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Buccaneering Era > Blockade of Cartagena (1683)

Blockade of Cartagena (1683)

Background

Cartagena - John Ogliby (1671)

Cartagena - John Ogliby (1671)

The Raid on Cartagena in 1683 was a successful buccaneer raid led by Laurens de Graaf on the Spanish port city of Cartagena de Indias which is now on the coast of modern day Colombia. Previously in May of 1683 de Graaf and the buccaneers had successfully sacked Veracruz along with Nikolaas van Hoorn. After the sack van Hoorn and de Graaf would famously have a fight that led to a duel in which Van Hoorn became injured on the Isla de Sacrificios. Van Hoorn would succumb to his injuries and de Graaf would continue down south in the Caribbean Sea.

De Graaf and his fleet including Michiel Andrieszoon and Yankey Williams arrived off the coast of Colombia in November of 1683 where they waited offshore for almost a month while they planned the invasion of Cartagena de Indias. However, in order to prevent the imminent buccaneer invasion the Spanish governor named Juan de Pando Estrada seized three private slave ships known as the 40-gun San Francisco, the 34-gun Paz and a smaller 28-gun galliot. Eight hundred Spanish troops led by a twenty-six year old commander then rode out to meet the buccaneers and engage them head on in the sea. Ultimately the Spanish were defeated and lost ninety men compared to twenty buccaneers.

During the engagement the San Francisco was grounded and the other two slave ships were captured by the buccaneers. De Graaf would use the San Francisco as his new flagship and renamed it the Fortune, and later the Neptune. Michiel Andrieszoon would seize the Paz and rename it the Mutine or 'Rascal'. Yankey Williams would take the Francesca and use it for himself as well. On Christmas Day the buccaneers released a large amount of the Spanish prisoners they had captive and sent a note to Governor Estrada thanking him for the Christmas presents. Following this the buccaneers blockaded the Cartagena and demanded a ransom for the rest of the prisoners they still held.

In January of 1684 an English squadron arrived led by the 48-gun HMS Ruby which was bringing a request for a Spanish pardon for De Graaf along with a Letter of Marque for the future. However, he did not trust the Spanish and refused the offer but invited the English officers to converse and trade with him and the buccaneers. De Graaf allowed the English to continue into Cartagena and soon after the buccaneers left for Petit-Goave.

Buccaneer Raids

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