The Cultures and History of the Americas: The Jay I. Kislak Collection at the Library of Congress
Interactive Objects: The Buccaneers of America
There is a buccaneer still living in Jamaica whose exploits have been no less bold. He was born in Groningen, and lived for a long time in Brazil, but when the Portuguese retook that country from the Dutch, various settlers there had to leave. Some went to Holland, others to the French or English islands, and some to the Virgin Isles. This man went to Jamaica, and not knowing what else to do, joined the buccaneers, who called him Rock the Brazilian. First he shipped as a common seaman, and became very popular with the crew. A party of malcontents rallied to his side and parted company with their captain, taking a barque, of which they made Rock the captain.
Soon they captured a ship from New Spain, with much money on board, and brought it to Jamaica. Rock acquired great renown from this exploit, and in the end became so audacious he made all Jamaica tremble. He had no self-control at all, but behaved as if possessed by a sullen fury. When he was drunk, he would roam the town like a madman. The first person he came across, he would chop off his arm or leg, without anyone daring to intervene, for he was like a maniac. He perpetrated the greatest atrocities possible against the Spaniards. Some of them he tied or spitted on wooden stakes and roasted them alive between two fires, like killing a pig – and all because they refused to show him the road to the hog-yards he wanted to plunder.
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