Having been at the forefront of the Encounter, giving succour to Columbus and his crew of the Fourth Voyage for over a year; having been the unique Spanish colony without gold but providing the cattle, horses, lard, and other provisions for the conquest of America for one and a half centuries; having been the island that was England’s foremost sugar producer by the end of the Seventeenth Century, giving rise to the phrase “as wealthy as a West Indian planter”; once being one of the largest importers of African people and today, boasting with the national motto “Out of Many One People”; Jamaica and Jamaicans can truly say that we have been leaders in the Americas.

We have a huge legacy to preserve and share, not only with our fellow Americans, but also with Europeans whose lives we have changed and indeed, with the rest of the world. It is good that we can do this today with the technology that allows us to visit with you and not only you with us. I commend this web site to the understanding of our past, and to the rich future that will result from this understanding, beginning on the eve of the new millennium.

Ainsley Cohen Henriques
Chairman, Jamaica National Heritage Trust
Kingston, Jamaica
June 1999