr. Francia^'s Reign of Terror"-' and Letters from Paraguay,'' by the brothers Robertson are still our staple. The brothers were well


44 INTRODUCTORY ESSAY.

treated at first, but they imprudently, and perhaps purposely disappointed the Dictator, who, in exchange for his produce, wanted arms and arms only. They fell into disfavour, they prudently left the country, and, arrived in England, they wrote popular books about Paraguay. Hatred made them photograph their foe and produce a manner of biography amusing as that of Boswell. The latter was a fautor of the great master of the English language, the " Majestic Teacher of Moral and Religious Wisdom ; whereas the brothers, while holding up Dr. Francia as a vulgar tyrant to the execration of a civilized and commercial world, invested him with more than usual nobility and grandeur, with the faults of his age and race, and with virtues and merits all his own. Mr. Carlyle {Foreign Quarterly, No. 62, July, 1843), guided only by the light of intelligent despotism, easily under- stood through the running shrieks of constitutionalisms and other humbugs, that Francia was a " true man in a bewildered Guacho (Gaucho) world.""'

Yet we must be grateful for the popular and respectable volumes of the unsage brothers. We see the Dictator pacing about his ground-floor verandah in a dressing-gown of flowered cotton, deeply pondering, whilst he daintily takes his pinch of " Princeza,"" or smokes his cigarette-like cigar, made for him by the sister who acts as his Ama de Haves (housekeeper) . We hear him thunder forth the bruto, the barbaro, and the favourite " bribonazo " (blundering rascal). We behold him leading his cavalry charges with boyish glee, and we catch him handing out the three economical ball cartridges, with which, more Austriaco, crimi- nals were shot. His outburst against the English importer — so naively quoted, and so telling against the quoter — and his proverb " pan pan y vino vino," light up many a dark page of hysterical Anglomania. He appears as a lawyer strictly honest, as a statesman single-minded, as a patriot


INTRODUCTORY ESSAY. 45

unde filed by lucre ; as a judge he spends the day over the smallest details of justice; as a student he reads through the night. Convinced that his Dictatorship is a protest of the Spirit of Order against the Spirit of Anarchy^ and believ- ing that the independence of his beloved country and perhaps his own existence depend upon an imposing military force, he organizes the imitation of a regular army, and after pe- rusing books he drills it liimself. The unwise brothers find in this measure only a pretext to deride his uniform and his word of command. Wishing to improve his capital, he applies vigorously to his self-imposed task of town architect. The Robertsons caricature him using a level. Like Ma- horamed Ali Pasha of Egypt, he is assiduous in his endeavours to establish a system of industry, to add agricul- ture and cattle breeding to the miserable trade in yerba and tobacco that characterized the still and silent shores of the mighty Paraguay. He accepts only a third of the $9000 voted to him by Congress, observing that the State wants more than he does — would the Messrs. Philistine Bull have done likewise?

Dr. Francia had one pet, the army, and one pet aversion, the Church. He severely disciplined his troops, but only when they were under arms : at other times they were free. Foreseeing probably what wild work Generals and Colonels would do for the Argentine Republic, he raised no officer above the rank of Captain. This precaution has been one of the fatalities of the present war, where the Paraguayan private, essentially unintelligent, looked to his commander and found none. He established in fact a stratocracy which placed the military element above the civil ; every citizen was compelled to doflf his hat to a sentinel. This was anciently the case in the Brazil, and perhaps in all the lands of the neo-Latin races, the soldier on guard being the symbol of his government. Duly weighing the unsatisfactory


46 INTRODUCTORY ESSAY.

state of his relations with the Conterminal States^ especially with Buenos Aires, which could at any time have closed his only line of importation, he was eager to lay in that formidable store of arms and ammunition and military appa- ratus, which still accumulated by a second generation, have lasted through a five years^ war. Finally he was steel- cased at all points, and ever ready to fight ; hence, I presume, we even now read of the ^^ peaceful little Republic, Paraguay.^"*

With regard to the Church he evidently thought with the great Mii'abeau, " Yous ne ferez jamais rien de la Revo- lution si vous ne la dechristianisez pas.^^* He abolished the Inquisition ; he did away with the onerous diezmo or tithes ; he converted the idle monasteries into barracks, and he secularized the valuable gold and silver plate, the doubloons and the other property which lay useless in and around the religious houses and the Misiones. He shaved the heads of oflPending monks " in order to take the glory from their crowns."'^ He wished to be a Catholic, not a Roman Catholic. One of his favourite sayings was — ^' You see what priests are good for ; they make us believe more in the devil than in God." Again he would remark, pro- bably imitating the greatest Corsican, " Be Christians, Jews, or Mussulmans, anything but Atheists."^ The saying was latitudinarian in his day, before Anti-Theism had taken the place of Atheism. Finding that the Bishop of Asun- cion had fallen into a manner of aberration, the result of age and mental sufi'ering. Dictator Francia, determined to be governor spiritual as well as temporal, made him depute his powers to Pai Montiel, " Provisor'^ or Yicar- General. Through the latter he ruled the diocese, and made the Church the handmaid, as she should be, not the mistress of the State ; the moral Police, not the Sovereign. He suppressed night worship and processions, because they certainly led to dis-


INTllODUCTOllY ESSAY. 47

orders^ and they might lead to conspiracy. Finally, at the time of his death only fifty priests, all aged and mostly decrepit, survived in the land that had once been overrun by them.

" Por suas ideas religiosas/' says my learned friend Dr. D. Barros Arana, of Santiago de Chile, whose excellent school history of the New World deserves to be naturalized amongst us, " aquel mandatario no parecia nascide i educado en una Colonia espanola.'^ It is not generally known that the Francia family is of Paulista origin, and that the Fran9a e Horta house still exists at S. Paulo. The Dictator's father, Garcia Rodriguez rran9a, was established by the Governor of Paraguay, D. Jaime Sanjust, as Majordomo in the Yaguaron plantation of black tobacco, with which the Spaniards attempted to rival the Brazilians. Bengger declares that his father was born a Frenchman, yet owns that Paraguay believed him to be Portuguese. G. B. Fran9a Castilianized his name, and married in his adopted home. His son, however, never belied his Portuguese origin, or his descent from that noble city which has three times expelled the Jesuits — she will yet do it a fourth time — and which pushed her arms far as the Gaarani language spread, from the Plate river to the Amazons, from the Atlantic to the foot of the Andes. Viewed by this light, the high-minded and self-reliant, the disinterested and far- seeing, the sombre, austere, and ascetic character of Dic- tator Francia, becomes at once intelligible.

On May 1, 1816, the fourth Congress met at Asuncion and elected Dr. Francia perpetual Dictator of the Republic : he was no longer " Usia-' or " Vuestra Senoria / he became " Excelentisimo'-' and ^' El Supremo — in those times a recognised title. It is now quoted as if a little blas- phemous. The Dictator had attained the ripe age of sixty, when the fixed habits of a life show only a tendency to


48 INTRODUCTORY ESSAY.

exaggerate themselves. The national mind had become torpid and paralysed under his reign of rigour,, and thence- forward he became a kind of modern Dionysius. He established a " Chamber of Truth" in which men were questioned. He supported every Creole against any *' old Spaniard/^ and he permitted the latter to marry only Negresses, China girls^ or " Indians." His administration was remarkable for its eternal suspicion^ even after he had slowly but relentlessly degraded all not sufficiently docile functionaries. Arrogating the right to nominate Cabildos, he had raised to power the blind instruments of his will. All his orders passed through an ^^ Actuario/^ or Prepose aux actes. This subaltern, who alone had access to the Dictator, became a " tyran fantastique/^ who refused to receive a petition, even if the ink did not please him, and who kept the petitioners awaiting an answer for months. The bruit of a conspiracy at times enabled him to order a cer- tain number of executions, and to fill with terror a people who, like the Egyptians, apparently love to be tyrannized over. He witnessed his own flogging-tortures and execu- tions, and he became intolerably fierce when the east wind blew. He never left his palace save on horseback, followed by a guard that made the citizens range themselves in re- spectful files, and the boys were forced to wear pour toute toilette straw-hats, with which he was to be complimented. And at last his orders drove all from the streets whilst his cortege was passing ; doors and windows were shut, and the Dictator traversed thoroughfares dreary and desert as those of Valparaiso on a dusty Sunday.

Yet he was wonderful in matters of detail : he knew exactly the cost of hoe or axe, and he used to count and measure the needles and thread necessary for a uniform. In 1829 he compelled, under heavy penalties, every householder to sow a certain quantity of maize, which con-


INTRODUCTORY ESSAY. 49

tributed 4 per cent, to the revenue of the Republic ; and at all times, through the commandants of Partidos, he gave orders what to plant. His success bred a host of irrecon- cileable enemies, who could not forgive one that was more prosperous than themselves. In 1836 appeared myriads of Garrapatas, the Carrapato or Ixiodes of the Brazil, whence it probably came to Paraguay, and the bovine race suffered severely from the Epizootic complaint. The Dictator ordered all the infected to be shot by platoons, and was soundly abused for teaching the world our modern equivalent, the ^' Cattle Disease Preven- tion Act." With a similar rough vigour the King of Yemen resolved to extirpate the dreadful Helcoma by putting to death on a certain day all the sufferers ; and even now the Gallas spear the first cases of small-pox, and burn the huts over the bodies. In 1843 he suppressed the College of Theology with the dictum, '^ Minerva duerme cuando vela Marte," for he was nothing, if not classical. The very fair and impartial book by Messrs. Kengger and Longchamps, " Reign of Dr. Joseph Gaspard Roderick de Rodriguez de Francia in Paraguay" (London, 1827), tells us how the Dictator would not allow an English ship to break bulk until he had mastered sufficient of the language to under- stand her charter. To ridicule such a man is evidently absurd ; the attempt can only recoil upon those who make it. Dictator Francia^s system demanded complete isolation, and thus Paraguay, which had been temporarily thrown open by the Revolution of 1810, became a Darfur, a Waday. Commerce was prohibited, or rather was mono- polized, and sequestration soon annihilated a trade which, during the thirty years ending the last century and ten years of the present, had risen to upwards of $1,500,000 per annum, and employed several thousand hands in 750 ships of sizes, thirty of them exceeding 200 tons.

4


50 INTRODUCTORY ESSAY.

The Dictator,, apparently impassive and phlegmatic^ was most sensitive to anything like a claim of predominance, superiority, or influence of strangers ; he poignantly felt every insult of the foreign press, and he was ever ready to attribute to contempt the most indifferent actions of the " tagues" — that is to say, all who are not Paraguayans. He therefore encouraged the prejudices of the people, who soon learnt to look upon itself as the first in the world, to whom all others would, if permitted, do homage.

Diplomatic relations with foreign powers were mercilessly cut off. In 1840 the Argentine Government again de- spatched to Paraguay an envoy directed to apply for deputies to attend the coming sessions of the General Con- gress. This agent wisely remained at Corrientes, and for- warded his credentials by an emissary, who was at once thrown into prison. The diplomatic representative of the Brazil also received his passports.

In order to complete the blockade it was necessary to prevent the ingress of traders and travellers who might bring with them pestilent books and doctrines. The town of El Pilar or Nembucu, 154 miles from Asuncion, was made the terminus of ship navigation and the 7ie plus ultra of the foreign voyager. As late as 1845, Colonel Graham, the United States^ Consul, Buenos Aires, when on a special mission to Paraguay, was here delayed by Dr. Francia some twenty days. The strip of country between S. Borja and Ytapua, now Encarnacion, was constituted the sole place ac- cessible to land import, especially to Brazilian commerce, and no Paraguayan could repair thither without leave ; thus the post became the " mutual factory of a second China."

All who entered the Republic without permission were straightway imprisoned. The explorers of the Rio Bermijo were not only placed in durance vile, they were also plundered of their journals. When M. Aime Bonpland


INTRODUCTORY ESSAY. 51

(whose real name by-the-bye was the not euphonious Gou- jand)^ settling on land claimed by Paraguay, began impru- dently to cultivate the monopolized yerba, he was seized by order of the Dictator, and was carried prisoner across the frontier. This act has been held to be a violation of territory — has been called gross as the capture and execution of the Due d'Enghien. Francia, however, justified it, and detained the botanist ten years (1821-1831). For somewhat the same reason the Doctors Rengger and Longchamps enjoyed an obligatory residence of six years.

Yet the Dictator could at times do a generous deed. When (1820) his old and tried enemy, General Artigas, once Captain of Blandengues or horse-militia, and afterwards " Protector and Most Excellent Lord" of the Banda Oriental, was compelled by Ramirez to fly his country, he had recourse to Paraguay, where, by " supreme order,^' a small pension and a safe asylum at Caraguate were assigned to him. The Uruguayan Robin Hood was allowed to end his days in peace (1850) — other petty despots would have sent him at once to the banquillo, the shooting-bench.

At last Paraguay became to the political, travelling, and commercial world a terra incognita^ a place existing only in books and maps; it had been caused to disappear, as it were by a cataclysm, from the surface of the globe.

Dictator Francia excused himself by declaring that he had carefully proportioned liberty to civilization, and he defended his incommunicability by pointing in triumph to the disastrous revolutions and to the fratricidal wars with which federalism and a licence called liberty had dowered the conterminal republics. He could show to the world in the recluse kingdom of the Jesuits, the sole exception to republican anarchy, a tranquil and powerful, a contented if not a happy people j and he could declare bond fide this state of things to be the result of his

4-^


52 INTRODUCTORY ESSAY.

non-intercourse policy. Hostile writers aver that the un- happy land lived embruted under a death-like peace imposed by ignorance and terror,, enduring a despotism of isolation and desolation more lethal and funest than all the civil wars and anarchy. But there are few men who have not political creeds prejudged and formulated in advance^ with models, prototypes, and ideal predilections which falsify their judgment. Evidently the Republic of the Dictator was a reproduction, in somewhat a sterner mould, of the Jesuit Reduction system, and it throve because the popular mind was prepared for it. Others, I have said, accuse Francia of having governed by encouraging a profound corruption of morals ; but probably the ecclesiastical system of rule, which allows everything to those who believe, tremble, and confess, left very little of virtue for him to trample upon. And still he could say with Solon, " I have not given you the best possible laws, but those laws that suit you best/ As has been proved by the logic of facts, the people were enthusiastic, both for the system and for its administration. They may be pitiable, but, like the needy knife-grinder, they will not be pitied. They were, doubtless, and they still are, in a state of semi-barbarism, but they have given their lives rather than abandon the customs of their ancestors and betray what must be called their political creed.

On Sept. 20, 1840, Dr. Francia, rushing to sabre his " cu- randero^ or doctor, fell into a fit. The man of blood called in the sergeant of the guard, who refused to enter without orders.

" But he can^t speak.-*^

" No matter V replied pipe-clay ; if he comes to, he will punish me for disobedience.^^

El Supremo died at 9 a.m., aged eighty-three years y^

  • The date of his birth was uncertain ; hence some make his age eighty,

others eighty-four, and others eighty-five years. Dr. Martin de Moussy dates his death December 25.


IXTRODUCTORY ESSAY. 53

and after a virtual reign of nearly thirty. He had ap- pointed no successor, shrewdly remarking that he was not likely to want heirs. His last order was to direct the death of an enemy ; he made no will, he kept no records, and he left about one million of dollars in the national treasury. Early he had adopted the excellent plan, for a tyrant, of destroying all his '^'^bandos^' or decrees returned to him with ^' executed^^ upon the margin. He was very much addicted to women — the greater the man, the warmer are his passions, doubtless the instinct which would multiply him. He left sundry illegitimate children whom he never adopted, and he prematurely carried out the saying ^' Neque nubent, neque nubentur.^^ Many couples who had families took the advantage of his death and caused themselves to be married. He was buried in the Cathedral of Asuncion, but the exact spot is now forgotten. According to Mr. Mansfield and Lieut. -Colonel Thompson, the rem.ains of " El Defiinto^^ — his new title — were cast out by private enmity from a violated grave. This is hardly probable in a country where for years after his death men uncovered at the mention of his name.

Europeans often wonder how, after such a career. Dic- tator Francia was allow^ed to die in his bed. '^ Spain,^ said Gibbon, " was great as a province, but small as a kingdom -/' and the same may be asserted of all the Spanish provinces and colonies in our time. The peculiar characteristic of the Spaniard — as the lengthened reign of D. Isabel II. proves — and of the Hispano-American, as opposed to the Luso-American, is a marvellous, Oriental, fatalistic patience under despotisms the least endurable. For years Rosas freely tyrannized over Buenos Aires, and he owed his overthrow only to the foreign idea, even as Marshal President Lopez is succumbing to the stranger bayonet. At the present day, D. Justo XJrquiza, the Taboada family.


54 INTRODUCTORY ESSAY.

and Dr. Garcia Moreno rule with a sceptre which takes the form of sword and dagger^ the Provinces of Entre Rios and Santiago del Estero and the Republic of Ecuador. To recover liberty is every man^s business^ and consequently, as the saying is, no man^s business ; it is therefore left to recover itself: a concentrated individuality takes the place of the noble and generous sentiment of nationality and of patriotism, the unselfish egotism of peoples.

Yet it is evident that Francia was not one of the herd of tyrants upon whom the world looks with a transient interest. He left his mark in history : he created a school ; his ideas of ^' Americanismo^^ long antedate the '^ Know-nothings â– '"' and the " Spread-Eagleism ' of the United States, and they are becoming predominant throughout Southern America.

In Paraguay the system of government depends rather upon persons than upon institutions. Strangers, therefore, generally believe that the repressive measures imposed upon society by the energetic will of " the Supreme,^ and kept up for a whole generation, would, after his death, bring on a reaction more or less violent. The contrary was the case, and with his decease commenced the ordering and organization of the Republic. The country was expected, said Erancia^s enemies, to ^^rise like Lazarus at the voice of the Redeemer.^^ It remained docile as before.

A very brief acephalous interim followed the death of the dark Dictator. His " actuario^-* or secretary, who presently hanged himself in prison, persuaded the commandants of the four corps occupying the capital^ to form a Junta Gubernativa. This ruling body was presided over by the Alcalde, Dr. C. L. Ortiz, and was soon driven from power by a military revolution. The Commandant General-at- Arms, D. Juan Jose Medina, placed himself at the head of affairs, but he was called a usurper because he had no administrative authority.


INTRODUCTORY ESSAY. 55

After about six months the people of the capital " pro- nounced/^ and consequently, on March 12, 1841, an Extraor- dinary Congress of 500 members, elected by the usual farce of general suffrage,metat Asuncion. This body, which is described as being more than usually ridiculous, restored the consular government, or rather a duumvirate, consisting of D. An- tonio Carlos Lopez, and an old soldier. Colonel D. Mariano Roque Alonzo. It opened, also, Paraguayan ports to general commerce; it concluded a treaty of friendship and trade with the Province of Corrientes, then at war with Buenos Aires ; and it convened an extraordinary session of itself — the deliberative body usually met for five days every five years — in order to consider the desideratum of re-establishing foreign connexions. At the same time most of the 600 political prisoners left in the dungeons of Dr. Francia were amnestied.

In November, 1842, the Complimentary Congress held its session. It ratified Paraguayan independence, deter- mined the flag, and chose blue as the '^ color de la Patria.^-* Approving of all the consular acts and plans, it offered commercial relations to Buenos Aires, but Dictator Kosas, insultingly refusing to acknowledge the Republic, closed to her the Rio de la Plata till such time as the Province of Corrientes should desist from its " rebellion.^ At this time an ecclesiastic long persecuted by Dr. Francia, Padre Marcos Antonio Maiz, the " terrible father " as he was called by the English, the " pretre estimable k tons egards,"" according to M. Demersay, was made Professor of Latin and Philosophy at Asuncion, and took the first step towards becoming Coadju- tor Bishop in part, infid.

A third National Congress, meeting on March 16, 1845, put an end to the consular government, and sanctioned by a Constitution the fundamental law of the Republic which en- trusted executive powers to aPresident. The only obligation of


56 INTRODUCTORY ESSAY.

this magistrate is to preserve and defend the independence and integrity of the State. He cumulates a variety of impor- tant offices^ he is at once Supreme Judge and Manager of Fi- nances_, he is Commander-in-Chief of the army^ and Admiral of the fleets and he appoints the President of Congress ; while the Vice-President of the Republic being named by him, and serving only to convoke the electoral meetings, is a mere tool that cannot even act for him when he is ab- sent. Thus the President is an autocrat at once legislative, judicial, and executive. Paraguay was ever a repertory of old world ideas, cut off from civilization since the days of the Grand Monarque. But the year 1845 worked in her a true revolution — social^ political, and commercial ; at this time arose the " law establishing the political administration of the Republic of Paraguay.^ It gave ex- traordinary attributes to the President; it reduced the ministers of state to simple heads of bureaus, and it was shortly followed by an edict which placed the Church in com- plete subjection to the Supreme National Government — forbidding the Bishop to use even a robe or a throne. Of this new Constitution pure and simple despotism was the essence, whereas before it had been only a republican accident.

Thus D. Antonio Carlos Lopez became President of Paraguay for ten years. '^ El Ciudadano,^^ as he loved to call himself, was then about forty-four years old. Educated at the College of Asuncion, he had lectured in theology and philosophy ; he had studied jurisprudence, and after making a few dollars by the law^, he had retired to a country place some forty leagues from the capital. He rarely visited town, and spent most of his time in reading books and mastering agriculture. Although he had never left his native land, he was looked upon as an enlightened man, and he had acquired, in comparatively early life, a general


INTRODUCTORY ESSAY. 57

reputation for patriotism,, special knowledge^ and adminis- trative aptitude.

The elder Lopez has been carefully portrayed by Dr. L. Alfred Demersay C^^Histoire physique, economique, et poli- tique du Paraguay.^ Paris, 1864. Vol. ii.) He is also known by the work of Colonel du Graty. English readers and writers mostly take their opinions from Captain J. Page, late United States Navy (" La Plata, the Argentine Con- federation, and Paraguay ") : upon the spot it is considered the best authority. Mr. Charles B. Mansfield, whose gene- ral crotchettiness merged into an absolute enthusiasm for Paraguay, has left sketches and descriptions of the Guardia, of the hide-hammock, and of the first of the Presidents. The woodcuts of Messrs. Page and Mansfield make him hideous, burly and, thick-set, as Dictator Francia was thin and lean. With chops flapping over his cravat, his face wears, like the later George IV., a porcine appearance, which, however, as in the case of Gibbon, is not incompatible with high intellect. On the other hand. Colonel du Graty presents a stout but respectable looking citizen. He generally received strangers sitting in an arm-chair, pro- bably to conceal the fact that one leg was shorter than the other, and he wore, honoris causa, his hat, which was a little cocked on one side. At times he would astonish visitors by his courtesy in asking them to sit down in the presence.

President Lopez I. married in early life D. Juana Paula Carrillo, who was almost as fat as himself. The issue con- sisted of five children. Francisco Solano, the actual President, said to have been born at Asuncion in 1827,* was the eldest.

  • In 1852, Mr. Mansfield calls him a "young lad of twenty or so, the

General of the Army." This would make the date of his birth 1832, and his present age thirty-seven. But if born in 1832, he could hardly have commanded a corps d'armee in 1845. It is well known that his birthday was July 24th, and Augustus-like, he caused July to be styled "the month of Christian Lopez."


58


INTRODUCTORY ESSAY.


The second, Venanncio,, was made a colonel in the army, and commanded the garrison of Asuncion. The youngest, Benigno, who was ever the father's favourite, became a major in the army, and admiral of the fleet ; but he pre- ferred idling and " woman -hunting " at home. The elder daughter, D. Ynocencia, was married to General Barrios, afterwards Minister of War, and the younger, D. Rafaela, became the wife of the treasurer, D. Saturnino Bedoya. The Presidentess and her daughters dressed in the usual imitation Parisian; they were fond of society, and they never neglected to make a little money. The Presidential salary was only $4000 per annum.

President Lopez had no light task before him. The Dictatorship had left only ruins : he had to create ; he was to be the organizer as Francia had been the founder of Paraguay; he was to assume the relation of Brigham Young to Joseph Smith. He wished to break the chains which his predecessor had forged, to draw Paraguay from her shell. Yet freedom was, he knew, dangerous after the slavery of ages, and an exaggerated liberalism might, it was feared, in due course of reaction take the place of conservative terrorism. He required to steer between the Scylla of iso- lation and popular lethargy, and the Charybdis of neology in religion and politics. And if he governed somewhat too much, assumed " Asiatic airs, and neglected the pre- cepts " laissez faire" and laissez passer," still his intentions were apparently good, and his success was as great as could be expected.

The difficulties of the new ruler were increased by the hostility of Buenos Aires, which required him to create and to provide for the maintenance of an army. He began with 3000 soldiers, enlisted for only three years, and pre- sently he could muster a force of 8000 regulars, an effective militia of 30,000 men, and a levee en masse in their rear.


INTRODUCTORY ESSAY. 50

Again, early in 18i5, wlien President Lopez had de- clared the country open to foreigners both for commerce and residence, Dictator Rosas refused transit to Paraguay, as long as the latter should keep aloof from the Argentine Provinces ; and he presently decreed the prohibition of all her exports, even in neutral bottoms, thus hoping to cut her off from her principal customer, the Brazil. The stout-hearted President feeling insulted by this proceeding replied on December 4, with a formal declaration of war beginning,

^^ Long live the Republic of Paraguay ! Independence or death,^^* and threatened an invasion. He reinforced his vanguard, the Province of Corrientes, which had lately captured Argentine shipping, and at once sent against Oribe, the lieutenant of Rosas, his first corps d^armee under his eldest son Brigadier Francisco Solano Lopez, then a youth of eighteen. This force was attacked by the Buenos Airean army of operations in January, 1846, and was compelled to retreat "^ re infecta,^ behind the Parana River, chiefly, it is said, by the treachery of the Correntino Governor, Madariaga. In September, 1846, President Lopez ended the affair with a declaration that Paraguay would definitively remain neutral, leaving the Argentine Republic to settle its own disputes.

Presently the mediation of the LTnited States caused transit and commerce to be re-established between Para- guay and Buenos Aires. The arrangement, however, had no positive guarantee. At the battle ofVences, in 1847, General Urquiza conquered Corrientes, and new troubles arose about Border questions. Thereupon President Lopez


  • This is part of the old Paraguayan motto, and very possibly Dom

Pedro I. of Brazil, who was well versed in South American history, had heard of it before he raised the " grito de Yporanga."


60 INTRODTJCTORY ESSAY.

again looked to liis army^ and created there camps of in- struction. The Juiz de Paz was ordered to register all the males between 18 and 30^ and to forward to head-quar- ters so many per district. Within three months were thus collected twelve infantry battalions of 700 rank and file^ six corps of cavalry^ each 100 sabres, and one corps of artiUery. The elder Lopez^ though charged with being an unscru- pulous diplomatist, was an active organizer, and though his temper was hot, he was not wanting in cool vigour. One of his first acts was to propose as Bishop of Asuncion his brother, D. Basilio Lopez, a Franciscan Monk, not well spoken of, and the nomination was accepted by Pope Gregory XVI. He deported in 1846 the two Jesuits who had taken charge of the Chairs of Latinity and Philosophy in the so- called Literary Academy, or new College. He shot the sergeant Espaiiola for the crime of tearing up stamped paper, and he deported a Frenchman who had practised mesmerism without his permission. To the National Congress which met in 1849 he could announce the creation of an army and a naval force, the establishment of Guardias and forts against the Indians of the Gran Chaco ; the foundation of an arsenal, of a manufactory of arms and gunpowder, and of the Ibicuy foundry (definitively worked in 1853) ; the organization of the clergy ; the construction throughout the country of churches, cemeteries, and schools for primary instruction ; the issue of an official newspaper ; the building of quays and other public works ; the opening of roads and canalizing of rivers ; the encouragement of agricultm'e and exportable industry, especially of Yerba and Tobacco, and finally, the guarantee of patents, the protection, the free admission, and the favourable nationalization of strangers. The latter, however, were not allowed to travel, to enjoy any international rights, to hold real property in the Re- public, or to marry Paraguayans without especial license ;


INTRODUCTORY ESSAY. 61

moreover,, no Paraguayan woman could leave ^^ La Rcpub- lica/^ except by express order — again China. The naturalized foreigner of course having no protection from his consid, and being sworn like one of the natives to the Constitution and to the Government, was not permitted to quit Paraguay except by particular order. Under these circumstances. President Lopez, who might truly have said, " auribus lupum teneo,^^ was formally re-elected for a term of five years.

Presently, General Urquiza, Governor of Entre Rios, attacking Dictator Rosas with the view of restoring their rights to the Provinces and of re-organizing the Argentine Republic, crushed him at the battle of Monte Caseros on February 2, 1852. The fall of the " wretch Rosas,'^ who had even forbidden the navigation of the Parana, opened the rivers and ports, and brought about the recognition of Paraguayan independence by General Urquiza, who became the President Director of the Argentine Confederation; hence resulted the treaties of 1851 and 1852, which, however, were not ratified by the Federal Congress tiU 1856. The latter instrument attempted to determine the long debated question of limits, and to regulate the relations of commerce and navigation. But the Argentine Confederation sus- pended the Border convention, and in 1856 the frontier survey was adjourned sine die. The first British Envoy, Sir Charles Hotham, charged with a special mission, accom- panied by Mr. Secretary Thornton, reached Asuncion in H.M.^s ship Locust at the end of 1852, and the late M. de Saint-Georges presently appeared in the Flambard, which had run aground. In March, 1853, when General Urquiza had formally recognised the independence of the Republic, the Plenipotentiaries of England and the United States, France and Sardinia, meeting at the capital, signed with Paraguay treaties of friendship, commerce, and navigation.


62 INTRODUCTORY ESSAY.

opening up the river to tte flags of all nations. Thus, diplomatic relations with the European powers formally began, and Ministers and Consuls appeared on the field.

The internal administration of the Republic was distri- buted into four councils of government, each with its own bureau. These were the Secretariat of State for Foreign Aff'airs, and the Ministries of the Interior, of Finance, and of War and Marine, which also included the Commandership- in-Chief The holders of these pompous titles were mere clerks, salaried by the President, and having no other style but " you.'^ In criminal trials the judges were ordered to associate with themselves two adjuncts, drawn by lot from a prepared list. The President made himself "private judge of the causes reserved in the statute of the adminis- tration of justice — that is to say, all appeal lay to him only." A bi-weekly line of steamers to Buenos Aires was also established.

President Lopez then turned his attention to protecting his northern frontier. On the left or southern bank of the Rio Apa, he found only the fortlet of San Carlos, built in 1806 to control the fierce Mbaya Indians. These savages having depopulated the department and town of Divino Salvador, ravaged the river-sides as far south as Concepcion, almost on the tropic of Capricorn. He at once established a protective line of posts which began westward upon the left bank of the river Paraguay, and which, fol- lowing the course of the Apa, extended sixty leagues over the mountain- chain to the east.

Mr. Charles A. Henderson, appointed British Consul to Asuncion, there drew up (March 4, 1853) a treaty of com- merce. Similar instruments were also ratified with the Governments of France and Sardinia, but the modifica- tions proposed by the United States were not accepted. lu early 1854, the National Cougress again meeting, re-elected


INTRODUCTORY ESSAY. 63

President Lopez for a term of ten years ; to this the nominee objected, refusing to rule or serve for more than three ; he consented, however, to the whole term in 1857. Ensued some trouble with Mr. E. Hopkins, United States Consul, and representative of an Industrial Company of Navigation. This officer was supposed to be hostile to Paraguay ; his exequatur was withdrawn, and the claims for compensation which he forwarded were ignored. Six months after this event (February 1, 1855), Captain Page, commanding U.S.S.S. Waterwitch, ignoring the fact that in October, 1854, foreign ships of war had been forbidden to navigate the inner rivers of the Republic, .insisted upon quitting the main channel of the Parana, and upon surveying the by- waters of the " Fuerte Itapiru.^ The cruiser was fired into by the Guardia Carracha battery, and the man at the helm was killed. No reprisals were found possible by Commodore W. D. Salter, and ensued a coolness between the great and the little Republic.

Relations with Brazil also became unsatisfactory, and the Empire sent as Envoy Plenipotentiary, charged to settle the right of way and territorial limits, Admiral Pedro Ferreira de Oliveira, with ten men of war and transports. President Lopez hastily threw up batteries at the old Guardia Humaita, on the site of a Penitentiary founded 1777, against the Indians of the Gran Chaco by D. Pedro de Zeballos, and destined to be talked about throughout the world in 1867. He could now dictate his own con- ditions to the intrusive power ; in February, 1855, he halted all the squadron at "Tres Bocas,^ and the Envoy, after professing peaceful intentions, was, only when completely outgeneralled by Lopez, permitted with his staflP to visit Asuncion in a single steamer. Salvos were duly exchanged, and on August 27 was ratified a treaty of commerce and navigation, together with a convention stipulating that the


C4 INTRODUCTORY ESSAY.

delimitation question should be settled within the precise period of one year. When the Brazil rejected the latter, Paraguay sent to Eio de Janeiro a plenipotentiary, who concluded (April 6, 1856) the treaty of commerce and navigation, fixing the period of determining the boundaries at six years, during which neither people might occupy the disputed lands."^ During January, 1858, took place the Convention of Asuncion between Paraguay and the Brazil, when the river was opened to the merchant shipping of all friendly peoples. Meanwhile, the Boundary question was complicated by the presence of the new batteries, whose strength was grossly exaggerated ; the Brazil began to collect military stores in Matto-Grosso, and a war was evi- dently brewing.

About the middle of 1858, Asuncion was visited by Mr. Christie; he came as Plenipotentiary to renew the com- mercial treaty whose limits were 1853-1860. At first all ran smoothly, and the Minister, when presenting his credentials, addressed President Lopez in flattering terms. Presently difficulties arose; Mr. Christie insisted upon ter- minating the business in twenty days, and wished to transact personally with the President the negotiation business opened with the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The testy Lopez then showed his temper, and the Plenipo- tentiary having failed in his mission returned, no friend to the Government of Paraguay.

This regrettable incident was followed in 1859 by the " Canstatt aff'air.'^ The President had thrown into prison some twelve, others say twenty, persons accused of having conspired to shoot him in the theatre. Amongst these was a certain Santiago Canstatt, who still lives, but without the


  • To sum up the question of limits iu the north, the Brazil claimed the

Rio A pa as her boundary, Paraguay the Rio Blanco.


INTRODUCTORY ESSAY. 65

respect of his fellow- men. He was the son of a Belgian army surgeon long domiciliated in the Banda Oriental ; he had established himself since 1852 as " subditus tempo- raneus^^ in Paraguay ; he is described by his enemies as an " Uruguayan, son of a stranger of dubious English origin/' and he was charged with being an active member of a revolutionary committee established at Buenos Aires. Mr. Henderson claimed the power of protecting this " British subject/' and in return received his passports ; the French Consul, M. Izarie — subsequently transferred to Bahia — being admitted to act in his stead. By way of reprisal, the British Admiral in the Plate ordered H.M. ships Buzzard and Grappler to detain the Paraguayan war-steamer Tacuari — a strong measure in a neutral port. On board the ship was Brigadier-General Lopez, who, as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, had been acting mediator between the contending parties of the Argentine confede- ration, and who had been presented with hundredweights of sweetmeats by the Bonaerensan ladies. The Brigadier left the Tacuari, and travelling overland to Santa Fe, there found a ship for Asuncion. President Lopez, once more outraged by this proceeding, released M. Canstatt, shot the two brothers Decoud (Teodoro and Gregorio), and sent a diplomatic agent to London for explanations. The opinions of the most eminent lawyers were taken in the disputed matters of consular jurisdiction and the protective pre- rogative of neutral waters : the general voice was in favour of Paraguay, but it was long before redress came. The difficulty was finally settled by General William Doria in January, 1863, and a Paraguayan Legation was proposed to England.

In early 1859 the United States sent Mr. C. Johnson as Especial Envoy to Paraguay, with the view of arranging the Hopkins and Waterwitch afi*airs. That officer left at Buenos

5


66 INTRODUCTORY ESSAY.

Aires the squadron which had conveyed him : its presence in the port caused no little alarm till General Urquiza, then Provisional Director of the Republic, repaired to Asuncion and lent his influence in satisfactorily disposing of all dif- ferences. On February 4, 1.859, another treaty, superseding that of 1853, was concluded between the United States and Paraguay, and soon afterwards it was decided that the claims of Mr. Hopkins were null and void.

Some annoyance was also caused in France by the treat- ment of her subjects settled in Paraguay. A contract, signed at Bordeaux, created a colony, hence called Nueva Burdeos, and the emigrants were located at '^ Gran Potrero del Cerro."'^ This ill-selected ground is on the right bank of the Paraguay, exposed to malarious influences, to the attacks of the Gran Chaco " Indians,^ and, worse still, to the hostility of the Paraguayan people and authorities. The attempt proved an utter failure : some of the unfortunate Frenchmen fled, others were imprisoned, and others lost their lives. Those who have received inducements to pane- gyrize the policy of President Lopez I. throw the blame upon the Armateurs,^^ who sent out unfit emigrants. The impartial will remember that the " fournisseur" and Juge de paix appointed to Nueva Burdeos, was the opponent of Mr. Gould, the accuser of Mr. Washburn, and the Grouchy of the Paraguayan Waterloo, M. Luiz Caminos, a name carrying with it no pleasant associations.

Paraguay had now taken her place amongst civilized peoples. In 1859, she ofi'ered her mediation between the Argentine Confederation and the Province of Buenos Aires, a mother and daughter that had been separated seven years. The reunion was compassed by the Convention of S. Jose de Flores. In 1860, President Lopez undertook negotiations with the Holy See, presenting two priests for episcopal ordination, one as titular of the diocese, the other as


INTRODUCTORY ESSAY. 67

coadjutor. The consequence was the election of an old man, Mgr. J. Urbieta, Bishop of Corycium, in partibus.

On August 15, 1862, President Lopez I. named by a secret act (pliego de reserva) his eldest son Vice-President. He died aged sixty-nine, after a painful illness, on September 10, (Dr. Martin de Moussy says 7,) 1862 ; the body was embalmed ; a splendid service was performed over it in the cathedral of Asuncion, and in the church of La Trinidad, built by himself ; the first Paraguayan President was buried without monument.

Immediately after the death of the second '^ Supremo,^"* who had virtually ruled seventeen years, D. Francisco Solano Lopez took the usual precautions. He possessed himself of all his father^s papers, doubled the sentinels, supplied the streets with extra patrols, summoned the Ministry or Council of State, to whom he read the will appointing him Vice-President, and therefore acting Chief Magistrate, and ordered a national and electoral Congress to meet. His measures were so prudently laid that he was named, on October 16, 1862, without difficulty. President for ten years ; and he could boast that he was the chosen of the people, not an inheritor, nor one appointed by will. In 1863 the new ruler was congratulated by eleven Euro- pean Powers, and all, abroad and at home, believed that the enlightened General who had travelled in England and France would indulge Paraguay with a free Government.

There are idle tales that the elder Lopez preferred his Benjamin, Benigno, as less violent and ambitious than his eldest son : he is also reported to have predicted that if Francisco Solano ever became her ruler, Paraguay would rue the day. It is said that the preference of the old man for Benigno, whom he would gladly have seen, if he could, his successor to the Presidential chair, and heir to the bulk of his property, bred a fatal jealousy between the two brothers.

5—2


68 INTRODUCTORY ESSAY.

Their aversion,, however, probably began as the result of mere incompatibility of character, and ended in absolute hatred. At the General Congress which elected his brother President, D. Benigno Lopez, it is said, openly joined those members who were opposed to the military government of the family becoming hereditary. It has also been asserted, and even official documents have been cited in proof, that the elder Lopez appointed a Triumvirate to direct the affairs of the nation, and that his first-born, aided by Padre Maiz, poisoned one of the three, and terrified the Congress into electing him their President. These are mere bolas,^^ and of a similar nature are reports that he was in 1853 an eleve exterieur of the Ecole Toly technique, that he was a fellow pupil of the Emperor of the Brazil, and that he served on the French staff before Sebastopol. He did, however, attend the naval school at Bio de Janeiro, and there are some doubts whether he did or did not aspire to the hand of the Princess Leopoldina of the Brazil.

From a very early age the actual President Lopez was entrusted by his father with high offices. As has been said, he was made General-in-Chief of the Army and Minister of War when quite a lad. In 1845"^ he began his career by commanding the Paraguayan Expeditionary Army that had been marched upon Corrientes, and in 1849 he pacified the lands between the Bivers Parana and Uruguay as far as Cuais. In 1854 he was sent to Europe in order to make personal acquaintance and treaty of amity with the several Courts. Some say that he acted like a Peter the Great, who studied all things, and who made the best use of his time, whilst others make him live the life of a man of pleasure. He came away with a feeling of aversion towards


  • Lieut.-Colonel Thompson says, in 1849 (" The War in Paraguay,'

Chap. I.).


INTRODUCTORY ESSAY. 09

" La boutiquiere/^ whose language he understands, but can speak little, and who treated him as it did Mr. Secretary Seward, with her usual trick of neglect. On the other hand, he was delighted with France, and he learned French well. He keeps up his practice at home.

President Lopez II. rose to power a young man. His appearance is not unfavourable, though of late he has become very corpulent, after having been a slim and active youth. He is about 5 feet 7 inches in height, of bilious-nervous temperament, and darker than Spaniards, or even than the generality of his sallow- faced subjects, a brunet, without however any admixture of inferior blood. His hands and feet are small, and his legs are bandy with early riding. His features are some- what Indian, his hair is thick, and his beard, worn in the form which we once called " Newgate frilV^ is by no means so full and thick as his portraits show. These are taken, in fact, from the equestrian picture for which he sat in Paris, and which does not err by under-flattering. He still affects the white charger, and the Napoleonic grenadier boots and spurs, the rest of the toilette being a kepi, a frock coat, and a scarlet poncho with gold fringe and collar ; in fact, he has a passion for finery. Dignified in manner, he has a penetrating, impressive look, which shows the overweening pride and self-confidence that form the peculiar features of his character. He delights in curious intrigues, which may be called '^ dodges,^^ and which have been qualified by one of his employes as ^' inexplicable tan- trums.^^ This is doubtless a result of " Indian^' blood. The Marshal-President has not left pleasant reminiscences with diplomatists generally. On the other hand, English, French, and American naval officers agree in speaking highly of him. They repeatedly assert that he never asked them a question to which, as men of honour, they could


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not reply^ but that the same was not the case with all his entourage. He is a hon vivant, a gourmand, and a gourmet — fond of a song after dinner ; he rides well^ and there is no reason why he should not conduct a guerilla war. Mr.Wash- burn made him drink^ and supplied him with a diarrhoea — all fancy. He is fond of " chaflBng.^ An English second engineer sent him an impudent answer to a message^ and when summoned to his presence pointed at some object with his forefinger. The hand was at once struck down by the President^ with the remark^ ^' In England it is not manners to point V He addresses, a la Napoleon, jocular remarks in the Guarani tongue to his troops,, who receive them with the greatest delight and enthusiasm ; and, like the King of Dahome, he scolds his officers.

The courage of the unconquered Marshal/^ as he styles himself, is at best questionable. His panegyrists, like M. Felix Aucaigne,"^ call him the " Premier soldat du Para- guay .^^ His official organ terms him the " Vencidor (Conqueror) of Coimbra, Albuquerque, and Corumba.^' On March 5^ J 865, the National Congress created exclusively for him the rank of Field-Marshal ; the only General of Division being his brother-in-law Barrios, who succeeded him as Minister of War, whilst many of the third rank or brigadiers were appointed. He is said to have commanded in person at the great actions of May 2 and May 24, 1866. It is stated that during the seven days^ fighting in December, 1868, at Loma Valentina, he had two horses killed under him ; and that his son, Panchito (Frank), a youth about


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Les Contemporains Celebres " (by various authors. 1st series. Paris Librairie Internationale. 1867-9). The article in question gives Paraguay 1,500,000 of inhabitants ; compares it with a Poland struggling in the arms of the Eussian colossus, Brazil ; makes the poor earth- works of the Tebicuary river a "second Humaita;" and affectingly reminds us of the little Helvetia versus Austria, on the field of Mor- garten.


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fourteen, had four, whilst Madame Lynch received three wounds. Of this, I believe, not a word is true.

On the other hand, foreigners in his service are almost if not quite unanimous in declaring him to be a gallince filius alba ; they say that he never once exposed himself in battle ; that he is a craint-plomb that shudders at the whistle of a ball, and that he has repeatedly run away, deserting even his family in the hour of danger. Some of those who escaped are so furious that they threaten him with personal violence should they happen to meet him in a propitious place. He has certainly never headed a charge, and he has rarely been reported to have fallen a captive. But there is no need for the President to act soldier ; Uetat &est lui. If he falls the cause of Paraguay — and she has a cause — is sheer lost; whilst he lives she has hope. He has always been able to escape ; his enemies are ever ready to build for him a bridge of gold, and the best conditions are at his service ; he has manfully rejected them all. He is charged with having plundered his country, and yet he is known not to have money; he is blamed for his want of patriotism, and for not ending the war by self-exile, yet it is not proved that his country will gain by his loss, and his countrymen fight for him like fiends — a sign that they still adhere to his cause. He is said to rule them by fear. On the other hand, the Paraguayan prisoners are rarely if ever known to utter a word against him.

And there is no doubt of the Marshal-President's ability. He is a remarkably good speaker. His letters,' his decrees, and his State papers answer for themselves. Without being a practical soldier he is an excellent topographer, and he has fought the defensive part of the campaign, if not with ability, at any rate with fewer blunders than his assailants. Driven backwards by the combination of army and iron- clads, he shifted his base line to the north till he found some readily defensible position. He thus compelled the


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invaders to cross over to the Gran Chaco, to drive a highway over swampSj to bridge sluggish streams^ and to "undergo all the hardships of a malarious land abounding in mos- quitos and other pests. With an audacious tenacity of purpose, and a vast moral courage peculiarly his own, he will probably fight his last man in the hope that the Triple Alliance may collapse, or that the Brazil may become weary of her tremendous burden. His enemies declare him to be mad with obstinacy, and predict that he will end by shooting himself.

The reader will readily remember that there are races of men, the Hindu (Brahman) for instance, who fear to fight though they do not dread to die, and that history quotes many an instance of the most cruel of torturers, and the most audacious conspirators, who were unnerved and unmanned by the least physical danger. Robespierre and Brigham Young have both been described as men of this stamp — a stamp be it said hardly comprehensible to the strong-nerved Briton. Moreover, the tongue of slander has applied the word of disgrace to Wellington, to San Martin, and even to the hero of Lodi, the namesake of a certain Corsican Saint who suffered under Diocletian.

In Paris the young General Lopez met his destiny in the shape of a woman. I have no hesitation in alluding to Madame Lynch, who has fought through the present campaign by the side of the Marshal-President, and whose name is now public property. For motives easily appreciated, Lieut.-Col. Thompson merely remarks, (Chap. III.,) '^ This was an Irish lady, educated in France, who had followed Lopez from Europe to Paraguay.^ She prints herself Eliza A. (Alicia) Lynch — her brother, Mr. Lynch, is still with her in Paraguay — and in early life she married M. de Quatre- fages, a surgeon in, or Surgeon-General of, the Algerian army, and nephew of the distinguished litterateur who advocated


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I'umte de Tespece humaine. Having been left by her husband in the Rue Richer she accidentally met General Lopez, who then lodged hard by in the Maison Meublee Americaine, and was persuaded to follow him to South America. After eighteen months of European travel, he returned to his native continent in December, 1855, and his fellow passengers still speak of him as a somewhat reserved and silent man. The lady arrived by the next mail, and remained at Buenos Aires until the humour of Lopez Pere should become known. Here " Panchito,^ the first child of her five or six, was born : one of the sponsors was M. Labastie, of the Hotel de Paz at Rozario, and he is sup- posed to have preserved some curious letters, which many however have failed to see. The widely-spread report that she lived for two years with M. Pujol, Governor of Cor- rientes, is a mere calumny. Presently she was allowed to reside at Asuncion, and was called upon by the old Presi- dent and his family : she never, however, occupied the same house as the General. The reader can now appreciate the value of Mr. Hinchliff's information — " The honours of the Presidential throne are shared by an amiably disposed Englishwoman .

I failed to procure a photograph of Madame Lynch, al- though one was often promised to me. An English officer whom she had impressed most favourably described her as somewhat resembhng Her Imperial Majesty of Fi-ance, tall, '^ belle femme,^^ handsome, with grey-blue eyes — once blue, and hair chatain-clair somewhat sprinkled with grey. These signs of age are easily to be accounted for ; her nerve must have been terribly tried since the campaign began, by tele- grams which were delivered even at dinner time, while every gun, fired in a new direction, caused a disturbance. She and her children have been hurried from place to place, and at times she must have been a prey to the most weary-


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ing and wearing anxiety. Her figure threatens to be bulky _, and to accompany a duplicity of chin : it is^ however^ as will be seen in the sequel, a silly rumour which reports thatj like another La Valliere^ she lost her influence over her " fickle lord '^ since she inclined to stoutness. Her manners are quiet_, and she shows a perfect self-possession : only on one occasion did she betray to my informant some anxiety as to whether the British Minister would visit Paraguay.

All are agreed that during the war Madame Lynch has done her utmost to mitigate the miseries of the captives,, and to make the so-called " detenus ^' comfortable. Before hostilities began she was ever civil to her bachelor fellow- countrymen, but the peculiarity of her position made her very jealous of wives who, in the middle classes at least, are apt to be curious about '^ marriage lines. ^^ She is said to be, when offended, very hard, and to display all the " ferocite des blondes.^ Two young Frenchmen of family, who when dunned for money which they had borrowed, applied ugly words to Madame Lynch, were at her instigation ar- rested for debt, thrown into prison, and compelled to beg their bread in the streets. This was told to me by an English lady, who ought to know the truth. The French Consul, M. Cochelet, who would not visit Madame Lynch, was kept until the arrival of the French steamer in a room at Humaita, where he and his family were exposed to the shells of the Brazilian fleet.

Madame Lynch must be somewhat ambitious. It is generally believed that she in company with the (late ?) Dean of the Cathedral, subsequently Bishop D. Manuel Antonio Palacios, a country priest who succeeded Urbieta, and with a Hungarian refugee. Colonel Wisner de Morgen- stern — his card so bears the name under his armorial de- vice — worked upon President Lopez, and persuaded him


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that he might easily become Master and Emperor of the Platine Regions. As early as 1854 an obsequious deputy had proposed in Congress to make the senior Lopez Em- peror, and the crown to be hereditary in his family. But as Captain Page remarked^ he was de facto Emperor/' and he did not want the odium of the name. Perhaps his son coveted it upon the principle which, amongst us, makes a peerage valuable to a man whose father refused it. Upon my return to Buenos Aires, I was shown the plaster model of a crown, apparently that of the first Napoleon, which, stuck to a board, had been forwarded for any alterations which the Marshal-President might suggest. Suspecting this to be a ruse de guerre in order to stir up popular odium, I consulted President Sarmiento. This statesman, in the presence of witnesses, declared to me that it had been sent out bond fide by a Parisian house, and that it had been embargo^ by the Argentine Government, together with furniture ordered by the Marshal-President. The furniture, destined for one room, and worth about 400/., consisted of fine solid curtain hangings, showy chairs, white, red, and gold, and tinsel chandeliers, with common cut glass and white paint showing under the gilding. It bore the arms of the Republic, but it was evidently copied from the Tui- leries. A hard fate caused it to be sold by auction at Buenos Aires.

Using the state of political parties in the Banda Oriental as a pretext. President Lopez, in early 1864, began actively to prepare fcr war. There is little doubt that he thought the proceeding one of self-preservation against his mortal enemies the Liberal party, which threatened incontinently to hem him in, and he is said to have declared, " If we have not a war with the Brazil now, we shall have it at a time less convenient for ourselves." Since then, in a mani- festo, he stated, " Paraguay must no longer consent to be


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lost sight of when the neighbouring states are agitating questions which have more or less a direct influence upon her dearest rights/^ Moreover he felt poignantly in his inmost soul the ^' ribald articles/^ those edged tools with which the press of Buenos Aires delighted to play^ calling him for instance "cacique/^ and Asuncion his "wigwam."

The following is a simple abstract of the dates which render the five years' war remarkable. The precis may be useful to the reader, and I have given in the Preface the briefest possible sketch of the campaign in its two phases^ offensive and defensive.

October 16, 1864. — The Brazilian army invades the Banda Oriental, despite the protestations of President Lopez, who declared that such invasion would be held a casus belli.

December 4^, 1864. — President Lopez despatches an expe- ditionary column to invade the Brazilian province of Matto-Grosso.

April 13, 1865. — After vainly soliciting permission from the Argentine Bepublic to march his troops across Corrientes, in order to attack the Brazil, President Lopez seizes two Argentine ships of war in the port of Corrientes and occupies the city.

May 1, 1865.— The " Treaty of May 1^' concludes a triple alliance, oflPensive and defensive, between the Brazil, the Argentine Republic, and the Banda Oriental again«t the government of Paraguay.

May, 1865. — Paraguay invades the Brazilian Province of Rio Grande do Sul, and her left corps d'armee marches down the valley of the Uruguay River.

June 11, 1865. — The Paraguayan fleet is defeated at the Battle of Riachuelo, and the right corps d'armeCy marching down the Parana, is compelled to retreat.


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September 18, 1865. — The Paraguayan left corps d'arm6e surrenders in Uruguayana to the Emperor of the Brazil, commanding the allies.

November 1-3, 1865. — The Paraguayan right corps d'armee retreats behind its own proper frontier, the line of the Parana River, and thus terminates the offensive phase of the campaign.

For nearly a year, between November 1865, and Sep- tember 1866, the Allies having crossed the Parana River, hold their ground despite the frantic efforts of the Para- guayans to dislodge them. Amongst the actions the most severe are the Battle of Estero Bellaco (May 2, 1866,) and the Battle of Tuyuty (May 24, 1866). The Commander-in- chief, Mitre, at last determines to force the line of the Paraguay River.

September 3, 1866. — The Paraguayan works at Curuzu, an outwork of Humaita, are stormed by the Allies. This is followed by the Conference of Ytaiti-Cora, where Presidents Mitre and Lopez coidd not come to terms.

September 22, 1866. — The Allies attack Curupaity, an- other outwork of Humaita, and are repulsed with terrible loss, especially of the Argentine army.

This fait d'armes is followed by nearly a year of com- parative inaction ; Marshal Caxias assumes command of the Brazilian army, and Admiral Tamandare retires from the fleet.

August 15, 1867. — The Brazilian iron-clad squadron steams past the batteries of Curupaity.

January 14, 1868. — General Mitre retires from the war, and is succeeded by Marshal Caxias as Generalissimo.


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February \S, 1868. — The Brazilian iron-clads run past the batteries of Humaita.

March \, 1868. — The Paraguayan canoes attack the Bra- zilian ironclads. Marshal-President Lopez retires from his Head-Quarters at Paso Pucii to Timbo, and thence to the line of the Tebicuary River. A general movement in advance on the part of the Allies takes place (March 21)^ the result being that the batteries of Curupaity are evacuated (March 22).

June 18-20^ 1868. — Marshal-President Lopez discovers, or suspects that he has discovered, a conspiracy with revolutionary intentions, headed by General Berges. Many executions are reported.

July 24, 1868. — The garrison of Humaita, surrounded on all sides and starved out, evacuates the so-called stronghold, makes for the Gran Chaco, on the other side of the river, and on August 6th surrenders.

August 22, 1868. — The Paraguayans evacuate the batteries of Timbo, north of Humaita.

August 28, 1868. — The Allies become masters of the deserted line of the Tebicuary Biver. Marshal-Pre- sident Lopez retires to Villeta, up stream.

Oct. 1, 1868. — Four ironclads force the Angostura bat- teries.

November, 1868. — Marshal Caxias determines once more to turn the enemy^s right flank, and directs Marshal Argolo to begin a military road through the Gran Chaco. Admiral Viscount de Inhauma forces the Pass of Angostura, November 15.

December 5, 1868. — The vanguard of the Brazilian army crosses the Paraguay River and lands unopposed on the left bank at San Antonio.

December 21-27, 1868.— The ^^ Waterloo of the war.^' After four several actions, Marshal-President Lopez,


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compelled to abandon Loma Valentina, and accom- panied by a handful of horsemen, dashes through the enemy and reaches Cerro Leon.

December 30, 1868. — The celebrated Angostura batteries, commanded by Lieut. -Col. George Thompson, C.E., and Colonel Carrillo, surrender.

January 2, 1869. — The Commander-in-Chief, Marshal Caxias, enters in triumph Asuncion, finds it evacuated, and declares the war to be " ended.^^

At this point finishes the second act of the war, and begins the third, which is not yet concluded. Marshal- President Lopez, safely sheltered by the mountains, de- termines upon a guerilla warfare, and collects for that purpose the last of the doomed Paraguayan race.