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and lastly and chief of all, the sack and burning of Old Panama, perhaps at the time the most opulent city in all New Spain, by Henry Morgan and his band of teenth century buccaneers, pirates and sea rovers, furnishes one of the most thrilling chapters in the early history of the Spanish Main, and some of the most notable events in the piratical record of the West Indies, not only from the boldness and intrepidity of the attack, but for the gallant defence as well.

To-day, nearly three hundred and fifty years after, crumbling ruins mark the spots where these occurrences took place, though as the late Mr. James Stanley Gilbert has written in his famous work, "Panama Patchwork": "Cloud-crested San Lorenzo guards


The Chagres' entrance still,

Tho' o'er each stone dense moss has grown,

And earth his moat doth fill.

His bastions, feeble with decay,
Steadfastly view the sea,

And sternly wait the certain fate
The ages shall decree."

To the Americans employed on the Isthmus and the tourists that are coming in ever increasing numbers, the sites of these early Spanish centers of Western civilization have a considerable charm, as is evidenced by the numerous excursions made thereto, especially during the dry Of them all Old Panama, perhaps, possesses the greatest attraction. It is easily accessible from the present city, and really interesting, although unfortunately many visitors merely ride over, take a look at the tower and the old bridge, and then come back with the idea that they have seen everything worth while. The tower and bridge are near to the beach, and easily seen, but the dense vegetation with which the greater part of Old Panama is overgrown makes sight-seeing farther in more difficult. There is the old Cathedral, the roof of which has fallen

in, but the wails of which are still standing. This church is mentioned in Esquemeling's narrative of the sack and burning of Old Panama, written in 1678. and reprinted herewith, as the only one left standing after the fire, the which was used for a hospital for the wounded of the buccaneers. The interior of this church has been used in recent times, and is still being used. I understand. by the natives living in the vicinity for a burying place for their dead. Nearby to the church is the Catacumbas, or tombs, upon the roofs of which great trees are now growing vigorously. As one proceeds farther landwards, sections of the ancient city's walls may be seen in various directions, some being only held up by the gigantic roots of trees which have twined and intertwined in and about the stones in such a manner that now it would be difficult even for a pry to dislodge them. Large open wells curbed with stone are scattered about the place, and in these, numerous relies have recently been found, such as parts of copper kettles, pieces of firearms, money, articles used in the churches, etc. If all were cleaned out, no doubt many interesting and perhaps valuable relics could be recovered, inasmuch as the tradition has been handed down, and history in a measure supports it, that the inhabitants of the place in their fright and excitement sought to hide their valuables, and as a last resort threw them into the wells of the city. Be that as it may, the site of Old Panama furnishes a point of interest well worth visiting.

The tower at Old Panama, which figures so prominently among Isthmian photographs, and which may be seen on a clear day from high elevations in the new city, formed a part of the castle of St. Jerome. In the papers of a Spanish engineer of that time occurs. the following description of it: "This fortification was an excellent piece of workmanship, very strong, being raised in the middle of the port. of quadrangular form, and of very hard stone. Its elevation or height is 88 geometrical feet, its walls being fourteen, and its curtains, seventy-five feet in diameter.



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The fragmentary and often inaccurate accounts of Old Panama has not tended to give readers a clear conception of this and attendant events. Nothing has ever appeared in print more truthful and interesting concerning the capture of Porto Bello, and the burning of Panama, than is to be found in John Esquemeling's narrative published in 1678, seven years after the events actually curred. Esquemeling was a member of the pirate band, and therefore an eye witness of the incidents related. Although not definitely known, the author of this narrative is thought to have been a Hollander, inasmuch as his account first appeared in the Dutch language. It was afterwards translated into Spanish, and in recent years into English, the latter translation appearing as a part of the

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book called "The Buccaneers of America," published by Swan Sonnenschein & Co., of London. The author's account is both graphic and picturesque, in which he invariably figures in the third person. With the exception of a few instances where he speaks of the extraordinary exploits of the English under Morgan, as matters of course, he has taken no sides, and is as prone to criticize his leader, as any individual on the opposite side. The worst criticism to be made of his narrative is his tendency to magnify the importance of certain places and things. Hence, from his description of Old Panama, one would be led to believe it a much larger and important place than it really was. He refers to there having been five thousand houses in the place at the time of its fall. This would indicate a population of 40,000, or 50,000 souls. Even in a much more extensive area than the site of Old Panama, it would have been impossible to comprehend so many


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