The Golden Age of Piracy

Though piracy has been in existence for centuries, the ‘Golden Age’ of piracy occurred from the 1650’s through the 1730’s. An increase in traffic of valuable cargo to and from Europe prompted this frenzied period of piracy. Many of the most recognizable names in pirate history belong to era. Sir Henry Morgan was a buccaneer responsible for plundering and destroying Panama in 1671. Captain William Kidd and Sir Francis Drake were privateers that worked for Queen Elizabeth of England. Jean Lafitte was an infamous pirate who lived on the Island of Padre, a popular place where pirates dwelled. There were a few notable women pirates. Anne Bonny followed in the steps of her lover ‘Calico Jack’ and practiced piracy on the Caribbean Sea. Mary Read was another famous female pirate. She disguised herself as a man in 1721 to join the crew of pirate ‘Calico Jack.’ She got captured and died in prison. The worst and perhaps cruelest pirate of them all was Captain Edward Teach or Thatch, better known as "Blackbeard." Born in Britain before 1690, he first served on a British privateer based in Jamaica. Privateers were privately owned, armed ships hired by the British government to attack and plunder French and Spanish ships during the war. After the war, Blackbeard simply continued the job. He soon became captain of one of the ships he had stolen, Queen Anne's Revenge, and set up base in North Carolina, then a British colony, from where he preyed on ships traveling the American coast. Blackbeard named the skull and crossbones flag the Jolly Roger, which also happened to be the name of one of his ships. This pirate flag with skull and crossbones is an iconic image seen throughout history until this day. Here at Pirates of America we will teach you about Pirate ships, Pirate weapons, Pirate flags, and Pirate life. These are important topics if you want to become a Pirate Captain yourself some day.

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