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Account of the Battle of Cartagena

Identifier: MSS-4272

Scope and Contents

This collection contains one three-page handwritten account in French describing a battle in which English troops tried to capture the Spanish-held city of Cartagena, present-day Colombia. The account, titled “Attaque de Cartagene depuis la prise des forts jusquau 24 avril” (“Attack of Cartagena from the capture of the forts until April 24”), describes the English attempts to bombard the city, and their failure to overcome the Spanish troops. It indicates that Cartagena was guarded by “tous les Indians, et par tous les Negres esclaves de Cartagene,” to whom the viceroy had promised liberty if the city was not taken. The end of the account mentions “Le Sieur Hercouet,” which left “Ste Marthe” on April 30 and arrived “au Cap” on May 10.


  • 1741

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Due to the nature of certain archival formats, including digital and audio-visual materials, access to certain materials may require additional advance notice.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers are responsible for using the materials in conformance with United States copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials. The user assumes all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any copyright claimants in collection materials. Copyright for official University records is held by The University of Alabama. The library claims only physical ownership of many manuscript collections. Anyone wishing to broadcast or publish this material must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of literary property rights or copyrights. Please contact Special Collections ( with questions regarding specific manuscript collections.

For more information about copyright policy, please visit: Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals without the consent of those individuals may have legal implications, for which the University of Alabama assumes no responsibility.

Biographical / Historical

The War of Jenkins's Ear was part of a larger Anglo-Spanish War (1739-1748) fought between England and Spain regarding control of trade routes in the Caribbean region. The Jenkins's Ear conflict got its name when, in 1731, an English captain named Robert Jenkins of the ship Rebecca said that a raiding Spanish crew of soldiers “tore off his ear and told him to ‘carry it to his King and tell him they would serve him in the same manner should an opportunity offer’ ” ( As part of the ensuing war, British troops led by Admiral Edward Vernon, including many American colonists, attacked Cartagena on March 23, 1741. The siege continued until early May 1741, when the British withdrew after failing to capture the city and losing thousands of soldiers to fighting and yellow fever.


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Language of Materials



The Account of the Battle of Cartagena contains a three-page handwritten description, in French, of a siege by American and British troops against the Spanish-held city of Cartagena, present-day Colombia. The document contains details similar to those found in other accounts of a 1741 siege against the city during a conflict known as the War of Jenkins's Ear (1739-1748).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The University of Alabama Libraries acquired the Account of the Battle of Cartagena in 2019.

Digital Materials

This collection is part of the digital Latin America collection. Please view the individual folder or item in this finding aid for a link to those materials.

Related Materials

See: Charles Hope Papers, MSS.4215, The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections

Processing Information

Processed by Erin Ryan, February 2020.
Guide to Account of the Battle of Cartagena
Erin Ryan
February 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266