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Almost everyone has heard of or read Daniel Defoes novel Robinson Crusoe Robinson Crusoe is an inspired novel of adventure The story of a mans faith courage and ability to survive on an uninhabited island facing all of the forces of nature and to emerge triumphant over hardships and adversity Defoes novel is a story of an English sailor marooned for twenty-seven years on a deserted Caribbean island surviving by his wits hunting for food rescuing a savage from a cannibals feast and finally emerging as a symbol of mans ability to survive ultimate tests of nature What few people knew however is that Robinson Crusoe actually existed His name was Alexander Selkirk and Daniel Defoe borrowed his real life adventure to create Robinson Crusoe There are even some people today on the Island of Tobago in the Caribbean Sea that proclaim that they are the hereditary descendents of Crusoe Alexander Selkirks adventure did not take place on a deserted island in the Caribbean Sea His lonely island was Juan Fernandez in the Chilean Sea far off in the Pacific Ocean Alexander Selkirk was born in the year 1676 in Largo Scotland the son of a fairly prosperous tanner and leather worker Selkirk was an adventurer and defiant and did not want to spend his life making shoes In 1695 he ran away to sea and by 1703 was the Master of the Galley Later he joined the famed William Dampier on an expedition in the Pacific whose sole purpose was preying on Spanish merchant ships After spending time in the Pacific raking Spanish towns they were preparing to go home to England but their ship had suffered considerable damage in battle Selkirk felt they needed to repair the ship before setting off the captain disagreed In September of 1704 after a quarrel with his Captain Selkirk refused to go any further and requested that he be put ashore on the uninhabited island of
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