fie ld notes Sixty Indians and Twenty Canoes Briton Hammon's Unreliable Witness to History daniel vollaro Just after Christmas Day in 1747, Briton Hammon, the servant of a man named General John Winslow from Massachusetts, left Boston on The Howlet, a sloop bound for Jamaica to gather "logwood." On the return trip in June of 1748, fully laden with cargo, the sloop ran aground near Cape Florida, an area of dangerous reefs just south of present-day Miami. Stuck on the reef for two days, the captain ordered Hammon and eight members of the twelve-man crew to row for shore while he waited aboard the sloop with two others. While still paddling for the beach, loaded down with provisions, they spotted what appeared to be rocks on the horizon. Hammon and his crewmates soon realized they were mistaken. What they had seen was a complement of sixty Indians in twenty canoes advancing toward them. The Indians killed everyone except Hammon and held him captive for six weeks. Hammon eventually made his way aboard a Spanish schooner that had anchored off the cape and began a twelve-year odyssey of successive captivities and escapes that took him from a prison cell
Native South – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Feb 6, 2009
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