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Everything posted by Mission

  1. Surgical Instruments, Procedures and Whatnot

    I visited the Lazaretto Nuovo ['new' lazaretto] when I was in Venice last Summer. Sadly, there was not much left of the original structures. The French destroyed it all when they dismantled the Venetian Rupublic in the late 18th century.
  2. As sort of a starting point for that book about pirate surgeons I am always nattering on about, I have finally started adding some serious surgical content to my Pirate Surgeon's webpage relating to the surgeon's instruments. The first page in this series features an assortment of fun dental instruments as featured in the English translation of Jacques Guillimeau's The French Chirurgerie, printed in London in 1683. This puts it right square in the middle of the GAoP as an information resource (even though the original French version of the book precedes the GAoP by about 100 years.) Note that I think we can rate this as being safe for those of you who get queasy easily; there's nothing horrific in here unless you let your imagination run wild.
  3. Surgical Instruments, Procedures and Whatnot

    After six months of work, much of it translating old Italian, Portuguese and French documents, I have posted an article on Maritime Quarantine for the Plague during the Golden Age of Piracy. You will find the first page here. It first briefly looks at the disease as it was understood then, the history of quarantine and the way incoming ships, the people and goods on them were quarantined in Mediterranean ports during the GAoP. It then focuses on the lazarettos -structures built for quarantining incoming ships - which were active during this period, including in Italy, France, Portugal and Spain. It finishes with a discussion of how to quarantine was performed in England up to and including this period.
  4. First Time Traveling to Key West

    I've stayed in the Hisbiscus, although it was about 25 years ago. (Sheesh.) It's a Best Western on the quiet side of Duvall, which is nice if you want to get some sleep. It's a motel room and not much else, but it's near some nice galleries, and at the time there was a little grocery and pharmacy nearby. Plus it was near La Creperie French Cafe, which I always liked, although it's a bit pricey. It's also near Louie's Backyard which is a great place to eat, although that's really pricey. (Food can be REALLY expensive in Key West. If you're on a budget, you probably want to get away from Duvall to eat.) And you can park there for free - or at least you could when I stayed there. It's a hike into the main part of Duvall - say about a mile? - but Key West is really a walking or biking, not a driving city. Still, for a little more money at the time, I could have stayed in one of the Condos in the Truman Annex. It's closer to town, but still away from all the noise in the city. It's also near a grocery store and, being a condo, you can cook some meals for yourself and save some money. Plus it's a lot more appealing and nicer digs than any BW. I've probably visited KW 20 some times now and that's my go-to place. I stayed there the last 5 or 6 times I visited. The big drawback is that you have to stay a full week. But if you're planning a week anyhow, compare the prices of a single room condo to any hotel. You might be surprised.
  5. The Pub...past, present and future.

    I think we'd have to recruit a whole new batch of people to make it work. Many of the folks that were very active here seem to have moved on to other things. (I tried OKing new users for a while, but it's like swimming upstream. In a river coming down from the mountains. After three weeks of heavy rain. So... many... BS bot signups... Seriously, I don't think 'dozens' covered it. It was more like hundreds of crap signups for every (possible) legitimate one. But we really need a new base of users if you want to reenergize the place.
  6. Many people's user names are pretty straight-forward, but some of them appear to have some history or other meaning behind them. So what does your user name mean? (Fancy, I expect full disclosure from you. )
  7. The Pyracy Pub is Closing!

    I talked to Stynky a month or so ago and he was having some issue backing up the database so (in Stynky style) he has been putting off the closing of the forum until he can figure out the problems. Like your ghost ship, I imagine we'll just find it missing some day.
  8. Pirate Ship names list

    No, I honestly can't...which is the real problem with the list. It cites no sources, so there's no way to verify it. I used it for an article I wrote several years ago and people occasionally point out errors to me in my list. (This happens sporadically, so I don't remember the complaints. But, one example I do recall: Nicholas Woodall wasn't a pirate and so doesn't belong on the list.) I have been trying to go through the period sources and create my own list so I can correct the one in my on-line article, but it's a very tedious, time-consuming project because you have to read all the contemporary sources and record mentions of the ships, noting who had them, when they had them, how many men and guns the ship had (which usually changes - sometimes dramatically - during the tenure of ownership) and what type of ship it was. Some of this can be really difficult to figure out because the period documents occasionally identify ships by the wrong name, wrong ship type and wrong captain (or are sometimes given an aliases). So I wouldn't rely on this list to be accurate.
  9. 18th Century Navies

    I don't know the answers, but I'm almost certain each of these things has been discussed here in the past. Use the search function, restricting your search to the appropriate forum. Most of them are probably in Captain Twill. (You may find the gunlock answer in Cacabel's Lock, Stock & Barrel forum.)
  10. Salted Horse

    ? Where did you see that? I've seen period accounts of salted pork & beef, the salting of fish, boars, seals and even penguins. But I don't recall ever seeing a mention of salted horse.
  11. My thoughts on Capt Johnson's book

    Read the version edited by Manuel Schonhorn, taking time to read the end notes for each chapter. He explains where everything came from in Johnson's book. Mostly it was newspaper accounts, public records and published court accounts. What Johnson did was sift and organize these otherwise dry, dull documents (trust me, I've read a lot of them) and the stuff he added is mostly regarded as being fictional like the story of Captain Misson, Blackbeard's supposed journal, philosophical speeches by some of the pirates and similar odds and ends. The author of these books is widely believed these days to be journalist Nathaniel Mist. Ed explains the reasoning behind this pretty well in this posting.
  12. Davy Jones and Fiddler's Green and Sea Myths

    This may interest you. “[Roberts, philosophy] [Thomas] Sutton used to be very prophane; he happening to be in the same Irons with another Prisoner, who was more serious than ordinary, and read and pray’d often, as became his Condition; this Man, Sutton used to swear at, and ask him, what he proposed by so much Noise and Devotion? Heaven, says the other, I hope. Heaven, you Fool, says Sutton, did you ever hear of any Pyrates going thither? Give me H———ll, it’s a merrier Place: I’ll give Roberts a Salute of 13 Guns at Entrance. And when he found such ludicrous Expressions had no Effect on him, he made a formal Complaint, and requested that the Officer would either remove this Man, or take his Prayer-Book away, as a common Disturber.” (Daniel Defoe (Captain Charles Johnson), A General History of the Pyrates, Manuel Schonhorn, ed., 1999, p. 246) (There's no indication about what happened after that.)
  13. Davy Jones and Fiddler's Green and Sea Myths

    As Foxe already explained, when you try and hunt them down, you'll find that many of the sea superstitions can only be traced back to the mid/late 18th century. I ran into that when trying to run down superstitions that we think were prevalent then when I was writing my article Dealing With the Deceased a few years back. I found the sea superstitions weren't much different than the landsmen's superstitions and a lot of the more "sea-based" myths came later. As I quoted in my article, "Writing several decades after the golden age of piracy about a shipwreck that took place in 1739, John Byron explained, That common people in general are addicted to superstitious conceits, is an observation founded on experience; and the reason is evident: but I cannot allow that common seamen are more so than others of the lower class. In the most enlightened ages of antiquity, we find it to have been the popular opinion, that the spirits of the dead were not at rest till their bodies were interred; and that they did not cease to haunt and trouble those who had neglected this duty to the departed. This is still believed by the vulgar, in most countries"
  14. Pirates of the Caribbean 5!

    Part of the crew, part of the ship.
  15. Davy Jones and Fiddler's Green and Sea Myths

    The more likely explanation is that Stynky is too lazy to take it down. (Trust me, I know Stynky...) Although I've no doubt that when the web page contract expires as Coastie mentioned, it will suddenly disappear. This has the added benefit of insuring that Stynky doesn't actually have to do anything to remove it. I have saved a lot of the files that interested me, although they're in separate Word files and so are a PITA to actually try and sift through unless you know what you're looking for. I mostly saved them to refer to stuff that I can use in writing future Surgeon's Journal articles.
  16. The Boots We Wear (On Bucket Boots)

    There's no challenge in that. The fun for me is in trying to be as PC as possible.
  17. My thoughts on Capt Johnson's book

    Or perhaps like something lifted from an assortment of newspaper accounts with lurid bits of historical fiction randomly thrown in to either make a political point or at least keep it interesting?
  18. The Boots We Wear (On Bucket Boots)

    Here you go, Jib. (And, for the record, I have never worn them. )
  19. How to split 2 ships and chase only one?

    You're assuming the merchant ships would fight. The majority of period accounts suggest merchant ships wouldn't. If the pirates ran their flag up, a merchant ship would try to outrun them more often than fight. It's probably just as (and perhaps even more) likely that they would just surrender without resistance. When ships resisted capture, they expected the pirates would punish them if they were caught by doing a variety of things including beating them, sometimes with swords, slitting their ears and noses, marooning them or possibly sinking or burning their ship. Five men who had taken a ship created "a black Flag, which they merrily said, would be as good as 50 Men more, i.e. would would carry as much Terror [in the minds of their prey]". (Captain Johnson, A General History of the Pyrates, 2nd ed., p. 417)
  20. Pirates were bloodthirsty criminals...

    You could read the original source material and give your own account of it. (I much prefer this to interpreted accounts, although they certainly have their place as well.) The easiest book to follow is A General History of the Pirates. It contains is a certain amount of artistic license in the way the accounts are presented along with some embedded political philosophizing, but it is still mostly based on the facts and contains the easiest narrative to follow. I recommend Manuel Schornhorn's version which includes decent endnotes that will help to understand where the original source material came from. Plus it can be bought fairly inexpensively. (If you want to remain free from some of the most blatant pirate romanticization, skip the chapter on the pirate philosopher Captain Misson, an almost entirely fictional, politically-motivated account by the book's author. The accounts of Captains Lewis and Cornelius are also considered fictional, although they're not quite so blatant in their biases.) Or if you want to read the original source material on which much of that book was based, get hold of Joel Baer's four volumes of reprinted source documents called Pirates of the British Isles. That contains a lot of the court trials and quite a few period newpaper accounts. I got that one through inter-library loan because it's expensive (and apparently out of print.) It doesn't give much of a narrative sense of things, however. There are also some other good sources of original documents, such as Dr. Foxe's annotated Pirates in Their Own Words and John F. Jameson's Privateering and Piracy in the Colonial Period Illustrative Documents. To add to the list of barbarous pirates, the court accounts of Francis Spriggs show him torturing prisoners pretty regularly.
  21. golden Age Pirate how truthful are the shown

    I don't know what the Grinner is (sounds like a villain from a superhero comic), but it is sort of interesting how the General History has (somewhat inadvertantly) molded the perception of the pirate population so that the only historical pirates of note in popular culture are the pirate captains. If I were looking to create other characters, I think I'd read the chapter on Bartholomew Roberts as well as the actual court document, both of which contain a lot of material on men other than Roberts. (There's a lot of overlap because Charles Johnson used the court document - called Tryal of all the Pyrates, Lately Taken by Captain Ogle - to write much of his chapter, but the original document contains quite a few things that Johnson chose not to use.) In fact, nearly all the court documents I've read have some information on men other than the pirate captains if you want source material. If that interests you, Joel Baer's four volume work British Piracy in the Golden Age: History and Interpretation, 1660-1730 is what you'll want. You'll probably find Volumes 2 & 3 particularly interesting. (Although, if you decide to read them, get them through interlibrary loan because they're prohibitively expensive to buy outright.) Another really interesting account with quite a bit of detail with daily life on a pirate ship is that found in George Robert's The four years voyages of captain George Roberts (wrongly attributed to Daniel Defoe in the 1930s), pages 37 - 98. where Roberts describes being captured and held by Edward Low's crew.
  22. golden Age Pirate how truthful are the shown

    I doubt if there's ever been an accurate portrayal of pirates in mass media. Hell, I still don't think we reenactors get more than 50% of it correct. There's a huge swath of unknowns about this small group who lived 300 years ago and kept almost no records of what they did. (Documentation could lead to hangings... ) Most of what we know about them is gathered up from the State Papers, newspaper reports, court accounts and a couple of accounts published by victims. Even the General History of the Pyrates is culled mostly from such documents. (Although there are a few exceptions. See the book Pirates in Their Own Words by Ed Fox if that interests you.) Take what historical reenactors (who are explicity trying to get it right) get wrong and add a layer of the things that are wrong in the much Hollywood-loved pre-Hollywood pop culture (such as works created by the likes of Robert Louis Stevenson, James Barrie, Howard Pyle and NC Wyeth) and you have a potpourri of misinformation in the pop-culture renditions. Still, some are better than others. David Fictum has commented on some of the recent pop-pirate phenomenons. He actually talked about the accuracies and inaccuracies found in Assassin's Creed 4 from an historic POV in an article he published on Dropbox. You will find that article here.
  23. introduction Ahoy, this be an introduction

    Sorry if it took awhile to approve your registration. (Which I can not take credit for because I haven't logged into that section in weeks... and therein lies the problem.)
  24. 17th century slang and words

    That's a good point.