This innovative and novel monograph examines the previously untold story of the metal trade between Chile and Argentina over the first four decades of the nineteenth century. Luz María Méndez Beltrán challenges the common assumption that Chile’s metal and mineral exports, colonial and modern, were all by sea. The book makes clear that this long-held notion is misleading, if not wrong. While the tonnage of metal shipped west to east was minuscule by today’s standards, it represented significant effort and value at the time. The maritime metal exports from Chile are well known and obvious, and the details of this commerce have benefitted from Méndez Beltrán’s earlier publications. But until now, the study of Chilean roads and trails during the early nineteenth century has been ignored. And totally unknown until this work were details of metal exports via mules.

The book is another...

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