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The British Presence
in Southern Patagonia

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Experiences of British settlers and visitors, described in their own words [contributions welcome]

Memories
period, place person subject
1874
Punta Arenas, Chile
William GREENWOOD Story of a double shipwreck on the coast of Tierra del Fuego, involving a group of early settlers.
c1890-1900
Punta Arenas, Chile
Adela JACOBS Memories of her childhood in Patagonia, with background of how her parents came to Patagonia.
c1910-1936
Tierra del Fuego
Flora THOMPSON
(née Cameron, wife of Robert Thompson)
Stories of travel from New Zealand to South America, and incidents from life in Tierra del Fuego. (recorded c1970)
1911-c1919
Magallanes, Chile
Memories of childhood (recorded c1990)
1914-c1960
Puerto Deseado, Argentina
Marjorie Elizabeth GRANT Memories of early life (published c1988) [in Spanish]
1929-1947
Río Gallegos, Argentina
Helen GOODERHAM Memories of early city life (written 2010) [in Spanish]
1949-1965
Ultima Esperanza, Chile
Jennie SAUNDERS
(née Heyhirst, wife of George Saunders)
Magazine article describes her life as manager's wife on a company ranch (written c1998)
Letters
year, place person subject
1885
Punta Arenas, Chile
Thomas FENTON Letter to his mother (in Ireland?); financial success with sheep ranching; need for domestic servants; arrangements for his brother Arthur to find employment in Santa Cruz; descriptions of his young children.
1888
Magallanes, Chile
George WILSON Letter from a young shepherd to his older brother, who is working in Africa; he pleads with him to come and join him in Patagonia, with visions of quick riches.
1889-1890
Magallanes, Chile
George E HARRIS Two letters from a junior ranch manager describing his impressions and experiences of his new employment.
1894
Conon Bridge, Ross-shire, Scotland
Roderick MACLEAN, brother of John MACLEAN, pioneer rancher in southern Patagonia
Letter to his older brother; gives news of family and neighbours; explains his wish to emigrate; begs for employment.
1899
Punta Arenas, Chile
Claude JACOBS Two letters from a 9-year-old boy to his father, away in Britain, giving family and community news, and mentioning shipping movements in the port.
1912-1913
Puerto Deseado, Argentina
Donald & Robert NICOLSON Four letters to a brother in Scotland, describing the hardships and uncertainties of setting up a sheep-ranch in an undeveloped district.
1915
Punta Arenas, Chile
Ruby CLARKSON (née Patterson, wife of Bill Clarkson) Letter to her mother in Scotland gives an account of her recent wedding - the guests, gifts and related events.
1918
Puerto Natales, Ultima Esperanza, Chile
John MACLEAN, pioneer rancher in southern Patagonia Letter to the Governor of Magallanes; appeals for official intervention to prevent his being expelled from the land he currently occupies; summarizes his experiences of 35 years in the region. [in Spanish]
1919
Puerto Santa Cruz, Argentina
Mary Ellen BETTS
(née Wilkinson, widow of Hugh MacLean, wife of William Henry Betts)
Letter to her brother-in-law giving family news. Describes how the town had developed in its first 2 decades.
1920-1921
Río Gallegos, Argentina
Charles POCOCK (farm manager at Ea. Laguna Colorada) Three letters to the owner, Charles Henstock, reporting on recent events, with especial emphasis on the strike of rural workers, which is making things difficult.
Reports
period, place person subject
1922
Argentina
H. W. WILSON, British Consul General in Argentina Official report of road trip through Southern Patagonia, meeting British sheep farmers and local officials.
Page updated: 5-II-2014