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A little bit of history - The Great Hurricane of 1780at 17:45 - 19th, June 2023
Tags: hurricanes, storms, st kitts, caribbean, barbados, martinique, guadeloupe, antigua, statia, florida, death toll, canada british fleet, independence
Credit where credit is due, my mom sent this to me and finally got a chance to read it.
In the year of our Lord 1780, the Almighty reminded us of his power by sending a hurricane the likes that the Atlantic and Caribbean have never seen before in recorded memory.
Take this with a grain of salt because they didn't have the tools to measure these things like we do now, but the level of devastation, loss of life cannot and historically relevant impact this played on the world cannot be ignored. We'll get to the historical impact shortly, bear with me.
In 1780, a hurricane formed off the cost of Africa and tore towards across the Atlantic picking up a tremendous amount of strength before hitting, the eye of the storm barely missing Barbados. The level of destruction was unheard of at the time.
After dealing with Barbados, the storm continued to the southern Caribbean hitting St. Lucia, Martinique, Dominica, Guadaloupe, St. Kitts, Statia, Antigua and heading north to Florida, passing directly over Puerto Rico in the process. The eye hit Puerto Rico hard, very very hard. To the point of them naming the storm about 200 years before they started naming storms.
After Florida, it continued north and caused havoc in Canada, I kid you not.
From a Dutch sea-officer who was blown from statia to Martinique in the storm.
A short while ago it pleased the Lord Almighty to show us his power. Here we had from 12 to 22 October of this year a very fierce wind & a heavy see that ruined a lot of houses and warehouses, yes even many ships were wrecked and many people were killed. The wall has been completely washed away by the sea and the back of the house has been left only on single struts, yes it was so heavy that the sea flew over our house but we may thank the Lord for his mercy that we have come off so well.
From the attorney general of Guadeloupe
The gale of wind which happened on the 12th Oct. was the most severe perhaps ever known. Barbadoes suffered amazingly, 6500 souls perished. Tobago laid waste, Grenades, St. Vincent, St. Lucia, Martinique, suffered more than any person can conceive. St. Kitts and Eustatia, did not escape without damage: this island did but just feel it.
This was a hell of a storm.
Apparently, estimates of the death toll from the hurricane range from 22,000 to about 28,500, making it the deadliest hurricane in the recorded history of the Atlantic hurricane basin.
Such a loss of life is incredible, but what about that historical impact I mentioned before? Well, 1780 was around America's war of independence from the British right? Historical records show that the British navy was moored all over the Caribbean preparing for the war, supplies, men, arms you name it. The fleet was crushed by the storm:
Among the ships lost from Rodney's fleet were the frigates HMS Phoenix, which was wrecked on the Cuban coast, and HMS Blanche, which disappeared without a trace. The sixth rate frigates HMS Andromeda and HMS Laurel were wrecked on Martinique with heavy loss of life. By far the worst losses in the British fleet, however, were under the command of Vice Admiral Peter Parker and Rear-Admiral Joshua Rowley. At the time of the hurricane, Rowley was off the coast of New York with a portion of the fleet, including HMS Sandwich, while Parker was in Port Royal, Jamaica. Many of their ships, however, were in the hurricane's path. HMS Thunderer, HMS Stirling Castle, HMS Scarborough, HMS Barbados, HMS Deal Castle, HMS Victor, and HMS Endeavour were lost, among others, and almost all of their crews died. Seven other ships were dismasted.
In a sense, you could say that America was able to fight back the British because they didn't receive the supplies and reinforcements that they were meant to get because everything was destroyed in the Caribbean. Basically, America is a sovereign nation now due to this massive hurricane.
The more you know.
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