cover of book
 

Cayman's 1794 Wreck of the Ten Sail: Peace, War, and Peril in the Caribbean
by Margaret E. Leshikar-Denton
University of Alabama Press, 2019
Paper: 978-0-8173-5965-2 | Cloth: 978-0-8173-2045-4 | eISBN: 978-0-8173-9275-8
Library of Congress Classification G525
Dewey Decimal Classification 910.916365

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK
The greatest shipwreck disaster in the history of the Cayman Islands
 
The story has been passed through generations for more than two centuries. Details vary depending on who is doing the telling, but all refer to this momentous maritime event as the Wreck of the Ten Sail. Sometimes misunderstood as the loss of a single ship, it was in fact the wreck of ten vessels at once, comprising one of the most dramatic maritime disasters in all of Caribbean naval history. Surviving historical documents and the remains of the wrecked ships in the sea confirm that the narrative is more than folklore. It is a legend based on a historical event in which HMS Convert, formerly L’Inconstante, a recent prize from the French, and 9 of her 58-ship merchant convoy sailing from Jamaica to Britain, wrecked on the jagged eastern reefs of Grand Cayman in 1794.
 
The incident has historical significance far beyond the boundaries of the Cayman Islands. It is tied to British and French history during the French Revolution, when these and other European nations were competing for military and commercial dominance around the globe. The Wreck of the Ten Sail attests to the worldwide distribution of European war and trade at the close of the eighteenth century.
 
In Cayman’s 1794 Wreck of the Ten Sail: Peace, War, and Peril in the Caribbean, Margaret E. Leshikar-Denton focuses on the ships, the people, and the wreck itself to define their place in Caymanian, Caribbean, and European history. This well-researched volume weaves together rich oral folklore accounts, invaluable supporting documents found in archives in the United Kingdom, Jamaica, and France, and tangible evidence of the disaster from archaeological sites on the reefs of the East End.
 

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