Thomas Bridges
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He was born in the city of Lenton, Nottingham, (England) in the year 1842.

Died in the city of Buenos Aires July 15, 1898, to the 56 years of age.

The mission was Anglican in Land of the Fire

In 1856 G.  P.  Despard  and their adopted son Thomas Bridges (13 years) arrive at the Island Keppel (Falklands).  Begin the regular trips to the channel of Beagle.

In 1857 the missionaries carry the first yahganes to Keppel. Thomas Bridges studies its language.  The mister Despard does the first list of words yahganes.

 In 1863 in the trip of Pardon Thomas Bridges speaks the natives in its own tongue, and desire its confidence.

In 28 of May from 1871 the Reverend Bridges performs the first baptism in the Island: the son of the gentlemen Lewis, born in the Falklands, with the name of Frank Ooshooia Lewis[1].

September 30, 1871 arrive at Ushuaia in the Allen Gardiner the Rvdo.  Thomas Bridges, its wife Mary Ann Varder and its daughter Mary, of nine months.  They are the first white that are established finally in the Land of the Fire.

November 6, 1871 the first marriage in the Land of the Fire is carried out, among the Indian Cooshirijiz and Wepoilikeepa.  The religious ceremony is conducted for the Rvdo.  Bridges.

In 18 of June of 1872 is born the first white boy in the Land of the Fire, Thomas Despard Bridges.  In this epoch there was only 7 white inhabitants, and no doctor.

April 23, 1879 is born Bertha M.  Bridges (of Reynolds), first born white woman in the Land of the Fire.  Died April 13, 1968.

In 1880 the missionaries count since this year with the whaling one Leelom in Ushuaia, with the one that Thomas Bridges explores all the channels fueguinos.  First rowboat established in the zone.

In 1882 the Southern Expedition is carried out Argentina. The Lieutenant Giacomo Bove, the Good Captain Stone and the Doctors Decio Vinciguerra, Carlos Spegazzini and Sunday Lovisato, pass February and March in the Island of the States (Ovens Tip ship) doing studies.  From March to May study the channels fueguinos with Thomas Bridges in the San José, wreck in the bay Slogget, and rescues them the Allen Gardiner.

Among 1882-1883 the Scientific Mission at the end of Ovens is performed.  The captain Luis Martial (francés),a embroider of the ship Romanche and with a numerous team of scientists, passes a year in the Bay Orange, studies the natives and observes the traffic of Venus, December 6, 1882.  First climatic registrations, etc.  The Captain Martial baptizes to the islands set against Ushuaia with the names of the Flia.  Bridges.

The June of 1884 Thomas Bridges raises a census of the yahganes; 273 men, 314 women and 413 children.  Total: 1000 persons.

In 1885 is built  the first school in Land of Fire, in the Mission anglicana.

In 1886 a new census is performed by Thomas Bridges: 397 yahganes in all the archipelago (among October and December of 1884 there had been a great epidemic of measles, by which die the half of the yahganes).  New epidemics of escrópula, pneumonia and tuberculosis.

September 29, 1886 Thomas Bridges leaves the Mission and Argentine citizen is done.  The President Rock, in name of the Government and in gratitude by his multiple works with the natives and shipwrecked, presents him with lands.  Bridges chooses Harberton, and thus the first stay in the archipelago is founded fueguino.

 In 1887 Thomas Bridges and children open a path since the stay Harberton to Ushuaia, the first one by the coast.

Contributions to the region

The Rvdo.  Bridges and its family are the first stable group of residents of Land of the Fire.

Bridges learned the tongue of the natives and could relate to them peacefully, helping thus to the establishment of other white families in the archipelago.

Educated to the Indians.  Religious and secular education offered them before baptizing them.

Created schools, shops, estates, labor lands and an asylum.

Bequeathed a dictionary of Yahgán English, of some 32.000 words, that with the vocabulary Ona of the Salesian Father José Beauvoir, constitute contribute them more ponderables to the study of the linguistic regional one.

Traveled through the channels fueguinos, being then a great collaborator with the scientific expeditions that went to that zone.


Bibliografía


- Belza, Juan “In the Island of the Fire”, buenos aires, Editorial Historic Institute of Investigations of Land of the Fire, 1974.

- Braun Menéndez, Assembling, “Mr. Thomas Bridges”, -illustrious Gallery of men of the Patagonia-, in Magazine Argentina Southern, year I SAW, N° 63, buenos aires, 1934

- Bridges, Esteban Lucas, “The last confine of the land”, buenos aires, Editorial Emecé, 1952.

- Bridges, Thomas, “The bordering south of the Republic –The Land of the Fire and its inhabitants”, in Bulletin of the Geographical Institute Argentine, I Take VII, buenos aires, 1886.

- Bridges, Thomas, “The Land of the Fire and its inhabitants”, in Bulletin of the Geographical Institute Argentine, I Take XIV, buenos aires, 1893.

- Fitte, Ernesto J., “The first protestant missionaries in the region magallánica”, in Bulletin of the National Academy of the History, buenos aires, 1964.

- Godoy Manríquez, Carlos Jorge (Director), “The Great Book of the Patagonia”, buenos aires, Editorial Planet, 1997.

- Prosser Goodall, Scrapes Natalie, “Land of the Fire”, Bs.  Ace. -Ushuaia, Editorial Shanamaiim, 1979.

- Pamphlet: “Miscellany of the End of the World”, buenos aires, Municipal Direction of Tourism of Ushuaia, 1992.


[1] Juan E.  Belza, in its work “In the Island of the Fire”, says that Frank O.  Lewis was the first boy born in the Island.


http://www.uca.edu.ar/facultades/derecho/pigpp/patagoniahoy/historia/personalidades/bridges.htm

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