A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 17 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 787 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 17.

A faithful NARRATIVE of the Loss of his Majesty’s Ship the WAGER, on a desolate Island in the Latitude 47 South, Longitude 81:  40 West:  With the Proceedings and Conduct of the Officers and Crew, and the Hardships they endured in the said Island for the Space of five Months; their bold Attempt for Liberty, in coasting the Southern Part of the vast Region of Patagonia; setting out with upwards of eighty Souls in their Boats; the Loss of the Cutter; their Passage through the Streights of Magellan; an Account of their Manner of Living in the Voyage on Seals, Wild Horses, Dogs, &c. and the incredible Hardships they frequently underwent for want of Food of any Kind; a Description of the several Places where they touched in the Streights of Magellan, with an Account of the Inhabitants, &c. and their safe Arrival to the Brazil, after sailing one thousand Leagues in a Long-boat; their Reception from the Portuguese; an Account of the Disturbances at Rio Grand; their Arrival at Rio Janeiro; their Passage and Usage on board a Portuguese Ship to Lisbon; and their Return to England.

Interspersed with many entertaining and curious Observations, not taken Notice of by Sir John Narborough, or any other Journalist: 

The Whole compiled by Persons concerned in the Facts related, viz.


Late Gunner and Carpenter of the WAGER.

Bold were the Men who on the Ocean first
Spread the new Sails, when Shipwreck was the worst;
More Dangers now from Man alone we find,
Than from the Rocks, the Billows, and the Wind
.  WALLER.[119]




We have presumed to put the following sheets under your protection, though we have not the honour of being personally known to you, nor have applied to you for the liberty of using your celebrated name on this occasion.

As this book is a faithful extract from the journals of two British seamen, late officers in his majesty’s navy, we thought we could not more properly dedicate it than to a British Admiral.

We know your detestation of flattery; and you know, from long experience, that a British seaman hath a spirit too brave to stoop to so degenerate a practice.

The following pages, we hope, will recommend themselves to you, because they are written in a plain maritime style, and void of partiality and prejudice.

The distresses mentioned in this book have perhaps not been equalled in our age; and we question whether any navigators living have, for so long a continuance, suffered such variety of hardships, as the unfortunate people of the Wager.

After surviving the loss of the ship, and combating with famine and innumerable difficulties, a remnant of us are returned to our native country; but even here we are still unfortunate, destitute of employment, almost without support, or any prospect of being restored to our stations, till some important questions are decided, which cannot be cleared up till the arrival of our late captain, or at least the commodore.

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 17 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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