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Lucas Bridges

Esteban Lucas Bridges was an Anglo-Argentine author and explorer. He was the third child and second son of Anglican missionary Reverend Thomas Bridges (184298) and "the third white native of Ushuaia" at the southernmost tip of South America. Ushuaia was known as Ooshooia in the indigenous Yaghan language.

His acclaimed book Uttermost Part of the Earth (1948), published one year before his death, is a chronicle that covers nearly a century of the history of his family, who came as missionary settlers to Tierra del Fuego in 1871, although his father had visited, and lived on Keppel Island in the Falkland Islands and Tierra del Fuego intermittently since 1856. This literary classic tells a story of the clash of three civilisations: the white men, the Yaghan (Yahgashaga in Yaghan) and the Ona (Shilknum in the Ona language). Having grown up among the indigenous tribes of the island, Lucas Bridges learned the language and customs of both tribes. He was a privileged witness of their lifestyle and beliefs as well as a witness of western civilisation's tragic effect on them. They were decimated by measles, to which they had no resistance; outbreaks in 1884 (following a visit by three Argentine Navy ships), 1924 and 1929 became fatal epidemics with devastating results. Both civilisations (the Ona and the Yaghan) have been erased from the face of the earth.

After his father resigned his position as missionary, Lucas helped him build Estancia Harberton in a sheltered bay chosen by the Yaghans as a safe port.

Related websites

Lucas Bridges trail

Estancia Viamonte

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