In Search of the Real Captain Morgan
You know Captain Morgan. He’s that jolly pirate with a familiar stance and a fondness for spiced rum. He’s a pop culture icon who sports a recognizable wardrobe and likes to be paired with Coke. But Captain Morgan is more than just a Caribbean rum mascot. The real life Henry Morgan was one of the most notorious privateers of all time. He carried with him a Letter of Marque issued by the British government and the Governor of Jamaica to fight the Spanish on behalf of England. He raided the centers of wealth and influence on the Spanish Main, amassing the largest fleet in the history of the Caribbean. The loot he collected from his adventures was his reward.
Morgan’s mythical status has grown over the centuries, but the real Henry Morgan is resurfacing in the Chagres River in Panama. For the past three years, the Captain Morgan brand has teamed up with a crew of US archaeologists to search for Morgan’s lost fleet. The effort first began in September 2010, when the team discovered six cannon that belonged to Morgan. Last summer, they located a wooden shipwreck from the 17th century. This wreck could be one of the five ships that Morgan lost on the Lajas Reef in 1671.
This summer, the team returned to excavate the wreckage. They uncovered swords, chests, cargo seals and wooden barrels (which, in all likelihood, don’t contain 340-year-old rum). These artifacts are now being preserved in Panama City so that their origins can be verified. They will remain the property of the Panamanian government and be displayed at the Patronato Panamá Viejo in Panama City.
Morgan and his men were able to overcome Fort San Lorenzo at Charges and take Panama. At the time, Panama City was considered the capital of Spanish America and was one of the richest cities in the world. The raid was a success, but poorly timed. After the city was captured and looted, word arrived that England had signed a peace treaty with Spain. By the time Morgan returned to Port Royal, Jamaica, the governor had been arrested and shipped back to England. Morgan soon suffered a similar fate.
But his exile in England didn’t last long. As tensions with the Dutch flared up in the West Indies, the King sought the advice of the celebrated buccaneer. Morgan’s tactical recommendations put him in good favor with Charles II, and before too long Morgan was knighted by the king and sent back to Jamaica to serve as deputy governor.
With his swashbuckling days behind him, Morgan’s life took a more respectable turn. He began overseeing matters of state and grew rich from his sugar plantations. Ever the survivor, Morgan outmaneuvered his political adversaries. After being relieved of his duties, Morgan would reclaim his spot on the governing council at Port Royal and remain there until his death in 1688.
So pretty cool stuff. If you like pirates and shipwrecks and rum and archaeology and feel-good rogue-to-riches stories, there’s a lot to love here. Just check out some photos of the excavation efforts:
|Print article||This entry was posted by Chris Stout on August 8, 2012 at 6:43 pm, and is filed under Lifestyle. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
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about 4 months ago - 2 comments
After the screening of The Unsinkable Henry Morgan, I had a chance to chat with super chill underwater archaeologist and all around good guy Fritz Hanselmann.
Hanselmann is really the star of the film. His voice drives it and his personality shines through. He’s the kinda guy you’d want to get drunk with as you listen to him
about 4 months ago - 1 comment
This past Tuesday I attended a screening of The Unsinkable Henry Morgan, a 30 minute documentary that will air on the Sundance Channel this Sunday night. The film will also be showcased at Sundance over the weekend.
The documentary follows underwater archeologist Fritz Hanselmann and a team of specialists who conducted an archeological expedition in Panama
about 1 year ago - No comments
Check out these classy new Captain Morgan spots from award-winning director Tom Hooper (King’s Speech, The Damned United):
The ads are part of the new “To Life, Love and Loot” campaign.
Captain Morgan’s BracketMaster Elite 8
Marisa Miller Is Captain Morgan’s Official First Mate
Last Chance to Vote for the Round of 32 in the
about 2 years ago - No comments
All good things must come to an end. Just like the real NCAA tournament, the Captain Morgan BracketMaster Championship presented by Spike.com is coming to a close today. It was fun participating in this tournament that featured 32 gorgeous gals teaming up with 32 men’s sites to see who would be crowned the Ultimate Morganette.
about 2 years ago - 1 comment
So we didn’t make it to the next round of the Captain Morgan’s Bracketmaster Tournament presented by Spike.com, but you can still pick winners in the Elite 8 for a chance to win some great prizes. The remaining bracket is basically a consolation bracket where you pick who you think will win in the Elite
about 2 years ago - No comments
Quick BracketMaster update for you guys. Thanks to your support, our gal Erica has advanced to the Sweet 16 of the Captain Morgan BracketMaster Challenge presented by Spike.com! Now she needs your support to get to the Elite 8. So we’re asking you guys to go to bracketmaster.spike.com and cast your fault for Erica in
about 2 years ago - 1 comment
Today is the last day to fill out your complete bracket for the 2011 Captain Morgan BracketMaster Challenge presented by Spike.com. If you haven’t yet done so, head over to bracketmaster.spike.com and make your selections for the Round of 32 now. You can win all kinds of cash and prizes including a $15,000 grand prize
about 2 years ago - 3 comments
For the second year in a row, Captain Morgan is teaming up with Spike.com to bring you the Captain Morgan 2011 BracketMaster Challenge. The BracketMaster Challenge is a 32 babe, single-elimination tournament that features super-fine Morganettes from all across the country. Hotties representing the North, South, East and West will compete head-to-head in a bracket-style
about 2 years ago - 2 comments
Supermodel, Santa Cruz-native and all around amazing-in-a-bikini legend Marisa Miller is joining forces with Captain Morgan. Miller is taking on the role of Captain Morgan’s Official First Mate, and she’s even filmed some swashbuckling promo vids with the Captain himself. Take a look at the trailer:
This Saturday, the world premiere of the full “Welcome to