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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.

Parrot Valentine
Happy Valentine's Day

Fair winds and following seas,

also known as The Pirate Lady

Under the Crossbones with Cindy Vallar

Click banner to listen to my interview

Bookish PiratePirate Ahoy!Dueling Pirates

(Site updated 15 January 2020)

Skull and crossed bonesFebruary ArticleSkull
                    and crossed bones

Zheng Yi SaoNew

Her real name has been lost to history, but there are many others by which she is known: Zheng Yi Sao, Madame Ching, and Cheng I Sao. At the height of her power, she commanded a pirate fleet that surpassed the navies of many countries. She was more successful than her western counterparts, and she lived to enjoy her ill-gotten gains. Guest columnist Tanner Price presents part one of the true story of this female underdog that Hollywood forgot.

Part two of this article looks closer at how Zheng Yi Sao's empire functioned and what became of her.

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Pirate Quotes of the Month
The fleet now anchored opposite the ruins of the town where the women had been made prisoners. Here we remained five or six days, during which time about an hundred of the women were ransomed; the remainder were offered for sale amongst the Ladrones [pirates], for forty dollars each. The woman is considered the lawful wife of the purchaser; who would be put to death if he discarded her. Several of them leaped over-board and drowned themselves, rather than submit to such infamous degradation.

-- Richard Glasspoole, captive of Chinese pirates, 1809
The Bonnie Bookaneer's
NewFebruary Book ReviewsNew

Battle's Flood
by J. D. Davies
Historical Fiction, 16th century

Captain Kidd's Lost Ship
by Frederick H. Hanselmann
History, Archaeology, 17th & 21st centuries

No Rest for the Wicked
by Lauren Smith
Historical Romance, 18th century

Smugglers, Pirates, and Patriots
by Tyson Reeder
History, 19th century

by Peter Marsden
History, Archaeology, 16th century
Review by Irwin Bryan


Upcoming Appearances

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

For information on upcoming workshops,
click here.

For additional appearances, visit Thistles & Pirates.

Smiley CaptainPirate and Maritime NewsSmiley Captain

Admiral Lord Nelson's Victory Plan

Rear-Admiral Sir Horatio Nelson by Lemuel
                        Francis Abbott (1799), Source: Wikimedia
                        Commons-https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:HoratioNelson1.jpg)On 21 October 2019, the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth allowed visitors to view a recent acquisition to its artifacts. The sketch was discovered in an 1830s' scrapbook and shows Admiral Lord Nelson's plan for how he would win the Battle of Trafalgar. It shows how the fleet would split into three divisions and includes the direction of the wind, as well as containing Nelson's signature and the date 5 September 1805. Donated to the museum, the drawing was shown on Trafalgar Day and is now undergoing refurbishing at the Victory Gallery. After the work is completed, it will join the artifacts already on display in the permanent exhibition.

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Cover Art: Archeologie de la Piraterie des
                        XVIIe-XVIIIe Siecles

La Maison D'Édition published a new collection of essays in French on the archaeology of piracy during the age of buccaneers and golden age. It covers the main sites of shipwrecks from North America to the Indian Ocean, as well as land sites with connections to piracy and defense. Additional sections examine pirates' daily life gleaned from furniture and the differences between the folklore of piracy and the reality based on archaeology and history.

Pirate & Maritime Events, Exhibits, & Courses


Gasparilla Pirate Fest
25 January 2020
Tampa, Florida

Legend of Jean Lafitte's Lost Silver
26 January 2020
The Bryan Museum
Galveston, Texas

2020 Elissa Day Sails
Multiple Dates
Galveston, Texas

Pirates on the Prairie IX
8 February 2020
Grand Prairie, Texas

Treasure Coast Pirate Fest
14-16 February 2020
Fort Pierce, Florida

Tall Ships America Annual Conference
17-20 February 2020
St. Pete Beach, Florida

America's Schooner Cup Charity Regatta
28 March 2020
Maritime Museum of San Diego
San Diego, California

Legoland Pirate Island Hotel
Grand Opening
17 April 2020

PirateFest Weekends
18-19 & 25-26 April 2020
2-3 May 2020
Winterhaven, Florida

National Maritime Historical Society Annual Meeting
8-10 May 2020
Independence Seaport Museum
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Exhibits, Courses, & Performances

Maritime Miniatures by Maritime Masters
16 November 2019 - 31 January 2020
Mystic Seaport Museum
Mystic, Connecticut

J. M. W. Turner Watercolors
5 October 2019 - 23 February 2020
Mystic Seaport Museum
Mystic, Connecticut

De Wind Is Op!
Now through 15 May 2020
New Bedford Whaling Museum
New Bedford, Massachusetts

Horrible Histories Pirates
Now through 31 December 2020
Portsmouth Historic Dockyards
Portsmouth, UK


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

Your site contains some very valuable info. -- Anthony P.


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

Skull and CrossbonesThe LinksSkull and Crossbones

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

Skull and CrossbonesSpecial ResourcesSkull
            and Crossbones

Pirate Adventures  and Pirates Adventures 2010 and Pirates Adventures 2017
Fun places for pirates in need of rest & relaxation
(Updated April 2017)

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

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

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 October 2019)

Pirates and Death
(PDF chart listing pirates and how they died)
(Updated October 2019)
Piratical Dates

Events in history related to pirates and the world in general
(Updated January 2020)

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

Wooden Sailing Ships
Inside look at a wooden ship

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
(Updated December 2018)



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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Copyright © 2000-2018 Cindy Vallar

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