Morgan Attacks Puerto del Principe, Cuba

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Another man proposed an assault on Puerto del Principe. He had been there, he said, and there was plenty of money in the town, for it was where the Havana merchants came to buy hides. Lying at some distance from the sea, the place had never been plundered, so the inhabitants had no fear of the English.

This proposal was considered and agreed upon, and Morgan at once ordered his fleet to weigh anchor and set sail for the port of St Maria, the nearest place to Puerto del Principe. Before they reached this destination a Spaniard, who had long been a prisoner in the hands of the English and had picked up some words of their language, overheard the buccaneers muttering about Puerto del Principe. This man jumped overboard one night and began swimming for the nearest island. The English at once sprang into their canoes to fish him out again, but he managed to land before they could catch him and hid among the trees, where they could not find him.

Next day this Spaniard swam from one islet to the next till he reached the Cuban coast. He was familiar with the roads and before long arrived at Puerto del Principe, where he warned the inhabitants of the corsairs’ approach and the forces at their disposal. The Spaniards immediately began hiding their goods, while the governor assembled all the men he could, including a number of slaves. He had a great number of trees felled to block the road and laid various ambushes, with mounted cannon.