16th January 1833

Tierra del Fuego
The Captain took two boats to search for a good place for the settlement. We landed & walked some miles across the country. It is the only piece of flat land the Captain has ever met with in Tierra del Fuego & he consequently hoped it would be better fitted for agriculture. Instead of this it turned out to be a dreary morass only tenanted by wild geese & a few Guanaco. The section on the coast showed the turf or peat to be about 6 feet thick & therefore quite unfit for our purposes. We then searched in different places both in & out of the woods, but nowhere were able to penetrate to the soil; the whole country is a swamp. The Captain has in consequence determined to take the Fuegians further up the country. This place seems to be but sparingly inhabited. In one place we found recent traces; even so that the fire where limpets had been roasted was yet warm. York Minster said it had only been one man; "very bad man" & that probably he had stolen something. We found the place where he had slept. it positively afforded no more protection than the form of a hare. How very little are the habits of such a being superior to those of an animal. By day prowling along the coast & catching without art his prey, & by night sleeping on the bare ground.

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