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SANTIAGO DEL ESTERO

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Originally appearing in Volume V24, Page 194 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SANTIAGO DEL ESTERO, a province of Argentina, bounded N. by Salta and the Chaco territory, E. by the Chaco and Santa Fe, S. by Cordoba, and W. by Catamarca, Tucuman and Salta. Area 39,764 sq. m.; pop. (1895) 161,502; (1904, estimated) 186,205, chiefly Christianized Indians. The surface of the province is flat and low, chiefly open plains thinly covered with grass. There are forests in the W. and N., extensive swamps along the river courses and large saline areas, especially in the S.W. The Salado (called Pasage, and Juramento in Salta) crosses the province from N.W. to S.E. and empties into the Parana, and the Dulce, or Saladillo, which has its sources in the Sierra de Aconquija, crosses the province in the same general direction, and is lost in the great saline swamps of Porongos, on the Cordoba frontier. The climate is extremely hot, the maximum temperature being 111° (Mulhall), minimum 32°, and the mean annual 71°, with an annual rainfall of 25 in. Sugar, wheat, alfalfa, Indian corn, tobacco and hides are the principal products, and cotton, which was grown here under the Incas, is still produced. The province is traversed by the Tucuman extension of the Buenos Aires and Rosario railway, by a French line from Santa Fe to Tucuman, and by a branch of the Central Northern (Cordoba section) railway. The provincial capital, SANTIAGO DEL ESTERO, is on the left bank of the Rio Dulce, 745 M. N.W. of Buenos Aires, with which it is connected by rail. Pop. (1904, estimated) 12,000, chiefly of Indian descent. The city stands on a level open plain, 520 ft. above sea-level, and in the vicinity of large swamps (esteros) bordering the Rio Dulce, from which its name is derived. There are a number of interesting old buildings in the city—a government house, several churches, a Jesuit college, a Franciscan convent and a girls' orphanage. The city was founded in 1553 by Francisco de Aguirre and was the first capital of the province of Tucuman, the earliest settled of the La Plata provinces. In 1615 the cathedral was accidentally burnt and the bishop removed to Cordoba. The city has suffered much through inundations from the Rio Dulce, and from frequent local revolutions caused by misgovernment and the struggles of rival factions. In 1663 an inundation carried away half the capital, and the population was so reduced that in 168o the seat of government was removed to San Miguel, now Tucuman. In 182o Santiago del Estero became a separate province. ' See F. E. Chadwick, The Relations between the United States and Spain: Diplomacy (New York, 1909). II
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