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Historical Materials from Southern Patagonia
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
The Adventures of Alexander Campbell, from his arrival in Chile, to his return to Europe on board a Spanish man-of-war, and his happy arrival at Portsmouth, in 1746.

When we first appeared on the beach, nobody came near us, except the children to gaze, for to be sure they never saw such a ragged sight in their lives before. But when it was publicly known that we were English, we had all the town about us. After having been carried before the Governor, Don Andres de Arabal, who was blind, we were, by his order, confined in a very disagreeable hole, so dark that we could not see each other. The soldiers told us that it was the place wherein they kept their whores: so that we were now got into the House of Correction.

We had not been long in this prison, before the Captain and Mr. Hamilton were sent for to Santiago, by the President Don Joseph Manso, who lived there. Mr. Byron and I were continued in the House of Correction, till the Captain got to Santiago, where he prevailed on Don Joseph to send for us; and Jan. 24, we were introduced to the President. He told us he was glad to see us so happily delivered out of so many dangers. Then he desired us to go to the place where the Captain was, and to rest ourselves. We found the Captain at the house of an English gentleman, who also invited us, and gave us very hospitable entertainment. Nay, he treated us all as if we had been his own brothers; and during the whole two years that we remained here, we wanted for nothing that he could any way procure.

On the day after our arrival, the President sent his Secretary to invite the Honourable Mr. Byron and myself to dinner. We found Admiral Pizarro and several of his officers there. They had come from Buenos Aires by land, in order to proceed to Lima; for they could not get their ships of war round Cape Horn.

As we were at this time without money, and also wanted clothes, one of the Spanish officers offered us money upon our bill payable by the English Consul at Lisbon. Hereupon we drew a joint bill on the Lord Commissioner of his Majesty's Navy, directed for the Consul at Lisbon. When the Captain received the money, which was 600 dollars, he gave Mr. Hamilton and Byron their share, but to me he gave only eighty dollars out of the six hundred. This gave rise to some words between the Captain and me. I thought it very hard, as I had signed the bill equally with the rest, and was at the same time as naked and necessitous as they, that I should not receive my whole share, which was 150 dollars, and which sum my brother-midshipman Mr. Byron had. The Captain's obstinate refusal to give me the rest was the opening of that breach, which was very much widened by another affair of much the same nature, viz.

When we had been in this country near twelve months, one Mr. William Lindsey, who had formerly been in the South Sea Company's service at Buenos Aires, hearing that four English prisoners were at such a place, he wrote to inform us, that if we wanted money, he had some in a merchant's hands at Santiago, which we might have upon sending him our bill. This money the Captain received, and divided between himself, Mr. Byron, and Mr. Hamilton. But when I asked him for my share, he gave me to understand that I should not have a farthing; in vain did I represent to him the necessity I was in, and that Mr. Lindsey's intention was to serve us all, and not anyone in preference to another. In vain were my complaints: my worthy Captain, for whom I had expressed so much zeal, was inexorable. — I appeal to the impartial reader whether this was either just or generous usage; especially as Mr. Lindsey had written alike to us all, intending the favour as much to any one as to the other three. — Surely none but Captain Cheap would have acted thus! But he ought to have treated me otherwise, had it been but merely out of compassion to a man in such necessitous circumstances as I was in, not having clothes to cover me from the cold. But how much greater was the obligation upon him, who has himself owned [admitted, Ed.] that he was indebted to me for the preservation of his life, more than once or twice? — In short, I thought myself so ill used, that I left the house wherein I resided, and took my abode in another.

As the reader will doubtless expect that I should give some account of Chile, I have drawn up the following remarks.

This country is perhaps the finest in the world. It has five very good seaports. The southernmost is Valdivia, a garrisoned town, in Lat. 40. S. It is on the frontiers, between the Spaniards and a nation of warlike Indians, who inhabit another exceedingly fine tract of land. These Indians are continually at war with the Spaniards, to whom they never give quarter. They have fine horses, and I have been told that they are shod with silver. However it is certain that they have the richest silver mines in America. Some years ago they suddenly fell upon three Spanish towns in one night, and massacred all the inhabitants. These towns were the finest the Spaniards had in those parts. They are called Osorno, Imperial, and Villarrica, i. e. the rich village. — In short these Indians are a brave people, and fight in good order; and therefore the Spaniards don't much care to disturb them.

Concepcion is the next seaport of the five, but this I never saw; however I have had an account of the Indians who inhabit the country on that side, and which may be depended on. In December they have a grand meeting with the Spaniards at Concepcion, to which the Governor goes in person; and with him the Indians renew or confirm the amity between the two nations; or, if they do not agree on the articles, declare war. When they make peace they cut off the head of a lamb; and when it is to be war, they carry off the lamb with them. They do not write, but keep all their accounts by knots on a string, which they tell over; and in this manner they will compose a tolerably good history. I have already described the Indian garment called a poncho. Of these the Indians I now speak of, make a very fine sort, which the Spaniards wear when they ride abroad.

Valparaiso is the principal seaport of Chile. Yet it has but a little town, and most of the inhabitants are seamen's wives, and people that get their living by the shipping, of which above 26 sail come here annually, which is no small number, the nature of the trade from Old Spain hither considered. The town has two forts; one in very good order, regularly built, has twenty pieces of brass cannon, and two of iron. The other fort they call the Old Castle; it lies under a great hill, on the right-hand as the ships come into the harbour. — Coquimbo, and Copiapo, are the two last of the aforesaid five seaports. Their trade, which is chiefly to Lima, is but small, and consists mostly of wheat-flour, jerked beef, fruits, gold in bars, and the Herb of Paraguay. In return they bring from Lima, sugar, and coarse cloth for their Indians and Negroes. They have likewise some trade with Buenos Aires, whither they send wine, fruits, and dollars; and bring back all sorts of linen cloths, broadcloths, velvets, silks, stockings, in short, all sorts of wearing apparel. But this is a contraband trade. — They trade also with Peru for mules, which they carry away in great numbers.

Without dispute the climate in Chile is as fine as any in the world. The winter is very moderate; yet near the town of Santiago is a mountain always covered with snow, but the town itself is neither very cold in winter, nor too hot in summer, though in Lat. 33. S. The soil of the country in general is extremely fertile; the husbandmen [working farmers, Ed.] do no more than open the ground, and sow the wheat, and, without manure, it commonly gives a hundredfold. Their fruit-trees bear when only two years old. The pasture is very good, the cattle fat, and the meat as fine as any in the world, and beef and mutton are here very cheap. A good cow sells for three dollars, and a sheep for four reals, which is not quite two shillings sterling. The Chileans have very fine horses for all uses; I have seen some of them pace as fast as other horses can gallop. The country-people are strong and healthy, but very lazy; what makes them the more so is the goodness of the country, which furnishes them with all the necessaries of life, and many of its superfluities, and all this without requiring much labour from the people. They are good horsemen, and are almost continually on horseback, not choosing to go but from one house to another without riding; and though they have nothing to do with the horse, yet they must have him all the day at the door ready saddled.

The earth here produces all sorts of metals, viz. gold, silver, copper, iron, tin, lead, and quicksilver [mercury, Ed.]; but as the inhabitants know not how to work the last sort, they lie uncultivated; neither do they make much of the lead mines. It is observed by the Spaniards, that never any worker in these mines died rich; for when they have got a good sum beforehand, they go no more to the mines till all is spent. The gold mines are very rich, but the workers don't rightly understand them, and therefore they are of much smaller advantage to the country than they might be. They make the most of their copper, with which they supply all Peru, and also send a great deal to Europe. The French who come into these seas, are more fond of this copper than anything, not only on account of its cheapness, but for the sake of the gold they get out of it.

The inhabitants of Chile are Spaniards and Indians, besides the Negroes, slaves to the former. The Spaniards are very proud, and dress extremely gay [showy, Ed.]; particularly the women, who spend a great deal of money upon their persons and houses. They are a good sort of people, and very courteous to strangers. Their women are also fond of gentlemen from other countries, and of other nations. The dress of the fair sex here is widely different from that of the Spanish women in Europe. They wear no stays, only a little jacket, with large white sleeves to it. Their petticoats are not close all round like the European petticoat; they are very short, one part doubles over the other, and they tie it as low as men button the waistband of their breeches. They wear no hoop, for the smaller they are below, the more in fashion. Their shoes have no heels, and are all cut in figures [geometrical designs, Ed.]. Their hair they dress in a very fine taste, and wearing no caps, it looks extremely handsome.

The Indians here are little better than slaves to the Spaniards, as well as the Negroes. The Corregidor, or Governor of the province, makes them work all the year, and pays them as he pleases.

The chief diversions of the Spaniards here, are wild-bull-feasting, and a sort of cricket. In the bull-feast there is nothing that I thought diverting, except the dexterity of the horsemen, and of the horses, which are trained up to the exercise. When they go to catch the bull, they have a very strong rope made of twisted bull's leather. The horseman has one end of this rope fastened to his saddle; the other end has a running noose. When the horseman and the bull approach to meet each other (for the latter seldom fails to give his antagonist the meeting) the man very dextrously tosses the noose end of the rope at the bull's head, and catches him by the neck or horns, though at the distance of eight, ten, or a dozen yards. The horse feeling the rope (the other end of which is fastened to his saddle) pulled straight, immediately attempts to gallop off. The bull follows in great wrath, but in vain, being unable either to overtake the horse or to get from him; and the fury of the beast on this account furnishes most of the sport.

Among the fruits which this country produces are apples, pears, peaches, apricots, plums, cherries, lemons, oranges and vines, which bear great quantities of grapes, of which they make pretty good wine.

The principal town of this province is Santiago, of which I have already spoken. It is situated in a fine valley, is regularly built, and the houses good though low, having but one floor. They build thus, on account of the earthquakes that happen here almost every week. There are several rivers about this town, which are plentifully stocked with fish, particularly exceedingly fine trout.— In short, if I spoke lavishly when I called this one of the finest countries in the world, yet I must insist upon it, that it only wants industrious inhabitants to make it such.

When we had been here eighteen months, we heard of the cartel [agreement for exchange of prisoners, Ed.] that was agreed on between England and Spain, and the Governor told us we might return to Europe in the first ship that should sail for Old Spain. About six months after this, a French ship came to Valparaiso, and from thence was to return to Europe. On board this ship Captain Cheap, Mr. Hamilton, and Mr. Byron /1/ embarked; but the misunderstanding between me and the Captain, as already related, and since which we had not conversed together, induced me not to go home in the same ship with a man who had used me so ill; but rather to embark in a Spanish man-of-war then lying at Buenos Aires. Admiral Pizarro readily granted me a passage, saying, you and the other gentlemen shall be welcome; and added at the same time, that he should be at home before the French ship.

1. Since their return Captain Cheap has had the command of a man-of-war of 40 guns given him; and Mr. Byron that of a 20-gun ship.

On the 20th of Jan. /2/ 1744-5, I set out from Santiago for Buenos Aires, in company with four of Admiral Pizarro's officers. We rode about 30 miles the first day, but the sun was so hot that not being able to travel in the middle of the day, we were obliged to make it out in the night. The 21st we arrived at the foot of a mountain, said to be the highest in the known world. The next day we began to ascend this vast mountain, and were obliged to travel all day, the roads being so dangerous that we dared not stir in the night. They are winding like a staircase, and at the same time extremely narrow. In some places the mules have but seven inches breadth of ground to set their feet on. They are moreover prodigiously high and perpendicular. At the bottom runs a great river full of rocks, so that whoever has the misfortune to fall down from the road, must infallibly be dashed to pieces; but the mules are so used to these roads, that they travel full as safe as a man on foot can do. Indeed when they are loaded with cumbersome goods they are in greater danger, and too many of them fall down these fatal precipices. I saw one of them fall, and before the poor creature came to the bottom, both he and his burden, which was merchants' goods, were dashed into a thousand pieces.

2. And the French ship did not sail till the 22nd of February following.

We were five days before we got to the top of this great mountain. Indeed we were delayed by being obliged to go with the carriers, who move but slowly. On all this mountain hardly the least green thing appears to cheer the sight of the weary traveller. It is all little else than bare rock. When we came to the top, we found the air so excessively cold, though in the midst of summer, as to starve or freeze two of the carriers to death. At the same time I found myself as if I had been seasick, and vomited very much. This I conjecture might be owing to the height of the hill, and the air being rarified so much more than that which I had been used to breathe in the lower world.

Though it was very troublesome to ascend this mountain, it was still worse to go down it; which we also were five days in doing. It was matter of astonishment to me, that one single mule, out of all we had, escaped tumbling down. Indeed the carriers did lose 20 of them, some in going up, others in descending the mountain; some broke their legs, others dislocated their shoulders, and others perished through hunger. At Mendoza, a little town on the east side of the mountain, we stayed three days to get fresh mussels.

From Mendoza to Buenos Aires is 400 leagues, and all the way is so desert, that in above 100 leagues not one house is to be seen. In this road there are many dangers to encounter. The wild Indians, who are always at war with the Spaniards, to whom they give no quarter, are here in great multitudes. There are likewise a great many tigers, who frequently fall upon travellers and devour them. Nay people are sometimes killed by them in the very streets of Mendoza and Buenos Aires. Here is also a creature which the Spaniards call a lion, but it is more like a cat, but large, and exceedingly ravenous, and for fear of them no man dares travel by himself.

The officers that travelled with me rode upon mules as I did; but Admiral Pizarro himself, with the rest of his officers, went in wagons, which are very large, and drawn by oxen. These poor animals, as well as the mules, often perish on this road for want of water, a want which is rendered still the more unsupportable by the hot weather, nor can the traveller find a single tree under which to rest himself, or take shelter from the scorching rays of the sun. Thus he finds the country for above 200 leagues together, nor is a drop of water to be had at above one place in all that way.

The Indians inhabiting the country through which this undelightful road runs, are a very warlike people. Their arms are lances and slings, in the use of which they are exceedingly dextrous. Their stature is large; complexion swarthy, and their agility in the exercises of war admirable. They live on these vast plains in tribes, or parties, each party having a chief captain, or commander. When any of these captains invites another to join in an expedition against the Spaniards, the inviter dares not fly, let what will happen, for if he does, the other cuts off his head directly.— These uncivilized people are never at peace either with the Spaniards, or amongst themselves, or other Indians in their neighbourhood. They have fine horses, are very good horsemen, and ride somewhat like our European Hussars. Their saddles are as small as those used for racehorses in England; and their stirrup is only a bit of wood with a hole in it, big enough to let in the rider's great toe. Their bridles are made of hair, with a wooden bit. Fixed habitations they have none, but keep roving about from place to place, like the wild Arabs, so that the Spaniards can seldom find them. Their food is for the most part horseflesh, though they have plenty of black cattle, wild deer, and sheep of a kind peculiar to that country. They have also a great many ostriches, which they kill for the sake of their feathers to wear when going to battle.

These Indians often visit the Spanish frontiers, and carry off both people and cattle. The men they kill, but keep the women and children for slaves. However, some Indians in these parts are at peace with the Spaniards, and trade with them for cloths, in exchange for which they give the Spaniards tiger skins, etc. I have seen them kill these creatures in the following manner. In his left hand the Indian holds a baton about nine inches long, round the middle of which is a basket like our cudgel-baskets, which is a guard for the hand. In his right hand he holds a knife, and thus prepared he seeks the tiger, and either attacks him, or awaits the creature's coming, according as it happens. When the beast makes at the man, the latter runs the baton into the tiger's mouth, which gags him so that he cannot shut his jaws; at the same instant the knife is run into his belly, then he falls to the ground, and is easily dispatched. But if the Indian misses his aim, and does not strike the baton into the tiger's mouth at the first moment of the onset, the beast generally has the advantage, and, as it frequently happens, the man falls a prey to his adversary.

We saw great numbers of black cattle, horses, and mules, running wild on the plains, and every man has them for catching. Many people at Buenos Aires make it their business to go out all the summer to kill cattle only for their skins.

In this journey we were obliged to carry our provisions with us, (exclusive of beef, of which we could get enough anywhere) and water to drink. We arrived at Buenos Aires on the tenth of March, after an unpleasant journey of seven weeks. But in three or four days after our arrival, an advice-boat [a swift vessel employed in conveying despatches, Ed.] from Ferrol came with orders for Admiral Pizarro not to sail from this town till the month of October, that he might arrive in Spain in the January following. This was to prevent his falling in with the English fleet, which the Spaniards knew would cruise in those seas all the summer. For Pizarro's fleet was so badly manned, and so very rich, that it was not thought safe to run the risk of a summer-passage home.

Here I met with three of our ship's company, who had been left ashore /3/ by the people of the longboat, a little to the southward of Buenos Aires. The account they gave of their misfortune was as follows, viz.

3. See an account of these three men and their companions, in Bulkeley and Cummins's narrative.

" That at some time after Bulkeley and Cummins, with the rest of the people, who sailed from Wager Island in the longboat and cutter, had left that place, they were obliged to send some of the people ashore to get fresh water. Some of these returned on board, but before all could return, the boat was driven out to sea, and eight poor miserable men who were left ashore never saw her afterwards. To avoid perishing through want of the necessaries of life, on this desert coast, they attempted to find the way to Buenos Aires, but were not able to travel, the country being marshy to such a degree as rendered it impassable. Hereupon they built a hut, and lived there upwards of a year, subsisting by the following means. The country abounding with wild dogs, they took some puppies, and brought them up to catch deer, of which there is plenty on this coast, and on the venison they lived well; till one fatal day, as they were divided, four in a party, seeking provisions, when one party came home, they found their hut plundered; and all their things gone. For they had arms and other conveniences left them when the boat went away. This disaster greatly surprised them, thinking the other four had robbed them, and were gone to seek themselves another dwelling-place. But, to their greater surprise as well as terror, they soon found their mistake; for as they were going about their hut, they found their four comrades lying on the ground, with their throats cut from ear to ear. I leave the reader to imagine how dismally the other four passed the night, expecting the dreadful moment when they should be served in the same manner. Next morning their eyes were saluted with the unwelcome sight of a great many Indians on horseback, coming towards their hut. Hereupon, not daring to flee, they advanced to meet the savages, and fell on their knees imploring mercy; but the barbarians, little regarding their humble submission, were just going to slaughter them, when an old man, one of their captains, prevented them. After a long consultation among themselves, the Indians made their prisoners mount behind four of them, and so carried them off.

" These Indians sold them for slaves to other Indians, with whom they remained till a captain that was at peace with the Spaniards, of which nation he took these four men to be, went to the Governor of Buenos Aires, and agreed for a reward for bringing them off. The Governor promised him fifteen dollars for each; but when he returned, the Indians would on no terms let him have a Mulatto, who was one of the four, insisting upon his being an Indian, and therefore they would keep him. His name was John Duck, born in London. The other three were Isaac Morris, Samuel Cooper, and John Andrews. The names of their four companions who were massacred, were Guy Broadwater, Benjamin Smith, John Allen, and Joseph Clinch. "

This account Morris, Cooper, and Andrews gave, and desired me to publish as soon as I came to England. They came with me from Buenos Aires to Spain, where I left them, waiting for a discharge from the cartel. They told me that the Indians have a great many Spanish women among them, whom they have taken captive; that they had each of them a Spanish woman given him as wife, and that some of them left children behind them.— I shall now say something of my own concerns during my six months residence at Buenos Aires, where, as has been mentioned, I was obliged to wait till the time came at which Admiral Pizarro was to set sail.

On the day of my arrival at this town, I waited on the Governor, Don Domingo Rosas; who invited me to dine at his house, which I did. I little thought that I should now be confined, after having been at liberty in Chile above two years on my parole, and had always behaved as became a prisoner at large; but after dinner, as I was coming away, to my great surprise I found that I was confined in the fort, and not to go out of the gate. Accordingly I remained in the fort six and thirty days, at the end of which I was let out by the Admiral's procurement, and then I had the whole town for my prison. But some time after, upon a groundless report that a squadron of English men-of-war were coming into the River Plate, I was again confined in the fort, and remained there twenty-two days more; but the rumour being blown over, I was again enlarged [released, Ed.].

Gratitude will not let me omit to mention the kindness of the Governor of the Portuguese settlement adjoining to Buenos Aires. Hearing of me while in that town, he wrote me a letter in English, acquainting me that he would supply me with money, if I had occasion [need, Ed.]; and at the same time sent me a present of English butter and a box of sweetmeats [sweet foods, Ed.]. This gentleman was Governor of Santa Catalina when Commodore Anson was there: his name Don Joseph Silva de Paz.

The town of Buenos Aires is pretty large, and in it are a great many merchants; but how they live I can't imagine; for all their trade is confined to the neighbouring Portuguese colony, and even this is contraband, and carried on only in the night. I was told that there goes every year from Buenos Aires to the above colony, above five millions of dollars and upwards of thirty thousand cow-hides.

Here runs the famous River of Plate, which is said to be the largest in the world. At Buenos Aires [it] is fifteen leagues wide, and [at] its mouth, from Cape St. Mary's to Cape St. Antonio's, it is eighty leagues over, and all fresh water. There are but three settlements on it, Buenos Aires is the largest; the second is the Portuguese colony, on the north side of the river, opposite to Buenos Aires; Montevideo is the third, on the north side also, and forty leagues to the eastward of the Portuguese. Here is a harbour for ships of small burden; however one of the Spanish men-of-war lay here: she was indeed obliged to unship her rudder for want of water, of which there is not above seventeen foot at the highest tides; but there is a great deal of mud, into which she sank, and lay there two years, with her guns, etc. in her, and received no damage.— Here the Spaniards have begun to build a fine fortification, which they say will be the best and strongest in America, and which will entirely command the river; on which they are very apprehensive of the English making a settlement.

A little below Montevideo there is another fine harbour, called Maldonado, with more water; the mouth is narrow, but within there is room for 200 sail of ships. It is one of the safest in the world, and wants for no accommodations that nature can furnish. On the south side there is also another very fine harbour, besides Buenos Aires: the Spaniards call it the Ensenada de Barragon.

Buenos Aires can indeed boast a healthy climate, but it is very subject to sudden thunder and lightning, with terrible squalls of wind and rain, which generally do much damage. Here all garden seeds brought from Europe grow wild in two years after they are sown; nor does any tree whatever grow to a large size. At a small distance from Montevideo, is a hill enriched with gold mines, and some diamonds, which the Portuguese from Rio Grande, come to gather in the River Negro, or the Black River, which empties itself into the River of Plate, a little above Montevideo.

In August 1745, I received orders from the Governor of Buenos Aires to go to Montevideo, to embark for Europe. The Governor of the latter place treated me in a much handsomer manner than the Governor of Buenos Aires. He invited me to dinner on the day of my arrival there, appointed me a room, and told me I might go where I would on my parole. The same day, in the evening, I had a general visit from the officers of the garrison, who behaved to me with great politeness. Next day I had another visit from the officers of the man-of-war that lay in the harbour, among whom were two Irish captains, one Scotch captain, and one English lieutenant, all belonging to Pizarro's fleet.

Montevideo is a newly settled town, has but few inhabitants, and little trade. Now and then a register-ship [vessel authorized to trade with the Spanish-Americam colonies?, Ed.] puts in, and here she gets a pilot to conduct her to Buenos Aires. The garrison consists of two companies of foot, and one of dragoons, all regular troops from Old Spain, but in all they do not amount to above a hundred men. On the point going to the harbour is the fort, which mounts fifteen pieces of cannon. The citadel which they are building here, and which will command both sea, and land, and the river, is foursquare; at each corner is a bastion, mounting sixteen guns, so that the citadel mounts in all sixty-four pieces of cannon. Some other forts are also begun, which when finished will make the place very strong; but while I was there a stop was put to the work, probably for want of money, or some particular materials. The town is finely situated, in a pleasant country, abounding in all the necessaries of life. They might make a vast deal [quantity, Ed.] of wine, if they would cultivate their vines, the few they have planted yielding very plentifully.

I stayed here from the middle of August till the thirteenth of October, when I embarked on board the Spanish man-of-war above-mentioned, in order to return to Europe. On board this ship I found sixteen English prisoners, who had been taken two years before, in the River of Plate. They belonged to the Philip, Captain Penkethman[?], whom the Spanish merchants treacherously and barbarously murdered. They went on board to trade, but found an opportunity to kill the captain, with eight or nine of his people, and then made themselves master of the vessel.

October the 17th, N. S.[?] being got out of sight of land, about nine o'clock at night, as I was going to bed, something fell down upon the quarter-deck, which, as the ship was in a very bad condition, I imagined was one of her masts or yards carried away, of which I had all along been apprehensive. But the noise being repeated, and growing louder, I got up to see what was the matter; but as I was going up the after-ladder, I was saluted with a blow on the head which knocked me down. Presently after I saw a soldier drop down dead. All the ship's company were now in an uproar, crying out, a Mutiny ! a Mutiny ! Hereupon I went to my berth, and sat down, waiting the issue. At last seeing several officers and men wounded, while others were killed outright, I enquired the cause of so much bloodshed, and was informed that twelve Indians from the plains of Buenos Aires, whom the Spaniards had taken prisoners and were carrying to Spain for galley-slaves, had risen upon the captors, and seemed as if resolved to be cut to pieces rather than be carried into slavery. Hearing this, I went on the forecastle, where I found the Irish and Scots captains, with most of the Spanish officers, all in confusion; for by this time the twelve Indians had made themselves masters of the quarterdeck, and not a Spaniard dared attack them. Fearing they would set fire to the ship, which they might easily have done, all the nettings on the quarterdeck being full of hay for the cattle which were on board, I therefore proposed to go on the quarterdeck, and attack them sword in hand. I was bravely seconded by one of the Irish officers, who though an old man, had as much courage as the youngest aboard. Followed by a few others, we attacked both gangways at once, pressed the Indians hard, and killed their cacique or captain, and one other. Their captain (whom they called a king, and whose name was Gallidana [Anson's chronicler Walters gives the name as Orellana, Ed.]) was a very brave fellow; during the whole action, he continually encouraged his men, by putting his hand to his mouth, and making the noise they call the war-whoop; and crying out, We are brave Indians, but the Spaniards are poltroons [cowards, Ed.], or words to that effect. As long as he spoke, his men stood their ground, though attacked two ways at once; but when he fell, and as soon as his voice ceased, they all got on the rails of the quarterdeck, and jumped overboard; crying out, though you have killed our king, you shan't have the pleasure of killing us.

The enemy having thus fled the field, the Spaniards began to look after their dead and wounded. They found eleven men slain outright, among whom were the master of the ship and two mates. Thirty-eight were wounded, five of whom died of their wounds. A Jesuit also had his arm broken, and was otherwise very much hurt. All this havoc did twelve Indians (armed with nothing but knives, and some of the double-head shot, flung in the middle, with which they knocked down the Spaniards) make among 444 men that were aboard, among whom were thirty-two commissioned officers, most of them formerly belonging to other ships of Pizarro's squadron, which had been lost.

After this unlucky affair, nothing occurred to us but what is common at sea, till we arrived on the coast of Portugal; when the appearance of some ships put the Spaniards into a great fright, and they immediately confined me and the other prisoners. They were under arms three days and three nights, and it is certain they had good reason for their fears. For in the first place the ship was very rich, having upwards of five millions of dollars on board, though not all registered. Secondly, she was in great want of hands, and those that were on board were very weak and sickly.

January 20th 1745-6, we arrived at the port of Corcubion, near Cape Finisterre; where I waited twenty days while the ship went round. Coming to Ferrol, I was ordered to Madrid, where, on the day after my arrival, I was introduced to one of the Ministry, who after asking me some questions, ordered me to a room till further notice. Two days after I was called for again, and he enquired of me the particulars of Mr. Anson's voyage; to which I answered in general, that I was only a petty officer in the fleet, and that all my business was to do as I was ordered by my superiors. When they made me offers of entering into their service, I plainly refused, telling them I would rather be a common sailor in the service of my own King, than an officer under another. When I begged to be set at liberty, and to go home by the way of Portugal, the Minister said he would acquaint His Majesty with my demand, and that I should soon have an answer. Next day I waited on the same Minister, and he ordered me to go to the Secretary at War's Office, where I should have a passport to Lisbon. I went directly and got the passport, with fifteen dollars for my travelling charges; and then I would have set out immediately, but the weather being bad, was obliged to stay at Madrid five days longer; and when I did set out, I found it almost impossible to travel, the heavy rains had so spoiled the roads; but the most disagreeable circumstance, was the lightness of my purse, which rendered my journey very uncomfortable indeed. At last it pleased God that I got safe to Lisbon, where I no sooner arrived, than I waited on the English consul, who told me that the Edinburgh, Commodore Coats was going from thence to England. Hereupon I waited on the Commodore, and desired my passage home, which he readily granted. After staying at Lisbon only three days, I embarked for England, and in six more arrived at Plymouth; thus happily surmounting, through the mercy of the Almighty, a long and unfortunate voyage of five years and eight months.

From Plymouth I went to Portsmouth in the same ship, and proceeded directly to London, where I arrived in the beginning of May, 1746; and informed the Lords of the Admiralty of my arrival, by a petition to their Lordships. Speaking at the same time with Mr. Corbet, Secretary to the Admiralty, I found, to my great surprise, that their Lordships had been told by Captain Cheap, that I was in the Spanish service! That this was a false aspersion, the public will hardly require any other proof than the reading [of] the foregoing narrative. If I had been in the Spanish service, how could I have acquired a passport /4/ from a Minister of Spain; and how could I likewise arrive here in England so soon after the Captain? Upon the whole, I hope that what I have here written will be sufficient to satisfy the public of my innocence, and clear me of what is so wrongfully laid to my charge.

Alexander Campbell

4. This passport I sent enclosed in a letter to Mr. Secretary Corbet.