Apocalypse 1692 (Paperback)
Empire, Slavery, and the Great Port Royal Earthquake
A haven for pirates and the center of the New World’s frenzied trade in slaves and sugar, Port Royal, Jamaica, was a notorious cutthroat settlement where enormous fortunes were gained for the fledgling English empire. But on June 7, 1692, it all came to a catastrophic end. Drawing on research carried out in Europe, the Caribbean, and the United States, and utilizing little-known first-hand accounts and other primary sources, Apocalypse 1692: Empire, Slavery, and the Great Port Royal Earthquake by Ben Hughes intertwines several related themes: the rise of sugar plantation slavery and its horrors; the struggle between England, France, and Spain for control of lucrative Caribbean resources, culminating in England’s bloody repulse of a full-blown French invasion of Jamaica; and the slave rebellion that led to the establishment of the first permanent free black communities in the New World. The book also features the most comprehensive account yet written of the massive earthquake and tsunami which struck Jamaica in 1692, resulting in the deaths of thousands, and sank a third of the city beneath the sea. From the misery of everyday life in the sugar plantations, to the ostentation and double-dealings of the plantocracy; from the adventures of former-pirates- turned-treasure-hunters to the debauchery of Port Royal, Apocalypse 1692 exposes the lives of the individuals who made late seventeenth-century Jamaica the most financially successful, brutal, and scandalously corrupt of all of England’s nascent American colonies.
Apocalypse 1692 is a worthy addition to any collection focusing on Jamaican history, slavery, and colonial life in the second half of the 1600s.Pirates and Privateers, Cindy Vallar
Read the complete review online here.