17th January 1769

Tierra del Fuego
In Success Bay
Fresh Gales at South-South-West and West-South-West with rain and Snow, and, of Course, very cold weather; notwithstanding we kept geting on board Wood and Water, and finished the Survey of the Bay. Mr. Banks and his Party not returning this Evening as I expected, gave me great uneasiness, as they were not prepared for Staying out the Night. However, about Noon they returned in no very Comfortable Condition, and what was still worse 2 blacks, servants to Mr. Banks, had perished in the Night with Cold. Great part of the day they landed was spent before  they got through the Woods, after which they advanced so far into the Country that they were so far from being able to return that night, and with much difficulty they got to a place of Tolerable Shelter where they could make a fire: these 2 men being Intrusted with great part of the Liquor (that was for the whole party) had made too free with it, and Stupified themselves to that degree that they either could or would not Travel, but laid themselves down in a place where there was not the least thing to Shelter them from the inclemency of the night. This was about 1/4 of a Mile from where the rest took up their Quarters, and notwithstanding their repeated Endeavours, they could not get them to move one Step farther, and the bad travelling made it impossible for any one to Carry them, so that they were Obliged to leave them, and the next morning they were both found dead.

Joseph Banks Journal
The Morning now dawnd and shewd us the earth coverd with snow as well as all the tops of the trees, nor were the snow squalls at all less Frequent for seldom many minutes were fair together; we had no hopes now but of staying here as long as the snow lasted and how long that would be God alone knew.

About 6 O'Clock the sun came out a little and we immediately thought of sending to see whether the poor wretches we had been so anzious about last night were yet alive, three of our people went but soon returnd with the melancholy news of their being both dead. The snow continued to fall tho not quite so thick as it had done; about 8 a small breeze of wind sprung up and with the additional power of the sun began (to our great Joy) to clear the air, and soon after we saw the snow begin to fall from the tops of the trees, a sure sign of an aproaching thaw. Peter continued very ill but said he thought himself able to walk. Mr Buchan thank god was much better than I could have expected, so we agreed to dress our vulture and prepare ourselves to set out for the ship as soon as the snow should be a little more gone off: so he was skinnd and cut into ten equal shares, every man cooking his own share which furnishd about 3 mouthfulls of hot meat, all the refreshment we had had since our cold dinner yesterday and all we were to expect till we should come to the ship.

About ten we set out and after a march of about 3 hours arrivd at the beach,, fortunate in having met with much better roads in our return than we did in going out, as well as in being nearer to the ship than we had any reason to hope; for on reviewing our track as well as we could from the ship we found that we had made a half circle round the hills, instead of penetrating as we thought we had done into the inner part of the cuntrey. With what pleasure then did we congratulate each other on our safety no one can tell who has not been in such circumstances.

Sydney Parkinson’s Journal
We had not been long arrived before some Indians appeared on the beach at the head of the bay; the captain, Mr. Banks, and Dr. Solander, went on shore, and soon after returned on board with three of them, whom we cloathed in jackets; gave them some bread and beef, part of which they ate, and carried the remainder with them ashore: We gave them also some rum and brandy; but, after tasting it, they refused to drink any more, intimating, by signs, that it burnt their throats. This circumstance may serve to corroborate the opinion of those, who think that water is the most natural, and best drink for mankind, as well as for other animals.

One of the Indians made several long orations to the rest; but they were utterly unintelligible to every one of us. Another of them feeing the leathern cover of a globe lie in the cabin, sound means to steal it, and secrete it under his garment, which was made of a skin of some animal, and carried it ashore, undiscovered; where he had no sooner arrived, than he shewed his prize to the very person it belonged to, and seemed to exult upon the occasion, placing it upon his head, and was highly delighted with it.

The natives make a very uncouth and savage appearance, having broad flat faces, small black eyes, low foreheads, and noses much like those of negroes, with wide nostrils, high cheeks, large mouths, and small teeth. Their hair, which is black and streight, hangs over their foreheads and ears, which; most of them had smeared with brown and red paint; but, like the rest of the original inhabitants of America, they have no beard. None of them seemed above five feet ten inches high; but their bodies are thick and robust, though their limbs are small. They wear a bunch of yarn made of guanica's* wool upon their heads, which, as well as their hair, hangs down over their foreheads. They also wear the skins of guanicas and of seals, wrapped round their shoulders, sometimes leaving the right arm uncovered. Both men and women wear necklaces, and other ornaments made of a small pearly perriwincle, very ingeniously plaited in rows with a kind of grass. We saw also an ornament-made of shells, which was ten yards long The Shells that composed it were of several sizes; the largest, about the size of a damascene stone, were placed at one end, from whence they gradually lessened to the other end of the string, where the shells were not bigger than a pepper corn. The larger ornaments are worn about their waists. Many of both sexes were painted with white, red, and brown, colours, in different parts of their bodies; and had also various dotted lines pricked on their faces. The women wear a flap of skin tied round their loins; and have also a small string round each ancle: they carry their children on their backs, and are generally employed in domestic drudgery.

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