Pirate History By Daniel DeFoe


Since we are on the topic of pirates and treasure this week, I thought this might be an interesting book! A General History of the Pyrates Written in 1724 by Daniel Defoe (*sound familar?) although it is said to have been originally published under a pen name DeFoe used, "Captain Charles Johnson."

This book tells the story of the pirates from someone who lived during or shortly after their heyday plundering the seas. Whether or not this book is a collection of both facts and fiction, or if there was poetic licence used by the author, it's said to be an important source for information about 18th century piracy. One of the stories is about "Libertatia" which is described as a free colony where everything is owned communally by those who live there. It was supposed to have been founded in the 1600's by pirate under the leadership of Captain James Misson.

Libertatia sounds similar to the Pirate Utopias described by Peter Lamborn Wilson in his 1995 book, Pirate Utopias: Moorish Corsairs & European Renegadoes as secret islands once used for supply purposes by pirates. Lamborn Wilson describes these supply islands as "forms of autonomous "mini societies" that existed beyond the realm and reach of government....hmmm....Could one of those "utopias" have been Oak Island or the area around Oak Island? One of the theories of Oak Island is that it's sheltered cove was a haven or stop over for pirates plying their trade on the Eastern Seaboard. It's also been suggested that the tunnels were some kind of system developed for raising and lowering the water level in the lagoon, allowing for work to be carried out on ships below the normal water level.

Could Oak Island have been a place frequented by pirates, using it as a supply depot, resting spot, or ship repair yard? Perhaps, although it seems to me that if it was, there would likely be more artifacts found, perhaps relating to the repair of ships. But...I argue with myself frequently, it could also have been a place that provided some excellent tall oak trees that could have been cut down and used for ships masts and other wood ship repairs.

Daniel DeFoe* is best known for his famous classic novel, Robinson Crusoe, published in 1719, telling of the adventures of a man shipwrecked on a deserted island. Daniel Defoe died in 1731. It's interesting to note that many of DeFoe's writings, his life, his finacial and political interests, and his philosophy has a familar, Masonic ring to it. Interesting, around 1730, Daniel DeFoe is credited with publishing a pamphlet, entitled "The Perjured Freemason" which is an attack on a man called Samuel Pritchard, who was purported to be a Freemason who had betrayed his oath and revealed some Masonic secrets. If DeFoe wasn't a Freemason, why would he care?

Order a copy of Defoe's book from Amazon, it's only $13.57 A General History of the Pyrates and has 18favorable reviews!

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