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Description

Letter written to Thomas Benbow Phillips by D S Davies (late of New York, USA) at San Luiz, Maranhão, Brazil dated 28 April1874

The schooner “Electric Spark” had sailed from New York to Rio Chupat, Patagonia on 14 February with 33 passengers and 6 seamen on board. Also on board were a threshing machine, a “pourer” and a Reaper, as well as a large assortment of agricultural implements. At midnight on 26 March, the ship struck the bar of Tutoia near Parnaiba, was badly damaged and became a total wreck the following Monday, 30 March. All lives were saved, as well as 30-40 boxes of personal effects. They were rescued by an Englishman, Mr Singlers of Parnaiba, and after arriving there, Captain W Rogers and D S Davies went to see the American and Argentine Consuls. They then sailed on the steamer “Alcantara”, whose Captain was Mr Storry, an Englishman. The Argentinian Consul would not interfere at all, but the American Consul was doing all he could to help them. A deck passage could be obtained on a steamer to Rio Janeiro for 45 milreis and from Parnaiba to San Louis for 15 milreis. They would have to sell their watches and all else they owned. There were 39 survivors, including 4 sailors, who would leave as soon as possible. The Captain and Mate were determined to travel to the Chupat Colony, and all the troubles were making them stronger people. D S Davies was proud of the brave colonists. They would need Thomas Benbow Phillips's help to make it from Rio Janeiro to the Welsh Colony, as the Argentinian Consul would only help if the Colonists pledged an allegiance to the Argentinian Republic, and they refused to do this, because they saw it as a complication to the political relations of the Welsh Colony. It would have their consideration after arriving at the Colony. They expected to sail on 27 May, and arrive in Rio Janeiro in 11 days, as stated by the American Consul. D S Davies promised to write from Pernambuco or from Rio Janeiro. Everyone was determined to reach the Colony.

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