Copyright © 2004-2017 
Historical Materials from Southern Patagonia
Extracts from «The Captive Boy in Terra del Fuego»
shipwreck and rescue near Cape Horn, 1854-55

Preface by the Author

The interest always felt in narratives of shipwreck and adventure, and the desire to add a little to the limited knowledge already obtained of Terra del Fuego [sic], are deemed sufficient apology for presenting this volume to the public.

The narrative is received as unquestionably correct by all who are acquainted with the young lad whose sad experience is here recorded. Having had a personal acquaintance with him from childhood, numbering him at one time among my pupils, it is my privilege to bear testimony to his good nature and good sense. He was from early youth fond of reading, and it was with a mind unusually well stored for one of his years that he departed on this disastrous voyage with his parents. It is therefore reasonable to presume that he saw correctly all that passed around him, and has narrated truthfully those facts of which he took cognizance.

The story has been penned with mournful satisfaction by one who would here bear friendly testimony to the virtues of the departed; and who, in submitting it to the reader, does so with a grateful recognition of that Hand which delivered the youthful captive out of the power of barbarians, and restored him to his childhood's land once more.

It should be added that the "Captive Boy" has recently been a soldier in the Union Army and received in battle a severe wound, from whose sad effects he will probably never fully recover. It is hoped he will be benefited by the proceeds from the sale of this volume to those who will honor one whose patriotism did not allow the suffering of former years to prevent him from periling his life in defense of the "dear old flag".

P. A. H.
Reading, Mass.