(c. 1635 Ė August 25, 1688)
Henry Morgan is one of the most successful pirates of all time. He began his career as a common criminal pirate and ended it as Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica. He was one of the most capable pirates, and thus loved by pirate enthusiasts, but he was also the one who hunted down and killed the buccaneers, and thus is hated by pirate enthusiasts.
Henry Morganís plundering brought him his fame as a pirate. He brought in mighty hauls of loot and he did it by organizing and leading armies of buccaneers, in many cases over land instead of sea. His army raided Vilahermosa (capital of the Mexican province Tobasco), the silver mining city of Gran Granada in Nicaragua, the inland city of Puerto Principe in Cuba, Porto Bello in Panama, and Maracaibo and Gibraltar in Venezuela. Not all of his raids produced spectacular hauls of swag, but those that did yielded such a haul that Henry Morganís fame was immeasurable on the Spanish Main. Not only was his reputation built upon the booty he acquired, but also upon his cunning and resource when faced with Spanish troops who tried to out-clever him.
Henry Morganís largest raid was his attempt to plunder the gold of Panama. He assembled an army of more than 2000 pirates on 36 ships. He marched his pirate army through a nigh impenetrable jungle and faced a bellicose Spanish army, but his ability to command kept the pirates together. In the end, victory went to the pirates. Morganís men shared £100,000. Unfortunately, at the time of the raid, the English were no longer at war with the Spanish and Morgan was recalled to England and there sent to the dungeon.
When King Charles II heard of Morganís deeds, rather than condemn him as a pirate, he knighted him and made him Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica with orders to rid the Caribbean of buccaneers. Sir Morgan was spectacularly amazing at that task too. When he died, piracy had been nearly eradicated in his waters.
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