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The History of Maritime Piracy

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

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Pirate Articles
Book Reviews
Pirate Links
Sea Yarns Galore
Thistles & Pirates

Welcome in many languages (Source:
                Canstockphoto.com)Cindy Vallar & friend

Welcome aboard Pirates and Privateers, a site devoted to the history of maritime piracy, privateering, and the sea before the Age of Steam.

Within these pages you will find articles dealing with the history and culture of these topics from ancient times to modern day. Click one of the links above or below to explore the treasures within this website.

Newest Article               Newest Book Reviews               Pirate Quote of the Month

News of Note               Events & Activities               Special Resources               The Rebel & the Spy

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Each month, I send out a newsletter about the latest article and reviews posted here. I also include information that doesn't appear at Pirates and Privateers, but is still of interest to adherents of piracy and maritime history. By subscribing to the newsletter, you'll never miss out on the latest happenings here at Pirates and Privateers.

As always, if you have a question about pirates, please write and ask. If there is a particular pirate or subject, you'd like me to write about, let me know.
One cautionary note for those seeking genealogical information: Historical records about pirates are rare. Much of what is known comes from government records, newspaper accounts, and the few contemporary accounts written during a particular period. This information rarely contains details pertinent to what you need to know to identify an ancestor. The simple fact is that the vast majority of pirates' names remain unknown. I cannot answer genealogical questions. Instead, I recommend contacting genealogical depositories and websites, historical societies, and national archives -- places where the librarians and curators are better trained to assist in this type of query.
A special note to teachers and students: 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 with this website is copyrighted.

Fair winds and following seas,


(site last updated 19 March 2024)

Pirate Quote of the Month
I think the Evidence is very plain and clear, yet I shall not pretend to direct your Judgments. I shall only remark to you what the wise Man saith, that He that justifieth the Wicked, as well as he that condemneth the Just, even both are an Abomination to the Lord. – Judge Nicholas Trott during the trials of Stede Bonnet and his men in Charleston, 1718

Smiley AhoyApril ArticleSmiley Ahoy Reading pirate smileyApril ReviewsReading pirate smiley
An Exception to the Rule
Pirates have commonalities, attributes that mark them as sea thieves. For example, pirates steal their ships. They often start with small boats, such as canoes, and build upwards to larger vessels through pinching someone else’s. Or they don’t get a regular paycheck. Instead, they receive shares of plunder that is stolen from others; if nothing is seized, the pirates aren’t paid. Or they choose who among them will be captain. As is often the case, however, there are exceptions to these “rules.” Who fits that bill? A gentleman named Stede Bonnet.
The Annotated Two Years Before the Mast
by Richard Henry Dana
annotated by Rod Scher
Ships and Sailing

by Julian Stockwin
Nautical Fiction

by Julian Stockwin

Nautical Fiction

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Pirate & Maritime News
Events & Activities

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Some pages remain in the old style, while others are in the new style. We apologize for this. After twenty-two years, there are many pages to overhaul and this takes time. We appreciate your understanding and patience.

Happy Birthday!
Pirates and Privateers welcomes in its 25th year!

San Salvador Sailing Adventure
Various Saturdays 2024
Museum of San Diego
San Diego, California

Tall Ship Adventure Aboard Californian
Various Sundays 2024
Museum of San Diego
San Diego, California

Pirate Fest LV
23-24 March 2024
Craig Ranch Park
Las Vegas, Nevada

Privateers, Pirates, and the American Revolution
featuring Eric Jay Dolin
26 March 2024
(in-person & virtual)
New York Historical Society
New York, New York

LaPOP Festival
5-6 April 2024
Hammond, Louisiana

Pirate Days
9-10 April 2024
Mystic Seaport Museum
Mystic, Connecticut

National Maritime Awards Dinner
18 April 2024
National Press Club
Washington, DC

20 April 2024
Greenville, North Carolina

Pirates Invade Yorktown, VA
27-28 April 2024
Yorktown, Virginia

A New Pirate Adventure
18 May 2024
13 July 2024
21 September 2024
19 October 2024
30 November 2024
28 December 2024
Maritime Museum of San Diego
San Diego, California

Pirate Invasion of Long Beach
29-30 June 2024
Long Beach, California

Sail 250th New York
4 July 2026
New York City, New York

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Special Resources

The following pages and files contain travel adventures, photo galleries, resources,
and historical data pertaining to pirates, privateers, and maritime history.
I have gathered this information either while doing research or when traveling.


Fun places for pirates in need of rest & relaxation

Pirate Adventures


Photo Galleries

Before the Age of Sail

The Age of Sail

Wooden Sailing Ships



Barbary Corsairs Resources

Canadian Piracy Resources

Modern Piracy Resources

Pirates & Death

Time Line of History

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Janes Madison, 1816, White House Collection
                      https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:James_Madison.jpgJean LaffiteDolley
                      Madison by Gilbert Stuart, 1804 (Source:
                      https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dolley_Madison_(cropped).jpg)General Andrew Jackson by John Wesley Jarvis,
                      circa 1819 (Source:
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:General_Andrew_Jackson_MET_DT2851.jpg)William C. C. Claiborne, artist unknown, 19th
                      century (Source:

The Rebel & the Spy
These five people played roles in the War of 1812. James Madison (far left) was president at the time and, in my current work-in-progress, he has a special assignment for Lucas Burnett, one of the protagonists in the novel. Jean Laffite (beside Madison) operates a smuggling operation, based on barrier islands southwest of New Orleans. One of his captains, is Dominique You, whose sister Alexine has been raised in this nefarious world of smugglers, pirates, privateers, and cutthroats. Dolley Madison is the country's presidentress (first lady) and plays a vital role in preserving some of our national treasures during the British invasion of Washington City. General Andrew Jackson (second from right) has no intention of allowing the British to gain entry to the United States through its back door (the Mississippi). Governor William C. C. Claiborne (far right) is Lucas's cousin and a constant thorn in Laffite's side. They come together within the pages of The Rebel & the Spy, a historical novel where it's not always easy to decide who is the rebel and who is the spy.

The links below are to a gallery of places depicted in my novel and a resource list for those seeking information on the people pictured above, pirates, ships in the age of sail, the Battle of New Orleans, the invasion and burning of Washington, the bombardment of Fort McHenry, and much more. (Please note that these pages are updated from time to time, so check back to see what's been added.) I hope you enjoy.

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Pirates & Privateers Newsletter

Each month I alert readers to the posting of the latest piracy article and book reviews, new additions made to the website, and interesting maritime tidbits. If you would like to receive the monthly Pirates & Privateers Newsletter, complete the form below.

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Copyright ©2023
Cindy Vallar

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