Friday, April 27, 2012
Well, this is it. The last of the voyage photographs, and the only group that has pictures of native Patagonians. I wonder what the passengers on this voyage made of them. The one famous Patagonian that I know about is Jemmy Button. His real name was Orundellico and he was born somewhere around 1815, give or take a year or two either way. In 1830, Captain Robert Fitzroy of HMS Beagle, had a boat stolen by natives while exploring the southern tip of South America and the Straits of Magellan. When it wasn't returned, he took four natives as hostages. When the stolen boat still wasn't returned, he took the hostages back to England. One died of smallpox, but the other three, including Jemmy, made it to England and became minor celebrities. A year latter when Fitzroy was ordered on another voyage, this time carrying a young naturalist named Charles Darwin, the three surviving natives were given passage back to their homes. In 1855, Christian missionaries made contact with Jemmy Button's band and found that he still had a grasp of English. By 1859, the missionaries found themselves unwelcome and were killed. Jemmy was called to give evidence before a court in 1860. In 1864, Jemmy Button died.
Written on the backs of the photos, top to bottom. "Indians in Smiths Chanel," "Smyth Chanel," "Smiths Chanel," "Evening Atlantic side," "Smyth Canal Smyth's Chanel difficult pass near straights of Magellan," "Straights of Magellan," "Smith's Chanel."