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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 23 July 2017)

Skull and crossed bonesAugust ArticleSkull
                    and crossed bones

Three BuccaneersNew

The first two segments of our series introduced Rock the Brazilian and Bartolomeo el Portugues. Our series concludes with a buccaneer who might rival Jean David Nau as the most violent and sadistic pirate of the seventeenth century. Even this man's nickname -- The Exterminator -- bespoke his reputation. Yet he might never have existed.

Skull and crossbonesSkull and crossbonesSkull and
                    crossbonesSkull and crossbonesSkull and crossbonesSkull and

Pirate Quotes of the Month
[W]hen having made fast a Block to the Yard-Arm, and re[e]ved a Rope in it; they [the Spanish pirates] took the Mate and twisted a piece of Sea-net about his Head till his Eyes were ready to start out, and then Hanged him up by the two Thumbs, that they might make him confess what Money there was a Board, but when they saw they could make him confess nothing by that Punishment, they made fast the Rope about his Neck, and their Men asked the Commander, whether they should hoist him or not?

  Sad and Dreadful News from New England, 1684

The Bonnie Bookaneer's
NewAugust Book ReviewsNew

Raider's Wake
by James L. Nelson
Historical Fiction, 9th century

Echo in the Wind
by Reagan Walker
  Historical Romance
, 18th century

The Bermuda Privateer
by William Westbrook
Historical Fiction, 18th century

The Burning of His Majesty's Schooner Gaspee
by Steven Park
reviewed by Irwin Bryan
History, 18th century

The History of Newgate Prison
by Caroline Jowett

History, 12th - 20th centuries


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.

Seal of Republic of
                  Texas (source:
Daughters of the Republic of Texas
Cradle of Texas Chapter
16 November 2017
Bethal Presbyterian Church
East Columbia, TX

For additional appearances, visit Thistles & Pirates.

Smiley CaptainPirate and Maritime NewsSmiley Captain

Under the Crossbones
Under the
                      Crossbones with Ozgur K. Sahin
It's been awhile since I reviewed The Wrath of Brotherhood, but it was a memorable pirate tale. Ozgur K. Sahin recently appeared on Under the Crossbones, so I hope you enjoy hearing from the author.

Among Phil Johnson's other recent guests are Daniel Siemens who builds ships in bottles, BD McGee of BD Blades, and Spencer Smilanick (Captain Spoo Diggity) of The Pirates Charles. The episode with Spencer Smilanick is also the 100th episode of Under the Crossbones and you can catch-up on previous guests, including me (time mark: 1:06:40). (Complete episode guide)

Congratulations, Phil, on Under the Crossbones' wonderful milestone. May you and the program enjoy many more piratical adventures!

Pirate & Maritime Events, Exhibits, & Courses


Pirate Chaser Sails
Now through 2 September 2017
Michigan Maritime Museum
South Haven, Michigan

Pirates Village
13 July - 19 August 2017
Al Majaz Waterfront
Sharjah, Unite Arab Emirates

Cruises on the Onrust
Summer 2017
Connecticut River Museum
Essex, Connecticut

San Salvador Sailing Adventure
12 August 2017
26 August 2017
Maritime Museum of San Diego
San Diego, California

Viking Masters of the Northern Seas
22 August 2017
Houston Maritime Museum
Houston, Texas

The Secret Life of Objects
Gallery Crawl

16 September 2017
The Mariner's Museum & Park
Newport News, Virginia

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

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

Viking: Rediscover the Legend
19 May - 5 November 2017
Yorkshire Museum
York, United Kingdom

Real Pirates at
                                                          the Whydah
                                                          Pirate Museum
Now Open
Whydah Pirate Museum
Yarmouth, Massachusetts

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

Bringing Pirates to Life
1 - 28 October 2018
Savvy Authors


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

I enjoyed your website immensely -- there's so much great information here, and I loved your interview with Under the Crossbones
-- Ruth Francisco, author of Catfish Pearl


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 July 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
(Updated June 2017)


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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Pirates and Ship
2000-2008 Cindy Vallar

Pirate Articles
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