24th November 1834

Darwin’s On the Origin of Species was published 150 years ago today on the 24 November 1859

The Yawl & whale-boat under the command of Mr Sullivan proceeded to examine the correctness of the charts of the East Coast of Chiloe, & to meet the Beagle at the Southern extremity at the Isd of S. Pedro. — I accompanied the expedition: instead of going in the boats, the first day I hired horses to take me to Chacao. The road followed the coast, every now & then crossing promontories covered with fine forests. — In these shaded paths, it is absolutely necessary to make the whole road of logs of trees, such as described on the main road to Castro. — otherwise the ground is so damp from the suns rays never penetrating the evergreen foliage, that neither man nor horse would be able to pass along. — I arrived at the village of Chacao shortly after the tents belonging to the boats had been pitched. — The land in this neighbourhead is extensively cleared & there are many quiet & most picturesque nooks in the forest. Chacao formerly was the principal port; but many vessels have been lost owing to the dangerous currents & rocks in the Straits; the Spanish government burnt the Church & thus arbitrarily compelled the greater number of inhabitants to migrate to S. Carlos.

In a short time the bare-footed Governor's son came down to reconnoitre us; seeing the English flag hoisted to the yawls mast head 492 he asked with the utmost indifference whether it was always to fly at Chacao. In several places, the inhabitants were much astonished at the appearance of Men of wars boats, & hoped & believed it was the forerunners of a Spanish fleet coming to recover the Island from the patriot Government of Chili. — All the men in power however had been informed of our intended visit & were exceedingly civil. — Whilst eating our supper, the Governor paid us a visit; he had been a Lieut. Colonel in the Spanish service, but was now miserably poor. — He gave us two sheep & accepted in return two cotton handkerchiefs, some brass trinkets & a little tobacco.

Captain Fitzroy’s Journal:
Lieutenant Sulivan set out with the yawl and a whale-boat, to survey the east side of Chilóe and the islets in the Gulf of Ancud. With him were Messrs. Darwin, Usborne, Stewart and Kent; Douglas as a pilot, and ten men. Two days afterwards, the Beagle sailed, to examine the western coast of Chilóe, and the Chonos Archipelago.

Syms Covington Journal:
Left the ship, the 24th at San Carlos. Went in a yawl to survey about the different islands of the archipelago, which are very woody and the ground, moist. We came to an anchor every night; pitched our tents, and of course, slept on shore with a watch, or lookout man, throughout the night. As most of the islands are peopled, we always had plenty of fresh provisions, and the expenses of which were very little, as we often bought a sheep for two or three negro-heads of tobacco; pigs, fowls, eggs, potatoes and bread in like manner. And also milk. The natives were very sociable and willing to oblige in general. Patches of cultivated ground were to be seen on all the islands which we passed and stopt at.

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