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‘Within Musquett Shott Of Black Rock’ – Johnson’s Fortand The Early Defenses Of Nevis, West Indies

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on Nevis, one of the islands in the eastern Caribbean colonised by English settlers in the seventeenth century. In November 1999, the safer west or leeward coast of Nevis was struck by Hurricane Lenny, which caused much devastation but also exposed the ruins of a fort or breastwork not previously noted in archaeological records. The breastwork exposed by Hurricane Lenny can be identified as Johnson's Fort, one of some twelve forts and breastworks recorded in plan and in accompanying reports by the then Lieutenant Governor of the Leeward Islands, Colonel John Johnson, who was responsible for overseeing their repair or construction between 1703 and 1706. The proto-colonial defenses of Nevis were probably minimal, comprising gun batteries to protect ports like Charlestown and Jamestown and a few blockhouses like the earlier building at Pinney's Beach and the 'old stone fort' at Newcastle.

Keywords: Hurricane Lenny; Johnson's Fort; Nevis; proto-colonial defenses



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