The island of Jamaica was captured from the Spanish in 1655 by British Admiral William Penn, father of Pennsylvania’s founder, but it was too far from England to defend, so the city turned to privateers, pirates and buccaneers for protection.
The likes of Blackbeard, Calico Jack and Captain Henry Morgan, namesake of the rum, attacked Spanish ships and returned with their booty.
Soon Port Royal, Jamaica, surpassed Boston as England’s most prosperous settlement.
Called “the Sodom of the New World” for its “pirates, cutthroats, whores,” drinking, gambling and slave trading, it was “the richest and wickedest city in the world” until JUNE 7, 1692, when an earthquake and tsunami sank it under the sea.
Over 2,000 drowned, graves opened and bodies washed about.
Eye-witness Rev. Emmanuel Heath, wrote:
“Port Royal was terribly destroyed by an earthquake and breaking in of the sea upon it.
The destruction was sudden…in four minutes multitudes were killed by the falling houses…
I believe God I never in my life saw such a terror…the earth opened and swallowed up people before my face…
The sea swallowed up the greatest part of that wretched sinful place…
They are so wicked, I fear God…will utterly destroy all by this dreadful Judgment.”
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