Feb 2-7: Excitement in Montevido

Tue Feb 2

Arrived Montevideo about 5. Got up after a ghastly night - boat very crowded - people returning after the scare wh. had driven residents to B.A. Our state room had only berths for two, so I slept on the sofa, the smell of wh. added to the hardness kept me awake the entire night. We went ashore about 9 a.m. - got a fright when we saw most of our luggage put on a tug for "Panama" for Valparaiso! - we just got it off in time. Very hot - found no "Barbary" in - just as I expected.

Town in a state of panic, owing to revolution. Came up to Oriental Hotel, very dirty & smelly - lots of people who had come in from the Camp with whole families owing to the unsettled state of affairs. Took the tram out to the Prado, where we had tea.

Wed Feb 3

A feast day, very hot. After tea we took a tram to Playo Menivay, a sea-side place where we saw a great deal of beauty & fashion. Some really pretty girls, very smart and beautifully dressed. Bathed in the morning.

Thu Feb 4

Very hot & inclined to rain. Mr Fowler arr: in the morning. Town very unsettled - all night troops marching past & about 8 a.m. 1500 men were landed from a steamer and sent off into the camp as it was reported that the rebels were within two leagues & were surrounding the town.

Several residents, who had been arrested the previous day & sent off to Flores Island, had been rescued by the Argentine man-of-war & were brought by a couple of the officers to dine here. They were then taken back on board & taken to B.A. (whose protection they had claimed).

Mr Scott Elliot gave me a fright by saying we were quite liable to be murdered if we went about by ourselves, or with only Ted - it certainly did look unsafe all day. Fortunately it came on to rain, so we had to stay in.

Fri Feb 5

Still no "Barbary". Heavy tropical rain in the morning, the first time we have been kept in by weather since we landed. After lunch, Mr Fowler took us to Facitas - a charming sea-side place where we bathed, had tea, and then walked along the shore to P. Rainery. Just as we arr: there a very drenching shower came on - we just reached shelter in time. On arriving at hotel were told that "Barbary" had come in & would sail next day.

Sat Feb 6

Crossed with Mr Fowler to the Cerro, or Monte, from wh: this place takes its name - "I see a hill" (video being "I see"). We went in a tiny steamer right across, about 3 ms, & then walked up to the top, about 600 ft to the fortifications at the top. Immediately the sentinel blew a bugle & a soldier came flying out & very politely but courteously ordered us off - the place being in a state of siege - not before I had had time to look round & see what a beautiful view there was on every side - the town lying right opposite & beyond the sea again.

(sketch plan showing town. open sea, harbour, Monte, & camp )

Mr Fowler returned to B.A. He sent a messenger to tell us to go down to the Mole to see trops embark, under sealed orders, on the river boat which had been taken by government for that purpose.

Sun Feb 7

Waited in all morning, only to learn that the tug wh. was to take us on board would not start until 3.30 - plenty of time to go to Church, if we had known in time. We went on board about 4 & slowly steamed out of the harbour abort 6.30. We were soon "full steam ahead" for old England. Alas! not regret at leaving S.A. but alas for the emptiness of the world. How long will it be?


Georgiana was clearly caught up in momentous events. The Uruguayan Revolution of 1904 is described as "the bloodiest and most decisive conflict in the country in the 20th century". On January 31st the government forces had suffered a major defeat in the battle of Fray Marcos, less than 100 miles from the capital, hence the local panic and lawlessness. A full description of the civil war can be found at wiki.acervolima.com.

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