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"The Man Who Knew About Pirates" Topic

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18th Century

436 hits since 22 Sep 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP22 Sep 2018 12:46 p.m. PST

"The ‘Golden Age' of piracy in the Caribbean lasted for only a few short years, from the first frenzy in 1715, triggered by the sinking of a Spanish treasure fleet off the coast of Florida (some of the scattered gold can still be found in the shallows!) and more-or-less ended around 1722. I say more-or-less; piracy continues to this day, it was never totally eradicated, although towards the end of the 1700s piracy switched back to privateering during the years of war between England and France, then the America Colonies and then the Napoleonic Wars. Privateering was legal with a government-given licence to plunder the enemy. Piracy was different. Pirates attacked anything, as long as it was worthwhile and relatively easy to do.

From 1715 to 1718 the Caribbean was alive with pirates: famous names such as Blackbeard, Calico Jack Rackham with Anne Bonney and Mary Read, Samuel Bellamy, Howell Davis, Charles Vane … and my own fictional pirate, Jesamiah Acorne! At first no one particularly worried, but then the rich merchants began to feel the pinch as trade suffered. This was the dawn of the Atlantic trade, when sugar, tobacco and a little later, cotton, had to be transported from America to Europe. Pirates were a nuisance. Something had to be done.

The something was a someone. Woodes Rogers. The Colonies all had appointed governors, but most of them were as corrupt as the pirates. Rogers was different, he was honest and determined to put an end to the scourge of the seas…"
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