An 1889 5-gram gold coin from Tierra del Fuego by Julius Popper
|Location||Tierra del Fuego, Argentina and Chile|
|Cause||Gold rush began after the French steamship Arctique ran aground on the northern coast of Cape Virgenes and a rescue expedition for the stranded crew discovered gold in Zanja a Pique|
Other European miners
|Outcome||Influx of miners led to the formation of the first towns in the archipelago and fueled the economic growth of Punta Arenas and rapidly destroyed the Indigenous Selk'nam population during the rush|
|History of Chile|
Between 1883 and 1906 Tierra del Fuego experienced a gold rush attracting many Chileans, Argentines and Europeans to the archipelago, including many Dalmatians. The gold rush led to the formation of the first towns in the archipelago and fueled economic growth in Punta Arenas. After the gold rush was over, most gold diggers left the archipelago, while the remaining settlers engaged in sheep farming and fishing. Indigenous Selk'nam populations declined sharply during the rush.
In 1879 an expedition led by Chilean Navy officer Ramón Serrano Montaner discovered gold in some watercourses of western Tierra del Fuego.However the gold rush was triggered only in 1884. That year the French steamship Arctique ran aground on the northern coast of Cape Virgenes. An expedition sent for its rescue discovered gold in a place called Zanja a Pique. When news reached Punta Arenas many inhabitants left for Zanja a Pique. From Punta Arenas the news then reached Buenos Aires.
In Buenos Aires the press compared the gold findings to the rushes of Australia and California.In that city many companies were formed for the purpose of extracting gold. Julio Popper, a mining engineer, was contracted by one of these companies in Buenos Aires. Popper then proceeded to recruit a number of Dalmatians from the many immigrants that lived in Buenos Aires those years. With these workers Popper set out to exploit the findings of El Páramo in San Sebastián Bay. Another camp was established in Sloggett Bay at the southern coast of Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego.
The gold rush reached the Chilean islands south of Beagle Channel so that by 1893 over one thousand men, most of them Dalmatians, lived there. However, by 1894 gold extraction begun to decline in these islands and deposits became gradually depleted.A number of enterprises formed in the 1900s to extract gold from the islands south of Beagle Channel ended with meager results.
| Economic history|
During his work in Tierra del Fuego Popper was involved in the killings of native Selk'nam, which came later to be known as the Selk'nam genocide.
Around the island gold diggers, sheep herders and "even police" are reported to have assaulted Indian camps to acquire their women.This created even a shortage of women among Fuegian tribes. The capture and control of women in the main island worsened conflicts between rival groups. There are also reports of trade of women during deals between men. By 1894 Porvenir consisted of five houses, two of them liquor stores and a third one a brothel.
The Dalmatians involved in the gold rush gradually left mining activities either to return to Dalmatia or Buenos Aires or establish themselves in Punta Arenas.The gold rush caused an improvement in the geographical knowledge of the poorly known islands south of Beagle Channel and linked them to Punta Arenas. Gold extracted in Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego generally left the zone without improving much the economy of southernmost South America, but in the case of the gold extracted in from the islands south of Beagle Channel much of it ended up in Punta Arenas where it fueled economic growth.
Tierra del Fuego is an archipelago off the southernmost tip of the South American mainland, across the Strait of Magellan. The archipelago consists of the main island, Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, with an area of 48,100 km2 (18,572 sq mi), and a group of many islands, including Cape Horn and Diego Ramírez Islands. Tierra del Fuego is divided between Chile and Argentina, with the latter controlling the eastern half of the main island and the former the western half plus the islands south of Beagle Channel. The southernmost extent of the archipelago is at about latitude 55 S.
The Magallanes Region, officially the Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica Region, is one of Chile's 16 first order administrative divisions. It is the southernmost, largest, and second least populated region of Chile. It comprises four provinces: Última Esperanza, Magallanes, Tierra del Fuego, and Antártica Chilena.
Ushuaia is the capital of Tierra del Fuego, Antártida e Islas del Atlántico Sur Province, Argentina. Ushuaia claims the title of world's southernmost city Ushuaia is located in a wide bay on the southern coast of Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, bounded on the north by the Martial mountain range, and on the south by the Beagle Channel. It is the only municipality in the Department of Ushuaia, which has an area of 9,390 km2 (3,625 sq mi). It was founded on October 12, 1884 by Augusto Lasserre and is located on the shores of the Beagle Channel surrounded by the mountain range of the Martial Glacier, in the Bay of Ushuaia. Besides being an administrative center, it is a light industrial port and tourist hub. Ushuaia is located roughly 1,100 kilometres (680 mi) from the coast of Antarctica and 245 kilometres (152 mi) from the Chilean city of Punta Arenas.
Tierra del Fuego is the southernmost and least populous Argentine province.
Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego also formerly Isla de Xátiva is an island near the southern tip of South America from which it is separated by the Strait of Magellan. The western portion (61.4%) of the island is in Chile, while the eastern portion is in Argentina. It forms the major landmass in an extended group of islands or archipelago also known as Tierra del Fuego.
The Selk'nam, also known as the Onawo or Ona people, are an indigenous people in the Patagonian region of southern Argentina and Chile, including the Tierra del Fuego islands. They were one of the last native groups in South America to be encountered by migrant ethnic Europeans, mainly British in the late 19th century. In the mid-19th century, there were about 4000 Selk'nam; by 1919 there were 297, and by 1930 just over 100.
The Yaghan, also called Yagán, Yahgan, Yámana, Yamana or Tequenica, are one of the indigenous peoples of the Southern Cone, who are regarded as the southernmost peoples in the world. Their traditional territory includes the islands south of Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, extending their presence into Cape Horn. They have been there for more than 10,000 years.
Julius Popper, also known in Spanish as Julio Popper, was a Romanian-born Argentine mass murderer, engineer, adventurer and explorer. He was the designer of the modern outline of the city of Havana, Cuba.
Puerto Toro is a hamlet on the eastern coast of Navarino Island, Chile. Puerto Toro was founded in 1892 during the Tierra del Fuego Gold Rush by Governor of Punta Arenas Señoret.
Anne MacKaye Chapman was a Franco-American ethnologist that focused on the people of Mesoamerica writing several books, co-producing movies, and capturing sound recordings of rare languages from the Northern Triangle of Central America to Cape Horn in South America.
Dawson Island is an island in the Strait of Magellan that forms part of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, 100 km south of the city of Punta Arenas in Chile, and part of the Municipality of Punta Arenas. It is located southeast of Brunswick Peninsula. It is often lashed with harsh Antarctic weather. The settlements are Puerto Harris, Puerto San Antonio and Puerto Almeida.
Esteban Lucas Bridges was an Anglo-Argentine author, explorer, and rancher. After fighting for the British during World War I, he married and moved with his wife to South Africa, where they developed a ranch with her brother.
Ona (Aona), also known as Selk'nam (Shelknam), is a language that is spoken by the Selk'nam people in Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego in southernmost South America.
Fuegians are one of the three tribes of indigenous inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego, at the southern tip of South America. In English, the term originally referred to the Yaghan people of Tierra del Fuego. In Spanish, the term fueguino can refer to any person from the archipelago.
The region of the Beagle Channel, explored by Robert FitzRoy in the 1830s, was one of the last to be colonized by Chile and Argentina. The cold weather, the long distances from other inhabited regions, and the shortage of transport and subsistence, kept it far from the governmental task.
The Boundary Treaty of 1881 between Argentina and Chile was signed on the 23 July 1881 in Buenos Aires by Bernardo de Irigoyen, on the part of Argentina, and Francisco de Borja Echeverría, on the part of Chile, with the aim of establishing a precise and exact borderline between the two countries based on the uti possidetis juris principle. Despite dividing largely unexplored lands, the treaty laid the groundwork for nearly all of Chile's and Argentina's current 5600 km shared border.
José Menéndez Menéndez (1846–1918) was a Spanish businessman based in Argentina and Chilean Patagonia. He was the initiator of large companies that remain to this day.
The Selk'nam genocide was the genocide of the Selk'nam people, one of three indigenous tribes populating the Tierra del Fuego in South America, from the second half of the 19th to the early 20th century. The genocide spanned a period of between ten and fifteen years. The Selk'nam, which had an estimated population of 4,000 people, saw their numbers reduced to 500.
Thomas Bridges was an Anglican missionary and linguist, the first to set up a successful mission to the indigenous peoples in Tierra del Fuego, an archipelago shared by Argentina and Chile. Adopted and raised in England by George Pakenham Despard, he accompanied his father to Chile with the Patagonian Missionary Society. After an attack by indigenous people, in 1869 Bridges' father, Despard, left the mission at Keppel Island of the Falkland Islands, to return with his family to England. At the age of 17, Bridges stayed with the mission as its new superintendent. In the late 1860s, he worked to set up a mission at what is now the town of Ushuaia along the southern shore of Tierra del Fuego Island.
Sara Braun was a Chilean businesswoman born in Latvia, who became one of the principal employers in Patagonia. After emigrating with her family from the Russian Empire to escape persecution because of their Jewish heritage, the family toured Europe and then looked for work in Argentina and Paraguay, before moving to Magallanes, now known as Punta Arenas, in 1874.