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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  May 26, 2022 11:00am-12:07pm EDT

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i get to say thank you on behalf of the national archives, mary. it is really a pleasure being with you this afternoon. >> thanks, martha. it is such a pleasure to get to talk to you.
11:01 am ahoy, mate and welcome to tonight's great lives presentation on america's ahoy, mates. and welcome to tonight's great lives presentation on america's packs. the top is faltered by the community bank of chesapeake to whom we are grateful for their generous support over the past several years. and it's that kind of commitment that enables it the program to bring to the university in the community outstanding speakers such as our guest tonight. aaron jay dolan is the author of the fascinating book black flags blue waters. the epic history of america's most notorious pirates eric grew up near the coast of new york and connecticut.
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in from an early age developed an interest in maritime affairs. toward that end, he earned the double major in biology and environmental studies than getting a masters degree in environmental management from yale. that was followed by a ph.d. in environmental policy and planning from mit. where his dissertation focused on the role of the courts in the cleanup of boston harbour. eric has held an interesting arrived of jobs. many of them related to an interest in the national world. the one thing that remain constant throughout his career he has said is his enjoyment of writing and telling stories about topics that he has found most intriguing this has led to the publication of more than 60 articles, of magazines and newspapers and professional journals.
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it has also resulted in the publication of a number of very popular books that include these the titles. the furious sky, they 500-year history of americas hurricanes. brilliant beacons, a history of the american lighthouse. when america first met china and exotic history of t, drugs and money in the age of sale. four, fortune empire, the epic history of the free trade in america. the love via finn, the history of whaling in america. as well as the previously mentioned black flags, blue waters. all of these books have achieved not only popular but critical acclaim. that's a very difficult task indeed to pull off. there's one reviewer of the -- the book is a fascinating adventurous tory.
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filled with rogues and rascals and ruthless renegades. this is staring history that reads like a novel. another has said that in that book, dolan quote proves again that skillfully presented narrative nonfiction is even more gripping than swashbuckling theology. if you've never randall and before prepare to have a new favorite historian and so it is a great pleasure to welcome tonight to the university of maryland in washington into the great lives podium a truly gifted writer eric j. dolan. >> [applause] thank you, bill. for that wonderful introduction. and thanks to bill and terry and ali for giving me a wonderful meal a few minutes ago and ali for organizing all of this. last time i was in
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fredericksburg was back when my wife and i lived in maryland in 1996 and i remember that in all the antique stores and today i went down to fredericksburg and they're still there and it's a lot of fun. but anyway, thanks for coming out tonight i know it's kind of tough situation i'm just getting back into the swing of giving talks. i've given about 40 or 50 zoom talks over the past two years. and now i'm just starting to give talks in person. so this is really a thrill for me to have an audience. pirates have long been among the most colorful and memorable celebrities in popular culture. a lot of that has to do with books that use pirates as a motif. in the most famous example of, that of course. is robert lewis stevenson's treasure island which was published in 1883. stevenson weaves a wonderfully dramatic tale of the search for pirate treasure. replete with a map of skeleton
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island where an ex marks the spot where the treasure is to be found. treasure island is also the book that gave us that familiar see shanty refrain, 15 men on a dead man's chest, yoho and a bottle of rum. drink and the devil had done for the rest. you and a bottle of rum. and now you know why i became a writer and not a singer. now during this time, i will be showing a number of new yorker cartoons that were late to the pirate theme. in case you carry them, i will read the punchline. for what it's worth, yoho and a chilled penal grieves eo actually rhymes. you'd be amazed there are hundreds of cartoons the new yorkers put out of the decades that he was pirates as a theme. now movies have also had a major impact on how we view pirates. most recently, disney's parts of the caribbean franchise has
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generated a renewed pirate mania. this fellow looks like johnny depp, right? actually i want to have a picture of johnny depp in the book. i reached out to disney and i try to get a hold of johnny depp's agent. but i was unsuccessful. so i found this at the library of congress. it is a johnny depp impersonator in front of grossman's chinese restaurant in california. i think he did a pretty good job. now with all these cultural references, it's no wonder that pirate costumes are among the most popular worn on halloween night. in international talk like a pirate day is eagerly anticipated by millions every september 19th. and this one says, no i don't know where your pirate shirt is. there is no denying that pirates and grab hold of our imagination.
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many have danger unbelieving traditional society behind, boarding a ship and throwing in their lot with the hearty men and women intent on taking what they want and getting richer while enjoying the luxurious freedom of sailing of the world's oceans. with a hold full of rum mark twain captured this longing in his memoir life in the mississippi. when he admitted that even though he and his friends had but one ambition to be steamboat men. now and then, we had a hope that if we lived and were good god would permit us to be pirates. there are plenty of children out there who would love being a pirate. historians can certainly poke holes at these fictional representations of pirates especially those who depict them as a naturally attractive ricochets rapscallions having a grand isle time looking for love adventure and treasure on
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the waves. the reality of piracy is nothing like the breathless musings of the new york times reporter in 1892 who bitterly complained, it cannot be a source of regret to every true lover of the picturesque that pirates are no more. and piracy has lost his popularity. what tremendous fellows they must have been. what's heroes dandy's wits were to be found among them. they were immensely superior to land reagan's. who were mere milk compare with black beer in captain kid. while real pirates were incredibly intriguing and compelling characters, they most definitely were not tremendous fellows. instead, they were seaborne criminals who were neither enduring nor heroic. this is half a me lows being a pirate, in half of me regrets it. now black flags, blue waters cots through the hollywood
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industry and mythology surrounding imagery -- reveals a dramatic and surprising history of american power's golden age. spanning a late 16 hundreds through the early 1700s when lawless pirates plied the waters of north america and beyond. the golden age was the most dramatic air of maritime marauding the world has ever known. it produced such iconic characters as william kid and black beard. along with thousands of others. whose names are less familiar but whose despicable deeds are no less riveting. much has been written about that time period. in this book adds to that literary lineage but with a twist. rather than focusing broadly on this era, black flags, blue waters zeroes in on the history of the pirates who either operated out of britain's american colonies or plundered the ships along the american coast. from the early 16 80's to 1726,
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these pirates had an exceedingly close often tempestuous and frequently deadly relationship with the colonies. in many people leave pirates in a romantic light. but there is absolutely nothing romantic about them. other than the legends women about their exploits after they were gone. that is not to say that pirates were boring. far from it. well the pirates of black flags blue waters can't compete with the magnetic charms of and will be re-part a of captain jack sparrow, they are compelling characters nonetheless. and when i read this slide, it makes me laugh because there's somebody that wrote a comment about the book on amazon. and he gave the book one star. in his first line he said, for some reason this guy hates pirates. and he went on to complain about the fact that my book dispelled a lot of the myths about piracy. the real story of american piracy is even more astonishing
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and fascinating than any fictional pirated ever written or cast on the silver screen. this says i'm sorry, you tapped into something no one cares about. and that relates to how i pick topics for books. the most difficult thing is finding a topic that i think will excite me and potential readers. the origin story for black flags blue waters started with my kids, lilly and harry, who are shown here as teenagers. after i finish my book on lighthouses, brilliant beacons, history of the american lighthouse. i was looking around for a new topic. and i absolutely and harry what they thought i should write about? and i had a couple of ideas. one of the most pirates. when i mention pirates, both of their eyes lit up and they said that that's it. you have to write about pirates. i go very cited because neither of my children had up to the
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point read any of my books. so i thought this is going to be my big chance. louis even threw out a possible, few possible titles for the books. including swords sales and swashbucklers. and org which i had to tell much to her chagrin is a word that no pirate of this era ever uttered. it is more a byproduct of hollywood in the mid 20th century. when you begin working on this book and you very little about pirates but that was by design. i always choose topics i know very little about. you may be thinking maybe i don't know much of anything but it's really because i had to spend two years working on these books. and i get bored rather easily. if you ever summer resume, you would think i couldn't keep a job. and part of the reason i go to very different topics is because i like being excited by what i'm working on. and i hope that excitement translates to the written page.
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it's the number of movies with pirates in them. including all the powers of the current korean movies, the last three of which friends are poor. muppets treasure island one of my favorites. the ghani's. and even princess bride, the princess bride with its dred pirates roberts. but i hadn't read any books about pirates. not even treasure island. which i somehow missed in my misspent youth. and you would hire streamed about, the big score. capturing a ship with a hold full of spanish silver pieces of 18 gold balloons. i had heard about blackbeard a really didn't know much about him of than the fact that he had a black beard. had also heard about captain kid. but the only thing i knew about him was that he supposedly buried treasure all along the eastern seaboard from delaware all the way on up to hope island, nova scotia. of course, that is the total myth. but it hasn't stopped many people over the years from
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spending significant amounts of time and money searching for buried treasure. and coming up empty. so leaving it with a broker didn't do any good at all,. i had also heard that pirate strike a lot, especially rum. which was supposedly the pirates drink of choice. and that fact is 100 percent true. one pirate even admitted that the love of drink in a lazy life or stronger motives than gold. in luring in him into piracy. unfortunately for him, he uttered these words a few hours before he was hangs. the more i learn about pirates, however. the more fascinated became. pirates for an important part of the american history. in their story was more complicated and intriguing then i suspected. the first no instance of piracy off the american coast occurred in the summer of 16 32, when a pirate name dixie bowl and his
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men plundered a number of english ships before disappearing from sight. other than that, the main connection that the colonies had with piracy during these early years was twofold. first, some american merchants travel to jamaica and other caribbean islands to trade with the pirates. and in turn, some pirates who had gotten wealthy we're tired of the colonies to enjoy their riches. in 16 84, for example, a jamaican governor sir thomas lynch noted that the northern colonies are now full of pirates money. pirates had lynch claim occur the equivalent of 80,000 pounds sterling into boston alone. a city that one english official labeled as the common receptacle of pirates of all nations. now to get an idea of magnitude of this allude, considered of the time, an average labor in the colony earned about ten pounds per year.
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and a woman got roughly half of that. while a captain of a merchant vessel pulled down about 72 pounds. the mid 16 hundreds is also an air of the buccaneers. does anyone know who this is? he's got a rum named after him. henry morgan, yes. this is when men like henry morgan, more famous now for his room than for his exploits. roam the caribbean in search of spanish treasure ships to plunder. the treasure ships were full of silver and gold. that came from minds and mints in central and south america. the men's produced copious quantities of coins including gleaming gold balloons. and most importantly eight real coins. those so-called pieces of eight or spanish silver dollars. in a dinner, i was talking about the fact that after i write a book, i always try to get something that reminds me of the book. and i thought naively when i
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started this book that maybe i could buy a piece of eight after i was done. but once i realized the actual prices for a good piece of eight, that idea left me rather quickly. now the buccaneers favorite haunt was poured royal on the english island of jamaica. arguably the wealthiest english city in the new world by 16 80. port royals veneer of sophistication could not hide its decidedly sleazy underbelly. this was when pour oil again the well earned reputation as the sod i'm of the west indies and the wickedest city in the world. and unsavory melange of buccaneers and privateers proud port royal streets and alley ways in search of liquid in colonel leisure. as one buccaneer said in his peers, whenever they get a hold of something, they don't keep it full-on. they are busy deicing, horror-ing and drinking. so long as they have anything to spend. some of them will get through
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it -- and the next day not a shirt on their back. he continued, my own master used to buy a -- set in the middle of the street with the barrel head knocked in. and stand barring the way. every passerby had a drink with him or he'd have shot them dead with a gun he kept handy. on june 7th, 16 92, a massive earthquake struck port royal in jamaica. when it was all over, nearly two thirds of the city had slipped beneath the waves and more than 5000 people were killed including many buccaneers. the gruesome aftermath, in the rematch matt, hundreds of dead bodies loaded bodies could be seen floating on the surface of the harbor and washed up on the shore. a local minister who survived the earthquake called it a terrible judgment of god. that was brought down upon the heads of the most ungodly
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debauched people in the world. by the late 16 hundreds, buccaneers have been largely replaced by the so-called red seamen. the pirates who left for the american policies and sale to the indian ocean where they preyed on ships coming from the moon gul empire or will we know today as india. and they were traveling between india and the red sea ports of jeddah and mocha. on the surface, red seamen appear to be nothing more than privateers. for a fee, they issued privateering licenses, letters of marked by colonial governors which gave them permission to attack friendships. since at the time, england was at war with france. but these governors knew full well that the red sea men had no intention of attacking friendships. instead, they plan to go around cape horn, cape hope into the indian ocean attack mugagga ships. the red sea men where the most successful parts of all. with some of them such as henry
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avery amassing considerable fortunes. avery's greatest success was capturing the gone to saw way which one of the flagships of the emperor -- >> on board were more than 1000 people going to mecca and they were loaded with jewels and money. the pirates plunder the ship for several days. when they weren't gathering loot, the pirates engaged in animalistic and violent orgy. viciously raping numerous women. a few of the intended victims unable to bear to have their families and friends see them ravish and defiled killed themselves by either jumping over the side of the ship or stabbing themselves. while in the indian ocean, the red sea menus the island of saint murray off the northeast coast of madagascar mainland as their home base. there is plenty of gambling on the island as one might imagine.
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a single toss of dice earned the lucky pirate from new york 1300 pieces of eight. in one brawl 14 pirates who were unsatisfied with the amount of loot they had managed to obtain in their last voyage decided to split into two groups of seven. and fight to the death to see who would get the money one group of seven was completely demolished and five of the other group of seven were killed the last two guys messages look at each other and said okay let's just put the money now the red sea men were welcomed with open's arms in america because they were in many cases the fathers sons and brothers of the people in the colonies. they were much beloved members of their communities. and they were seen as going halfway around the world to rob quote unquote infidels and bring all that valuable money in jewels and silk back to
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america now with all the red sea men were will come in the colonies the british parliament and the crown despised them. not only did pirates break the law, but they also threatened the entire east indian trade which was a bulwark of the english economy. the resulting crackdown on pirates also use a combination of stricter laws more effective prosecutions and pirate ships and increase reduce the pirate threat in the atlantic. by 1700, it was almost completely eliminated. this general reprieve from piracy continued for the duration of the war of the spanish succession. between 1702 in 1713. and if you're like me, the war of the subpoena succession is one of those wars they talk about a high school and you still absolutely have no idea what it was and why they fought it. the only significant case of paris in the colonies during
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the war was when captain john quelling sailed with his fellow nears from marble head, my hometown, marble had massachusetts, in august of 1703. after murdering the captain of the privateer they were on. they didn't headed to brazil, where they plundered a number of ships and came back to marble head with more than 10,000 pounds worth of booty including a bag full of gold dust. squelch and part of his gang were cut off returning to marble head and they were hanged on friday june 30th, 1704. at the edge of boston harbour. thousands of people came out to see them. we sent off to eternity. the famous puritan preacher, cotton mather, spoke to the assembled prop throng. he stood up and said it himself on a boat that was just offshore -- if you remain in boston, they were hanged right down the hill from cops hill burial ground near the old north church.
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and so cotton mather got up and he gave his sermon and he began. we, the ministers, have told you often, yay we have told you weeping, that you have by sin undone yourselves. we have shown you how to commit yourself into a saving and healing hands. and how to express repentance. we can do no more believe eu in his merciful hands. when the scaffold platform was pulled away, in the men dropped to their death. the screams of the crowd were so loud that they could be heard more than a mile away. an almost 3000 people showed up to watch them die. a few years after the end of the war, piracy came roaring back. inaugurating the second major phase of piracy. which lasted from 1715 to 1726. and this is where you, most people know about. this is the pirates of the caribbean era. and it's one as many as 4000 pirates were active. this is in this time the major
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focus of activity was not the red sea but rather the waters of the american colonies and in the caribbean. there are many reasons for the explosion in piracy. a significant number of navy men and privateers who lost their positions when the war ended decided to turn to piracy. many men rose up and mutiny and turn to proceed as well. the sinking of a huge spanish treasure fleet in 1715 off the california coast created a stampede of men for almost all over the world that mainly are up. who came to that area to dive on the rock and get as much money as they could. they didn't get much money because the spaniards who owned the ships got there first. and miniature tree for a lot of the money. but many of the men who had come seeking their fortune decided to stay in the caribbean and get their fortune as pirates. although many men voluntarily signed on to become pirates, others were forced to go on the
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account. the coming pirates against their will. 1715 to 1726 is also the period when pirates to use the black flag or the jolly roger as there are terrifying calling card. the black flag was intended to strike fear into the hearts of any merchant ships that sought fluttering atop the main mast of the pirate ship. sending the unmistakable message surrender immediately or else we will attack. being risk-averse, pirates always hoped for surrender. and they never wanted to fight the if they could avoid because there is no upside to battle. fortunately for the pirates, they rarely had to resort to force. since intimidation courtesy of the black flag worked so well. this flag is purportedly the flag of black beard. but in my research, i could find nor affronts to this being black beards flag.
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but it was a flag of a poem named ned low, talk about him a little bit later. and this is a modern representation of. it but you can understand the iconography. the skeleton and the harpoon piercing the heart with drops of blood falling from it. was supposed to signify death. and raised in his right arm is an hourglass indicating that he don't have much time to make a decision. you better make the right one. this is when pirates voted in democratic fashion to determine who would be the captain. and where they would go to hunt for prizes and which ships they would attack. this is when pirates signed the articles of agreement or the pirates code which laid out the rules for their behavior. and also mandated the virtually even distribution of wealth. and at the bottom of this cartoon, it says there is the flag will fly atop our pirate
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ship. this is also when many black men served as pirates. a significant number of them were african slaves who had been captured by the pirates and they continued to be in servitude on the pirate ship until they were sold off as slaves. to generate money. but that's only part of the story. many black pirates became valued crew members and fought alongside their white brother red in a shared equally in the prices. this is when and bonnie and mary lee, the only two women known to have served on pirate ships in the atlantic, during the golden age appeared briefly on history stage. both were put on trial import royal for being part of calico jack rack comes pirate crew. and bonnie also happened to be recommends lover. the trials and jamaica are memorable not only through the mobile hanging's that ensued. recommend flooded. but even more for the unusual
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legal gambit unique among pirates used by bonnie and read. the court found guilty of piracy. and they were condemn to hang. immediately after that sentence was handed down, they pleaded their bellies to the court. informing the judge said they were both president. upon investigation, it was found to be the case. and they were given a temporary stay of execution. on the day that iraq and went to the gallows, bonnie, his lover made it clear that she was extremely disappointed in him. saying that she was sorry to see him there but if he had fought like a man, he not have been hanged like a dog. as for the ladies, reed died in jail from non specified illness. soon thereafter. and bonnie simply disappears from the historical record. this is also when edward that,
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teach, better known as blackbeard and 400 of his men blockaded charleston south carolina and for a week and traumatized the rest of the coast with their exploits. you see this picture? this from the 1924 book on pirates, if you look closely, you can see smoke coming off of black beards hair it is that when black women into battle he would tie matches to the end of his hair, sometimes and it is beard like them. so as to be in robed in smoke and look more fearsome when he wanted to battle. when a bunch of baloney. can you imagine having a lit flame at the end of your hair and nobody who was attacked by black beard ever mentioned this technique. it is just one of many myths about black beard, including one that a lot of people bring up, that he had 14 wives. he used to prostitute them out
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to his man. be careful when you read about pirate history. that you are not reading the myths, you're getting the real thing. blackbeard met his grisly and at the end of naval lieutenant robert maynard, battled him in his man off of the island of cocoa. after the battle was over, maynard severed black beards head, and hung it from the bowsprit of his sloop blackbeard headless body was then pitched into the dark waters of paleo sound, according to legend it took a few laps around the ship before sinking from sight. blackbeard story has really come full circle. and 1996, salvagers and north carolina discovered the remains of black beards flagship queen and revenge in the relatively shallow water of the inlet. this period, from barbados
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decided to leave his gentlemanly life and become a pirate. the gentleman period, as he is often called. even built his own pirate ship, had the captains cabin lined with shelves so he could bring along his personal library. it is not clear why bonnet took the dramatic step of leaving his comfortable life and becoming a pirate. some speculated his sudden change and behavior was due to depression or perhaps insanity or perhaps some discomfort that he found in married life. if it was the last one he must have had a miserable marriage. i just learned a few days ago that one of the television stations i think it's hbo, i'm not sure, there's a whole series on steve bonnet. it looks like a humanist series. i think a direct, or one of the actors, is that guy, take a lot
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e.t., the director of the door. it looks like it's a funny play on the bomb its life. on his own, bomb it had some success along with many failures. he was finally captured in september of 1718 when colonel really him forces came upon bonnet and as man near the cape fear river and north carolina. the trial of bonnet and his man in charleston was a dramatic affair to say the least. first, bonnet and one of his men escaped. they were captured the next day and brought back to jail. then, all the upper class individuals, people in charleston begged the judge to let a bonnet off. basically saying that he was an aristocratic barren in lineage. he should not be treated in this manner. fortunately, for those who want to justice to be meted out the judge did not agree. tried bonnet and has man and 19,
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all 19 of them were hangs at the edge of the harbor. this is also an pirate sam bell army captured a british slave ship called the widow which is carrying a fortune in gold and silver. the proceeds were from selling 500 slaves import royal, jamaica. he also had a booty for more than 50 captures that he and has man had achieved just in the prior year. excuse me, my allergies are kicking up. my throat is a little itchy. however, bella mean and his man would not be able to enjoy their riches. and april of 1717, as the widow was making its way up the east coast and was just about to go around the outstretched arm of cape cod, a nor'easter came barreling down the coast. it sent the widow into the shallows, right near east town
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on the cape. about 1500 feet from shore. the ship, the back was broken, on a sand reef. 161 man were killed in the water. including bella me. only two people survived and managed to climb up the cliffs. later, they were, you want to learn what happens then you can read the book. it is fascinating. all that treasure, the key point, all the treasure also sank into the sand off of cape cod. for 267 years the widows treasure remain there. many people try to find it. one guy, a writer from massachusetts spent a considerable amount of money and dove many times off the coast trying to find those gold balloons and silver pieces. but no luck. in 1984, a salvage or and diver name barry clifford and his
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team, at the time included john f. kennedy jr., who i went to college with, found the widow and began recovering its treasure. the item that proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that all these artifacts came from the widow is this. this is the widows bell. the reason it's green, if you go to the pirate museum, the pirate museum in west yarmouth on the cape, which is well worth a visit, fascinating pirate museum. it when you walk, and this is the first thing you see. it's the bell suspended in a greenish providers of this solution. they knew they found the widow. is the first authenticated pirate treasure ever found. how much the recovered treasure is worth is not exactly clear. there have been estimates that range from unreasonably low $200,000 to a ridiculously high 400 million.
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whatever it's worth, it's worth a lot. i think that's amazing, barry clifford, his investors, to the state have not sold a single piece of it. the balloon, the cannon, nothing. which i think is amazing. one other nasty pirate who want to pray off the american coast during this period was the despicable and arguably mentally deranged and word low, net low, i talked about him before. the guy who had the flag with the harpoon and the skeleton. he seemed to relish torturing and killing his victims. one of his signature moves was cutting off peoples ears or lips, roasting them, and then forcing the victim to eat their own flash. by the way, he was much nastier than black beard. there's almost no evidence of black beer doing anything violent towards anybody. when the captain of one of the ships had the temerity to cut the rope holding a bag of gold
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that was hovering over the surface of the water, when you cut that rope and let the gold plunge into the depth, when low found out about that, he shot the captain. and all 32 members of his crew. another time when low seized cast of wine and brandy from a captured vessel, it's captain ask of low to be so kind to read a sentence or two so he could give to the owner of the ship. that would show that low had taken it, and that the captain had sold it and pocketed the profits. low agree and said it be right back with what the man requested. a few minutes later, low returns with two loaded pistols, presenting one of the captains bowels, he told the petrified man, this was for his wine. then discharged at. he pointed the other pistol at the captains head saying, this one is for your branding, and fired. was also a pirate that forced a
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marble head man, a fisherman name philip ashton to join his crew in the summer of 1722. ashton however was able to escape and make his way to an uninhabited islands called roe a time in the bay of honduras. it is about 40 miles on the honduran mainland. he stay there for almost two years before he was picked up by a ship from salem and brought back home. after returning to marble head, ashton saga of suffering and endurance became the top of new england. one reason why ashton's story struck suction accord was that it came in the wake of daniel devotes wildly popular robinson karoo so, which appeared and 1719. ashton was a real life robinson crew so. now, one thing that didn't happen during this period was
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this. walking the plank. no pirates during the golden age are known to have done this to any of their victims. why would they? there are plenty easier ways to kill somebody. you could shoot them, run them through the cutlass, or just pitch them over the side of the ship. there are a few instances of pirates forcing people to walk the plank. those took place in the early 1800s, in the caribbean, when there was another outbreak of piracy. mainly off the islands of cuba and puerto rico. the second and very bloody period of piracy came to an end in the mid 17 20s. on number of pirates plummeted to an insignificant level. of the many factors contributing to this decline, one was colonial resolve to fight piracy at sea and in the courts. which resulted in numerous pirates being killed in battle
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or hangs on land. a well with -- williamsburg, charleston, and charleston, colonial officials condemned 68 man to the gallows. if you look at the broader atlantico, more than 400 pirates were hanged. another critical determinant was britain's increased efforts to eliminate pirates throughout the atlantic using a combination of pardons, stricter laws, and forced executions, and the eradication of the pirate stronghold that -- in the bahamas. the last pirate to be hanging this period was william fly and a few of his man. flight had plundered a number of ships off the east coast. he got to greedy. he had too many prisoners on board. they get inspired rose up and took over the ship. put fly and his man in chains, sailed to boston, where they were put on trial.
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the pirates were executed on july of 1726 at the edge of boston harbour. after the execution, their bodies were rode out to knicks his mate a very small island. it is not an island today. it was back then. flies you compatriots were buried. fly himself was hung up in chains. the local boston paper said that the reason he was hung up in chains was to serve as a spectacle for the warning of others, especially seafaring man. the warning was hardly necessary. flies a spectacular bloody, and breathe pirate occult campaign was the last gasp of the golden age of piracy. this is where my book ends as well. the pirates depicted and black
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flags, blue waters, blazed a fiery an unforgettable path through the history of colonial america. for centuries, they're turbulent destructive and fascinating lives have beguile, the horrified, and entertained us. leaving an indelible and unique mark on our culture. undoubtedly, there will be more pirate movies, i hope better, winds books, television shows in the future. many of which will perpetuate myths or create them a new. in the end, there is no need to embellish the history of these pirates. for what they did, actually did, was amazing enough. i have three more slides. , it's become a tradition of mine with my books to have my daughter paints a picture that relates to the book. towards the end of writing black flags, blue water, my daughter painted this very small painting. it's three by four inches about. she said, this is a pirate looking for his next victim.
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i didn't have the heart to tell or at the time, although i've told her since, i think she was too heavily influenced by my whaling book. no self regarding pirate would be in a pirate ship that is as boxy and slow-moving as this one likely is. this looks just like a whaling ship to me. l itthis is really what paris did during their downtime. it says jazz for size, veto deck, 4 pm. and the last slide i had is a picture of my new book which i have to give a plug too, it's coming up on may 31st. it relates to pirates in the sense that part of the reason i wrote this book is when i gave talks on black flags, blue waters. i would invariably get a question, are pirates the same as privateers or our privateers just legalized pirates. so i started reading more about privateering. and, yes privateering the 16
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hundreds, 15 hundreds, early 1700s it did look a lot like piracy sometimes but privateering during the american revolution was absolutely not legalize piracy. and what fascinated me and totally blew me away is how important of a role nearly 2000 privateers and that's ships there were almost 40,000 privateers man played during the war in helping us win against great britain. that is the end of my talk i'm happy i thanks for coming out of these trying circumstances. >> thank, you eric. so if you have questions. kelly will seek you out and you'll say the answer questions,
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that be good. you spent a lot of time telling us about pirates. they got their money and then they got strong, et cetera, et cetera, and they were killed. do you know any that got their money change their name, respectable citizens and lived until they passed on. >> i wish i could say i knew lot about that. there were undoubtedly many parents who did were welcomed by their community as much as that's likely phase of piracy. the problem is none of these power successful or not road memoirs. once they melted back into the society, most of them came from the lower rungs of society to begin with. once they melted back into society, you don't have a lot of echoes about them. history especially back then is
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written about important people or notorious people. so the pirates that got caught and got put on trial, we have travel records, we have depositions. we know a lot about them. not so much about their early life. but the pirates made a couple of pounds maybe -- get back with their wife or whatever and their cousin sort of farm. we know very little. very very little about any of them. henry avery, he survived. there was a global man hunt. they never found him. but there's no record of what actually happened to him. we know he's never found, he was never hanged, he was never tried. there were theories that they resettle someplace in england. there were stories about what happened to him but we have no idea and i wish if i get a drink lots of these pirates, i get some really good information. -- it was very nice that there were so many trials in this is just at the period when the
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united states, the colonies, not the united states and england started to really publish their pirate trials. so we have that record to pull from. but in terms of knowing what they did, the mini pirates that massive come home -- i don't know, they could be our great great great great grandparents. i'm sure some of them are. >> in the back? >> your talking about the various pirate myths. did they ever leave some on the deserted island with a gun and a couple of bullets. >> yes. that actually did happen, there are a number of instances where that very thing is mentioned. maroon-ing. i'm not sure they always love them with a bullet and some balls but there were unruly pirates that were sometimes kicked off the crew by their fellows. and left in a very dangerous positions.
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there was one pirate when i talk about john wells when you talk to the caribbean. now the caribbean, down off brazil during the gold rush and was plundering ships. there was a danish pirate who they met along the way. one of the ships they plundered. he decided he wanted to be a pirate. but then he demanded a bigger cut of the share. in the other guys said forget that, and they just dropped him off on an uninhabited part of the south american coast. who knows what happened to him? >> excellent, talk so two questions actually. my first. how did you characterize or describe black peers relationship to the caesar? because he does briefly come up in the book and this is something i'm personally trying to find more out about in regards to race in slavery among piracy. >> i did not find much more than the couple of references to cedars or. especially in the final battle
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on okra coke island. i don't, i don't think anyone's trying to write a book about caesar although people have written books about and bonnie, very read in those when the patient half of real information on them. they've written her books. i don't know much more, what i know about the pirates interactions with black men of the time. i'll get to him in a second but black men at a time. it's very limited. there are mentioned once in a while. they definitely are mentioned as crew members. they also are very often sold to make money for the pirates. but black women, it's very interesting. madagascar, there are a lot of descendants and madagascar. the piracy staying out there for a number of years. and they had sex with local women. and so there are people in madagascar who country through lineage back to the early 1700s when these white, predominantly white pirates came along, had
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sex with local women and left. >> if you find anything more about sees, or that would be fascinating. in my privateering book, i have a pretty decent section on slavery. because there was an interaction, strong intersection privateering and slave ships. and there is a great book coming out on that, about a month or two. but if you can find that kind of stuff, it's great because it gives you another perspective on history that we all think we know about. because just like poor people don't show up in our history books a lot, black people especially in the 1700s and early 18 hundreds don't show up a lot or in substantive ways. where we can really give a profile and say something important about them. >> and second question is, education is kind of iffy in this time period. especially education amongst pirates. there have been some accounts a think that described black
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beard as being somewhat educated. highly educated vigils. is there any truth behind this regard to his early life upbringing that would give some truth behind this. >> not sure about how educated he was. proof, there are some people who think he was a privateer during the war this fence accession. there are some people who think he was born in jamaica. there are some people who think he was born north carolina. there are some people who think he was born bristling land. there are different hearings. i haven't seen the definitive detailing of his early life. so it's very hard to say much about him. but i have no doubt that a number of pirates were educated. i mean certainly well educated as the average person of the day. whether they were as educated as stephen it was for example and aristocrat i doubt that that was quite common. but they were just like their pharaoh semen of the era. people who went to see and were before the master one of the
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officers or one of the head guys. they often had very minimal education. but we have to remember, back then, a lot of people didn't go to school at all. they had very different kinds of careers, they were physical laborers. again, if you can find more, maybe it's out there. it would be wonderful if there was a great journal or something that nobody is found. that gives us greater insight. i have no doubt that something will be found. but a lot of people poured over the records of piracy and i didn't see anything that would substantiate his scholarly bent. >> i, you had mentioned a couple of times that there were nicks of people they want to piracy sort of voluntarily. others were sort of turned into it. and you also mentioned that there was kind of an egalitarian moved on the ships
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for their shared everything. but you also mentioned there was sort of a discipline, i guess was it more common that the crews were sort of cohesive and shared out or was there more common that you had sort of a strong leader that control everything there was a significant portion of people that were there because that was when they were forced to do as opposed to their choice. >> all of the above. there are examples of pirates getting into brawls amongst each other. voting captains in and out. there are examples of men who were forced to join, becoming very active participants and eager pirates. there are examples of men who were forced to join and escaped in various ways. who were ultimately killed because they wouldn't be subservient to the other pirates and sort of fall into line. i could imagine, based on accounts that we have, sometimes the pirates got along quite well. especially when they were
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totally drunk. and they were just in between plundering or they were doing well. but there are also examples in the history of pirates attacking each other. killing each other. getting into fights. i think a lot of it depended on the quality of the leader. and again, here are people like to, i'm, my wife always some him to literal. maybe that's why right history nonfiction. i once wrote a murder mystery, i shows my agent, he told me to stick with nonfiction. i'm very literal so people take small things that they find out about pirates and expanded. i think there's even a book, there was an article written on black beards captain ability. sort of like the seven affective habits of highly effective people or whatever that is. there was a whole article written on how blackbeard meeting to order. and it was a fascinating article but based on what i read about blackford, there's really very little information about how he actually ran his
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ship. and again, those are the kinds of details that come out in trials. when they mostly talk about is who they attacked, where they attack them, what they got, whether they killed somebody. but once in a while, you get a glimmer of that. and some of these foreign captains must of been good. in the sense good leaders. because a lot of them remain at the captain for many months or even years. and on a captain ship, pirates code, you could be voted in and out. and there are examples of that is. well you can imagine if you had a leader who wasn't leading you to much treasure, or you don't like very much, the crew would just vote that person out. so some of the most i've had some really good leadership skills. again, getting back to the come about the guy who said i hated pirates another thing you mentioned democracy. this is something a deal with in the book. there was a comment that one of sambolin means men made ones. where he said to somebody, they
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were plundering their own ship and he said were like robinhood men. and from that one comment, a lot of people have said, well they were really democratic, they were taking from the russian to the poor. or no they weren't. they were taking more they could to give themselves. they weren't going through nottingham wood and they weren't democratic warriors. they weren't the predecessors of the democratic ideals we talked about during the american revolution. although certainly not fully realized. or the french revolution, when assorted. and a lot of people want to take these little nuggets of information we have about the pirates and the fact that they had a somewhat quote unquote democratic system. which is fascinating. but they were not democratic philosophers. they were not political philosophers. so you have to sort of keep them in their own lane and not make them more of what they were. even calling the republic of
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pirates, not the book, but they call jamaica and the bahamas this little pirate republic. well yes, it was a gathering place for pirates. they maybe had some form of lose government there. i haven't watched black sale so don't really know what they talk about their. but it was not a breakaway republic. they were not trying to establish a new country. they just wanted a place to prepare to in between plundering and hopefully have this place be all their own for as long as possible. so they could continue robbing people at sea. just because i don't particularly like pirates in the sense that don't think they're good people. i love them because they're fascinating to write about. because a lot of great stories. >> i guess we will be looking for a book on piracy as a model for modern business leadership from you anytime soon? >> no. although a lot of modern business leaders act like pirates. >> any questions?
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any hands, see any, kelly? all right, oh ask you a couple of quick questions myself. >> did pirates really dress like captain sparrow, did they wear flashy clothes? >> yes, when they, not sure of the dressier who captain sparrow. it is true and we do have records of this that once they plundered a ship on board there might be jewels or jeweled scabbards or silk or nice uniforms or close or jackets. they would often put those on and some of them were quite flamboyant. it was sort of their way of getting the middle finger to society. the society that they were outcasts from. so it is definitely true there's one account of thomas to a pirate and apparently he had this blue silk brocade. and he had a bandleader of pistols and he wore fancy rings
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with ruiz in them. and he had a scabbard on one of his sores that had gemstones. so yes we do have some record that people were dressed a little bit like jack sparrow even maybe more flamboyantly. we have to remember regular seamen at the time merchant seamen they wore. t's sort of true. they wore things that were sometimes colorful. not quite to the extent of jack sparrow. yes, that sort of true. >> what about buried treasure? then i went there either treasure? >> no, there's not a single record of any pirate burying their treasure. that does not mean it's not out there. if you watched oak island, again, i only watched one episode, it was so boring. i don't know how they strung it out for so many seasons. the never really found the treasure, from what i understand. there's not a single shred of evidence that a pirate ever buried their treasure on land and then left. why would they? first, they may never get back
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there. their life was short and brutish. who knows if there are going to get back. second, they might find it difficult to get back, navigational, third, wouldn't they be worried about somebody doubling back? someone else stealing their treasure. if you find a real example of somebody who is buried treasure, that would be wonderful. lastly, i know you don't like him very much, understandably. >> who is your favorite pirates? >> this gives your great insight into my personality. my favorite pirate is ned low, the guy who cut peoples noses and ears off. he was so out, they're so crazy, his story was so much fun to write. again, i'm giving you unintentional window into my personal reality. so many people were killed,
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some people were treated poorly. he got his just desserts in the end. he was one of the worst pirates that i encountered. i did not find black bear that interesting, to tell you the truth. i find what has been written about black haired more interesting than blackburn himself. >> i was surprised,. i don't like about piracy. i was surprised how little black beard seem to engage. he was only -- >> as somebody wrote about him, he's like a meteor streaking through the sky. his piracy career only lasted about a year and a half. at the end, from all that we know, he didn't accumulate a lot of money. in fact, when he blockaded charleston harbor, he had the entire city under his thumb. he captured five cis, he had
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four ships himself. it 400 pirates. all he asked for was a medicine chest instead of asking for money or ransom. he stole some money from some of the ships that he had out in the water. he has asked for a medicine chest, the thinking is, a lot of his man probably got syphilis or some venereal disease. the magician just had mercury, some things that he treated it. with your argument, if he had gotten an attack charleston, he probably would've been destroyed. there are enough people in charleston, there are enough cannons, there are not guns, that it wouldn't have been easy to take over charleston, i am surprised that he didn't ask for some serious money. the governor was scared to death about what was going to happen, his reputation preceded him. he didn't. >> it's interesting, is it not true that perhaps as main nemesis was a person associated,
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-- >> right, he went after, he's the impetus behind the final day newman of blackbeard enlisting the british naval officers and their ships to go down and and get him. he was a fascinating guy. one of the things that's fun, i have a facebook, page i talk about my books. i talk about history stuff. nature, whatever is of interest, a lot of people have read my books, they follow the page. there is one guy, i can't bear's name now. he's a direct descendant of -- he's added some information for me that i did not know. he's a really interesting character. there been a couple books written about him. yes. >> okay, we are pretty much out of time. will conclude tonight's program with thanks once again to eric for the terrific presentation. yes. thanks.
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i thank all of you for being here. good night to everybody from great lives.


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