17th & 18th January 1833

Tierra del Fuego
Spent in preparing for a long excursion in the boats. In consequence, the Captain determined to take the whole party to J. Button's country in Ponsonby Sound.

Captain Fitzroy’s Journal:
18th. Having moored the Beagle in security, and made arrangements for the occupation of those who were to remain on board, I set out with four boats (yawl and three whale-boats), carrying Matthews and the Fuegians, with all the stock of useful things which had been given to them in England.† A temporary deck having been put upon the yawl, she carried a large cargo, and was towed by the other boats when the wind was adverse. Matthews showed no sign of hesitation or reluctance; on the contrary, he was eager to begin the trial to which he had been so long looking forward. Messrs. Darwin, Bynoe [Surgeon], Hamond [Mate], Stewart [Mate], and Johnson [Midshipman], with twenty-four seamen and marines, completed the party.

My intention was to go round the north-east part of Navarin Island, along the eastern arm of the Beagle Channel, through Murray Narrow, to the spot which Jemmy called his country: there establish the Fuegians, with Matthews: leave them for a time, while I continued my route westward to explore the western arms of the channel, and part of Whale-boat Sound: and at my return thence decide whether Matthews should be left among the natives for a longer period, or return with me to the Beagle.

† By far the larger part of their property, including Matthews's outfit, was sent by Mr. Coates, Secretary of the Church Missionary Society.

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