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The History of Maritime Piracy

Cindy Vallar, Editor & Reviewer
P.O. Box 425, Keller, TX  76244-0425

Pirate Articles
Pirate Links
Book Reviews
Thistles & Pirates
Welcome!Welcome to Pirates and

Within these pages of Pirates & Privateers, you'll find articles on all aspects of maritime piracy from ancient times to modern day. Pirate Articles is an annotated list of all the articles I've written. Pirate Links is an annotated list of the best web sites that specialize in piracy and life at sea from early days through the Age of Sail. The Book Review pages house the reviews on the latest fiction and non-fiction pirate and maritime books for children and adults. Other highlights include specialized bibliographies, piratical places to visit, pirate dates in history, piracy quotes, and information about The Rebel and the Spy, my current novel-in-progress that started me on the path of piracy.

If you'd like to be notified when I post a new article, as well as to read the latest pirate-related news that doesn't appear here, subscribe to the Pirates and Privateers Newsletter. If you'd like to read a sample of my newsletter before you subscribe, click here. Subscribers never miss out on the latest happenings at Pirates and Privateers.

As always, if you have a question about pirates, please write and ask. If you'd like me to write about a particular pirate or subject, let me know. One cautionary note to those searching for genealogical information. Historical records about pirates are rare. Much of what is known comes from government records, including court trials, and the few first-person accounts written during a particular time period. This information rarely contains details pertinent to what you need to identify and/or learn about ancestors. The simple fact is that the vast majority of pirates' names remain unknown. I cannot answer this type of question, so rather than contact me, you should check genealogical depositories and websites, as well as national archives.

A special note to teachers and students: Answering questions and locating information is something I love to do. If you need help with a project or report, please contact me. Should you use any of my articles or reviews, please let me know and remember to include the proper citation. The majority of material contained within this website is copyrighted.

Fair winds and following seas,

also known as The Pirate Lady

Bookish PiratePirate Ahoy!Dueling Pirates

(Site updated 27 August 2014)

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                    and crossed bones

NewPirates and DeathNew

Our examination into pirates and death continues. Pirates placed little attachment to death – it was simply inevitable – whether they meted it out to each other in violation of their codes or they suffered it in battle. Their preference, when possible, was to go out with a bang, but few ever succeeded in cutting the painter* rather than dancing the hempen jig.

*Cutting the painter is a metaphor for making a sneaky departure, severing one’s lifeline (dying). Similarly, dancing the hempen jig means to swing at the end of a hangman's noose.

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Pirate Quote of the Month

I detest the idea of trusting to our privateers for the destruction of British commerce. Are we to become a nation of buccaneers, a nest of villains, a detestable set of pirates? When a general system of piracy is countenanced by our government, when the whole maritime defense of a nation consists of buccaneers, farewell national honor, farewell national pride! Then we sink to the level of the bashaw of Tripoli, and the emperor of Haiti.

– David Porter, Jr., early 1800s

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The Bonnie Bookaneer's
NewAugust Book ReviewsNew

Black Sails on Starz and Crossbones on NBC
Historical Fiction, 18th century

1636: Commander Cantrell in the West Indies
Alternative Fiction, 17th century

Privateering, Piracy and British Policy in Spanish America 1810-1830
History, 19th century

Escape from Veracruz
Historical Fiction, Graphic Novel, 17th century

Prisoners of the Black Octopus
Historical Fiction, Graphic Novel, 17th century

The Shining Sea by George C. Daughan
Naval History, War of 1812


Upcoming Appearances

Pirate with spyglass
If you would like the Pirate Lady 
to speak to your group,
please contact me.

For information on upcomings workshops,
click here.

For additonal appearances, visit Thistles & Pirates.


Smiley CaptainPirate and Maritime NewsSmiley Captain

Pirate Republic Festival
Postponed -- 6 September 2014
More information to be posted when available.

The first annual Pirate Republic Festival will be held on Woodes Rogers Walk in the heart of Downtown Nassau, Bahamas from 31 October 2014 through 2 November 2014. I will be one of several special guests featured at the festival. Although times and details are still to be set, I will be speaking on maritime piracy, the Age of Sail, and the British Royal Navy on both Saturday and Sunday. I hope pirate fans around the world with help come celebrate the pirates and their history on what was once the notorious pirate haven of New Providence during the Golden Age of Piracy. Further details will be posted here as they become available.
The Real and Imagined World of Pirates
Dr. Ed Fox and the University of Exeter are offering an online distance-learning class on piracy beginning on 6 October 2014. Among the topics to be covered are: Blackbeard, John Taylor, Women and Piracy, Politics of Piracy, Life on a Pirate Ship, Captain Johnson and The General History of the Pirates, Pirate Ships, From Blue Sea to Silver Screen, and Pirates: Then and Now. Cost to take this course, which lasts for 12 weeks, is £155.

Pirate & Maritine Events & Exhibits


Star-Spangled Spectacular
10-16 September 2014
Baltimore, Maryland

Motley Tones
South Port Pirate Invasion
19-20 September 2014
Southport, North Carolina

Downtown Cary Farmer's Market
4 October 2014
Belhaven, North Carolina

10th Maritime Heritage Conference
17-21 September 2014
Norfolk Waterside Marriott
Norfolk, Virginia

Corsairs and Pirates in the Eastern Mediterranean, 15th-19th c.
17-19 October 2014
Museum of Cycladic art
Athens, Greece

Pirate Republic Festival

31 October - 2 November 2014
Woodes Rogers Walk
Nassau, Bahamas

Laffite Seminar
17-18 April 2015
Galveston, Texas

Real Pirates Exhibit
Real Pirates
The Untold Story of the Whydah from Slave Ship to Pirate Ship
8 March - 28 September 2014
Discovery Museum at Moody Gardens
Galveston, Texas

Ships, Clocks & Stars
The Quest for Longitude
11 July 2014 - 4 January 2015
National Maritime Museum
Greenwich, United Kingdom

B is for Buttersworth, F is for Forgery
Solve a Maritime Art Mystery
25 October 2014 - 26 April 2015
The Mariners' Museum
Newport News, Virginia


Pirate Skeleton in Crow's
                    NestVisitors' ReviewsPirate Skeleton
                    in Rigging

I greatly enjoyed both of your presentations at Moody Gardens. -- Bill Wardle, Texas

You have developed an excellent resource! – Matt Walje, Project Coordinator, Oceans Beyond Piracy Project

I've read your 'Pirates and Their Clothes' article and I found it very interesting. – Stijn Bammens, Belgium


Skull and CrossbonesThe ArticlesSkull and Crossbones

Being a Pirate (or How to be one)
History of Piracy
Modern Piracy
Notorious Pirates (or Who was who)
Piracy Around the World
Pirates and Literature
Wooden Sailing Ships

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Activities for Young Pirates
Exotic Ports of Call
Modern-day Piracy
Notorious Pirates
Pirate Literature
Piratical Books Online
Ships and Sailing
Treasure Troves

Skull and CrossbonesThe BookaneerSkull
            and Crossbones

Latest Reviews
Five-Star Reviews
Books for Young Pirates
Books for Apprenticed Pirates and Young Adults
Fiction Books for Adults
Nonfiction Books for Adults

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            and Crossbones

Pirate Adventures  and Pirates Adventures 2010
Fun places for pirates in need of rest & relaxation
(Updated February 2013)

Barbary Corsairs Resources
Articles, books, and web sites on the Barbary Corsairs

Canadian Piracy Resources
Articles, books, and web sites on piracy and privateering in Canada

Modern Piracy Resources
Articles, books, and web sites on piracy today
(Updated August 2014)

Pyrate Surgeons Resources
Articles, books, and web sites on pyrate surgeons and medicine at sea in the Age of Sail

The Age of Sail
Examines merchant ships, maritime commerce, and seaports

Before the Age of Sail
Examines ships prior to the seventeenth century

Wooden Sailing Ships
Inside look at a wooden ship

Pirate Limerick Cemetery
Compliments of Catalina the Pirate and Friends

Piratical Dates
Events in history related to pirates and the world in general
(Updated November 2013)

Pirates and Privateers Site Map


The majority of the artwork on these pages is copyrighted by the artists.
To obtain permission for their use please go to ClipArt.com.

The backgrounds used on Pirates and Privateers are from WebGround.


Skull and CrossbonesThe Rebel and the SpySkull and Crossbones

The Rebel and the Spy, my current Novel-in-Progress, centers around Jean Laffite and the Battle of New Orleans.  Below are links to places depicted in the novel and a resource list for those seeking information on Jean Laffite, Pirates, Ships in the Age of Sail, the Battle of New Orleans, Andrew Jackson, and many other subjects.

Jean Laffite's Haunts

New Orleans and Piracy Resource List


Each month I alert readers to the posting of my latest piracy article and book reviews, new additions made to the site, and interesting tidbits about piracy. If you'd like to receive the Pirates and Privateers monthly newsletter, just complete the form below.
Read a sample issue of my Pirates & Privateers Newsletter.

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© 2000-2008 Cindy Vallar

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