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  •  a little interesting background, Jemmy Button (0+ / 0-)

    and Fuegia Basket were two of four natives from Tierra del Fuego that Fitzroy captured on his first Beagle-like mission. Fitzroy thought he'd return them as good english folk to better their people (Yamana/Yaghan). The young Ms Basket had a ceremony with Queen Adelaide, and shortly thereafter was caught in throes with Jemmy.  There was evidently an English stir; two years ahead of schedule Fitzroy pushed for a return expedition back to Tierra del Fuego to return them, but was turned down repeatedly by the Navy/financing.  The support of Darwin's mentor helped make the trip feasible as a science mission with Darwin plugged into the role at the last stage.

    By the way, Fitzroy had family mental health history with 1 or 2 suicides,  so could be some gradual punctuated melancholy involved.  Fitzroy's writings in the first volume (or maybe that's VI of first voyage) about his interactions with the Yamana are fascinating and dear portrayals of the people, in complete contrast to Darwins, though the Fuegian people were not his focus as they were Fitzroys.

    references: Uttermost Part of the Earth (Bridges - the son of missionary who was inspired by Darwin's portrayal of degenerated humans at the uttermost part of the Earth (Cape Horn), "Dr. Brodies Report" (Borges - fictionalization of Bridges).  Darwins' portrayal was primed via popular serialization of a seamans (Wendell?) narrative of the Yamana, that was also fictionalized in Gulliver (Yahoos).  The missionaries also made popular the Yamana's ignorance of a God or higher being.  Gusinde a Swiss ethnologist (1920's) relates (Die Feuerland-Indianer) a very neat anecdote about discovering by accident after 2 years in their presence that they believed in one supreme being.  When asked why they had hidden this information from missionaries for several decades, they said "oh we'd never tell other people about our God".  "Patagonia Revisited" (Chatwin/Theroux) mines a lot of the nuggets of how history, fiction, religion, science become blurred together in the narrative of the region.

    Just one full Yamana still lives, Cristina Calderon in Pto Williams Chile, 81 yrs old.  

    Irony: Jemmy's son led a slaughter of the entire (11) missionary group preceding the Bridges family.  

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