978-0-87033-343-9 / 9780870333439

Pirates on the Chesapeake: Being a True History of Pirates, Picaroons, and Raiders on Chesapeake Bay, 1610-1807


Publisher:Tidewater Pub



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About the book:

Here is a dazzling array of swashbuckling pirates, picaroons, and sea rovers pitted oftentimes against the feckless representatives of an outpost governmental authority in the Chesapeake Bay region. It is an exciting, dramatic 200-year-old history which begins grimly with the "starving time" in the Virginia colony in 1609 and ends, mercifully enough, with the peaceful resolution of the Othello affair with the French in 1807. But, in between these two very different events lies a full panoply of grisly and bizarre buccaneering incidents one is hard pressed to imagine from the vantage point of the late twentieth century. For example, twice in the 1600's large Dutch fleets sailed boldly into the Chesapeake attacking and burning. Then there was the French pirate chief Lewis Guittar who crossed swords with a Virginia colonial governor, a duel which ended in a climactic sea battle in Lynnhaven Bay. Having completed impressive research in the archives of the Netherlands, England, and United States, Shomette skillfully reconstructs these episodes and many others, including the intensive anti-pirate cruises to capture - dead or alive - the notorious Blackbeard. The anti-pirate cruises led to the roundup of dozens of pirates and some showy executions but did little to curb the continued terrorist activities of bandits like Roger Makeele, Stede Bonnet, and Joseph Wheland. Mr. Shomette is a staff member of the Library of Congress, a lecturer, and an acclaimed underwater archeologist. Author of 'Shipwrecks on the Chesapeake', 'Flotilla: Battle for the Patuxent', 'London Town: A Brief History', and 'Shipwrecks of the Civil War', he has also writtten numerous articles on the Chesapeake and its history.

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