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LIBRARY

OF THE UNIVERSITY

OF

CALIFORNIA

CHAPTER II

MORGAN SETS OUT FOR PANAMA

CAPT. MORGAN perceived that fortune favored his arms, by giving good success to all his enterprises, which occasioned him, as it is usual in human affairs, to aspire to greater things, trusting she would always be constant to him. Such was the burning of Panama; wherein fortune failed not to assist him, in like manner as she had done before, crowning the event of his actions with victory, howbeit she had led him thereto through thousands of difficulties. The history hereof, I shall now begin to relate, as being so very remarkable in all its circumstances that per-adventure nothing more deserving memory may occur to be read by future ages.

Not long after Capt. Morgan arrived at Jamaica, he found many of his chief officers and soldiers reduced to their former state of indigence through their immoderate vices and debauchery. Hence they ceased not to importune him for new invasions and exploits, thereby to get something to expend anew in wine, as they had already wasted what was secured so shortly before. Capt. Morgan being willing to follow fortune while she called him, hereupon stopped the mouths of many of the inhabitants of Jamaica, who were creditors to his men of large sums of money, with the hope and promise he gave them of greater achievements than ever, by a new expedition he was going about. This being done, he needed not give himself much trouble to levy men for this or any other enterprise, his name being now so famous through all those islands, that that alone would readily bring him in more men than he could well employ. He undertook therefor to equip a new fleet of ships; for which purpose he assigned the south side of the isle of Tortuga, as a place of rendezvous. With this resolution, he wrote divers letters to all the ancient and expert Pirates there inhabiting, as also to the Governor of said isle, and to the planters and hunters of Hispaniola (Hayti), giving them to understand his intentions, and desiring their appearance at the said place, in case they intended to go with him. All these people had no sooner understood his designs than they flocked to the place assigned, in huge numbers, with ships, canoes and boats, being desirous to obey his commands. Many, who had not the convenience of coming to him by sea, traversed the woods of Hispaniola, and with no small difficulties arrived there by land. Thus all were present at the place assigned and in readiness, against the 24th day of October, 1670.1

Capt. Morgan was not wanting to be there according to his punctual custom, who came in his ship to the same side of the island, to a port called by the French, Port Coullon, over against the island De la Vaca, this being a place which he had assigned to others. Having now gathered the greater part of his fleet, he called a council to deliberate the means of finding provisions sufficient for so many people. Here LIBRARY

1 Upon the conclusion of a treaty of peace in 1670 between England and Spain, which confirmed the former in her possessions in the West Indies, but forbade her subjects to trade to any Spanish port without a license; a proclamation was issued in pursuance of such arrangement, which greatly exasperated the freebooting community, and the direct result of which was an assemblage of the largest fleet ever brought together by the buccaneers, amounting to 37 ships of all sizes, manned by more than 2,000 pirates. They met in December, 1670, at Cape Tiburon, Gulf of Uraba, and held a council to decide whether their forces should be directed upon Cartagena, Vera Cruz, or Panama. The last was chosen as being the richest, and Morgan was elected admiral.

OF THE

UNIVERSITY

OF

CALIFORNIA

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