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Historical Materials from Southern Patagonia
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Midshipman Alexander Campbell, HMS Wager, 1740-46
Shipwreck and rescue on the Pacific coast of Patagonia
  Preamble   |   Book :    1     2     3     4  
Byron's plagiarism
Patagonian Archipelago, where the shipwreck occurred
HMS Wager wrecked on Guayaneco Is.
The adventures of Capt. Cheap, the Hon. Mr. Byron, Lieut. Hamilton, Alexander Campbell and others, late of his Majesty’s Ship the Wager, which was wrecked on a desolate island in Lat. 47. S. Long. 81. 40. W. in the South Seas, in the year 1741.

A faithful narrative of the unparalleled sufferings of these gentlemen, after being left on the said island by the rest of the officers and crew, who went off in the longboat. Their deplorable condition, desperate enterprises, and prodigious distresses, till they fell into the hands of the Indians, who carried them into New Spain, where they remained prisoners of the war, till sent back to Europe, on the terms of the cartel, in 1746.

The whole interspersed with descriptions of the countries in which the various scenes of their adventures lay; the manners, etc. of the American Indians and Spaniards, and their treatment of the author and his companions.

[from title page of original book]

Thanks: Staffs of the Library of Congress Rare Books Reading Room (Washington DC), the Navy Historical Library (Washington DC), the McKeldin Library, University of Maryland (College Park), and the Archivo del Arzobispado (Lima) for their kind assistance.

Source: Original book printed in London, 1747. This electronic edition transcribed from microfiches of Gale Group (ref. Sabin #40504-40505), filmed from an original copy held by the Huntington Library.

Illustration: Map from "The Peoples' Pictorial Atlas", J. David Williams, New York, 1873

Language: For the convenience of the reader, spelling has been modernized. A few archaic words have been replaced by their modern equivalents; the remainder are explained in the editorial notes.

Latest news: In April 2012, the sociologist Ramón Arriagada announced that local fishermen had discovered several cannons in the vicinity of the "Wager" wreck site. These are believed to be part of the ship's original complement. Further information (in Spanish) can be found on this blog.