What exactly does Captain Sir Henry Morgan have to do with Captain Morgan?

Captain Sir Henry Morgan was a 17th-century privateer, a soldier, a highly successful buccaneer leader, an alcoholic, a knight, a Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica and owner of multiple sugar plantations. He was born in Wales in 1635 and died in Jamaica in 1688. In between, he obviously accomplished quite a bit.

Captain Morgan is a tasty Puerto Rican spiced rum introduced in 1982. The company uses the likeness (down to the proper facial hair) of Sir Henry.

Now, as I’ve said, CSHM accomplished quite a bit, but one thing I do not see in any of his biographies is “maker of rum.” So what the heck does CM have to do with him?

The only connections posited thus far are tenuous at best, namely:

rum = Jamaica = pirates + halfway respectable guy for PR purposes = Morgan, who drank a lot of rum anyway

I checked CM’s website (which is rum.com in addition to captainmorgan.com) and if they have any information as to why they chose Captain Sir Henry Morgan out of all the other pirates in the sea they sure don’t make it easy to get to. The sites I’ve found with Google searches seem to break down into two categories:

  1. Claims that Captain Sir Henry Morgan made his own rum from the beginning, which are unsubstantiated by the legitimate biographies of him I’ve found, and fail to account for the three-hundred-year gap between his death and the marketing of the rum, not to mention the fact that the rum is made in a completely different country as the one he lived and died in. I am unconvinced by these (unattributed, of course) claims.
  2. Casual mentions that yes, Captain Morgan is named after Captain Sir Henry Morgan. Not helpful at all.

And so I turn to you. Please help assuage my random curiosity.

It’s really simple:

“Pirate dude” is a spiffy marketing concept. So, find a convenient “pirate dude” to use as the mascot.

If he lived in Jamaica, owned sugar planations, and was an alcoholic, I think it’s a foregone conclusion that he made rum. Not “Captain Morgan Brand Spiced Rum,” of course, but I think the connection to rum is there. Add the panache of the “pirate dude,” and you’ve got a marketing campaign. Honestly, I don’t think there’s any farther to look than that.

I just dunno why Cap’n Morgan instead of Blackbeard or something… ::shrug::