Old things (past) should be considered past

Chapter II

© Gerardo C.C. Oberman


1. Introduction

Holland is a country with a great migration tradition. It is sufficient only to take a glance at the book of F. Dekker81 to see that since the early Middle Ages important groups of Dutch crossed seas and frontiers, a little for adventure and much because of need.

As we saw in the previous chapter the social and economic situation in Holland, particularly in the provinces devoted to agriculture, but also in the large cities, drove many Dutchmen to seek new horizons in other countries.

Where to go? The news coming from the United States of North America was auspicious and there were colonies already founded there since before mid century82. Of Canada very little was still known and even though as of 1871 there were a few thousand Dutch in the population83, this fact was practically unknown in Holland. South Africa and South America were the remaining candidates.

To judge by the statistics, the majority decided to pay their passage to the United States of North America. Some 700 Dutchmen decided to venture to South Africa between 1880 and 1889 and another 3000 between 1890 and 189984. To Brazil 504 persons had already emigrated between 1858 and 1862, and were settled in the area that today is still called Holanda85. Then there weren't any more waves until 1900. Immigration to Chile, very restricted, didn't take place until 1903, the year in which the Chilean consul in Holland signed personal contracts with a first group of some forty families of farmers86. Some 4000 persons emigrated to Argentina between 1888 and 189287, the majority attracted by the promises of land at very low prices and by the idea of subsidized passages, which in practice meant a free trip88.

To this group of people and especially to those who one way or another contributed to the formation of a nucleus of faith in the Reformed tradition in this country we will devote our attention in this work

And in this chapter we will analyze the political, social, economic, and religious situation of the country that had caused the rebirth of the hopes of the migrants: the Argentine Republic.

2. First impressions

Argentina, the year 1888... The first ship with the great wave of Dutch immigrants reaches the port of Buenos Aires. Aboard were persons who knew nothing of the language, the culture, the history and the problems of this country so far from "home".

Eyes tired after more than five weeks of slow voyage crossing the Atlantic ocean. Bodies aching from sleeping in uncomfortable berths. Stomachs in search of a little bread. Hands anxious to get to work. Lives longing for dignity. Argentina, the land of promises, the land in which they had deposited all their hopes and illusions. The country that would offer them land in exchange for their work. The country that would give to them and their children a future.

The view of the port and the city from the ship was impressive. An immigrant from 1889 recounts: "Before us was Buenos-Ayres, the capital of Argentina, with 400,000 inhabitants, that is to say, the size of Amsterdam. We were sailing from the river toward the port: the view of the city was beautiful, though the city, seen from a distance, was not much different from a Dutch city"89.

While the few things from Holland that they had brought with them were unloaded they must have begun to feel fear. The classic dread in the face of the unknown.

And, in reality, the country of their dreams turned out to be only a fiction. The propagandistic campaign that the Argentine government, through its agents, had waged in Europe had painted for them a country of large and rich uninhabited meadows on which they could settle, thanks to the grants that the government would have for the immigrants. But, the government had taken the initiative of importing manpower too hastily and without the due and necessary seriousness and organization. Furthermore, politically Argentina was a highly unstable country. The revolts to which we will make reference in this chapter II are a confirmation of what we are saying. It is for that reason that these types of long-range plans always tended to turn into catastrophes. Governments change and the interests of those in power also change. And nobody takes responsibility for the promises of another.

But, to understand a little better the complex situation of Argentina at the end of the 19th century it is necessary that we undertake a general review of history. To summarize a hundred years of Argentine history in a few pages is no simple task. There are events we will have to pass over and many others we will not be able to study in detail. The reader interested in details will find in the footnotes the necessary bibliographical references so as to be able to satisfy his thirst for history.

3. Political history

A first step on the road toward political emancipation was taken in 1810, when the colonies received news of the dissolution of the Supreme Junta of Seville, which was a patriotic resistance group against the French power exercised in Spain by José Bonaparte, after the forced abdication of Carlos IV and Fernando VII in 1808. This, added to the generalized dissatisfaction generated by the Hispanic economic exploitation of the colonies, and the vogue of French style revolutionary ideas touted by, among other, Moreno and Rivadavia, caused the viceroy Hidalgo de Cisneros to be deposed and replaced by a Junta. This occurred on May 25, 1810. Definitive independence would still take a little more than six years but the basis of political autonomy had already been laid. It was clear that Buenos Aires no longer wanted to be a colony. Already in 1806 and 1807 the English, who also had colonialistic pretensions for the lands of the New World, had been expelled. In 1814 Admiral Brown, with his fleet of three wretched frigates, expelled from the waters of the Río de la Plata the last vestiges of the powerful Spanish fleet.

Even though in other areas of the continent the steps toward independence were being taken more slowly, the road was already definitely traced and the process was absolutely irreversible.

After some crises of power since the beginning of the war of the independence, a General Congress, gathered in Río Tucumán, declared on July 9, 1816 the creation of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata.

But it wasn't until 1853 that the country would be prepared to promulgate a federal constitution. The previous years were permanently marked by the power struggles between the provincial "bosses" and the power installed in Buenos Aires, where an élite educated in the liberal philosophical school wanted to appropriate power and the privileges that went with it. In 1826, under the presidency of Rivadavia, it might have been possible to put an end to the successive waves of civic confrontations. But the declaration that same year of a constitution of unitary character provoked again the ire and the uprising of the provinces. The provisional president Vicente López y Planes, designated successor to Rivadavia, resigns. The Congress is dissolved. Anarchy and chaos were almost total.90

It was in the midst of this uncertainty that the figure of Juan Manuel de Rosas arose. He is still a topic of contention, a tyrant for classical historians and approved by modern historians91. Rosas dominated Argentine politics from 1829 until his downfall in 1852. His government (1835-1852) constitutes some of the most polemic points in the Argentine historiography. Rosas attempted during his rule to establish the "order" lost after so many years of political cannibalism. However, in spite of his declamations, he wasn't able to escape the temptation of despotism either. His recently organized police force became a repressive group against the opposition to the regime92 and his proclaimed federal flag only ended up hiding the privileges of the residents of Buenos Aires93. His government can be characterized as the betrayal of the emancipation movement of 1810, and as the restoration of the old order, the model of the Buenos Aires cattleman-rancher, feudal oligarchy. This was favored over the ideals of progress based on the development of the provincial economies through industrial openness, and the settling and distribution of lands and the diversification of agriculture. This marks a notable setback in the evolution and development of the country, favoring the exaggerated enrichment of the wealthy few and the impoverishment of many.

It was again the provinces that took the initiative in closing the curtain on this act of the tragic drama of Argentine history. Urquiza, at the time governor of Entre Ríos and representative of the overwhelmed cattlemen of the interior of the country, was prejudiced by the monopoly of foreign trade exercised by Rosas. With the help of Brazil and Uruguay, he defeated Rosas in the battle of Caseros on February 3, 1852. He immediately assembled a congress that proclaimed a federal constitution in 1853, based in its philosophical lines on the North American constitution. This means "on behalf of an understanding of civilization and humanity that was not based on the peculiarities of the Argentine being nor of his humanity, but of the civilization of the North Americans or the Europeans"94. With some necessary reforms, that is the constitution that still governs the country.

Urquiza governed from 1852 until 1860 and during all this period tried to grant to the provinces greater autonomy, to the detriment of the hegemony of Buenos Aires. The residents of Buenos Aires, in a sign of protest and being unwilling to accept any type of organization of the country that might reduce their privileges, declared themselves independent and began to exert pressure to impose their interests: a constitutional amendment. And they achieved their objective with the accession of Mitre to power, after having overthrown Urquiza (Cepeda in 1859 and Pavón in 1861) and then the transitional Derqui government (1860-1862).

After the presidency of Mitre (1862-1868), a bloody war with neighboring Paraguay was waged. Also the sporadic uprisings of bosses in the provinces during these years tarnished the efforts to achieve real political stability. Although with the growing ideological influx of the positivistic liberal current, at least in the circles near power, we should not be surprised by the reaction from the interior. The Buenos Aires élite, supported by small oligarchical groups in the provinces (benefitted by the economic policy of the government), were concerned only with the interests of the intellectual white minority.

It isn't until 1880, after the presidencies of Sarmiento (1868-1874) and Avellaneda (1874-1880)95, and colonel J.A. Roca's accession to power (1880-1886), that we can speak of a gradual restoration of political order. However, Roca must be woefully (though by some in reality famously) remembered for his expeditions in the so-called Conquest of the Desert against the Indians, who still dominated the entire region south of Buenos Aires. The Indian campgrounds were completely leveled without a thought to whether women or children were sheltered there. The objective had to be achieved at all costs.

There are those who justify this campaign because of indigenous vandalism, arguing for the need for new fields in the pampas or emphasizing the strategic benefits of the occupation of the Patagonian lands, at that time (and still) coveted by the Chileans. Eventually 15,000 leagues of new lands were taken away from their original owners in these campaigns to the south of the Salado.

But, as several authors are quick to point out, this campaign is absolutely unwarranted from the moment in which weapons are imposed on dialogue and force on reason. This black spot in Argentine historiography deserves to be studied in greater detail, but it really goes beyond the limits of the present study. Permit us only to say that the wealth and power of certain "great" Argentines are the fruit of the theft of lands from the legitimate owners of the American soil and of the immoral sale of women and children in the public markets of Buenos Aires96.

During the government of Roca the alliance with foreign capitalism reached a climactic point; we could almost say it became unbearably abusive. The ideas of men like Alberdi, who had already influenced the structure of the Constitution of 1853 with his Bases y puntos de partida para la organización política de la República Argentina97, and Sarmiento with his public contempt for what is native, for what is autochthonous, for what is authentically American98. These men had bored so deeply into the mentality of the circles of power, that the submission to foreign capital was seen as a gesture of honor toward the cultured and learned European who came to civilize our barbarous nation.

E. Palacios, who upon analyzing this period was especially critical, characterizes this modus vivendi as "a real orgy, in which all close to power participated"99.

It is not surprising then that with this deeply rooted mentality, that venerated the foreigner and disparaged the gaucho, with the leagues stolen from the Indians south of Buenos Aires, with the lack of manpower on account of the dead in the war with Paraguay, on account of the epidemic of cholera100 and of so many other internal revolts, and with the hope of a flourishing nation, so much emphasis should be placed on the importation of masses of foreigners, first because they were necessary as work tools but also, and we would not be inclined to assert that to a lesser extent, because they would be the makers of the cultural transformation of the nation. At least those were the ideals of the men who led the Argentine nation down the road of dependency.

Roca was succeeded in the presidency by M. Juárez Celman (1886-1891), a politician without great antecedents, who drove the country toward bankruptcy. The printing of money, hypothecary certificates and titles without funds, credit requests to foreign banks, always willing to lend however much might be necessary in exchange for a high revenue and a substantial guarantee: the country itself.

On the one hand, it was this government that gave more impetus to foreign immigration. In 1887 it decided to put into practice the subsidized immigration of European farmers101 and on January 3 of that same year had decreed the construction of 11 hotels for immigrants102. The year 1889 witnesses a historical record, until today never matched, of foreigners entering the country: 260,909103. However, it is also this government that with its economic policy is the most detrimental to immigrants of humble condition. In June of 1888 a crash on the stock market was produced, which was hardly an announcement of what was yet to come. The balance of payments showed an unfavorable balance of 28 million pesos in 1888 and of 74 million pesos in 1889104. In 1887 the number of banks authorized to issue currency had been raised from 4 to 13.

There were, furthermore, clandestine issuances effected by the same government. Corruption was reaching incredible limits and the patience of the people was threatening exhaustion. The lands that at one point, according to law 947 of October 5, 1878, had practically been given to the well-off of the governing class and the economically wealthier, were beginning now to increase in value. Consequently the rents that the poor newcomer colonists to the country had to pay also increased. From 33% of what was produced, in 1856/60, to 70%! of what was produced, toward 1890105, the year in which most of the Dutch immigrants arrived in the country, who also became immediately victims of these sad circumstances. It is not surprising, then, that many of these farmers abandoned all their agricultural aspirations and headed toward the large cities. But, in the cities things were no better. Purchasing power had fallen abruptly thanks to the constant monetary devaluations, to the inflation, and to the virtual freezing of wages.

The working masses began to organize to defend their rights. The first to go on strike were the cobblers in 1887. In 1888 and 1889 railroad employees paralyzed their activities (in 1887 they had formed a Union that even today is still contentious); and in 1890 they were joined again by the cobblers, the bricklayers (a large union at that time) and the carpenters106. Influenced by the Second International, the Socialist Congress held in 1889 in Paris on May 1, Labor Day 1890 was celebrated in the Prado Español for the first time in Argentina. The situation was becoming untenable and by that time nobody could be ignorant of what was happening107.

Nevertheless, the unconditional supporters of the regime were doing the impossible to maintain a structure that, any way you looked at it, was collapsing. A. del Valle, who already had combatted fervently in his columns in El Nacional and from his bench in the Parliament the concessions of the Roca government to foreign interests, now recaptured the post and became one of the leaders of the resistance. In the "meeting" of the Florida garden, on September 1, 1889, together with other "greats" like Irigoyen, Mitre, Alem, L. Sáenz Peña, he formed the Unión Cívica de la Juventud, which, a month afterwards, would change its name to that of Unión Cívica. According to H.Ph. Vogel, this was "the first serious attempt in Argentina to attack the Old Regime"108.

The foreign press, on the contrary, supported the emergency decrees that the government was promulgating. The New York Times, in an analytical article on the Argentine economic situation in 1890, says that the government is conscious of the crisis but adds that "there is no doubt that the decrees of the government are no more than the harbingers of future negotiations that will take place within the framework of a more practical and serious spirit"109.

In Argentina, meanwhile, dissatisfaction was growing and the uprising was the mute shout of the multitudes. On July 26, in fact, the dissatisfaction explodes, and civilians and soldiers go out into the streets in what the Times of London calls an "honorable protest against dis-government and corruption..."110. But, what should have been a success, was a failure. The domestic struggles and even the betrayal on the part of certain groups in power, as Casablanca analyzes it well in his article111, undermined what was supposed to be a solid base for struggle and resistance. After two days of violence in which even the capital was bombarded, the disorganization compelled the rebels to capitulate. This occurred on July 28, 1891. Nevertheless, it is also certain that in spite of the apparent victory, the government no longer was in a condition to stay on its feet. In the words of the senator from Córdoba M.D. Pizarro, "el Payo", to the Congress: "the revolution is crushed, but the government has died"112.

Juárez Celman was obliged to resign on August 6, 1891 and he was succeeded temporarily by vice-president Pellegrini. The innocent clamor of the people, who at first thought that the political rout of Juárez Celman meant the immediate and magical eradication of all problems, was undermined very quickly by the political course taken by the new president. Pellegrini did nothing more than "adapt" the previous course to the new circumstances. The economic crisis and the dependency on foreign capital, mainly English, got significantly worse in this period. The same night on which the Congress was debating the resignation of Juárez Celman, Pellegrini had met with a group of bankers from whom he requested strong economic support whose objective would be to cancel the debts that the government had to the British crown.

These debts, aggravated by the so-called Baring crisis, obligated the Argentine State to 50 million of pesos in gold. This brought about the collapse of the official banks, who witnessed from one day to the next the emptying of their vaults. One crisis came after another; on April 2, 1892, just a day before a great feat on the part of the radicals, a state of siege was declared and the arrest was ordered of the radical leaders (Alem, Irigoyen), who were accused of conspiracy. The state of siege was lifted for 24 hours on April 10 to permit the elections that carried Luis Sáenz Peña to the presidency, with J.E. Uriburu as the vice-president. All this while in the streets the people showed off their poverty113.

It should not surprise us then that the dough should continue fermenting and that a new revolution should begin to gestate. This began in the interior and worked its way toward Buenos Aires. The area of Barracas, where so many Dutch immigrants lived, was also the epicenter of contentions between loyalists and revolutionaries114. But, in spite of the victories of the latter, the government managed to stay on its feet. Electoral fraud and the majority in the Chambers were the tools used this time to see to it that its interests prevailed115.

President Luis Sáenz Peña, surrounded by supporters of the regime so long established, could not impose his convictions and was obliged to resign on January 5, 1895, after a long series of political conflicts, cabinet crises and strong parliamentary opposition. It is interesting to point out a somewhat strange item here. Some months before his resignation Sáenz Peña had appointed a special commission that was charged to clarify the accounts with the English in the matter of the railways. The English, invoking a certain guarantee clause, expected the state to pay extraordinary sums. But the investigating commission determined that the English, far from being creditors, were indebted to the State. Without a doubt this unmasking played an important role in the fall of Sáenz-Peña. Nobody wanted foreign influence, even at the expense of the alienation of the national patrimony, in order to relinquish even a couple of centimeters.

Sáenz Peña was replaced, on January 22, by vice-president J.E. Uriburu, a Roca man. During the latter's government, the country led by Roca and Mitre y Pellegrini, thanks to the agreements between the groups in conflict and the desired amnesty for the ringleaders of the revolutions of '93, experienced a certain state of domestic peace. This made economic recovery possible, at least insofar as the stability of the currency and the possibility of responding to the commitments acquired abroad. It was a truce that the country needed after so many years of revolts and political instability. On October 12, 1898, J.A. Roca assumed for the second time the presidency of the Republic, backed by the National Autonomist Party. This permits us to conclude without fear of error that, in spite of the sporadic attempts to define new paths, the policy of the liberals-intellectuals dominated the Argentine political spectrum during the last half of the 19th century and defined indelibly the political course for the 20th century until today116.

Neither Manuel Quintana (1904-1906) nor Figueroa Alcorta, who assumed the presidential mandate upon the death of Quintana (1906-1910), were able to do much to change the political and economic order established in the country by their predecessors. The domestic struggles on the levels of power as well as the revolts of certain popular groups continued being the daily bread in the life of the Argentines. But, by the year of the Centennial, 1910, the governing oligarchy was already dead and it is necessary to begin to speak of a new stage within the complex History of Argentina117. As we will see below when we study the history of the Reformed communities in Argentina, the period from 1908 to 1910 is a strange period in which death and life are mixed. The death of what is old and the birth of the new things.

4. Social situation

By the time the Dutch migrants arrive in the country, the Republic was split socially into several "blood" strains. The Indians had been practically annihilated or expelled to arid and inhospitable territories. But their blood was perpetuated in that of the "gauchos", children of Indians and Hispanics. These gauchos lived generally in the pampas and, marginalized from any other possibility of progress, were devoted to field work. Though now extinct they are, even today, part of the tradition of the country, thanks perhaps to José Hernández, who has immortalized them in his Martín Fierro (1872)118, but also because of their decided patriotic determination, demonstrated at the time of the struggles to maintain the sovereignty of the country119. To this mestizo group was also added that of the mulattos, children of blacks and whites. These were, just like the gauchos, despised by the dominant oligarchy and their followers. Suffice it to reread the words of Sarmiento cited in a footnote above. The ideas of men like him, added to the oligopolistic interests of the large landowner ranchers, who saw in the gaucho--a legitimate heir to these lands--a threat to their greater enrichment, encouraged the creation of discriminatory and abusive laws toward the autochthonous groups. These laws sought the marginalization and the gradual annihilation of these defenseless beings120.

A fourth group was formed by the immigrants, mostly South Europeans (Italian and Spanish), that began to arrive in the country in large numbers as of mid-1850. These groups coming from Latin countries were those who contributed to the establishment of Catholicism in Argentina. The North European and Central European immigrants (German, Dutch, Swiss) began arriving also in large numbers as of the decade of the '60s and it was they who introduced the so-called "transplant churches"121. We will return to the topic of the ecclesiastic situation below.

These groups, even though they lived together on the same soil, had very little mutual contact, wherefore it is impossible to speak even today of a community consciousness. The dominant ideology, through its proclamation of an "illustrated culture", with roots in Europe, "made the self-affirmation of the people impossible"122.

Even though numerically in the majority, the "natives" were completely marginalized from any decision-making. They were only puppets in the hands of the government of the day, used mostly as cannon fodder or as cheap labor. This was possible thanks to the laws we referred to above123. The arrival of large waves of immigrants did nothing more than worsen their sad situation.

But the immigrants too, potential transformers of the underdeveloped mentality of the Argentine being, according to the claims of the liberals, were consumed by this system. The constant struggles on the levels of power only contributed to increasing their marginalization and oblivion. In that way they were forced to survive, however they might do that, but to survive was the issue. This fact permits us to argue that the speeches of the supporters of imported civilization were only rhetorical devices to justify the lining of their own pockets by promoting big business affairs with foreign capitalists. The promotion of immigration, including the subsidized immigration of 1887-89, was nothing more than a failure that demonstrates the emptiness of their theoretical pedantry in the practical arena. It is not that the foreigner is more valuable than the native but rather how people are educated and treated. That was the great error of the Argentine rulers of the second half of the 19th century. They tried to import culture and culture is not imported, it is created with education and by example124.

We have mentioned that economically Argentina entered the decade of the '90s in the middle of a terrible economic crisis. Foreign companies were investing capital but their earnings went to swell the coffers of the European banks. National industry (leather, meat) had died, sacrificed to impossible competition with foreign industries. The large landowners kept their nonproducing lands and this didn't help the country either. It was forced to request credits at the same time, in order to pay off previous credits. One must be very careful in handling the figures that reflect agricultural production at the end of the past century. Of course, lands under cultivation increased and the volume of harvests was increased substantially. But that does not imply, in any way, that the farmer in the service of the Argentine feudal lords improved his situation, on the one hand, and, on the other, that the lands continued in hands of few, very few, persons125. When the governor of Buenos Aires, Máximo Paz, promulgated a law to create agricultural centers126 in which, among other things, the provincial executive branch was empowered to confiscate the lands of the landowners who did not want be associated to the initiative, the measure only provoked criticism and objections and led to new business deals at the cost of the colonists127.

The period from 1888 to 1898 was especially critical. And the common man was the one who had to pay the consequences of the decisions that a group of politicians were taking to benefit their own pockets. The cost of living was going up, purchasing power was going down and the salary earned by working sometimes up to 12 hours per day was scarcely enough to feed one's family. That is, assuming the father of the family had work, since the great recession had left an untold number of unemployed. Because, as can be gleaned from the following paragraph, the situation was reaching dramatic limits. "Immigration was halted because what little work there was paid very little; those who could do so returned to their Europe of birth from the promised land. In the "poor" neighborhoods the poverty was palpable and smelly. Families were living in the streets because in the narrow rooms in the tenement houses (..) there was only room to sleep"128. Let us recall that as early as 1867 one fourth of the inhabitants of Buenos Aires were living in tenement houses. What would be the situation in the years in which large numbers of immigrants arrived! In this way also many of the Dutch who arrived in the country between 1888-90 lived and took up residence in the worker neighborhoods of Barracas, la Boca, and Barracas al sur (Avellaneda) that emerged around the factories built there. One of the interviewees recalled that his grandparents and his mother shared a large house in the neighborhood of Barracas with another 13 families. From that group of poor Dutch the Reformed Church of Buenos Aires would emerge.

The children went in rags through the streets, the women cooked whatever they could and the men killed time by smoking cigarette butts on the sidewalks. Everybody went out onto the street to shout: "He's finally gone!", when Juárez Celman fell. But wretchedness, in the form of the most absolute poverty, continued to be a part of their day-to-day life. Some were able to return to their countries of origin, others dreamt about being able to do so someday, but the majority knew that this would be their tragic destiny as long as the decisions of the politicians did not take them into account.

In the cities "poor neighborhoods" begin to arise, generally on the edge of or near garbage dumps, and tenement houses become increasingly popular, where the crowding (up to 8 persons per room of 4x4 mts), the lack of hygiene (people who haven't bathed in "years") and the lack of services (cooking stoves, water, etc.) reached dramatic limits. In the capital these humble neighborhoods had to add to the already mentioned misfortunes that of the floods, a result of the overflow of the Riachuelo129. The social conditions in which worker families had to live, along with that of the immigrants, in the large cities were tragic.

In the rural areas, as we already mentioned above, the situation is not very different. The peons are treated like slaves and their pay consists, in the best of cases, of a roof and food plus a few pesos. They must work the fields from sunrise to sunset to be able to subsist and to escape the rebukes of the foreman. Many do not even have the necessary tools to be able to work the fields. Diego Zijlstra in his memoirs paints for us with astonishing skill the life of the first Dutchmen who are sent to work the--until then--unproductive lands to the south of the province of Buenos Aires130. It is not surprising then that many field workers migrated to the cities in search of new horizons. But what they generally achieved was to increase the number of inhabitants in the poor neighborhoods and to increase the demographic density of the large cities: Rosario, Córdoba, and Buenos Aires. We will analyze the experiences of the first immigrants more thoroughly in the following chapter.

In a few words, we can say that Argentina was split into a dominant upper and economically very wealthy class, and another lower worker class, generally of very scant resources. Of a middle class it is almost impossible to speak, though naturally there was a growing nucleus, according to Iñigo Carrera131, of people who were in-between the groups mentioned above.

An example of the wealth of the first group are the late 19th century and early 20th century French-style mansions that we can still admire in Belgrano or in Barrio Norte132. There also certain wealthy Dutchmen lived133. The landowners, who owed their fortunes to the purchase at ridiculous prices of the lands won by the State from the Indians134 or having received them as gifts135, also built on their ranches homes that we could easily compare to certain European castles. The difference between the extremes was shameful.

5. The gospel in Argentina

The sword and the cross arrived together in America. The sword in the hand of the conquerors and the cross proclaimed by the Catholic priests that accompanied the crusade from its beginning. But it was not the cross of the resurrection that the aborigines came to know but the cross of Easter. And they themselves had to carry it like Jesus on the road to Golgotha. On the establishment of Catholicism in times of the conquest we recommend reading the excellent book by G. Gutiérrez136, who draws with very vivid colors that confrontation of such different cultures and religions. We also recommend the complete work of H.J. Prien137, who analyzes the development of Christianity in Latin America from the arrival of the Spanish conquerors until 1975, approximately.

Catholicism also played a preponderant role in the prehistory of the Republic and until the era in which the élite educated in European liberalism came into power. Though latent since the '20s, it was this generation, as we have seen already, that implanted a policy fundamentally oriented toward Northern Europe and the United States of North America. This new political orientation implied as well a certain ideological openness, which included the religious area. The religious conceptions of the immigrants were, in reality, a secondary issue. What was important was their cultural superiority. With it the liberals would establish a new and glorious nation. However, to obtain this, they had to make concessions in the area of religion. "Oh, if we could only bring together (..) some Methodists, Presbyterians or any other Protestant denomination at all and erect a house of worship in a suitable place, how much good they would do for the progress of ideas!", euphorically exclaimed Sarmiento, one of the most enthusiastic proponents of North European immigration138. Also Alberdi, in his Bases..., insists on the promotion of religious openness139.

In hand with the most recent innovations in the educational area that were being developed in Europe, also in Argentina the law of lay education was implanted in 1884: the famous law 1420.

In spite of the furor that these advances were provoking in the Catholic Church, the latter was more concerned about trying to maintain its rights as the State Church than discussing the important topics of the moment. An exception perhaps may have been the institution of the Catholic Union, led by Goyena y Estrada. But, this was a para-ecclesiastical organization. The church continued to be persuaded that the concessions that the government might continue making to it were more important than any discussion of theological principles or current policies. It did indeed try to oppose all types of privileges and guarantees that the State offered to the Protestants as they settled in the country. These reactions manifested themselves rather at a local level and never went so far as to constitute a national danger, beyond some whispering in the ear of some public official. Any way you look at it laws implemented by the government favored freedom of conscience and, by transition, freedom of religion. We say by transition since the topic of religion was of very little importance to the liberal thinkers. They were Positivists, devotees of natural religion, and the transcendent did not fit within their philosophical conceptions.

The Catholic populace, notwithstanding the indifference of the church toward their needs and frustrations, continued to be faithful, to the degree that being present at mass and processions may be a sign of faithfulness.

We cannot deny, on the other hand, that secularization was taking shape and that religiosity was on its way, slowly but inexorably, to being converted into a statistic.

Up to this point we have only made mention of Catholicism. But, what about Protestantism? Even though there existed a certain Protestant presence since the early Republic and even before140, it isn't really  possible to speak of an organized activity until 1825.

It was in that year that the Rivadavia Regulation declares freedom of conscience, in anticipation of the immigration of groups of Scottish origin141. Also on February 2 of that same year, in a treaty signed with Great Britain, the government of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata commits itself to guarantee the freedom of conscience and worship to subjects of the crown resident in the country (article 12). On his part governor Las Heras grants the same concession within the province of Buenos Aires. Complete freedom of worship is not envisaged until the national constitution of 1853142. This freedom of conscience granted to foreigners was a real achievement, a privilege which did not extend to native Argentines. The latter were even persecuted when they preached new ideas. Thus the case, for example, of Don Francisco Ramos Mejía, a wealthy rancher, who, with Presbyterian roots (his mother was a Ross) bathed in a deep mysticism, wanted to convert the religiosity of everyone he came across. It is Rivadavia himself who in a decree orders him to "abstain from religious practices that contradict the religion of the land"143. The concessions granted to foreigners have no other function than to assure their coming to Argentina. They are the result of economic and political interest more than of tolerance in the area of ideas.

As for the establishment of Protestant groups of foreign origin we can say that the English-speaking immigrants already had been holding meetings in their own homes since 1820, thanks to the initiative of the remembered Reverend James Thompson144, representative of the British and Foreign Biblical Society and promoter of a new educational system on the American continent. North American Presbyterians were already established in Buenos Aires as of 1821145. Scottish and Anglican Presbyterians were also present in the country early on146. Pastor William Brown inaugurated the house of worship of the Scottish Presbyterian Church (located then at Piedras 55) on April 25, 1835 with a sermon residing on 1 Kings 9:3147. However, the by-laws of the Congregation of the Scottish Presbyterian Church of San Andrés indicated that said congregation was constituted in 1829148. As a matter of fact "the first religious service of what was then called the "Scottish Presbyterian Chapel" was led at the home of Rev. William Brown at México Street 300 (old numbering) on March 15, 1829. To more than 100 parishioners Pastor Brown preached a sermon based on Romans 10:1-4. And this is the birth date of the Presbyterian Church of San Andrés in Argentina"149.

The Presbyterians initiated towards mid-1850 a missionary effort in the Buenos Aires locality of Chascomús and organized there a church--El Rancho--in 1857. The forerunners of the work were James Smith and Francis Gobbie (1857-1862) and later Martín P. Ferguson (1862-1903) and Edmund Williamson (1903-1913). In 1868 a cemetery and attached church were established. The church organized there remained vacant during 40 years (1928-1968) and was accepted as a Reformed Church, in recognition of its original founding, by the Synod of the Reformed Churches of Argentina assembled in Tres Arroyos between November 12 and 14, 1969150. In 1910, Juana Rodger de Robson bequeathed the meeting room at Belgrano Street 57 to the church. It is in this building that the Reformed Church of Chascomús currently holds its worship services151.

The Anglicans, for their part, began in 1830 to build their first church, the oldest in Latin America, at San Martín Street 282, on a plot that was given to them at no charge by the then governor general Don Juan Manuel de Rosas (decree of February 8, 1830). On September 25, 1825 Pastor J. Armstrong had inaugurated a small chapel which was used by the faithful Anglicans until they could move to the new building, which occurred on May 6, 1831152.

Concerning the Protestants of Lutheran origin, Pfeiffer finds evidence of their presence as early as 1821. That year "evangelical Germans, together with English and North Americans, inaugurated the first Protestant cemetery"153, located at that time in the Retiro area154. But it isn't until September 10, 1843, that the first German religious ceremony takes place in Argentina. First in facilities of the Anglican Church and then, as of February 2, 1853, in their own place of worship on Esmeralda Street155. A.L. Siegel was the first person responsible for looking after the German flock scattered about Buenos Aires. He did that from 1843 until 1854156. This organized German Protestant community, quite important in number, is the predecessor of the current Evangelical Church of the Río de la Plata, the most populous historical evangelical church in Argentina. The Waldensians are found organized in the country as of 1858, though their religious activity in the first years is developed more actively in Uruguay157. The Welsh (in the south) as of 1865158, the Reformed Swiss and the Danish Lutherans as of 1870159.

In spite of the presence in the country of the Methodist missionary Dempster 1836-1842160, we can't speak of an organized Methodist church until 1860. The first house of worship, whose construction began in 1839, was inaugurated on January 3, 1843 by Pastor G.H. Norris with a sermon based on Isaiah 66161. These groups, generally of Scottish or English background, were those which to a greater degree were able to become a part of Argentine society. "In 1867, the first sermon is preached in the vernacular; at the same time they attempt to establish contacts with Swiss, German and French colonists of Protestant origin, who have arrived in Argentina, to offer them religious, organizational and educational assistance"162. This worship service took place on May 25, 1867 in the First Methodist Church of Buenos Aires163. By 1893, the year in which the first Hollandsche Christelijke Gereformeerde Kerk is organized, in Rosario, the Methodists already had 27 organized congregations throughout the country.

Also working in the country at the time of the arrival of the great wave of Dutch immigrants were the Baptists, since the beginning of '80, and members of the Evangelical Union, since 1886. Before a community of the Calvinist faith was organized, many Reformed living in Tres Arroyos attended at first the Baptist Church164 of that city, organized in 1904 by Pastor R.J. Elder, a man of English origin from New Zealand165. The first marriage between Dutch persons in that city, that of Diego Zijlstra and Adelaida Pluis, was celebrated precisely in the house of worship of the Baptist Church, located on Morena Street. It was April 14, 1906, and the biblical text that Pastor Elder used as the basis of his sermon was Revelation 2:10: "Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life"166. Without a doubt these two persons of deep faith kept their promise of faithfulness, without weakening even when the most difficult circumstances threatened to twist their will. Many Dutch youths were faithful to the Baptist Church, even after the Reformed Church was organized, and even, as we saw in the General Introduction, became pastors in that same church167.

All these Protestant groups with roots in the old world dedicated themselves in the first place to the pastoral care of their own flock, with the exception perhaps of Methodism168, and to the maintenance of the cultural baggage transported from Europe. The creation of schools--each community had or wanted its own--and the organization of churches corresponded rather to demands of the ethnic nucleus than to the concrete needs of the Argentine people. That is to say, in the words of Lalive d'Epinay, the immigration church "fulfills a socio-cultural function that lays the foundation of its 'ethnicity'"169.

Foreign educational institutions enjoyed a great prestige among the wealthy and liberal residents of Buenos Aires, who sent their children to these schools so that they would be educated in the customs and good mores of the Europeans. Even today that mentality persists in many wealthy circles in Argentina.

But, all these Protestant groups did not amount to more than 26,705 persons in the census of 1895, that is 0.7% of the total Argentine population. Of this number, 21,153 were foreigners. The only province in which Protestants were in the majority was Chubut. There, of 3,800 inhabitants recorded by the Census of 1895, 2,000 were Protestants, members of the numerous Welsh colonies that had been established there170.

Politically, these Protestant groups supported the course taken by the liberal leaders that successively governed the country. Not because they identified with the ideological presuppositions of this group or because they saw themselves benefitted in any way by the liberals' social or economic policies, but only because, given their European ancestry, they shared with the government the interest in and the preoccupation with the imported element. That is how, unconsciously, they contributed to the justification of the neo-colonialist model of the governing élite. Catholics and Protestants, yet without knowing it and without ever having wished it, were sharing the same ship and were rowing toward the same shore, following the political current of the liberals.

From the reading of the various unpublished documents dating from the early '90s we can deduce that certain "sects" were also proclaiming their doctrine throughout the Argentine lands171.

To this convulsed and unstable Argentine came between 1888 and 1890 the first and only large contingent of Dutch immigrants, who subsequently would lay the foundations of the current Reformed Churches in Argentina. Other Dutchmen succumbed to the libertinism of Argentine society so oriented in that sense toward the post-revolutionary French model. But all of them unfailingly suffered in their own flesh the consequences of a disastrously planned immigration and of a policy condemned to failure. With this we will occupy ourselves below. As presumed creators of a new life model, pillars of the new Argentina-power, they did not turn out to be anything more than innocent victims of the oligarchical interests of those who were in power. Cold, hunger, disease, and death were the coins with which the government paid the illusions of the immigrants. Some managed to return to their country of origin, many died, and a few managed with immense sacrifice to keep their heads above water and survive.

81 F. Dekker, Voortrekkers van Oud-Nederland Nederland ouer de Zeen.

82 Consult for example the work of H.S. Lucas, Netherlanders in Amerika: Dutch inmigration. Also the valuable contribution by J. van Hinte, Nederlanders in Amerika: een studie over landverhuizers en volkplanters in de l9e en 20ste eeuw in de Vereenigde Staten van Amerika.

83 Cf. J.A.A. Hartland, Geschiedenis van de Nederlandse emigratie tot de Tweede Wereldoorlog, pp. 145-146. And also the thesis of G. Joseph y M. de Maare, De Nederlandse emigratie naar Canada vanaf 1892.

84 Cf. C.A. Oomens, De loop der bevolking in Nederland in de negentiende eeuw p. 33. For a study of the Dutch migratory process to South Africa consult the doctoral thesis of A P du Plessis, Die Nederlandse emigrasie na Suid-Afrika. Cf. also the figures given by P.R.D. Stokvis, op.cit., p. 7.

85 See the interesting anthropological study by F. Buysse, De Zeeuwse gemeenschap van Holanda, Brazilie 1858-1982. Especially chapter 1.

86 J.A.A. Hartland, op.cit., pp. 224-225.

87 The figures vary depending on the author consulted. Thus J.A. A. Hartland, op.cit., p. 203 talks of some 5,000 persons who emigrated between 1888-90. G. te Voortwis, op. cit., p. 23, says that in 1889 alone 4,007 Dutch arrived in the country. These seem to be official figures since C.A. Oelmans, Emigratie in de negentiende eeuw, p. 41, also mentions the same figure. In 1890 only 395 persons entered and from then on the figures get smaller: 75 between 1891-94 and 205 between 1895-99.

88 "In many cases there wasn't even the insignificant sum of money necessary to pay for the voyage to America. The great interest in the free emigration to Argentina is a clear sign of what is said above". Quotation taken from H. de Vries, op.cit., p. 188. The subsidized passages were put in effect by the Argentine government by a law approved on November 3, 1887. In said law the Congress authorized the executive branch to request from the National Bank the sum of $1,000,000 pesos to subsidize the passages of the immigrants who complied with the preestablished conditions. By legislation of July 20, 1889 the sum was raised to $6,000,000 pesos. Cf. J.A. Alsina, La inmigración europea en la República Argentina, pp. 122-124.

89 K.J. and J. de Hoop, "Koudumer reisverhaal uit 1889", p. 33.

90 Cf. for this period T. Halperin Donghi, Historia Argentina. De la revolución de independencia a la confederación rosista, pp. 213-252.

91 Thus for example the historian E. Palacios who in book V of his work Historia de la República Argentina considers the rout of Rosas as a national disaster and cause of the political and economic dependancy abroad. "The decisive victory of the party of the emigrants in the critical time of world progress was for the fatherland a real misfortune, since their influence would shape us mentally, socially and economically in a less desirable form for us to reach the greatness to which our founders predestined us", p. 530.

Cf. also the work by J.L. Busaniche, Rosas, visto por sus contemporáneos. The author tries to recapture, with testimonies from the time of Rosas, the man who remains submerged under the accusations that a certain history has made against him.

92 C. A. Crow in his work The Epic of Latin America, devotes an entire chapter to "J.M. de Rosas. Tyrant of the Argentine", pp. 580-598. There he gives the following figures of persons murdered in the time of Rosas, to wit:

93 Cf. the balance that for the period of Rosas T. Halperln Donghi carries out in his work already cited, pp. 403-409.

94 H.J. Prien, Historia del cristianismo en América Latina, p. 555.

95 We should mention here the federalization of the city of Buenos Aires, an event that occurred in the waning of the government of N. Avellaneda, on September 20, 1880 (Roca assumed the presidency on October 12). The city becomes, as of that moment, the capital of the Republic and patrimony of all Argentines.

96 Cf. H.J. Prien, op.cit., p. 557.

97 Alberdi comes to the point of saying in the document mentioned: "Let the mestizos, the gauchos, the Indians, the basic block of our popular masses disappears through the transformations of the better system of education...You will get neither order nor education from the people, unless it be by means of the influx of masses imported with mores rooted in that order and good upbringing". Cited according to H.J. Prien, op.cit., p. 556. See also the work by Alberdi itself, Bases..., especially pp. 75-96.

98 Sarmiento, the great educator, says of the native people that they have "physical powers without any intelligence...they don't work, they are what the decent peoples call riffraff, common people, rabble, populace, masses". Cited according to H.J. Prien, op.cit., p. 556.

99 Op.cit., p. 562.

100 Cf. O. Bordi de Ragucci, Cólera e inmigración 1800-1900. Also in the reports that the General Consulate of Buenos Aires regularly sent to the Ministry of Foreign Relationships in Holland the preoccupation with the topic of cholera appears.

101 Law of November 3, 1887. Cf. above.

102 Cf. text of the decree in National Registry of the Argentine Republic, thirty-first volume, year 1887/I, p. 70. According to the article 2 of the decree, the hotels would be distributed in the country in the following way: Capital, 1; Buenos Aires, 2; Córdoba, 2; Santa Fe, 2; Entre Ríos, 2 and Corrientes, 2. Cf. also Ferrari, G., Apogeo y crisis del liberalismo, La Bastilla, Buenos Aires, 1978, pp. 91-93. We appreciate also in this distribution the emphasis placed on settling coastal Argentine. Cf. for this last the cited work by Gallo-Cortés, p. 168.

103 We have taken the figures from E. Gallo-R Cortés Conde, Historia Argentina. La república conservadora, p. 52. The statistical data vary according to the authors consulted. G. Ferrari, op.cit., p. 91 calculates entry of immigrants in 1889 to be 220,260 persons. Of that number -according to official data- 4007 were from Holland.

104 We use here he data supplied by E. Palacios, op.cit., pp. 567-570.

105 J. Notta, "La política monetaria del '90", p. 12.

106 Gallo-Cortés, op.cit., p. 86.

107 It is worth noting that because of the celebration of the centennial of the Dutch collectivity of Tres Arroyos the then Minister of Foreign Relations and Religion of the Argentine Republic, Dr. Domingo Cavallo, maintains, in a letter of greeting and recognition to this community, that during the presidency of Juárez Celmen "the economic development of the country was acquiring an unprecedented celebrity, offering the most encouraging perspectives, trade was growing without limit, industry was developing at an extraordinarily rapid rate, capital and credit were abundantly available". A sign that those who exhibit power are not capable of accepting the mistakes of history to build the future. Cf. 100 años de Holanda en Argentina 1889-1989.

108 Geschiedenis van Latijns-Amerika, p. 178.

109 New York Times, 1890, April 30, 9.3. Argentine Republic. Import Statistlcs.

110 Cf. F. Cárdenas (h), "La revolución del '90 según el 'Times' de Londres", pp. 58-59.

111 Op.cit.

112 Cited according to Casablanca, A., "La traición a la revolución del '90", en: Luna, F., 500 años de Historia Argentina. t. XX: La crisis del '90, Abril, Buenos Aires, 1988, pp. 40-41.

113 Cf. J.M. Rosa, Historia Argentina, t. VIII: El Régimen, pp. 297-335.

114 J.M. Rosa, op.cit., pp. 357-360.

115 The right to vote was still restricted and applied to illustrious citizens. The generalized vote for men was not instituted until 1912 and for women in the Perón era.

116 For the historical data used thus far, we have relied above all on the cited work of E. Palacios.

117 Cf. J.M. Rosa. Historia Argentina, Tomo IX: La agonía del régimen, p. 207-211.

118 Of this indispensable work there have appeared several editions in various languages.

119 On the Gaucho phenomenon consult the work of R.E. Rodríguez Molos, Historia social del gaucho.

120 Cf. N.A. Fayó, Contenido histórico-social del Martín Fierro.

121 We take the classification from of the work of W.L. Villalpando and Ch. Lalive D'Epinay, Las iglesias del transplante.

122 H.J. Prien, op.cit., p. 555.

123 Cf. in this regard the work of J. Mafud, La vida obrera en la Argentina, pp. 19-40. Also R.E. Rodríguez Molas, op.cit., pp. 272-282.

124 It is certain that many saw in the "importation" of European culture, the best educational example. "Education by means of things is the most appropriate means of instruction for peoples that are beginning to be created". J.B. Alberdi, op.cit., p. 76.

125 Cf. in this regard J. Mafud, op. cit., pp. 111-118. "In the last decade of the past century, the landowners sought manpower. To that end they offered rental lands according to four different standards of development: 1) when all he had were his arms, the worker became a farm hand; 2) if he had all the arms of his family (wife and children) he became a partner; 3) if he agreed to pay with half or a part of the crop, he became a sharecropper, and 4) when he rented, he became a small tenant. (...) In none of the four cases could he hope to acquire the land that he worked...", p. 116.

126 Law of November 22, 1887. Cf. text in J.A. Alsina, op.cit., pp. 220-225. This author is one of the critics of this law.

127 Cf. G. Ferrari, op.cit., pp. 185-186.

128 Testimony about the situation in Buenos Aires in the years following the revolution of '90. Taken from J.M. Rosa, op.cit,, p. 301.

129 Cf. J. Mafud, op.cit., pp. 177-198.

130 "Like lambs without a shepherd...", op.cit.

131 "Aspectos sociales de la crisis", p. 66.

132 Cf. with regard to these constructions the opinion of J.M. Rosa, op.cit., Tomo IX, p. 239-243.

133 Cf. J. van Lonkhuijzen, Argentinie: een belangrijk land, ook voor nederlanders, pp. 155-161.

See also De Hollandsche Stem, pp. 22-23. There the photos leave no doubt about the way of life of the wealthy Dutch of Belgrano and the poor Dutch of the low district (Avellaneda and Barracas). Palaces vs huts.

134 Cf. C.E. Solberg, "Land tenure and land settlement: policy and patterns in the canadian prairies and the argentine pampas, 1880-1930", pp. 53-75.

135 Thus many soldiers that participated in the campaigns to conquer the desert (= lands in hands of the Indians).

136 Dios o el oro de las Indias.

137 Historia del cristianismo en América Latina.

138 Sarmiento, Defensor de la escuela laica. Selección de escritos del gran educador, by S. Canclini.

139 Op.cit., pp. 93-96.

140 For example, the presence of the missionary Diego Thompson from 1810 until 1824.

141 Decree of January 19, 1825, article 22: "The emigrants, pursuant to the usage of the country will not be disturbed in the practice of their religious beliefs; and are exempt from any duty or tax that is not imposed on the community in general". Cited according to H. Schmidt, Geschichte der deutschen evangelischen Gemeinde Buenos Aires, p. 25 n. 14.

142 Article 25. Cf. for example J. Montheit Drysdale, A hundred years in Buenos Aires 1829-1929, pp. 1-5.

143 M.A. Scenna, "Francisco Ramos Mejía, el primer hereje argentino", p. 90.

144 Cf. W.D. Grant, Historia de la Iglesia Presbiteriana San Andrés en la Argentina, Chapter 2, p. 2.

145 According to CEHILA, Para una historia de la Iglesia, p. 214, the first Reformed worship service was probably celebrated in Argentina on November 19, 1820. Perhaps he is making reference to the activities of the Presbyterian group.

146 For J.P. Bastian, Historia del Protestantismo en América Latina, p. 107, the first Anglicans were already working in the country as of 1831.

147 A. Canclini, "El Protestantismo durante el gobierno de Rosas", pp. 29-30. W.D. Grant, op.cit., Chapter 3. p. 13.

148 Cf. the Statute cited.

149 W.D. Grant, "160 Aniversario de la Iglesia Presbiteriana de San Andrés en la Argentina", p. 3. Idem, op.cit., Chapter 2, pp. 3-4.

150 Cf. Base Firme, Anuario 1975, p. 8. The work was taken up again by Rev. T. De Vries, until recently the secretary for Latin America of the Chr. Ref. Church of the United States of North America.

151 Cf. for more details An historical record of The Scots Presbyterian Church, Chascomús, 1857-1957. Also the summary in Spanish: Iglesia Presbiteriana de "San Andrés" - Chascomús, 1857-1957.

152 D.P. Monti, Presencia del protestantismo en el Río de la Plata durante el siglo XIX, pp. 63-64. According to W.D. Grant, op.cit., Chapter 2, p. 4, the place of worship was inaugurated on March 16, 1831.

153 J. Pfeiffer, Auf Luthers Spuren in Lateinamerika, pp. 76 and  78. Cf. also H. Schmidt, op.cit., pp. 39-40.

154 Cf. AA.VV., Congregación Evangélica Alemana en Buenos Aires. Su historia: 1943-1993, pp. 369-378.

155 J. Pfeiffer, op.cit., p. 77. Consult also R.C. Newton. German Buenos Aires, 1900-1933. Social Change in cultural crisis, p. 10.

156 Schmidt, H., op. cit., pp. 70ff.

157 Cf. E. Tron-E.H. Ganz, Historia de las colonias valdenses sudamericanas en su primer centenario (1858-1958).

158 Cf. B. Martínez Ruiz, La colonización galesa en el valle del Chubut. The Welsh arrived in Puerto Madryn on July 26, 1865, aboard the Mimosa.

159 CEHILA, Para una historia de la evangelización en América Latin, pp. 249-251.

160 Cf. D.P. Monti, Ubicación del metodismo en el Río de la Plata, pp. 15-20.

161 Ibid., p. 22.

162 M. Alba, "Difusión del protestantismo en Buenos Aires", p. 6.

163 Cf. A.G. Tallon, Historia del Metodismo en el Río de la Plata. p. 48.

164 In reality, as we saw in the General Introduction, Pastor Elder didn't become a part of the Baptist Mission until 1920. The Church organized by him in Tres Arroyos must have been originally of the Evangelical Union, the ministry to which Elder at that time belonged.

165 Cf. W, van der Mast, Praktijk en patroon van recente Nederlandse Groepmigraties, p. 297.

166 "Diego Zijlstra", unpublished article written by his daughter Lidia Zijlstra, wife of the remembered teacher Slebos. File of the author.

167 W. van der Mast, op.cit., p. 297. He maintains that Johannes Pluis, Lorenzo Visbeek and Nicolaas Visbeek were pastors in the denomination mentioned. In the work Los Bautistas en las Repúblicas del Plata Lorenzo Visbeek and Lorenzo Pluis are mentioned as pastors. Juan Pluis appears there mentioned, but not as a pastor. Cf. pp. 123-125, 134, 142, 168, 177, 181-183, 192, 293.

168 We recommend here the reading of the cited article by M. Alba.

169 Cited in W.L. Villalpando (ed.), op.cit., p. 17.

170 Segundo Censo de la República Argentina, May 10, 1895, Volume II: Population, Chapter XIII, CXXI. Cf. also Bach-Filippini-Pastrana, Las Iglesias Reformadas en la Argentina y su relación con el proceso social del país (1996-1976), pp. 33-34.

171 Cf. for example the letter from the consistory of the Hollandsche Christelijke Gereformeerde Kerk of Rosario to Pastor J. van der Linden -secretary of the commission of the Representatives-; Rosario, July 2, 1894. There mention is also made of the work of the Salvation Army.

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