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Tue, 06.24.1692

Kingston, Jamaica is Founded

Kingston Jamaica was founded on this date in 1692.  It is the capital and chief port of Jamaica, an island nation in the West Indies.  Kingston lies on the southeast coast of Jamaica, at the northern end of a nearly landlocked harbor.  Leading to Kingston's founding, British, Spanish, and Portuguese slavery was prevalent in the Caribbean.   Estimates show that approximately six hundred thousand African slavery coming to Jamaica (one of the largest importers of slaves at the time) between 1533 and 1807.

The city serves as the cultural, commercial, and industrial heart of Jamaica. Principal industries include food processing, oil refining, and the production of cement and other building materials. Kingston was founded after an earthquake destroyed the nearby city of Port Royal and replaced Port Royal as the commercial center.  In the mid-1700s, the British rulers of Jamaica declared Kingston a free port, one of a few ports in the British West Indies where foreign ships could trade. Kingston became the capital in 1872.

Kingston has suffered a number of natural disasters, including hurricanes in 1880, 1951, and 1980; a fire in 1882; and an earthquake in 1907. In 1962, the country of Jamaica gained independence from the United Kingdom.

Much of the city has been destroyed and rebuilt several times. Today, Kingston covers an area larger than many Caribbean islands and has both wealthy and poor communities.  Its population is 104,041 metro areas and 524,638 overall. It is the home of Reggae music.

The Encyclopedia Britannica, Twenty-fourth Edition.
Copyright 1996 Encyclopedia Britannica Inc.
ISBN 0-85229-633-0

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