J. Francis Macbride's Travel Journal

The following notes and photographs were taken during J. Francis Macbride's expeditions to Peru 1922 and 1923. This area is under construction and will be expanded periodically.

Click on photographs for enlargements.

Mito, Peru
26 August 1922

Journal entry: "The camera is too heavy; it has been a terrible task to lug it thru the heat over the steep trails and I don't think it's worth the grief however good the pictures may be; this is not a fotografic expedition; time enuf to take pictures here 500 years from now; we are just beginning to take them in the U.S. where we know the plants."

F.M. Neg. 47288 - Huánuco Equisetum and J. F Macbride, April 1923. Probably from the Higaris River. A "giant Equisetum" is referred to by Macbride in his journal of the previous year.

Journal entry: "We did some photographing above the mouth of the Higaris River this morning. Secured a no. of pictures (we hope!) of the giant equisetum that grows there."

F.M. Neg. 43821 - Eastern slope of the Andes from Estación Yanashallas, 35 mi W of Huallanca, 1922.

1 October 1922

Journal entry: " ...The scenery is magnificent. A snow storm partially hid the peaks while we were crossing the summit but perhaps accentuated their majesty. The botany was the same alpine type but now dry & few of my old friends in blossom; I recognized the dry stalks of some. I took nos. 2473-2477."

2 October 1922

Journal entry: "On October 2 we crossed the "pass" called Yanashallas, another 5 leagues & I got 2478-2484. The next day saw us safely over the westernmost Cordillera, here called Huarapasca & I increased my numbers to 2489. After one crosses this final divide there is a descent of some 2 leagues to a marshy valley. This is reached finally by an abrupt descent of 1/2 mile, one turns a corner along the marsh & there are three thatched store houses called "[Pomopampa]" some 10 leagues from Huaraz. Up to this point there are no houses except from "station" to "station" where one must talk Qu[echua?] (or at least one's arriero) & make friends with the people by gifts of coca & food for their protection is necessary in order to guard one's beasts from robbers (or oneself) & to secure pasture."

43818 - Est. Pomapampa, 30 mi E of Huaráz, Ancash (3 October 1922). - Man in white shirt and dark vest is Sr. Reyes Figueroa of Mito who acted as Macbride's guide, field assistant, and host while he was in Mito.

2 October 1922

Journal entry: "Well never was I happier to see a house than when we suddenly came upon [Pomopampa]. F- [Sr. Figueroa] could scarcely walk from his stomach pain & I was dead from having "pushed" the slow beasts all day. Furthermore it had sleeted all day, we had forded several icy streams (as all days but when there's sun one doesn't notice it) & here on this side of the Cordillera all waters are opaque-milky & one can't tell the depth beforehand. Then during the last league we were met by a gale directly in our faces - an icy sleet-rain which turning to snow soon whitened the ground to a depth of 2 inches. My pictures taken the next morning show some of the snow. Only the Senora was home but she gave us a house, the roof supported by flowering stalks of the great Agave I was to collect the next day only 1 league below.

F.M. Neg. 43891 - Matucana, 1922 (19 April 1922).

Journal entry: "While F* did the press work (as has become the habit) I went this morning down the R.R. track some 6 miles to the hills on this side of the river above Surco. The granite formation which begins at Challape puente continues to Surco - or rather at least as far as I went. At Surco the altitude is only 6660.9 ft but I was nearly 1000 ft above the town. However the hills from Challape & on are much dryer than those here and their aspect is widely different - their slopes are covered with wild oats except where the slope is broken by a gulch or "bench" and such areas are covered with huge rocks among which several species of Cacti flourish (none however in bloom)." [*F refers to W. Featherstone, Macbride's American Assistant]

F.M. Neg. 43862 - Camp, 10 miles east of Huánuco, 1922; enroute between Huánuco and Mito (August 9, 1922).

Journal entry: "We spent the night in a canyon head - and I moved camp after dark in the hope of outwitting bandits who may have seen us camp for the night. There are two sorts of bandits in these hills; one is composed of the poor people "arriba" who live in part by stealing animals of the more prosperous folk below & by highway robbery; killing when necessary. The other sort is composed of bands of a nomadic people who live gypsy fashion in the pampas of the uplands, their only shelter, often, great rocks. They kill when opportunity affords, & with torture."

F.M. Neg. 43958 - Mito, 1922 - Macbride was based in Mito, a long day's journey from Huánuco, from about July 8 to August 26, 1922, and April 9 to 18, 1923.

Mito, July 8, 1922

Journal entry: " I am pleasantly located here in the house of Sr. Reyes Figueroa; Senora cooks my provisions with the help of my boy in her thatched kitchen. From an American standpoint they live poorly but they are a leading family here. "

F.M. Neg. 43816

Caption: Estacion Cagaragra, 20 mi E of Huallanca, enroute from Mito.

Journal entry: Sept. 28, 1922. "This is called the trail where we are tonight after a long day across pampa country via the pueblo of Chulloco where I took no. 2459, the “situ” Rumichaca, no. 2460 and Wachu, no. 2461 [Festuca nigrescens]..... Poor trail and one very steep climb out of the canyon of the Rio Marañón."

F.M. Neg. 43826

Caption: Estacion Punco, 21 mi W of Huallanca, enroute to Huaraz. The grass hut is the common Indian sleeping room. Reyes Figueroa in vest.

Journal entry: Oct. 1, 1922. Punco [Purico?] This is called the “station” on the other side of the first Cordillera. We traveled all day & this was the first house we saw - & it consisted of 2 low grass thatched hovels. But one was new & clean & I crawled into it gratefully.

F.M. Neg. 43889

Caption: Cathedral and plaza at Huánuco

F.M. Neg. 43921

Caption: Shipment of plants from Huánuco

The following three photographs are of the Figueroa household in Mito. They may relate to the Mito journal entry above.

F.M. Neg. 43971

Caption: Macbride pressing at Señor Figueroa’s house in Mito, drying oven pictured at left.

F.M. Neg. 43972

Caption: Sr. Figueroa and family, Mito. Note blotters drying on the porch.

F.M. Neg. 43976

Caption: Sra Figueroa [an “Indian woman of the better class”], Mito.

F.M. Neg. 43985

Caption: Coca bundled for shipment in a Huánuco street. Sr. Soberon, the Grace Representative. (Handled finances and shipping arrangements for Macbride.)

F.M. Neg. 44005

Caption: Summit near Chavanillo with Sr. Reyes Figueroa (arriero); plant presses loaded onto burro.

Journal entry: Aug 16, 1922. " It was 10 before Figueroa was ready with his 2 burros & 1 horse, and it was dark when we stopped at the hut of an Indian famiy 1 ½ leagues this side of Chavanillo, the latter place a good 6 leagues from Mito. The trail is fair. The country is universally a grassland, very dry now, much broken by canyons. "

F.M. Neg. 45223

Caption: Hacienda Chacchan near Huaraz, enroute to Casma.

Journal entry: Oct. 8, 1922. " I am 8 leagues below Huaraz at Hacienda Chacchan, Sr. Esteban D. Zimic, owner. Arrived last night at 10:30 after a tiresome journey. One should never leave Huaraz after noon for then, Sr. Z informs me, he will encounter the icy cold 40 mile an hour wind that I suffered in for the 2 league climb out of the Huaraz valley....This [Hacienda] has proved a delightful experience & at the families’ urging I am staying for almuerzo. Surely I had wonderful bread & butter & coffee with milk this morning here & a warm welcome from the owner."

F.M. Neg. 45231

Caption: Sra Castillo of Tambo de Pariocota and family.

Journal entry: Oct. 8, 1922. [continuing from above] 6 p.m. at Tambo de Pariacota, a small hacienda with meals prepared especially & 1 room & a fonograf. Pleasant appearing people, Sr. Jose L. Castillo, owner, 4 leagues below Chacchan.

F.M. Neg. 47581

Caption: Neptune Party, Grace Line Steamer, 1923. Passengers crossing the Equator for the first time were customarily dunked in a canvas tank of water set up on the deck of the ship.

Journal Entry: Mar. 3, 1923. Father Neptune came aboard as usual today. Dr. B* was properly initiated after being accused of having too much of a “lichen” for the lichen family. [*Dr. George S. Bryan of Wisconsin University, who accompanied Macbride in 1923]

Caption: Boat in harbor at Salaverry, Peru.

Journal Entry: Mar. 5, 1923. Early this a.m. we reached Salaverry, and while sugar was being taken aboard we went ashore free of charge in a Grace launch. On account of the heavy sea here landing is precarious and the women were cautioned not to attempt it.

F.M. Neg. 47237

Caption: Street in Cerro de Pasco, late March 1923. Macbride also had visited here in Sept 1922.

Journal Entries: Sept. 8. 1922. Reached here at 11 and Mr. Faron has given us fine room and bath... Wonderful to have a real bath in a real tub. I’m tired of ice-cold creeks! I was never cut out to ruf it!..... Sept. 12, 1922. This morning bought a few pounds of canned butter... and 6 bars of Field’s eating chocolate... These are luxuries it seems I must have. I know brother Zimmer, the zoologist, does not approve and lives on little else than cornmeal and rice but I doubt if that is the desire of the botanical department. Maybe a zoologist can work on that sort of fare but I can’t.

F.M. Neg. 47304

Caption: The Hotel Universo in Huánuco. Headquarters for the 1922 and 1923 Botanical Expeditions.

F.M. Neg. 43978
[1922, but goes with hotel picture above]

Caption: Sr. Julio Ponce and family, proprietor Hotel Universo, Huánuco.

F.M. Neg. 47385

Caption: Peruvian field assistants Reyes Figueroa and Bonifacio Gomez with aroid, in Muña, May 1923.

Journal entry: Late May 1923. The great amount of work accomplished at Muña was made possible by the help of Figueroa & Bonifacio [Gomez] who have worked with me ceaselessly from 6 or even 5 in the morning to usually 9 at night.

F.M. Neg. 47445

Caption: The children of Ismael Ballisteros of Pozuzo, holding a palm that was shipped to Cerro de Pasco but lost enroute.

Journal Entry: June 22, 1923. We are at the house of Sr. Ismael Ballisteros & it’s “our house.” I have 5 flour sacks of plants & the one press I could bring in, full. ... We certainly used good judgment in coming in light for the few days at our disposal.... And there is no pasture for love nor money!... I long to go on to the Pachitea - but it can’t be done...”

Caption: Type specimen of Borzicactus fieldianus Britton & Rose (The Cactaceae, vol. 4: 278. 1923), now called Cleistocactus fieldianus (B. & R.) D. Hunt.

Collected in Ancash, Huaraz, on Oct. 6, 1922, on gravelly river bluffs. The specimen number is Macbride 2519.

Journal entry: "In Huaraz... I spent one forenoon fotografing a large cactus some 2 miles below town or rather above it on the rocky river bluffs.... The men with the Cactus are Srs. Juan Salina Rpolin & Miguel Vera, Huaraz. The soldier used his scabbard to good advantage in securing for me fls & also cutting away a thicket of spiny shrub."

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