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[From Polynesian Extra — March 27.]

Important from Valparaiso ! !

The following highly important information was received at the Foreign Office, from His Majesty's Consul general at Valparaiso, after our paper had gone to press. We regard the intelligence, however, of so much consequence to the commercial and social interests of the Pacific, that we issue an extra slip that the public may be in possession of the facts without delay.

We do not apprehend a descent of this band of desperadoes upon our shores, although such a thing is possible. They would, we apprehend, be far more likely to cruise in a more southern latitude, for the richly freighted ships coming around Cape Horn, and make their rendezvous among the less frequented islands in the south Pacific. But with the strong naval forces in that quarter,— unusually strong, on account of the late troubles in Chile, — it is highly probable that their career would soon be terminated by their capture and summary punishment.

But while entertaining such views, we are more clear in the opinion that the commerce of this vicinity should not for a moment, be left entirely unprotected, while there is a possibility that it may be molested by a gang of desperadoes, who have nothing to lose, but every thing to gain. We hope, therefore, that the Vandalia or the St. Mary's will remain at this port, until further news from this piratical expedition hall be received. The American whaling fleet now concentrated at these islands previous to the summer cruise at the north, is peculiarly exposed ; while the usual mercantile marine, of all nations, no less than the whaling fleet, needs to be protected by the presence of a man-of-war.

The following is the correspondence, and it will explain itself without further comment.

No. 1

Translation of a Despatch from His Excellency, Don Antonio Varas, Secretary of State in the Department of Foreign Relations, of Chile, to the King's Consul-General for that Republic.

"Santiago 13th January, 1852.

Sir, — You will have learned from the public papers the horrible catastrophe which has taken place in the Chilian colony of Magellan.

The mutineers completed their assassinations and the burning and sacking of the colony, taking possession of two foreign vessels, with which probably they are now cruizing in the Pacific, to the great danger of unprepared and defenceless populations, and of trade in general.

The government has ordered me to inform you of this fatal event, in order that you may be pleased to take what measures you may consider to be discreet for the protection of the commercial interests of your nation.

I avail myself of this occasion to have the honor to reproduce to you my sentiments of very distinguished consideration.''


To the Consul-General of the Sandwich Islands.

No. 2

Translation of an extract from the reply of the King's Consul-General.

Valparaiso, 14th January, 1852.

Sir, — * * * To-day I have received with much sorrow the Circular from that Department, of yesterday's date, confirming the lamentable excesses of barbarities and piracies committed by malefactors in the Chilian colony of the Straits of Magellan, though only natural results of the demoralization which the rebels of the Capital had, unfortunately found means to introduce among the less educated classes both in Valparaiso and other parts.

In conformity with the invitation of your Excellency, I hasten to make the necessary communications to the government of the King, via California, for want of a direct communication ; in case the pirates persecuted on these coasts, should proceed to the seas of Polynesia. I shall endeavor to obtain a description of the vessels which they have captured, and of their leaders.

Be pleased to permit me to take advantage of this occasion to reiterate the expressions of the high and most respectful consideration with which I have the honor to be, of Your Excellency, the most obedient Servant,


To the Minister, Secretary of State, in the Department of Foreign Relations, Don Antonio Varas.

No. 3.

Valparaiso, Jan. 14th, 1852.

Sir: — A series of horrible Acts of Military Mutiny, Piracy and murder, partly detailed in the printed Bulletin herewith is denounced by the Chile government in the Circular of Department of Foreign Affairs, dated 13th instant, of which copy enclosed, perpetrated by a part of garrison of the Chilian penal settlement at "Puerto Arena," [sic - Punta Arenas] in the Straits of Magellan (before situated at "Puerto del Hambre," San Felipe, Port Bulnes) on which settlement I reported in my dispatch 1851 No. 19 ; and I haste to convey the intelligence, for the information of His Majesty's Government, as it is quite possible that the malefactors, or some of them, if not immediately overtaken, might find their way to His Majesty's dominions. I subjoin copy of my reply of this date, to the Department at Santiago.

It is one Miguel Jose Cambiaso, a Lieutenant in the Chilian Artillery, (compania fija de Magellanes) who under punishment, on the 17th November last, rose upon his superiors, forced the small garrison to join him, and arming the convicts, massacred the Governor of the Colony, Commander Benjamin Munoz Gamero, of the Chilian naval service (remembered no doubt at Honolulu, as having served under Rear Admiral Thomas, in H. B. M's ship Dublin, and a most gentlemanly, intelligent officer,) the Chaplain, (cura,) Senor Acuna and several others.

An ingenious set of forgeries and frauds had been resorted to by said Lieut. Cambiaso, in order to deceive the commander of H. B. M. war steamer "Virago," when calling at "Point Arenas," on her passage from England to this port; and to keep the Chilian authorities in ignorance of what had taken place, not less so, to entice vessels into his clutches.

The P. S. N. Co. steamer "Lima," arrived here 11th inst., from Liverpool and Rio Janeiro, reports the force of the Pirates, with which they left Punta Arenas on the 2nd inst., for Port Famine, to have consisted of two vessels, viz : a brig, said to be American, name unknown, and stated to be from California, bound to the United States, which they plundered of bars of gold, and silver coin (quantity unknown) and American schooner "Florida," Charles Brown, Master, sailed from Valparaiso, Nov. 4th. 1851, for said penal settlement, with political prisoners, chartered by Chile Government.

The "Florida," is a three masted schooner, of about 199 tons, built for a steamer, and consequently a long, rakish looking craft, with a house on deck ; carries four brass guns, (four or six pounders,) sails fast, has a new fore-and-aft sail ; the rest of her sails were well worn. She was painted black ; her captors gave her a white streak, with painted ports, to disguise her, and deceive parties hidden, who would not join them. When last seen, she was painted all black again. The brig, reported from California, gave up the gold, when first seized, but had the silver concealed under guano ; could therefore not well be from California ; at all events not direct. I have not been able to obtain any particulars respecting her.

The description of the person of said Lieut. J. Cambiaso, given me by one of the officers of his corps, is, that he is tall, slender, of fair complexion, comparatively, about 27 years of age, has blue eyes, and light hair, and used to wear a small moustache, rather seedy ; knows no language but Spanish, and that not grammatically.. And I am told that he has the ways of a "tinterillo" (petty-fogging Attorney).

I have the honor to be with great respect Sir, Your Excellency's most obed't. and most humble sv't


To His excellency R. C. Wyllie, Esqr., His Majesty's Minister of Foreign Relations, Member of His Council of State and of the House of Nobles, &c &c &c, Honolulu.

Source: "Polynesian" (Honolulu), 3 April 1852
Clipped: 16-VII-2013
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