January 24, 2013
Trinity University, Fiesta Room 7:30 pm
Dr. Frederick Hanselmann, Texas State University
Captain Henry Morgan’s Fleet Shipwrecks
One of the most famous privateers – or pirates – of all time, Henry Morgan was one of the few to survive and enjoy his ill-gotten gains. From 1664 to 1671, Morgan led daring raids throughout the Spanish Main, resulting in riches for he and his men and exposing the fragility of the Spanish Empire in the western hemisphere. From Campeche in Mexico to Maracaibo in Venezuela, few were safe from the broad swath of pillage Morgan cut across the Spanish landscape. In 1670, he amassed a fleet of 36 vessels and 1,846 men, the largest fleet of privateers and pirates in the history of the Caribbean. Their target was one of the richest cities in the western hemisphere, lying in the heart of the Spanish colonies: Panama City. Morgan’s subsequent sack of Panama City not only served as his crowning victory and final raid, but also dealt the blow that loosened Spain’s grip on the New World. Since 2008, a team of archaeologists has been piecing together the evidence of Captain Morgan’s last raid, including the search for his flagship Satisfaction and four other vessels that sank approaching the Chagres River en route to Panama City.