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Porto Bello Attack - Henry Morgan

Porto Bello Attack - Henry Morgan World History Biographies Famous Historical Events Famous People Legends and Legendary People Visual Arts

Henry Morgan was born in Wales but is most-known for his escapades as a buccaneer.  Using Jamaica as his base, he sailed to various places throughout the Spanish Main, terrorizing people and capturing Spanish treasure.  Sometimes funds were paid to him, as ransom.

One of his most-significant attacks was on the town of Porto Bello in Panama.  Most of the time, this was a quiet town but every year or two huge amounts of treasure would arrive in the town from the silver mines in Peru (and elsewhere).  Everything would be loaded onto Spanish ships, bound for the mother country.

When these treasures were in town, Porto Bello was a very busy place.  Most of the time, however, things were fairly quiet.

The town had significant defenses, including fortresses.  When the Spanish ships were not in port, those defenses were not as well-manned.

In the summer of 1668, Henry Morgan and his buccaneers arrived at Porto Bello.  They attacked and captured the town, then settled-in to wait for the Governor of Panama's response to Morgan's demand for a ransom.

This image - depicting the raid at Porto Bello - is from the original version of The American Buccaneers, written by Alexander O. Exquemelin and published, in the Dutch language, as De Americaensche Zee-rovers during 1678

Click on the image for a much-better view.


Media Credits

From De Americaensche Zee-rovers ("The American Buccaneers"), by Alexander O. Exquemelin, published by J. Ten Hoorn in Amsterdam (1678).  The first edition of this work was written in Dutch. 

This image is from the 1678 Dutch version of Exquemelin’s book.  It is maintained by the Library of Congress.  Image online, courtesy Library of Congress.

PD

 

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