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Historical Materials from Southern Patagonia
Narrative of Four Voyages (extract), 1823
a North American adventurer meets the canoe people of the Strait of Magellan
Journal -- May 1823:    10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18 

May 6th. — Having recruited our strength and spirits by sleep and refreshment, we again went on shore, and examined the ancient ruins of Philipville. During the day we also shot several otters, and saw many of the Fuegian natives on the opposite shore. We likewise visited the fort which had been erected to protect the Spanish colony from the natives, and to command the strait. It appeared to be but little decayed, considering the length of time it had been abandoned. This fortress was built only eighty years after the first discovery of the American continent by Columbus; and a very little labour would now restore it to its original condition, and render it an effective protection against any attacks which the natives could make. The ruins of the town bear much stronger marks of the withering touch of time. The remains of some stone edifices are yet visible; but the walls have generally crumbled into complete decay. After examining this part of the country to our satisfaction, and inspecting a number of wigwams of a conical form, which the natives had recently deserted, apparently from fear of hostilities on our part, we prepared to leave Port Famine, and double the cape which forms the centre angle of the strait, and the most southern extremity of the continent.

Source: "Narrative of Four Voyages", Capt. Benjamin Morrell Jr., New York, 1832
Transcribed: April 2007