October 14 1815: St. Helena Sighted

Pleasant weather. Numerous were the conjectures whether or not we should see the land. The admiral decided we should see it at six o’clock, and so correct was he in his calculations that the time we saw it did not differ a minute, at which Bonaparte and all the French party seemed much astonished. The Zenobia was despatched to apprise the governor of our approach, and we lay to for the night. Our latitude and longitude at noon were 16° 8′ S. and 5° 57′ W.

— John Glover, secretary to Rear Admiral George Cockburn, on board HMS Northumberland, writes for October 14 1815.

The phrase ‘ghostly crags of St. Helena’ is from “St. Helena, ‘Cursed Rock’ of Napoleon’s Exile, March 29, 2012, New York Times by Anthony Mancini.

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