Joven Daniel

Last updated
Name:Soverence [1]
Commissioned: 1831 [1]
Fate: Acquired by the Chilean Navy to serve as transport in the War of the Confederation
Naval Jack of Chile.svg Chile
Commissioned: 1838 [1]
Renamed:Joven Daniel
Honours and
War of the Confederation [1]
Fate: Wrecked off the coast of Budi Lake, 1849
General characteristics
Type: Brigantine [1]
Tonnage: 180 gross tons
Notes: Built in Linn [1]
Mapuche groups in Araucania around 1850. De facto Chilean territory in blue. Grupos Mapuches.JPG
Mapuche groups in Araucanía around 1850. De facto Chilean territory in blue.

Joven Daniel was a brigantine of the Chilean Navy that entered service in 1838 serving as transport in Manuel Bulnes' expedition to Peru during the War of the Confederation. The ship became later known for its wreck off the coast of Araucanía in 1849. As it wrecked in territory outside [upper-alpha 1] Chilean government control Chilean authorities struggled to elucidate the fate of possible survivors amidst inter-indigenous accusations of looting, murder and other atrocitities among local Mapuche. The events spinning off the wreckage fueled strong anti-Mapuche sentiments in Chilean society contributing years later to the Chilean resolution to invade their hithereto independent territories.


Wreckage and aftermath

First reports

In 1849 the ship was travelling between Valdivia and Valparaíso when it wrecked at the coast between the mouths of Imperial and Toltén River. [3] More specifically it ran aground and wrecked at the rocky shore near Puancho, near Budi Lake. [4] Chilean authorities learned about the events the first week of August when a Mapuche known as Santiago Millaguir reported the events. [4]

Reportedly Millaguir had visited the site of the wreck six days after the events and said to the Chileans that the survivors had been murdered and the cargo stolen. [4] [3] Further, a surviving children would have kidnaped and then killed and surviving women raped. [5] He pointed out the people of local Mapuche cacique Curin as responsible for these misdeeds. [4] The Chilean state sent Joaquín Sayago to investigate the issue and while he failed to find Curin and his people he was able to contact the tribes of Toltén south of the place of the wreck. [5] The Mapuche of Toltén were in possession of various items from the wreck and were willing to hand back items such as paper, cloth and gold. [5] Attempts to find the graves of the supposed survivors near the beach proved unsuccessful. [5] In further enquiries Sayago and the capitanes de amigos who assisted him learned that the "general voice" among the Mapuche was that there had been no survivors of the wreck. [5] This appeared to be at odds with the Chilean investigation that described the place of the wreck as a beach where the wrecked could have reached land. [5]

New witnesses and parliament

The intendant of Valdivia sent Miguel José Cambiazo [upper-alpha 2] in charge of a military detachment north to arrest Curin and his people and bring them to justice. [5] Cambiazo returned to Valdivia with various Mapuche witnesses who described how survivors, including children and women, had been raped and murdered. [6] President Manuel Bulnes' opposition called for a punitive expedition and Mapuches prepared for a confrontation with the Chilean Army. [3] General José María de la Cruz [upper-alpha 3] who was commander of southern forces of the Chilean Army, and the likely leader of a punitive expedition, called Mapuche caciques from the area near the wreck to a parliament. [8] The Mapuche leaders that gathered showed considerable goodwill towards the Chilean interests cursing those accused of murder and theft. [8]


Mapuches handed over some of the accused of looting to be tried in Concepción and Valdivia. [8] At the trials some defendants said they had not participated in looting and while others admitted looting, all of them however denied the charges of murder because there would have been no survivors. [8] Mapuches further claimed all the loot had been given to Sayago's assistant, but the amounts said by the Mapuche did not match to what Sayago handed over back in Valdivia. [8] Thus, there was a possibility that Sayago or someone in his group were involved in embezzlement.

In a letter attached to the trial documents José Antonio Zúñiga, a soldier active in the expedition of Sayago, [upper-alpha 4] described the coast of Puancho as rocky, thus showing earlier descriptions of the site of the wreck as a beach wrong. He further put forward the thesis that murder accusations among the Mapuche originated from quarrels about the loot since many groups had rapidly gathered at the wreck site. [9] This hypothesis meant Chilean authorities would have been drawn into an inter-Mapuche conflict. [9]

Catalina Ayinman who Miguel José Cambiazo had previously brought to Valdivia to witness was called to witness again in Concepción. [9] This time she claimed that her previous "declarations" had been fabrications as whe would have been in Mehuín, far to the south at the time of the wreckage. [9] She would have been in exile there because of accusations of wichcraft from her husband and Curin who was her uncle. [9] In subsequent arguments Catalina Ayinman openly accused Miguel José Cambiazo to have fabricated with pressure and distortion her first "declarations". [10]

Bulnes ended up dismissing calls for a punitive expedition in view of its irrelevance to the eventual conquest of Araucanía. [3]

Summary of investigations regarding the wreck
Site of wreckDiffering descriptions as beaches or rocky shore
MurderGeneral denial among Mapuches, no person would have survived the wreck. At least one eyewitness of murder recanted.
GravesSaid to exist by some, but not found
LootingSome looters admits culpability
Fate of lootPartly recovered, the remaining possibly kept by Mapuches and Valdivian soldiers

Cultural impact

Painting by Raymond Monvoisin showing Elisa Bravo Jaramillo who was said to have survived the wreck to be then kidnapped by Mapuches. Monvoisin, Raymond - Naufragio del Joven Daniel -f02 det.jpg
Painting by Raymond Monvoisin showing Elisa Bravo Jaramillo who was said to have survived the wreck to be then kidnapped by Mapuches.

The wreckage had a significant cultural impact in Chile. As the details became known in Santiago they fueled a strong anti-Mapuche sentiment and reaffirmed prejudiced views that the Mapuches were brutal barbarians. [3] [7] For the first time in history the destruction of the Mapuche "race" and culture entered the public debate in Chile. [8] The strong anti-Mapuche sentiments that rose in Chilean society contributed years later to the decision to by Chile to invade their hithereto independent territories. [7]

A passenger of the ship, Elisa Bravo was particularly portrayed as a heroine in two poems by Rafael Santos in 1856. Her purported fate was soon after subject of paintings made by Raymond Monvoisin. [11]

Historian's assesment

Benjamín Vicuña Mackenna was the first historian to analyse the events concluding that Sayago was innocent of theft and Cambiazo culpable. [11] Historian Diego Barros Arana concluded no murder had occurred and Valdivian soldiers had kept part of the loot hiding this with a series of lies and misleading statements. [11] Barros Arana praised the reaction of the central authorities and his views on the subject were later adopted by other notable historians such as Francisco Antonio Encina and Ricardo Ferrando. [11] Using an indigenous source José Bengoa concludes that the murders were true, but the reliability of this source have been put into dubt as it include some fantastic elements. [12] Valdivian historian Gabriel Guarda changed mind from initially denying murders and kidnapping to admit then at least the kidnapping. [12] [13] Guarda amended his view after reading a 1863 testimony of Guillermo Cox, a traveller who said to have seen Elisa Bravo. [13]


  1. Domingo Faustino Sarmiento stated:
    Between two Chilean provinces (Concepción and Valdivia) there is a piece of land that is not a province, its language is different, it is inhabited by other people and it can still be said that it is not part of Chile. Yes, Chile is the name of the country over where its flag waves and its laws are obeyed. [2]
  2. After his service in Valdivia cambiazo was transferred to Punta Arenas where he initiatiated a mutiny. [5]
  3. A few years later, in 1851, José María de la Cruz received considerable Mapuche support in his bid to overthrow newly elected President Manuel Montt. According to historian José Bengoa, the Mapuches saw the central government in Santiago as their main enemy, explaining their participation on the side of José María de la Cruz in the Concepción-based revolt. [7]
  4. Also a former member of the outlaw gang of the Pincheira brothers. [8]

Related Research Articles

Lautaro 16th-century leader of the Mapuche people

Lautaro was a young Mapuche toqui known for leading the indigenous resistance against Spanish conquest in Chile and developing the tactics that would continue to be employed by the Mapuche during the long-running Arauco War. Lautaro was captured by Spanish forces in his early youth, and he spent his teenage years as a personal servant of chief conquistador Pedro de Valdivia, but escaped in 1551. Back among his people he was declared toqui and led Mapuche warriors into a series of victories against the Spanish, culminating in the Battle of Tucapel in December 1553, where Pedro de Valdivia was killed. The outbreak of a typhus plague, a drought and a famine prevented the Mapuche from taking further actions to expel the Spanish in 1554 and 1555. Between 1556 and 1557, a small group of Mapuche commanded by Lautaro attempted to reach Santiago to liberate the whole of Central Chile from Spanish rule. Lautaro's attempts ended in 1557 when he was killed in an ambush by the Spanish.

Mapuche Ethnic group in South America

The Mapuche are a group of indigenous inhabitants of present-day south-central Chile and southwestern Argentina, including parts of present-day Patagonia. The collective term refers to a wide-ranging ethnicity composed of various groups who shared a common social, religious, and economic structure, as well as a common linguistic heritage as Mapudungun speakers. Their influence once extended from Aconcagua Valley to Chiloé Archipelago and spread later eastward to the Argentine pampa. Today the collective group makes up over 80% of the indigenous peoples in Chile, and about 9% of the total Chilean population. The Mapuche are particularly concentrated in the Araucanía region. Many have migrated from rural areas to the cities of Santiago and Buenos Aires for economic opportunities.

Arauco War Conflict between Spanish settlers of Chile and indigenous peoples

The Arauco War was a long-running conflict between colonial Spaniards and the Mapuche people, mostly fought in the Araucanía. The conflict begun at first as a reaction to the Spanish conquest attempt establishing cities and forcing Mapuches into servitude. It subsequently evolved over time into phases of low intensity warfare, drawn-out sieges, slave-hunting expeditions, pillaging raids, punitive expeditions and renewed Spanish attempts to secure lost territories. Abduction of women and war rape was common on both sides.

Valdivian Fort System

The Fort System of Valdivia are a series of Spanish colonial fortifications at Corral Bay, Valdivia and Cruces River established to protect the city of Valdivia, in southern Chile. During the period of Spanish rule (1645–1820), it was one of the biggest systems of fortification in the Americas. It was also a major supply source for Spanish ships that crossed the Strait of Magellan.

Occupation of Araucanía series of military campaigns, agreements and penetrations to incorporate the southern part of Chile

The Occupation of Araucanía or Pacification of Araucanía (1861–1883) was a series of military campaigns, agreements and penetrations by the Chilean army and settlers into Mapuche territory which led to the incorporation of Araucanía into Chilean national territory. Pacification of Araucanía was the expression used by the Chilean authorities for this process. The conflict was concurrent with Argentine campaigns against the Mapuche (1878–1885) and Chile's wars with Spain (1865–1866) and with Peru and Bolivia (1879–1883).

Budi Lake

Budi Lake from the Mapudungun word Füzi which means salt, is a tidal brackish water lake located near the coast of La Araucanía Region, southern Chile. The lake is part of the boundaries between Saavedra and Teodoro Schmidt commune.

The Conquest of Chile is a period in Chilean historiography that starts with the arrival of Pedro de Valdivia to Chile in 1541 and ends with the death of Martín García Óñez de Loyola in the Battle of Curalaba in 1598, and the destruction of the Seven Cities in 1598–1604 in the Araucanía region.

Cuncos or Juncos is a poorly known subgroup of Huilliche people native to coastal areas of southern Chile and the nearby inland. Mostly a historic term, Cuncos are chiefly known for their long-running conflict with the Spanish.

Francisco Antonio de Acuña Cabrera y Bayona was a Spanish soldier and governor of the Captaincy General of Chile between 1650 and 1656. He was son of Antonio de Cabrera y Acuña y de Agueda de Bayona, was a knight of the Order of Santiago and a professional military man. After serving in Flanders and France, he went to Peru as Maestre de Campo of El Callao and a general, being designated later Royal Governor of Chile. He was married to Juana de Salazar.

Maritime history of Chile

The maritime history of Chile begins with the independence of Chile, but traces it origin in the colonial era and has ultimately origin in the seafaring tradition of the Iberian Peninsula, Europe and the Mediterranean as well as from indigenous peoples of Chile.

The Revolution of 1851 was an attempt by Chilean liberals to overthrow the conservative government of president Manuel Montt and repeal the Chilean Constitution of 1833. After various battles and sieges, by late December 1851 government forces had subdued the revolutionaries.

In Chilean historiography, Colonial Chile is the period from 1600 to 1810, beginning with the Destruction of the Seven Cities and ending with the onset of the Chilean War of Independence. During this time the Chilean heartland was ruled by Captaincy General of Chile. The period was characterized by a lengthy conflict between Spaniards and native Mapuches known as the Arauco War. Colonial society was divided in distinct groups including Peninsulars, Criollos, Mestizos, Indians and Black people.

The Mapuche uprising of 1881 was the last major rebellion of the indigenous Mapuches of Araucanía. The uprising took place during the last phase of the Occupation of Araucanía (1861–1883) by the Chilean state. The uprising was planned by Mapuche chiefs in March 1881 to be launched in November of the same year. Mapuche support for the uprising was not unanimous, some Mapuche factions sided with the Chileans and others declared themselves neutral. The organizers of the uprising did however succeed in involving Mapuche factions that had not previously been at war with Chile. The 1881 uprising can be considered the climax of the Chilean-Mapuche hostilities during the Occupation of Araucanía.

The Mapuche people of southern Chile and Argentina have a long history dating back as an archaeological culture to 600–500 BC. The Mapuche society had great transformations after Spanish contact in the mid–16th century. These changes included the adoption of Old World crops and animals and the onset of a rich Spanish–Mapuche trade in La Frontera and Valdivia. Despite these contacts Mapuche were never completely subjugated by the Spanish Empire. Between the 18th and 19th century Mapuche culture and people spread eastwards into the Pampas and the Patagonian plains. This vast new territory allowed Mapuche groups to control a substantial part of the salt and cattle trade in the Southern Cone.

Incas in Central Chile Inca rule in Chile lasting from the 1470s to the 1530s when the Inca Empire collapsed

Inca rule in Chile was brief; it lasted from the 1470s to the 1530s when the Inca Empire was absorbed by Spain. The main settlements of the Inca Empire in Chile lay along the Aconcagua, Mapocho and Maipo rivers. Quillota in Aconcagua Valley was likely the Incas' foremost settlement. The bulk of the people conquered by the Incas in Central Chile were Diaguitas and part of the Promaucae.

Dutch expedition to Valdivia

The Dutch expedition to Valdivia was a naval expedition, commanded by Hendrik Brouwer, sent by the Dutch Republic in 1643 to establish a base of operations and a trading post on the southern coast of Chile. With Spain and the Dutch Republic at war, the Dutch wished to take over the ruins of the abandoned Spanish city of Valdivia. The expedition sacked the Spanish settlements of Carelmapu and Castro in the Chiloé Archipelago before sailing to Valdivia. The Dutch arrived in Valdivia on 24 August 1643 and named the colony Brouwershaven after Brouwer, who had died several weeks earlier. The short-lived colony was abandoned on 28 October 1643. Nevertheless, the occupation caused great alarm among Spanish authorities. The Spanish resettled Valdivia and began the construction of an extensive network of fortifications in 1645 to prevent a similar intrusion. Although contemporaries considered the possibility of a new incursion, the expedition was the last one undertaken by the Dutch on the west coast of the Americas.

Coastal fortifications of colonial Chile

In Colonial times the Spanish Empire diverted significant resources to fortify the Chilean coast as consequence of Dutch and English raids. During the 16th century the Spanish strategy was to complement the fortification work in its Caribbean ports with forts in the Strait of Magellan. As attempts at settling and fortifying the Strait of Magellan were abandoned the Spanish began to fortify the Captaincy General of Chile and other parts of the west coast of the Americas. The coastal fortifications and defense system was at its peak in the mid-18th century.

The battle of Río Bueno was fought in 1654 between the Spanish Army of Arauco and indigenous Cuncos and Huilliches of Fütawillimapu in southern Chile. The battle took place against a background of a long-running enmity between the Cuncos and Spanish dating back to the destruction of Osorno in 1603. More immediate causes were the killing of Spanish shipwreck survivors and looting of the cargo by Cuncos which led to Spanish desire's for a punishment combined with lucrative slave raiding.

The Mapuche uprising of 1655 was series of coordinated Mapuche attacks against Spanish settlements and forts in Colonial Chile. It was the worst military crisis in Chile in decades and contemporaries even considered the possibility of a civil war among the Spanish. The uprising marks the beginning of a ten–year period of warfare between the Spanish and Mapuches.

Elisa Bravo 19th-century female rumoured to have been captured by indigenous Mapuche

Elisa Bravo Jaramillo de Bañados was a passenger on Joven Daniel when this ship was wrecked on the coast of Araucanía, south-central Chile in 1849. She was rumoured to have been captured and held by Puancho Indians; her supposed plight caused a stir and was even the subject of two paintings by Raymond Monvoisin.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Bergantín "Joven Daniel"". Armada de Chile (in Spanish). Retrieved 2020-03-19.
  2. Cayuqueo, Pedro (August 14, 2008), "Hernan Curiñir Lincoqueo, historiador mapuche: "Sobre el Bicentenario chileno tenemos mucho que decir"",
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Ferrando 1986, pp. 395–396
  4. 1 2 3 4 Muñoz 2010, p. 136.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Muñoz 2010, p. 137.
  6. Muñoz 2010, p. 138.
  7. 1 2 3 Bengoa 2000, pp. 163–165.
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Muñoz 2010, p. 139.
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 Muñoz 2010, p. 140.
  10. Muñoz 2010, p. 141.
  11. 1 2 3 4 Muñoz 2010, p. 142.
  12. 1 2 Muñoz 2010, p. 143.
  13. 1 2 Muñoz 2010, p. 144.