Research on the "Pirate's Sunset"
Tagged: pirates historical research
April 22, 2016 at 7:49 pm #2545
Hello Ladies and Gentlemen, MK Here…
For sometime I have intended to start a forum focusing on historical research and discussion. Its apparent from comments I have received and some user backgrounds, that many of you are much more interested in the historical content I post than with anything related to our video game development.
Recently I posted to Pyracy Pub. I have been reading and lurking there since 2011 and I joined in 2013, however I had never bothered posting or participating there until the last couple of months.
What drove me to this was three things:
1. There are some pretty intelligent fellows over there and there have been some really good historical discussions and excellent answers provided by some known scholars.
2. I have been writing my own book on Piracy for almost ten years and its finally almost complete. I have several chapters that still require polishing and areas (foot notes) requiring a little more research to adequately underpin my observations/conclusions. My final chapter entitled “Pirates Sunset” in tribute to Sid Meiers, is not finished and I need more dirt to complete it. I will talk more about this below.
3. There seems to be a bias by the “pirate community” at large towards the last vestiges of piracy during the so called “Golden Age of Piracy” immortalized by the stories of the rounders and the haunts of Nassau and New Providence circa 1715-1726. I find a lot of ignorance in this bias and some really bad scholarly dismissals of the times before as not being nearly so important or interesting in study as this preferred time-frame. This clearly bothers me and so I mean to “even the odds” a little through some additional education and focus on the really exciting events and personalities of the time before, which English speaking scholarship seems to over-generalize and sloppily label as “The age of buccaneers” primarily because of Exquemilin’s broad writing about the era.
I am seeding this historical forum with this first discussion to get things going, but I would really like to see historically mided members who are pirate/age of sail afficionados – (or even neophytes interested in simple answers to historical questions) start their own forum threads with their own questions here.
For now my first question regards my desire to complete my chapter on the “Pirate’s Sunset”. I want to know about pirates of the 1730s and if there even was such a thing. I am beginning to believe that pirates of the 1730s may just be unicorns or myths.
Here below quoted is my query to the forum on Pyracy Pub and below the question are links to the historical discussions I took part in, in which I have received very little help. So now I throw this out in our own community, hoping that some member or passers-by, or new members might join in the discussion and help me find what I am looking for!……
FROM PYRACY PUB: “Ladies and Gentlemen I am writing a book on piracy and have developed an analytical graph showing piratical activity with some additional bell curves thrown in illustrating increases in certain types of trading by different maritime countries over time – beginning in the 1620s. The piratical activity graph line peaks in the late 1670s/early 1680s and then another smaller peak occurs from the mid 1690s to 1715.
So we know that the last notable acts of piracy committed by notable and known pirates occurred in 1725-26. We also know that the pirates last major refuges were gone by 1719 and the ones left were forced to become “rounders” haunting the west African backwaters like the Kingdom of Whydah, but what do we know about the few that continued on???
We know that employment for honest seamen in the late 1720s into the 1730s was on an amazing rise from what it had been and that ship-building boomed on the Atlantic coast ensuring plenty of work.
We know that naval presence also increased in the Americas and that privateering was at a low point because no one was at war until the War of Jenkins Ear starting in 1739.
SO….What I want to know is: Have any of you here happened onto names, places, ships, actions, activities, insurance, harbor or lading documents, criminal trial documents, death warrants or execution proceedings – PROVING piratical actions after 1726 and at anytime during the 1730s before the War of Jenkin’s Ear?
I desperately want to know who these men were. Were there merchant captains that lost perishable cargoes and saw an easy target that could make up the loss and no one on their crew would tell? Were there some places in remote corners in Africa where some of these small time hold outs were able to act and achieve any sort of fame, wealth, or even just a living for their ship and crew?
Who were the pirates that still existed in the 1730s? ….and what were their motives for piracy? Please tell me. I desperately want to know so that I can complete my chart and even possibly have some additional material for the end of this period in the book.
Thank you in advance.
EDIT: I am not interested in Mediterranean or Barbary piracy – only Caribbean/West Indies/Brazil, West African, or East Indies examples.”
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