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Kingston

Kingston, city (1991 pop. 97,424), capital and largest city of Jamaica, SE Jamaica. The country's chief port, it has one of the finest harbors in the West Indies and exports sugar, rum, molasses, and bananas. The city's industries include tourism, food processing, and oil refining. Kingston was founded in 1693 on a deep, landlocked harbor. The former capital, Port Royal, at the tip of the long, narrow peninsula forming the harbor, was inundated after an earthquake in 1692; the capital was then moved to Spanish Town and, in 1872, to Kingston. After fire destroyed the new Port Royal in 1703, Kingston became Jamaica's leading commercial city. It has suffered from urban unrest as well as damage from severe hurricanes and an earthquake in 1907. Kingston is famed for its lively calypsos and its relics of buccaneering days. In the suburb of Mona are the Univ. of the West Indies and the Royal Botanical Gardens, noted especially for their orchids.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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