The Pirates of Panama, From Sir Francis Drake to Admiral Edward Vernon

In 1572, Francis Drake and his crew of 73 men sailed in two small boats from England to the Isthmus of Panama, a narrow strip of land on Central America. The Isthmus had become a flourishing staging ground for the shipment of the treasures taken from the Aztec and Inca Empires and headed to the Spanish Coffers. Spain used the immense riches to fund the successful Spanish Armada and to govern the African slave trade in the Western hemisphere. The Spaniards proudly reigned over the first global empire of the 16th century. Now, Drake had come to raid their mule-train transport system that had been freely operating for almost sixty-five years. The Englishman's voyage sparked the interest of other fortune seekers and pirates, eventually upending the lucrative Panama trade route and transforming the country's destiny.

Judy Haisten draws from archival sources, rare books, and acclaimed scholars to give us rich and compelling stories of significant pirate raids in the country of Panama that contributed to the decline of the Spanish Empire. 

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