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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

Under the Crossbones with Cindy Vallar

Click banner to listen to my interview

Bookish PiratePirate Ahoy!Dueling Pirates

(Site updated 17 June 2017)

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                    and crossed bones

Three BuccaneersNew

The Oxford English Dictionary defines “buccaneer” in one of three ways: a hunter who cooks and cures meat on a boucan, a pirate, or an adventurer. All three definitions came into use during the 17th and 18th centuries. Other languages used different terms, but the meaning was similar. Many buccaneers came from families with some level of means, rather than the destitute or those eking out an existence. Rebellion, financial opportunity, and adventure were often primary motivations for becoming sea rovers, more so than simple survival. They were often pirateers – sometimes falling outside of the law, other times legally plundering. For the most part, Spain was their common enemy and some were particularly harsh in their treatment of Spaniards. L’Olonnois, whose real name was Jean David Nau, was the most ruthless and perhaps best known of these, but he wasn’t the only one known for his cruelty. Three contemporaries of his were equally vicious.


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Pirate Quotes of the Month
These priests hate us so much that they persuade women who have never seen buccaneers that we do not resemble men in any way: that we do not even have the same shape as men; and that in fact we eat women and little children.

– Raveneau de Lussan, 1687
The Bonnie Bookaneer's
NewJune Book ReviewsNew

The Sugar Sacrifice
by Lyle Garford
Historical Fiction, Nautical Fiction, 18th century

Magic of Blood and Sea
by Cassandra Rose Clarke



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

Under the Crossbones
                              the Crossbones with Laura Sook Duncombe

Phil Johnson interviews Laura Sook Duncombe, author of Pirate Women: The Princesses, Prostitutes and Privateers Who Ruled the Seven Seas. Laura's book will be reviewed in a forthcoming issue of Pirates & Privateers.

Ira Glass of This American Life of WBEZ talks to producer Elna Baker about people who claimed not to be pirates. The prologue focuses on Stede Bonnet and includes comments from Mark Hanna, author of Pirate Nests and the Rise of the British Empire. Act One features an interview with Mohammed Aden, a Minnesotan dad who became governor of a region in Somalia and is now in prison for colluding with pirates. It also includes clips from negotiations to ransom the Chandlers, a British couple captured by Somali pirates. The second act is an interview with Laura Sook Duncombe about the most successful pirate of all time.

Pirate & Maritime Events, Exhibits, & Courses


Motley Tones
3-4 June 2017
Blackbeard Festival
Hampton, Virginia

Tall Ships Challenge Atlantic Coast
19-22 May 2017
Charleston, South Carolina

17-22 June 2017
Boston, Massachusetts

Pirates Ashore in Plymouth
20 May 2017
Mayflower Society House
Plymouth, Massachusetts

Pirate Days!
20-21 May 2017
Aboard the Californian
Maritime Museum
San Diego, California

Dead Men Tell No Tales
Opens in theaters 26 May 2017

A Powder Monkey Adventure
27 May 2017
Houston Maritime Museum
Houston, Texas

Pirate School! with Billy Bones
4 June 2017
Water Front Museum
Brooklyn, New York

Sea Shanties and Folk Music
9 June 2017
Water Front Museum
Brooklyn, New York

2017 National Marine Art Conference
19-22 October 2017
Mystic, Connecticut

Queen Anne's Revenge
 300th Anniversary of Sinking
Beaufort, North Carolina

Beaufort Pirate Invasion
10-11 August 2018
Beaufort, North Carolina

Exhibits & Courses

Polynesian Voyagers
1 October 2016 - 11 June 2017
The Mariners' Museum
Newport News, Virginia

Vikings: Beyond the Legend
10 March - 13 August 2017
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Denver, Colorado

Secrets of the Sea
A Tang Shipwreck and Early Trade in Asia
7 March - 4 June 2017
Asia Society Museum
New York, New York

Death in the Ice
The Shocking Story of Franklin's Final Expedition
14 July 2017 - 7 January 2018
National Maritime Museum
Greenwich, United Kingdom


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                    NestVisitors' ReviewsPirate Skeleton
                    in Rigging

I love reading your newsletter. Thanks for all the hard work you put into it.
-- Tina Kirchner

I wanted to take this opportunity to say how your research and communication skills have added to my knowledge and my pleasure. Thank you, Cindy. I'm a big fan.
-- Wayne Clark

I have been browsing through your website today and find it quite fascinating. [It's] amazingly full of information and wonderfully sourced. [F]inding yours is like a gem.
-- Sarah Cove


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

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            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 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 May 2017)

Pirates and Death
(PDF chart listing pirates and how they died)
(Revised November 2015)

Piratical Dates

Events in history related to pirates and the world in general
(Updated April 2017)

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


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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