Swashbuckler 1700

When was the Golden Age of Piracy?

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The politically related impact of the rash of organized piracy in the aftermath (the time following the official peace and suddenly unemployed sailors) of the Queen Anne's War (War of Spanish Succession) is a major "starting point" for the brief period most think of as "the pirate era" -for the reasons Foxe mentioned above. The "Pirate Round" era was certainly a famous round of piracy, which had an end at the beginning of the War, so that could be called the "prequel" to the GAoP (if you will). It was after the burgeoning pirates were kicked out of Jamaica (following the raids on the Spanish recovery camps from the Hurricane treasure fleet disaster) that the "Golden Age" really kicked off. It was in high-tide until Woodes Rogers kicked/brought "peace through pardons" to New Providence, which then fractured the organization as many pirates when peacefully into the night or even became pirate hunters. The pirates where then forced to a period of complete roving (and crewmen moving between crews of a group or gang of pirates), which framed a central part of the "pirate image" captured by later writers.

The death of Roberts spelled the beginning of the end (IF that of Blackbeard and a wide number of others in 1718 didn't already) of "classic piracy," which then concluded with the end of that same loosely knit and VERY interconnected band in 1724, as Foxe noted.

Another element unique to this period is "self-proclaimed-pirates" who weren't out-and-out criminals (I'd say that the Low/Lowther group WERE and would have been such regardless of the era). Many of the captains and crewmen of the "New Providence"-related group -which called THEMSELVES "The Flying Gang" (THEY even thought of themselves as an interconnected group)- probably would have been "honest men" if given the free opportunity and if the Royal Navy and civilian merchantmen had been less "cruel" in their policies. Such is shown at how many became pardoned so easily trough the period, even if the pull of relatively easy money and a more "carefree" lifestyle beckoned then back, after they had experienced it.

Even Roberts own famed statement reflects this: "A merry Life and a short one, shall be my Motto."

The focus of the Flying Gang was more self-sufficient living and a "merry life," as opposed to a back-breaking one with little joyful benefit as almost a slave of one's debt they could never repay thanks to the poor wage of a sailor. (This is the root of the "gentleman pirate," "good pirate," and "honest man turned pirate" motif that captured writers and that fuels pirate fiction from 1720 through today. Of note is that the first "pro-pirate" writing appeared DURING the "Golden Age" itself, not many years or decades later- as is almost always/VASTLY the case when dangerous men are "glorified" into heroes.

In contrast, pirates of other periods tend to fall into 2 camps:

1) "We are legitimate citizens of our country" (even if that country isn't the one of their birth), where the sailors were more of mercenaries than true pirates or thought they were on legitimate missions on behalf of that country- whether the country thought so or not. The Buccaneers were certainly of this camp, as were many of the "Rounders."

2) Out-and-our criminals and/or sadists in it JUST for the money (to get rich) and/or for the sheer joy or rape, pillage, torture, and murder. The Low/Lowther camp was in this group almost to-a-man.

So, the "tight" dates would be 1715-1724, for the New Providence-related band.

The "looser" dates would be 1695-1724, if you include the "Rounders" in the GAoP (as most tend to). Rounders include FAMOUS pirates such as Every/Avery, Kidd, Tew, and so forth. The debate here is if the Rounders are of the same group in spirit and mentality as the Flying Gang members.

In my personal research, I lean toward the narrower dates for period-accuracy- but also keep and ear/eye out for the wider dates- as it's interesting info.

My overall tendency is to THINK of the "Flying Gang" period AS the Golden Age of Piracy . . .

Accurate or not.

Edited by Tartan Jack

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Those are interesting - since I am in a part of North America that was starting to see European presence during this time, I prefer the broader dates since it gives me a chance to talk about King WIlliam's War and Queen Anne's War, which most Americans don't know anything about.

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As my edit is gone . . . I meant to say "1691" rather then "1695" as the start of the broader dates.

The 2 wars are important factors as to WHY the sailors were so well trained in combat tactics and techniques, as well as their grudge against those whom they served as privateers and in the Royal Navy, but left them jobless, shipless, and destitute at the end of hostilities. Also of note would be the Yamasee War in the Carolinas and Georgia and Jacobite issues culminating the the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715-> both of which play into the politics and atmosphere of that area (the Carribean and the American colonies especially) and the larger "British" empire/kingdom. The broader dates are relevant in what lead up to the 1715 pirate explosion, the openness to piracy as a real option (the success of the Rounders), the fears, conditions, and scope they operated in, as well as the aftermath on the following decades as it reverted to a strictly criminal activity on one hand and the fiction that birthed the popular myth on the other.

When in non-first-person portrayal (when teaching, rather than acting in-period), I've used all that. It is ALL relevant.

I'd even say both date sets are relevant and accurate from a certain perspective. I could easily argue either, depending on situation and context.

Still, the popular image conjured up by the term "Golden Age of Piracy" is rooted squarely in the 1715-1725 events, people, and personalities-> even though some names (such as Captain Kidd, for example- who I'd argue wasn't actually a so much a pirate as a failed privateer- and Morgan -who saw himself as more a privateer and royal mercenary) are certainly from the earlier Rounder and Buccanner periods.

As you can tell, I see the era of pirates as several sub eras:

- Buccanners

- Rounders (Pirate Round pirates, St Mary's and Madagascar)

- New-Providence/Flying Gang (the "classic pirate era")

- Lowther/Low (criminal element takes over)

Later stuff (everything post 1730-ish, well before the American Revolution), which more often was smuggling more than actual piracy.

In THAT sense, you could even expand the Golden Age of Piracy from 1630-ish to 1730-ish with several markedly distinct sub-sets within that larger period. If one uses that HUGE hundred-year period as the GAoP, then I'd make a distinction of 1715-1724 as the "Classic Age" of piracy/pirates.

Plus . . .

The Asian (Chinese, Japanese -Wakou-, and Korean) and the Med/Barbary pirates are another element that we have completely failed to consider/include. The Barbaries extended from the Crusades until the 1800s- when the US Navy took then on head-on. Either are MUCH longer than the popularly imagined "Golden Age" stuff was in the Americas and Indian Ocean. But, those are seldom included, mentioned, or even thought of when discussing "pirates." To the "popular imagination,"Pirates" remains the stuff related to the the Americas from generally 1630-1730-ish and most specifically 1715-1724.

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Is thar a "Like" button for both Foxe and Tartan Jacks post? Thank you both for the info and Low down..

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I am not saying that gaop would have lasted in 1730s but I only mean that it ended by the year of 1730.

I think that we are putting stuff in the boxes once again. It may look nice but it don't give us real picture...

I see pirate eras as sub eras (as well Tartan Jack) but the " Rounders " were active also in early 1720s after 1718 (Rogers in the Bahamas) not only in 1690s like England or Taylor. But the scale of 1720s pirating was smaller in India than it was in 1690s.

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(Oh, and I DO NOT mean to be read that the New Providence folks didn't do bad things. My point was that they didn't do robbery, death, and destruction for the fun of it. I think they would have felt a need to justify every "sinful act" (as they would have said then, as well as now) as a necessary evil or justifiable vengeance for acts committed against themselves or their friends. Just look at Blackbeard's attitude toward Boston due to their execution of the survivors of the shipwreck of his friend Bellamy's crew OR Robert's attitude toward the islands or Barbados and Maritinique (the ABH and AMH on his flag) and his first act as a pirate captain-> a death dealing avenge raid on the town that killed Capt. Davis. his predecessor.)

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I know it's been a week since we discussed this topic, but I wanted to add another thought set.

There are three ways to look at what the "Golden Age" actually is/was:

1) the general period where piracy became a major socio-economic and political force for Europe and their colonies (particular the American ones). That would be the larger 1691-1725-ish.

2) the specific period the the mass rash/outbreak of piracy that informed the media and the popular image of piracy, sparking the huge volume of books on piracy and the need for a mass "clamping down" on that piracy. That would be the 1715-1724 period, esp. 1715-1718.

3) the period that sets the "classical image" of pirates and piracy in all forms of fiction from the 1720s through today. That one is more vague, not being set on the real history but as much on myth and legend. The narrative and visual is VERY much based on the 1715-1724 period. The described ships range from Elizabethan times to the Napoleonic Wars, esp. weighted to the 1770s-1820-ish. The NAMES used are also weighted to the 1650s-1720s with little regard to generational and geographic gaps, placing Buccaneers, Rounders, and New Providence pirates all together in a lump in the narrative. Looking at a range of "pirate" films over the last bit, I noticed that even the "buccaneer" era films presented the situation as it was in New Providence (pre-Rogers), only with the location names changed to fit the presented era-> as many tried to work Morgan into the "classic" pirate genre situations.

Historically, 1 and 2 are easily justifiable depending on the specific qualifications defining "Golden Era" historically.

The third is what it is in the popular imagination, such as in "The Pirates! Band of Misfits"/"The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!" which puts pirates dressed (mostly/genrally) as early 1700s pirates in Victorian England a century later.

Wikipedia even defines the GAoP as:

"In the popular modern imagination, pirates of the classical period were rebellious, clever teams who operated outside the restricting bureaucracy of modern life. Pirates were also depicted as always raising their Jolly Roger flag when preparing to hijack a vessel. The Jolly Roger is the traditional name for the flags of European and American pirates and a symbol for piracy that has been adopted by film-makers and toy manufacturers."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piracy

And whoever wrote the specific article on the GAoP sees it as a broad range with three parts:

"

The Golden Age of Piracy is a common designation given to one or more outbursts of piracy in maritime history of the early modern period. In its broadest accepted definition, the Golden Age of Piracy spans from the 1650s to the 1730s and covers three separate outbursts of piracy:

  1. the buccaneering period of approximately 1650 to 1680, characterized by Anglo-French seamen based on Jamaica and Tortuga attacking Spanish colonies and shipping in the Caribbean and eastern Pacific,
  2. the Pirate Round of the 1690s, associated with long-distance voyages from Bermuda and the Americas to rob Muslim and East India Company targets in the Indian Ocean and Red Sea, and
  3. the post-Spanish Succession period, defined by Marcus Rediker as extending from 1716 to 1726, when Anglo-American sailors and privateers left unemployed by the end of the War of the Spanish Succession turned en masse to piracy in the Caribbean, the American eastern seaboard, the West African coast, and the Indian Ocean.

Narrower definitions of the Golden Age sometimes exclude the first or second periods, but most include at least some portion of the third. The modern conception of pirates as depicted in popular culture is derived largely, though not always accurately, from the Golden Age of Piracy."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Age_of_Piracy

Wiki is getting better, but still remains . . . imperfect . . .

I still hold to what I posted before.

Edited by Tartan Jack

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Yeah, I already cited the Wiki three conceptualizations idea back when this first came up. When you come down to it, history is necessarily messy when you're being fair about what really happened. Although, of your three concepts, two of the results agree with Foxe's results for the most part.

We can keep slicing and dicing this and get the wide variety of ideas when the time period could be defined as shown in my first post of all the top Google results, but I think Foxe has presented a pretty logical rationalization for how we can define the GAoP. Of course, since he did that by establishing a set of guidelines, it can re-done and re-done and re-done by modifying the guidelines you want to use.

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Also of note would be the Yamasee War in the Carolinas...

I'd like to see you expand on this. What was the influence of the Yamasee War on the Golden Age? I've only found a very little bit about the Yamasee War, and it seemed to me that it helped weaken Charleston to the point where Blackbeard saw it as a good target, but I'd be curious to know if that war has any further connection to the Golden Age.

And incidentally, while the Wikipedia entry on "Golden Age of Piracy" is certainly not the work of one person, the nincompoop who wrote the "three outbursts of piracy" part, as well as the historiography section which that summary is based on . . . that was me. So if y'all have any suggestions about how to make it better, I'll see if I can do something.

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Who called you a nincompoop, Daniel? As I have stated in the past, I think wiki is right more often than wrong. However, I also think that if they want to be the internet's encyclopedia they ought to maintain consistency throughout a given article. It confuses the issue when they say one thing in one place and another later on. (Which is one of the problematic facets of any group exercise.)

I must say, I have never understood the desire to separate out the Roundsmen. It seems like a slightly different shade of the Golden Age of piracy to me. Of course, that really just returns us to the definition of guidelines problem and how fuzzy the underlying facts really are.

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"and it seemed to me that it helped weaken Charleston to the point where Blackbeard saw it as a good target, but I'd be curious to know if that war has any further connection to the Golden Age."

Contrary to suggestions by Konstam, Woodard, Lee, et. al., Blackbeard was unlikely to have crossed the bar, entered the harbor and sacked the town. According to 19th century historian Edward McCrady, “it is altogether improbable that Thatch would have ventured his 40 guns against 100 which lined the fortifications of the town, and risked his vessels in the harbor where [the governor] would have had him under such disadvantage.”

Edited by LookingGlass

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Who called you a nincompoop, Daniel? As I have stated in the past, I think wiki is right more often than wrong. However, I also think that if they want to be the internet's encyclopedia they ought to maintain consistency throughout a given article. It confuses the issue when they say one thing in one place and another later on. (Which is one of the problematic facets of any group exercise.)

I was speaking tongue in cheek about the "nincompoop" (probably should have used a smiley). But I'm quite sincere about suggestions for how to improve it. No false modesty - I've read a hell of a lot about pirates, enough where I feel qualified to edit Wikipedia. But you and many other Pub members may well be able to improve it more than I could.

You're right about the problems with a group exercise: if I'm going to go in and remove something somebody else wrote on WIkipedia, I like to have very strong proof in hand that what they wrote was wrong, and with a concept as shifting and controversial as the boundaries of the "Golden Age of Piracy," strong proof of anything is hard to come by.

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In general I think Wikipedia is much maligned. It's not perfect and certainly not to be relied upon but, at least as far as the pirate stuff on there goes, I've read a hell of a lot worse in published books.

One of its major failings, in my opinion, is the insistence that anything posted on it must be supported by a published source and that primary source evidence is not acceptable. In the past I have thought about seriously expanding one or two of the pirate bios on there, but haven't because although I have some excellent primary sources, they haven't been published. A good example would be the page on Thomas Cocklyn which pretty much says that after he parted company with WIlliam Snelgrave "nobody knows what happened to him". I know, but I can't post it on Wikipedia...

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With the Yamasee War, I was thinking more about the time period and stuff that can be discussed. That is one of the possible impact on "outlets" for people at the time (why at sea rather than settle in the continental British southernmost colony), for refugees from the fighting who may have "gone to sea" instead of settle in Charles Towne, or maybe even how it affected the psyche of Charles Towne and it's turn against pirates at about the same time. But I haven't looked into it too much. I keep looking for stuff on period boats and ships . . . or other non-period topics.

I DO think that, as Charles Towne/Charleston was a major trading partner with the various islands, esp. Barbados, a local war would have had personal impact on those in the area- in some form or fashion. I just haven't looked into that "gut hunch" . . .

Another influence on me and that particular War . . .

I'm IN South Carolina and some of my "teaching" is in the very area of the Yamasee War itself. I use it when "in character" as to why I'm at sea.

Edited by Tartan Jack

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One of its major failings, in my opinion, is the insistence that anything posted on it must be supported by a published source and that primary source evidence is not acceptable.

I can see the point about published sources, at least as far as modern material goes. Every ill-informed idiot with an idea seems to want to state their views in a blog and many ill-informed idiots with ideas do. I suppose they figure if something has been published, it has at least been reviewed a little and that will separate the wheat from the chaff.. OTOH, Berg got his book published, so maybe that's not such a great measuring stick either.

The primary source evidence thing is kind of bizarre. I suppose that again comes back to wheat/chaff thing. Just because someone wrote a letter from the trenches about their role in the great war (whichever great war) doesn't necessarily mean they got their information right, especially in regard to the larger picture. In fact, I would think the opposite would often be true. So rather than try and sift through it or get involved in mediating silly arguments between two writers with letters containing differing opinions, wiki issues a preemptive inconcessus.

Interesting. (Irrelevant to the topic, but still interesting.)

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But . . .

Fascinating side conversations, oft more interesting than the original topic, are common around here! It's part of what makes this forum so much fun . . .

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I can see the point about published sources, at least as far as modern material goes. Every ill-informed idiot with an idea seems to want to state their views in a blog and many ill-informed idiots with ideas do. I suppose they figure if something has been published, it has at least been reviewed a little and that will separate the wheat from the chaff.. OTOH, Berg got his book published, so maybe that's not such a great measuring stick either.

I absolutely see the point of permitting only published sources. I think a lot of it is to do with accountability: if something really needs checking then the internet and the inter-library loan system ought to make any published source accessible, whereas unpublished primary sources are not available in the same way - they are freely available to anyone who wants to travel to the relevant archive to look at them, but I could theoritically read any published source in the world without having to leave my house...

Also, I believe Wikipedia takes the stance that and encyclopoedia is not the place to air original research, and in general I agree with that.

The slightly ridiculous thing about it is that your ill-informed idiot's website would be an acceptable Wikipedia source, but my first hand testimony about the death of Thomas Cocklyn is not.

Oh, and if you think Burg is the worst example of published history you clearly haven't read as much published crap as I have! Burg is silly and contentious, but compared to some stuff on the market it's positively erudite.

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“I'd be curious to know if [the Yamasee War] has any further connection to the Golden Age.”

In my estimation, the end of the War of the Spanish Succession, the dispersal of logwood cutters, and widespread unemployment of merchant sailors were simply social and economic conditions that made the GAoP possible. The wreck of the Spanish treasure fleet in July 1715 was the spark that ignited the explosive expansion of the GAoP. I could be wrong, but I’ve been unable to find any of the marquee names of pirate captains in the records--other than Hornigold--prior to the wrecks. Among the treasure seekers who rushed to Florida with the likes of Henry Jennings and Sam Bellamy and who subsequently became pirates, were a number of young men from the Carolinas.

The Yamasee War in South Carolina, indeed, had an indirect but profound connection to the Golden Age (or “Great Age” as I prefer)—more of a connection than one might imagine. In fact, an argument could be made that the outbreak of Yamasee War on April 15, 1715, followed by the wreck of the Spanish treasure fleet a little more than three months later, were two events that both (inversely) sparked the Great Age of Piracy and launched a series of political machinations that initiated the beginning of the end of piracy of the time. At the center of my hypothesis are the political and business ambitions of the Moore family dynasty of the Carolinas and their desire to overthrow Proprietary rule in the two colonies.

In 1701, Governor James Moore of the Carolinas, hired an indigent young man named Edward Moseley in Charleston to serve as a clerk and a librarian for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. At that time, Moseley became acquainted with the governor’s two sons, Maurice, and his older brother James Moore II. In 1713, Col. James Moore II, with his younger brother at his side, became noted for leading the southern colony’s militia, bolstered by a force of friendly Indians, in the defeat of the Tuscarora in North Carolina. Two years later, after moving to the Albemarle region of North Carolina to reside near his boyhood friend and brother-in-law, Edward Moseley, Maurice Moore, now a Colonel, organized a small force of 50 volunteers and went to South Carolina to aid in the fight against disparate tribes collectively called the Yamasee.

The Lords Proprietors’ inability (or unwillingness) to provide aid to the South Carolinians against the Yamasee infuriated Charlestonians and set in motion a revolt that ultimately led to the overthrow of the Proprietors and return of colony to royal authority in 1719.

"Address of the Assembly of South Carolina to the King. Refer to previous Addresses (v. C.S.P. 1715), etc. Out of the extream grief we are under, to see our country still harassed and our fellow subjects daily killed and carried away by our savage Indian enemies, etc., we are obliged again to lay before your Royal Majesty, the state of this your afflicted Colony, etc. ... Notwithstanding all these our miseries, the Lords Proprietors, instead of using any endeavours for our relief and assistance, are pleased to term all our endeavours to procure your Majestie's Royal protection, the business of a faction and party; We most humbly assure your Majesty that it's so far from anything of that nature, that all the inhabitants of this Province in general, are not only convinc'd that no humane power, but that of your Majesty can protect them, but earnestly and fervently desire that this once flourishing Province may be added to those already under your happy protection."

Among the most vociferous against Proprietary rule during the preceding years was Col. James Moore II, who had been removed from his position as commander-in-chief of the militia for his opposition. When South Carolina finally “threw off” the Proprietary government, James Moore II was made, albeit temporarily, governor for the King.

Discontent with the Proprietary government was rife in North Carolina as well. In 1716, the Lords Proprietors informed the North Carolina Assembly that they would not accept paper bills of credit for the payment of land and taxes due to them as had been previously allowed for South Carolina. “All the purchase money now due for Lands shou’d be made in sterling money or at sixteen penny weight the Crown, or in the produce of the Country equivalent,” so ordered the Proprietors. According the the editor of North Carolina’s Colonial Records, “the Lords Proprietors, instead of extending a helping hand to save their property from destruction by the Indians, were avaricious enough to demand their rents in silver, a requirement that the people of the colony in the best of times were unable to meet.” (Worth noting: this occurred at the same time “English” sloops were converging on the Spanish wrecks--where better to accumulate hard currency than the beaches and shallows of central Florida?)

The political party opposed to Proprietary rule in North Carolina was led by the Speaker of the Lower House of the Assembly, Edward Moseley (the elder James Moore’s former clerk). With a revolutionary fervor decades ahead of his time, Moseley had long been a voice for the people. In 1715, his party openly defied the Proprietors’ governor in North Carolina, Charles Eden, with the passage of this bill: “Resolved, That the impressing of the inhabitants, or their property, under the pretence of its being for the public service, without authority from the Assembly, was unwarrantable, a great infringement of the liberty of the subject, and very much weakened the government by causing many to leave it.”

By 1718, the division between the Proprietors’ governor in North Carolina, Charles Eden, and the peoples’ party leader, Edward Moseley, had reached its boiling point, and then, along comes Capt. Thatch, aka Black Beard with his treasure of African slaves. Moseley learns of Eden’s illegal pardon of Thatch, Bonnet and their respective companies, the illegal adjudication of the sloop Adventure, and the sale of more than 50 slaves to the plantation owners of Bath and the Pamlico. Moseley and Maurice Moore live just a two-day’s ride and ferry trip from Williamsburg and Lt. Gov. Spotswood. Emboldened by developments in South Carolina to depose the Lords Proprietor’s government spurred by the Yamasee War disaster, and seeing an opportunity to expose the Proprietors’ governor in North Carolina, Charles Eden, for colluding with and aiding and abetting pirates (a hanging offense), Moseley and Moore pay a visit to Spotswood, who likewise would be happy to see the King resume authority over the colony to the south and perhaps join it with Virginia. All they need is written evidence to prove that Eden had illegally supported the pirates.

You know what happened next. In what is often hailed as the beginning of the end of the GAoP, Black Beard is killed (he would have been legally pardoned by George I had he not fired the first shot), and Lt. Maynard searches the Adventure to little avail--only Eden’s Council Secretary Tobias Knight’s letter to Black Beard is found among the pirate’s possessions which is insufficient to incriminate Eden. On his return to Virginia, Capt. Ellis Brand informs Moseley and Moore of the lack of evidence. Then, on the day after Christmas, the distinguished Moseley and Moore go for broke and forcibly occupy for 20 hours the house that contained the colony’s official records including, presumably, all the documents resulting from Eden’s official interactions with Thatch and his men: the government’s records of the pardons, the Vice-Admiralty proceedings awarding ownership of the Adventure and the French ship captured off Bermuda in August, as well as receipts for the casks of sugar delivered to the governor. Not a shred of paper could be found by Moseley and Moore, nor does one exist today, implicating Gov. Eden and proving his interaction with the pirates. Gov. Eden and his supporters clearly did their job well of removing and/or destroying the records.

The day after Moseley-gate, Gov. Eden had Moseley and Moore arrested and charged with committing high crimes and misdemeanors. In the grips of a magistrate, Moseley shouted before a crowd of gawkers that the governor could “easily procure armed men to [arrest him] but could not raise them to destroy Thatch, [aka Black Beard the pirate]. Additional charges of sedition, slander and inciting discord were promptly added to Moseley’s bill of indictment. Moseley was subsequently convicted, fined and was barred from practicing law for three years.

Moseley and Moore’s quest to overthrow the Proprietary government as was accomplished by Moore’s brother and others in South Carolina failed. The 19th century North Carolina historian Francis Hawks observed that, “Indeed it was alleged that [Moseley] was arranging with Col. Moore to have a new administration — perhaps with Moore for governor.” Referring to South Carolina’s overthrow of the Lords Proprietors, Hawks wrote: “This noiseless but most important change, which brought the southern portion of the province under the direct government of the crown, was to the thoughtful but a foreshadowing of what must, ere long, inevitably be the condition of the northern part also. But at present, the authorities of North Carolina were not ready to imitate the example of the south.” North Carolina became a Royal colony in 1729.

Most modern historians have overlooked this key connection between Indian wars, Proprietary rule, Carolina politics and pirates.

Kevin Duffus

The Last Days of Black Beard the Pirate

Edited by LookingGlass

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Yes we can indeed say that gaop ended in 1725 but there is interesting later pirates like Henry Johnson who operated in 1730.

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...and probably every year after that, even up into the present. Of course, it sort of depends on your definition of "interesting."

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In 1713, Col. James Moore II, with his younger brother at his side, became noted for leading the southern colony’s militia, bolstered by a force of friendly Indians, in the defeat of the Tuscarora in North Carolina.

Never thought I would see anyone reference the assault on Fort Noherooka in North Carolina (where hundreds of Tuscarora Indians were killed and hundreds taken prisoner and sold into slavery). Dr. Larry Tise at East Carolina University is actually working on getting public awareness of that event since next year is the 300 aniversary of it (I've been working on it with him)

Anyway, I love stuff like that Kevin, for it adds so much context to the pirate events of the time. Some writers on pirate history make pirate history feel like it took place in a vacuum and had minimal influence from the outside world. Thank goodness recent scholarship on pirates is finally tying in the politics of early eighteenth century world into this. Recent work by Ed Fox and Arne Bialewshewski have discussed the role of the Jacobite rebellions within the pirate world for example. Thank you for pursuing such history Mr. Duffus, and I hope to see some publications on the subject soon.

But back to the thread topic of Defining the Golden Age of Piracy. Has anyone proposed that maybe we should do away with the term "Golden Age" outright? I feel like by this point in pirate historiography that the term "Golden Age of Piracy" has almost lost its meaning and is used to give the era a romantic feel to it (and an easier way in which to remember when this all took place). I think a more interesting question that might help people undestand and learn more about history during the period is - what allowed and what caused pirates to go sea, do so in large numbers, and operate over significant periods of time from the 16th to early 19th centuries? If answered correctly, one can learn a lot about the development of colonies, economics, politics, and more during this very important period in world history.

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...I think a more interesting question that might help people undestand and learn more about history during the period is - what allowed and what caused pirates to go sea, do so in large numbers, and operate over significant periods of time from the 16th to early 19th centuries? If answered correctly, one can learn a lot about the development of colonies, economics, politics, and more during this very important period in world history.

Spoken like a true academic.

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You have a fine point.....

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In 1713, Col. James Moore II, with his younger brother at his side, became noted for leading the southern colony’s militia, bolstered by a force of friendly Indians, in the defeat of the Tuscarora in North Carolina.

Never thought I would see anyone reference the assault on Fort Noherooka in North Carolina (where hundreds of Tuscarora Indians were killed and hundreds taken prisoner and sold into slavery). Dr. Larry Tise at East Carolina University is actually working on getting public awareness of that event since next year is the 300 aniversary of it (I've been working on it with him)

Anyway, I love stuff like that Kevin, for it adds so much context to the pirate events of the time. Some writers on pirate history make pirate history feel like it took place in a vacuum and had minimal influence from the outside world. Thank goodness recent scholarship on pirates is finally tying in the politics of early eighteenth century world into this. Recent work by Ed Fox and Arne Bialewshewski have discussed the role of the Jacobite rebellions within the pirate world for example. Thank you for pursuing such history Mr. Duffus, and I hope to see some publications on the subject soon.

But back to the thread topic of Defining the Golden Age of Piracy. Has anyone proposed that maybe we should do away with the term "Golden Age" outright? I feel like by this point in pirate historiography that the term "Golden Age of Piracy" has almost lost its meaning and is used to give the era a romantic feel to it (and an easier way in which to remember when this all took place). I think a more interesting question that might help people undestand and learn more about history during the period is - what allowed and what caused pirates to go sea, do so in large numbers, and operate over significant periods of time from the 16th to early 19th centuries? If answered correctly, one can learn a lot about the development of colonies, economics, politics, and more during this very important period in world history.

What?

History doesn't happen in a vacuum?

Events in one place affect others?

Really?

:rolleyes:

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Actually, I'd say we should stick with the Golden Age of Piracy moniker, even though it violates my recognition of the fact that history is quite messy when you really look into it.

You have to balance technical correctness and alienating the public by yanking away their cherished perceptions. A lot of the public understand the concept of the Golden Age of Piracy and tearing it down will only create cognitive dissonance. It's better to educate people gradually like we do around here.

The problem with cognitive dissonance is that it causes a lot of people to just give up on understanding something. Some people will rationalize, others will research to get to the bottom of the conflicting ideas, but those who aren't interested in investing the time just leave. Bad for our sport, you see.

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