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Blackbeard


     
His real name was EDWARD TEACH.  Blackbeard lived from 1680 - 1718.  Before becoming a pirate, he was a privateer operating out of Jamaica during the Queen Anne's War (1702 - 1713).   He was an English pirate and he was probably born in Bristol, England.  Blackbeard worked hard at establishing his devilish image.  His nickname came from his strange appearance.  He used to braid his long black beard and  he would strike terror into the hearts of his victims by weaving wicks laced with gunpowder into his hair and light them during battle.  Blackbeard usually wore a red coat, two swords at his waist and bandoleers stuffed with a lot of pistols and knives across his chest.       He sailed in the West Indies and along the coast of North Carolina and  Virginia colonies.  he would often maroon the crews of the ships that he attacked and burn their ships.

      In 1718 the governor of Virginia sent two British ships to attack Blackbeard, who was spending the winter in a North Carolina inlet; the pirate was killed in the battle near the Oracoke Inlet in North Carolina.



Anne Bonny


Anne Bonny was one of the two most famous female pirates. She was born in County Cork, Ireland. A pirate named James Bonny married Anne and tried to steal her father's plantation but instead her father disowned her. Anne and James fled to the Bahamas where he turned in any sailor he didn't like as a pirate to get the reward money. Anne got away from her husband and eventually married the famous pirate Calico Jack Rackham, and they pirated together for many years.  Anne fought in men's clothing, was an expert with pistol and cutlass and was considered as dangerous as any male pirate. She was fearless.

In October of 1720, Anne's pirate days came to an end. The governor of Jamaica, sent an armed sloop to capture the Captain and crew of Calico's ship "Revenge".  Anne was captured but confessed she was female and pleaded to be tried separately from the men after she gave birth. She was pregnant at the time of capture. She was tried separately but was still sentenced to hang. Anne received several stays of execution before mysteriously vanishing from official records. Some believe that her father, who had contacts in the island, forgave his daughter for her acts and took her to the Carolinas where she assumed a new name and a new life.




Alexander Selkirk



Alexander Selkirk is the real person that the well known novel, Robinson Crusoe, was based upon. Selkirk was born in Scotland in 1676. He ran away to sea when he was very young. In 1703 he joined the crew of William Dampier and went on his first buccaneer voyage into the Atlantic . Here they attacked many ships from France and Spain. Selkirk thrived on the adventure and enjoyed his life treasure hunting at sea. A few years later Selkirk got into trouble with his captain, Thomas Stradling, when he accused the captain of poor leadership and allowing the ship to be poorly maintained. He continued to irritate the captain on many occasions. In September, 1704 the captain had had enough and he ordered Selkirk off the ship and marooned on Juan Fernandez island. Alexander Selkirk was left with his clothing, some bedding, a gun, gun powder and bullets, and some simple tools. Luckily, Selkirk was a resourceful man and he used his survival skills to live on the island until he was rescued on February 2, 1709 by privateers. He returned to pirating shortly after and continued that lifestyle until his death on December 12, 1721



Captain Kidd

Captain William Kidd was the pirate of all time!  He was the captain of a trading ship, The Adventure Galley, that sailed in the West Indies. He was a privateer who was quite successful in seizing enemy ships and amassed a large fortune doing this.  The search for his treasure began in the 1930's when written proof appeared in Great Britain that he may have buried some of his wealth.  Kidd was likely born in Scotland around the year 1645.  He married a wealthy woman named Sarah Dort in 1699 and his name appears in the church register as "William Kidd, Gentleman"  He was tried and convicted of piracy in 1699 and was executed.  While in jail awaiting his trial he tried to convince the authorities that he could lead them to a treasure worth over three hundred thousand pounds (today - three million dollars)  In 1930 a man named Hubert palmer found a chest with Kidd's name on it and contained a hidden compartment.  Inside Palmer discovered three similar maps of the same island.  Unfortunately, there were inconsistencies and the treasure remains buried.

 

 

Jean Laffite

Title: A Biography of Jean Laffite
Author: Krzysztof Wilczynski (about)

Jean Laffite, thought to have been born in France, was more of a businessman than seafarer. Along with his brother, Laffite practiced pirating and privateering out of Barataria Bay, south of New Orleans. With over 10 vessels he and his crew raided among others, British, American, and Spanish vessels. Due to his frequent trips to various worldwide coastal ports, many in New Orleans traded with his band of pirates.

Laffite was renown for working his way out of trouble, when arrested by a certain governor, he failed to show up at the trial. The governor set a bounty for him at $750, in return, Laffite offered double that price for the capture of the governor.

British officials offered Laffite monetary rewards among others, in 1814, in return for his help in their attack on New Orleans. Laffite notified New Orleans officials, who paid no head to his warnings. A few weeks later a small Naval fleet attacked, before which Laffite and his crew slipped out of town. Later that same year, General Andrew Jackson accepted Laffites aid in combat with the British. In return for his help, he and his crew were pardoned for their maritime crimes, but lost their pirate privileges in Barataria Bay.

During an increase in naval activity, Laffite and his crew sailed towards Spanish occupied territory of Texas. He took over Galveston, from where he established his pirating activities. Being run out of Galveston, he left, but only after burning the entire settlement. With his brother, Laffite continued pirating around Central American ports until he died around 1821.

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