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THE utility of a work like the present is so manifest as to need neither explanation nor apology. If possible, it would be desirable to publish a Handbook of these countries annually, for the use as well of residents in the River Plate, as of our friends in Europe and the United States. Unfortunately, the difficulties and outlay are far beyond any profit that the editors can expect. In fact we lost money by our edition of 1863, the National and Provincial Governments failing to subscribe for a single copy, although we had the satisfaction of knowing that the work was productive of some good to our adopted country. In the improved and enlarged form of the present Handbook there will be found very complete and detailed information of these countries, as we have spared neither labor nor expense to deserve the approval of the foreign community, which is the great object we always keep in view. It has been our particular study to give an exact picture of foreign enterprise and industry in the River Plate, and the task was, indeed, an agreeable one. At the same time we have labored to point out to readers in Europe the many advantages which these countries enjoy, to attract a larger tide of immigration. Nor must we omit here to bear evidence to the liberal spirit of the institutions of these
Republics, and the kindly feeling and cordiality of all educated Argentines and Orientals. In fine, we have every hope that with an increase of population and industrial resources the River Plate will soon follow in the footsteps of its great model, the United States.
The conclusion of the Paraguayan War and commencement of President Sarmiento's administration is a most opportune time for the publication of the present work, in the hope of drawing increased attention to the River Plate. Under a progressive and peaceful administration we may look forward to widespread improvement, new enterprises, and an increase of trade and industry. Popular education also bids fair to make much headway, and no branch of knowledge is more important, nor more neglected in Buenos Ayres, than the study of the resources of the Argentine Republic! Let us hope that patriotic Argentines will join heart and hand with foreigners to advance this fine country.
Volume I. of the Handbook contains three sections, viz.: A., the Argentine Republic, its colonies, railways, history, public men, &c.; B., the City of Buenos Ayres, its buildings, institutions, and port; C., the Camps of Buenos Ayres, comprising the various partidos and every estancia in the province. Volume II. contains four sections: D., the thirteen Argentine Provinces; E:, the Banda Oriental; F., Paraguay; and G., a complete Directory, official, foreign, and commercial, of Buenos Ayres and Montevideo, each apart. The maps of the Argentine Republic, Buenos Ayres city, and Montevideo, will be bound with the second volume.
In giving the Handbook now to the public we feel confident that it will meet with a good reception: whatever inaccuracies may have unavoidably crept in will be corrected in the next edition. We have to thank the numerous kind friends who contributed interesting information about their
own particular district, and especially the Irish clergymen in the camp, to whom we beg to offer a copy of the book gratis for each of their Lending Libraries. We also offer a copy for each public and charitable institution of the English, Scotch, American, and German communities on either side of the River Plate. Volume II. will appear on the 1st of June, and the Directory of Buenos Ayres is being carefully compiled by Mr. Frank Mulhall, 74 Calle Belgrano, to whom communications may be directed.
M. G. & E. T. MULHALL.
March 17, 1869, Standard Office, Buenos Ayres.