Following participation in the Arctic search for Sir John Franklin, the mariner and author William Parker Snow (1817-95) volunteered in 1854 to command the schooner Allen Gardiner, named after the man whose work for the South American Missionary Society was to be resumed. Although conceived as 'merely a simple narrative of daily life in the Southern Seas', this illustrated two-volume work of 1857 becomes simultaneously a first-hand account of a sailor's experiences and observations, and a self-justification against those by whom he felt disappointed, frustrated and deceived. Volume 1 recounts the history of the Falkland Islands and the circumstances of this mission, covering the voyage to Patagonia and the first friendly meetings with 'dreaded savages'. Volume 2 includes an account of meeting 'Jemmy Button', the Fuegian who had been taken to Britain on the Beagle. It also charts the series of difficulties Snow faced as captain, which culminated in his dismissal and abandonment on the Falklands.