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Travel Guide 2   >   Bermuda   >   History

   
 

Bermudan History


The first appearance of Bermuda in the historical record is in 1511, when Peter Martyr d'Anghiera mentions the islands in his book, Legatio Babylonica. It is likely that the islands were discovered a few years earlier at the very beginning of the 16th century, but the exact date is unknown. Later in the century, both Spanish and Portuguese ships are believed to have regularly stopped at the islands to replenish their supplies of food and water, and there was even an attempt to establish a breeding stock of hogs on the islands. A Portuguese ship is also believed to have become stuck in the islands' reefs, and the sailors had to build a new hull of Bermudan cedar before leaving the islands - leaving the initials "RP 1543" carved on what subsequently became known as "Spanish Rock".

The first permanent colonization of Bermuda took place in 1609, when the English ship, Sea Venture, was wrecked off the coast of the islands. The islands were claimed for the English crown, and initially associated with Virginia, an association which is till recorded today in many place names in Virginia.

In the next centuries, despite attempts to agriculture (principally tobacco) in Bermuda, the islands. Sailors from Bermuda were active in whaling, privateering, and even the Battle of Trafalgar (1805), as well as the salt trade. After the American Revolution (1775 to 1783), also became the Royal Navy's main base in the western hemisphere, and gained the nickname "Gibraltar of the West".

In the 20th century, Bermudans served with British forces during both World Wars, and their sacrifices are remembered by the Cenotaph memorial in front of the Cabinet Building in Hamilton. The Royal Navy base on the island was closed in the 1950s, except for a small supply base which lasted until 1995. Thus, today, the Royal Naval Dockyard is now simply a tourist attraction - in fact one of the most popular tourist attractions in Bermuda, incorporating shops, restaurants, an arts center, and crafts market, as well as the Bermuda Maritime Museum.

Today, Bermuda is highly prosperous with an economy based on financial services and tourism. The islands' Progresive Labour Party supports independence from UK, but Bermudan voters rejected independence in a referendum on the issue in in 1995, and polls indicate that opinion is largely unchanged since that time. As a result, Bermuda remains a British Overseas Territory, albeit with a very high degree of local autonomy (the UK retains responsibility only for defense, and foreign affairs, as well as ultimately ensuring good governance).

Here are some books about the history of Bermuda:


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Books about Bermudan History


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Discovering Somers Isles: A Guide to Bermuda's History 1500-1615

By John M Archer

Maury Books
Paperback (122 pages)

Discovering Somers Isles: A Guide to Bermuda s History 1500-1615
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Product Description:
The fact that Bermuda was discovered at all might seem amazing: the tiny cluster of islands sits almost in the middle of 20,000,000 square miles of the North Atlantic. But sixteenth-century trade routes to the West Indies brought hundreds of ships through the turquoise waters surrounding its desolate shores - and left countless shipwrecks on its uncharted reefs. It is no small wonder that the Bermudas were once known as "Devil's Isles.

On the way to the struggling colony at Jamestown in May of 1609, the flagship of an English convoy was driven onto those reefs by a hurricane.  Battered and sinking, the "Sea Venture" was run aground by Admiral George Somers and miraculously, all 150 passengers survived. Their story, and how Bermuda came to be settled, is a remarkable tale of survival and perseverance.

This guide uses their words, together with maps and images, to allow readers to envision those shores with "seventeenth-century eyes," and discover for themselves what the settlers called "Somers Isles."

Bermuda: Its History, Geology, Climate, Products, Agriculture, Commerce, and Government (Classic Reprint)

By Theodore L. Godet

Forgotten Books
Paperback (314 pages)

Bermuda: Its History, Geology, Climate, Products, Agriculture, Commerce, and Government (Classic Reprint)
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To his Excellency Colonel Fbeemak Mubrat, Governor and Commander-in-C hief, fc. jrc, of Bermuda, or Somers I slands. Sm, It is with the highest gratification that I avail myself of your kind permission to dedicate this yolume to your Excellency not only as a memento of my personal esteem, but from a conviction that no one can more appreciate any efforts in behalf of this Colony than your Excellency, who has the power of rendering them available. I have had the pleasure of finding myself encouraged in the publication of this work by numerous subscribers; but to your Excellency I am indebted for many additions to the names that adorn the list. I have the honour to subscribe myself with every sentiment of gratitude and respect, Your Excellency i Very obliged and humble servant, T. L. GODET. Hami Uon, Bermuda,
(Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)

About the Publisher

Forgotten Books is a publisher of historical writings, such as: Philosophy, Classics, Science, Religion, History, Folklore and Mythology.

Forgotten Books' Classic Reprint Series utilizes the latest technology to regenerate facsimiles of historically important writings. Careful attention has been made to accurately preserve the original format of each page whilst digitally enhancing the aged text. Read books online for free at www.forgottenbooks.org

History's Mysteries: Curious Clues, Cold Cases, and Puzzles From the Past (National Geographic Kids)

By Kitson Jazynka

National Geographic Books
Released: 2017-10-17
Paperback (160 pages)

History s Mysteries: Curious Clues, Cold Cases, and Puzzles From the Past (National Geographic Kids)
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  • Book packed with facts about the most fascinating mysteries throughout history
  • Discover just how strange our world really is!
  • Read the story of each mystery and then explore its clues and theories
Product Description:
Why were the Easter Island heads erected? What really happened to the Maya? Who stole the Irish Crown Jewels? The first book in this exciting new series will cover history's heavy-hitting, head-scratching mysteries, including the Lost Colony of Roanoke, the Bermuda Triangle, the Oak Island Money Pit, Stonehenge, the Sphinx, the disappearance of entire civilizations, the dancing plague, the Voynich manuscript, and so many more. Chock-full of cool photos, fun facts, and spine-tingling mysteries.

Story of Bermuda & Her People

By William Sears Zuill

Macmillan Caribbean
Paperback (259 pages)

Story of Bermuda & Her People
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Product Description:
This small group of islands in the Western Atlantic was formed by volcanic eruption 100 million years ago, but it was uninhabited until the early 16th century. Its story only begins 400 years ago when the thankful survivors of the "Sea Venture" staggered ashore to form the basis of the first settlement. This book chronicles the lives of the Bermudian people throught the excitements of ships and salt, from privateers and blockade-running in the earlier days to the more sedate present-day occupations of one of the world's most attractive tourist and business centres. Of major importance has been the island's unique geographical position which has more than once made Bermuda a place of great strategic value.

An Introduction to the History of Bermuda

By Wesley Frank Craven

Bermuda Maritime Museum Press
Hardcover (187 pages)

An Introduction to the History of Bermuda
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Atlantis

By Bob Mayer

Cool Gus (Berkley Books)
Released: 2011-08-29
Kindle Edition (228 pages)

Atlantis
 
Product Description:
“Spell-binding! Will keep you on the edge of your seat. Call it techno-thriller, call it science fiction, call it just terrific story-telling.” Terry Brooks, #1 NY Times Bestselling author of the Shannara series and Star Wars Phantom Menace

In 1945, Navy Training Flight 19 disappears in the Bermuda Triangle.

In 1963, the USS Thresher, a nuclear submarine, is lost under unusual circumstances, along with a SR-71 spy plane that crashes near the legendary city of Angkor Kol Ker in Cambodia at the exact same time. Both are part of a secret government investigation into mysterious gates opening on the planet's surface. Green Beret Eric Dane leads a team of operatives to recover the black box and encounters a strange fog. His entire team disappears, attacked by strange creatures out of the fog. Only Dane survives to return.

Present day: Another plane goes down and no one should have survived—but they did. It’s in the same area Dane lost his team. He’s called back. To find out who is the darkness behind these gates to our planet. What does this Shadow force want? It is a threat that will take on the world’s greatest military forces and defeat them. A power that will overwhelm our science and technology. A merciless enemy that will lead Dane—and the whole planet—into the final desperate battle for survival.

#1 Kindle Bestselling series in US and UK. Over 1 million copies sold.

Bermuda History, Travel Guide and Tourism: Bermuda people and immigration, tourism information, Government, Culture and Economy

By Evan Adams

Released: 2016-06-16
Kindle Edition (229 pages)

Bermuda History, Travel Guide and Tourism: Bermuda people and immigration, tourism information, Government, Culture and Economy
 
Product Description:
Nearly all the slaves were brought to Bermuda from the West Indies or as slaves on ships captured by Bermuda privateers. Few arrived directly from Africa. The northern European minority descend from the original English colonists and subsequent arrivals from all over Britain including indentured laborers. Some U.S. military personnel and some Scandinavians also settled here. A few Portuguese families arrived first in the 1840s from Madeira. Portuguese immigrants increasingly arrived in subsequent years to work in the growing agricultural industry. More history information on Bermuda……

Bermuda

By Valentin Bogatu

Released: 2018-02-27
Kindle Edition (25 pages)

Bermuda
 
Product Description:
We all have heard of the famous Bermuda Triangle. But have you ever wanted to go on vacation on Bermuda? Or maybe to know the history of Bermuda? Or learn a little about Bermuda?
Now is the time to find many interesting things about it. This book is intended to be a travel guide to Bermud located in the North Atlantic Ocean.

A Brave Vessel: The True Tale of the Castaways Who Rescued Jamestown

By Hobson Woodward

Penguin Books
Released: 2009-07-09
Kindle Edition (288 pages)

A Brave Vessel: The True Tale of the Castaways Who Rescued Jamestown
 
Product Description:
"At once a penetrating work of literary analysis and a riveting historical narrative." -Nathaniel Philbrick

Merging maritime adventure and early colonial history, A Brave Vessel charts a little-known chapter of the past that offers a window on the inspiration for one of Shakespeare's greatest works. In 1609, aspiring writer William Strachey set sail for the New World aboard the Sea Venture, only to wreck on the shores of Bermuda. Strachey's meticulous account of the tragedy, the castaways' time in Bermuda, and their arrival in a devastated Jamestown, remains among the most vivid writings of the early colonial period. Though Strachey had literary aspirations, only in the hands of another William would his tale make history as The Tempest-a fascinating connection across time and literature that Hobson Woodward brings vividly to life.

Grant’s Left Hook: The Bermuda Hundred Campaign, May 5-June 7, 1864 (Emerging Civil War Series)

By Sean Chick

Savas Beatie
Released: 2018-10-03
Paperback (192 pages)

Grant’s Left Hook: The Bermuda Hundred Campaign, May 5-June 7, 1864 (Emerging Civil War Series)
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Robert E. Lee feared the day the Union army would return up the James River and invest the Confederate capital of Richmond. In the spring of 1864, Ulysses Grant, looking for a way to weaken Lee, was about to exploit the Confederate commander’s greatest fear and weakness. After two years of futile offensives in Virginia, the Union commander set the stage for a campaign that could decide the war.

Grant sent the 38,000-man Army of The James to Bermuda Hundred, to threaten and possibly take Richmond, or at least pin down troops that could reinforce Lee. Jefferson Davis, in desperate need of a capable commander, turned to the Confederacy’s first hero: Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard. Butler’s 1862 occupation of New Orleans had infuriated the South, but no one more than Beauregard, a New Orleans native.

This campaign would be personal.

In the hot weeks of May 1864, Butler and Beauregard fought a series of skirmishes and battles to decide the fate of Richmond and Lee’s army.

Historian Sean Michael Chick analyzes and explains the plans, events, and repercussions of the Bermuda Hundred Campaign in Grant’s Left Hook: The Bermuda Hundred Campaign, May 5-June 7, 1864. The book contains hundreds of photographs, new maps, and a fresh consideration of Grant’s Virginia strategy and the generalship of Butler and Beauregard. The book is also filled with anecdotes and impressions from the rank and file who wore blue and gray.

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