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1856 – On August 27 and 28 a hurricane passed to the west of the Keys, causing “very strong winds” at Key Biscayne.Among the larger vessels lost were the Activa at the Dry Torgugas and the Issac Allenton off Sugarloaf Key.The experience inspired making the following list of known hurricanes at the Florida Keys, from our own individual files.Missing here is information on hurricanes of the first half of the millennium because the native people of Florida failed to develop writing.The offshore Sand Key and harbor lighthouses were destroyed. 1851 – Little specific data is available, but this hurricane reportedly did severe damage at Key West, Tampa and Pensacola.1855 – A “heavy gale” on August 29th and 30th caused the ship Rainbow to bilge near Long Key and the Huntress to run aground near Indian Key.- 1640 – A Dutch fleet commanded by Cornelius Jol (called by the Spanish “Peg Leg the Pirate”) suffered a hurricane off Havana while lying in wait for the yearly treasure fleet; 4 ships of his fleet were wrecked by the storm on the Cuban shore.- 1692 – On October 24th a hurricane destroyed buildings in Havana and sank a St.

The lightship Florida at Carysfort was severely damaged, but repairable.It is probable that it also struck the Florida Keys 90 miles northward.- 1588 –Havana was struck by a storm “more destructive than that of 1557.” - - 1622 – On Sept. 5th another hurricane struck, while survivors of 3 ships wrecked at the Dry Tortugas were still there; the sea almost covered the islets.- 1733 – On July 15th a 22-ship treasure fleet was struck at the Keys by hurricane, leaving 13 ships sank or grounded, forever, in the 80 miles between Elliott Key and Key Vaca.After the storm perhaps a thousand people were left to survive for days on their sorry hulks or on the islets until help from Havana could arrive.

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