Tagged in: History

The Sack of Baltimore

Sometime in mid-1631, a pirate flotilla left Algiers, one of the main ports on the Barbary Coast. The main ship was a Dutch-built 300-ton man-of-war, armed with about 24 pieces of ordinance. It was crewed by 200 men. The smaller ship was half that size in both weight and crew. The flotilla was commanded by Captain Murat Reis the Younger.

Continue reading…

The Brutal Unsolved Murder of Lucy Kabura

The hot and humid coastal air constricted into the Tangana Lodge’s dimly lit and badly ventilated rooms . The fragrance of purchased romance reigned over the humid evening air in the house of decadence. As the night came to a climax, the sounds of illicit sex, the loud banging on the walls, the rehearsed screams, and the drunken grunts reminded all and sundry that the sailors were in town. In one of those hot rooms, Lucy Kabura lay dying.

Continue reading…

In McMillan’s Underbelly: The Quest for Kenya’s History

[This piece was originally published on the Medium Blog here.] 

I hadn’t planned to spend my entire afternoon like this. At least not at first. I was in town, with a few hours to kill and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them. I always know, but I never get round to doing it. Instead of window shopping or sitting in a cafe trying to figure out whether the man next to me is just fidgety or is busy masturbating. (This happened once, in Java Capital Centre).

Continue reading…