RECORD: Gordon Chancellor and John van Wyhe eds. B. Blanca notebook. [English Heritage 88202331]. (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Gordon Chancellor; transcription typed and checked against microfilm by Kees Rookmaaker 5.2006. Corrections by Chancellor 5-6.2006. Further corrections and editing by John van Wyhe 9.2006, corrected against the manuscript by van Wyhe 10.2007-3.2008. Transcription revised and edited by van Wyhe 6-12.2008. RN14

The Beagle field notebooks are also published in:

Gordon Chancellor and John van Wyhe eds. with the assistance of Kees Rookmaaker. 2009. Charles Darwin's notebooks from the voyage of the Beagle. [Foreword by Richard Darwin Keynes]. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

NOTE: This 13 x 8 cm notebook is bound in red leather with the border blind embossed: the brass clasp is missing. The back of the notebook has a label of cream-coloured paper (5.5 x 1.6 cm) with 'B. Blanca to Buenos Ayres' written in ink and '[8] Vol of' in pencil, followed, perhaps, by two letters that could be 'D D'. The pencil holder has been repaired with two small thread stitches near its opening. The notebook has a total of 104 pages. The paper bears the watermark 'J. Whatman 1830'. The first sequence, pp. 1a -88a, runs from the the front cover inwards, the second sequence, pp. 1a -16a, runs from the back cover inwards. Almost all pages are cancelled, in pencil.

Editorial symbols used in the transcription:
[some text] 'some text' is an editorial insertion
[some text] 'some text' is the conjectured reading of an ambiguous word or passage
[some text] 'some text' is a description of a word or passage that cannot be transcribed
< > word(s) destroyed
<some text> 'some text' is a description of a destroyed word or passage
Text in small red font is a hyperlink or notes added by the editors.

Reproduced with the permission of English Heritage (Darwin Collection at Down House) and William Huxley Darwin.

General introduction to the Beagle Field Notebooks.

Chronological register to the notebooks

Introduction to the B. Blanca notebook

[front cover]

[front cover]

Charles Darwin

H. M. Ship Beagle

Field Sports Prairie Ch. Grandison1


Glass Bottles

Sierra Ventana 3344

Above Horizontal 1837

Below 1450

W Wesos hu



Gillermo William

1 Richardson 1781. Volumes 3-7 of Darwin's copy at the CUL are inscribed 'Chas. Darwin Buenos Ayres Sept. 1833'.

[page 1a]

Heyque Lenon, Falkners1 name & now for Sauce Grande

Is there a list of of Postas: Ventana & Spring

Thursday 29th [August 1833] (31 days)

Sun rises 6˚ 29' A M.

sets 5˚ 31' Thursday (3) In a fortnight week 6˚ 18' Sun rises [0 1]

sets 5.42' In other week (12th) Sun rises 6.13

sets 5.47

1 Falkner 1774.

[page 2a]

Falkner says that the vallies which cross the Sierra Tandil open to the N or NW

Last point Westward of Tandeil range is called Cayru.

West of plain between Ventana Hurtado. Casuhati: Vuta Calel & Tandeel.

Huecufu Maqui or Sand desart. narrow pass west of the Ventana: also T

[page 3a]

see road in old charts What Spanish name of prickly fire Wood Sanquel?

HorsesThursday 29th [August 1833]

after dinner in the Yawl we started on an point expedition

I staid at night at Punta Alta in order for 24 hours of bone searching

[sketch of houses?] Very successful with the bones, passed the night pleasantly

[page 4a]

Friday 30th [August 1833] at noon proceeded in the yawl amidst the intricacies of the mud banks arrived at Pilots House, proceeded [old] horses & got to Guardia at 9 oclock Saturday 31st [August 1833] My Vacciano not having arrived, started to Punta Alta to superintend bone searching quiet little retired

[page 5a]

spot, weather beautiful & nights; the very quietness almost sublime even amongst mud banks & gulls sand hills & solitary Vultures: Saw here beautiful little Parus tufted partridge: common plover oriole Casicus, fieldfare rose starling very abundant. 3. B. Blanca birds (long billed all common. NB. Avecassina was last year near Salitras

[page 6a]

[section of Bahia Blanca]

vegetable mould Sea shells & land Diluvium whitish line impure Tosca replacing gravel Real Tosca bed Gravel bed gravel corresponding to other side sea

[page 7a]

The Tosca replaced replacing gravel in channels & abruptly

September (1st) [1833] After wandering about with my gun & enjoying sunny day: at noon started back for the Town: Saltpetre forms a thin crust over those extensive Lakes which were a few days ago with water appears like Snow & edges like drift. Is the blackish mud cause

[page 8a]

or effect in Salina at Patagones sand fetid. ground I believe always low, first observed it on Pampas South of R Colorado: Saltpetre appears to effloresce on the surface: near town great body of horses, though[t] dust was great fire, very difficult to drive, if lion comes or even fox amongst them at night: || Toriano1 Chilian: Indian with white horse

1 Toriano, the famous Araucanian Indian chief (Narrative 2: 106).

[page 9a]

defeated near Churchil Toldes being there they having travelled from B Blanca — || Son of Cacique negro is now at Tandeel chanel or chanily Rat nearly as large as common grey English rat hinder feet demipalmated lives on edge of brooks, Commandante has often seen & heard of large Paluda scales in cliffs Large gull often goes far inland, 40 or 50 miles

[page 10a]

miles attends the slaughtering house, the cry the same as common English gull, when approaching rookery: gran bestia all nonsense: The animal of which whole skeleton was lying in pieces of stone, tolerably in proper position & imbedded in sand

old cliff or modern whole is this piece of Tosca washed out of ؟

[page 11a]

reformation, examine matrix

Monday 2d [September 1833] Spent in doing nothing The water on plain where town stands has not very little saltpetre formation then is more but in valleys same The salitra in this plain has above 3 feet of diluvial sandy earth. 3 sorts of Cassicus1 one wanting the sparrows around the solitary Estancias as little supply the cheerful place of domesticus as the Cuorvos in [gorged] flocks do rooks. —

1 A genus of birds in the Icteridae family (Orioles).

[page 12a]

Tuesday 3d [September 1833] Harris & Rowlett started for the Boca to be picked up by the Yawl which has been surveying the head of bay: will pick up bones at Punta Alta return on board & next day the ship sails — I have since heard ship did not sail

Wednesday (4th) [September 1833] Cruel ennui found books exquisite delight time gallops: Spanish Edition Barcelona of the Queen's Trial1 & Shenstones Prose2& Spanish story book: nobody knows pleasure of reading till a few days of such indolence.

1 Desquiron de Saint-Agnan ed. 1821, a Spanish edition of the trial of Queen Caroline, consort of George IV.

2 Shentstone 1764.

[page 13a]

Fieldfare. chace & catches in the air large Coleoptera. 113 40 25 NB. Muchissino Dung of Horse & cattle very deep (firm earth) with holes beneath like Geotropes under horse dung. I have one specimen another from cow: omni-sterci-vorous.1 When lying on the plain the Carranchas come & settle soaring over you settle at about 50 yards distance and watches you with an evil eye The black fragment of bone at Punta Alta like M. Hermoso Balanus from Whale & pieces of Whale bone: If the bones

1 Barlow 1945, p. 196, noted 'Perhaps Darwin's only attempt at coining a new scientific term on a classical basis;=eating all sorts of dung.'

[page 14a]

of skeleton are encrusted with marine animals in those parts now covered the matrix is not possibly Tosca & animal diluvial: — The Zorilla so conscious of its power to injure wanders about the open plain in day time does not attempt to escape: dogs will not attack it except when much encouraged: froth violently & running from nose & efforts at

[page 15a]

sickness: often smelt on fine evening: — [Benon] change horn every year Lievre have 2 youngs ones in hole; made by themselves

Thursday (5th). [September 1833] Don Juan Leon ill. — Cannon fired to celebrate a victory obtained over Indians in very rough mountains [bastarte arriba] between Colorado & R. Negro 113 Indians in all: nearly all taken, 46 48 men killed, 2 Cacique; one escaped with good horse

[page 16a]

one prisoner is not sure, if useful traitor that he will be killed: all women above 25 or 26 murdered: excellent authority: man would not allow it was bad but necessary because they breed so: Orders have come from the general to send party to small Salinas as a party of 30 or 40 50 Indians are there, only few leagues from the road. — It was not Bernantios Indians

[page 17a]

who killed the Posta, but some strangers whose track leads to the Pampas. — Pteru Pteru Long legged Plover1 have very pointed oval eggs. olive brown. with dark brown patches at obtuse end That the distance between Colorado & R. Negro only 12 or 14 leagues. horse travels easily on a trot: with two fresh water lakes; Mountain very rough half as high as Ventana only one Christian slightly wounded Indian when taken almost bit fin the thumb clean off suffering his eye to be

1 Possibly specimen not in spirits 1420 in Zoology notes, p. 390.

[page 18a]

nearly pushed out: Sham dead with knife under skin: It was prisoner Cacique who told of the three other Caciques being at the Little Salinas. with only few men each. — They recovered many Bahia Blanca horses; Don Pablo amongst others when they took the Indians. — Partly discovered from dust of Horses. — Peons1 want to take horses & ∴ do not attack Christians Indians

1 'workmen or Peons' Beagle diary, p. 170.

[page 19a]

Large Maldonado Partridge is at B. Blanca: I do not know for the other — The Indians at the small salinas which are to be attacked have on average 3 or 4 horses each some more some less: all horses, private property: divide soon after robbery: — Cacique with white horse battle fought near Churichoel some of his people gave information respecting [layer] in mountains NW of Chundril & North of

[page 20a]

Colorado. amongst mountains ½ as high as Ventana could see Cordilleras, like Ventana from Medanos. — Upon attacking these & (other Indians) they disperse in every direction & stop neither for women or children because know it is death: Christians 200: when dispersed five Carbines once then & always trust more sword or spear: if cannot come up use the balls which stops horse: my informer chased one man. who cried out Compañero no matar me

[page 21a]

at same time could see him disengaging balls to dash his brains out sabred him & cut his throat with knife: There were two pretty white captive girls from Salta. could not speak but Indians. — other captives with Gen: Pacheka: — NB. Indians of Salta small. no horses slings & bows & arrows Four men run away separately, one killed, 3 others taken, turned out

[page 22a]

to be Indian Chascas, they were on the point of their council, great mares feast. [Fandarja] & next morning all ready to start: the 2 first were asked (all the three being put into a line) to give information about errand &c — refused. shot one after the other; the third being asked, said as others no sé: + adding fire I know how to die: noble patriots. not so prisoner Cacique

[page 23a]

His information will be important as relating to grand reunion. Chascas were coming on to these Indians at small Salinas (Cacique gave information of these being there, hence present expedition). The chasca were young men under 30. 6 feet high & white very fine men had come from Cordilleras good way to the North. immense communication from thence to Salinas at B. Blanca —

[page 24a]

Grand point of reunion supposes 5 6 or 700 then nor will be in spring about 1500: present system kill wanderer, drive to centre for great attack: — one of killed Cacique. Chilenian Toriano sons: all storyes about Toriano true. taken by commandante alone: Indians treat Christians; just same as treated, all with beards killed: great consternation will be at Cordilleras

[page 25a]

Chascas killed: (only one christian wounded). —

Sandstone beyond Chundril few. — These Sierras N of Colorado

Travel towards Sierra hard primitive rocks, (granite?) grey coloured:

Plains between Colorado & Negro. similar with Spines &c. —

Fine camp about Chundril on borders of river:

Women taken at 20 years old never content:

[page 26a]

Tehuelches very tall, informer talked of them in strongest term looking up to ceiling. generally one foot more than me:

Friday 6th [September 1833] — Drunk from mattee1 & smoking from indolence & anxiety about starting: constant reports about Indians made important by firing guns: air hazy. thought gale was coming one they say fire far in the camp; now so

1 Mate: an infusion prepared by steeping dried leaves of yerba mate, containing stimulants including caffeine.

[page 27a]


Saturday (7th) [September 1833] —

Saw piece of opake-cream-coloured flint; remains of arrow head. had barbs ∴ not Chusa.1 — twice as large as Te de Fuego; often found at Churichol Indian antiquarian; before horses & balls changed manners:

No horse Indians have arrows: Do not fight with all only Chilenians & Auracarians. When Cacique with white horse was killed escaped between 20 & 30 with him killed:

1 'The only weapon of an Indian is a very long bamboo or Chusa ornamented with Ostrich feathers and pointed by a sharp spear head', Beagle diary, p. 170.

[page 28a]

Saw in Pulperia1 a boy Empeño. sent by Bernantio (resident friendly dealing tribe) as a pledge for some spirits for a dance: Yet these friendly Indians it is not considered proper for one or two to go by themselves. — Has son Christian Teniente, educated by General Rosas Avitruce Petisses2 frequent sea side. South of Colorado overo. feathers same structure body & neck & head similar legs rather shorter, covered

1 A 'drinking shop, which also sells a few other things', Beagle diary, p. 155.

2 Avestruz petisse.

[page 29a]

with feathers to claws. has sort of fleshy 4th toe without claw. — eggs a trifle smaller: Head with scattered hairs. cannot fly. — good information. — my prospects are now better, gracias a dios start in the morning — hazy air

Sunday 8th. [September 1833] — Started 1st Posta about 4 points West of Sierra, 4 leagues danger of friendly Indians B 350,5: high camp with diluvial sandy earth covering sloping vallies: new sort grass. no spring [plants] bushes

[page 30a]

First saw ridge behind ridge of Sierra. Only one point of view. Near Posta good salt Salina in depression small: & Salitras in depression but far above level of sea. — I have formerly guessed at height of plain: was told first could see Sierra Ventana, 2 leagues N of Colorado. — with Indian put hand to head & grunted in same manner as near Wallechu what for?

[page 31a]

[Misar] Sierra: — 2d Posta 6 leagues supposed direction of town. B 237. Ventana B 325 Boca B 165? Salitra at last Posta above diluvium with bits of mortar. Plain I should think 200 or 300 feet above level of river; river deep rapid 12 leagues to Boca & 6 8 to Sierra: not good information

R. Sauce about 20 feet across deep banks. with much Sauce impassable except with many f w. shells

[page 32a]

in two places & mouth good: against Indians Met on the road great troops of cattle & horses, many lost: 15 soldiers a short time ago officer came, with 500 horses all lost except 6: afterwards other troops soon perceived by bare hos heads & long streaming hair they were Indians: going to Salinas for salt Eat salt like sugar curious difference with Gauchos, habits so different similar

[page 33a]

Near the Sauce Posta Turnips doubtless like [illeg] different I think from European sort longer more stringy & acrid; variegated thistle: Plenty of Lievres, I was here told by B. Ayres man that they only use Biscatchas holes, is it not that these parts where Biscatchas are plentiful, they then do not make holes; hence different account:

[page 34a]

Was told, that in Sierra Tandeel in 3 months 100 Lions were killed, from being destructive to calves, they kill colts or small calves by turning back & breaking necks, good information: When I arrived at S. Posta procured horses & started for Sierra, had difficulty in finding water because streams bury themselves & not even wood enough

[page 35a]

for Asado, har & therefore half spoiled, hard to find any place so barren; on road hunted & killed beautiful fox & armadilloes: immense numbers of deer; few Guanaco: Plain level with longish brown withered grass; vallies or quebradas rich, valley of Sauce two miles broad with Turnips & fertile: Sierra rising from plain, without any trees or gentle rising (or very little)

[page 36a]

has strange solitary appearance & deserves the name of Hurtado:1 The plain abuts against & amongst the hills & it is remarkable that above a mass of small little rounded fragments, there was a bed with coloured lines as near the B B. of mortar with large pebbles: the plain as far as I can judge has about 12 to 20 feet of gritty calcareo-argillaceous mortar siliceous rock without pebbles In one place an inter mediate stony

1 Separated.

[page 37a]

bed. These from one place earthy Tosca plain very same as near B Blanca. I can hardly tell whether mortar above pebbles is same as main plain if so very modern which agrees with remarkable absence of quartz pebbles on plain near Sierra. Night at Sierra very cold, first wet with dew then frozen stiff, water in Caldera;1 about quartz rocks; see a gaunt against parts of vicinity of Sierra

1 Spanish for a large crater.

[page 38a]

Monday (9th) [September 1833] In morning started early & proved MacKintosh by carrying water to summit,1 reached summit of highest part of back difficulty of ascent from great immense numbers of steep abrupt vallies, general character of Sierra; sides steep: when on top was obliged to descend near camp to horse pass; saw horses thought they were Indians: having thus lost much time started again & with immense labours & cramp from new muscles

1 'The ice which in many places coated the rocks was very refreshing & rendered superfluous the water, which I actually carried to the summit in the corner of a cape of the Indian-rubber cloth.' Beagle diary, p. 184.

[page 39a]

being brought into action arrived at a point on nearly as high as summit he about one hours walk from it; not good not to proceed, few view hazy. dry clear, could not see sea; ascent unfortunate might have come to foot on foot horseback: The universal rock is quartz generally with laminae sometimes coloured, also little micaceous slate where mica is not visible occasionally cleavage tortuous: stratification like cleavage runs (true) NW by W & SW by E: hills about NW & SW generally 45 to SW, or more

[page 40a]

on the first few hundred feet above plain the rock is covered with hard breccia as sometimes is seen on coast base ferruginous former sea? Cleavage connection with T. del F: Vallies on Sierra remarkable for size & numbers effects of sea, & then more wet than now dry climate: now look like land islands: to S. few low hills in same plain: N mammillated1 plain:

(Biscatches good to eat. meat white:) contradiction extreme ruggedness absence of detritus

1 Covered in numerous small hillocks.

[page 41a]

mamillated plain R Sauce (R. Sauce of course much further:)

[page 42a]

It is hard to understand how a bed of solid ½ semi-crystalline mortar, should be formed above gravel & not be contemporaneous with great plain formation yet in the former fragments of quartz: I incline to think it is different because in other gravel bed, the with land shells, there was rounded fragments of mortar, yet bed somewhat resembled true mortar: Many new plants (some same as M Video) &

[page 43a]

birds & much Ice on rocks in middle of day on S side: Returned tired & rather disappointed having traversed so much, nothing to see except pure quartz: yet scene novel & little fear like Salt made fire fearlessly: Hurricane night, much mattee & smoking good for cramp: very much fighting in Sierra Chinas run on top & fought with big stones: To the west

[page 44a]

Sierras with one road & water at top, Indians drove horses up & Christians although more than a thousand, could not touch them.

On Sierra white Shrike & Woodpecker:

(Young Toco Toco all say so: Gato Pajero,1 (of straw) )

Tuesday 10th [September 1833] —

Riding slowly & looking for rocks, returned to Posta at Sauce: scudded before wind: R Sauce travels to the north of Ventana into

1 Specimen not in spirits 1443 in Zoology notes, p. 392: 'lives amongst the thick straw at Bahia Blanca, also found in Banda Oriental.' See Felis pajeros in Mammalia, pp. 18-19, plate 9.

[page 45a]

the Interior: has floods in middle of summer & floods now from Rain & rain Falkner true: commendante son never was prisoner.

I was to have waited for an officer: letter from General Rosas but good opportunity with Post-Master. so started

Wednesday 11th [September 1833] —

Pass of Sauce

Bearing to 3d Posta: 46 (good)

to Sauce Posta 75 ?

to Ventana 310.7

Distance from pass to S Posta 2 ½ L[eagues]

[page 46a]

distance of Sauce Posta to 3d Posta 15 leagues but said to be 13 in direct line: before & at Pass the river crosses the silex formation of Ventana & the hills gradually lowering are seen stretching away for few leagues to B100; Quartz here pure: at pass Barranca of pure reddish soft Tosca: [illeg] Amongst the mamillated hills to our left (for they do not extend to East) pieces of square land showed remaining

[page 47a]

of great camp — formation: whole camp with stony mortar & same vegetation: Rather stupid ride, crossed a rivulet half way R del Indio Rico [Fuentes] Sauce Gaucho talent of observation on one side of steep hill showed me his house distant about 30 miles: in 1 & ½ mile from bank with immense horizon again showed me by Kater1 only differed by 3˚ in the direction in which he said it might be little more:

1 A Kater compass, named after Henry Kater (1777-1835), physicist and instrument maker.

[page 48a]

arrived at 3d Posta. —

Thursday 12th [September 1833] I waited here for the officer: & rode to the Sierra south W of the Posta: — This Sierra is composed chiefly of Feldspathic rocks V. Specimen with specks of mica, which in upper parts passes into slate generally pale, or reddish purple, not fine or much laminated: The Sierra extends but

[page 49a]

little to the East of Posta but stretches far to NW. — it is here narrow but gradually widens by succession of short parallel chains. — The cleavage & hills run (true) NW & SE or NW by W & SE by E & dip Southward. 3d Posta 2d . . or vertical

[diagram of hills]

[page 50a]

[Pass of Rio Sauce]

3d Posta Camino Pass of Sauce

The rock is very similar in different places: & hills strikingly resemble those of Maldonado:

[page 51a]

The stream at foot is called Guitru-queque & entro Guegen. — (Saw beautiful oriole.) The Sierra as seen from north shows four points gradually lowering, [mine] the third is but very little less in height Description of Posta: miserable shed open at both ends, of straw: about 50 horses & sometimes a cow, game: thistles for road, 15 leagues from one & now (after murder) 30 from other: only amusement smoking & mattee: barren looking long withered grass camp: Partridge

[page 52a]

in evening like frogs: few Vultures — watching for them to be killed: too much appearance danger (like salted meat) dog bark jump up: Pteru-Pteru when playing at cards by firelight cry heads inclined horrible looking men: Game at balls distance 35 yards but about one in 4 or 5 times: could throw them at between 50 &


Carranches do not run like Cuervos1 eggs in cliffs. colour oveiro cry like Spanish G & N: at Sauce saw other sort, legs & bill blue, feathers light brown. except crown of head & eyes darker.

1 Spanish name for the black vulture, also known as the Gallinazo; listed as Cathartes atratus in Birds, p. 7.

[page 53a]

B Friday 13th [September 1833] Bird called Chusco. lays in sparrows nest: ostrich 4 or 5 in one nest proved by [bet]: run against wind as well as deer: Ostriches lie hid amongst straw: noise of ostriches Belly of Peecheys with various Coleoptera & Larvæ: Foxes in immense numbers: Lions never roar even when taken, catch deer by day; saw young Viscatcha half eaten, live amongst straw & in holes: immense number of Aphodii1 (V. Specimen but not about horse dung, although plentiful: Went out hunting. no sport. pleasant gallop: 2 sorts of partridges: Barranca at Sauce Pass diluvial: at 3d Posta do.

1 Specimen 1492 in Darwin's insects, p. 76.

[page 54a]


That the mortar S. of B Blanca similar to great camp formation & even that of great Escarpment. — That the mortar owes its lime to same cause as beds on Sandstone: that it is cotemporaneous with Porphyry pebbles: that it overlies talus of S. Ventana: nothing has happened since from absence of superior pebbles but [in] the south time for few similar shells that of short duration from no organic remains: that Tosca is beneath it from great Escarpment: M. Hermoso (& Sauce Posta ? ) impossible to ascertain: that where it does not abut against Sierra horizontally is owing to modern diluvium: Formed of course beneath sea:

Saturday 14th [September 1833] — Leaving long chain of Low hills stretching out of sight to the

[page 55a]

NW; & mortar formation at foot great swamps: then flat plain like sea; could not guess formation slept in camp, at sunset having started at ½ after 12 oclock. (Mataco & Paludo at St Jago) Supposed Bearing to 3d Posta 215

15 Domingo 15th [September 1833]

First saw great cranes: Carranchas & Pteru & Pteru eggs: latter sham death: (late mem) like peewit. — whole road with many swamps & good long grass: arrived at middle day at 4th Posta: to having passed 4th where men were killed:

[page 56a]

From this 5th to 3d Posta: said to be 30 leagues perhaps 20: — From 5th Posta mean bearing of many fire made in our track between this & sleeping place was 208: Even in this road dry islands in swamps hard mortar: Cranes carrying bundles of Rushes. (Man who was killed at Posta 18 wounds) Fish in shallow water Long legged plover cry like little dog mounting bank numerous not inelegant eggs like Pteru Pteru many snakes with black patches in damp swamps 2 yellow lines & tail red: also specimen

[page 57a]

21 men in this Post: hunting 7 deer 3 ostriches 40 eggs Partridges & armadillo Peecheys: mortar slept in open air

Monday 16th [September 1833] — Road to 6th Posta: black peaty plain swamp with long grass heavy riding near Posta mortar Island. Posta near lake enlivened by many black=necked swans & beautiful ducks & cranes: To 5th Posta 205 } B supposed To Pass of Sierra Tapalken 47 Distance 5 or 6 leaguesto 6th Posta 5 leagues, road rather better. like Cottenham Fen: large graceful soaring flight flocks of glossy

[page 58a]

Ibis: Mortar. at South foot of Sierra Tapalken: Last night remarkable hail storm (20 deer hides ostriches already found dead & about 15 deer ostriches saw hides & flesh of ostriches: man who told me had head tapped up from blow: Carranches also killed Ducks: eat Partridges, with black mark on back [hailstones] as big as apples broke Corrall: Molita & few Hares: ostriches now [illeg]

[page 59a]

Direction of Pueblo Tapulken from Sierra B 7˚ 6th to 7th Posta 10 leagues (short ones) camp very fine black mould. much mortar. north & south of Sierra Tapalken. close to foot: Sierra table pieces, granular quartz general white nearly horizontal strata dipping to NW ??? general range E & W: only one road up to this little table: was assured rock was as hard in Corrall near Tandeel at Vuulean only reddish

[page 60a]

Gauchos seek white pieces for striking fire. I have now for some days eat nothing but meat & drunk mattee: long gallops in dark. eat Lions meat was very like a calf: thought with horror they were eating young calf not born: — very curious if great Table land of Falkener Vuulean is quartz. informer says Barranca 30 or 40 feet high: Tandeel Bears 119 from this Posta (supposed)

Tuesday 17th [September 1833] fine fertile camp 7th to 8th 8 leagues by

[page 61a]

the side of Rio Tapalken pass it two or three times considerable stream at Town of Tapalken: bought biscuit. curious plain covered with horses & Toldos:1 always 2 Chinas2 on horseback: wife of old Cacique not more than 11: Pulperias: Black-headed gulls, breed in Fens: Ostriches lay eggs in middle of day: black & white Fly-catcher & long tail bird at bank of River Pure mortar (like Hermoso concretions, with manganese & called Tosca) causes many small rapids, it lies in horizontal beds above. —

1 Dwelling made by Patagonian Indians from animal (usually guanaco) skins and wood.

2 Indian women.

[page 62a]

palish Tosca which latter contains nodules of a darker Tosca V Specimen — All the mortar I have seen doubtless is the same as this: & therefore intimately connected with M: Hermoso, these nodules, there a bed: 8th to 9th Posta all to East of River; country & Fen There are not here Hares or Peecheys more owing to country than Latitude for Peecheys occur to NW: (Some of Rondarios monks are now officers; Indian with sleep, families of

[page 63a]

men at Colorado: families beautiful

9th Posta 6 leagues East of R. Tapalken

Wednesday 18th [September 1833]

9th to 10th Posta 8 leagues Great turn to East swamp & Camp: 3 rivers enter into Laguna Des aguadero, with Barrancas & Peecheys:

10th to 11th Posta. — 8 leagues galloped in 2˚ . . 50' : flock of golden Cassicus: Little Mortar

11th Posta first Estancia some white white Salitras. — Camp moderately good. passed Indians & Chinas going to trade with Yergas1 to Monte.

like English goods wool

1 Cloths woven of wool by Indian women.

[page 64a]

[illeg] 11 rings in tail then scales: Paludas Noctural: No Peecheys: 11th to 12 3 leagues 12 to 13 6 leagues Much water: crossed the Salado

General Rosas Estancia Thursday 19th

about 40 yards wide: very deep crossed in canoes: The banks Mortar & whitish clay:

arrived at dark at 13th Posta. General Rosas Estancia. very large long building fortified: 900 faragos maize.

[page 65a]

immense herds 74 square leagues: 200 Peons, formerly safe from Indians: furniture almost outside Estancias yet best of all

Thursday 19th [September 1833] 13th to 14th Posta 4 leagues started early to camp. level with Clover & Thistles in great beds. Viscatches hole. Camp like B. Ayres : & Fennel near the Guardia : Arrived at Guardia at 9 oclock nice scattered small town with many quinces & peaches

[page 66a]

in Blossom: passed by great lake & other near town: with cliff about 4 feet reddish Tosca — with ventral stalactites of Mortar: vesicular & paler Tosca in concretions. — I found plates on beach evidently near proper place as Tosca shows also many of the bone fragments of rotted bones not worth bringing

[page 67a]

14th — to 15th 6 leagues: first saw the Acanthus very few tufts 15th to 16 5 leagues 16th to 17 6 leagues Much Rain: many Estancias on horizon & cattle marked by Ombu tree1 Ombu Slept at house of half Indian Said no at first from Robbers repeated everything I said:

Friday 20th [September 1833] 15 to 16th 5 leagues a Much Acanthus 16th to 17 do fine camp Approach to B Ayres: very fertile Olive Agave hedges. Willows in leaf [illeg] & Pantanas : —

1 Ombú: herbaceous tree of the Pampas Phytolacca dioica. See specimen 839 in Beagle plants, p. 164.

[page 68a]

Saturday 21st [September 1833] Various Business Paludas & Matacoes at Cordova at 15th Posta 40 yards deep red Tosca — nearer the city harder pale Tosca exactly resembles that of Guardia del Monte

60 6 360

of above 400 1408

[page 69a]

April 14th: — 1834 Falkland Lark here (double band Kelp bird here) I do not think true B Blanca bird comes further south than R. Negro: Black & Brown bird St. Julian bird finch no further than north than St. Julians: rises & utters a peculiar noise when doing this flight peculiar soaring

[page 70a]

Condor secondaries East range of Kelp Kelp bird not present where Kelp absent Great numbers of Bathengas & Apercas & Pumas Short billed snipe Little Hawk female

T. del Finch male

St. Julian Finch female:

[page 71a]

Long (R. Negro) tailed bird — male Wren female

[concretions?] 3 or 4 feet largest 2 or

3 yards

[page 72a]

Little mouse (male) 5 drams 59 gr 5 dram 29.81 (apoth) Gerboise (male) 3 oz — (24 apothecary Avecasina female Young T. del Finch less brilliant. head less blue back less green belly more dirty orange

437.5 3 1312.5

24 2336

[page 73a]

Red-throat & red tail creeper both males?



May 8th     [401]
9.50 30.556 A 43 D 35
10 —.155 do D 34.5
  N & S edge of plain  
12 30.024 A 48.3 D 39
12.30 29.763 A 49 D do?
1.7 29.621 A 48.5 D 41
5 30.512 A 44 D 39



1 This and similar tables in the Beagle notebooks record barometer readings. 'A' = 'attached', i.e the thermometer attached to the barometer. 'D'= 'detached', a separate specialized thermometer.

[page 74a]

Gr. part of coast degrading proof shape of continent where hard rocks in present Hence small elevations would leave no signs behind

35 / 25.000

18 / 36 36

36 .


5 / 36

Patella1 Voluta2 in Plain

1 The limpet, a genus of gastropod.

2 A genus of neogastropod snail, common in tropical seas. It was a volute shell said to be from a gravel pit near Shrewsbury which in 1831 Adam Sedgwick so 'utterly astonished' Darwin by declaring without hesitation must have been 'thrown away by someone into the pit'. Autobiography p. 69.

[page 75a]

on Board 80



9. AM. 30 214

12.10 — 203

PM 4.40 — 176

— .038 May 13th noon Lat Long? Lat 51˚ 47' Long 3˚. 25' E S. Cruz 135 mile from shore May 14th 52˚ 8' Long 3˚ 55' E

— 15th Lat 52˚ 28 Long 1˚ 36' E

(1.18 inch yard in a mile ) 2

63.60 70


[page 76a]

[in] 18. 3.4 [ft]

oval —flat [topped]. — with [corner] like Cordilleras Rock (another twice as long at furthest point ∠ n 65 w (comp) 55

[page 77a]

June 2d [1834] Adventure arrived. — splendid day. — Sarmiento appeared. — theory of views — brought savages. — Skirmish Bravery. — slings & arrows Guanaco (Anecdotes about Hawks) Chimango1 at P. Famine Adventure bad times at the Falklands

1 One of the carrion-hawks, smaller than the carrancha; listed as Milvago chimango in Birds, pp. 14-15. Darwin notes in his Zoology notes, p. 185 'if a person lies down in the plain, one of these birds will soon appear & patiently watch you with an evil eye.' ‘See B. Blanca notebook, p. 13a.’

[page 78a]

1 See the fair copy of this and the following sketch in the geological diary DAR 34.158A.

[page 79a]

1.18 3


3 106 418 524

[strata at Gregory Bay]

[page 80a]

June 2d. [1834] —

The most NE point of Clarence Island does not look like Slate. — hills about M. Tarn NW ??

8th [June 1834] Bad day for all but Sailor; curious scenery constant dirty cloud driving clouds peeps of rugged snowy crags: blue glaciers: rainbows squalls — outline against the lurid sky: not fit for residence

of has no claims no authority here

[page 81a]

man. — How insignificant does wigwam look — [The] Fuegian man does not look like man the lord of all he surveys — Sarmiento man The inaccessible mountains wider power of nature despise his control seem to say here we reign are the sovereign. —

9th [June 1834] Solemn stillness of peaks gradually unveiled: saw whole height, 7/8 snow & Niagara of ice: — Failed in getting anchorage

[page 82a]

Caves. F.W. Fish & Huevos de los Gigantes. T Coal vegetable impressions. — organic remains. — Earthquakes, times, nature of undulation. affects on building: wave cracks, Springs: Mineral Springs: effects on neighbouring Volcanoes Road to Valdivia; Englishmen there? . — Concepcion country? . rise in ground at same time in Valparaiso? —

Postman where lives &c ?? —

Mine? Slate? Granites? Limestone? —

[page 83a]

Estacillos Estacillos Cheucau1

GraniteVolcanos Castro Coal Nature of Breccia Apple trees Geotropes. Cave 10 ft. — Lice:—

1 See specimen 2172 in Zoology notes, p. 235; listed as Pteroptochos rubecula in Birds, p. 73. See also Journal of researches 2d ed., pp. 288-9.

[page 84a]

Valparaiso SSE to S½ (& one to West of South.) Angular patch of Syenite Black fine gneiss — Masses of Feldspar & Quartz Green veins Hornblende long crystals

[page 85a]

Old buildings Fort which could not anciently be seen Water bursting out through the ground

A D A9˚ 30' 30.466

44 53 A D A10˚ 30' 29.742

49 55

11 29.356 50 ?

Flag staff

12 29.008 D 53

[page 86a]

29.05 Trochus1 Patella 1.45

&c 2˚ 15' 28.72 A 56 D50

Top of highest hill 2 40' 28.684

very highest 4 PM 30.450

1 Top snails.

[page 87a]

Sandy gneiss SSE dip N. W. —

Veins SE & NW

[page 88a blank]

[back cover]

B. Blanca to Buenos Ayres

[8] Vol of [illeg]

[inside back cover]

C. Darwin

From Port to [Posta] ( 100 ) B 215 to 3d P

qr Shoal off C. Corrientes. ESE. 5 or 6 miles. —

[page 1b]

qr Mouths of rivers & Indian names between Monte Hermoso and Cape Corrientes. — distances from either or Each place — do they open into the sea — or are mouths closed generally by sand banks — how wide — how deep — ever Entered by boats or vessels — marks

— approach — ? Bs. Ayres Mr. G.1 journal — Rio Negro — Villarino2 — Chart of Bahia Blanca

— how used? — French Survey of river — (Emulation)3 M. Barral — ? Naut. Almanac 18344 — Letter — under cover Mr G. —

1 Philip Yorke Gore.

2 Basilio Villarino (1741-1785), Spanish naval explorer. See Narrative 2: 314.

3 L'Emulation, a French survey ship.

4 Anon 1833.

[page 2b]

Salitra. South of R. Negro?


St Josephs expedition

Meeting of Caciques

Up the river

Rincon Gordona Estancia

Don (Lorenzo) Many great bones.


Poncho big Bag

Bread (12?) Sugar Yerba

2 packets of Cigars


20 Pesos

7|350 50 58

5|108 21

[page 3b]

Accounts Harris1 59 Place of rest Captain 80 (339) Stokes 10 180 Thistles Turnips Lievres 159 much cattle loss Indians on road Big Bottles: Note Books

1 Possibly James Harris sealer of Del Carmen on Rio Negro who acted as pilot to one of the Beagle's hired attendant vessels, La Paz.

[page 4b]


[paluda paw] 4 5 1 2 3 inside

1.2. middle toes nails equal grand flat first with large ball — 3 long narrow: 4th like 1 & 2 : 5 shorter hind legs leg similar. all nails shorter: belly with rows of stiff hair: back with 8 bands (& 9 soft): tail half length of body: long hairs on back: 9 teeth in upper jaw: 10 in lower: 3 times as big as Peechey

18. 20

1 A species of armadillo, listed as Dasypus villosus in Mammalia, p. 93 . It is now known as the Large Hairy Armadillo, Chaetophractus villosus. See Zoology notes, p. 180.

[pages 5b-6b blank]

[page 7b]

Head man C. Cangallo 98

M Gore

Margrave / [tear]

[page 8b blank]

[page 9b]

Mem: [Capt] King Cat:

Mem Wickhams1 shells:

Lowe. Kelp. on S. Islands: Western N. limit: —

Water communication between Valdivia. Concept: Valparaiso

Southern birds

1 John Wickham (1798-1864), First Lieutenant of the Beagle.

[pages 10b-16b blank]

Textual notes to the B. Blanca notebook

[IFC] 4] added by Nora Barlow, pencil, not transcribed.

W...William] not in Darwin's handwriting.

[3a] Horses] pencil.

[6a] page written perpendicular to the spine.

[9a] lives on edge of brooks] ink.

[11a] The salitra in this plain has] ink.

[12a] — I have since heard ship did not sail] ink.

Shenstone Fire] cancelled in ink and pencil.

[13a] very deep] ink.

[15a]] ink.

[16a-28a] pages in ink.

[29a] with feathers…morning—] blackish grey ink.

Sunday...bushes] blackish grey ink over pencil.

[30a-52a] pages in blackish grey ink over pencil.

[37a] bed] blackish grey ink .

about quartz rocks] blackish grey ink .

[39a] horseback] blackish grey ink .

[40a] (Biscatches...detritus] blackish grey ink.

[41a] page written perpendicular to the spine.

[42a] two ink marks appear to be nib tests.

[48a] three ink marks after '3d Posta. —' appear to be nib tests.

[49a] 3d...vertical] pencil.

[50a] The...Maldonado:] blackish grey ink over pencil.

[52a] when playing at cards by firelight] added ink.

eggs in cliffs. colour oveiro] added blackish grey ink.

[53a] page in blackish grey ink.

noise of ostriches] added ink.

Barranca at…do.] added pencil.

[54a] Geology] pencil.

That...sight to the] blackish grey ink over pencil.

[55a-68a] pages in blackish grey ink over pencil.

(late...peewit. —] blackish grey ink.

[63a] families] added ink.

like English goods] added ink.

[67a] Slept…said:] added ink.

[68a] small ink marks after 'Cordova' appear to be nib tests.

60...400] blackish grey ink.

[72a] 437.5...2336] in ink.

[73a] 60...329] ink.

[74a] Gr. ... behind] written perpendicular to the spine.

[76a] (another...long] added ink.

[82a] page in ink.

[83a] Geotropes.] added ink.

[IBC] 1.11.] Down House number, not transcribed.

88202331] English Heritage number, not transcribed.

C. Darwin] ink.

qr Shoa…6 miles. —] in FitzRoy's handwriting.

[1b] page in FitzRoy's handwriting.

[5b-6b] lower half of leaf excised.

[7b-8b] lower half of leaf excised.

[9b] Lowe...Valparaiso] ink.

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Citation: John van Wyhe, editor. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

File last updated 8 April, 2014