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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.

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A Pirate’s Life for Me

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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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