RECORD: Gordon Chancellor and John van Wyhe eds. Falkland notebook. [English Heritage 88202334] (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Gordon Chancellor; transcription typed and checked against microfilm by Kees Rookmaaker 8.2006. Corrections by Chancellor 9.2006. Further corrections and editing by John van Wyhe 9.2006, corrected against the microfilm by van Wyhe 8.2007. Transcription revised and edited by van Wyhe 9-12.2008. RN9

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 16.4 x 10 cm notebook is bound in brown leather with the border blind embossed: the brass clasp is intact. The front of the notebook has a label of cream-coloured paper with 'Falkland Maldonado (excursion) Rio Negro to Bahia Blanca' written in ink. Darwin created a pencil holder inside the front cover by pasting in a leather sleeve. The notebook has 180 pages plus the covers, with one sequence from front cover inwards (pp. 1a-142a) and another sequence from the back cover inwards (pp. 1b-14b). In the middle there are 12 leaves (24 pages) left blank (pp. 143a-166a).

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 Falkland notebook

[front cover]

Maldonado (excursion)
Rio Negro to
Bahia Blanca

c vol of humanity

[2 words illeg] 49

[inside front cover]

[pages 1a-2a excised]

[page 3a]

Stirrup at Whites

Map —

Poncho [Racket] bay

Charge [Ruone]

Old Man R. Negro


Salt Steam Quantity: 30.000

Sand to the P. St Antonio (Yes)

Salt petre

Stirrups: Salt Petre: Girth: Poncho

Bay. Blas. Spirits Salt Steam

thirty thousand [fanego] 1/16

[page 4a blank]

[page 5a]

N: Orange Bay Feb: 16th [1833] —

(A) Sandy Slate. drusy1 cavities. summit of hill with crystals

(B) (C) in close neighbour head. — angular conchoidal fracture. sonorous

(D) fine grained greenstone with pale concretions lower part of range

A a slight tendency to show a columnar structure.

Lime tolerable good slate before arriving at these Sandstone hills. —

They are latter are nearly as lofty as the N slate range

1 With cavities into which crystals grow.

[page 6a]

A dips to the SW by S at above ∠ 25˚ Southern ocean not phosphorescent: At sea side AM 6 ¾ Barometer 29. 27 28 2 Attached Therm1 51.5 Therm 48.5 Banks Hill 9 AM Barm 27.734 attached Thermometer 45˚ Thermo 42

1 An 'attached thermometer' is one affixed to another instrument, as a barometer, used to obtain its operating temperature. Throughout the notebooks Darwin abbreviated as 'A'.

[page 7a]

On return 11 ¾ AM Barometer 29.348 Attach 57˚ Therm 58˚ Beech trees: lower down dwarf ones less snow on the hills







[page 8a]

Falkland Islands

51.25 March 2 [1833] to what animals did the dung beetles in S America belong — (Is not the close connection of insects & plants As well as this fact point out closer connection than migration) Scarcity of Aphodius1 ? Will not reversed cases of close Vide Annales des Sciences for Rio Plata: A crest of Quartz rock running E & W & dipping to the South ∠ 50˚: hills occurring in same line at some distance. (A) The rock in places is pure quartz (?) — dip other crests; S by W. & to the North of the former one The peat not forming

1 A genus of dung beetles. See Darwin's insects, pp. 76-81 and 103.

[page 9a]

at present & but little of the Bog Plant of Tierra del F: no moss; perhaps decaying vegetables may slowly increase it. — beds varying from 10 to one foot thick. Great scarcity in Tierra del of Corallines,1 supplanted by Fuci2 : — Clytia prevailing genus Procure Trachaea of Upland Goose3

6th: [March 1833] South of the ship running ENE &c dip SSE ∠ 46˚ — Slate: (B) scales of mica black veins. Phyllade [present] South of the Ship

1 Keynes noted in Zoology notes, p. xiii 'The principal problem in classification encountered by CD in the 1830s lay in determining the true nature of some of the colonial plant-like invertebrates then still known colloquially as Zoophytes or Polypes, and nowadays separated into Cnidaria such as hydrozoa, anthozoa (including corals) and scyphozoa, Bryozoa and sponges. The smallest of these were the corallines, but thanks to the classical studies of John Ellis it had been accepted in many quarters by the end of the 18th century that like some of the coelenterates closely similar to them in appearance, they belonged to the animal kingdom….At the beginning of the voyage, CD referred to all such animals indiscriminately as corallines or coralls, although some of them were in fact hydrozoa or hydrocorals, some bryozoans, and some coralline algae. When in the end he had concluded that his 'true corallinas' were indeed algae such as Corallina and Amphiroa, he listed this group as Nulliporae. The bryozoans were generally 'encrusting corallines' or Flustrae, and the reef-building hydrocorals were Madrepores. He had thus improved on the still prevailing confusion in the classification of the Zoophytes or Polypiferous Polypi in the accounts of Cuvier and Griffith that he had with him on the Beagle.'

2 Fucus is a genus of brown alga (seaweed).

3 See Zoology notes, p. 213; listed as Chloephaga magellanica in Birds, p. 134. The trachea of this bird, specimen in spirits 904 (Zoology notes, p. 349) was dissected and described in Eyton 1838.

[page 10a]

on the next crest pure quartz rock (?) sometimes arenaceous (C)

run E & dip SSE

So that the slate here underlies the Quartz. whilst North of the ship. it is superior. — (according to the dip:

Saturday [9 March 1833]

Quartz rock becoming slaty & less Quartzose

A passes instantly into slate & more earthy particles.

Slate (B) & which has incurved — planes. dips to S by W ∠ 65˚ (& to the S)

[page 11a]

but there are irregular planes like stratification dips NW by N ∠ 35˚

Sand dune Peat clay. fine pure all now [consuming] by the sea The planes (if cleavage was absent) would be pronounced slate above one foot apart. It is evident the slate here according to dip overlies slate but the bed is not of great length: slate sometimes with many scales of mica: Transition insensible:

[page 12a]

Tuesday 12th. — [March 1833] The purest Quartz rock is of a granular variety, & contains always some very small proportion of the aluminous matter: the common rock in places has a breccia appearance. from the Quartz & aluminous matter being in larger quantities & masses Examine Balanus.1 in fresh water it is about 15 inches beneath high water mark: Horses fond of catching cattle aberration of instinct snipes rather [tame] Examine pits for Peat

1 Barnacle of the order Thyrostraca. See Living Cirripedia (1851).

[page 13a]

Specimen of do — Have there been any bones ever found &c. or Timber

Are there any reptiles? (no) or Limestone?

19th [March 1833]

Slate slippy fissile. S of scale Johnstone Creek dip to SSW or little [more] South

(ask Chaffers where gneiss came from)

Head of fishing place

Rock quartzose. ferruginous with partial slaty structure splintery in beds resembling strata dipping to SW ½ S ∠ 7˚.

I think the point of compass difficult to be ascertained:

[page 14a]

Within [Basin]

Slate slippy much laminated fossiliferous dipping to the N ½ E ∠ 65˚; & from this to Vertical

22d [March 1833] true observ

Slaty sandstone, abounding with fossils dipping ∠ 14˚ to W by S: layer of shells a seam of hard [blue] conchoidal slate. shells parallel to seam of slate & strata. covered above & beneath by the vertical plates of slate dipping to N ½ E: Fissil cleavage of slate same above & beneath nearly vertical: Sandstone bed about 4 feet thick

[page 15a]

This sandstone has not Mica the dip is not quite certain It may be here remarked that the Sandstone, in many places has a decided tendency to break vertically as if affected by the vertical cleavage: in the more perfect slaty Sandstone the scales of Mica seem to determine splitting parallel to Stratification Sandstone beds are in places 12 feet thick:

[page 16a]

20th [March 1833] St Salvador Bay Siliceous ferruginous slate (passage) dip to S by E ∠ 30˚, strata & cleavage also nearly pure quartz rock head of great Bay containing small beds of micaceous slaty sandstone & vertical cleavage of slate: Bearing from ship (SSW Compass) Quartz with specks of mica slaty parallel to strata & cleavage. dip to S ¼ W ∠ 19˚ parallel to hills higher up hill: bearing from last place ESE ie more central part of range

[page 17a]

on north side strata dip to N ½ E ∠ 28˚ Mantle ridge dips to W by N ½ N ∠ 16˚ (rocks all granules quartz) on summit flattish strata on S side dip to S ½ W ∠ 29˚ On the east side of "Cone" dips ∠ 14˚ to ENE generally flattish & connected with a range. which on South side has the usual Southerly dip

[page 18a]

[curved strata]

W by N ½ N The hills bear from Town SE S by E (true):

[page 19a]

Desolation Island. said to be Volcanic with hot springs:

All the Shetland islands with very hot springs & vesicular lava

Capt Brisbane.1 — & South Orkney Volcanic products

It is clear that, in the crests, there has been in the mountain a point of upheaval, when strata have become mantle shaped instead of crests:

1 Matthew Brisbane (1787/8-1833), the first official British Resident in the Falkland Islands. He was murdered at Port Louis 26 August 1833.

[page 20a]

21st [March 1833]— Fossil seams dip SSE ∠ 20 ————— S by W Then slightly curved horizontal or dipping to opposite sides S or Northerly There would seem to be two principal ranges of rock in East Falkland. both of quartzose nature, both nearly parallel to Berkeley Sound & both with a Southerly dip: Slate occupies the lower districts & intermediate:1 perhaps the lower from weathering so easily:

1 Igneous rocks intermediate in composition between acid and basic.

[page 21a]

Saw a cormorant catch a fish & let it go 8 times successively like a cat does a mouse or otter a fish:1 & extreme wildness of shags: Then sandstone more contorted the site bears N by W (true) of the conical "cone" Then cleavage of Slate Vertical running & E & W Sandstone dips 15˚ to N

1 See specimen not in spirits 1756 in Zoology notes, p. 396; listed as Phalocrocorax carunculatus in Birds, pp. 145-6.

[page 22a]

Read Bougainville1 In 1784, from return of Gov: Figueroa,2 buildings amounted 34, population including 28 convicts 82 persons, & cattle of all kinds 7,774:

22d [March 1833] Proceeding round Basin, saw observed before W by S ∠ 14˚ Sandstone dips to SSW ———— dip to S by W ½ W ∠ 52˚ always [uprising] on the highly inclined plates of slate, N ½ E dip Sandstone SW by S

1 Louis Antoine de Bougainville (1729-1811), French sea captain and navigator who circumnavigated the globe in La Boudeuse, 1767-8. Darwin refers to Bougainville 1772.

2 Augustín Figueroa, military administrator of the Spanish Settlement of Port Soledad, Falkland Islands 1784-6.

[page 23a]

cleavage of slate dip N ½ E East of basin, peat above 12 feet thick resting on Clay & now eaten by the sea. — lower parts very compact but not so good to [illeg] as higher up; small bones are found in it like Rats — argument for original inhabitants: from big bones must be forming at present but very slowly: Sandstone dips about N by East

[page 24a]

Fossils in Slate: opposite points of dip: & mistake of stratification:

What has become of Lime?:

It will be interesting to observe difference of species & proportionate numbers. which always appear characteristic of different habitations:


[page 25a]

March 25th [1833] Near the Ship

(x) gradual transition of the ferruginous quartzose rock into slate with vertical cleavage: it is within the latter (& to the North): ferrug: quartz: rock has perhaps a NNE dip of Stratification: — also

[diagram of strata]

[page 26a]

March 28th [1833] —

Crest of granular pure quartz — Crest running W by N & E by S. —

(Z) Emberiza1 in flock Send watch to be mended All the country for 9 (?) miles N of the Ship: quartz rock generally rather pure: — NB. This occurs to the N: of Alumino-Quartz Rock: Is the latter in that state from approaching to the grand slate formation:

1 A genus of birds of the bunting family. Possibly specimen 1232 in Zoology notes, p. 155; listed as Crithagra? brevirostris in Birds, p. 88-9.

[page 27a]

Compare Nebalia1 & Desma[rest]2 with my Zoea3

Whether my Spec: Notopod is a Porcellina4

Enquire period of flooding of R. Negro & Plata

Is the cleavage at M: Video (an untroubled country) very generally vertical or what is the dip? —

Tuesday 9 —

Saturday 6th [April 1833]

1 Nebaliacea, a small, marine order of Crustacea.

2 Anselm-Gäetan Desmarest responsible for the Plates of Crustacea, Zoea, etc. in Dictionnaire des sciences naturelles. Paris, 1816-30.

3 The name for crustaceans during their larval stage. Keynes noted 'a knowledge of [them] was one of the most valuable outcomes of [Darwin's] dissections of marine invertebrates during the voyage.' Zoology notes, p. xiii.

4 Porcellana: a crab.

[page 28a]

April 18 17th. [1833]

Entrance of St Joseph Bay. section of cliffs running W by N & E by S. Shows numerous nearly horizontal lines.

which leave rise from the Covered by stratified blacker mass. which follows inequalities in the white: they both seem to rest on a white rock at entrance of St Joseph bay: lines of

[page 29a]

stratification most parallel in white mass: the line between black & white was seen extending for about 20 miles in length:

either beds of equal thickness dip somewhere near east: or they thicken towards west & are intersected by water lines [illeg]

Private journal if new paper is used it will be (313) It

      W [diagram of strata]

[page 30a]

Capt Cook1 Maldonado

Slaty Syenite hills: running NE by N & SW by S with a SW dip?

NNE & (ESE dip)

Ampullaria2 crawling on sand with sea shells

Near on road Laguna Potrero siliceous slate running in usual direction: near head of lake Limestone conchoidal semipellucid, veins of feldspar & crystals of Hornblende &

1 James Cook (1728-79), naval captain and circumnavigator.

2 Tropical water-snail.

[page 31a]

Mica: lines of partition running NNE & SSW. (dipping if anything Northerly) accompanied lying in a soft decomposing mica slate [gneiss] with much mica:

In a hill to the North there is usual gneiss, with red feldspar & imperfect mica: running apparently in same direction as Marble: difficult to be ascertained

[page 32a]

Thursday: 9th. — [May 1833] The chain of hills from Whale Point & East side of Laguna are the same & may be are called Sierra larga: they are remarkable by the very straight white bands where the cleavage edges project: the chain is composed of one nearly continuous lines of hills & 2 or 3 other imperfect ones: it is said to to reach to Brazil ? it is nearly the last chain before the level country of Maldonado: Chaca

[page 33a]

runs about NNE & SSW or more N: rock (as formerly described), dipping WNW: Between this chain & that of Pan de Azucar the whole country is elevated: this level country being seen beneath through the gaps: This rock passes into fine gneiss: & is coarse gneiss at first sleeping place & near to limestone Started in high spirits with troop of horses companions names, &c arms, describ[e]

[page 34a]

Recon:1 near limes kiln: dinner, wild sort of gauchos: white men run wild: astonished at Compass & Promethians (before heard of murder of traveller & lives lost in the rivers). hospitable place for night:

The gauchos, dissolute proud expression yet civil: moustaches, long black hair; great spurs: pale faces: tall men. look as if they would cut your throat & make a bow at same time: ostriches tame: made sail:

1 Spanish for saddle.

[page 35a]

Friday 10th. — [May 1833]

A few miles beyond sleeping place; & crossing the Salco the country became more elevated & hilly. hills 3- to 500 feet high & more stony.

the rock generally more or less perfect gneiss; & some quartz; also a little blue siliceous slate: our [course] was about NN by N. & in this journey we were generally upon high land: but it was impossible to trace any very regular course of hills, after leaving the Sierra Larga:

[page 36a]

The cleavage in many places was very striking, yet it so varied that it is hard to say what was prevalent after tea near R Salco it dipped to the SW: then we had for some extent a NNW dip ∴ & last near Minas . . . . . So that this irregularity agrees with characters of hills & is caused perhaps by the crossing of N & S & E & W chain of hills: which also the course of the waters point out:

[page 37a]

This ride had little interest except from novelty: the country is more stony more hilly & possesses a very few trees: every where however there is high green turf between the rocks which supports large flocks of cattle: our road was mere track & quite unfrequented I believe did not meet one single person: Arrived at night at Minas: small nice quiet town the only one in the whole

[page 38a]

country except Maldonado: The vendas miserably uncomfortable, as they have no rooms & it is necessary to lounge all day evening amongst drunken strangers. —

Saturday 11th. [May 1833] —

Near At Minas there is a coarse blue, also pale slate: also much quartz. some pink & granular dipping to NNE. — There would seem to be a W & E range of hills N of Minas & N & S, E of Minas:

[page 39a]

But the whole country is composed of irregular chains: at the Calera1 E of Minas there was a semitransparent limestone: & another reddish & earthy penetrated by highly crystalline veins & containing breccia: at the 1st pit the limestone occurred to the South of fine quartz range. & had some cleavage running NE by E & SW by W: it was surrounded by imperfect gneiss in which large red

1 Spanish for quarry or lime kiln.

[page 40a]

crystals of feldspar were only visible: perhaps ranges of hills here were nearly the same as the cleavage: Presently Mon there was blackish pellucid Monomenos beautiful crystalline marble imbedded in rotten slate as at R Sauce: Presently there was a blackish slaty limestone dipping at high angle to the SE. I think these rocks from the principal chain in this part:

[page 41a]

at sleeping place there was to my surprise a breccia or rather greywacke, with a reddish base & resembling our old red Sandstone.1 This nearly proves together with characters of some of the limestone that they are of transition origin: Our course was about East so that the next day we crossed the Marmaraya

1 The red sandstones of Wales and the English west country thought to have been laid down in arid conditions before the Carboniferous. Robert Jameson included the Old Red Sandstone in the Secondary. In the late 1830s it was generally dated to the Devonian.

[page 42a]

Appearance of Minas: ostriches describe Don Manuel Fuentes1 house &c &c Minas, pretty, african looking from separate houses in fertile plain surrounded by rocky hills: dung many ostriches flocks from 20-30. beautiful on the brow of a hill: Don Manuel Fuentes: on first entering a house. after sitting for a short time, ask as a matter of course: very rich number of cattle: horses, & killed & guests: house thoroughily uncomfortable: no furniture, no windows: only meat, savollas2 & water for supper: Wretched room for sleeping, in which a very sick man slept:

1 See Beagle diary, p. 156.

2 Spanish for pumpkins.

[page 43a]

Sunday 12th [May 1833] The formation of red sandstone is very extensive & forms hills: it varies in character from a jaspery rock. to a sandstone & passes lastly into a coarse breccia: To the north of these hills there are others of coarse granite in which all the constituents are in large crystals: & not far distant: I am inclined hence to believe this whole country to be of transition origin like so many primitive others: (our course to day has

[page 44a]

been chiefly north) (NB. before Minas in the gneiss there was some siliceous blue slate) (NB. Examine peat at M. Video)

After then much Syenite in abrupt paps or cones: then chiefly quartz:

Our view to the East showed a much more level country: we travelling along hills the same as before:

The country is precisely the same as formerly the people all look at me rather kindly

[page 45a]

but with much pity & wonder: Saw method of catching partridges:

Monday 13th [May 1833]

At sleeping place a reddish crystalline rock; together with basalt in small columns with green crystals: at head of R Tapas much Trap:

rock with earthy Feldspar & much iron: Then much granite & gneiss & gneiss some imperfect the rest very perfect feldspar bright red:

After crossing Rio Barrija large fine granite felspar red forming remarkable looking boulders

[page 46a]

we then at the Calera of Don Juan Fuentes find limestone white beautiful; house built of it: from that across the Polanco all the rocks are blackish with white veins; or white limestone & pure quartz or red: — Limestone contains veins of quartz & other of Rhomboidal gypsum: a league to the north of the junction the whole

[page 47a]

country is limestone: Country more level: with more trees & rather different appearance more undulating. Furthest point North: Inglishman last night most hospitable: fresh horses: our guide a curious old Paraguay man: delight at meeting countryman

[page 48a]

Tuesday 14th [May 1833] — Found some limestone variegated in its colours & Found 1st limestone 2d granite 3d limestone 4 granite & in a NNW & SSE section of country granite forming ridges or low hills: Also saw some limestone S of the Barrija negra: returned. I am considered such a curiosity that I was sent to be shown to a sick woman At our sleeping place between R Tapas & former

[page 49a]

sleeping place. There is a grand formation of these appearing Trap rocks: it is certain they extend for some distance & probably join those near former sleeping place a distance of two miles, [indeed] here there was black basalt much resembling the former: These trap rocks are of endless varieties: I have only selected a few: I could not bring any more

[page 50a]

The amygdaloid is very abundant & very much more amygdaloid than the specimen: There is are specimen of a remarkable reddish rock with large & abundant rock [drusy] cavities of crystallised quartz. these are arrange in planes so as to give to the rock a decidedly lined cleaving appearance which dip to the East at angle about 45˚ — Now it is very remarkable

[page 51a]

this rock is situated between the above trap rocks & an imperfect gneiss which forms the whole hill to the West of it: This gneiss is only quartz & feldspar in planes not distinct & which quite fade away higher up: These planes nearly run in a N & S (within a point) direction: The whole of the 3 rocks are within pistol shot of each other

[page 52a]

& I must consider it the reddish rock as a passage one: It is certain these trap rocks form a large valley surrounded by the immense granitic formation, but from covering of turf I could not see junctions, nor do I believe they exist there being only transitions: (NB all specimens unnamed in knapsack handkerchief are from this site)

[page 53a]

(NB) I was told gypsum occurs some days riding to the North of Polanco)

(A) dubious Limestone

(B) Limestone quarried; arranged in grains in lines slaty }? Cleavage

(D) Trap rock same as others in handkerchief

(E) Curious red transition rock; with druses of Quartz From 2d sleeping place R. Tapes

[page 54a]

At night curious drunken scene; knives drawn, evidently showing the usual manner of quarrelling: the instantaneous manner & striking & rushing out of the room:

Wednesday 15th [May 1833]

Our former fine weather has left us: & we are confined from bad weather: very stupid work (NB enquire whether there was much wind this morning at M Video

[page 55a]

& whether much lightning the night before). Curious amusement of impromptu singing: general much politeness. (NB) Ask whether Gold has ever been worked at Pan de Azucar We only rode about a league to the place where we slept one night before: I here found with the Basalt & red crystallised rocks other varieties. together with the pale variety (D) which is very abundant These rocks extend the whole

[page 56a]

distance between the two sleeping places

Thursday 15 16th [May 1833] Returned to a house 4 leagues from Minas (in NE direction ? . Cutting off the angle at Don Fuentes house. — We thus crossed the range of red-sandstone rocks: I [thus] that it lies on both sides of a granite ridge. (ie S & N side) The rock is here accompanied by Basalt: In proceeding from the

[page 57a]

last sleeping place [I &] the Trap rocks extended about one mile to the [Southard] & then came the granitic usual rocks & clearly separates them from the Sandstone ones: // Rivers rather too full, one of the inconveniences [fine] of uncivilized country from one days rain:

[page 58a]

I also here found some much amygdaloid with Limestone something like that from R. Tapes: taking into consideration having found the Sandstone on each side of the granite I think it probable that the whole formation is of one origin: whether contempareous with granite I cannot tell: (NB Basalt

[page 59a]

not much (not primitive looking)

Friday 17th. [May 1833] — About 2 miles from N Minas abundant white limestone dipping at high angle to the NNE or more N together with & in same direction as Clay Slate: To the South we crossed a broad mountain band or elevated chain tract of mountains

[page 60a]

entirely composed of blue slate, generally very siliceous: he occasionally containing Lime; often pure quartz; often much iron. — I here noticed very generally was that extreme sort of contorted cleavage in which every possible curve was present many resembling small

[page 61a]

Gothic windows, which it is difficult to imagine any force to have produced: There certainly is an extensive chain South of Minas as in the Maps Here the cleavage was tolerably regularly I once in the first part E & W & afterward (by Gold

[page 62a]

Mine) NNE & SSW: I should not have expected so much slate from what I saw before of the more Eastern section where perhaps the N Granite ridge [more] interferes: about 10 miles to the South of Minas. (I do not think mass [or ridge] Gold has been found: it is in a greenish sometimes talcose slate & chiefly in accompanying quartz & copper malachite beds. which contains drusy cavities with

[page 63a]

much iron. & has a rotten appearanc: Gold obtained by washing. — // This days ride interesting it is an alpine country in miniature slept at a most hospitable house // beautiful boys

[page 64a]

Saturday 18th [May 1833]

After leaving this place for some miles there was slate & much quartz, with some imperfect gneiss; We then skirted an irregular chains of hills running NNW & SSE. of several miles in length, entirely composed of breccia of various degrees of coarseness: the t included fragments were generally quartz coloured siliceous rock, granite & green slate (my specimen is

[page 65a]

not characteristic) some of the fragments were large; the base is essentially crystallised feldspar: & in some specimens the rock contained so much well crystallized feldspar that it would be thought to be imperfect granite: rock extremely hard, it weathers into those round blocks heaped on each other & generally characteristic of Granite: I have

[page 66a]

now do doubt that the whole country is Transition formation: It is very remarkable observing something like a transition ? between a Breccia & Trap Volcanic looking rocks with Granitic ones: This Breccia may be cal said to be formed ? in Granite: At our breakfast place when it, about 4 miles to the N of Pan de Azucar

[page 67a]

There is greenish chl chlorite slate: (Saw lassooing) It will be safer to say there were so many crystals of Feldspar — that I am even yet & was then inclined to think these formed on the spot:

At Pan de Az at Pimiento's1 house plenty of well crystallised feldspar & quartz the rock so prevalent in this country no slaty structure:

1 Sebastian Pimiento, estate owner in Maldonado district. See Beagle diary, pp. 158-9.

[page 68a]

Sunday 19th [May 1833] Sierra las Animas (to the NW of Pan de Azucar appear & South of Betel) appears to be most lofty part hills in this country: To the West there is seen the great flat extensive plains, which is only broken by the Sierra de M: Video: To the East the endless hillocks which I have traversed: The hills run N & S: irregularly & must be same

[page 69a]

with the Breccia ones already described: Las Animas is entirely composed of a more or less compact Feldspathic rocks with crystals of feldspar (sometimes quite Hornstone)1 generally contains & sometimes specular; also occassionally crystals of Hornblende & quartz: the rocks is very hard, irregularly massive & of a pale red:

1 A very fine-grained and hard rock derived from volcanic ash.

[page 70a]

Pan de Azucar; which lies out of the chain, is chiefly composed of the mixture of largish crystals feldspar, & quartz, also some Syenite & a good deal of the same rock as Las Animas: The plain valley in which Pimento's house &c & the Arroyo de Pan de Azucar flows besides the green slate & felsic granite (already mentioned) chiefly is composed of

[page 71a]

a greenish porphyry with crystals of feldspar: in other places amygdaloid with quartz (V specimen) the paps which surround the base of the larger hills is composed of the former: (NB At Las Animas there is a crystalline foliated brown rocks same as found with breccia near Juan Fuentes house; interesting as showing strong connection V Specimen)

[page 72a]

Spent the day at Sebastien Pimentos house; pretty daughter, beautifully dressed & hair; menial offices: view with numerous cattle & sheep. almost pretty with rising sun: piles of stones on Las Animas; small; said to be belong to the old Indians; not so great as in N Wales; curious the universal desire of man to show he

[page 73a]

has visited frequented the highest points in his country from the sealed bottle of the traveller to these little piles

Monday 20th . [May 1833]— Returned: granite of feldspar & quartz W of Lg [Laguna]

Potrero ........... 9-20

[page 74a]

Palms: grow near Rio Marmaraga Azara's book1 Fleming's philosophy of Zoology2 Pennants Quadrupeds3 Paul Scrope on Volcanoes4 Scoresby arctic regions5 Humboldt (of course)6 Burchell's Travels7 The occurrence of Palm trees: worth noting: & Maize

1 Possibly Azara 1801.

2 Fleming 1822.

3 Pennant 1793.

4 Scrope 1825.

5 Scoresby 1820.

6 Humboldt 1819-29.

7 Burchell 1822-4.

[page 75a]

mentions rattle snakes: are not true rattle snakes peculiar to N. America?

Davys consolation in Travels1

Playfair Hutton2


([short] measure)

Radiator ([illeg] scalpel)

Book of chemistry

M: Mice traps: wadding & small Vasculums:3

1 Davy 1830.

2 Playfair 1802.

3 Containers used to keep specimens cool and humid.

[page 76a]

Palms: Perhaps the earthy covering in this country is rather modern, accounting for the paucity: undulating surface: traversed in every direction by streams, beautiful climate, earth, no trees: Paucity of trees common to all the formations. Examine coarse Limestone

pebbles at M Video.—

(31st —) [May 1833]

Female of white shrike with little grey on the

[page 77a]

back General scarcity of coprophagous1 Exception 1181 & 12252 Is not abundance of dung beetles in Horse dung — an argument for original habitation of these animals V Humming Bird Amer Fly catcher with red wings iris yellow: eyelid blackbird do: base of lower mandible especially yellow: Long billed Certhia.3 tongue shouldered [slightly] [illeg] & bristle projecting but not recurved; moderately long: tail used

1 Feeding upon dung. Used by Darwin to indicate dung beetles.

2 Specimens not in spirits 1181, 1225, see Darwin's insects, pp. 723.

3 Genus of birds of the tree-creeper family, see Zoology notes, pp. 157-8.

[page 78a]

Furnarius1 walks Aperea trots female of small Icterus brown Black Icterus bubbling noise2 Connection between note of B B bird & Furnarius Picus3 sits crossways on a branch like common bird Flycatcher4 red wings running F B B no do

1 Specimen 1200 in Zoology notes, p. 151, listed as Furnarius rufus in Birds, p. 64. See 'Ornithological notes', p. 214.

2 Specimen 1211 in Zoology notes, p. 152, listed as Molothrus niger in Birds, pp. 107-8. See Journal of researches, pp. 60-2.

3 Picus: Latin name for woodpeckers. Specimen 1238 in Zoology notes, p. 155, listed as Chrysoptilus campestris in Birds, pp. 113-14.

4 Possibly specimen not in spirits 2191 in Zoology notes, p. 405: '2191 B Certhia (red wing) female'; which Keynes suggests may be listed as Synallaxis humicola in Birds, p. 75.

[page 79a]

Capincha tame pig

rabbit. curious [profile]

[Same hoots ones]

Kingfisher hovers

L Tailed

shrike } sings

Red Icterus1

Toco [rough]. flash without top or bottom & big scissors

1 Possibly specimen 1244 in Zoology notes, p. 156, listed as Amblyramphus ruber in Birds, pp. 109-10.

[page 80a]

Kingfisher continually elevates its tail:

Thrush with note like English.

Rat with upper lip, from centre of no [illeg] the two nostrils to bifurcation the retrecisement of the upper lip 3/12 which gives the upper jaw a peculiarly lengthened appearance

BB Bird1 dust itself active in the evening: tame Comadreja chico.2 intestine full of remains of insects: chiefly ants & some hemipterous insect —

1 Specimen 1222 in Zoology notes, p. 154; listed as Furnarius cunicularius in Birds, pp. 65-6. See also 'Ornithological notes', pp. 217-18.

2 A weasel, specimen not in spirits 1283 in Zoology notes, p. 387; listed as Didelphis brachyura in Mammalia, p. 97 and plate 32. Comadreja = weasel.

[page 81a]

active in the e Scolopax — Perdrix different colour breast Comadreja grande,1 weigh[s] flask with water, without bottom & with ⅔ of bullet: Mouse2 (?) Gerbilla weighs two turnscrew: has long hair in eye brows: very large eyes: tail found injured: caught with cheese Alecturus3 in stomach large Lycosa4 & Coleoptera: appears very curious in flight first feather in wing curiously excised.

1 Specimen not in spirits 1281 in Zoology notes, p. 387; listed as Didelphis azarae in Mammalia, p. 93.

2 Specimen not in spirits 1284 in Zoology notes, p. 387; listed as Reithrodon typicus in Mammalia, pp. 71-2.

3 A South American species of tyrant, specimen 1275 in Zoology notes, p. 160; listed as Alecturus guirayetupa in Birds, p. 51.

4 A genus of spider.

[page 82a]

The white & grey shrike fly in circle & alight again more so than the long tailed one which feeds more amongst the bushes Big Rat weighs flask with water without bottom; 2 bullets 4 pellets Ampullaria1 length of time they live burries itself in the sand by revolving motion, lying on its under surface — returning towards edge of shells it acts like a centre bit

1 See Zoology notes, p. 57 note (c).

[page 83a]

& gradually sink[s] very much lower shot at big lake bird with long tail much on the ground not in thickets Buy [strong] oils Tow? Paper: Essential oil — Jars

[page 84a]

As the Quartz at Falklands is aqueous origin it would be interesting to examine if any ruins exist

de origine Venarum

13 6 78 22


Compare Art. Climate in [illeg] with Tierra de Fuego



Reed Equivalents

Lightning? Maclean? Scientific [Friar] | Gran Bestia |

Another Parus: Cassiatus: & Reed Bird

Capt Fitz Roy — Reed bird give me

La struthious1 breed at Port Malaspina

Ordinary 1£.6s

∴ 16..18 Able 1.14 ∴ 22£..2s

1 The Greater or American Rhea (Struthio rhea), listed as Rhea americana in Birds, pp. 120-3. See also 'Ornithological notes', pp. 268-71.

[page 85a]

How far do the cliffs extend?

How many young has Aperea?

What animals are there?

What is export of Salt: are bones found beneath deep beds?

When do the Geese arrive? end of Feb to Sept:

Fresh water fish1

Great bones in cliff?

Gum for cleaning Teeth

Springs of water? sections of wells?

Hard rock near town?

Falk[ner]2 about S. Pelagic birds a R. Grande.

Does Peat occur: — Bones. No

Examine Diluvium. Pumice?

Mineral springs: Gypsum. Nitre ?

Snow: Earthquakes: Thunder Storms

1 Specimens in spirits 553-555 in Zoology notes, p. 337; listed as Aplochiton zebra in Fish, pp. 131-2.

2 Falkner 1774.

[page 86a]

What Fruits. Grapes. Peaches. Nectarines. Quinces Standain? Apples. Pumpkin. Wheat. barley. Indian Corn. Water. Musk Melon. Cherries Patacas [dulies] sweet potatoes Cactus not differ species plentiful. — Potatoes Olive? | Fig. ? | Palm oranges Dessalines d'Orbigny1 Up to the —

2d [August 1833] —

Light contrary winds interrupted by a few gales:

3d [August 1833] arrived off the Mouth of R Negro — pleasant evening in the comfortable Schooner & slept at the Pilots house

1 Alcide Charles Victor Dessalines d'Orbigny (1802-57), a palaeontologist sent out by the French government to South America. His findings were published in Orbigny [1834]-47.

[page 87a]

4th [August 1833] Walked to South Barranca general appearance of cliff land & great valley:

5th [August 1833] Rode to the town pleasant ride banks of river. very unpicturesque country: Indians attacked a [house]:

Ornithology different: only small Icterus; not so very tame: some pidgeons; different parrots different partridge BBB Birds common rose starling Finch with black Sparrow Pteru Pteru1 one days shooting many new birds.

1 The pied lapwing (Hoploxypterus cayanus), with wings armed with sharp spurs. See specimen 1602 in Zoology notes, p. 163; listed as Philomachus cayanus in Birds, p. 127.

[page 88a]

The Gypsum in Tosca but [may obscuring] affects the horizontal layers of St Josephs bay: shells are only organic remain are merely obscure cavities: & one shells Gypsum not abundant

[page 89a]

4th [August 1833]

(1) B. About 120 feet high (whitish harder more siliceous Tosca) B A blue & white sandstone C blue white with hard plates of sandstone A Tosca Gypsum impressiones of shells black linear cavities

[page 90a]

at the Town A blue (patches blue & white veins infinitely. in curious angular) white sandstone blue red clay upon sandstone

[page 91a]

General stuff formation

(1) sandstone varying much in hardness: it is generally blackish, with stalactitic particles harder. Black true cavitities. separation lines sometimes resembling beds in Buenos Ayres. parts with cleavage from currents many lines Greenish blue with little [illeg] also white beds: Above (A) thin bed of Argillo-Calcareous rock with dendritic margins vide [Lovett]1 specimens: has a alliance to B Blanca:

In the section further (to SW)

1 Lovett, if correct, has not been identified..

[page 92a]

to the SW beneath Sandstone; bed of about 2 feet of rosy clay resting on ferruginous & black Sandstone: in this section (A) has thinned away almost to nothing: But a bed in (Fig. 1) which is called (B) (a) [Diluvium] there is a gritty Tosca seen [partly] to [become] [ex panded] with a rubbly bed with calcareous matter which extends along whole length of

[page 93a]

cliff & may [partly] of what almost composed of pebbly [peculiarly] resembling those at St [Josephs] Bay: pebble all small The impression or Cavities in the Tosca more like Isocardium (could not The pebbles were mixed with pieces of calcareous matter resembling those at Maldonado. — I think this old bed followed inequalities

[page 94a]

6th & 7th [August 1833] The whole country round the town sandstone, with waving cleavage & beds. nearly horizontal. — Houses built on & in it. overlooking great flat valley. about 8 or 9 miles across. with projecting headlands on each side: —

The sandstone is covered with bed of pebbles amongst which is very much of stuff resembling mortar with few [minute] pebbles.

— The basis of whole land is so much of this nature, that I think this mortar stone has been formed at the spot in lumps. which have partly been disintegrated

[page 95a]

subsequently: — It is the same which occurs at S. Barrancas — now this & the modern shell gravel bed at St Joseph I should certainly think contemporaneous: perhaps [also] Alluvium of Banda Oriental from occurrence of Calcareous Matter: what relation it bears to B. Blanca is doubtful & will require examination of pebbles (whe [does] Pumice occur at B. Blanca) I should think the Tosca bed at S. Barranca — alluded to St Josephs from Gypsum & few shells: In the vegetable

[page 96a]

mould near to the river Pumice pebbles which floated on water: — Flat rich ground on opposite banks with lakes: plain behind town like Port Praya all bushes with prickles & dust between.— River fine stream 3 4 times Severn: [Toldas] miserable race fed by Governor: Like Fuegians: much more ingenious: —

7 8th [August 1833] Went to the Salina, or great Salt Lake: The export of this one lake is at present & will be still more the main wealth of the Rio Negro: our

[page 97a]

salt not very valuable

road lay along the Barrancas of the river: The bank at about 5 leagues up are covered with willow trees & the diluvial lands being cultivated afford a pleasant prospect: All the good land of this country is diluvial, produces corn every year from 16-18 fold: about 30 leagues; there is much fine timber: On the road all rock sandstone which in places contains calcareous bed 4 or 5 inches thick: Vide Specimen light porous: perhaps much to the calcareous puddingstone also a Tosca bed inferior: — Mortar

[page 98a]

(or mortar) [one] its inferior to this; but I do not conceive there is sufficient for this purpose: — Much of the gravel is white-washed as at B B P. Praya: It struck me that the cause of this & calcareous [matter] was owing to the rock being stretched at the base of the Andes: pumice stone, conglomerate The gravel likewise in places contains concretions varying from some some of fist to the head of (not rotted of course) smally crystalline gypsum (V Specimen) it

[page 99a]

is worked for burning to white wash the walls. — The gravel bed must have been formed at bottom of sea, & tranquilly with some (the superior shells show this) chemical action; these half concretionary masses of Mortar & nodules of Gypsum all show this. — The same lime which here forms bed; to the South perhaps forms the immense Ostrea of the South The only Salina I visited is the smallest length about 20 ½ miles breadth.

[page 100a]

There are 5 great others. S of [Colonia] 1 S of R Negro: In this one salt dissolved every winter: forms white hard field in summer: 4 or 5 inches thick in the centres thicker beneath it invariably they find in all the Salinas. Madre del Sal (crystalation crossways) already after some [dry] time crystallizing on banks: the bottom is sand very black & rather fetid perhaps this occurs from partial decay of green scum which must have proceeded from [Carrena]

[page 101a]

I noticed The sand reposes on layers of the mortar (∴ Salina above gravel bed) In this black mud crystals ([Madre] del Sal) of Gypsum quite thick together in groups including sand clearly formed under present circumstances. Great evaporating dish slowcooccurrence of gypsum & salt curious The whole plain with prickly bushes and near Salinas (far more salt than sea) sea plants like those at B Blanca — Flamingoes (Include this in note) traces of worms. bodies preserved [in] small rodenta even in this arid canyon: water about 3 feet deep: filled by

[page 102a]

rain she & salt streams from surrounding plains Salt in quantity remains constant: is not perceptibly decreased by working in other lakes forms crust at bottom under water as it cannot be redissolved: other circumstances the same, lakes 3 or 4 or more times larger: 0 a This lake occurs in a great depression 5 or 6 miles every way, bounded on all sides by larger parts excepting where the Rio Negro crosses to which the grand depression [illeg] lowers itself. the lakes lies in its lowest part. Now if an inland Salt thicker in middle

[page 103a]

Sea Lake had been contained here when red: On the other side of this ridge on few leagues distant one meets [grand] These local circumstances merely show probability of lake & springs in that spot.

— Camp no prickles: showing salt is absent. — So that it appears the ground is [impregnated] within the above limits the drainage of which at present fills the lake: They say Salt petre occurs in the caverns in Sandstone so that perhaps all the silt does [&] Salinas are formed, where depression favours their existence: but then it occurs above diluvium: About 1/16th part of the lake is worked & about 30000 fargas annually [raised]: Price at Jan 4 reales a Farga — 3rdly worked with waggons. —

[page 104a]

I understand have seen from people who have in the houses & beneath a rocky bed that particular [layers] which are soft & continually in damp weather coarse contains much nitre (& probably other salts) & are therefore in wet weather damp & spoil the back of houses from when plastered with mud also with much crystals of the Saltpetre in side of soft [illeg] of Sandstone [Clay bed inland] the Cuevas1 when candle is brought in spark The Country is sandy & gravelly plains arid all way to Port St Antonio [Harris] Respecting the Salina, it

1 Spanish for caves.

[page 105a]

is stated that the little streams which flow into it are not salt. But that this is a strong salt springs on sides of lake which flows chiefly in the winter. Hence the salt is explained as being above the gravel bed, The Gypsum must be now crystallising as being on & in black sand above the mortar & different from Gypsum in gravel & gravel:

8 9th [August 1833] day wasted, one of the prices for undertaking any

[page 106a]

expedition. Young male Indians in a Schooner work well fine young men dress cleanliness hair person &c &c very tall. brown statues

9th 10th [August 1833] Bad day so would not start: Several Gaucho in Company Long tailed shrike1 Callandra different habits, habits much wilder Traversia2 (Saliferous Sandstone Traversia ??): sits differently on twig: alights in summit of branches, does not use its tail so much: song infinitely sweeter: Toco Toco3 or Taupes4 & Aperea different from Maldonado, latter smaller tamer, appears more in day feeders frequent hedges & holes: have 2 young at a time latter quite different more

1 The thenca or mockingbird. Specimen 1213 in Zoology notes, p. 153, apparently the bird listed as Mimus orpheus in Birds, p. 60. Calandria was the local name.

2 Spanish for passage, road.

3 This animal is closely related to the taupe. The toco toco or tuco-tuco described by Darwin 'as a rodent with the habits of a mole'. There are about fifty species of tuco-tuco. See specimen 1267 in Zoology notes, p. 165; listed as Ctenomys braziliensis in Mammalia, pp. 79-82. Discussed in Journal of researches, pp. 59-60.

4 Taupe is French for the mole. This is probably a species of Ctenomys.

[page 107a]

more distinct louder sonorous, like distant cutting of small tree more peculiar noise double & not three or 4 times repeated only twice, said to have no tail (?) & blind (?) Inhabits same sites — more injurious than Talpe Bird runs like animal at bottom of hedges does not easily fly. not loud Singular single Oranges flora fruit young trees Olives ? Yes Cactus

[page 108a]

Salina. 18 miles up river. Is not R Salado Salt? Do Sand Cliffs occur to South of R Negro & Salinas? de Origine [Concharum] Little bird with pointed tail inhabits traversia, hops about bushes like Parus:1 constantly uttering harsh shrill quickly reiterated chirp long billed BBB. inhabits do, quiet fly about & running hopping very quickly on ground much like common B.B.B. & picking at pieces of dung Long tail shrike Carrancha song very beautiful many on thorny twigs enliven Traversia

1 Specimen not in spirits 1469 in Zoology notes, p. 393; listed as Serpophaga parulus in Birds, p. 49

[page 109a]

most resembles but more powerful some of the reed warblers — harsh notes intermingled & some very high ones Nest? Nest smallon road saw immenseSalina to our left some time before night. [white as snow] in Summer

(11) 10th [August 1833] Started. country same rather less spiny trees: [Abaxo] Grande a great valley to P Bosa running across the country: many vallies & depressions not explicable which look as if it originally made so general small gravel & mortar: one place Sandstone like former Pozo Primero superior small with Tosca bed in valley depression salt lake & plants & spring small: country very level evidently same formation Slept at about 11 leagues from

[page 110a]

the town in N ½ E (true course): Sleeping place found a Cow. fine stillness, dreary plain, comfortable night, like Gypsies; horses not arrived: describe general arrangement: Passed Walleechu tree. only first one I saw. subsequently others 3 feet diameter long diameter low much branched. Indian god shout when about 2 miles off. surrounded by bones of horses covered with strings instead of leaves & remains of Ponchos (thread when poor) cigar smoke upwards spirits in wholes mattee Yerba found &c &c Gauchos have seen all this — think horses will not be tired All tribes know this God Men & Women & children : Gaucho

1 The herb Ilex paraguayensis used to prepare mate, a popular South American infusion.

[page 111a]

start the offerings; 9 leagues from the Town: It is perhaps because a well here landmark & striking point objects in the plain. & as being half the ring in a dangerous passage in summer in a dangerous & dry traverse

11th (Monday) [August 1833] The next day much the same country destitute of almost every animal — There are few Guanacos deer & Ostriches most herds of any animals Here are only air. Carranchas & male Buzzard Vulture no Lachuzoas Gravel & mortar At Pozo Secundo (9 leagues from Colorado) a remarkable flat plain at much lower elevation is seen stretching for many miles, vegetation & appearance the same: But did not notice Mortar

[page 112a]

only gravel. — It must be same for at Pozo there was green to blue sandstone & Tosca. — Here also salt lake & banks of a well with nitre encrusting (Slept night as before Foxes howling around no water) R Colorado

12th [August 1833] about 3 leagues from sea plain very gradually lowers onto plain with clover & Lachuza & no spiny bushes & called Pampas. I suspect must be Tosca plain of other side of River green short turf character of coast the same s aid to stretches to Union Bay with flat islands & mud banks sinks soon into (sea) diluvial plain; then into parts are salt petre marshes

— with saline plants: these places & line of sand of low hillocks. It is curious how salt petre occurs in diluvium

[page 113a]

These plain from clay plains — I am inclined to think the Pampas not diluvial although little above level of sea.

NB Opposite Patagones in certain diluvial plain there are small Salinas. (ask Harris1 ) & worked & bare plains with nitre: How is it to be explained that Salt should there occur? — I can only imagine springs; for plain fertile ∴ earth not in salt What is cause of low sand-stone plain? Abrasion? lower saliferous plain is (50 or 60 feet lower)

: Pleasant ride Gauchos in a line, robes flowing easy seat. Spurs & sword clanking anecdotes of riding change horses, thin horses: Indian white horse; Gaucho Laughing &

1 James Harris, British trader and sea captain at Rio Negro in Patagonia. He acted as pilot for the Beagle, and rented La Paz and La Liebre to FitzRoy for surveying shallow coastal waters.

[page 114a]

& talking: arrived at the river. Sauce & reeds; about size of the Severn: 60 yards of water mares swimming for division of the army ¼ mile square, encampment BandittiExamination passage from General Rosas1 Extraordinary man nearly 300 thousand cattle. Perdrix & Scolopax2 most numerous bird in the dry plains builds on borders of lakes (eggs white spotted with red) about 5 or 6 in small flocks from 2 or 3 to 30 or 40

13th ) Wednesday [August 1833] Nothing to do, miserable day, kill time, Frozen with Cherapey swampy plain, overflowed

1 Juan Manuel de Rosas, provided Darwin with horses and safe conducts on inland journeys.

2 See specimens 1224 and 1273 in Zoology notes, p. 169; listed as Tinochorus rumicivorus in Birds, pp. 117-18.

[page 115a]

snow water in summer: only amusement watching Indian families1 [dirty] & ornamented beads. long hair beautiful children all in [party] riding great number about 400 All my days are wrong — certainly I started on Sunday. [10 August 1833]

14th [August 1833] It is clear the plains around here (including Salitras) have been lately formed in an estuary of sea — land is now flooded in summer are islands in swamps of; then sand dunes when yet remains as islands attesting former sea. About 10 leagues in direct lines from Rosa: This river floods in December from

1 Allies of General Rosas.

[page 116a]

Snow: Rio Negro from snow & rains: General R grave intelligent enthusiastic popular laughing bad sign; anecdote of mad man: Mendoza trade

15th [August 1833] 4 leagues to first Posta1 direction ENE. Course of river beds diluvial: 2nd posta (11 leagues?) direct. N by E Gaucho thinks so 12 leagues from sea: in interior 17 leagues there is a rough plain — Salinas

— different aspect & few spiny bushes above [colony] more fertile, more grasses, different plants Plain about 40 30 or feet vegetation 3 or 4 3 feet sandy earth, little

1 Camps or posts on the Pampas at approximately one day's ride distance apart.

[page 117a]

Gravel & mortar calcareous white tosca 2 feet with dendritic manganese red Tosca red aluminous whole depth of well Comm. Icterus.1 Black Cuckoos (where there is water) (read finch yellow tree) Plover; at 1st Posta [known] by different names. Congos. Toco Toco Aperea2 2 young ones Avecasina many in at 20 flocks above 5 or 6 eggs in each nest long tailed Shrike North of Tosca plain

Great range of Medanes E & W coast to coast & far in interior much water; Medanos.3 with flat vallies like at B. Blanca. Sierra Ventana N by E Compass at 3d Posta

Medam E & W compass range

1 Icterus, a genus of Oriole.

2 Aperea is the South American guinea pig or cavia.

3 Spanish for sandbanks on the seashore.

[page 118a]

[coastlines] WNW) Extending from very little (E by E (?) East of N to little beyond beyond East of NNE (all Compass)

[page 119a]

From 2d posta (with many fresh water lagunas) on edge of Medanos 2 & ½. leagues across the Medanos with flat plains like B Blanca: till you come to escarpement (?) much broken through by [vallies][inclined] (old coast) composed of very ferruginous aluminous Tosca reposing on a white soil (this is only upper part of hill rest hidden with most superior part & large bed 2 or three feet thick in parts, in others few inches of calcareous aluminous rock — often with little manganese & minute linear cavities: hard V Specimen: —

[page 120a]

(16th) [August 1833] 3d Posta to 4th: 7 leagues: plain at foot at of escarpement same plain with numerous undulations looks quite flat from great escarpement (as shown by Cuervas of Lievres1 & well at 3d Posta. red Tosca as other (S) side near this (4th) Posta the plain terminates, abruptly north edge of alumi Limestone rock. — & covered with Medanos; now shifting which run W by S & E by N (Compass). The edge non about 50 feet above, the low land (into which salt water flows in gales) These Medanos do not stretch very far & terminate abruptly to the East (Road round them) (white Ostriches): this plain

1 Lepus europaeus, hare, probably introduced from Europe.

[page 121a]

is rather higher than the one to south of great Escarpement gravel less frequent great Escarpement not above 80 feet high

From this (4th) Posta Pueblo bears NE (½ East) Compass — & Sierra do Ventana NNE (compass) & high land plain stretches from NNW to ENE WNW to North, then lower behind the town other side of town. It forms a large land basin with immense number Salitras, lakes, marshes & streams from Sierra de Ventana into Bahia Blanca Both BB Birds build in holes 2 [varas] long: Casara1

1 The 'house builder' or rufous hornero Furnarius rufus.

[page 122a]

(Smell deer at ¼ miles distance) last night comfortable little Ranchita: Black lieutenant. Indians marched by in numbers; [dilema] to dine with six gauchos

pleasant man & certainly by far best conducted excellent asado1 little ditch: —

Long tailed Shrike only comes in Summer to R Negro!

Yet saw one 2d Posta N of Colorado —

Whole ground soft with Taupas never leave their holes Casara

The distance from 4th Posta to town to about 3 leagues in a direct

line, but more than

1 Spanish for burnt or roast meat, Barbeque.

[page 123a]

6 in the road — whole road through mud swamps very wearisome on other North side mortar plains with fragments of quartz from Sierra de Ventana: 5th Posta again mud swamps [Souzed] in black mud. — — & Posta 5 men murdered Heard of cannon Indians close; kept close to the mud to escape, left the road believe friendly Indians: = [Curious in] land swamps with little evidence of sea lately being there, yet millions of small Turbo in obscure lines Medanos in swamp

Young ones sit on Capincha bark: weight of some animals of Maldonado. is in this book. [4 or 5 illeg words in pencil deleted]

[page 124a]

Sunday (17th) [August 1833] Don Poncho thinks Sierra runs E & W for about 30 or 40 leagues & to the W very large Salinas day spent in killing time no clean clothes, no books. I envied the very kittens playing on the mud floor. —

Pichey. Mataco. Paluda.1 all inhabit same plain. first wonderfully abundant, buries itself with great celerity has 2 or 3 young at one time Molita2 does not go south of Tandil Taupes different note hear here single repeated at equal times, or accelerating very noisy in evening till after sunset, quiet at night. —

1 Local names for different species of Armadillo. Pichey: listed as Dasypus minutus in Mammalia, p. 93, current name Zaedyus pichiy. Mataco: Specimen in spirits 403, cited in Mammalia, p. 93 as Dasypus mataco. It is the Southern Three-banded Armadillo (Apara), currently named Tolypeutes matacus. Paluda: (Darwin had no specimen), cited in Mammalia, p. 93 as Dasypus villosus. It is the Larger Hairy Armadillo, Chaetophractus villosus.

2 Local name for a species of armadillo. Specimen not in spirits 1413 in Zoology notes, p. 390.

[page 125a]

Harris about Salinas & R. Negro Don Juan ostriches breeding Salt from this Salinas Base of high plain

18th [August 1833] Commandante lent me horses & soldier: soldier lot nobody leaves the fort to hunt [for] with him two men killed, he wounded & horse balled: now are close, coast road safe. it was enough to make one watch deer running away fast. as if frightened by some other object. — ship not arrived: picked up our 2 fresh horses yet so very bad back & thin one left behind. after returning: eat a Pichey breakfast dinner & supper horses quite tired. not more than 25 miles & walking: Slept in Camp: Salt petre whole Tosca plain Taupes: Zorilla:1 in morning returned; horses miserable

19th [August 1833] hardly able to crawl; I walked another horse left behind; killed kid

1 The hog-nosed skunk Conepatus sp. See the Beagle diary, p. 177.

[page 126a]

no water: all Salt: suffered so much from hot day. could not walk. dreadful inhumanity riding such horses: delicious drink of fresh water: arrived at Pueblo after a miserable ride: — The places where salt-petre are every where. water in Cart ruts. — The places where it occurs are muddy & bare & look as if sea entered at high water. — In mud walls the Camara makes its holes not being aware how thin they are actually make hole quite through:

20th [August 1833] Bought a good young horse for about 4£..10s, went out riding the plain north of the town

[page 127a]

is an immense one & stretches away to the great apparently to the foot of the Sierra de Ventana. — It is [I should] 150 or 200 feet above the swamp & perhaps higher than great escarpement. — The summit is covered with bed several feet thick of a Limestone or Mortar generally containing minute extraneous matter & generally porous. — V 2 specimens it seems general & forming horizontal bed. — There are no pebbles not even quartz: vegetation sterile & little grasses. resembling Tosca plain: I do not know whether the whole

[page 128a]

bank is composed of it or whether diluvial: Mortar, or calcareous bed in Tosca. — I incline to former opinion: The low plain in which town is, is about 30 or 40 feet above swamp. covered with quartz & apparently composed of fragments of mortar including quartz pebbles: with only 3 feet sandy earth: — The high plain forms a sort of Coast line of barrancas The whole plain strewed with bits of mortar. — The number of Bulimas1 (especially) & other land shells on high plain very curious

1 A genus of land snail.

[page 129a]

every square inch has 3 or 4 I never saw such numbers The whole surface for leagues was like unto to sea - beach: V. Specimen except one all dead ones

21st [August 1833] So tired of doing nothing started to Punta Alta; on the road had alarm of Indians. coolness of the mans method. not at once galloping. crawling on his belly: women: worked at cliffs & bones: beautiful evening: Ship not arrived: very bad night, excessive rain so much of a gaucho do not care about it: next morning also rain therefore

[page 130a]

22d [August 1833] therefore started back: on road observed fresh tracks of Lion. commenced unsuccessful hunt & dogs seem to know: not ambitious to see Lion. have no individual name: all cowards from the use of balls: because so few pebbles: on return found Harris arrived night before. uneasy about ship: met on road Indians from this place, supposed to have murdered the post master: the Generals message about their

[page 131a]

heads & division of army to follow the Rastro1 — if guilty. to massacre them: ostriches. males certainly sit on eggs easily distinguished: stray eggs first laid: many females, said, I know not on what evidence to lay in one nest. about 50 eggs in the belly: analogy to African method manner of laying: — Avestruss Petises:2 colour oveiro My opinion of geology of Punta perreika is quite

1 Spanish for trail.

2 Avestruz petise, the small rhea, or Darwin's rhea, of Patagonia, ('petiso' being a slang word used in Argentina for a very short person); listed as Rhea Darwinii in Birds, pp. 123-5, plate 47, current name Pterocnemia pennata. See Zoology notes, pp. 188-9, 101-2 and 'Ornithological notes', pp. 268-77.

[page 132a]

altered: observed following facts: vegetable covering or diluvium; with much pumice & sea & land shells, same as now exist: pumice in upper gravel: all the pebbles much larger than the Southern pebbles & almost entirely quartz white or coloured: also rounded pieces of the Argillo calcareous rock so characteristic of the Tosca. — This might easily have escaped my notice before I was aware of

[page 133a]

its importance: The Tosca contains fragments of shells, quite different from the true Tosca. — I have no doubt that this bed results from destruction of Tosca beds with bones. Describe locality of big skeleton such as M: Hermosa. there there are no fragments of shells: bones in groups calcareous concretions. &c From the height of barranca The gravel has evidently been hardened by calcareous matter such as upper Tosca bed would produce)

[page 134a]

& the form of beds is such as produced on a beach: under smally different circumstances (such as more open sea) I can easily believe such a bed would form at present: but then the Tosca bed has such horizontal white lines in it. — the lower diluvium has big quartz pebbles arranged so [truly] ((the different state of bones in the two sites is by this hypothesis well

[page 135a]

explained)) That I think it necessary to have been formed beneath the sea & at some, (though perhaps shallow depth): if so a change of level is necessary which perhaps the low plain of town of Pu Bahia Blanca requires & East & West Medanos: The gravel here is evidently quite different: different size points out different distance of origin. One Cordilleras1 (?) or Port Desire (?) the other Sierra Ventanas. The Ventana gravel ancient. The most northern site of small pebbles

Spanish for mountain range. In South America generally synonymous with the Andes.

[page 136a]

is low saliferous plain South of R. Colorado: — Formation of town of Bahia Blanca. rubbly bed the Calcareous rock inland with [interstitous] marly; I should think certainly formed from detritus of upper beds of main plain. with quartz pebbles: — The non occurrence of quartz pebbles in high plain remarkable. — Some headlands lower than main plain are covered with bed. some feet thick

[page 137a]

of a mortar looking rock: (modern bed (if mortar is diluvial) of Punta alta is shown to be modern. by not having mortar) Is this owing to whole cliff being so: to different height of elevation: (improbable) or superficial covering of diluvial: (?! if the latter it is probable the covering is very modern for then the mortar in low plains contains quartz whilst high does not ∴ same of of land. !?) The more compact, crystalline purer nature of mortar or calcareous superficial bed [illeg] against its diluvial origin. —

[page 138a]

My alteration in view of geological nature of P. Alta is owing to more extended knowledge of country it is principally instructive in showing that the bones necessarily were not coexistent with present shells, though old shells: they exist at M: Hermosa pebbles from the beds of which occur in the gravel: Therefore such bones if same as those at

M: Hermosa must be anterior to present shells: How much so. Quien Sabe?

[page 139a]

23d [August 1833] Ship seen over the horizon of mud banks

24th Sunday [August 1833] Rode to the Boca1 but a NW wind wind was too strong to allow ship or boat to approach nearer Arrival of troops against murderers of the posta Heyque Leuvu. Falkners2 name for Sauce grande. Indian name of Fire wood? Colonel O Brien. Naturalist All the dates from time of Starting on the 10th are wrong: this ought to have been 11th & Sunday 25th instead of 24th

1 Spanish for mouth of river.

2 Thomas Falkner (1707-84), Jesuit missionary in Patagonia, 1740-68. Falkner 1774.

[page 140a]

Mud banks called Crangeijo: when will not carry: horses inclination of dip in sandstone plains great as shown by rapid current: of R. Negro Agency of Volcanoes in forming Sandstone plains shown at Patagones by Pumice Conglomerate Long-tailed little bird of Patagones — found at Bahia Blanca runs very quickly

[page 141a]

Monday 26th. [August 1833] — The boat with Mr Chaffers in command, having in rain tried to beat up; slept on the water & arrived this morning — I rode down to the Boca: returned, accompanied them to Commandante not thought safe for Sierra Ventana arranged plans for B. Ayres with comm: Miranda:1 & very civil; returned on board, waited for Cow to be killed: started after dark for ship: fine moonlight: calm: ship moved: arrived on board ½ after one oclock. —

1 Commandante Miranda was a subordinate of General Rosas.

[page 142a]

27th. [August 1833] — Whole day consumed in relating my adventures & all anecdotes about Indians to the Captain.

28th [August 1833] Very actively employed in arranging everything for Buenos Ayres:

Most delightful the feeling of excitement & activity after the indolence of many days in the last fortnight, spent in the Spanish settlements!

[pages 143a-166a blank]

[back cover]

[inside back cover]

C. Darwin

H.M.S. Beagle:

2/— Thalassidromus1

Dollars Stokes 10 Harris 30 Rio: Tapes. N. of Maldonado Rio de la Plata

May 14 15th (rainy day) 1833: S W dip N N W or do W Slaty limestone dip to SE (by [S]?) from great Quartz Slaty Quartz H. with lines white & red quartz WNW W N W W

1 Specimen not in spirits 1349 in Zoology notes, p. 389; listed as Thalassidroma oceanica in Birds, p. 141.

[page 1b]

Mem: junction of escarpment balls with Fagus. T del F1 Are not the climate in S America — later than the northern Summer ? Is not it hotter in Serro de las animas

1 Possibly the fungus found growing on the Antarctic beech, then called Fagus antarcticus. See specimen not in spirits 1155 and specimen in spirits 528 and 532 in Zoology notes, pp. 386, 337. See Beagle plants pp. 178-9.

[page 2b]

[Tape]< >

[short th]< >

also much in usual great< > shorter [nyroe]: Shield reaching have way down body: & leaving a little of the neck exposed when animal1 crawls: Brancheal orifice at side about ⅔ of whole length of shield do from anterior part of shield: tail moderately pointed Shield with concentric

1 A land slug, specimen 614 in Zoology notes, p. 151.

[page 3b]

furrows of oval shape corresponding to form of shield: Body slightly wrinkled: crawls. When it crawls arches body like caterpillar in small degree

Tuesday 14th [May 1833] R. Tapes Sierra de Tapalca 9 leagues Camino real & Buenos Ayres fragments of Quartz: [Cabilda]1 del [Rey] Limestone

1 Spanish for town-hall.

[page 4b]

Spirit bottle? Big knife Prometheans Medicine Calomel Pistol, balls, powder: Letter to Commandante Map: Note Book: soft paper. Spare pencil; small hammer: Compass: Stockings: gloves: handkerchief: wine flask? Comb: 2 handkerchiefs nightcap: Passport. Poncho. Salt petre Allmanack for [Ellsgood] for 1834

[pages 5b-6b excised]

[page 7b]

San José 1877 Patagon 79 Poblado Inhabitants of San José murder in Church There were many Indians. Cattle & Horses: hero at first arriving River called Negro from the Cacique:1 only 20 & 30 first [illeg]: from 2 or 3000 Indians came & stole every thing often obliged to escape & hide in rushes: after [sack] of the town but by other tribes: & in the Cuevas: saw old door with [loop-holes]: burnt all the houses All the Indians in the neighbourhood died of Small Pox & a sort of plague in throat: Indians — balls Lasso & Chascas2 a very few knives & dress & paint the same

1 Indian chief.

2 'Chascas (messengers or ambassadors) of the Indians', Beagle diary, p. 180.

[page 8b]

100 league. Sierra del Diamente: this branch river (at head [well]) about 18 feet: went about 3 or 4 feet leagues The river Negro ends in a lake. — 3 or 4 leagues in circumference & the little river flows into it. Laguna ([Launchen]) He says about 10 leagues from coast of Baldiva This Sierra Imperial is 5 leagues Ships can see it 70 leagues distant: nobody but God could climb it — & if upon it shake hands with upon being asked if on it Ave Maria Santissma Jesu Christe 150 [married] 150 185

[page 9b]

Don Pedro= who keeps the Keys of Heavens:

Pines trees of the Diamente No volcanoes: stream emptys itself into N shore — very distant from Imperial: before Diamente may Sauces

Then [Cypresses]

Both sides hilly: Much snow on Imperial:

8 months about (1783)

[page 10b]

Plenty of [hawzana] at of foot of Andes: lower Sierra so called English Tuvega; 34 men in all In 1810 murdered the men at S Joseph & remained 2 years with them Indians like so many the sand of Caque (sailed to R Negro) protected them: The river is in a Box, very rapid: forced

[page 11b]

to dig ditches: inland the vessel: same vessel: vessel about 14. tuns: & now 20: So shallow, Laguna no vessel could enter from big stones did not enter (other account with boat:) often been there since a prisoner: nothing but this river: close to the Sierra Imperial:

That the Indians go to Baldiva to trade: in breaks: buy wheat & Indian corn often wished him to go:

[page 12b]

lake too cold to go in from snow water — Indians treated him very well: sold at R. Negro About 40 leagues to San Luis for junction of Diamente: First man who gave account was English: — & all his account wonderfully true In the interior bad country where [passed] the Islands of Churchills [Churichoel]: 70 leagues: Indians line in small vallies & plant little Wheat & Indian Corn very bad country

[page 13b]

rocky country of hard rock Owe Harris 58 Dollars

[page 14b blank]

Textual notes to the Falkland notebook

[FC] c...49] pencil.

[IFC] 1.14.] Down House number, not transcribed.

88202334] English Heritage number, not transcribed.

3] added by Nora Barlow, pencil, not transcribed.

[5a] a small mark in ink appears to be a nib test.

[8a] (Is...migration)] added pencil.

[14a] 22d...observ] added pencil in left margin.

[18a] sketch drawn perpendicular to the spine.

[19a] a small ink mark after 'lava' appears to be the testing of a nib.

[29a] [illeg]] written over 'somewhere near'.

[39a] the] overwritten by '1st'.

[40a] Mon] ink.

Monomenos] ink.

[76a] a few ink marks after 'formations.' appear to be nib tests.

[84a] | Gran Bestia |] ink.] ink.

[85a] page in ink.

Bones] circled in pencil.

No] added pencil. Mineral...Nitre ?] pencil.

[86a] What Fruits...2d] ink.

Standain?] pencil.

differ species] pencil.] ink over pencil.

[87a] one days…birds] pencil.

[88a] page in ink.

[89a] written and sketched perpendicular to the spine.

'A' in diagram, ink.

white with hard plates of sandstone] light brown ink over pencil.

sca Gypsum... cavities] light brown ink over pencil.

[90a] sketch in pencil, page in light brown ink, written and sketched perpendicular to the spine.

[93a] cliff...mixed with] ink over pencil.

Now... middle] pencil.

[103a] These —] ink.

but then...waggons. —] ink over pencil.

[113a]   plain is] ink.

[114a] Frozen...[illeg] ] very faint pencil.

[118a] sketch drawn perpendicular to the spine.

[121a] great Escarpement not above 80 feet high] pencil, overwritten by other entries.

NNW to ENE] pencil.

[122a] Yet...Colorado —] pencil.

[124a] Pichey…at night] in ink.

[125a] 18th...kid] ink.

[126a-138a] pages in ink.

[139a]] ink.

All the...24th —] ink.

[141a-142a] pages in ink.

[IBC] C. Darwin] ink.

[1b] Serro...animas] not in Darwin's handwriting. bottom third of page excised.

[1b-2b] lower third of leaf excised.

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

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