January 25, 1820 – About 11 A.M. , one of the mates aloft cheered us with the grateful note of “Land ho!” The smiles of joy and glow of animation appeared through our little circle, and at 1 P.M. our eyes were gratified with a full view of the North Eastern part of Terra Del Fuege, stretching along 6 miles or more on our right. This is the first we have seen during three months, since our dear native shores receded from our view. But alas, how unlike our beloved N. England. Here no temples of the living God left their lofty spires to heaven in honor to him who of old laid the foundations of these snow-capt mountains, and weighed their rugged hills in his balance. No joyful sound of the church-going bell invites the wretched inhabitants to the feast of the gospel. – No sun of righteousness softens their icy hearts, while they not only cover themselves with the skins but actually wear the nature of the wild beasts of the forests. When we think of our highly favored country we are ready to exclaim, “We shall never look upon its like again!” But while we have occasion to weep over the wickedness of men who dwell in these dark and dreary wilds and contrast their condition with our countrymen, we remember with grief that even there are many thousands who derive no saving benefits from the gospel, thousands who obey not nor even hear a preached gospel, thousands whose ears are saluted from Sabbath to Sabbath with the sound of the inviting church bell, whose feet never enter the sanctuary of God to worship in his presence, and thousands more who seem to breathe the atmosphere of Christianity, inhale the contagion of death, and labor to obscure the glory and prevent the efficiency of the life-giving doctrines of the cross. But we are comforted with assurance that many thousands there will not stumble nor rest until all our countrymen, and all the inhabitants of America from the northern to this southern extremity, and all the dwellers in the sea shall enjoy the best means of grace and salvation. Is it too much to hope that a stream from that benevolence now rising in the American church will soon roil through South America, carrying health and salvation even to the cold regions of Cape Horn. (Thaddeus Journal)
Jan; 25th. Tuesday afternoon, 2 o’clock. I leave the busy, animated little multitude, to say to my dear sisters, that after no sight of land for thirteen weeks and two days, it now cheers our sight. The bold coast of Terra-de-Fuego presents itself to view; its snow- capt mountains becoming more grand, as we, with great rapidity, draw nearer to them. We have looked forward, with trembling, to these regions, yet when here find more rapid sailing and as apparent security, as in any part of our voyage. I desire that we may rightly notice it. We have still a dangerous coast to pass, before we can be in the smooth waters of the Pacific. And there, may we bear in mind, that we shall need a divine Pilot.
I should love to tell my scholars that they might look on their maps and imagine me entering the Straits of Le- Maire. Dear Girls! I shall want to live in their remembrance. 0, that I might be permitted to hear, from time to time, that one and another had set out for the kingdom of heaven I Might the day come when I should give some one the hand of greeting on heathen shores! ‘ The thought is not new. I have looked round upon them, with similar feelings, when they had been ignorant of what was passing in the mind. 4 o’clock. I have just laid aside my dissertation which I have been set about, this week, to run on deck and see how land looks now. The mountains appear nobly I Looking round for my best friend, and not seeing him at once, I sent my eyes up mast-head and spied him upon the main sail- yard. He has an advantage, in prospect. The day continues very fine. I must go to my work. A regular system has been strenuously recommended to all. It is variously regarded. I will give you some parts of mine. It commences with the hour 6 in the morning, closing with 10, evening. From 9 to 12 logic and theological reading—from 12 to 1 recitation of my class—1 to 2 dinner and exercise—2 to 6 miscellaneous reading, writing, and Owyhee language—from 6 to 8 tea, singing, social intercourse and exercise. I should love to gratify all my many dear friends, with a free perusal of every thing communicated, tho not directed to them individually, but you will find things, occasionally, which I would not have you read. Your own judgment will dictate without my specifying. Assure me you will regard this, and you will have things, Providence giving me the opportunity to write, both little and great, as they interest me. I do desire to improve my time, for soon, should life be spared and our wishes granted, we must make the best use of the little stock of talents which we have. (Sybil Bingham)
January 25. 1820. This morning. 10 Oc., after a voyage of 96 days. we made the island of Tierra-del-Fuego which to the naked eye, appeared like a distant cloud rising above the surface of the water.
It is not easy to describe our feelings at the sight of land once more. Joy hung upon every countenance, while each heart seemed to palpitate with peculiar emotions. (Lucia Ruggles Holman)
Jan. 25th, 12 o’clock. After sailing 95 days without seeing land, we this morning at 10 o’clock with joyful eyes and hearts discovered the Island of Terra del Fuego, about ten leagues ahead. Though it had more the appearance of a cloud than land yet the bare thought that it was land gave us pleasing sensations. Joy ran through my bosom, and for a moment I almost forgot that I was seasick. I have not enjoyed health for a single moment since I came on board the Thaddeus, nor do I expect to until I reach Owhyhee (Hawaii), but I would be far from complaining.
The Lord lays his hand gently upon me and I will rejoice that I may suffer for his sake, I feel as I did before I left America, an increasing desire to spend my life in a remote corner of the globe, and wear out in the cause of my dear Redeemer. I am interrupted by the appearance of a large whale alongside. 2 o’clock M. The land appears in ful view before us not more than 6 or 8 imiles distant. We are sailing along its N. E. coast in pursuit of the straits Le Maire thro’ which we hope to pass if successful in finding them. Terra del Fuego is the most uneven country I ever saw. It appears to be little less than a continued, map of barren hills, and lofty ragged mountains, some of whose tops reach above the clouds, and are white with perpetual snows. It is indeed a dreary land. In this bleak region mariners always expect roughest weather but we are highly favored and have been for several days past. To-day it is uncommonly pleasant; not very cold and a fine breeze wafts us 7 knots or miles an hour.
Dear friends unite with us in blessing him whose power controls the raging wind, and says peace be still. -5 o’clock P. M. The strait begins to open before us, and we have a fair prospect of a pleasant passage through. Should the present wind continue we shall probably see O. H. to-morrow. – Who knows but we shall be wafted directly around the long dreaded cape without experiencing any storms; but perhaps such a passage was never known. We have a safe Pilot an Almighty guide who stands at our helm, he can do all things.
5 o’clock. Staten land to the E. of us, is if possible more uneven than Terra del Fuego. The mountains rise one above another in a great number of sharp and lofty peaks, some in the form of pyramids and some in the form of a sugar loaf. In the sides of some appear vast holes, which probably are the effect of volcanic eruptions.’
Now near cape St. Diego at the N. W. entrance of the strait. Few ships pass through here as it is considered dangerous; the passage narrow [15-miles in width] and both shores lined, with solid rock. But as we have a fair wind Capt. B. thinks it better to attempt a passage through, than sail around Staten land which would be 200 miles farther. – We have entered the mouth of the strait but as it is almost night and finding a very strong current sitting in against us, we shall lie to for the night. Farewell dear friends till morning. May the God of Isreal bless you and give you repose; May he be mindful of us also and be our refuge and sage defence. (Samuel & Nancy Ruggles)
Jan. 25, 1820.-After having been out ninety-four days, and witnessing nothing but floating barques like our own, some monsters of the deep, the expansive ocean and the wide-spread heavens, I can not describe to you the joyful emotions which the sight of land has this day produced. We have a fair view of Terra del Fuego on the right, and Staten Land on the left. The Captain has this evening heaved to, viewing it as dangerous passing the straight in the night, from the liability of meeting ~ gale in this tempestuous region. (Lucy Goodale Thurston)
Jan. 25th. Ninety-four days from Boston. This morning our ears were saluted with the cry, “land ho.” It proved to be the Island of Terra del Fuego. This island has but little appearance of verdure. It seems to be mostly made up of sand-banks and rocky mountains, whose tops are covered with snow. One would hardly think it possible for human beings to dwell in so dreary and solitary a place. Could you but cast one look at this heathen land, where wretchedness takes up her abode, and them reflect upon the happiness of civilized society, methinks you would joyfully say, “Go my dear children, go, proclaim, Salvation through Emmanuel’s name: To distant Isles the tidings bear, And plant the Rose of Sharon there.” We are about to enter the straits of Le Maire which separates Staten Land from Terra del Fuego, and as Capt. B. has never yet been through it is thought advisable to lie too for the night. (Mercy Partridge Whitney Journal)
25. – This morning were saluted by the joyful sound of ‘land ho!’ It was that inhospitable island of Terra Del Fuego – Three months have now relapsed since we placed our feet on the solid earth. We had been tossed and rolled about till our limbs were weary with shaking, & our eyes satiated with beholding tempests. My pleasure would be much increased could I go on shore & refresh a little. As we draw near, there are some appearances of verdant spots, but we can see little except mountains covered with forests & huge masses of rocks whose hoaty tops are covered with snow although it is now midsummer. (Samuel Whitney Journal)