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Henry Morgan at Porto Bello Using Human Shields

Henry Morgan at Porto Bello Using Human Shields Visual Arts Legends and Legendary People Social Studies World History

Henry Morgan and his buccaneers used nuns and monks as human shields in their attack on Porto Bello, Panama during July of 1668.  Alexander O. Exquemelin - in his 1678 book, De Americaensche Zee-rovers ("The American Buccaneers") tells us more about what happened:

The ladders were brought out, carried by the monks, priests and women, urged on by the buccaneers, who never thought the governor would fire on his own people - but he spared them as little as he had the raiders.

The monks began to implore the governor by all the saints in heaven to give up the fort and save their lives, but their cries went unheeded. Willing or not, they had no choice but to carry out the ladders. As soon as these were set against the walls the buccaneers immediately swarmed up, furiously attacking the Spaniards with hand grenades and stink-pots - but they were forced to turn back by the ferocious resistance of the defenders.

This image depicts an artist's interpretation of that event. It appears in Buccaneers 1620-1700 (by Angus Konstam, illustrated by Angus McBridge).

Click on the image for a better view.


Media Credits

Image, described above, online via Amazon.  Copyright Angus McBride and Osprey Publishing, all rights reserved.  Image provided here as fair use for educational purposes and to acquaint new readers with the book and its illustrations.  

 

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