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The Republic of Pirates: Being the True and Surprising Story of the Caribbean Pirates and the Man Who Brought Them Downby Colin Woodard
Synopses & Reviews
"It's a rollicking tale, filled with rich details of the lives of men who, for their own personal gain, challenged the spread of empires."--Times-Picayune (New Orleans)
Captains like Blackbeard, "Black Sam" Bellamy, and Charles Vane rallied with their fellow pirates to create the "Flying Gang," thus establishing The Pirate Republic-- a crude, distinctive, and all-too-brief democracy in the Bahamas. Indentured servants became free, blacks and runaway slaves could be equal citizens, and leaders were chosen or deposed by vote.
In cutting off trade routes, sacking slave ships, and severing Europe from its New World, the Pirate Republic shook the very foundations of imperialism and fanned democratic sentiments that would one day drive the American Revolution. They became heroes in the eyes of the people and, in this, their untold story, their glorious Republic lives again.
"The Republic of the Pirates" is the ultimate in beach reading - breezy, colorful, and rich in history and action."--Christian Science Monitor
"[A]n entrancing tale of piracy colored with gold, treachery and double-dealing."--Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram
COLIN WOODARD is an award-winning journalist. The author of The Lobster Coast: Rebels, Rusticators, and the Struggle for a Forgotten Frontier and Oceans End: Travels Through Endangered Seas, he is also a foreign correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor and The Chronicle of Higher Education. He lives in Portland, Maine. Contact him at www.republicofpirates.net.
The inspiration for the NBC series Crossbones.
The Republic of Pirates features the 18th-century pirates Edward “Blackbeard” Teach and “Black Sam” Bellamy, both of whom rose from England's underclass to become wealthy, notorious, and enormously powerful. Along with their associates in the Bahamas-based "Flying Gang," Teach and Bellamy banded together to form a pirate cooperative, culminating in a form of government in which blacks were equal citizens, the rich were imprisoned, and a sailor could veto his captain by egalitarian means. For a brief, glorious period they were astoundingly successful, and so disruptive to shipping that the governors of Jamaica, Virginia, Bermuda, and the Carolinas all began clamoring for intervention. One man volunteered to take on the pirates--a man named Woodes Rogers, once a privateer himself and now the owner of a merchant fleet. Rogers vowed he would not rest until he had destroyed Teach and Bellamy. Here is the true story of the rise and fall of the Republic of Pirates.
The inspiration for the NBC series Crossbones.
The untold story of a heroic band of Caribbean pirates whose defiance of imperial rule inspired revolt in colonial outposts across the world
In the early eighteenth century, the Pirate Republic was home to some of the great pirate captains, including Blackbeard, "Black Sam" Bellamy, and Charles Vane. Along with their fellow pirates—former sailors, indentured servants, and runaway slaves—this "Flying Gang" established a crude but distinctive democracy in the Bahamas, carving out their own zone of freedom in which servants were free, blacks could be equal citizens, and leaders were chosen or deposed by a vote. They cut off trade routes, sacked slave ships, and severed Europe from its New World empires, and for a brief, glorious period the Republic was a success.
In the early eighteenth century a number of the great pirate captains joined forces, including Blackbeard, Black Sam Bellamy, and Charles Vane. This infamous "Flying Gang" was more than simply a band of thieves: Many of its members were sailors, indentured servants, and runaway slaves who turned to piracy as a revolt against the conditions they suffered on ships and plantations. Together they established a crude but distinctive democracy in the Bahamas, carving out their own zone of freedom in which servants were free, blacks could be equal citizens, and leaders were chosen or deposed by a vote.
For a brief, glorious period the pirate republic was enormously successful. At its height it cut off trade routes, sacked slave ships, and severed Britain, France, and Spain from their New World empires. The Royal Navy went from being unable to catch the pirates to being afraid to encounter them at all. Imperial authorities and wealthy shipowners denounced the pirates as the enemies of mankind, but huge numbers of common people saw them as heroes. Finally one man volunteered to pacify the pirates Bahaman lair and destroy any who resisted — Woodes Rogers, a famous privateer himself and scion of a powerful merchant family.
Drawing on extensive research in the archives of Britain and the Americas, Colin Woodard tells the dramatic untold story of the Pirate Republic that shook the very foundations of the British and Spanish Empires and fanned the democratic sentiments that would one day drive the American revolution.
About the Author
COLIN WOODARD writes for the Chronicle of Higher Education and is the author of The Lobster Coast and Ocean's End. He lives in Portland, Maine.
Table of Contents
prologue The Golden Age of Piracy 1
chapter one The Legend (1696) 10
chapter two Going to Sea (16971702) 28
chapter three War (17021712) 52
chapter four Peace (17131715) 86
chapter five Pirates Gather (JanuaryJune 1716) 115
chapter six Brethren of the Coast (June 1716March 1717) 144
chapter seven Bellamy (MarchMay 1717) 169
chapter eight Blackbeard (MayDecember 1717) 194
chapter nine Begging Pardon (December 1717July 1718) 226
chapter ten Brinksmanship (JulySeptember 1718) 262
chapter eleven Hunted (September 1718March 1720) 282
epilogue Piracys End (17201732) 311
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