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Montego Bay, Jamaica

Montego Bay, Jamaica is the fourth largest city in the island and lies on the its northwest coast. The country is located about 90 miles south of Cuba... and "MoBay" (as it is affectionately called by the locals) is a popular tourist site and second home for many Americans.

Christopher Columbus is known to have visited Montego Bay in 1494. His name for the area was Golfo de Buen Tiempo, or "Fair Weather Gulf". As a colony of Spain during the 144 years between 1511 and 1655, the town was best known as a port from which beef, leather and lard were exported. A corruption of the Spanish word for lard "manteca" is thought to be the origin of the name of the city.

In 1655, Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England sent an expedition to the Caribbean which he called the Western Design. The Western Design was part of a six-year war waged by British and the Spanish in which the Spanish were eventually forced to concede the area to British rule. The principal intent of the Western Design was to seize the island of Hispaniola from the Spanish but this failed to succeed. Only the island of Jamaica was captured and held.

Picture of Montego Bay, Jamaica

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British control of the island of Jamaica continued from 1655 on through the mid 20th century. There was heavy use of slavery with only a few plantation owners during the period from 1655 until the era of the slave rebellions, culminating in the Christmas Rebellion or the Baptist War in 1832-33. The Baptist War, led by Deacon Samuel Sharpe was fought in and around Montego Bay.

Deacon Samuel Sharpe was a well-educated slave who had been allowed to become a leader in the Burchell Baptist Church in Montego Bay. He was looked up to by the other slaves and was energetic in visiting slaves and preaching Christianity. He encouraged and helped to organize a peaceful general labour strike, at the Kensington Estate. It was his mistaken belief that emancipation of the slaves by British Parliament had already occurred. The completely outnumbered plantation owners took reprisals against the rebellious slaves in order to force them into harvesting the ripe sugar cane. The rebels, in turn set fire to the crop.

Within two weeks, the militia put down the rebellion, and many ringleaders, including Sharpe were executed in Montego Bay in 1832. The rebellion sparked two inquiries by British Parliament and in 1833 led to the Abolition of Slavery Act throughout the British Empire. In 1975, Sharpe was named a National Hero of Jamaica and the main square of the town was renamed in his honour.

Today, Montego Bay is officially a city and is the home of Jamaica's largest airport - the Sir Donald Sangster International Airport. Surrounding this beautiful city are ruins and grounds of the old sugar plantations, some with original buildings and mill works still standing. Some of the sites of historical interest around the city include the Rose Hall Great House and Tryall Estate.

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View of Doctor's Cave Beach, Montego Bay. Picture taken @ El Greco Hotel.
View of Doctor's Cave Beach, Montego Bay
Picture taken @ El Greco Hotel
- Thanks for the picture, Keisha :o)

:: Bobby Bloom - Montego Bay ::
(Early 70's Hit)

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My husband & I had our FIRST Jamaican Vacation in July 2011. It did rain a few days for an hour or two & very humid but it was wonderful. We didn't get …

Mo Bay when it was free  Not rated yet
I visited Jamaica in 1970 and 71 for Christmas and later in 71 for school break .My family lived in Kingston and I was given a tour of the country side …

Parker family Not rated yet
One of my best holidays ever . Back next year

MONTEGO BAY ROCKS! Not rated yet
One time, I went to Montego Bay and it was amazing. I loved everything about it. But one day, a "thug" came up to me and asked for some money. Be aware …

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