From a 1903 publication
My experience is contrary to what I was taught to believe, viz; that the earth is a globe. As a boy, in Jamaica, I used to ask my parents many questions about the earth; and my mother told me there were several points in Jamaica from which Cuba could be seen. Later I proved this to be true. In March, 1881, I went from Montego Bay to St. Ann’s Bay; some companions went with me up the hills, and the morning being bright and very clear, I saw two small sails standing out from the shore quite distinctly, about five miles off. Another sail was also visible, about 80 miles away, which I and my friends made out to be a barque leaving Cuba. This we saw with the naked eye.
One of my companions, a pilot boy, had a small telescope with a range of 40 miles, but on looking through the glass we cold not see these ships; so the owner of the telescope, whose turn it was to watch for ships, stayed until he was able to ascertain that the vessels were going to Kingston, Jamaica.
I would suggest a few causes which prevent anyone seeing a ship a great distance away, although water is level:
1 The nature of the atmosphere. 2 The capacity of our visual organs.
E. V. MULGRAVE.
Note: The distance from Jamaica to Cuba, using Montego Bay as the point to the closest land mass in Cuba is approximately 119 miles or 191 kilometres. This would be much to far to see if the earth was a globe.
I find it interesting in that this author gave the range in miles of how far the telescope could see. Today all you hear is how much power the telescope has.