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pirates Archives - History's Newsstand Blog : History's Newsstand Blog

The Lure of Swashbucklers…

June 6, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

Nothing grabs the public’s attention quite like stories of pirates, whether they be historical accounts of actual people or stories of those who play a pirate on the big screen. Of all the legends both real and created, none can surpass the real-life drama of Captain Kidd. Scottish born in 1645, he grew to be both pirate and privateer – the distinction fueled by the encounters he had with those who crossed his path. In the end, betrayed by the governor of New York, as reported in The London Gazette, May 26, 1701, he was hung twice by the neck until dead.

Swashbuckling Adventures…

June 28, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

Hollywood has painted an image of life on the high seas during the 18th Century… sometimes covering noble captains like Master and Commander’s Jack Aubrey or scheming bandits like Pirates of the Caribbean’s Captain Jack Sparrow. Real life offers us more enthralling examples of both heroes and villains to study and newspapers of the era provide fabulous reading material to mine for these adventures.
In the late 1800’s

Captain James Cook “was a British explorer, navigator, cartographer, and captain in the British Royal Navy, famous for his three voyages between 1768 and 1779 in the Pacific Ocean and to Australia in particular. He made detailed maps of Newfoundland prior to making three voyages to the Pacific, during which he achieved the first recorded European contact with the eastern coastline of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands, and the first recorded circumnavigation of New Zealand… In these voyages, Cook sailed thousands of miles across largely uncharted areas of the globe. He mapped lands from New Zealand to Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean in greater detail and on a scale not previously charted by Western explorers. He surveyed and named features, and recorded islands and coastlines on European maps for the first time. He displayed a combination of seamanship, superior surveying and cartographic skills, physical courage, and an ability to lead men in adverse conditions. ” (Wikipedia).
On the darker side are stories of the notorious pirate, Captain Kidd, whom Wikipedia has the following to say … “ Acts of savagery on Kidd’s part were reported by escaped prisoners, who told stories of being hoisted up by the arms and “drubbed” (thrashed) with a drawn cutlass.” Whether you are looking for those in white hats or black, the news of the past offers intriguing characters to consider.

The Traveler… tired of pirating… checking out early?…

November 21, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-11-21-2016-piratesI traveled to London by The London Chronicle of November 22, 1766 where if found that not all Pirates are bad. An article with the dateline “Newport, Rhode Island, October 6” which is from “a letter from Castle Brew, at Annamaboa, on the Coast of Africa…”. It talks about the pirate infested areas along the coastline, but in particular the one ship “commanded by one Hide”. “…These fellows neither murder, or force any into their service; but, on the contrary, one of their  crew complaining that he was weary of that life, they put him on shore, and allowed him a sufficiency to bear his expences to the first English factory.”

There is also an interesting article from Paris… “Within a month or six weeks past, several persons in this city, tired of life, have sought the means to deprive themselves of it. Some of them have done it by pistols; but a Baker who in cool blood leaped from the top of Pont-Royal… and was only slightly wounded:… however it was imitated a few days ago by a young man,… threw himself out of a window of the third story into the garden of the royal palace; whereby all his limbs were either broken, or dislocated; and when they raised him up, he only said that it was very unhappy for him that the houses of Paris were so low…”.

~The Traveler

The Traveler… times at odds… three shots, but not dead…

July 11, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Today I decided to travel back a little further than I have been of recent. Within the “The Post Boy” dated July 10, 1711, I found that it seemed that most of Europe was at odds with each other. The news from Paris, Lisbon, Genoa, Turin, Milan, Warsaw, Vienna and Hague all were dealing in some type of army and/or war activity.

A correspondence from Dover is of which a Privateer “had 3 small Shots in his Body, but was not dead; that only 3 of the Privateers engag’d him, and a great many are kill’d on both sides, the 3 Privateers had 300 Men each.”

Even with all that is occurring in our lives today, I’m thankful that we don’t live in the 18th century…

~The Traveler

The Traveler… Black Beard, somewhat live… “Wonderful Woman”…

February 24, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

This journey found me traveling to Boston via The Repertory dated February 22, 1811. I was instantly attracted to the front page of this issue when I spied “BLACK BEARD — The Pirate” front and center. I knew the time frame for his name would not be fitting which made me look even more so! I found that this was actually a five-act comedy musical about this monstrous pirate, of which they took some liberty in the story line as stated in the article. Inside the issue is an advertisement of the play.

Two headlines in the advertisements attracted my attention, “The Wonderful Woman!”, which I thought would have been unusual for that time period. The one was of a book being available about the life of Ann Moor, Tutbury, England, who had for more than three years lived entirely without food. The other advertisement was of a correct likeness, in wax, of Mrs. Moor, that was just added to the Columbian Museum. Was this the early beginning of the liquid diet fads or what??

~The Traveler

Death of Blackbeard, the pirate…

January 18, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Pirates have fascinated many through the years, both the historian and the average man on the street, evidenced by the large number of successful movies with a pirate theme. Witness the recent success of the three “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies starring Johnny Depp.

Blackbeard remains one of the more interesting characters from the golden age of piracy, primarily 1680 thru 1720. The report of his death was provided with some detail on the front page of “The London Gazette” issue of April 25, 1719. Enjoy the photos.