National Geographic : 1927 Jan
JAMAICA, THE ISLE OF MANY RIVERS seafighter, Admiral de Grasse himself. That huge vessel was the pride of Louis XV, and its flag had been lowered by Admiral de Grasse only when none but himself and a few seamen remained un wounded after a day's fighting. Thus had Britain avenged her humiliation of the year before at Yorktown, when the heroic de Grasse had aided Washington to achieve the independence of his country. So much for the necessary his torical background of Jamaica's first r e a 1 port. But we must get back on our own jour ney toward Summer land. A brief sail brings us from old Port Royal to the dock at Kingston, the Ja maican capital, born of Port Royal's misfor tune. For after the second great earth quake at Port Royal in 1692, followed by dis asters of fire and hur- T ricane, its people, fear r e If, as it is suppos ing further revolt of this huge tortoise-si Mother Earth, moved ish damsel captured to the mainland and es tablished Kingston, with its great harbor, nine miles long and about two miles broad. KINGSTON THE CAPITAL, As you pass overside and set foot on the dock there is a subconscious realization of change and a feeling that you are indeed in the Tropics, for the very atmosphere seems different and there are strange and not unpleasant odors of fresh fruit, spices, and the cloying smell of sugar. In the background wait groups of white-clothed figures, each crowned by nondescript headgear, from under which gleam black, smiling faces, bright eyes with an expect- Photograph from the Institute of Jamaica HE VANITY OF A FREEBOOTER ed, the Welsh firebrand, Sir Henry Morgan, owned hell comb, he probably wrested it from some Span aboard a galleon or in the sacking of a rich city. ant look of the hope that springs eternal in the breast of the Afro-Jamaican that each arriving American is destined to be his banker, from whom he shall garner a latter-day piece of eight for some service rendered. The mob of expectant bene ficiaries is held in statu quo without seeming effort by a lordly figure, smartly garbed in a black uniform ornamented with bright-red stripes as to trousers and topped with a white solar helmet. He sports a swagger stick of authority, repre senting His Majesty's law and order in the body and person of a Jamaican police man of ebon hue!