This port has a Natural Harbor
History[edit | edit source]
Bluefields is a major port of modern Nicaragua. However, it's history has more to do with other nations than Spain. Bluefields was named after the Dutch pirate Abraham Blauvelt who hid in the bay's waters in the early 17th century. Abraham Blauvelt (16??-1663?) was a Dutch privateer and explorer mapping much of Central America in the 1630s, after whom both the Bluefield River and the neighboring town of Bluefields, Nicaragua were named. Bluefields was a rendezvous for English and Dutch buccaneers in the 16th and 17th century and became capital of the British protectorate over the Mosquito Coast in 1678.
Abraham Blauvelt[edit | edit source]
One of the last of the Dutch corsairs of the mid 17th century, Abraham Blauvelt was first recorded exploring the coasts of present day Honduras and Nicaragua in service of the Dutch West India Company. He later traveled to England in an effort to gain support to establish a colony in Nicaragua near the city where Bluefields, Nicaragua presently stands. Around 1640 Blauvelt became a privateer serving the Swedish East India Company and in 1644 he commanded his own ship successfully raiding Spanish shipping from a base in southwest Jamaica, today known as Blewfields Bay, and selling the cargo and prizes to the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam (New York). After peace between Spain and the Netherlands was reached with the signing of the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, Blauvelt, unable to stay in New Amsterdam, instead sailed to Newport, Rhode Island in early 1649 to sell his remaining cargo. However the colonial governor seized one of Blauvelt's prizes and with his crew arguing over their shares, the local colonists, fearing that Rhode Island acquire a reputation of trading with pirates, forced Blauvelt to leave the colony. For the next several years Blauvelt commanded a French ship called La Garse, later living among the natives of Cape Gracias a Dios near the border of Honduras and Nicaragua, until the early 1660s when he was recruited for Christopher Myngs' raid on the Spanish colony of Campeche Bay in 1663. However, nothing more is known about his activities after this time.
Mosquito Coast[edit | edit source]
Generally, it is accepted that the origin of the city of Bluefields is connected with the presence on the Nicaraguan Caribbean coast of European pirates, subjects of powers at the time hostile to Spain. These pirates used the Escondido River to rest, to repair damages and to be provisioned. By then, the territory of the present municipality was populated by the native towns of Kukra and Branch. In 1602 one of these soldiers of fortune chose the bay of Bluefields as his center of operations due to its tactical advantages, a Dutchman named Abraham Blauveldt or Bleeveldt, and from him originates the name of the municipality.
Consensus exists that the black Africans first appeared in the Caribbean coast in 1641, when a Portuguese ship that transported slaves wrecked in the Miskito Cays. From the original settlement the bay began to be populated; the British subjects burst in 1633 and from 1666 they were already organized into colonies, and by 1705 there were authorities established. In 1730 the colony of Bluefields came to depend on the British government of Jamaica. For this, the alliance of the English Miskito ethnic group was decisive, and the British provided them with armaments that allowed them to subdue to the other ethnic groups of the Caribbean coast, the Sumu and Rama.
In 1740 the Miskitos yielded to England the sovereignty on the territory, and for 1744 the transfer of English colonists was organized from Jamaica toward the Mosquito Coast; they brought along with them black slaves. French citizens were also installed. The area was a British Protectorate until 1796, when England recognized the sovereignty of Spain on the Mosquito Coast; the English subjects also abandoned the islands, but the Spaniards did not take firm positions in them.