The Untold Story of How an Escaped Slave Helped Sir.

Sir Francis Drake was born sometime around 1540 as the son of a Puritan farmer. Drake taught himself navigation as the navigator of a small merchant vessel early in his career. He also served as an officer aboard a West African slave vessel. In 1567, Drake and his cousin, John Hawkins, were attacked by a Spanish ship in the Gulf of Mexico. The Spaniards took all of their sea vessels, though they allowed Drake and Hawkins to escape with their lives. At the time, the Spaniards had no idea that failing to kill Drake would prove so costly to the entire Spanish Empire. From that point on, Drake developed a hatred for Catholic Spaniards and devised plans to seek revenge.

In 1572, Queen Elizabeth commissioned Drake to work as a privateer in attacking Spanish ports and shipping. Drake left England for the Caribbean Sea with two ships and 73 sailors. After an unsuccessful attempt to attack the Spaniards in present-day Nicaragua, Drake formulated new plans to attack a Spanish vessel carrying hoards of gold brought back from Mexico. After successfully heisting the gold, he then sailed back to England and brought the spoils back to Queen Elizabeth. Queen Elizabeth promptly appointed Drake as the leader of an expedition to sail around (circumnavigate) the world. As part of the circumnavigation, Drake made further plans to plunder Spanish interests.

On December 17, 1577, Drake left England with three ships and two supply ships and started his circumnavigation. The voyage got off to a poor start. Terrible weather prompted some of the crew to stage a mutiny (to take over the ship). The mutiny was unsuccessful, and when Drake reached the west coast of South America, he had the leader of the mutiny, Thomas Doughty, beheaded.