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In this section, find excerpts and links to The Gleaner's Special Series: Pieces Of The Past authored by Dr. Rebecca Tortello in 2003.  Where applicable, updated information can be found throughout the site.

 

The Case Of The Shark Papers

Over 200 years ago the Jamaica Court of Vice-Admiralty heard what is surely one of the strangest cases ever to come before a judge. In a classic example of the old adage truth is stranger than fiction, on September 9, 1799 a suit for salvage involving a shark, papers and a prize captured in the Caribbean sea by a British warship was brought before the court at the south west corner of Harbour and Hanover streets. Filed by the Advocate-General George Crawford Ricketts, on behalf of Hugh Whylie, Commander of the "Sparrow," and his crew, against a vessel called the "Nancy" and her crew... (READ MORE)

 

The History Of The Salvation Army In Jamaica

Jamaica sends an appeal for Salvationists 1885.  This clipping sparked a longstanding involvement in Jamaica ­ the first Caribbean island to embrace Salvationism. Two people were instrumental in this... (READ MORE)

 

The Fall Of A Gentle Giant: The Collapse Of Tom Cringle's Cotton Tree   

Some 150 years later, on Monday, January 18, 1971, after witnessing the demise of the horse and carriage, the birth of the dual lane highway, the naming of new parishes and the birth of a new nation, Tom Cringle's cotton tree collapsed... (READ MORE)

 

 

Jamaican Coffee 

Folklore says that in 1723 King Louis XV of France sent three coffee plants to his colony, Martinique. Two of the plants died en route and either the third plant or cuttings from it ended up in Jamaica, brought here in 1728 by former Governor, Sir Nicholas Lawes (1718-22). Lawes first planted coffee at Temple Hall, St. Andrew. Jamaica's climate was so conducive to coffee production that the coffee industry expanded rapidly from St. Andrew to the Blue Mountains and the hills of Manchester, St. Ann and Elizabeth. By 1814 there were 600 coffee plantations on the island... (READ MORE)