Welcome History Activity Getting There Photo Album About GREAT

Population: ~15,000
Area: 16km (length) by 8 km (width)
Climate: Temperature between 26C (79F) in the winter to 30 (86F) in the summer. Water Temperature is around 27C (80F). Light rain in Mai and September/October. Hurricane Season between August and October.
Map: Map of the island,1700 (larger version, click here)

Two major personalities bring Ile-a-Vache to the forefront of History: Sir. Henry Morgan and Bernard Kock

Cap. Henry Morgan was a British privateer of Welsh birth, who made a name in the Caribbean as a leader of buccaneers and roughnecks. He set Ile-a-Vache as a base in 1668 to attack the Spaniards fearing an attack upon Jamaica. His main ship the Oxford exploded killing 300 of his 900 men. A privateer was a private ship (or its captain) authorized by a country's government to attack and seize cargo from another country's ships.

Bernard Kock, a British citizen had the grand plan for colonizing Ile-a-Vache (Cow Island), Hati with 5000 black american slaves.
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  • Bernard Kock: Bernard Kock was the self-styled governor of Vache Island off the coast of Haiti. Kock had approached Lincoln in October 1862 with a plan to colonize the island with 5,000 former slaves from the United States. Lincoln signed a contract with Kock in December 1862, but this contract was canceled in April 1863 and the U. S. agreed to a new contract with three of Kock's business partners. By the end of April 1863, nearly 500 colonists had sailed for the island. Less than a year later the project was an utter failure and the 350 remaining colonists on Vache Island returned to the United States. (Source: Library of Congress)
  • Letter from Bernard Kock to Abraham Lincoln requesting the colonization of Ile-a-Vache.
  • More information can be found by Querying the US Library of Congress at: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/malquery.html  (search for Bernard Kock)

Ile-a-Vache Currency (2 gourdes and 5 gourdes) under Bernard Kock

We gratefully acknowledge Ponterio & Associates, Inc. for permission to use the above banknote photos