Raise the Jolly Roger!
Hoist the sail!
Let's have some fun.
- A pirate was a robber who travels by water. Though most pirates targeted ships, some also launched attacks on coastal towns.
- A Jolly Roger is a pirates flag. Each captain created a flag unique to his command. Check out this site for examples of actual pirates flags! Jolly Roger
- Pirates were also known as Corsairs or Buccaneers.
- Corsairs were pirates who operated in the Mediteranian Sea between the 15th and 18th-centuries.
- Buccaneers were people of the Caribbean islands of Hispaniola and Tortuga, who were paid by the governors of the Caribbean islands to attack Spanish treasure ships and ports. Eventually the Buccaneers became more and more out of control and attacked any ship they thought carried valuable cargo, whether it belonged to the enemy or not. In this way they became true pirates.
- The ships pilot was actually the captain. The captain, as we understand them, was actually the battle leader. The pilot and captain retained the same portion of profits. If the pirate crew felt the captain was not getting them enough booty, they would vote him out and elect a new captain from their crew.
- Pirate attacks were often successful. This is because the ships usually carried far more crew than other ships of it's size. They easily out numbered their victims. They also altered their ships so they could carry more cannons.
- When ships saw the Jolly Roger flying on the mast of an approaching ship, they often surrendered without a fight because they new they would probably lose.
- If a ship flew a Jolly Roger that was red, poeple would be terrified to see the ship coming. A red Jolly Roger means that no mercy would be should to captian, crew and passengers.
- Blackbeard were a pirate that instilled fear in others. He was heavily armed with knives, cutlasses and pistols. He also tried to make himself espcially fearsome by making his eyes look wild and twisting pieces of fuse that he lite on fire in his thick tangled hair.
- There were many female pirates. Some examples are Anne Bonny, Mary Read and Grace O'Malley.
- Pirates stole many different types of things, known at booty. They stole gold, silver, pearls, emerald, food, barrels of wine and brandy, sails, anchors and other ship equipment.
- Pirate ships wheer the first democratic organization of the New World. Each pirate was allowed to vote on where the ship was to go or if a ship should be attacked. Each pirate received an equal share of the booty, with a double share going to the captain, pilot, carpenter, cook and share set aside for the maintenance of the ship. Each pirate signed an aggreement-called articles-before they joined. This paper detailed how much they would be paid, behaviour expected and punishment for breaking the rules. For breaking the rules a pirate would be marooned with a flagon of water and a pistol, to survive or die, flogged (40 lashes minus one) or shot.
- Pirates were compensated for loss of limb. They would received anywhere from 100-800 pieces of eight and possibly a slave.
- One popular drink for pirates actually contained gunpowder.
- Doctors didn't sail on pirate ships, so if a pirate's arm or leg was badly injured during battle, it was cut off by the ship's cook.
- The most common name for a pirate ship was, "Revenge".
- Some pirates believed that piecing their ears with silver or gold earrings would improve their eyesight.