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A Pirate’s Life for Me Piracy in Colonial North Carolina What is a pirate? • Someone who attacks, without legal authority, both ships and maritime cities • Also known as “sea thieves” Famous Pirates in NC • Blackbeard • Edward Low • Calico Jack • Stede Bonnet • Captain Charles Vane Famous Women Pirates • Mary Read • Anne Bonny Blackbeard • Real name was Edward Teach • Born in 1680 • Ship’s name was “Queen Anne’s Revenge” • Had a heavy, black beard • Before battles, he would light pieces of slow-burning rope under his hat so that smoke would pour out • Killed in Ocracoke in 1718 Edward Low • Captured many ships in NC waters • His ship flew a black flag with a red skeleton • Terrifying because he was so mean to his captives • Scary looking because he had knife scars all over his face Calico Jack • Real name was Capt. John Rackham • Liked to dress in brightly colored clothes • Anne Bonny and Mary Read sailed with him • Caught in Jamaica Stede Bonnet • Didn’t become a pirate until he was middle aged • Called the “gentleman pirate” because after he captured a ship, he took its crew safely back to shore • Was double-crossed by Blackbeard • Caught near Charleston, SC in 1718 Captain Charles Vane • Became famous for robbing Spanish ships • When he refused to fight a French warship, his crew called him a coward and sent him overboard in a small boat • When he got a new ship and crew, it was wrecked in a hurricane and he was the only survivor • A friend eventually turned him in while he was in Jamaica Mary Read • Born in England • Dressed as a boy • Joined Capt. John Rackham’s crew • Was friends with Anne Bonny • Died of fever Anne Bonny • Born in Ireland • Raised in Carolina • She had a fiery temper • Was married to James Bonny for awhile, but got tired of him • Fell in love with Calico Jack and joined his crew • Was friends with Mary Read Some Pirate Lingo • Booty = pirate treasure • Double-cross = to betray, deceive, or cheat someone • Hard tack = a hard, moldy biscuit • Jolly Roger = a pirate’s flag with skull and crossbones • Maroon = to leave in a deserted place • Scurvy = a disease caused by too few fresh citrus fruits Symbols Used on Pirate Flags • A smiling devil’s face means torture • Crossed bones means someone will die • A skeleton’s head means death • A bleeding heart means you will have bad luck A Pirate’s Life • Sometimes it was fun and exciting, but it was also very hard • Pirates had many jobs on the ship, including fixing/cleaning weapons, mending torn sails, mopping the deck, and pumping water from the ship’s hull • Sometimes, an injured pirate became the cook because he couldn’t do the other jobs A Pirate’s Life • Because there were no refrigerators, pirates either had to catch fish or they had to eat dried foods like crackers or salted/smoked meat • The food was often infested with bugs and mice, and the water was stale and slimy • If a pirate got scurvy, his gums became swollen and bled, his hair and teeth fell out, and he finally died A Pirate’s Life • Pirates also had to follow rules: – Everyone got equal amounts of treasure, except for the captain, who got more – Gambling was not allowed – Women were not allowed – If you hit a shipmate, you got whipped – If you stole from a crew member, you would be punished or left on shore Would you have liked to be a pirate???
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