Timeline

Galapagueana

Timeline

 

 

Memory and history are inevitably built around a time axis. The events are threaded along a timeline, and it is there where they acquire meaning and significance.

Galapagueana is built and presented on a temporary structure: a chronology that allows the documents to be placed in a specific context. This chronology includes historical events outside the Galapagueana collections, which serve as milestones in the history of the Galapagos Islands.

The structure is subdivided into groups, each of which represents a particular century. Each century comprises a series of relevant years, and they include historical events and links to relevant materials present in the Galapagueana collections. From this timeline, general historical schemes can be drawn up, and political, economic, social, cultural and scientific processes can be analysed.

The contents have been taken from an abundant (but unfortunately not always accurate) historical and scientific bibliography, a sample of which is quoted below. Facts and dates were checked against primary sources, and ended up being corrected and adjusted before being added to this timeline.

 Grenier, Christophe (2007). Conservación contra natura : Las islas Galápagos. Quito: Abya Yala.
 Machuca M., José E.; Saudade, JoE (2001). Historical chronology of Galapagos 1535-2000. Ecuador: Private edition.
 Maldonado, R.; Llerena, E. (2019). Historia humana. Isla Isabela. Puerto Ayora: Dirección del Parque Nacional Galápagos.
 Maldonado, R.; Llerena, E. (2019). Historia humana. Isla San Cristóbal. Puerto Ayora: Dirección del Parque Nacional Galápagos.
 Maldonado, R.; Llerena, E. (2019). Historia humana. Isla Santa Cruz. Puerto Ayora: Dirección del Parque Nacional Galápagos.

Most of the events included in this timeline are accompanied by a link to the Galapagos Historical Bibliography section. There are the corresponding bibliographic citations, which document the referenced facts. Some of them have download links that allow access to the original documents.

 


Timeline


16th century

1535

During a trip between Panama and Ecuador, the Spanish bishop Tomás de Berlanga is diverted from his route by calm winds and the strong prevailing currents and becomes the first known European to land in the Galápagos (March 10).

  Bibliography [1535]. Check.

1546

The Spaniard Diego de Rivadeneira, fleeing from his compatriot Francisco de Carvajal during the Civil Wars between the Conquerors of Peru, embarks in Arica (present-day Chile) towards Nicaragua and ends up stranded on the Galapagos Islands. He finally manages to reach the current town of San José Ixtapa (Mexico).

  Bibliography [1546]. Check.

1561

Certain sources indicate the publication, this year, of a map in which the Galapagos Islands appear and which would have served as the basis for the plans included in the works of Mercator (1569) and Ortelius (1570). It could be a number of several charts (e.g. Münster's map of America), although it is not clear that they actually show the archipelago.

  Bibliography [1561]. Check.

1569

The Flemish geographer and cartographer Gerardus Mercator publishes the map Nova et Aucta Orbis Terrae Descriptio ad Usum Navigantium Emendate Accommodata, where the Galapagos Islands are included. Interestingly, the archipelago is duplicated.

  Bibliography [1569]. Check.

1570

Building on Mercator's work of 1569, the Brabantine cartographer, geographer, and cosmographer Abraham Ortelius includes the "ye. de los galopegos" in his Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, one of the earliest European geographic atlases.

  Bibliography [1570]. Check.

1574

Didaco Mendezio (supposedly, the Lima priest Diego Méndez) includes the Galápagos in a map of the Viceroyalty of Peru, which will serve as the basis for Peruviae Auriferae Regionis Typus by the Brabantine cartographer Abraham Ortelius, published in the 1584 edition of his Theatrum Orbis Terrarum.

  Bibliography [1574]. Check.

1589

Some popular sources indicate, erroneously, that the Galapagos Islands are mentioned as "Islas Encantadas" (Enchanted Islands) on a map by the Brabantine cartographer Abraham Ortelius.

  Bibliography [1589]. Check.

1594

British privateer Sir Richard Hawkins arrives in the Galapagos area on his galleon, the Dainty, although it is not entirely clear that he has visited the archipelago. In his travel diary, published in 1622, he notes that the islands are deserted and, in his opinion, bear no fruit.

  Bibliography [1622]. Check.

17th century

1605

The Portuguese sailor and explorer Pedro Fernandes de Queirós assembles a fleet for his trip to the Terra Australis Ignota that includes "a smaller boat or zabra, which had come from the island shortly before of the Galapagos, to pick up the people who had been lost there".

Some authors think that one of the rescued could have been Martín Barragán, who would later become a famous Dominican friar.

The original documents of Fernandes de Queirós were edited and published in 1876 by the Spanish Americanist Justo Zaragoza.

  Bibliography [1605]. Check.

1680

The British buccaneer Bartholomew Sharp arrives at the "isles of Gallapallo" aboard the Trinity, but is unable to land on them (June). A huge number of documents, both handwritten and printed, are produced on his travels.

  Bibliography [1680]. Check.

  Bibliography [1682]. Check.

1684

The Batchelor's Delight is one of the first documented pirate ships to dock in the islands (May). Commanded by John Cook, and accompanied by John Eaton's Nicholas, it carries Edward Davis, William Ambrose Cowley and William Dampier, among others.

Dampier takes detailed notes on the geography and wildlife, while Cowley draws a map of the islands (the most accurate until FitzRoy's in 1835) and writes his chronicles. On the avatars of the ship and the different members of the crew, an enormous amount of documents, both handwritten and printed, is also produced.

The visit of the Batchelor's Delight coincides with the storage on the islands of loot of quince flour and jam captured from Spanish galleons, and with Captain Cook's health problems. The latter would die shortly after leaving the archipelago, passing the leadership of the ship to Edward Davis.

  Bibliography [1684]. Check.

  Bibliography [1697]. Check.

  Bibliography [1744]. Check.

  Vid. Pirates and jelly.

1687

Second visit of the Batchelor's Delight, commanded by the British pirate Edward Davis (June). There are vague references to a voyage in 1685 and two voyages in 1687; on the second occasion, Davis would have distributed loot of goods and coins on Floreana Island.

  Bibliography [1878]. Check.

1700

The expedition of the French navigator and explorer Jacques Gouin, Lord of Beauchêne (or Beauchesne, or Beauchesne-Gouin), with the ships Phélypeaux and Comte-de-Maurepas, makes a stopover in the Galapagos Islands, which are registered as "Isles Galapes" (June-July). The travel diary, written by the engineer Duplessis, includes the first watercolors of Galapagos fauna and a series of French names given to some islands (Isle de Tebac, Isle du Saute, Isle de Mascarin...).

  Bibliography [1700]. Check.

18th century

1709

Visit of the Duke and the Duchess, commanded by the British pirate Woodes Rogers and his partner Stephen Courtney, respectively (May-June). The mariner and naturalist William Dampier, who had already been to the Galápagos aboard the Batchelor's Delight (1684), travels on the Duke as the pilot.

Leading a fleet of eight ships, they storm Guayaquil. There the crew gets sick and, faced with the scarcity of water on the nearby Puná Island, they decide to go to the Galapagos. Since they do not find water there either, they move to Gorgona Island, which saves them from being captured by the Spanish General Pablo Alzamora y Ursino, who was pursuing them from the port of Callao.

In a previous stage of their voyage they meet, on Juan Fernández Island, the Scottish sailor Alexander Selkirk, who decided to stay there back in 1704. His story would end up inspiring William Defoe's Robinson Crusoe.

The diaries of Rogers and Edward Cooke, another member of the crew, are published in 1712.

  Bibliography [1709]. Check.

  Bibliography [1712]. Check.

1720

Visit of the British pirate John Clipperton, in command of the Success. Embarked on a pillaging expedition along the Pacific coast, he passes through Galapagos to hide and stock up. To the north of the archipelago he retrieves his old ship, the Prince Eugene.

  Bibliography [1720]. Check.

1790

Although some authors cite, for this year, a stopover in Galapagos by the expedition of the Italian explorer Alessandro Malaspina (Scientific and political trip around the world, Malaspina or Malaspina-Bustamante Expedition) with the ships Descubierta and Atrevida, there are no official records of such a visit. The data on Galapagos presented as a result by the expedition seems to have been acquired from the pilot of a boat that deviated from its route and arrived at the archipelago, as indicated in the travel diary (Book I, chapter VI).

  Bibliography [1790]. Check.

1793

Visit of the Spanish captain Alonso María de Torres y Guerra, aboard the war frigate Santa Gertrudis (March), in transit from Nootka, present-day Canada (where he had collaborated in the demarcation of limits with the British) to the port of Callao.

During the visit, the first pilot of the ship, Lieutenant Lorenzo Vacaro, draws up a mediocre map of Galapagos, giving the islands Castilian names. There is a clean copy of this map, made by Tomás de la Cruz Doblado in 1794.

  Bibliography [1793]. Check.

First visit of British Captain James Colnett, aboard the H.M.S. Rattler (June). He is sent to the area by the London-based whaling company Enderby & Sons to recognize the commercial value of the waters of the South Atlantic and Eastern Pacific. In his travel notes, published in 1798, he cites the archipelago as "Gallipagoe / Galapagoe isles".

Probably around this time the barrel at Post Office Bay (Floreana Island) stands. Although some authors point out that it is Colnett himself who places it there, he does not mention such a fact in his diary; actually, he doesn't even mention its existence.

1794

Second visit by British Captain James Colnett, aboard the H.M.S. Rattler (March). The report on his voyages in the Pacific is published in 1798 and includes a map made by the British cartographer Aaron Arrowsmith.

  Bibliography [1794]. Check.

  Bibliography [1798]. Check.

  Bibliography [1916]. Check.

1795

Visit of the British Captain George Vancouver's expedition, circumnavigating the globe aboard the H.M.S. Discovery and the H.M.S. Chatham. The botanist of the expedition, the Scottish naturalist and doctor Archibald Menzies, created the first herbarium of the Galapagos flora, by collecting and preserving three specimens on Isabela Island (February). The visit was poorly described by Vancouver in his diary, and is only referred to in two letters and a report, unpublished to this day.

  Bibliography [1795]. Check.

19th century

1801

Second visit of US Captain Amasa Delano to the Galápagos Islands (cited as "Gallipagos") aboard the Perseverance (November). According to his travel diary, published in 1817, his first visit was in 1800. He first describes, among other animals, lava lizards. He reports an eruption, seen on his previous voyage in 1800 from James Bay, on Isabela Island on August 21.

An episode recounted in chapter 18 of his diary gave rise to the novel Benito Cereno by Herman Melville.

  Bibliography [1801]. Check.

1804

Sailor Cameron Hathawson, from the Halard, leaves a graffiti on Santiago Island, the oldest described in the islands. Charles Darwin gives an account of it in the journal of his voyage aboard the H.M.S. Beagle (1835).

1807

Between 1805 and 1807 (or 1809, depending on the sources), Irish sailor Patrick Watkins stayed on Floreana Island, becoming the first permanent inhabitant of the archipelago. Some authors (and, specifically, the American captain David Porter) mention that he was abandoned by a British captain named Paddock.

Interestingly, the American Amasa Delano talks about him in his diary; since that text was published in 1817, Delano may have heard from Watkins after his voyage.

1810

In documents produced between 1810 and 1819, the Spanish are concerned about the use of English names in the Galapagos Islands.

  Bibliography [1810]. Check.

1812

Visit of the British frigate H.M.S. Indefatigable, under the command of Captain John Fyffe (June). Present-day Santa Cruz Island takes its English name from this famous ship.

1813

U.S. Captain David Porter, aboard the U.S.S. Essex, cruises the eastern Pacific to cleanse it of British whalers, and visits the Galapagos.

He arrives at Floreana Island on April 17 and there he writes the first printed mention of Post Office Bay; in fact, in his diary he indicates that the poster read "Hathaway's Post-office". He further mentions the Irish settler Watkins, and picks up details of his story.

Porter gives an account of the islands' flora, fauna, and geography, noting an eruption on Isabela Island (June 6). He captures several British whalers and ships, and must bury in James Bay (Santiago Island) one of his young officers, Cowan, who was killed in a duel.

He definitely leaves the archipelago around September. While the first edition of his travel diary (1815) does not contain it, the second (1822) and an abridged version published in 1823 include his map of the islands.

  Bibliography [1813]. Check.

1814

Visit of the frigate H.M.S. Briton, of the British Royal Navy, commanded by Sir Thomas Staines, and H.M.S. Tagus, by Captain Philip Pipon (July). While their original orders were to hunt down the U.S.S. Essex of the American David Porter, when they arrive in Chile they find out that such a ship had already been captured. On a trip between the coast of Ecuador and the Marquesas Islands, they stop in the Galapagos for ten days. Some authors point out that Albermarle Cove (Isabela Island) changed its name to Tagus Cove thanks to the H.M.S. Tagus.

Lieutenant John Shillibeer publishes the diary of the H.M.S. Briton, and includes in the book an engraving of Kicker Rock (San Cristóbal Island).

  Bibliography [1814]. Check.

1816

The crew of the Carmen mutinies against its captain, the French corsair Hippolyte Bouchard, and arrives in Galapagos (February).

  Bibliography [1816]. Check.

1819

The corsair Juan Illingworth (John Illingworth Hunt), serving the Chilean patriotic forces commanding the Rosa de los Andes, takes shelter in Galapagos after a battle in the Gulf of Guayaquil with the Spanish frigate Piedad (July). He stays two months to make some repairs, and captures the Spanish brig Cantón.

  Bibliography [1819]. Check.

1822

Visit of the H.M.S. Conway, commanded by the British captain Basil Hall, who travels the archipelago. He takes mineral samples on several islands and stays a few days on Pinta Island to make a series of measurements using a Kater pendulum (January).

  Bibliography [1822]. Check.

1823

First visit of the controversial Scottish sailor Benjamin Morrell, aboard the seal ship Wasp (September). He stays in Galapagos for about two months and, according to his own words, collects some 5,000 sea lion skins and hundreds of tortoises.

  Bibliography [1825]. Check.

1825

Visit of the Scottish naturalist John Scouler aboard the William and Ann, of the Hudson's Bay Company, in transit from London to British Columbia and commanded by British Captain Henry Hanwell (January). Scouler, the ship's doctor, shares his excursions with the Scottish botanist David Douglas. In his travel diary he mentions Cowan's (David Porter's official) tomb on Santiago Island, and an eruption on Isabela Island (actually Fernandina Island), and also describes the fauna. Fruit of his work on the islands are the names Croton scouleri and Cordia scouleri. Douglas and Scouler appear to have been the first naturalists to attempt to preserve iguana specimens (land and marine).

  Bibliography [1825]. Check.

Second and third visits of the controversial Scottish sailor Benjamin Morrell, aboard the Tartar. His notes include the description of the famous eruption of the Fernandina Island volcano and the loading of 250 turtles (second visit, February), and the hunting of tortoises and sea lions (third visit, October). His adventures (many of them greatly exaggerated or outright false) were reflected in A Narrative of Four Voyages (1832).

  Bibliography [1825]. Check.

Visit of the frigate H.M.S. Blonde, commanded by British Admiral George Anson, 7th Lord Byron. The ship, on a diplomatic mission to Hawai'i, carries the remains of King Kamehameha II and his wife Kamamalu, who died in Great Britain. They stop in Galapagos for wood and water between March 25 and April 2. In the notes of the trip, the eruption of the Fernandina Island volcano is mentioned and descriptions of the fauna are included. Apparently, they collect one of the earliest preserved marine iguana specimens. The expedition's naturalist, Scottish botanist James Macrae, describes the genus Macraea (Phyllanthus). The account of the voyage is compiled by Maria Graham from various sources and published under Byron's name in 1826.

  Bibliography [1825]. Check.

1827

Visit of the schooner The Discoverer, built by British naturalist Hugh Cuming specifically for his explorations and research. The visit is part of an eight-month voyage through the Pacific islands, aimed at collecting natural history specimens.

1831

The Sociedad Colonizadora del Archipiélago de Galapagos, founded by Ecuadorian General José de Villamil, sends an expedition aboard the frigate Mercedes to assess the amount of orchilla (Rocella tinctoria) on Floreana Island (October).

Villamil denounces the Galapagos as wasteland before the government of Ecuadorian President Juan José Flores, under the principle of uti possidetis (November).

1832

The Ecuadorian Government supports the colonization project of General José de Villamil (January 19). President Juan José Flores authorizes the prefect of Guayas, José Joaquín de Olmedo, to take possession of the islands.

In Floreana Island, Ecuador takes formal possession of Galapagos through Colonel Ignacio Hernández, captain of the frigate Mercedes (February 12); Juan Johnson, the only inhabitant of the island at the time, and the US frigates Levant and Richmond are present. The construction of a settlement begins in the upper part of the island, in the so-called "Asilo de la Paz", and the judge and the chaplain distribute the land (February 19).

  Bibliography [1816]. Check.

José de Villamil assumes the position of Governor General of the Archipelago (October 12) and begins the colonization of Floreana Island, employing a contingent of mutinous soldiers in 1830.

1834

Visit of the U.S.S. Potomac, led by US Commodore John Downes (August-September). The travel diary provides information on the colonization process of 1832, given that the crew members met José de Villamil on Floreana Island.

  Bibliography [1834]. Check.

1835

Visit of the H.M.S. Beagle, commanded by Robert FitzRoy, with British naturalist Charles Darwin on board (September 15 to October 20). FitzRoy makes one of the best maps of the islands, which is published in 1836 and is used until World War II.

  Bibliography [1835]. Check.

Attempt to colonize Santiago Island by José de Villamil. He sends 22 people of both sexes commanded by the Portuguese José María Troncoso and the Jamaican Lieutenant Nicholas Oliver Lawson, who had explored the island in the schooner Sofía, and who at that time was interim administrator of the archipelago (June). Water in Santiago is scarce, so the colony fails. The British naturalist Charles Darwin finds these colonists (October 8) and obtains from Lawson the data on the differences between the turtles that would lead him to think about his theory of evolution.

  Bibliography [1835]. Check.

1836

Some authors point out the visit of the British Admiral Sir Edward Blecher aboard the H.M.S. Sulfur, with naturalist, botanist, and malacologist Richard Brinsley Hinds on board, serving as surgeon. However, his travel diaries do not show that they have been to the archipelago.

  Bibliography [1836]. Check.

1837

José de Villamil resigns from the Government and leaves Floreana Island (November 23). He is replaced by the American (or British) James (or Joseph) Williams.

  Bibliography [1837]. Check.

1838

Visit of the frigate Vénus, captained by the French officer Abel Aubert du Petit-Thouars, on a circumnavigation trip. Traveling with him are the hydrographer Louis Urbain Dortet de Tessan and the naturalist Adolphe Simon Neboux. He interviews Nicholas Oliver Lawson, by then the captain of the colony's schooner (June-July).

  Bibliography [1838]. Check.

1841

The settlers of Floreana Island rebel against the brutal regime of James (or Joseph) Williams, who has to leave the island (May).

The American whaler Acushnet arrives in Galapagos, with Hermann Melville on board (October-November). The brief visit will inspire him to write The Encantadas.

  Bibliography [1841]. Check.

1842

After five years of absence, José de Villamil returns to Galapagos as Governor (September).

1845

A group of colionists settles in Wreck Bay, San Cristóbal Island.

1846

Visit from the corvette H.M.S. Herald, under the command of British Admiral Henry Kellett on a hydrographic reconnaissance trip (January). It travels in the company of H.M.S. Pandora, commanded by Captain James Wood. The journal of the voyage is written by one of the ship's naturalists, the German botanist Berthold Carl Seeman. On the expedition is the naturalist Thomas Edmonston, who, together with the doctor, John Goodridge, collects a sample of plants; that herbarium finds its way to Kew Gardens, where botanist Joseph Dalton Hooker identifies 21 of the 41 items as new discoveries, naming 5 of them after Edmonston.

  Bibliography [1846]. Check.

Visit of the French ship Le Génie, commanded by Louis Henri, Count of Gueydon, in a campaign of several years in the Pacific Ocean.

1848

Using the excuse of looking for missing water, the captain of the Chilean ship La Rosa Segunda, on a trip to California, abandons the passengers on Floreana Island and takes a chest full of money that he was transporting on board. The travelers, among whom was the French painter Ernest Charton, are rescued and taken to Guayaquil in March 1849.

  Bibliography [1848]. Check.

1851

Great Britain proposes to rent Galapagos.

1852

Visit of the HSwMS Eugenie, on the first circumnavigation voyage of the Swedish Navy, under the command of C. A. Virgin. The ship's botanist, Nils Johann Andersson, is the first to collect specimens on Santa Cruz Island. Together with an officer, Carl Johan Skogman, they leave a series of notes that bear witness to the islands' inhabitants (including the first documented attempt to colonize Santa Cruz by a group of people in Whale Bay), their nature, and of events as important to Galapagos history as the adventures of Manuel Briones, "the pirate of Guayas".

Briones, an Ecuadorian criminal deported to Floreana Island, escapes from the island and boards the American whaler George Howland, commanded by Captain Cromwell. The pirate heads to San Cristóbal, where he kidnaps and murders several settlers, including the acting governor, General Pedro Mena. Finally, after long adventures, he is captured and shot in Guayaquil. The execution was, in fact, witnessed by the botanist Andersson.

  Bibliography [1852]. Check.

1860

José de Villamil and León Uthurburu, the French vice-consul in Guayaquil (actually, an adventurer) negotiate the sale of a part of Floreana Island that the second had bought, 12-15 years before, from Messrs. Villasmil and Garcés. Apparently, Uthurburu's land titles were never valid. That did not prevent him from bequeathing all of Floreana to his hometown in the French Basque Country: Barcus / Barkoxe. In 1951, that French commune wanted to assert its rights over Floreana, rights that it still claims to maintain.

  Bibliography [1860]. Check.

1861

The National Convention of Ecuador, chaired by Juan José Flores, decrees the Territorial Division Law, sanctioned by Dr. Gabriel García Moreno (May 29). The Galapagos Islands become an "island province", with its capital in San Cristóbal.

1866

José de Villamil dies in Guayaquil (May 12).

The colonization of San Cristóbal Island begins by the Empresa Industrial de Orchilla y Pesca, owned by Manuel Cobos and José Monroy. To guarantee the supply of food, settlements are established in the current zone of El Progreso; Bognoly and Espinosa, in Las islas encantadas ó el Archipiélago de Colón, record the names of the men who work there.

1868

Visit of the Austrian ornithologist Simeon Habel, who arrives from New York and spends almost six months exploring the islands aboard an Ecuadorian ship searching for orchilla (July-December). He sends his samples to Vienna, where they are analyzed by the noted British naturalist Osbert Salvin. Salvin publishes an article titled On the Avifauna of the Galapagos Archipelago (1876), which includes the only available account of Habel's voyage.

  Bibliography [1868]. Check.

1870

The Ecuadorian José Valdizán initiates the second attempt to colonize Floreana Island, after the failed experience of José de Villamil in 1832.

1872

Swiss-American biologist and geologist Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz of Harvard University spends 10 days in the islands aboard the U.S. Hassler, under Philip C. Johnson (June). Traveling with him are ichthyologist Franz Steindachner, botanist Thomas Hill, and artist J. Henry Blake, among others. Agassiz never published an account of that expedition, although his wife did in an article in the Atlantic Monthly.

  Bibliography [1872]. Check.

1873

Visit of Admiral William R. Kennedy aboard the Reindeer.

  Bibliography [1873]. Check.

1875

On orders from Rear Admiral A. A. Cochrane, Commander William Edgar de Crackenthorpe Cookson, aboard the H.M.S. Peterel, visits the Galapagos Islands (June). The expedition stays for a very short time, landing on Floreana, Pinta and Isabela Islands. Cookson collects specimens which, following Cochrane's orders, are deposited in the British Museum, where they are analyzed by Albert Günther. Among such iems, three specimens of the Pinta Island tortoise stand out, a species that was first described by Günther himself.

This expedition is often confused with the voyages of the H.M.S. Petrel, commanded by N. E. Cookson, surveying guano in the eastern Pacific around the same time (Investors Chronicle and Money Market Review, 1874, vol. 29).

  Bibliography [1875]. Check.

After resigning from the Jesuit order, the German naturalist Franz Theodor Wolf visits the Galapagos for the first time together with other scientists from the Quito Polytechnic School, where he taught between 1870 and 1874. He travels aboard the Venecia , of José Valdizán, commanded by Captain Nicolás Petersen (August-November).

  Bibliography [1875]. Check.

1878

The laborers of Floreana Island, led by a certain Lucas Alvarado, rise up, kill José Valdizán and leave the island. Although the British Thomas Levick, who worked for Valdizán, tries to maintain the colony, many go to San Cristóbal Island to work with Manuel Cobos, so that by 1887 there are almost no inhabitants left in Floreana.

The Territorial Division Law of May 27, sanctioned by the National Assembly, eliminates in its 1st article the rank of province of the Galapagos Islands, which remain as "Galapagos Archipelago".

German naturalist Franz Theodor Wolf visits the islands for the second time (June-August). As a result of his explorations, Wolf publishes six articles, and devotes an entire chapter of his Geografía y Geología de Ecuador to Galapagos.

  Bibliography [1878]. Check.

1879

Manuel Cobos settles on San Cristóbal Island and establishes the "Chatham" ranch ("El Progreso" since 1889) in the highlands. He receives the former peons of José Valdizán, and reserves Santa Cruz Island as a place of punishment and exile. Bognoly and Espinosa, in Las islas encantadas ó el Archipiélago de Colón, give an account of life on the hacienda.

  Bibliography [1816]. Check.

1880

Visit by British Admiral Sir Albert Hasting Markham aboard the H.M.S. Triumph, the flagship of the Royal Navy at its Pacific Station. Pursuant to orders provided by Rear Admiral Frederick H. Sterling, he lands on Floreana Island for a brief visit and the collection of natural history specimens, which are later analyzed by British naturalist Osbert Salvin.

  Bibliography [1880]. Check.

1884

Visit of the Italian corvette Vettor Pisani, of the Royal Navy, under the command of Giuseppe Palumbo, on a circumnavigation trip (March). Lieutenants Gaetano Chierchia and Cesare Marcacci are in charge of most of the scientific activities and the publication of subsequent reports and articles.

  Bibliography [1884]. Check.

An agreement is signed between the Swiss-Scandinavian Company for the Colonization of Galapagos and the Ecuadorian government (August 8).

  Bibliography [1816]. Check.

1887

Visit of the French corvette Descres, commanded by G. Estienne. They disembark on Floreana Island, where they find the remains of José Valdizán's house (murdered by his workers in 1878) and mark a roadstead at Playa Negra (May 15).

  Bibliography [1816]. Check.

Visit of the Chilean corvette Chacabuco, commanded by Federico Chaigneau. According to Francisco Vidal Gormaz, who reports on the trip, it stops at San Cristóbal and Floreana islands.

  Bibliography [1887]. Check.

1888

First visit of the American ship U.S.S. Albatross, of the U.S. Fish Commission: it is, supposedly, the first purpose-built research vessel for marine studies (April). Commanded by Zera Luther Tanner, she carries on board the American zoologist and naturalist Charles H. Townsend, in charge of the expedition.

  Bibliography [1888]. Check.

1891

Visit of the German paleontologist Georg(e) Baur, then a professor at Clark University (USA), on the Salisbury Expedition to the Galapagos Islands. In addition to studying tortoises, he develops a theory about the geological origin of the archipelago (June-August). His expedition, of which he was the only member, was financed by the American tycoon Stephen Salisbury III, hence his name.

  Bibliography [1891]. Check.

Second visit of the American ship U.S.S. Albatross, of the U.S. Fish Commission: it is, supposedly, the first purpose-built research vessel for marine studies (April). Commanded by Zera Luther Tanner, she carries on board the American zoologist and naturalist Charles H. Townsend, in charge of the expedition, and Alexander Agassiz. They visit the islands of San Cristóbal, Floreana, Pinzón and Santiago.

  Bibliography [1891]. Check.

1892

On the fourth centenary of the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the American continent, Ecuadorian President Luis D. Cordero Crespo decrees that the Galapagos be called "Archipiélago de Colón" (Columbus Archipelago), and that the islands assume Spanish names. These, with the exception of "Floreana", are maintained today.

1893

Ecuadorian Antonio Gil attempts to colonize Floreana Island.

  Bibliography [1816]. Check.

1897

After a failed attempt on Floreana Island (1893), Antonio Gil abandoned it and colonized Isabela Island, founding Puerto Villamil and the "Santo Tomás" hacienda. For the development of the activities of the colony it has two ships: the Tomasita (lost in 1908) and the Nellie, which had a disastrous mishap narrated by the passengers of the Academy (1906).

Visit of the Webster-Harris scientific expedition aboard the American sailboat Lila and Mattie, commanded by Captain Linbridge (July-December). Organized by Frank B. Webster and financed by Lord Walter Rothschild, its chief naturalist is Charles Miller Harris and collectors are Rollo H. Beck (on his first visit to the islands), F. P. Drowne and C. D. Hull. Harris and Drowne's journals open the article published by Rothschild as a summary of the expedition.

  Bibliography [1897]. Check.

1898

Visit of the Hopkins-Standford Galapagos Expedition, organized by the Department of Zoology of the US Stanford University and financed by Timothy Hopkins. They arrive aboard the seal ship Julia E. Whalen, commanded by Captain William P. Noyes (December 1898-June 1899). The scientists of the expedition are the zoologist Edmund Heller and the entomologist Robert E. Snodgrass, who focus on the collection of vertebrate specimens, although they also collect flora and fauna in general.

  Bibliography [1898]. Check.

20th century

1901

Rollo H. Beck's second visit to the islands to collect specimens.

Exile of Camilo Casanova in Santa Cruz (until 1904).

1902

The law on Galapagos of 1885 is reformed.

A small garrison is established in Puerto Villamil.

1904

In San Cristóbal, the peons of "El Progreso" rebel and assassinate Manuel Cobos and the territorial chief.

Around this time, writers José A. Bognoly and José Moisés Espinosa visit the islands.

Visit of the American ship USS Albatross (December 1904-January 1905).

1905

Visit of the California Academy of Sciences Expedition, aboard the Academy, organized by Rollo H. Beck. Joseph R. Slevin is the historian of the expedition (June 1905-November 1906).

General Plaza is the Governor of the islands.

Adventure of the Norwegian ship Alexandra.

José A. Bognoly and José Moisés Espinosa publish Las islas encantadas ó el Archipiélago de Colón.

1906

Nicolás G. Martínez Holguín, director of the Quito Astronomical Observatory, visits the islands and writes Impresiones de un viaje a Galápagos.

1910

Mexican Felipe Lastra, who had worked with Manuel Cobos in San Cristóbal, settled in Bellavista, Santa Cruz (until 1917).

1914

During World War I (until 1918), several German ships and submarines (including the Admiral Graf von Spee) used the islands to escape their British adversaries.

1917

First visit of an Ecuadorian president to Galapagos: José Alfredo Baquerizo Moreno disembarks in San Cristóbal (July).

Ecuadorian Elías Sánchez settles in the highlands of Santa Cruz (until 1934).

1918

In San Cristóbal, Puerto Chico, created by Manuel Cobos, is renamed Puerto Baquerizo Moreno in honor of the 1917 presidential visit.

Jesuit Father Aurelio Mera Cobo works six months in San Cristóbal.

1923

William Beebe's first expedition aboard the Noma.

1924

Visit by French navigator Alain Gerbault during his circumnavigation voyage on the Firecrest.

1925

In Santa Cruz there are already people living and salting fish near the Pelican Bay waterhole.

Visit of the scientific expedition led by the Norwegian zoologist Alf Wollebaek.

Visit of Cyril Crossland aboard the British yacht St George.

William Beebe's second expedition aboard the Arcturus.

1926

Arrival of Norwegian settlers in Santa Cruz and San Cristóbal.

Visit of the American millionaire William K. Vanderbilt II aboard the Ara, to collect specimens for his oceanographic museum.

1927

Arrival of 134 Norwegian settlers in Floreana.

Around this year, the American explorer Victor Wolfgang von Hagen traveled to the islands.

The cannery installed by the Norwegians in Academy Bay, Santa Cruz, in 1926 stops working, and most settlers leave at the end of the year.

Allan Hancock's first visit aboard the Oaxaca, accompanied by Joseph Slevin and Frank Tose.

1928

A military unit settles in Puerto Villamil, and a group of officials arrive in San Cristóbal.

A new wave of Norwegian settlers arrives in Santa Cruz.

1929

Norwegian settlers from Floreana return to Guayaquil, and from there to their country of origin. Some of them decide to head to San Cristóbal, and others to Academy Bay, Santa Cruz.

Friedrich Ritter and Dore Strauch arrive in Floreana.

1930

The Vincent Astor Expedition, aboard the Nourmahal, explores the interior of Santa Cruz.

Visit from William L. Mellon aboard the Vagabondia.

Abraham Bedoya arrives in Santa Cruz and installs the farm "La Victoria" in Bellavista.

  Vid. On the Nourmahal.

1931

Visit of the American ship USS Albatross.

Second visit of Allan Hancock aboard the Velero III (first Allan Hancock Expedition, December 1931-February 1932).

1932

Heinz and Margret Wittmer arrive to Floreana. Two months later, "Baroness" Eloïse Wagner-Bousquet and her companions arrive.

Captain Lundh arrives in Santa Cruz.

Franciscan priest Leonardo Jaime de Badiola arrives in Santa Cruz.

Visit of the Templeton Crocker Expedition of the California Academy of Sciences to Mexico and the Galapagos, aboard the yacht Zaca.

Allan Hancock's third visit aboard the Velero III (second Allan Hancock Expedition, December 1931-February 1932).

1933

Fourth visit of Allan Hancock aboard the Velero III (third Allan Hancock Expedition, December 1933-March 1934).

1934

Visit of William Albert Robinson aboard the Syaap, writing Voyage to Galapagos: In 32' Ketch "Svaap".

In Floreana "Baroness" Eloïse Wagner-Bousquet and her companions disappear. Soon after, Ritter dies.

Fifth visit of Allan Hancock aboard the Velero III (fourth Allan Hancock Expedition, November 1934-April 1935). Hancock becomes involved in the disappearance of Wagner-Bousquet.

Ana Stampa is born, daughter of Captain Stampa, first born in Santa Cruz.

Ecuadorian President Abelardo Montalvo decrees the protection of several islands, although such a decree goes unnoticed due to lack of funds.

1935

In Isabela, Gil's hacienda declines, and the settlers divide up the land.

Victor Wolfgang von Hagen leads the Charles Darwin Memorial Expedition.

1937

The German Angermeyer brothers arrive at Academy Bay, Santa Cruz, along with Captain Rafael Castro.

Visit of the Expedición Científica Nacional, including geobotanist Dr. Misael Acosta Solís.

Visit by Yehuda Samandaroff and Manuel Chalons, who write El porvenir agro-pecuario del Archipiélago de Colón (Galápagos).

Visit of the George Vanderbilt South Pacific Expedition aboard the Cressida, captained by George W. Vanderbilt III.

1938

Visit of President Franklin D. Roosevelt aboard the U.S.S. Houston.

The Lack-Venables expedition begins.

  Vid. Georgina Taylor’s manuscript.

1940

Visit of Paulette Everard de Rendón.

1941

Visit of the fifth George Vanderbilt South Pacific Expedition aboard the Pioneer, captained by George W. Vanderbilt III.

1942

Development of a map of Galapagos by the US Navy.

The US base is installed in Baltra.

Visit of Dr. Waldo L. Schmidt (June-July).

1943

The National Congress authorizes Ecuadorian President Carlos A. Arroyo del Río to decree the provincialization of Galapagos.

1945

Ecuadorian President José María Velasco Ibarra visits Baltra and other islands of the archipelago, including Floreana. Since then the port of that island takes his name.

  Vid. The slides of the Baltra base.

1946

The US base at Baltra is dismantled.

The Ecuadorian government installs the Isabela prison (Colonia Penal Agrícola).

1947

A Special Law of the Colon Archipelago is drafted, which remains in draft.

The book Darwin's Finches, by David Lack, popularizes that name for some birds that Darwin did not give too much importance to when he visited the islands.

1948

Visit of the Scientific Mission of the Polytechnic School of Ecuador led by the French herpetologist Robert Hoffstetter.

1949

Franciscan priests Francisco Castillo and Mateo Benavides visit the islands.

1950

Pope Pius XII establishes the Apostolic Prefecture of Galapagos, and appoints Pedro Pablo Andrade as its first prefect.

1952

Settlers Robert Schiess and Adolf Hanny build the windmill in Pelican Bay, Santa Cruz.

1953

Visit of the Norwegian Archaelogical Expedition, led by Thor Heyerdahl.

1954

Visit of Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt.

1956

The colonization of Santa Rosa, in the highlands of Santa Cruz, begins (until 1959).

1957

Apertura de la carretera trans-Santa Cruz.

The Ecuadorian government requests the sending of a special IUCN-UNESCO mission to the islands.

Jean Delacour and S. Dillon Ripley travel to Quito on behalf of the International Council for Bird Preservation to explore the possibility of opening a station on the islands. With the support of UNESCO and Life magazine, Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt, Dr. Robert Bowman, photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt and painter Rudolf Freund travel to the islands looking for a suitable site to install the station. They originally chose Playa Mansa, Santa Cruz, but later changed it to the current location of the CDRS, former property of settler Jacob P. Lundh, who ceded it at the request of Dr. Raymond Lévêque and Captain Rafael Castro.

1958

Jean Dorst is sent to negotiate the first conservation agreement with Ecuador.

1959

The Isabela prison is closed.

President Camilo Ponce Enrique creates the Galapagos National Park (July 4).

The CDF is founded (July 23), with Victor Van Straelen elected as its first president.

Tourism plans begin by the Fruit Trading Corporation and its president, Folke Anderson. This creates the Compañía Ecuatoriana de Turismo Galápagos S.A. (CETUGA), managed by Joseph Lundh.

1960

The CDRS begins to be built, with Raymond Lévêque as its first director.

Tourist cruise services begin with the ship Cristobal Carrier.

  Vid. Unpublished notes on tortoises.

1962

Raymond Lévêque resigns from the leadership of the CDRS and is replaced by Dr. André Brosset.

1963

André Brosset resigns from the leadership of the CDRS and is replaced by Dr. David Snow.

1964

The CDRS is inaugurated under the administration of David Snow (January 21).

The basic agreement between the CDF and the government of Ecuador is signed (February 14) for 25 years.

Dr. Roger Perry succeeds David Snow as CEO of CDRS, and initiates the captive giant tortoise breeding program.

1967

The service of the ship Cristobal Carrier, started in 1960, ends.

1968

The Galapagos National Park Service is inaugurated, its first officers being Juan Black and José Villa (October).

The combined tourist activities of the Ecuadorian Air Force planes and Daniel Pinargote's ship begin.

The Galapagos Hotel opens, run by Forest Nelson.

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Metropolitan Touring begins experimental tour operations. The ship Lina A (later Floreana) arrives, the first to operate in Galapagos as a hotel-ship.

1970

Peter Kramer succeeds Roger Perry as the director of the CDRS.

  Vid. Taking care of tortoises, The incubator at the CDRS.

1971

Hungarian biologist Joseph Vagvolgyi finds the tortoise "Lonesome George" in Pinta.

1972

The CDF warns of the danger faced by island sea turtles, which leads to the prohibition of their capture.

An expedition to Pinta recovers the tortoise "Lonesome George".

1973

The organization chart of the Galapagos National Park Service is established (October 31).

Metropolitan Touring buys the North Gaspe and names it Iguana, making its first daily tour in May.

Metropolitan Touring, David Balfour and Rolf Seivers create Isleña C Ltda.

General Guillermo Rodríguez Lara declares the definitive provincialization of the islands (February 18).

  Vid. The Grants' bands for ringing finches.

1974

Craig McFarland succeeds Peter Kramer as the director of the CDRS.

1980

INGALA – Instituto Nacional Galápagos is created (February 7).

  Vid. A little tortoise, A tortoise’s beginnings, IDs at the CDF, Rearing tortoises, The tortoise #1000.

1996

The Consejo Provincial de Galápagos is created.

1998

The Law of the Special Regime for the Conservation and Sustainable Development of the Province of Galapagos (LOREG) is published, which converts Galapagos into a Special Province.

1999

The Management, Conservation and Sustainable Use Plan for the Galapagos Marine Reserve is approved.

2000

  Vid. Animals in trouble.

siglo XXI

2001

The Provincial Council is renamed the Provincial Government.

2005

The Management Plan for the Galapagos National Park is approved (March).

2008

The New Constitution of Ecuador gives a new government regime to Galapagos.

2009

INGALA merges with the Provincial Government and gives rise to the Governing Council of the Galapagos Special Regime (CRREG).

2012

The turtle "Lonesome George" dies.

2014

The Management Plan for the Protected Areas of Galapagos for Good Living is approved.

In the CDRS, the first captive mangrove finch is born.

2015

The Organic Law of the Special Regime of the Province of Galapagos is approved (June).

2021

Creation of Galapagueana. Official presentation (December) and launch of first batch of contents.

2022

Galapagueana’s second batch of contents.

  Vid. A history of Galapagos in fifteen documents.

 

 

Text & picture: (edgardo.civallero@fcdarwin.org.ec).
Publication date: 1 December 2021
Last update: 1 May 2022