Southern Cone: Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil, March–April 1923

Justin R. Bray and Reid L. Neilson, eds., Exploring Book of Mormon Lands: The 1923 Latin American Travel Writings of Mormon Historian Andrew Jenson (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2014), 201–258.

Southern Cone: Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil, March–April 1923

“Jenson’s Travels,” March 26, 1923[1]

Valparaíso, Chile

Friday, March 23. After enjoying a fairly good night’s rest on board the steamer Santa Teresa, we arose to witness a cloudy, windy morning, and as the day advanced the wind increased somewhat in volume until the ocean became a little disturbed, in consequence of which some of the passengers were seized with seasickness. At noon we were in latitude 28°46′ S and longitude 71°40′ W. We were 319 nautical miles from Antofagasta and 259 miles from Valparaíso.

In the evening I introduced myself to the Honorable Henry B. Fletcher, who, together with seven other delegates, was on his way to Santiago, Chile, to represent the United States in

the fifth Pan-American convention, or conference, which was to meet March 25. Mr. Fletcher invited me to attend the meetings of the conference. I also made the acquaintance of the Honorable Frank C. Partridge of Vermont, former US minister to Venezuela, who was also a member of the American delegation. In our conversation he recognized that both Joseph Smith and Brigham Young were natives of Vermont[2] and rather seemed pleased with that fact, and I further informed him that his namesake, the late Edward Partridge,[3] was the first bishop of the Mormon Church.

Coast in Sight

Saturday, March 24. Early in the morning, the hilly coast of Chile was in sight on our port side, and at 8:30 a.m. the Santa Teresa cast anchor on the open roadstead in the Valparaíso Bay. The formal examination of passports and luggage was expedited somewhat, and about 9:00 a.m. we were taken to shore in an open rowboat, and soon afterwards we were comfortably housed in Rolf’s Hotel, Serrano Street, No. 116, near the landing stage.[4] After eating lunch we took a long streetcar ride to Viña del Mar, a fashionable resort about four miles from Valparaíso. Later in the afternoon Mr. [Rozier D.] Oilar,[5] our fellow traveler, and I walked almost to the top of the hills back of Valparaíso[6] in order to obtain a good view of the city and the bay on which it is located.[7]

Sunday, March 25. I spent most of the day in our room at Rolf’s Hotel, while Elder Page and Mr. Oilar went sightseeing.[8] In the evening I took a long streetcar ride to some of the elevated parts of the city.

Monday, March 26. We took long walks through some of the principal streets of Valparaíso and called on the editor of the South Pacific Mail,[9] the only newspaper published in the English language in Valparaíso. We had a long and interesting conversation with the editor (a native of Scotland), who gave us considerable information concerning affairs generally in Chile and particularly in Valparaíso and Santiago.

Second City of Chile

Valparaíso is the chief port on the west coast of South America and is the second city of the Republic of Chile. It is situated on the shores of the Pacific Ocean in latitude 33° S and longitude 71°41′ W, 117 miles by rail from Santiago (the capital of Chile). Valparaíso is situated on a wide bay of almost semicircular shape. The anchorage is protected from southerly and westerly winds but is exposed to storms from the north, which in certain seasons of the year are extremely violent. The climate of Valparaíso bears little relation to its geographical position as expressed in terms of latitude and longitude, being modified by the neighborhood of the Andes and the cold Humboldt Current, which flows northward past the shores of Chile. The rainfall is generally very light. The mean temperature is between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The rainfall is confined to the winter months, April to August, and is heaviest in July and August. In the summer the town is subject in the afternoons to violent south winds, dust laden and troublesome. The nights are frequently cold, and in winter, sea mists, with a gentle drizzle, alternate with torrential downpours of rain and days of perfect beauty. Behind the bay towards the east towers the impressive range of the Coast Cordilleras with two important mountain peaks—namely, the Sampano (Bell Mountain) and the Cerro El Roble (Oak Hill). Still further inland, in favorable weather may be seen the giant chain of the snow-clad Andes. Valparaíso resembles a huge amphitheater, being built on the flat ground at the base of the cliffs, which at the southern end of the town is narrow, widening considerably in the opposite direction. This portion is called El Plan, and upon it is situated the business center, public buildings, theaters, etc. The city, however, also occupies the whole line of hills, the houses covering the ridges and slopes, even in the most precipitous places, up to five hundred and six hundred feet above sea level. Physical conditions thus divide the city into the two well-marked portions—namely, El Plan (plain) and the cerros (hills).

Artificial Embankment

The whole length of the shore is lined by an artificial embankment called the malecón, or wharf, which serves for the temporary deposit of mounds of varied merchandise landed from lighters and which also protects the railway and town from the extraordinary heavy seas during the winter northers. The railway and principal streets run parallel with the wharf, occupying the entire space between the sea and the hills. The residential quarter on the hill slopes is served by lifts or elevators. The extremities of the bay are occupied by the residential suburbs of Viña del Mar and Playa Ancha, respectively, the first being decidedly aristocratic, the latter its more popular counterpart. Excellent motor roads have been constructed up the sides of the ravines, and a fine well-paved boulevard along the seashore is nearly completed from Valparaíso to Viña del Mar. The city has a population of about two hundred thousand, of which about seven thousand are English-speaking; but of these, fewer than one hundred are said to be Americans.

Valparaíso contains a large number of well-stocked stores, a dozen banks, beautiful parks and shaded plazas and avenues, pretentious government and municipal buildings, and a great number of churches, mostly Roman Catholic.

Market Well Stocked

Valparaíso’s market is stocked with excellent meat, such as beef from Argentina fattened in Chile, veal from Tierra del Fuego, seafood from cold southern waters, freshwater fish from snow-fed streams, dairy products from the southern German colony, vegetables from the central Chilean valleys, tropical fruit from Ecuador, native wine of the best quality, delicious sweets in the form of fruit and sugar paste, augmented by almost any imported delicacy that can be desired. Chilean food known as mariscos deserves special mention. Mussels and oysters come from the island of Chiloé and lobsters of unusual size from the islands of San Fernandez. Más a Tierra, the largest of the Juan Fernández group of three islands, lying 360 miles southwest of Valparaíso, is Robinson Crusoe’s Isle. It was here that Alexander Selkirk, a Scottish sailor, was dropped ashore in 1704 from an English galley at his own request and lived for more than four years.[10] The ship Brooklyn in its famous voyage around Cape Horn in 1846, carrying about 280[11] Latter-day Saints, touched at this island, and here one of its passengers who had died at sea was given a lonely grave.[12]

Valparaíso has been connected with British trade and industries so long that the place has much in common with British colonial ports. British names such as Cochrane, O’Higgins, Simpson, and O’Brian are a few of many British heroes in Chile’s Hall of Morris. Ever since the war of independence,[13] men of their blood have played their star roles in Valparaíso, and in the late world war[14] thousands of men of British blood left South America to serve in defense of Great Britain.

An Open Roadstead

Like Hong Kong, China, Valparaíso is formed of a few level streets, on land partly reclaimed from the sea, and a residential section on the hills above. The harbor of Valparaíso also is nothing but an open roadstead, though it is called a bay. Stupendous work is now in progress for protecting the shores from the terrific inroads of the sea. In stormy weather the surf dashes in with relentless fury, tearing down the massive masonry of the seawall and devastating the waterfront; but bulwarking goes on untiringly and will undoubtedly win at last.

Measured by the standards of the New World, Valparaíso is an old town and has had an eventful history. It is not known when the site was first inhabited, but Indian remains, primitive implements, and rough pottery indicate that it was occupied long before the Spaniards arrived. At one time all this part of Chile was included in the great empire of the Incas of Peru, and there is evidence that they introduced much of their higher culture.

The first record relating to Valparaíso dates from the visit of Juan de Saavedra, a member of [Diego de] Almagro’s Chilean expedition from Peru, who entered the bay in his ship, the Santiaguillo, in September 1536. He found the main valley occupied by an Indian village called Ouintil. These Spaniards had explored the desert coast of northern Chile in ships built in Panama. The explorers coasted southward thousands of miles, and most of the way they were in sight of a stern desert coast. At last they came to the end of the desert. They had reached the northern edge of the belt of westerly winds in Chile, where the more constant rains support a covering of green vegetation. So overjoyed were they at finding themselves once more in a land of trees and green grass that they, in their enthusiasm (on reaching the first green valley), called it the Valley of Paradise, or, as it is written in the Spanish language, “Valparaíso.”

Native Population Gone

The native population has long since vanished. Tradition says that the last Indian family lived in a place called the Rinconada (the Corner), probably where the Plaza Echaurren now stands, where they made pottery. The original woods have long since been consumed in the braseros (charcoal stoves), but today much is being done by the planting on the hills above the town of hundreds of thousands of eucalyptus (trees); the gardens are spreading up the slopes and soon Valparaíso will once more be worthy of its name.

In the port of Santiago, Valparaíso received ships occasionally of great value and attracted the unwelcome attention of rovers of all nations. The town was sacked by Sir Francis Drake[15] in 1578, when on his celebrated voyage around the world, and again by [Richard] Hawkins[16] in 1596. In 1600 it was sacked by the Dutch under [Olivier van] Noort.[17] After this the town had a rest for half a century and increased in importance as a place of export for corn, wine, hides, tallow, and other commodities.

A fortress was built on the bluff Cerro Cordillera (that then overhung the sea) where the Plazuela del Castillo marks the site. A plan of this fortress is still in existence. When Gulbergen and his fleet attempted to capture the place in 1650, he was unable to land his men. In 1800 the number of inhabitants was only four thousand.

Long and Bitter Struggle

In the long and bitter struggle with Spain for freedom, Valparaíso suffered the consequences of the varying fortunes of war. Independent for a time after the first outbreak of the revolt, the town experienced hard treatment during the Spanish reconquest, and this was only ended by the victory of the combined patriot armies, under the command of [José de] San Martín and [Bernardo] O’Higgins,[18] in April 1818.

In 1865 Valparaíso, being then an open town, was bombarded by a Spanish fleet under Admiral [Méndez] Núñez.[19] Taking the lesson to heart, the government built adequate coast defenses, and now the place is heavily fortified. Its last military episode was its partial sacking by the defeated troops of President [José Manuel] Balmaceda,[20] who retreated upon it after the battle of Placilla in August 1891.

Valparaíso has also witnessed stirring naval events. During the war of independence, it was the chief naval station of the patriots, and in 1819 it witnessed the departure of the first Chilean squadron under the command of [Thomas] Cochrane,[21] bearing troops northward for the liberation of Peru. In the recent war of the “Pacific” against Peru and Bolivia,[22] which ended in the complete triumph of the Chilean arms and the occupation of Lima, the port was the center of great activity with the dispatching of troops and naval forces.

LDS Missionaries

Apostle Parley P. Pratt[23] and Elder Rufus C. Allen[24] arrived in Valparaíso as Latter-day Saint missionaries November 8, 1851, from California per bark Henry Kelsey. They had sailed from San Francisco September 5, 1851, and were sixty-four days at sea. On their arrival at Valparaíso, they took lodgings and board at a French hotel, where the proprietor and clerk spoke French. They paid four dollars per day for three of them, Elder Parley P. Pratt having his wife[25] with him. After spending about two and a half months in Valparaíso studying the Spanish language, the little missionary party moved to Quillota, a little inland town situated in a beautiful and fertile valley and on a river thirty-eight miles northeast of Valparaíso (now a city containing nearly twenty thousand inhabitants). Here Elder Pratt and associates lived one month (from January to February 1852), and on March 2, 1852, having returned to Valparaíso, they embarked on board the ship Dracut to return to the United States. After a long and tedious passage of seventy-nine days, the ship arrived in San Francisco on May 21, 1852. Thus ended the first and only attempt so far to introduce the restored gospel of Jesus Christ to the inhabitants of South America. A detailed account of the mission is published in Parley P. Pratt’s Autobiography.[26] I am not aware that another attempt has ever been made by the Church to open a mission in Chile.[27]

“Jenson’s Travels,” March 30, 1923[28]

Santiago, Chile

Tuesday, March 27. We paid our bills at Rolf’s Hotel (where we had been well treated), went to the railway station, and left Valparaíso by train at 8:00 a.m. for Santiago, the capital of Chile, distant 117 miles.

After traveling along the coast as far as Viña del Mar, we turned inland up a beautiful, well-cultivated valley abounding with fine farms and orchards. We soon reached Quillota, a city with nearly twenty thousand inhabitants, known to students of Church history as the place where Apostle Parley P. Pratt and Elder Rufus C. Allen spent a month early in 1852, while filling their mission to Chile, endeavoring to learn the Spanish language. We arrived in Santiago about noon and secured lodgings at Hotel Bristol, near the railway station. Together with Elder Page and Mrs. R. I. Oilar, another traveling companion, we spent most of the afternoon traveling by streetcars to visit different parts of the city, including Luna Park, the Avenida de las Delicias (one of the longest and prettiest avenues in the city).

Wednesday, March 28. In the forenoon I ascended the hill Cerro Santa Lucía, one of the most striking attractions of Santiago. This steep hill rising from the center of the city has a fine road winding to the top, whence an unparalleled view over the city and the valley in which it is situated is obtained. The hill has been beautified by the planting of trees, shrubs, flowers, etc., on its slopes and is of historical interest also from the fact that here the Spanish conquerors of Chile built their first fort as a protection against the Indians. Santa Lucía is justly claimed by the people of Chile as one of the beauty spots of the world. On a clear day some of the peaks of the Andes, rising to a height of seventeen thousand feet, can be seen from the top of the Santa Lucía.

Americans at Banquet

At 12:30 p.m. my companions and I participated in a banquet at the American Club in Santiago, to which all the Americans of the city and surroundings were invited and at which the United States delegation to the Latin American convention[29] were the special guests of honor. The meal served was nothing extra, but the after dinner speeches were excellent, particularly a short talk given by a Dr. [George E.] Vincent,[30] one of the delegates, which was full of American wit and humor. We had the pleasure of being introduced to Americans from different parts of the United States and also to some who were permanently located in Chile, among others the American chargé d’affaires, or minister, to Chile, to whom I showed my passport, etc. He became so interested in the medical certificate given me by Dr. Elias S. Wright[31] of Salt Lake City that he passed it around to his colleagues and remarked that armed with a document of that kind I would surely be permitted to land not only in Chile but in any other country in the world where I might desire to go.

In the afternoon we hired a native to take us to the top of the higher hill, San Cristóbal, which is situated across the river east of Santiago; but in climbing the hill the horses balked and utterly refused to climb the somewhat steep road, so the crafty owner tried to make us believe that he had agreed to take us around the hill instead of to the top. While Mr. Oilar was discussing the proposition with the driver, I left the carriage and climbed to the top (about eight hundred feet above the surrounding plain), following neither road nor path. I found it quite a task but reached the top just in time to view one of the most beautiful sunset effects that I have ever seen.

A Colossal Statue

On the summit of San Cristóbal is a colossal statue of the Virgin Mary, an object of pilgrimage for many years past. The figure, which is of cast iron, is forty-five feet high, and the whole monument, with pedestal, is seventy feet. Near the top of an adjoining hill is the huge dome of the American Observatory erected by the Harvard University[32] and equipped with an exceptionally fine reflecting telescope. I was invited by the Brazilian delegation to the Santiago convention to ride with them in an automobile back to the city.

Thursday, March 29. With Elder Page, I visited the art gallery in Santiago, which contains a valuable collection of paintings and sculpture besides many interesting historical relics. Among the pieces of sculpture is La Quimera, by Nicanor Plaza, considered one of the most beautiful works executed in America.[33]

The city of Santiago has about five hundred thousand inhabitants and is one of the finest cities of South America. It lies on the Mapocho River in the so-called Central Valley of Chile 117 miles by rail from Valparaíso and 901 miles from Buenos Aires, Argentina; it is 1,840 feet above sea level in latitude 33°27′ S and longitude 70°41′ W of Greenwich. The city spreads over a large area stretching some five miles from east to west and 4½ miles from north to south. It is laid out in square blocks, but unlike Salt Lake City, the streets are narrow. Plaza de Armas, a beautiful square, may be considered the center of the city; it is situated a short distance from the Mapocho station. The Plaza de Armas is flanked on two sides by covered arcades, a characteristic Spanish colonial feature. The fine cathedral, which is of considerable antiquity and historic interest, occupies another side of the square, and on the fourth side is found the central post office.

The official residence of the president of the republic is the so-called [Palacio de la] Moneda, which includes offices of the minister of the interior, justice, finance, and foreign affairs. The building, a solid structure of stone and brick, was commenced in 1786 and completed in 1805 at a cost of $1.5 million. A large, handsome building occupying the center block to the rear of the cathedral is the National Congress building. Besides the two chambers for senators and deputies, respectively, it contains a magnificent central hall, 140 x 50 feet, which is used by the president of the republic when addressing the combined houses. In this building the meetings of the Latin-American convention, now assembled in Santiago, are being held. The Alameda, the principal avenue that traverses the city, is nearly three miles in length. Besides the great central park there are quite a number of other parks or plazas in the city, and there are many magnificent business blocks and thousands of beautiful private residences. Santiago was founded December 13, 1540, by Pedro Valdivia.

Harriet Chalmers Adams, in her splendid article, “A Longitudinal Journey through Chile,” published in the National Geographic Magazine for September 1922, writes: “The situation of Santiago, Chile’s capital, nearly 1,800 feet above the sea, is most attractive, ranking in beauty among South American cities second only after Rio Janeiro and mating La Paz, Arequipa, and Caracas. Come with me at the sunset hour to the summit of Santa Lucía, that singular hill of volcanic origin in the heart of the city, where Pedro de Valdivia, the real conqueror of Peru, built his first defense against the natives. This once barren knoll, four hundred feet above the plain, has been transformed into a hanging garden. Over its treetops we look down on the great city of half a million souls—a city of low buildings and checkerboard streets set in emerald meadows and encompassed by snowy mountains. Now, as the sun sets, the jagged Andean peaks, towering above purpling slopes, are aflame. It is a sublime panorama. [. . .] Mount Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Americas, just across the line in Argentina, wears its eternal snow helmet. Aviators crossing the Andes fly past the volcano Tupungato. Up to the time of my writing, eight bird men and one bird woman have successfully dared the transandine flight. Five were Chilean, two French, one Argentine, and one Italian. There have been a number of unsuccessful attempts, and two of the aviators lost their lives.”[34]

“Jenson’s Travels,” April 2, 1923[35]

Santiago, Chile

Friday, March 30. This being Good Friday[36] and Chile a Catholic country, nearly all stores and business houses were closed in honor of the Savior’s Crucifixion, and the theaters were forbidden to present anything except the Passion play[37] in moving pictures or something connected with the life of the Redeemer. Elder Page and I attended a picture show of that kind but spent most of the day reading literature on Chile and other countries.

Chile is a republic on the western coast of South America, famous for its length. It is bounded on the north by Peru, on the east by Bolivia and Argentina, and on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean. The coastline is about 2,700 miles. The area of Chile is 292,419 square miles. The width of the country varies from sixty-five miles to nearly 250 miles; the average width is eighty-seven miles, and its widest point is at Antofagasta. The population of Chile was 3,754,723 according to the census of 1920—principally whites, descendants of Spaniards, and other Europeans. There are about eighty thousand Indians of the Araucanian race on reservations and under the protection of the central government. There are some Indian blood mixtures among the lower classes. The Chilean Indians, like those in the United States, are rapidly disappearing.

Two Mountain Chains

The crest of the Andes marks the eastern boundary, and the Pacific Ocean the western boundary, of Chile. The republic is traversed by two mountain chains—namely, the Cordillera de la Costa and the Andes. Between these two chains lies the Central Valley, the agricultural section. The country may be divided into four zones, as follows: First, the desert zone, from 18° to 27° S latitude. Here are found the only important nitrate deposits in the world. This zone is rainless and sterile. Second, the mineral zone, from 27° to 33° S latitude. In this region the Andes reach their highest point. Gold, silver, copper, cobalt, nickel, and lead, etc., are found here. This zone is generally arid, but there is a fair amount of cultivation in the Central Valley. Third, the agricultural zone, from 33° to 42° S latitude, also known as the central zone. In this zone the Andes gradually diminish in height until they reach one-third the height of the second zone. Between the coast range and the Andes is an exceedingly fertile valley known as the Central Valley, watered by numerous rivers and canals. It is about sixty miles in length. This zone also contains coal, other minerals, and considerable timber. Fourth, the southern, or island, zone, south of Puerto Montt, from 42° 56′ S latitude, where the Central Valley falls away and the coast range is transformed into a large archipelago extending along the coast as far as Cape Horn and including the island of Tierra del Fuego and the Territory of Magallanes. It is but thinly inhabited although there is an enormous area suitable for sheep grazing.

Few Navigable Rivers

While numerous rivers flow from the mountains to the coast, only a few are navigable. The climate of the coast may be said in general to resemble that of the Californian coast. It varies, however, according to the latitude and natural conditions. In the first zone there is scarcely any rain; in the second zone there is more, but it is not abundant; in the third zone the rains are frequent, and in the fourth zone the precipitation is very heavy. The climate is also influenced by the Humboldt Current and by the high mountains, etc. In the north the weather is hot and dry, but it is cold at night. In the mountains, snowstorms are frequent, especially during the winter, when they sometimes reach the Central Valley. The seasons are briefly distinguished by frequency or lack of rain. Between the latitudes 30° and 40° S the winter is the rainy season, while the summer is the dry season. South of latitude 40° S the weather is rainy, and during the summer there is heavy precipitation. Because of the position south of the equator, the seasons are the opposite of those in the United States: spring, September 21 to December 21; summer, December 21 to March 21; autumn, March 21 to June 21; winter, June 21 to September 21.

Mining Chief Resource

The chief source of Chilean wealth is mining. This includes almost every variety of mineral. The most important industry of Chile is that of nitrate. Owing to the demand for this mineral during the European war,[38] the republic enjoyed unprecedented prosperity. The export tax from this source alone amounted to over $30 million in 1916. The nitrate deposits lie chiefly between Pisagua and Taltal, a distance of about 450 miles, between the coast range and the higher Andes. Chile is the only country in the world in which nitrate of soda is found in workable quantities. Its principal uses are as fertilizers in agriculture and as bases in chemical industries, particularly in explosives. Most of it is exported to the United States for fertilizing; a large percentage of it goes to South Carolina. The copper and coal industries are also important in Chile. Agriculture has been highly developed in the rich Central Valley, where the products of the temperate zone—including grains, fruits, and vegetables—are grown. Grape culture is very important. Other products are wheat, rye, barley, beans, peas, lentils, potatoes, and rice. Dairy farming is increasing in importance. There are many manufacturing industries in Chile, and the forest products are a great source of revenue. Cattle and sheep raising are also important industries. Spanish is the language of Chile and is the only language generally used in business. The currency of Chile is the paper peso, which fluctuates widely in value; at present a peso is worth about fifteen cents in American money; a peso is divided into one hundred centavos. The metric system of weights and measures is the legal one in Chile, although the standards are sometimes used.

Southernmost City

The southernmost city in the world is Punta Arenas, in Chile, situated in latitude 53° 10′ S. The northernmost city in the world is Hammerfest, in Norway, situated in latitude 71° N.

The Chileans are sometimes termed the Yankees of South America. In spite of its small size, Chile is one of the most important countries in South America. Its army and navy are the pride of every Chilean and compare with an equal number of the armed forces of the United States. The beautiful Chilean horses are as good as may be found anywhere and give the cavalry a fine appearance on the Sunday parade that is held throughout the year. In the war with Peru in 1879–83,[39] Chile quickly overcame the small Peruvian navy, defeated one army after another, and at last took Lima and held it until the end of the war.

The industry and ingenuity of the Chileans are also exhibited in their schools and colleges, their railroads and wagon roads, their streets and parks, their everyday business and their relations with their neighbors. The Chileans, being well aware of their progressive qualities, are so proud of them that they call themselves the Yankees of South America. To them the word “Yankee” means a person of energy and ingenuity, and, as they use the word, it also means a wide-awake citizen of the United States.

Admiration for US

They admire the way in which the United States has prospered. The Andes Mountains that confine Chile to the Pacific seacoast are among the few really lofty highlands in the world. Aconcagua, whose peak reaches up into the regions of eternal snow (attaining an altitude of twenty-three thousand feet), is perhaps the loftiest mountain in the Western Hemisphere. This mountain lies on the boundary between Chile and Argentina. North and south of it are ranges and groups of lofty volcanic peaks whose bare, cold surfaces repel the settlers and traveler alike. A vacant region such as this is an ideal boundary between nations, yet Chile and the Argentine have in the past had several serious disagreements and threatened war over boundary lines; but at last better counsels prevailed. Surveyors were employed to study the country thoroughly, and the king of England decided the case on the basis of this survey. Both sides accepted his award, and to commemorate the peaceful settlement there was raised on the divide or summit of the mountains between Chile and Argentina a colossal statue of Christ. It was cast from old Spanish cannon left there about eighty years before. On it is this inscription: “Sooner shall these mountains crumble into dust than Chileans and Argentines shall break this peace which at the feet of Christ, the Redeemer, they have sworn to maintain.”

“Jenson’s Travels,” April 2, 1923[40]

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Saturday, March 31. Together with Elder Thomas P. Page, I visited the principal cemetery at Santiago, and I was happily surprised to find so many beautiful and costly vaults and mausoleums. There were many complete avenues of these, and I was led to believe that the Catholics, at least the better classes of them, honor their dead more than do the Protestants. At 4:00 p.m. we said goodbye to the beautiful city of Santiago and traveled by rail via Leai-Leai eighty-seven miles to Los Andes, a town with ten thousand inhabitants situated at the west base of the Andes Mountains and the western terminus of the Transandine Railway. Here we stopped overnight at a hotel, where the charges were rather exorbitant as compared with the cost of living in Chile elsewhere.[41]

Sunday, April 1. We boarded the cars of the narrow-gauge Transandine Railway and left Los Andes at 7:00 a.m. The Río Aconcagua winds its way toward the Pacific Ocean, with lofty mountains on either side. We passed through a number of tunnels, but there were only a few small stations with water tanks. Near the station of Portillo there is a pretty mountain lake on the left, near the track, and after passing Caracoles (the last station in Chile), we entered a tunnel nearly two miles long at an altitude of 10,452 feet above sea level; and as we emerged from this tunnel at its east end, we found ourselves in the great republic of Argentina and soon entered the little mountain town of Las Cuevas, arriving there about 12:00 noon. This place is near the snow limit of the mighty Andes range, and the lofty mountain called Aconcagua (23,300 feet high) is in plain view from the station, apparently only a short distance to the northwest.

The railway follows the old original trail over which countless hordes of primitive people have, doubtless, passed for many a century before the coming of the Spaniard, who named it “Camino de los Andes.”[42] And over this camino his descendants jogged afoot, or on muleback, for three centuries more until the men from the north, the brothers John and Matthew Clark,[43] came and built a railway. The old road over the Cumbre Pass, 2,630 feet above the railway line immediately beneath it, has now fallen into disuse. The travelers of today, crossing the Andes by rail, do not see that lone “Christus” statue on the summit of the Cumbre demarcating the boundary line between the nations and pointing to the record of eternal peace, which Argentina and Chile have sculptured on the base of the statue.[44]

Down the Slope

After stopping an hour or so at Las Cuevas, which gave the Argentine officers an opportunity to examine our baggage, passports, doctor’s certificates, etc., we commenced our descent of the eastern slopes of the Andes and soon reached the little city of Puente del Inca, where a natural bridge, one of the marvels of South America, spans the river Cuevas at a height of some sixty-five feet above the water; it has a span of seventy feet and a width of ninety feet. The mountain scenery is grand both on the western and eastern slopes of the great Andes range; yet I must be permitted to say that there are in different parts of the United States scenery and wonders of nature which in beauty and grandeur (except in height) surpass that of the Andes.

As we proceeded on our journey down the Cuevas and Mendoza Rivers, we beheld many curious natural formations, among them a fine mass of pinnacled rocks, called “Los Penitentes,” situated on the top of a high ridge. Out of the deep slope under the Penitentes, smaller pinnacled rocks shoot up. The high rocks give the impression of a mighty cathedral, and the smaller sharp rocks beneath on the slope resemble a number of cowled monks marching up to the cathedral, hence the name—the Penitents.

At 8:00 p.m. we arrived at Mendoza, a city of seventy thousand inhabitants situated on the Mendoza River 2,465 feet above sea level.

Here we changed cars, and three of us were assigned to an apartment in a sleeper on the broad-gauge Southern Pacific Railway. At 9:30 p.m. we resumed the journey from Mendoza, glad indeed for the privilege of changing from the crowded and uncomfortable small cars of the Transandine Railway to comfortable sleepers. We called it an April Fools’ Day episode, which we thoroughly enjoyed.

Over the Plains

Monday, April 2. Having traveled all night, we found ourselves at the dawn of the day speeding over the immense plains, or pampas, of Argentina. Not since I crossed the steppes of Siberia in 1912[45] have I seen anything like it. These very extensive plains reach from the eastern base of the Andes to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Salado River in the north to the Negro River on the south. The great plains seemed level as the sea, and tens of thousands of cattle, sheep, and horses grazing on them were in plain sight from our car windows.

The day was stormy, and at short intervals the rain poured down in torrents. With the exception of a few showers at Cuzco, Peru, this was the first rainstorm we had experienced since we left California in January last. We were told that rainy weather had been continuous on the pampas for several days—in consequence of which every river was swollen, and in places the farms and meadows for miles and miles along the railway were covered with water. The plains are sparsely inhabited, and the towns along our route of travel were small and unimportant; but we noticed ranches far apart, however, and the animals grazing on the pampas seemed innumerable. When darkness spread its somber mantle over creation, we were still speeding over the pampas.

The name pampas is of Indian origin and was in use when the Spaniards came to the Argentine. It was given to any open level tract, whether it is grass covered or desert, in a high situation or near sea level. In the Argentine, however, the name is applied to the plains that occupy the central portion of the country. The first thing that strikes the traveler, as he journeys through the pampas, is their exceeding flatness.

Monotonous Scenery

For long distances the eye can distinguish no difference of level; the surface appears to be like the world of the ancients—a vast plain stretching out to the great world river that encircles the earth. But as a matter of fact the pampas are not quite flat; they consist in a large part of shallow basins with the floor covered with salt or sand or lakes of variable depth and extent. For the most part the water of the tributary streams is lost in the sand or evaporates from the surface of lakes. The monotony of the outlook over the central plains is one of the qualities of Argentine scenery never forgotten. Little clumps of eucalyptus trees here and there dot the plain, and small clumps grow about the huts of the shepherds and border the avenues near the houses of the estancieros, or ranchmen.

The headquarters of an estate is marked by a windfall—an almost universal sign of the pampas. Sometimes the monotony of the view is broken by the brown of a freshly plowed field, or the tasseled green of corn, or a lagoon or swamp bordered by a belt of salt-covered plain and dotted with waterfowl that make their home in great numbers on its reedy shores. Once in a while a South American ostrich, or rhea, may be seen stalking along or feeding with a flock of sheep. These and countless herds of cattle are the chief living features of the extensive pampas of the Argentine.

It has been said that the people of the Argentine rest on two feet and travel on four. The remark suggests that horseback riding is very common in this country of flat plains, where even the distance from house to house is too great to travel on foot. Everybody rides, and even very young boys ride, the swiftest horses. Children ride when they visit their playmates at the neighboring ranch, and the hunter must ride because the game animals of the flat plains can see for long distances and are very fleet.

Vast Expanses

Like the prairies in the western part of the United States, the pampas of the Argentine are a constant source of interest to the traveler who sees them for the first time. Their vast expanses are sublime; in the wind and the darkness they awaken in the heart of the traveler a feeling of terror; the limitless wilderness of grass and flowers, with its scattered people and unbroken expanses, is a marvel of plains scenery, with extraordinary changes of color from morning to night. Upon the hot pampas at midday the mirage sometimes produces magical effects—a patch of plain becomes a lake, a distant thistle field a forest of tall timber, and a dreary marsh a troop of phantom horsemen.

The cloud effects are the most marvelous of all the pampas sights. When a thunderstorm comes up, the great bulky clouds are not hidden or half hidden by surrounding hills, as they are in a rough country; the whole cloud mass is clearly visible moving over the pampas miles away; all the awe of the thunder and lightning is clear to the senses. Of more delicate beauty are the cloud effects in fair weather. Huge masses of cumulus clouds float majestically through the air, their fleecy white thrown in sharp contrast against the deep blue of the sky. At sunset the pampas are no less wonderfully transformed than they are at sunrise. In the softening light, clouds and waving grasses are brought out more distinctly, and the west is tinged with delicate tints or bathed with the most extravagant colors.

The vast central region of the pampas is peculiar in having a grass cover of almost uniform quality and of few species. The soft grasses are excellent for sheep; the coarse grasses are the food of the great herds of cattle for which the pampas are noted.

Winds and Climate

For several hundreds of miles there are no important interruptions to the movement of the air, and once the wind begins, it blows with almost the same freedom as it does at sea. The south wind, or the so-called Antarctic gales, are particularly violent, and from the north comes the zonda, blowing with great strength at intervals during the winter months (July and August). Perhaps the most violent winds of all are the dreaded and boisterous pamperos, which blow from the southwest. For days the temperature will rise with the continuance of the north wind until the air becomes almost suffocatingly hot. Suddenly the wind changes, and the southwest pampero begins to blow; thunder and lightning, a gloomy sky, and abundant rain accompany it, and in almost an instant the hot air is swept away before a bracing gale that leaves one shivering where before there was almost tropic heat.

Of the more serious consequences to men are the droughts for which the dry western plains are well known. They sometimes burn up the grasses and wither the shrubs, dry up the lakes and streams, and turn what was before a profitable range into a land that is half desolate. There is a gradual increase in rainfall from west to east. In the west it is too dry for agriculture without irrigation, and man does not depend directly on rain for the growing of grains and vegetables. The farther east one goes the better become one’s chances to raise grain without irrigation, and in the province of Buenos Aires, farming on a large scale is carried on without the artificial use of water.

The Pampa Prairie Dog

A pampas animal called the vizcacha, which is in some respect like the prairie dog in the United States, inhabits the pampas. He lives in dark chambers in the loose soil and may be seen far out in the mountains and plateaus of Bolivia and Chile, where his shrill chattering relieves the mountain stillness; but his true home, and the place that he likes the best, is the pampas country of the central Argentine. In some places the ground is so full of vizcacha holes that a horse is scarcely able to walk, and galloping is impossible.

Waterfowl of many kinds are found in vast numbers on the plains, where they congregate about the water of the lagoons. Here are the black-necked swan, the flamingo, wild duck of many sorts, sandpipers, ibises, herons, cranes, and spoonbills. Ticks, flies, and mosquitoes are very numerous on the pampas and very troublesome, and so also is the dragonfly, another hated insect. The so-called dragonfly storms come just in advance of the pampero. The insects fly close to the surface and in such clouds that the air for ten or twelve feet above the earth seems full of them. Unlike the locusts (which swarm in like numbers), they do not eat the vegetation but fall upon the ticks and sand flies, causing them to vanish like smoke.

Out upon the flat stretches of the pampas there originally roamed two animals of exceptional interest, the guanaco and the vicuña, cousins of the llama and alpaca. Today the vicuña is found almost wholly in the mountains, and the guanaco still roams the plains, especially in Patagonia. Even those animals, which have been brought to the pampas from Europe, have undergone changes in response to the nature of the climate and the vegetation of the pampas. Thus has been developed a pampas breed of sheep having tall, gaunt, bony frames; dry flesh; and long, straight, wool-like goat’s hair.

The Argentine Cowboy

The gauchos of the Argentine, like the cowboys on the plains of the United States, live almost entirely on horseback a free, rough life full of hardship. The gaucho lives in a simple hut or in a tent and despises the life of the town; he is accustomed to the saddle from childhood and cares more for the ornaments of silver in the reins of his bridle and for the trappings of his saddle than he does for the finest houses. His eyesight is as keen as that of an Indian; a cloud of dust, the flight of birds, and the lay of the grass are to him signs of men or of an approaching storm; to him the print of a horse’s hoof is a subject demanding study, since it may show clearly who has passed by. As a type the gaucho is most interesting, but his day has passed with the passing of much of the free range, and, like the cowboy of the western plains of the United States, he will soon disappear entirely. The Indians who once roamed over the pampas have almost disappeared from the central Argentine.

At 7:00 p.m. we arrived at the Retiro station in Buenos Aires, where we hired an automobile which took us to a hotel, where we have a comfortable home during our sojourn in Buenos Aires.[46]

“Jenson’s Travels,” April 11, 1923[47]

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Thursday, April 3. Our first move in the morning was to make a beeline for the American consulate in Buenos Aires to obtain mail from home, as we had received no news direct from Utah since we left Los Angeles, California, two months before. A batch of letters from family and friends gave us much comfort, especially on learning that “all was well at home.”[48]

We commenced our sightseeing in Buenos Aires at once and during the day visited a number of its parks, plazas, and principal streets.[49] Buenos Aires, containing nearly two million inhabitants, is the capital of the Argentine Republic and the largest city in South America. It is situated on the estuary of the Río de la Plata near the Atlantic coast, 1,210 nautical miles from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; 120 nautical miles from Montevideo, Uruguay; and 901 miles by rail from Valparaíso, Chile. There are only three cities in the United States that are larger than Buenos Aires—namely, New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago. About one-fifth of the entire population of Argentina lives in the capital. The same can be said of Denmark, where one-fifth of the population resides in Copenhagen. The close association of so many people in one place has stimulated the growth of the national spirit to a degree far beyond that which the people perhaps otherwise would have developed. The Argentines have become proud of their chief city and willingly endure heavy taxes that it may be made beautiful, healthful, and comfortable.

Favorable Location

Much of the importance of Buenos Aires is due to the favorable location of the city at the mouth of the Río de la Plata, which forms the main stem of the great drainage system of the whole northern and eastern parts of the Argentine and portions of Paraguay and Bolivia. The great system of docks, wharves, basins, and warehouses add materially to the importance of the capital. In addition, the great network of railroads, which converge here, place it in touch with the most remote sections of the country, and enormous export business in grain, meat, hides, wool, etc., is done. Specialization in different lines of trade is more marked in this city than in any other Latin American community. A wide diversity of nationalities produces an equally wide variety of tastes, and many grades of merchandise are needed. The city has magnificent avenues, spacious parks, fine hotels, palatial residences, luxurious clubs and theatres, and excellent tramway and subway transportation facilities. The cosmopolitan air, which the traveler finds only in a few of the world’s great cities, is characteristic of Buenos Aires.[50]

Wednesday, April 4. We continued sightseeing in Buenos Aires and, among other places, visited the docks and the riverfront,[51] where there were a large number of vessels hailing from countries in nearly all parts of the world.[52]

Thursday, April 5. I visited the Fine Arts Museum on the Plaza San Martín and in the afternoon the National Historical Museum at No. 1600 Calle Defense. I found both very interesting and instructive, especially the latter, where a large collection of historical relics from colonial and national days of the Argentine Republic were housed.[53]

At the Danish Club

Friday, April 6. I took a long streetcar ride to Palermo, the popular and fashionable part of Buenos Aires.[54] Here I visited the zoological gardens, botanical gardens, military reservation, waterworks, etc.[55] In the evening I ate Smørrebrød (Danish sandwiches) in the Danish Club and was introduced to a number of Danes who had emigrated from Denmark to Argentina and were making their homes in Buenos Aires. Among them I met a Mr. Nielsen[56] and wife, a newly wedded couple, who were seeking their fortune in South America. Mrs. Nielsen proved to be a granddaughter of a Mrs. Mariane Christensen,[57] whom I baptized in the little city of Hjørring in 1873, when I filled my first mission to Denmark.[58] There are about fifteen thousand Danes in the Argentine Republic, of whom about one-third reside in and near Buenos Aires. Three Danish newspapers are published in the Argentine, namely, two in Buenos Aires and one in a country district lying south of that city, where there are a number of prosperous Danish farming colonies and some successful business men.

In Argentina, as well as in the United States, the Scandinavians are welcomed as desirable citizens. A number of them are engaged in various business enterprises in Buenos Aires.

I spent part of the day in the public library perusing literature relating to Argentina.[59] The republic of Argentina is bounded on the north by Bolivia and Paraguay; on the east by Paraguay, Brazil, and the Atlantic Ocean; on the south by the Atlantic Ocean and Chile; and on the west by Chile. Argentina is wedge shape in form; its length is 2,285 miles, and its greatest width is 930 miles; its coastline measures about 1,660 miles.

Four Distinct Regions

The republic may be divided into four rather distinct regions—namely, (1) the north region, where sugar, rice, peanuts, tobacco, cotton, coffee, yerba maté, mandioca, olives, bananas, early vegetables, alfalfa, corn, and wheat are raised; (2) the cereal region, or the agricultural zone, where wheat, corn, oats, linseed oil, barley, and alfalfa grow; (3) the wine region, where large quantities of grapes, olives, fruits, cereals, and alfalfa are raised; and (4) the southern region, where little or no rain falls except along the Andes and where there are great forests along the mountain slopes. Some cereals, alfalfa, and fruits are raised in this region, but the raising of sheep and cattle are the chief industries of the people.

There are a number of lakes and many navigable rivers in Argentina. The population of the republic is about nine million, representing many nationalities. The majority are whites, including a large foreign population, particularly Spanish, Italian, British, German, Scandinavian, Russian, Polish, Portuguese, etc., but only a few Americans. There are also some Indians and mestizos (a mixture of Indian and Spanish blood).

Argentina is one of the great wheat-producing countries of the world. Among other cereals grown are flax, oats, and maize.[60] The production of cotton, sugar, wine, and tobacco is increasing. The vineyards in the western portion of the republic are very important, and so is the sugar industry. The country is a great producer of cattle; the meat products, wool, hides, and skins add greatly to the national income. Copper, manganese, and sulphur are mined, and silver, borax, mica, lead, tin, and wolfram are also found. Petroleum has had a considerable development, and there are indications of rich deposits of oil in different parts of the country. Although Argentina is not primarily a manufacturing country, at least fifty different branches of industry are represented, totaling about fifty thousand separate establishments, which employ over four hundred thousand persons.

Diversified Climate

The climate of Argentina is widely diversified; it is subtropical in the north, temperate in the center, and cold in the south. The temperature and rainfall are governed by the Andes Mountains, the equatorial current, and other factors. In a sentence, the climate may be described as temperate with many variations. It seldom rains on the eastern slope of the Andes, and in the plateaus of the north it never rains. These regions are swept by violent winds almost continuously. It is exceedingly hot during the day and cold at night. The pamperos are cold southwest winds from the Andes Mountains, blowing chiefly from June to November. In the Andean mountains, blowing chiefly from regions there are hot winds known as the zondas, blowing from the north and northwest, chiefly in September and October. These cause great suffering. In Tierra del Fuego it is cold nearly the whole year, the maximum summer temperature being from 46 to 48 degrees Fahrenheit and in winter from 36 to 38 degrees. Rains are frequent, and it snows practically every month of the year. On the whole, despite the winds and sudden changes of temperature, the climate of Argentina is exceedingly healthful. Argentina has four seasons, like North America, but reversed. Thus, spring covers the months of September, October, and November; summer covers December, January, and February; autumn, March, April, and May; and winter, June, July, and August.

Spanish is the language of the country. The money of Argentina is on the decimal basis.

Metric System Used

The peso (at present worth about forty cents in US money) is the unit of value. There is a theoretical gold peso (no gold being coined) and a paper peso. The gold peso is the unit adopted for government reports, unless specifically stated to the contrary, and has a value of $0.965 United States gold. The paper peso is the unit of value for commercial transactions. It bears a legally fixed relation to the gold peso, so that a paper peso always equals 44 percent of a gold peso. The metric system of weights and measures prevails.

That part of Argentina lying adjacent to the Río de la Plata was conquered by the Spaniards in 1535, but the conquerors had considerable trouble with the Indians. Continuous wars with the Spanish Crown and also interior strife marked the early history of Argentina, and it was not until 1810 that the Argentine Republic came into permanent existence.[61]

Sunday, April 7. During the day I visited the Congress Plaza, one of the principal squares of Buenos Aires. After studying the life, habits, and dress of the city, I found little really new. Life in Buenos Aires is much like that of other large cities in a general way and perhaps more like Paris[62] than any city in the world.[63]

Sunday, April 8. Together with Elder Page I went by rail to Tigre,[64] a popular resort near Buenos Aires, to enjoy the beauties of nature. We took a long walk through the woods and witnessed thousands of people who were enjoying boat rides on the river.[65]

A Pleasant Visit

Monday, April 9. On one of my sightseeing tours this day I found a place on the banks of the Río de la Plata which reminded me very much of Langelinie in Copenhagen, Denmark, where I enjoyed so many pleasant evening walks filling my second mission to Scandinavia in 1879–81.[66] During the day I called on the Danish legation, at 356 Sarmiento Street, where I had a pleasant visit with the Honorable John Reidel, who acted as temporary chargé d’affaires for the Danish government in the Argentine. He was much interested in the Scandinavians in Utah and invited me to dinner at his home the following day. I also called on Mr. Albert Weisholt, editor of Skandinaven, one of the two Danish newspapers published in Buenos Aires, and also on Johannes Sorensen, who had charge of a Danish young men’s society and who invited me to deliver a lecture before his society the following Wednesday evening.[67]

Tuesday, April 10. I spent most of the day writing letters to the Deseret News and, according to appointment, I called on the Honorable John Reidel (at the Danish legation), who took me to his palatial home in one of the suburbs of the city, where I spent a most pleasant evening with him. He listened very attentively to my explanations on conditions in Utah generally but more particularly to what I had to say of the Danes who had become members of the Mormon Church, and he seemed pleased when I told him that not only the Danes but the Swedes and Norwegians as well were considered some of the best and most sincere members of said religious organization, besides being good and loyal citizens of the United States.[68] In return Mr. Reidel gave me much valuable information concerning Scandinavians in the Argentine, where he had spent thirty-five years of his life.[69]

Opportunity Limited

Wednesday April 11. On invitation I took dinner with Mr. Carbel, Danish vice consul in the Argentine who, like Mr. Reidel, was highly interested in hearing something about the Danes in Utah and elsewhere. He told me that Scandinavians, as a rule, have had a hard time to get established in the Argentine Republic, where the opportunities for becoming independent landowners are limited, as most of the land is owned by descendants of Spaniards who took the land by force from the Indians. Mr. Carbel was pleased to learn that his countrymen who had accepted the Mormon faith and on that account had immigrated to North America were, as a rule, doing well.

In the evening, according to appointment, I delivered a lecture before the Danish young men’s association and took occasion to impart to these young people historical information concerning the pioneer days of Utah and how their countrymen had taken a leading part in developing the western states, causing a desert country to “blossom as the rose,”[70] and that they were now numbered among the best and most respected citizens in the Rocky Mountains. I also gave them a brief outline of the religion of the Latter-day Saints and their moral status, as compared with that of other religious communities. They all listened attentively to my talk and desired me to bring a kind greeting (hilsen) to their countrymen in Utah, and in order to make that request more emphatic, they signed their names to a little document which they handed me. They regretted very much that my time did not permit me to visit the Danes who lived in the country districts at Tendell, Tres Arroyos, and other places south of Buenos Aires.[71]

A traveler in Argentina, especially in Buenos Aires, gets along very well with the English language, though Spanish is the universal language spoken. Two daily English newspapers are published in Buenos Aires—namely, the Standard, which is running on its sixty-second year, and the Buenos Aires Herald, which was first issued forty-seven years ago. Both papers are well edited and are liberally patronized by the English American population of Argentina.

“Jenson’s Travels,” April 13, 1923[72]

Montevideo, Uruguay

Thursday, April 12. I made a final visit along the fashionable street, Calle Florida, to Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, and then, together with Elder Page, went on board the American ship American Legion[73] (Munson Line), and at 4:30 p.m. we sailed from the north dock, Buenos Aires, for Brazil, on our way to New York. After sticking fast in the mud for an hour because of low tide, we finally got afloat and were soon out on the broad Río de la Plata estuary, from where we witnessed the brilliant lights of Buenos Aires vanish in the distance as we proceeded seaward. We were assigned to fine staterooms on the magnificent steamer and enjoyed a good night’s rest.[74]

Friday, April 13. Having traveled 120 miles across the Plata estuary, we arrived at Montevideo, the capital of the Republic of Uruguay, about 6:00 a.m. in the morning, and after breakfast Elder Page and I landed for sightseeing. After walking through some of the main streets and over one or two of the principal plazas of the city, we took a long streetcar ride around the bay via Prado (the principal public park in the city) to Cerro, a suburb lying across the bay from Montevideo, and I climbed to the top of the hill,[75] where there is a lighthouse from which a fine view is obtained of Montevideo and surroundings.[76] This hill suggested to the first settlers the name of Montevideo, which in Spanish means “I see a mountain.” These Spaniards, who had perhaps traveled for days over the immense plains without seeing any elevation worth noticing, became at once interested when they saw a hill rising some three hundred feet above the plains, and in their enthusiasm at such a sight they exclaimed, “Monte video.”

On a Rocky Peninsula

Montevideo is a fine city situated on a rocky peninsula (which shuts in the bay opposite Cerro), or on a little point of land lying between the Río de la Plata and a small bay, which has become the harbor of Montevideo. While there are several small ports at other places in the republic, none has attained such importance as compared with the capital city, where most of the people of means and leisure and one-third of the whole population of Uruguay are gathered. Montevideo would be more famous if it were not so near Buenos Aires on the opposite side of the Plata estuary.[77]

The situation of Montevideo is most picturesque; its healthfulness, due to excellent drainage and to its being swept occasionally by invigorating breezes from river and ocean, is proverbial in South America, and its natural advantages, improved by progressive administrations, annually attract large numbers of visitors and make it the greatest summer resort in South America. The city is embellished by numerous parks, suburban resorts, bathing beaches and esplanades, magnificent public buildings, and elegant residences. Its streets are regularly laid out with due regard to the topography of its site and are to a great extent provided with shade trees. Its school buildings, theaters, hotels, and other public edifices are well up to its advancement in other respects. Much attention is given by the government to popular education, and an excellent system of primary and secondary schools leads up to the national university with colleges of philosophy, law, medicine, pharmacy, engineering, culture, etc.

Montevideo, first founded in 1736, was at first claimed by the Portuguese and later by Brazil and has witnessed many campaigns; it is sometimes called New Troy on account of the fact that it was once besieged for nearly ten years (1842–51).[78]

A Progressive Republic

Uruguay is one of the smallest, but also one of the most progressive, South American republics, with an area of seventy-two thousand square miles—less than the area of the state of Utah.[79] It is bounded on the north by Brazil, on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, on the south by the Río de la Plata and Atlantic Ocean, and on the west by Argentina. The most notable feature of Uruguay is the extent of its rolling plains. The land slopes gently toward the west, south, and east and forms the natural watersheds of the Río de la Plata, the Uruguay, etc. The valleys thus formed are very suitable for raising sheep and cattle, the principal industry of the republic. The climate is temperate along the coast and ranges to subtropical in the north. It is at all times healthful, bracing, and pleasing. Rain falls generally through the year, but the heaviest is in May and October.

Uruguay has over seven hundred miles of navigable rivers, the principal ones being the Río de la Plata and Uruguay. The population is estimated at about 1.5 million, of which about 25 percent are foreign born, the Italians and Spanish predominating; French, British, Swiss, German, and other nationalities are also represented. A considerable portion of the remainder is criollos, or descendants of the Spanish and other emigrants. Uruguay is primarily a pastoral country, and stock raising is by far the principal industry. Agriculture is, however, growing in importance. Spanish is the language of the country, and the metric system of weights and measures is adopted. The republic has a gold standard, but it has never coined any gold pieces. The unit of value is the peso of one hundred centesimos, valued in US gold at little more than a dollar.

No Wastelands

There is hardly any wasteland in Uruguay. Not an acre is sterile on account of climate, for the summer heat and winter cold, in even the lowest and the highest places, do not prevent men from occupying all places at any season of the year. There is no mountain barrier that stands between the coast and the interior as in Brazil; hence, all the land is easily reached by the settlers. A large river, partly navigable, flows along the entire western boundary of Uruguay, drains the land, and is a highway to good markets. It also prevents that quarreling with neighbors about boundary lines, which might lead to war. The lasting resources of the country are its grazing and agricultural lands. While a large part of Uruguay could be utilized for raising grain, only about one-sixtieth is so used today. Almost the entire energy of the country people is spent in raising cattle and sheep. No other republic in South America is as exclusively devoted to the grazing industry as Uruguay is, and in no other is the proportion of cowboys, or gauchos, so large.

The land being near the sea, markets are easily reached at all times, and many are the herds that these favorable conditions have brought into existence. Dried-meat and frozen-meat plants are common. About two million oxhides are exported every year and almost one hundred thousand bales of wool, besides horsehides, hair, tallow, and other animal products in large quantities. It is one of the peculiar features of a grazing region that the towns are small and few in number.

Many Small Towns

The people live so widely scattered that a large number of very small towns, rather than a small number of large towns, best serve the needs of the people of about thirty-eight inhabited places marked on the maps of less than half a century ago. When grazing was the one important industry of Uruguay, only six were at a greater distance than thirty miles from the coast or from the Uruguay River. Hence, on leaving Montevideo, the capital and chief city of the country, the traveler was plunged suddenly from a high civilization to the semi-barbarism of the Middle Ages. The capital, with its handsome plazas, boulevards, and theaters, was suddenly exchanged for a grassy wilderness of rolling hills, without bridges, roads, fields, groves, or gardens, and instead of the people of Montevideo, with their cultivated manners and modern dress, one found the gauchos, a race of cowboys, always armed, dressed in the rudest manner; and while on the whole less wild than their Argentine cousins, they were not always as careful of the law, or even of human life, as the more law-abiding citizens could desire.[80] But with the rapid growth of the grazing industry, the land has become increasingly valuable, and the ranges are not so large now as they once were. Furthermore, numbers of Italian farmers have come into Uruguay recently, and farmers of course live in denser groups than cowboys do, as they require less land for a living.

The advantages of Uruguay as the home of the farmer, no less than for the ranchman, are great indeed. In many new lands the settler must first cut down the forest and hew his home out of the wilderness before he can let in the sunlight, raise crops, and make a living. But in Uruguay there are no dense forests, only scattered clumps of trees, which may be used for timber. Man need do nothing in the way of clearing the land, since cleared land is already provided for him by nature. On the grassy downs of this country he may pasture his flocks and herds without thought of shelter from the weather and raise almost any kind of grain that grows.

Political Troubles

But however favored a land may be by nature, it cannot become an ideal place in which to live unless the people who settle in it are peaceful and law-abiding and put the good of the country between prejudice and quarreling. Unfortunately, the history of Uruguay is made up largely of a long record of political troubles that have stirred the country almost from the time that independence was gained, which was in 1825. “It is doubtful if the rule of old Spain,” writes Isaiah Bowman in his South America, “would have done the country more harm than that independence which to so many has meant merely a chance to gratify personal ambition and obtain high-sounding titles or government offices with high salaries.”[81]

Several causes lie back of the political unrest of Uruguay. The early fighting against the Indians had made the settlers warlike; frequent changes of government had made them accustomed to political uncertainties, and the presence of an army tempted every ruler to stay in office through the unlawful use of military power. Political trouble in Uruguay has been endless. “It began before the ink on the constitution was dry.”

The history of Uruguay since 1828 has been a history of repeated revolutions, factional quarrels, and a spirit of nameless unrest; it is full of disgusting details of coarse public officials trying to get control of the public purse in the name of patriotism and making the spoils of office their chief object in life. Only the last few years has a better political spirit been growing among the people. In 1903, the rival party in the government made its last serious effort to get control of national affairs, but the revolutionists were driven out; their leader, Aparicio Saravia, killed; and a degree of security given to the country which it had never before enjoyed in its long history.

Another Belgium

To all the internal troubles must be added those due to the position of Uruguay between Brazil and the Argentine. Its geographic position makes it another Belgium. Located between two powerful and overshadowing neighbors, each greedy for its rich farming and grazing grounds, Uruguay was claimed and indeed, for short periods, governed by first one and then the other of its neighbors. But the very presence of two powerful neighbors instead of one has preserved the integrity of the country. Each in turn, wishing to prevent its rival from acquiring this land, became the partisan of Uruguay when the other became its enemy. In 1859 a treaty was signed between Argentina and Brazil which prevented both from interfering with Uruguay when hostilities between the two rivals were in progress, and since that time peace has prevailed in the country.[82]

About 3:00 p.m. Elder Page and I were again on board the good steamer American Legion and on our way to Santos, Brazil. Among the steamers hailing from many different lands and climes lying along the docks in Montevideo we noticed the US steamer President Harrison, of San Francisco, California, and several other North American vessels.

“Jenson’s Travels,” April 15, 1923[83]

Santos, Brazil

Saturday, April 14. I spent nearly the whole day in the writing room on board the American Legion (en route from Uruguay to Brazil) busily engaged in writing. No land was in sight that day, but the broad, undisturbed surface of the Atlantic Ocean was, in many respects, inspiring, and the weather was fine.

Sunday, April 15. The early-morning hour found us sailing northward along the coast of Brazil. A layman conducted religious services in the social hall in the forenoon and gave quite a sensible little talk on universal, or what might be termed orthodox, Christianity. Had the Mormon elders on board been invited to take part in the service some explanation might have been given on true Christianity. I spent most of the day in conversation with fellow passengers and also visited with the captain of the ship.

Monday, April 16. About daylight the steamer cast anchor near the mouth of a channel which opened into the sea, and about 8:00 a.m. a pilot came on board, who took our ship into the docks of Santos, an important seaport of Brazil. Here Elder Page and I landed for the day, and after visiting the market and taking a streetcar ride through the heart of the city, we boarded a railway train on the São Paulo and traveled fifty miles inland to São Paulo, where we arrived about noon.[84] This ride through semitropical country was very interesting, and specially so was the climbing of the train by means of cables from nearly sea level to an elevation of about three thousand feet.

In the Midst of Clouds

This height is reached at the mountain station of Alto da Serra, where we found ourselves in the midst of dense clouds which on that day rested upon the mountains. There were four sections of cable works lifting the train, one immediately above another, and the shifting of the train from one cable to another was done very skillfully and quickly. The building of this interesting railway cost almost a fortune, and it is claimed that for a short line it is the most expensive railway in the world. We spent four hours in São Paulo taking in the principal parts of the city by streetcar and automobile ride, and we also called on Mr. [Arminius T.] Haeberle,[85] the American consul at São Paulo, who gave us desired information concerning southern Brazil.

We found São Paulo, with its beautiful parks, its stately public buildings, fine residences, and scenic surroundings, very interesting indeed. The city has about six hundred thousand inhabitants and is the capital of the state of São Paulo, which has an estimated population of 4.5 million people. Perhaps 50 percent of the people in this state are of foreign blood, in which may be included one million of Italian blood, six hundred thousand Portuguese, five hundred thousand Spanish, thirty thousand Syrians, and twenty-five thousand Japanese, besides large colonies of British, Germans, French, Americans, etc. The people in general are very industrious with relatively high standards of living. The state of São Paulo has an area of 113,000 square miles, less than one and a half times the size of Utah. The greater part of the state is a high plateau, not particularly mountainous, and although the seasons are reversed, the climate is not unlike that of the southern states in our country, except that the summers in São Paulo are not nearly so hot as they are in the Gulf States. Portuguese is the official language of São Paulo, and the leading exports are coffee and meat products. São Paulo produces about half of the world’s production of coffee. Besides coffee growing, cattle raising and general agriculture are the leading industries of the state.

Founded by Portuguese

Santos is the port of São Paulo, with which it is connected by the famous British-owned São Paulo Railway before mentioned. The population of Santos is about one hundred thousand, half of which is Brazilian. The natural harbor of Santos was discovered in 1501, and the town was founded in 1532–36 by the Portuguese, who now number thirty-five thousand and form the chief foreign element in the city. Spaniards, Italians, and Germans rank next, followed by a few hundred Japanese and Syrians. English-speaking residents, including seventy Americans, number about five hundred. More than 70 percent of the people are engaged in manual labor, and the standard of living of this group, which consumes native products almost exclusively, is much lower than that of American laborers. Predilections of the Latin race, especially of the Portuguese, prevail. Santos enjoys a good reputation as a seaside resort, as the city lies at sea level and the climate is subtropical. The sale and exportation of coffee constitutes the one great industry of Santos. Except the great shipping movement, all other industries are incidental thereto, or of very minor importance. Santos, the world’s chief coffee market, is not only the first port of Brazil in value of exports and total foreign commerce but is also first port of South America in exports to the United States. The annual exportation of coffee from Santos averages over eight million bags (each weighing 132 pounds) valued at $150 million, of which the United States receives over 50 percent.

The following paragraphs on the coffee industry at Brazil are culled from the writings of Isaiah Bowman:

Greatest Coffee Country

Even if Brazil has forested tracts too dense for man’s conquest, campos too dry for agriculture, and coastal lowlands too hot and unhealthful for man’s comfort and safety, the country possesses at least one unrivaled resource—namely, that the climate and soil along the border of the country (where the coast is backed by mountains) are among the finest in the world for the growing of coffee. To this advantage we can add another—the lands that produce the best coffee are located near the sea, where short railways connect the plantations with the seaports. The climate and soil of Brazil are well adapted to coffee. Insect pests are scarce. The extent of land capable of growing coffee is very great, and short railways descend steeply to sea level. For these reasons Brazil has become the greatest coffee country in the world, and if one should visit New York Harbor and look among the incoming vessels for a coffee steamer, the chances are ten to one that it has come from Brazil and that the name of a Brazilian firm will be stamped upon the sacks in which the coffee is shipped. The best coffee lands of Brazil are chiefly in the state of São Paulo. Almost the entire energy of the people of this state is absorbed in the raising, curing, and shipping of this single product. It makes me think of the cotton states of our South, where every cotton grower talks and thinks chiefly about cotton.

The plantations of São Paulo are laid out at elevations from one thousand to three thousand feet above sea level and cover thousands of square miles. No other state is so exclusively devoted to the production of the coffee berry since none other has a climate and soil so nearly ideal for the industry. Row upon row of coffee trees stretch out in every direction. In places they seem almost like a forest. Large plantations are the rule; some are so large that they have railroad tracks running through them for the quicker delivery of the coffee crop to the central warehouses. The best berries are grown in the famous red soils, their color being due to the presence of iron, which is thought to be beneficial for coffee.

Requires Tender Care

The young coffee plant requires tender care for its best growth. It will wither and die if left exposed to the hot sun, so the coffee plantations are in some cases planted with bananas, which grow quickly and shelter the coffee plant from the direct rays of the tropical sun. When the coffee bushes are large enough to take care of themselves, the bananas are removed. In São Paulo less care need be exercised over the young plants than elsewhere since the summer sun is less powerful here than in the warmer states farther north. If the plantations are kept carefully weeded, each tree will produce three or four pounds of coffee beans every year.

Coffee berries in their natural state are quite unlike the coffee we see in the grocery stores of the United States. The coffee beans that we know are the roasted seeds of the coffee berries which grow in large clusters close to the limbs of the low coffee tree or bush and look much like dark red cherries. Each berry contains two seeds whose flat faces are pressed close together; when dried and roasted, these seeds form the coffee bean of commerce. The trees begin to blossom in December; the berries ripen, and the picking begins in April or May.

When the coffee pickers bring berries to the factories, they are doing only the first of a long series of tasks necessary to prepare the product for market. The soft pulp surrounding the berries must be removed by machines, which crush the pulp but do not harm the hard berry inside. The combined mass of pulp and seeds is then passed into a cylinder with holes through which only the coffee beans pass. After this the beans are washed clean in large tanks from which they come as white as snow. They must then be thoroughly dried in yards called terreiros, almost like fields, which are paved with cement that becomes very hot in the sun. Thorough drying takes several weeks, for if the berries are not perfectly dry they spoil on the long ocean voyages between Brazil and the ports of England, Germany, France, and the United States.

A Modern Process

During the drying process the berries are carefully watched, stirred with wooden rakes, and covered at night to protect them from the dew or the rain. In place of the drying courts, a new system of steam drying has come into use that may soon very largely take the place of the old method. By it the coffee is thoroughly dried in a few hours, and the long delay and uncertainty and the great cost of the old system are done away with, though the coffee is not always improved in quality.

When perfectly dry, the beans are placed in machines that remove the white outer skin and expose the olive-green surface of the berry that we see. Still another treatment must be undergone before the beans are ready for shipment. They are of different sizes and must be sorted and graded by passing through sieves of different sizes, from which the coffee runs out in tubes and finally into bags containing 132 pounds each. In this form it is ready for shipment.

So long a series of treatments and such large estates require a great many men, and in some places one finds the laborers of a single estate numbering thousands. In general, these live in villages, and the village life of the coffee estates is quite distinct from the life of the great cities on the coast. There are large stores where laborers buy food, a bakery where they may purchase bread, a foundry, and often a sawmill where is sawed the lumber out of which their little one-story houses are built.

Labor Problems

Formerly the coffee plantations were worked by slaves, Negroes brought from Africa as once they were brought into the United States for the cotton and sugar plantations. But, following the example of most slave-holding countries, the Brazilians in the year 1888 set all the blacks free. There were at the time about a half million slaves in Brazil, and the sudden freeing of all these people was a severe blow to both the coffee and the sugar industries.

Many of the Negroes thought freedom meant that they would not have to work at all, and many of them became loafers and criminals in the large towns to which they drifted. After a time some of the Negroes regarded their freedom more sensibly and went back to work on the plantations. To add to the number of laborers, the government made it easy for foreigners to enter the country, and today they are found in thousands on the coffee plantations, where the Italians especially make excellent workmen.[86]

After a very pleasant sojourn in the beautiful city of São Paulo, Elder Page and I returned to Santos late in the afternoon,[87] and just at midnight, after the steamer had taken on board a large cargo of coffee, we continued the voyage from Santos towards Rio de Janeiro, distant about 225 statute miles. The weather was fine but now a little warmer than necessary for comfort, and we found it commendable to don lighter clothing.

“Jenson’s Travels,” April 17, 1923[88]

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Tuesday, April 17. Having spent a comfortable night on board the American Legion, we arose in the morning elated with the prospect of soon reaching another of the finest cities of the world—namely, Rio de Janeiro (January River).

In looking toward the port side of the vessel, we could see the mountainous shore of Brazil in the distance, though the morning was somewhat cloudy. About 10:00 a.m. land was in sight ahead, and about an hour later we entered the magnificent Bay of Rio de Janeiro with the celebrated Sugarloaf Rock[89] on our left and fortifications on both sides. The steamer was docked about noon, and we were informed that we should continue the voyage at noon the following day, which arrangement would allow us less than twenty-four hours to visit the great and beautiful capital of Brazil.[90] I lost no time in landing, and, once on shore, I made my way at once to the office of the US consulate, where I received satisfactory news from home,[91] and I then spent the rest of the day at the exposition, or world’s fair, which had been arranged at Brazil in honor of the first hundred years of Brazil’s independence.[92]

The exposition was somewhat disappointing and rather mediocre as compared with other world’s fairs which I have visited in the United States and in Europe.[93] Yet I was much interested in the main exposition buildings erected by the Brazilian government and also visited the exhibitions of the United States, Argentina, Italy, Portugal, England, Japan, Mexico, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway.

A Beautiful City

But while I was somewhat disappointed in the exposition, I was filled with the greatest admiration for the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro, which ranks as the most beautiful city of South America and the second in size. It is certainly one of the most attractive cities I have ever visited. Viewed from the sea it reminds one of Naples or Constantinople.[94]

The islands in the harbor of Rio de Janeiro are like the choicest bits of the Aegean Islands or the entrancing islets of the Azores, while the steep mountains that encircle the bay have all the beauty and grandeur of the Norwegian fjords, combined with the lavish color and beauty of dense tropical vegetation. Nature has given the city a setting that surpasses the imagination, and man has so completed the beauty of the picture that Rio (the abbreviated form of Rio de Janeiro) has become the wonder and admiration of all travelers.

Twenty years ago the city consisted of a more or less disjointed group of small villages situated between the mountains on the west of the great bay. Some of the settlements clung to the edge of the land; others were strung out among the small valleys between the hills, or on their lower slopes. There were a few fine parks and buildings, but the whole lacked unity as well as adaptation to the surrounding landscape. The Brazilians were determined to make their capital city second to none in the world so far as beauty was concerned, and sixty million dollars were raised and expended for improvements. It is believed that no greater change was ever made in any other city in the world in so short a time, except perhaps when Peter the Great[95] built Petrograd (St. Petersburg) up on the frozen marshes of the Neva or when Paris was cut through and through by half a dozen great avenues.

The great work of making Rio de Janeiro what it is today was begun in September 1903. First a quay, more than two miles long, following the great general curve of part of the shore, was constructed. Inside the quay a broad avenue, running parallel with the shore and more than four miles long, was built. A canal known as the Canal do Mangue was straightened and extended towards the sea and flanked by an electric-lighted avenue nearly two miles long and 131 feet wide. The streets were paved with asphalt, and the sewer and water-supply systems were enlarged and perfected to do away with the scourge of fever. Certain hills were cut down, and a great central avenue called the Avenida Central, or Rio Branco, was built more than a mile long and 108 feet wide, bordered by trees and beautiful and important buildings.

The view of the harbor and city that one may obtain from the top of the Corcovado (a neighboring mountaintop) and the Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf) is perhaps the most wonderful of all the celebrated views of natural wonders in the world. The tops of these two striking steep-walled peaks are easily reached, the one by rail and the other by an aerial tramway which carries the traveler over the forest up to the summit, from which one looks down upon the city and its beautiful surroundings. The famous harbor at Rio, or the Bay of Rio de Janeiro,[96] is one of the great scenic features of the world. It forms a bottle-shaped entry into the city and the adjacent land, and the largest steamers in the world find there deep water and capacious anchorage.

A Natural Fortress

To the left of the entrance to the famous bay are a number of fantastic hills that look strikingly like a recumbent human figure and have therefore been called the Stone Man. The curious Sugar Loaf forms the feet and the “Gávea”[97] the face in profile. The bay itself presents one of the grandest prospects it is possible to imagine. Huge granitic piles assuming the most eccentric outlines present steep slopes, which rise sheer above the surface and take on either side of the entrance the aspect of a natural fortress (Keane).[98]

Except for the narrow entrance, the bay is landlocked, and it is studded with many islands and rocky crags, some of which are fortified. No other bay in the Southern Hemisphere, except that of Sydney, Australia, is so beautiful, or so serviceable, as the Bay of Rio de Janeiro. The slopes of the mountains that enclose the Bay of Rio de Janeiro are covered with a forest of trees and tropical shrubs. There are an almost endless variety of palms and long creepers festooned with giant trees. Beautiful flowers and brightly colored insects supply gorgeous colors, and ferns and mosses add a touch of delicate beauty to the scene.

Brazil, of which Rio de Janeiro is the capital, is the largest republic of South America. It occupies 45 percent of the South American continent, and its area is equal to that of the United States (without Alaska), England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, and Portugal combined. Including Indians, Brazil has more than thirty-one million people, or about as many as live in Spain. No state in the United States is as large as the territory of Amazonas at the western end of the Amazon Basin, which covers 732,000 square miles, or three times the area of Texas. Amazonas is so large that if all of the 1.6 billion of the world’s men, women, and children were gathered within its borders and the land evenly divided among them, each one would have a lot 120 feet square. If one started to walk about Brazil and walked twenty miles each day, it would take five hundred days, or about 1½ years, to complete the trip, for it is about ten thousand miles along its borders, or two-fifths the distance around the world.

A country as large as Brazil has many interests because it extends into many climates, and each kind of climate has its own particular kind of products. From north to south Brazil is more than two thousand miles long; from east to west, it is more than two thousand miles wide in its widest part. While one end of Brazil lies near the equator, the other end lies well within the edge of the Southern Temperate Zone. Some places are near the sea, while others are so far inland that to reach them requires weeks of travel by the fastest means of transportation in the country. There are great mountain ranges, which affect the temperature and rainfalls, and there are mighty rivers, many Indian tribes, and many kinds of animals, trees, shrubs, and insects.

Mixed Population

Although the Portuguese were the original owners of the country, that a prince of Portugal[99] was the first king or emperor of the short-lived Brazilian Empire and that descendants of Portuguese are still the ruling class, it is surprising to learn that there are only a few million of them in all Brazil. There are about 1.5 million Italians, about 250,000 Germans, and a considerable number of Spaniards, Turks, Russians, French, Austrians, etc. While the Portuguese language is spoken along the coast and in the capital of the country, the German and Italian languages are mostly heard in the southern part. Two-thirds of the population dwell on the cool east plateau, and 22½ percent of the population is concentrated in the states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and the federal district, an area consisting only of 4 percent of the country.

The Amazon is the tropical valley basin divided into a number of states. In this valley there are over thirty thousand miles of navigable waterways. Rubber is the chief commercial product of this section, which produces about 95 percent of the rubber exported from Brazil. The length of the Amazon River (3,850 miles) is three-fourths that of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers combined, and it is navigable for almost its entire extent. So far as width is concerned there is no comparison at all, one island in the mouth of the river itself being as large as the state of Massachusetts. The Atlantic Ocean is discolored by this great stream for over two hundred miles out.

The metric system is the official system for weights and measures in Brazil, and Portuguese is the official language. The milreis is the unit of money value. The gold milreis is equivalent to fifty-four cents in United States currency, while the paper milreis, the ordinary currency of the country, which fluctuates from time to time, has at present a value of twenty-five cents. A conto is one thousand milreis.

In my trips of sightseeing the inner man asserted itself and suggested a visit to one of the restaurants of the city. After I partook of an ordinary meal, the waiter placed before me a slip of paper reading like this: $3,000. As I was not flushed with money, I feared that my pocket book did not contain such an amount, but after attempted explanations in English and Spanish, I handed him a five dollar bill in American money and was very much relieved when I received back in change $4.25. This was my first real introduction to Brazilian money. I paid a man five hundred reis for a shave, three hundred reis for a streetcar fare, and I paid $1,000 for a drink of soda water on the top of Sugar Loaf. In all other Latin American republics, the money unit is divided into one hundred cents, but in Brazil the unit (milreis) is, as stated, divided into one thousand parts called reis.

Polite to Foreigners

As in the other South American states, I found the people of Brazil polite and obliging, and a foreigner with a stammering tongue is seldom, if ever, ridiculed. In my attempts to use all the Spanish words I knew, in an English frame, I was enabled, in most instances, to make myself understood to such an extent that I could obtain something to eat and also get a correct answer as to names of streets, and the directions in which I wanted to go. The officials of the country are, as a rule, very much more obliging and kind than officials of corresponding ranks in the Anglo-Saxon world.

We are inclined to think that the extreme politeness practiced upon the foreigner by some of the inhabitants in the Latin American world is not always meant the way it is expressed, but it is politeness nevertheless, and we, who have been trained to Western ways in the United States, cannot help feeling that the actions of these South American people can teach us many valuable lessons in regard to polite treatment of our fellow men.

The people in Rio de Janeiro, both men and women, dress like people in nearly all other large cities in the world. The hotels, restaurants, and public gathering places where motley throngs assemble are in almost every way like similar places in other parts of the world. But while this is true of conditions and the people generally, Rio de Janeiro—with its beautiful parks, lofty mountains, spacious harbor, lovely rivers, and great bay—makes an impression upon the stranger that will never be erased from memory. There are many cities in the world, which in their general appearance are so much alike that a traveler who has seen nearly all of them has to think awhile before he can make any marked mental distinction between them. But this is not so in regard to Rio de Janeiro. Its many special features will always be remembered and stand out in bold relief as against anything else in the shape of nature’s wonders or man’s creations in any other large city or country in the world.[100]


[1] Jenson, “Jenson’s Travels,” Deseret News, September 1, 1923, 8.

[2] Joseph Smith Jr. was born in Sharon, Vermont, on December 23, 1805, and Brigham Young was born in Whitingham, Vermont, on June 1, 1801. See Jenson, Biographical Encyclopedia, 1:1, 8.

[3] Edward Partridge Sr. (1793–1840) served as the first bishop of the Church, 1831–40. Joseph Smith said the stress of the Missouri persecutions partly led to Partridge’s early death. See Jenson, Biographical Encyclopedia, 1:218.

[4] Jenson and Page paid twelve pesos a day for a room at Rolf’s Hotel. See Jenson diary, March 24, 1923, 316.

[5] Rozier Don Oilar (1873–1959) was a chemical engineer from West Lafayette, Indiana, and traveled several times to South America to build and install a mechanism to produce lard and various types of edible fats and butters. In 1923, Oilar, along with his wife (Louise), traveled essentially the same route as Jenson and Page, and the four of them became traveling companions. See Oilar, “Oil Production in Latin America,” 72–73. See also “R. D. Oilar Goes to South America,” 42.

[6] Jenson wrote: “Valparaíso is not only a historic place of importance but a beautiful modern city containing about 300,000 inhabitants. It was here that Apostle Parley P. Pratt and Elder Rufus C. Allen landed as Mormon missionaries in 1851, but after studying the Spanish language for a number of months returned to California without opening up a mission, and no missionaries have been sent to South America since by the Church.” See Jenson diary, March 24, 1923, 317. See page 2 in the introduction.

[7] Of the end of the day, Jenson wrote, “We attended a picture show in the evening and retired to enjoy a good night’s rest.” See Jenson diary, March 24, 1923, 317.

[8] Jenson wrote that “Elder Page and Mr. Oilar went out to watch the races,” likely referring to horse racing at the popular Valparaíso Sporting Club, established in 1882 and located at Viña del Mar. See Jenson diary, March 25, 1923, 317. See also Edmundson, British Presence in Chile, 215–16.

[9] The South Pacific Mail was the self-titled “official organ of the English-speaking communities in Chile and Bolivia.” It ran daily from 1909 to 1969. Edmundson, British Presence in Chile, 243–44.

[10] Alexander Selkirk (1676–1721) was a British seaman who became stranded on the island of Juan Fernandez in the South Pacific about 350 miles off the coast of Chile in 1705. For four years he lived off the fruits, vegetables, and goats left by the island’s Spanish discoverers. He was rescued in 1709 by Woodes Rogers (ca. 1679–1732), who was circumnavigating the globe for Great Britain. The true story of Selkirk is believed to have inspired the fictional story of Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (ca. 1660–1731). See Dear and Kemp, Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea, 669–70.

[11] There were 238 Latter-day Saints aboard the ship Brooklyn. See Jenson, Encyclopedic History of the Church, 94–95.

[12] From February to July 1846, over two hundred members of the Church, led by Samuel Brannan, sailed on the ship Brooklyn from New York to California. Ten passengers died along the way, mostly newborns and young children. However, Laura Hotchkiss Goodwin (1813–46), a thirty-three-year-old pregnant woman traveling with her husband, Isaac (1810–79), was violently thrown around during a storm, went into premature labor, and died on board the ship. She was buried on May 4 at Cumberland Bay on the northeast side of the Más a Tierra (present-day Robinson Crusoe Island), leaving Isaac to care for the couple’s six other children. See Hansen, “Voyage of the Brooklyn,” 58–59.

[13] The Chilean independence movement was a conflict between colonials of southwestern South America and royalists of Spain, 1810–18. The two most decisive battles were at Chacabuco (1817) and Maipo (1818). See Wright, Dictionary of World History, 128–29.

[14] Referring to the Great War, or World War I, 1914–18.

[15] Francis Drake (ca. 1540–96) was a sea captain and vice admiral of the English naval force in 1588, fighting against the Spanish Armada. In 1577, he sailed along the Pacific coast of South America in order to establish an English center of strength from which to attack Peru. After a storm separated his fleet, he sailed in the remaining vessel and raided Spanish towns. See Thrower, “Drake, Francis,” in Buisseret, Oxford Companion to World Exploration, 1:242–44.

[16] Sir Richard Hawkins (1560–1622) was an English sailor and commander of the British navy, fighting against the Spanish Armada in 1588. He plundered the town of Valparaíso in 1596, and while continuing north along the Pacific coast of South America, he was wounded and captured at Paita and imprisoned at Lima until 1602. See Wright, Dictionary of World History, 276.

[17] Olivier van Noort (1558–1627) was the first Dutchman to circumnavigate the world, 1598–1601. Along the way he spent ten weeks passing through the Strait of Magellan at the most southern point of South America before sailing northward and passing through Valparaíso. See Vink, “Expeditions, World Exploration,” in Buisseret, Oxford Companion to World Exploration, 1:283.

[18] Bernardo O’Higgins (1776–1842) was the son of the viceroy of Peru and later a South American leader in the revolution against Spanish rule. He became supreme dictator of the newly formed republic of Chile and aided in the liberation of Peru. See Vale, “O’Higgins Riquelme, Bernardo,” in Hattendorf, Oxford Encyclopedia of Maritime History, 3:183–84.

[19] Casto Méndez Núñez (1824–69) was a military officer in the Spanish navy. From 1864 to 1866, a number of battles occurred between Spain and the liberated South American nations, and Núñez was sent to aid the Spanish blockage on the Pacific side of the continent. After Chileans closed the ports to the Spanish at Valparaíso, Núñez bombarded the town, setting it aflame and destroying warehouses, forts, and parts of the railroad. See Woods, Bombardment of Paradise, 1–12.

[20] José Manuel Balmaceda (1840–91) was a Chilean statesman and the eleventh president of Chile, 1886–91. During his presidency, tension between congress and the presidency heightened, leading to civil war. Balmaceda retreated to the Argentinean Embassy, where he shot himself rather than face trial. See Wright, Dictionary of World History, 55–56.

[21] Thomas Cochrane (1775–1860) was a British naval admiral and seaman. With his own money and strategy, Cochrane led an important squadron in the South American liberation, particularly in the independence of Chile. See Lambert, “Cochrane, Thomas,” in Hattendorf, Oxford Encyclopedia of Maritime History, 1:442–43.

[22] The War of the Pacific was a three-way conflict between Bolivia, Chile, and Peru over valuable mineral-rich territory, 1879–83. See Sater, “War of the Pacific,” in Stearns, Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World, 540–41.

[23] Parley Parker Pratt (1807–57) served as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, 1835–57. He also served twice as president of the “islands and coasts of the Pacific” (1851–52 and 1854–56). From November 1851 until March 1852, Pratt labored among the people of Chile, whom he believed to be remnants of a branch of the House of Israel. However, because of political unrest, a lack of money, the death of his newborn son, and language barriers, Pratt returned to California to continue presiding over the rest of the Pacific. See Jenson, Biographical Encyclopedia, 1:83. See also Givens and Grow, Parley P. Pratt, 290–315.

[24] Rufus Chester Allen (1827–1915) was a member of the Mormon Battalion before serving a number of missions for the Church in the South Pacific, in Chile, and among Native Americans in Utah. He later settled in St. George, Utah, and became a counselor to the bishop of the 2nd Ward. See Jenson, Biographical Encyclopedia, 1:535.

[25] Phoebe Soper Pratt (1823–87) was married to Parley P. Pratt by John Taylor in the Nauvoo Temple on February 8, 1845, and resealed by Brigham Young at the Endowment House in Salt Lake City in 1851. Phoebe was nine months pregnant when she accompanied Parley to Chile in 1851, and their son Omner died shortly after birth in Valparaíso. See Givens and Grow, Parley P. Pratt, 246–47.

[26] Referring to Parley P. Pratt, The Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt. See also Palmer and Grover, “Hoping to Establish a Presence,” in Maffly-Kipp and Neilson, Proclamation to the People, 74–96.

[27] There were several early Latter-day Saint attempts to evangelize in South America between 1830 and 1923. See pages 2 in the introduction to this volume.

[28] Jenson, “Jenson’s Travels,” Deseret News, September 8, 1923, 6.

[29] The Fifth International Conference of American States was a Pan-American conference held in Santiago, Chile, between March 25 and May 3, 1923. Representatives from nearly every Central and South American country attended the conference and discussed various political topics, including agriculture, commerce, communication, education, hygiene, and international relations. See “Fifth International Conference of American States,” 303–6.

[30] George Edgar Vincent (1864–1941) was an American professor of sociology. He was the first graduate of the world’s first sociology program at the University of Chicago in 1896. He eventually became a full-time professor of sociology at the University of Chicago (1904–11) and president of the University of Minnesota (1911–17) before serving in the United States Delegation to the Pan-American Conference in Santiago, Chile, in 1923. See Lichtenberger, “Obituary Notices: George E. Vincent,” 273–75.

[31] Elias Smith Wright (1860–1928), a Latter-day Saint, studied at the University of Deseret before receiving a medical degree from New York University in 1890. He became a well-respected surgeon and doctor in Salt Lake City. See Jenson, Biographical Encyclopedia, 4:113.

[32] Possibly referring to the Lick Observatory of the University of California that functioned in Chile, 1903­–29. See Lankford, History of Astronomy, 303.

[33] Nicanor Plaza (1844–1918) was a Chilean artist and sculptor of several award-winning public monuments, including the La Quimera (1897), which depicts a woman and a creature from Greek mythology—a fire-breathing monster with a lion’s head, a goat’s body, and a serpent’s tail. See Luis Galdames, History of Chile, 507–8.

[34] Adams, “Longitudinal Journey,” 242–43.

[35] Jenson, “Jenson’s Travels,” Deseret News, September 22, 1923, 6.

[36] Good Friday is the day Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It is the Friday before Easter Sunday and is usually a day of fasting and reverence. See Browning, Dictionary of the Bible, 157.

[37] Likely referring to a version of Vie et Passion du Christ, a French silent film initially released in 1900. See Abel, Ciné Goes to Town, 95.

[38] Referring again to the Great War, or World War I, 1914–18.

[39] Referring again to the War of the Pacific between Bolivia, Chile, and Peru, 1879–83.

[40] Jenson, “Jenson’s Travels,” Deseret News, September 29, 1923, 6.

[41] Because of the great expense of the Hotel Sud Americano, Jenson and Page shared a room with Rozier D. Oilar and his wife, Louise, fellow travelers throughout South America. They each paid eighteen pesos for dinner, lodging, and a light breakfast. See Jenson diary, March 31, 1923, 319.

[42] At this point in the journey, Page wrote: “Our mountain here with a base elevation of 4,500 feet looked like pygmies compared with the magnificence of the Andean peaks.” Thomas Phillips Page Biographical Sketch, 9, Church History Library, Salt Lake City.

[43] John and Matthew Clark were Anglo-Chilean railroad builders in Valparaíso and Santiago, Chile. They were best known for completing the telegraph connection between Santiago and Buenos Aires (1871) and the transcontinental railroad between Argentina and Chile (1910). See Barclay, “First Transandine Railway,” 553–62.

[44] Cristo Redentor de los Andes (Christ the Redeemer of the Andes) is a peace monument in the mountains between Argentina and Chile. It was erected in 1904 and includes a large statue of Jesus Christ holding a cross and standing atop a globe, with his feet on the continent of South America. See Lollis, “Peace Monuments,” in Young, Oxford International Encyclopedia of Peace, 3:416–21. Page noted: “There is a statue of Christ erected at the boundary stating [that] as long as the grass grew and water flowed, no [war] would take place between Chile and Argentina.” Thomas Phillips Page Biographical Sketch, 9, Church History Library, Salt Lake City.

[45] After serving as president of the Scandinavian Mission (1909–12), Jenson returned to Utah by traveling through Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Japan, Hawaii, California, and Nevada. From the time Jenson left in 1909 until his return in 1912, Jenson traveled 77,690 miles. See Jenson, Autobiography, 495–510. See also Reid L. Neilson, “Around the World a Second Time: The 1912 Travel Writings of Andrew Jenson,” Mormon Historical Studies 14, no. 1 (Spring 2013): 45–66.

[46] They stayed at the Hotel Wilson at 631 Cordoba Street for seven Argentine pesos a day. See Jenson diary, April 2, 1923, 324.

[47] Jenson, “Jenson’s Travels,” Deseret News, October 6, 1923, 8.

[48] Jenson, a polygamist, received a letter from his wife Emma and two from his other wife, Bertha. The letters from Utah were more sorrowful than Jenson explained through his correspondence to the Deseret News. His wife Bertha had taken ill and was “lingering with weakness and had been obliged to consult Dr. Elias S. Wright who had prescribed a tonic for her.” See Jenson diary, April 3, 1923, 324.

[49] Page called the Avenida del Mayo “the finest street in all America.” Thomas Phillips Page Biographical Sketch, 9, Church History Library, Salt Lake City.

[50] On the morning of April 3, Jenson and Page made final arrangements to sail from Buenos Aires to New York. They were originally supposed to sail through the Pacific Mail Company, but their ship would not have left for another twelve days, and the two travelers “did not wish to stay in Buenos Aires that long.” After much difficulty, they were able to trade their tickets from the Pacific Mail Company to the Munson Steamship Company, a rival transportation enterprise. Afterward, Jenson made courtesy visits to the Danish consulate, the Danish Club at 611 Calle Bolivar, and the Hotel Scandinavia at Calle Lima. See Jenson diary, April 3, 1923, 324–25.

[51] In the evening of April 4, Jenson and Page visited the ports of the Río de la Plata, on the southeastern outskirts of Buenos Aires. See Jenson diary, April 4, 1923, 325–26. (Two and a half years later, on December 10, 1925, in the waters of the same river, Elder Melvin J. Ballard (1873–1939), member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, performed the first LDS baptisms in South America.) See Cannon and Cowan, Unto Every Nation, 260–62.

[52] Jenson and Page again visited the US consulate on April 4, where they received additional mail from home, including a letter from Jenson’s wife Bertha; daughter Eva; son Parley; and private secretary, Mary Emily Francis Pye. However, the letters once more brought disheartening news, including “the death of several of [Jenson’s] dear friends,” such as Charles Ludvig Olsen (1856–1923), who served as a missionary to Denmark, 1891–94. Jenson wrote, “I really began to feel lonesome. Nearly all my most intimate friends and the missionary companions from the days of my youth seem to have gone beyond the veil already, and I sometimes wonder how long I am destined to remain in mortality.” See Jenson diary, April 4, 1923, 325. For further information regarding Charles Ludvig Olsen, see Black, Anderson, and Maness, Legacy of Sacrifice, 323–24.

[53] Having to stay in Buenos Aires for another eight days, Jenson secured his own room at the Hotel Wilson in order to enjoy privacy and spend time alone reading and writing. Previously, he had been sharing a room with Page and Mr. and Mrs. Oilar, where Jenson “did not feel at home” and “could scarcely keep track of [his] belongings.” See Jenson diary, April 5, 1923, 326.

[54] “As I got heated through walking,” Jenson wrote, “I hung my coat on my arm and thereby dropped a little notebook which grieved me very much, as it contained accounts, addresses, and much information that I have no duplicates of.” See Jenson diary, April 7, 1923, 327.

[55] These gardens were part of the Parque Tres de Febrero, an urban park in northeastern Buenos Aires. (At this park, along the banks of the Río de la Plata, Elder Melvin J. Ballard dedicated the continent of South America for the preaching of the gospel on December 25, 1925.) Cannon and Cowan, Unto Every Nation, 260–62.

[56] Niels Nielson (1870–1936) and Jane Jensen (1874–1943) were married on April 8, 1910, in Salt Lake City. See Utah County Marriage Records, Family History Library, Salt Lake City.

[57] Jane Jensen Nielson was the daughter of Anna Christensen Jensen (1860–1951) and the granddaughter of Mariane Karen Christensen (1824–1918). Of their encounter, Jenson wrote: “It was a unique meeting, and Mrs. Nielson was pretty astonished to meet a man in South America who was so intimately acquainted with her mother and grandparents. Many strange things can happen in a person’s traveling experiences. Several other callers at the Danish Club became highly interested in me and my explanations of conditions and status of the Danish population in Utah.” See Jenson diary, April 6, 1923, 569.

[58] Jenson served a number of missions to Scandinavia, including five missions to Denmark, 1873–75, 1879–81, 1902–3, 1904–5, and 1909–12. See Jenson, Autobiography, 65–82, 106–27, 405–44, 448–95.

[59] Jenson wrote: “I spent the day, April 6, in South America instead of attending the 93rd annual conference of the Church, which no doubt commenced today in Salt Lake City, Utah.” See Jenson diary, April 6, 1923, 328.

[60] Page wrote: “The immense corn and wheat fields, the large acreage of flax in this part of the Argentine, puts you in mind of [the] lower Mississippi Valley.” Thomas Phillips Page Biographical Sketch, 9, Church History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

[61] Sometime during the day on April 6, Jenson again visited the Munson Steamship Company and secured passage on the American Legion, which was set to sail for New York on April 12. Afterward, he and Page bid farewell to Mr. and Mrs. Oilar, their traveling companions since March 13 at Juliaco, Peru. “As [Mr. Oilar] could speak a little Spanish, he had helped us on several occasions to make arrangements for hotel rates without being fleeced by those who think that Americans should pay double price for everything.” See Jenson diary, April 6, 1923, 329.

[62] For further information related to the culture and geography of Buenos Aires during the time of Jenson’s visit, see Bergero, Intersecting Tango, 13–114.

[63] At night, Jenson, returning from the Danish Club, visited the Congress Plaza, including “the main stores on some of the principal streets beautifully lit up by electricity.” See Jenson diary, April 7, 1923, 328.

[64] Tigre, according to Jenson’s autobiography, was located on the Río de la Plata about twelve miles north of Buenos Aires. Apparently, the area was known for motorcar races. See Jenson diary, April 8, 1923, 328.

[65] Jenson also noted in his autobiography: “I have become quite interested in the Argentine Republic which is so different to all the other South American republics which we have visited so far. Buenos Aires is so much like the larger cities of Europe, the customs, habits, dress, etc. being copied from European cities. Everything is very expensive in Buenos Aires as compared with Chile and other countries; the purchasing power of an Argentine peso (worth about thirty-eight cents in US money) is not much more than a Chilean peso (worth about fifteen cents in US money). After returning to the city, I visited the art gallery again on the Plaza San Martín and spent the evening at my room engaged in writing.” See Jenson diary, April 8, 1923, 328–29.

[66] Jenson served a second mission to Scandinavia (1879–81), again preaching mostly in Denmark, serving as president of the Copenhagen Branch, and helping translate the Danish version of the Book of Mormon. See Jenson, Autobiography, 106–27.

[67] Sometime during the day on April 9, Jenson visited the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral, “where the remains of the Archbishop [Mariano Antonio Espinoza], who just died [on April 8], lay at state. Great throngs passed through the cathedral to view the remains.” See Jenson diary, April 9, 1923, 329.

[68] The largest migration of Scandinavian converts occurred between 1850 and 1900, most of whom settled in Sanpete, Sevier, and Salt Lake counties—the three largest Scandinavian communities in Utah Territory. See Black, Anderson, and Maness, Legacy of Sacrifice, xviii.

[69] During the day of April 10, Jenson visited “[Johannes] Bennike, the veteran editor of Syd og Nord, the other Danish newspaper published in Buenos Aires.” Bennike also gave Jenson useful information about Danes in the southern parts of Argentina. See Jenson diary, April 10, 1923, 329–30. (Bennike lived near the Rivadavia train station, close to where Elders Melvin J. Ballard, Rulon S. Wells, and Rey L. Pratt rented the first mission headquarters of the South American Mission in 1925.)

[70] Jenson is apparently making reference to Doctrine and Covenants 49:24: “But before the great day of the Lord shall come, Jacob shall flourish in the wilderness, and the Lamanites shall blossom as the rose.”

[71] Of not visiting the Danish colonies on the southern outskirts of Buenos Aires, Jenson wrote: “I would have taken time to do so had not President [Heber J.] Grant turned a cold shoulder to my trip to South America. Had it been otherwise, I should have taken advantage of several opportunities I have had on my journey to deliver the message that a Mormon elder always feels anxious or desirous of delivering.” See Jenson diary, April 11, 1923, 330–31.

[72] Jenson, “Jenson’s Travels,” Deseret News, October 13, 1923, 7.

[73] The SS American Legion was an American steamship, built in 1918 for use in World War I. In 1921, the Munson Steamship Line bought the vessel and turned it into a passenger ship to sail regularly between New York, Panama, and the Atlantic coast of South America, 1921–39. See Smith, Passenger Ships of the World, 347.

[74] Jenson lamented leaving the city he had come to love: “Leaving Buenos Aires, when we had spent ten days quite pleasantly, was almost like leaving home.” On the American Legion, Jenson and Page were split up into separate rooms. Jenson roomed with a Mr. George G. Waldron of New York City on the middle deck, while Page roomed “with an Italian” on the lower deck. See Jenson diary, April 12, 1923, 334.

[75] Jenson hiked to the top of the hill by himself, as Page “returned to the city.” See Jenson diary, April 13, 1923, 331.

[76] While the entire continent was dedicated by Elder Melvin J. Ballard on December 25, 1925, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, each South American country was individually dedicated many years later. See Hinckley, Sermons and Missionary Services of Melvin J. Ballard, 89–104. On February 22, 1979, Elder Ezra Taft Benson (1889–1994), then president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, ascended the Cerro de Montevideo, the same hill Jenson climbed in 1923, and dedicated the country of Uruguay for the preaching of the gospel. See Dew, Ezra Taft Benson, 352–53.

[77] See Bowman, South America, 196–97.

[78] See Bowman, South America, 197. Referring to the legendary city of Troy, the site of the Trojan War between the Achaeans and the Trojans.

[79] The state of Utah is 84,899 square miles, the eleventh largest state in terms of area in the United States. See Geographical Dictionary, 1244.

[80] Of Uruguay, Page wrote: “By the buildings and dress of the people we almost thought we were in the United States.” Thomas Phillips Page Biographical Sketch, 9, Church History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

[81] See Bowman, South America, 193–96.

[82] See Bowman, South America, 197–98.

[83] Jenson, “Jenson’s Travels,” Deseret News, October 20, 1923, 6.

[84] They left Santos by rail at about 10:25 a.m. and arrived in São Paulo at about 12:50 p.m., making the fifty-mile ride a nearly two-and-a-half-hour trip. See Jenson diary, April 16, 1923, 335. Page wrote: “São Paulo is reached by a cable chain railroad of many, many miles and will be remembered by all who travel over it.” Thomas Phillips Page Biographical Sketch, 9, Church History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

[85] Arminius Theophilus Haeberle (1874–1943) was U S Consul in various cities in Mexico and Brazil, including Manzanillo (1908–10), Tegucigalpa (1910–13), Saint Michaels (1913–15), Pernambuco (1915–23), and São Paulo (1923–25). He later served as U S General Consul in Dresden, Germany (1925–36). See “Haeberle, Arminius T.,”

[86] See Bowman, South America, 217–24.

[87] Jenson and Page left São Paulo at about 4:15 p.m. and arrived in Santos around 6:30 p.m. They enjoyed the time off their feet, as they were “somewhat tired after a solid day of sightseeing, having walked long distances.” See Jenson diary, April 16, 1923, 336.

[88] Jenson, “Jenson’s Travels,” Deseret News, November 3, 1923, 7.

[89] Sugarloaf Island, or Pão de Açúcar, is a 1,296-foot rocky mount on the west side of the Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro and one of the hallmarks of Brazil. See Geographical Dictionary, 901.

[90] The city of Rio de Janeiro was the capital of Brazil, 1763–1960. In his diary, Jenson called Rio de Janeiro “the loveliest city in the world.” See Jenson diary, April 17, 1923, 337.

[91] Jenson received one letter from his wife Emma and three from his other wife, Bertha. “All was well at home,” Jenson wrote. “Bertha is gradually improving in health.” Jenson diary, April 17, 1923, 337.

[92] The Exposição Internacional do Centenário do Brasil was a world’s fair in Rio de Janeiro from September 1922 through July 1923. It was originally supposed to be a national fair, but it developed into a fourteen-country celebration, and over three million people visited the festivities. See Tenorio-Trillo, Mexico at the World’s Fairs, 199–220.

[93] Jenson visited the World’s Columbian Exposition, or Chicago World’s Fair, in 1893. See Jenson, Autobiography, 207–9. See also Neilson, Exhibiting Mormonism, 163.

[94] Jenson visited various parts of Europe on his around-the-world tour, including Genoa, Naples, Pompeii, Mount Vesuvius, and Rome, Italy, in July1896. See Neilson and Moffat, Tales from the World Tour, 363–94. See also Jenson, Autobiography, 358–60.

[95] Peter I, or Peter the Great (1672–1725), was the tsar of Russia (1682–1721) and emperor of Russia (1721–25). He was known for territorial expansion and the development of the city of Saint Petersburg, which was the capital of Russia for many years, 1712–1918. See Dear and Kemp, Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea, 643–44.

[96] Guanabara Bay is a sixteen-mile-long inlet in southeastern Brazil and the entrance to Rio de Janeiro. See Geographical Dictionary, 453.

[97] The Gávea is a neighborhood in the southern hills of the Barra da Tijuca borough in Rio de Janeiro. The Pedra da Gávea, meaning “Rock of the Topsail,” is a large, face-shaped mount atop the hills. See Migon, Geomorphological Landscapes, 90–95.

[98] See Keane, Compendium of Geography and Travel, 1:577.

[99] Pedro I of Brazil (1798–1834), the son of John IV of Portugal (1767–1826), established an empire independent of Portugal and became the first emperor of Brazil after a nearly bloodless coup in 1822. He was succeeded by his son, Pedro II (1825–91), who renounced the throne in 1889 amid declarations for a republic with a federal constitution. See Wright, Dictionary of World History, 87–88.

[100] Jenson spent the evening of April 17 on board the American Legion, writing letters and addressing postcards in solitude. See Jenson diary, April 17, 1923, 337.