Puerto Rico

1524 Estevam Gomes de Santo (Portuguese Mariner) is sent by the Spanish

Crown to explore the northeast coast of the New World.

1654 The General Court of Connecticut becomes so alarmed by the number

of barrels of rum flooding into its ports that it bans the import of whatsoever Barbados liquors to protect the small distillers of New England and begins confiscating the cargos of rum runners.

1733 England’s parliament passes the Molasses Act, which imposes a duty on

molasses in an attempt to control manufacture of rum. New England colonists ignore it, smuggling supplies for their distilleries from the French and Spanish West Indies.

1752-1758 The Spanish Ship Case is heard in the court of New London. A local,

unnamed Spanish Jew is a key translator in a case involving Spanish ships with valuable cargo from Honduras destined for Cadiz, Spain. Caesar Shaw, a free Negro Mariner, receives a Seaman’s Protection Certificate in New London. Shaw then sails aboard the Sloop Betsy, John Webb, master, for a voyage from New London to the West Indies. The cargo of brig Caroline (master Elihu Cotton)-on her return to Middletown, Connecticut, from a voyage to Jamaicaconsisted of rum and sugar.

Rum and Molasses imported from Puerto Rico to New London, Middletown, and Glastonbury.

The first Latin American student enrolls at Yale University.

The Amistad, a Spanish slave ship that sailed from Cuba, arrives in New Haven.

A logbook kept by Abanson Fournier on board the ship Stonington of New London, George W. Hamley, master, for a voyage from Tasmania to the Pacific Ocean whaling grounds, documents that during the voyage the ship was commandeered at San Diego, California, for Mexican war service. Captain Hamley was captured at San Blas, Mexico, and Alanson Fournier took command for the passage home.

U.S. census reveals that New Haven and Hartford rank among the top 50 cities for population in the nation. Both cities register foreign-born populations from Latin America and the Caribbean. New London County records more people (167) from the Atlantic Islands than any other place in Connecticut.

Hiram Bingham directs expedition from Yale University to Peru and excavates Machu Pichu.

A soldier in Bridgeport, who identifies himself as Portuguese (originally from St. Vincent in the Caribbean), serves as a Buffalo Soldier in the U.S. invasion of Mexico at the Battle of Carrizal, Chihuahua, Mexico.

Jones Act: Recognition of Puerto Ricans as having U.S. citizenship rights increases migration from the island to the mainland, including Connecticut.

Puerto Rico Photo Gallery

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