Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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WAGNER, Daniel Christian, Alsatian navigator, born in Mulhouse about 1501; died in Patagonia in 1552. He early entered the Spanish service, and acted as chief pilot in Mexico and Peru. In 1539 Gutierrez de Vargas, bishop of Placencia, sent Admiral Camargo to explore the Strait of Magellan. The fleet sailed from Seville in August, 1539, Wagner acting as chief pilot, anchored on 20 January, 1540, near Cape Virgins, and, after entering the strait, stopped at Port Famine, but was forced out by a hurricane and two vessels sank, the crew seeking refuge on shore. A few days later Admiral Camargo returned to search for the shipwrecked, and Wagner went in a boat to reconnoitre ; but a new tempest carried Camargo out to sea, and he entered Islay, in Peru. Wagner, thus abandoned on the shore, met a part of the shipwrecked crews, and with their help built barracks in which they wintered, suffering greatly from cold and famine. In the summer they built a boat and they arrived in Islay in December, 1541. In 1552 Wagner was appointed to the command of a new expedition to explore the strait, but died during the journey. The "Collection des grands et petits voyages" (50 vols., Paris, 1750-'75) attributes to Wagner a narrative entitled "Relation de l'expedition de l'Amiral Camargo au detroit de Magellan en 1539-'40, du naufrage de deux navires de la flotte, et des souffrances, aventures, et miraculeuse echappe des naufrages."
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