I 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…”.
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…
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??
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.