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Encyclopedia > Jemmy Button
HMS "Beagle" (centre), watercolour by Owen Stanley (1841)
HMS "Beagle" (centre), watercolour by Owen Stanley (1841)

Orundellico, known as "Jemmy Button", (c. 18151864) was a native Fuegian of the Yaghan (or Yamana) tribe from islands around Tierra del Fuego, in modern Chile and Argentina. He was brought to England by Captain FitzRoy on the HMS Beagle and became a celebrity for a period. HMS Beagle (1841 watercolor by Owen Stanley) The two-dimensional work of art depicted in this image is in the public domain in the United States and in those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years. ... HMS Beagle (1841 watercolor by Owen Stanley) The two-dimensional work of art depicted in this image is in the public domain in the United States and in those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years. ... The Battle of New Orleans 1815 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... 1864 (MDCCCLXIV) was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... The Yaghan or Yamana were an indigenous people of Tierra del Fuego. ... The Yaghan or Yamana were an indigenous people of Tierra del Fuego. ... Tierra del Fuego (Spanish: Land of Fire) is an archipelago at the southernmost tip of South America. ... Royal motto (French): Dieu et mon droit (Translated: God and my right) Englands location (dark green) within the United Kingdom (light green), with the Republic of Ireland (blue) to its west Languages English Capital London Largest city London Area – Total Ranked 1st UK 130,395 km² Population – Total (mid... Robert FitzRoy Vice Admiral Robert FitzRoy (July 5, 1805 - April 30, 1865) achieved lasting fame as the captain of HMS Beagle and as a pioneering meteorologist who made accurate weather forecasting a reality, also proving an able surveyor and hydrographer as well as Governor of New Zealand. ... HMS Beagle was a Cherokee class 10-gun brig of the Royal Navy, named after the beagle, a breed of dog. ...


In 1830, Captain Robert FitzRoy, at the command of the first expedition of the famous Beagle, took a group of hostages from the Fuegian indigenous people after one of his boats was stolen. He decided to take four of the young Fuegian hostages all the way to England "to become useful as interpreters, and be the means of establishing a friendly disposition towards Englishmen on the part of their countrymen." He seems to have shown great concern for the four, feeding them before his own officers and crew and intending them to be educated and Christianised so that they could improve the conditions of their kin. Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix commemorates the July Revolution 1830 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Robert FitzRoy Vice Admiral Robert FitzRoy (July 5, 1805 - April 30, 1865) achieved lasting fame as the captain of HMS Beagle and as a pioneering meteorologist who made accurate weather forecasting a reality, also proving an able surveyor and hydrographer as well as Governor of New Zealand. ... A hostage is a person (sometimes another entity) which is held by a captor (often a criminal abductor) in order to compel another party (relative, employer, government. ... Indigenous peoples are: Peoples living in an area prior to colonization by a state Peoples living in an area within a nation-state, prior to the formation of a nation-state, but who do not identify with the dominant nation. ...


The names given to the Fuegians by the crew were: York Minster, Jemmy Button, Fuegia Basket and Boat Memory. Their original names were, respectively: el'leparu, o'run-del'lico and yok'cushly. Boat Memory died of smallpox shortly after his arrival to England, and so his name is lost. Smallpox (also known by the Latin names Variola or Variola vera) is a highly contagious viral disease unique to humans. ...


Jemmy Button was 'paid for' with a mother of pearl button, hence his name. It is not clear whether his family willingly accepted the sale or he was simply abducted. A piece of nacre Nacre, also known as mother of pearl, is an organic mixture of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) in the form of platy crystals of aragonite and conchiolin (a scleroprotein). ... A small flat button Metal, plastic, and leather shank buttons. ...


The Beagle arrived in Plymouth in mid-October 1830. The newspapers soon started publishing details of the exotic visitors and they became celebrities. In London, they met King William IV. Fuegia Basket, only a young girl, got a bonnet from Queen Adelaide herself. Plymouth is a city in the South West of England, or alternatively the Westcountry, and is situated within the traditional county of Devon. ... Look up October in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix commemorates the July Revolution 1830 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... London is the capital city of the United Kingdom and of England and is the most populous city in the European Union. ... William IV (William Henry) (21 August 1765 – 20 June 1837) was King of the United Kingdom and of Hanover from 26 June 1830 until his death. ... Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen (Adelaide Louise Theresa Caroline Amelia) ( 13 August 1792 - 2 December 1849 ) as Queen Adelaide was the Queen consort of King William IV of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. ...


One year later, the Beagle returned the three surviving Fuegians home, still captained by FitzRoy and at great expense to himself. He took with him a young naturalist, Charles Darwin. In his lifetime Charles Darwin gained international fame as an influential scientist examining controversial topics: portrait by Julia Margaret Cameron. ...


After initial difficulty recalling his language and customs, Jemmy was soon out of his European clothes and habits. A few months after his arrival, he was seen emaciated, naked save for a loincloth and long-haired. Darwin was appalled at Jemmy's resistance to returning to England, and preferred to relate that to the presence of his "young and nice looking wife", Lassaweea. It appears, however, that he and the others had taught their families some English and he was happy and healthier, given the disease and diet to which he had been exposed away from home. The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...


Some twenty years later a group of Christian missionaries, the Patagonian Missionary Society, arrived to find Jemmy still had a remarkable grasp of English. Some time later in 1859, the group was massacred at Wulaia Bay by the Fuegians, supposedly led by Jemmy and his family. A Christian is a follower of Jesus Christ whom they believe is the saviour of the world. ... A missionary is a propagator of religion, often an evangelist or other representative of a religious community who works among those outside of that community. ... 1859 (MDCCCLIX) is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar). ...


Bruce Chatwin wrote a fictionalised version of Orundellico's capture in his book, In Patagonia. Bruce Charles Chatwin (May 13, 1940 - January 18, 1989) was a British novelist and travel writer. ... In Patagonia is a travel book in the English language, written by Bruce Chatwin and published in 1977. ...


Another fictionalised version of the story can be found in the book La Tierra del Fuego by Sylvia Iparraguirre.


See also

A watercolour by ships artist Conrad Martens painted during the survey of Tierra del Fuego shows the Beagle being hailed by native Fuegians. ... The name American Aborigines has been proposed by some archaeologists and anthropologists for hypothetical peoples who lived in in South America long before hunter-gatherer migrants from Siberia (who are believed to be the ancestors of todays Amerindians) crossed the Bering Land Bridge. ...

Further reading

  • Savage - the Life and Times of Jeremy Button by Nick Hazlewood ISBN 0340739118
  • This Thing of Darkness by Harry Thompson ISBN 0-7553-0281-8

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Chapter X. Darwin, Charles Robert. 1909-14. The Voyage of the Beagle. The Harvard Classics (9776 words)
Jemmy Button was a universal favourite, but likewise passionate; the expression of his face at once showed his nice disposition.
Jemmy was short, thick, and fat, but vain of his personal appearance; he used always to wear gloves, his hair was neatly cut, and he was distressed if his well-polished shoes were dirtied.
Jemmy was now in a district well known to him, and guided the boats to a quiet pretty cove named Woollya, surrounded by islets, every one of which and every point had its proper native name.
Jemmy Button (443 words)
Jemmy Button was paid for with a mother of pearl button, hence his name.
Darwin was appalled at Jemmy's resistance to returning to England, and preferred to relate that to the presence of his "young and nice looking wife", Lassaweea.
It appears, however, that he and the others had taught their families some English and he was happy and healthier, given the disease and diet to which he had been exposed away from home.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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