C.K. Craven

C.K. Craven

December 7th - the date that has lived in infamy - each year marks an anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  It was this act of aggression that effectively brought the United States into World War II. 

But what was the international geo-political situation that led to this blatant show of force?  Japan was a much smaller nation with limited military resources; they seemingly could ill-afford a direct conflict with the United States, yet they chose to attack anyway. But why?

Golden Age of Piracy: Top 10 Countdown Part IV

This is the fourth installment of a series focusing upon the ten most successful pirates (as determined by the estimated total value of their combined hauls) of the Golden Age of Piracy (generally considered to have ended with the killing of Barthlomew “Black Bart” Roberts in 1722).

 Golden Age of Piracy: Top 10 Countdown Part III 

This is the third installment of a series focusing upon the ten most successful pirates (as determined by the estimated total value of their combined hauls) of the Golden Age of Piracy (generally considered to have ended with the killing of Barthlomew “Black Bart” Roberts in 1722).

Golden Age of Piracy: Top 10 Countdown Part II

This is the second installment of a series focusing upon the ten most successful pirates (as determined by the estimated total value of their combined hauls) of the Golden Age of Piracy (generally considered to have ended with the killing of Barthlomew “Black Bart” Roberts in 1722, although other pirates of that era continued to operate on a limited basis well through 1725).

# 9. John Halsey: $13 million 

Without Captain Charles Johnson’s 1724 book, “A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pyrates,” John Halsey would have possibly escaped historical notation.

Few reports exist in which he is directly mentioned, but he is nonetheless credited for having purloined sufficient plunder as to rank as the ninth-most successful pirate of the Golden Age of Piracy.

His total take of approximately $13 million puts him about $500 thousand ahead of Blackbeard, and essentially tied with Captain Henry (“Harry”) Morgan on the list.

John Halsey (c. 1662-1708) was born in Boston and was registered as a legal privateer (with the ship “Charles”) for Great Britain during Queen Anne’s War of 1701-1713.  However, upon the expiration of his “letter of marquee” in 1706, Halsey continued his lucrative operations as an outlaw pirate.

He was quite successful in his initial pirating endeavors, proving himself to be a capable and competent commander. An incident with a well-armed Dutch ship proved him to be a discerning judge of which ships should be left alone, and his capture of two British warships in August of 1707 further bolstered his status.    

Halsey’s ships were practically obliterated during a 1708 hurricane at Madagascar and he died from fever later that same year.

As noted by Johnson, “He was brave in his Person, courteous to all his Prisoners, lived beloved, and died regretted by his own People. His Grave was made in a garden of watermelons, and fenced in with Palisades to prevent his being rooted up by wild Hogs."

Halsey can be cited as the ninth-most successful pirate of the Golden Age of Piracy.

Golden Age of Piracy: Top 10 Countdown

This is the first installment of a series focusing upon the ten most successful pirates (as determined by the estimated total value of their combined hauls) of the Golden Age of Piracy (generally considered to have ended with the killing of Barthlomew “Black Bart” Roberts in February of 1722).

300th Anniversary of the Demise of Blackbeard

Thanksgiving Day just happened to mark the 300th anniversary of one of the most historical “battles” to have ever occurred in North Carolina.  While certainly not of the same magnitude of Guilford Courthouse or Bentonville, the ultimate demise of Blackbeard the Pirate came to pass in Ocracoke Inlet on November 22nd of 1718.

Given the perpetual interest regarding pirates in general (and Blackbeard in particular), the Richmond Observer offers a series of articles chronicling the life and times of arguably the most recognized (if not indeed the most nefarious) pirate of all time.  This is the twelfth segment.

300th Anniversary of the Demise of Blackbeard

 Thanksgiving Day just happened to mark the 300th anniversary of one of the most historical “battles” to have ever occurred in North Carolina.  While certainly not of the same magnitude of Guilford Courthouse or Bentonville, the ultimate demise of Blackbeard the Pirate came to pass in Ocracoke Inlet on November 22nd of 1718.

Given the perpetual interest regarding pirates in general (and Blackbeard in particular), the Richmond Observer offers a series of articles chronicling the life and times of arguably the most recognized (if not indeed the most nefarious) pirate of all time.  This is the eleventh segment.

300th Anniversary of the Demise of Blackbeard

 Thanksgiving Day just happened to mark the 300th anniversary of one of the most historical “battles” to have ever occurred in North Carolina.  While certainly not of the same magnitude of Guilford Courthouse or Bentonville, the ultimate demise of Blackbeard the Pirate came to pass in Ocracoke Inlet on November 22nd of 1718.

Given the perpetual interest regarding pirates in general (and Blackbeard in particular), the Richmond Observer offers a series of articles chronicling the life and times of arguably the most recognized (if not indeed the most nefarious) pirate of all time.  This is the tenth segment.

 300th Anniversary of the Demise of Blackbeard 

Thanksgiving Day just happened to mark the 300th anniversary of one of the most historical “battles” to have ever occurred in North Carolina.  While certainly not of the same magnitude of Guilford Courthouse or Bentonville, the ultimate demise of Blackbeard the Pirate came to pass in Ocracoke Inlet on November 22nd of 1718.

Given the perpetual interest regarding pirates in general (and Blackbeard in particular), the Richmond Observer offers a series of articles chronicling the life and times of arguably the most recognized (if not indeed the most nefarious) pirate of all time.  This is the ninth segment.

300th Anniversary of the Demise of Blackbeard

Yesterday, Thanksgiving Day, just happened to mark the 300th anniversary of one of the most historical “battles” to have ever occurred in North Carolina.  While certainly not of the same magnitude of Guilford Courthouse or Bentonville, the ultimate demise of Blackbeard the Pirate came to pass in Ocracoke Inlet on November 22nd of 1718.

Given the perpetual interest regarding pirates in general (and Blackbeard in particular), the Richmond Observer offers a series of articles chronicling the life and times of arguably the most recognized (if not indeed the most nefarious) pirate of all time.  This is the eighth segment.

Blackbeard Part VIII: Let’s Go Pirate Hunting

Virginia Governor Alexander Spotswood was quick to react to the request to address the Blackbeard problem in North Carolina.  Citing allegations that Teach had pirated vessels in Virginia waters, Spotswood had issued orders for this arrest.  Upon obtaining information regarding the exact location of the pirate’s encampment at Ocracoke, Spotswood decided to not only invoke his powers as governor in the pursuit of the criminal, but to also personally finance the operation. 

Assembling an able group of professionals, the governor ordered Captains Gordon and Brand of the HMS Pearl and HMS Lyme, respectively, to travel overland to Bath while Lieutenant Robert Maynard of the Pearl would take two commandeered sloops to cut off any seaward escape.  The ships set sail from Kecoughtan, Virginia along the James River on 17 November and moved slowly down the coast.

Ocracoke Inlet had always been Blackbeard’s favorite port of refuge and, as reported to Spotswood, he was firmly encamped there.  It was a perfect area from which to monitor ship traffic and entertain guests such as fellow pirates Charles Vane, Robert Deal, and Calico Jack Rackham while enjoying the spoils of his captures.

Maynard soon located his prey.  Anchored on the leeward side of Ocracoke Island, Blackbeard’s Adventure and his other ships were spotted on the evening of November 21.  However, being unfamiliar with the channels and shoals, Maynard effectively blockaded the inlet and waited for the next morning while Teach continued entertaining, so unconcerned as to have not even bothered to post lookouts.  Further, half of his usual crew members were actually in Bath itself, enjoying their version of “shore leave” while all of this was developing.  Consequently, Blackbeard was both undermanned and oblivious to what was about to transpire.

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