May 23, 2024 – Puritans, Pirates, and Portuguese

May 23rd – Stephen Luce talked on the subject of Puritans, Pirates, and Portuguese at the Museum.

In 1630 Robert Rich, the 2nd Earl of Warwick, together with other prominent English Puritans, claimed the Spanish island of Santa Catalina, re-named it Providence, and started the Providence Island Company. They envisioned this small, isolated island as becoming the Godly and profitable Puritan base of an English empire in Central America. However, by 1635 many colonists had turned to pirating by attacking Spanish and Portuguese interests. The story of Providence Island has centered largely around the Providence Island Company, its powerful investors, and the island’s use as a base for pirates. What has been missing are the names and voices of the Portuguese during Providence’s reconquest from the English, along with Providence’s ties to early New England, including slavery. This presentation seeks to address those forgotten histories.

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