Lucas Bridges

Stephen Lucas Bridges ( Esteban ) ( born December 31, 1874 in Ushuaia, Argentina, † April 4, 1949 in Buenos Aires, Argentina) was Argentinian writer, ethnographer and Farmer, known for his book uttermost part of the earth.


Lucas Bridges was the third-born child of the Anglo- Argentine missionary, linguist and landowner Thomas Bridges. On his father's farm, Estancia Harberton of growing up, he came into close contact with a group of Haush, who had retired to their escape from the colonialists and the feuding tribes of Selk'nam on the farm field. Lucas Bridges met the Selk'nam itself until 1894, she accompanied them on their hunting expeditions, learned their language and studied their way of life. As the pressure rose to their hunting grounds by the ever more sprawling sheep farms of white settlers and they were increasingly subjected to persecution, Lucas Bridges acquired land on the Atlantic coast of Tierra del Fuego, where he founded the Estancia Viamonte, where he granted the protection -seeking Indians accommodation and work.

Lucas Bridges sat in vain for the protection of copyright on the language of Yámana dictionary, which had left his late father in 1898 to the Arctic explorer Frederick Cook and published by this under a false name.

In 1914 he joined the Royal Field Artillery, took part in the Battle of Ypres and acquired in 1920 by the British South Africa Company farmland in South Africa. According to financial failures, he came to Patagonia, this time to the Rio Aysen Baker, where he succeeded under the most adverse conditions of the construction of the Estancia Chacabuco. After several heart attacks Lucas Bridges returned to Buenos Aires, where he finished his work on the autobiography " uttermost part of the earth" in 1948. In this he worked not only autobiographical elements, but continued in detail with the genocide of the peoples of the Yámana and Selknam as well as the socio-political consequences of the colonization of the region apart.

Lucas Bridges died on April 4, 1949 in Buenos Aires, is buried there in the Chacarita cemetery in Recoleta. Its merit lies in the efforts to understand and to the testimony of the living conditions of the indigenous peoples of Tierra del Fuego, which once included more than 10,000 people, but by the consequences of the colonization of Tierra del Fuego ( persecution by immigrant settlers introduced diseases, deprivation of livelihood ) to the mid- last century has dwindled to only a few people.

Both the Estancia Harberton Estancia Viamonte and the also today still managed by direct descendants of Lucas Bridges. Both possession connects the so-called Senda Lucas Bridges, where once sheep between the Beagle Channel and the Atlantic coast of Tierra del Fuego were spent. It is now used mainly for tourism purposes ( trekking).


  • Stephen L. Bridges: tierra del fuego of uttermost and Their Fuegians. Rookery Press, New York 2007, ISBN 978-1-5856-7956-0 ( Nachdr d ed New York 1949).


  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
  • British Families in Southern Patagonia.