Pat Shingleton: "A Stormy Relationship"
Today we're monitoring a broad area of low pressure in the Caribbean Sea. On this date in 1766, a powerful hurricane leveled the tiny village of Trois-Islets on the island of Martinique. As noted in a previous column, Joseph-Gaspard Tascher was one of the island's wealthy planters and suffered total financial ruin from the devastating storm. In dire straits, he did what many attempted in those days; marrying their offspring into money. After the storm, his young daughter, Marie Josephine Rose, returned to France and married an army officer, the Vicomte de Beauharnais, who was guillotined in 1794. Two years later she married an officer with a better "head on his shoulders" who crowned himself in 1804 and she became Empress Josephine of France, the wife of Napoleon Bonaparte.