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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 7th. — On Wednesday, the seventh, at five o'clock, A. M., we again got under way, and steered to the south, with the wind from west-north-west, and a light rain. At ten, A. M., we passed Cape Froward, and changed our course, first to west, then to west-north-west, which is that of the strait from this cape to the Pacific Ocean. In passing this angle of the strait, we saw many of the natives on the shore, apparently just landed or landing from a fishing excursion. But no sooner did they see our vessel than they abandoned their canoes, and all started for a neighbouring wood, where they remained until we had doubled the cape, and left it behind off our starboard quarter. These Indians are a distinct race from the Patagonians, as will appear presently.

This unexpected timidity on their part led me to suspect that they had lately experienced foul play from some civilised, Christian navigator, who, conscious of physical power, had forgotten humanity, and perhaps justice. I therefore came to the resolution of opening an intercourse with the next tribe I fell in with; and, if possible, of inspiring them with confidence towards foreigners and strangers.

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