septiembre 2019
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Two centuries of piracy

Read  Don C. Seitz’s
◊  Under The Black Flag: Exploits Of The Most Notorious Pirates

Riveting account traces careers of buccaneers of many nationalities across 2 centuries and around the globe —from the West Indies to the South Seas.

No access to the full book, but click the pic for a few true stories of such notorious brigands as . . . ⇓

  1.   Thomas Pound
  2.   Captain Misson
  3.   Thomas Tew
  4.   Henry Every
  5.   John Bowen
  6.   Nathaniel North
  7.   John Halsey
  8.   Samuel Burgess
  9.   William Kidd
     10.    Joseph Bradish
     11.    Thomas Howard
     12.    Thomas White
     13.    John Evans
     14.    David Williams
     15.    John Quelch
     16.    The Bahama Pirates
     17.    John Martel
     18.    Edward (Blackbeard) Teach
     19.    Charles Vane
     20.    Stedde Bonnet
     21.    John Rackam
     22.    Captain Condent
     23.    Samuel Bellamy
     24.    Captain Lewis
     25.    John Cornelius
     26.    Richard Worley
     27.    Edward England
     28.    Howel Davis
     29.    Bartholomew Roberts
     30.    Thomas  Astis
     31.    George Lowther
     32.    Edward Low
     33.    Farrington Spriggs
     34.    John Phillips
     35.    John Gow
     36.    William Fly
     37.    Jean Lafitte
     38.    Charles Gibbs
     39.    Benito de Soto


In Under the Black Flag, the 1925 collection of pirate biographies notable for its influence on William Burroughs and Kathy Acker, Don Carlos Seitz relates the story of seventeenth-century pirate captain James Mission, who prefigured the French Revolution as well as the pink pirates described in Caren Irr’s text. Mission’s men, according to Seitz (and Defoe, whose history Seitz adapted), rejected the black flag for the white, founded the commune Libertatia on the Madagascar coast, held all property communally, and sailed the Atlantic, freeing slaves and adopting them into their African utopia while they plundered French, British, and Spanish vessels. Necessity compels Mission to declare war on every nation that would close its borders to him, yet he and his men are humane and gracious to all whom they encounter in battle.

◊   Here’s a quote from  Cities of the Red Night    [Fore!]

«…Mission explored the Madagascar coast and found a bay ten leagues north of Diégo-Suarez. It was resolved to establish here the shore quarters of the Republic – erect a town, build docks, and have a place they might call their own. The colony was called Libertatia and was placed under Articles drawn up by Captain Mission. The Articles state, among other things:

All decisions with regard to the colony to be submitted to vote by the colonists; the abolition of slavery for any reason including debt; the abolition of the death penalty; and freedom to follow any religious beliefs or practices without sanction or molestation.

Captain Mission’s colony, which numbered about three hundred, was wiped out by a surprise attack from the natives, and Captain Mission was killed shortly afterwards in a sea battle. There were other such colonies in the West Indies and in Central and South America, but they were not able to maintain themselves since they were not sufficiently populous to withstand attack. Had they been able to do so, the history of the world could have been altered. Imagine a number of such fortified positions all through South America and the West Indies, stretching from Africa to Madagascar and Malaya and the East Indies, all offering refuge to fugitives from slavery and oppression: «Come to us and live under the Articles.»

At once we have allies in all those who are enslaved and oppressed throughout the world, from the cotton plantations of the American South to the sugar plantations of the West Indies, the whole Indian population of the Amreican continent peonized and degraded by the Spanish into subhuman poverty and ignorance, exterminated by the Americans, infected with their vices and diseases, the natives of Africa and Asia – all these are potential allies. Fortified positions supported by and supporting guerilla hit-and-run bands; supplied with soldiers, weapons, medicines and information by the local populations… such a combination would be unbeatable. If the whole American army couldn’t beat the Viet Cong at a time when fortified positions were rendered obsolete by artillery and air strikes, certainly the armies of Europe, operating in unfamiliar territory and susceptile to all the disabling diseases of tropical countries, could not have beaten guerrilla tactics plus fortified positions. Consider the difficulties which such an invading army would face: continual harassment from the guerrillas, a totally hostile population always ready with poison, misdirection, snakes and spiders in the general’s bed, armadillos carrying the deadly earth-eating disease rooting under the barracks and adopted as mascots by the regiment as dysentery and malaria take their toll. The sieges could not but present a series of military disasters. There is no stopping the Articulated. The white man is retroactively relieved of his burden. Whites will be welcomed as workers, settlers, teachers, and technicians, but not as colonists or masters. No man may violate the Articles.

Imagine such a movement on a world-wide scale. Faced by the actual practice of freedom, the French and American revolutions would be forced to stand by their words. The disastrous results of uncontrolled industrialization would also be curtailed, since factory workers and slum dwellers from the cities would seek refuge in Articulated areas. Any man would have the right to settle in any area of his choosing. The land would belong to those who used it. No white-man boss, no Pukka Sahib, no Patrons, no colonists. The escalation of mass production and concentration of population in urban areas would be halted, for who would work in their factories and buy their products when he could live from the fields and the sea and the lakes and the rivers in areas of unbelievable plenty? And living from the land, he would be motivated to preserve its resources.


I cite this example of retroactive Utopia since it actually could have happened in terms of the techniques and human resources available at the time. Had Captain Mission lived long enough to set an example for others to follow, mankind might have stepped free from the deadly impasse of insoluble problems in which we now find ourselves.

The chance was there. The chance was missed. The principles of the French and American revolutions became windy lies in the mouths of politicians…»

William S Burroughs

◊  Pirates  ⇓  Parade

(in order of appearance…)

William Kyd

Oruc Reis
Hayreddin Barbossa

Jean-David Nau
Henry Morgan

William Kidd
Samuel Burgess

Henry Every
Charles Vane

John Roberts

John Rackham
Stede Bonnet

Howell Davis
Edward Low

Francis Spriggs
Thomas Tew

John Gow
Edward England

Black Caesar
Jean Baptiste Lafitte

•   •   •   Female Pirates:F_pirate

Ch’iao K’uo Fu Jen

Grace O’Malley

Charlotte de Berry
Anne Dieu-Le-Veut

Mary Read
Anne Bonny

Rachel Wall
Charlotte Badger

Ching Shih
Lai Choi San

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