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The Pirates Own Book by Charles Ellms

Part 6 out of 7

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bloodshed. I was accused of falsehood, for saying they had got all the
liquors that were on board, and I thought they had; the truth was, I
never had any bill of lading of the cider, and consequently had no
recollection of its being on board; yet it served them as an excuse for
being insolent. In the evening peace was restored and they sung songs. I
was suffered to go below for the night, and they placed a guard over me,
stationed at the companion way.

Wednesday, 19th, commenced with moderate easterly winds, beating towards
the northeast, the pirate's boats frequently going on board the Exertion
for potatoes, fish, beans, butter, &c. which were used with great waste
and extravagance. They gave me food and drink, but of bad quality, more
particularly the victuals, which was wretchedly cooked. The place
assigned me to eat was covered with dirt and vermin. It appeared that
their great object was to hurt my feelings with threats and
observations, and to make my situation as unpleasant as circumstances
would admit. We came to anchor near a Key, called by them Brigantine,
where myself and mate were permitted to go on shore, but were guarded by
several armed pirates. I soon returned to the Mexican and my mate to the
Exertion, with George Reed, one of my crew; the other two being kept on
board the Mexican. In the course of this day I had considerable
conversation with Nickola, who appeared well disposed towards me. He
lamented most deeply his own situation, for he was one of those men,
whose early good impressions were not entirely effaced, although
confederated with guilt. He told me "those who had taken me were no
better than pirates, and their end would be the halter; but," he added,
with peculiar emotion, "I will never be hung as a pirate," showing me a
bottle of laudanum which he had found in my medicine chest, saying, "If
we are taken, that shall cheat the hangman, before we are condemned." I
endeavored to get it from him, but did not succeed. I then asked him how
he came to be in such company, as he appeared to be dissatisfied. He
stated, that he was at New Orleans last summer, out of employment, and
became acquainted with one Captain August Orgamar, a Frenchman, who had
bought a small schooner of about fifteen tons, and was going down to the
bay of Mexico to get a commission under General Traspelascus, in order
to go a privateering under the patriot flag. Capt. Orgamar made him
liberal offers respecting shares, and promised him a sailing master's
berth, which he accepted and embarked on board the schooner, without
sufficiently reflecting on the danger of such an undertaking. Soon after
she sailed from Mexico, where they got a commission, and the vessel was
called Mexican. They made up a complement of twenty men, and after
rendering the General some little service, in transporting his troops
to a place called ---- proceeded on a cruise; took some small prizes off
Campeachy; afterwards came on the south coast of Cuba, where they took
other small prizes, and the one which we were now on board of. By this
time the crew were increased to about forty, nearly one half Spaniards,
the others Frenchmen and Portuguese. Several of them had sailed out of
ports in the United States with American protections; but, I confidently
believe, none are natives, especially of the northern states. I was
careful in examining the men, being desirous of knowing if any of my
countrymen were among this wretched crew; but am satisfied there were
none, and my Scotch friend concurred in the opinion. And now, with a new
vessel, which was the prize of these plunderers, they sailed up
Manganeil bay; previously, however, they fell in with an American
schooner, from which they bought four barrels of beef, and paid in
tobacco. At the Bay was an English brig belonging to Jamaica, owned by
Mr. John Louden of that place. On board of this vessel the Spanish part
of the crew commenced their depredations as pirates, although Captain
Orgamar and Nickola protested against it, and refused any participation;
but they persisted, and like so many ferocious blood-hounds, boarded the
brig, plundered the cabin, stores, furniture, captain's trunk, &c., took
a hogshead of rum, one twelve pound carronade, some rigging and sails.
One of them plundered the chest of a sailor, who made some resistance,
so that the Spaniard took his cutlass, and beat and wounded him without
mercy. Nickola asked him "why he did it?" the fellow answered, "I will
let you know," and took up the cook's axe and gave him a cut on the
head, which nearly deprived him of life. Then they ordered Captain
Orgamar to leave his vessel, allowing him his trunk and turned him
ashore, to seek for himself. Nickola begged them to dismiss him with his
captain, but no, no, was the answer; for they had no complete navigator
but him. After Captain Orgamar was gone, they put in his stead the
present brave (or as I should call him cowardly) Captain Jonnia, who
headed them in plundering the before mentioned brig, and made Bolidar
their first lieutenant, and then proceeded down among those Keys or
Islands, where I was captured. This is the amount of what my friend
Nickola told me of their history.

Saturday, 22d.--Both vessels under way standing to the eastward, they
ran the Exertion aground on a bar, but after throwing overboard most of
her deck load of shooks, she floated off; a pilot was sent to her, and
she was run into a narrow creek between two keys, where they moored her
head and stern along side of the mangrove trees, set down her yards and
topmasts, and covered her mast heads and shrouds with bushes to prevent
her being seen by vessels which might pass that way. I was then suffered
to go on board my own vessel, and found her in a very filthy condition;
sails torn, rigging cut to pieces, and every thing in the cabin in waste
and confusion. The swarms of moschetoes and sand-flies made it
impossible to get any sleep or rest. The pirate's large boat was armed
and manned under Bolidar, and sent off with letters to a merchant (as
they called him) by the name of Dominico, residing in a town called
Principe, on the main island of Cuba. I was told by one of them, who
could speak English, that Principe was a very large and populous town,
situated at the head of St. Maria, which was about twenty miles
northeast from where we lay, and the Keys lying around us were called
Cotton Keys.--The captain pressed into his service Francis de Suze, one
of my crew, saying that he was one of his countrymen. Francis was very
reluctant in going, and said to me, with tears in his eyes, "I shall do
nothing but what I am obliged to do, and will not aid in the least to
hurt you or the vessel; I am very sorry to leave you." He was
immediately put on duty and Thomas Goodall sent back to the Exertion.

Sunday, 23d.--Early this morning a large number of the pirates came on
board of the Exertion, threw out the long boat, broke open the hatches,
and took out considerable of the cargo, in search of rum, gin, &c.,
still telling me "I had some and they would find it," uttering the most
awful profaneness. In the afternoon their boat returned with a perough,
having on board the captain, his first lieutenant and seven men of a
patriot or piratical vessel that was chased ashore at Cape Cruz by a
Spanish armed brig. These seven men made their escape in said boat, and
after four days, found our pirates and joined them; the remainder of the
crew being killed or taken prisoners.

Monday, 24th.--Their boat was manned and sent to the before-mentioned
town.--I was informed by a line from Nickola, that the pirates had a man
on board, a native of Principe, who, in the garb of a sailor, was a
partner with Dominico, but I could not get sight of him. This lets us a
little into the plans by which this atrocious system of piracy has been
carried on. Merchants having partners on board of these pirates! thus
pirates at sea and robbers on land are associated to destroy the
peaceful trader. The willingness exhibited by the seven above-mentioned
men, to join our gang of pirates, seems to look like a general
understanding among them; and from there being merchants on shore so
base as to encourage the plunder and vend the goods, I am persuaded
there has been a systematic confederacy on the part of these
unprincipled desperadoes, under cover of the patriot flag; and those on
land are no better than those on the sea. If the governments to whom
they belong know of the atrocities committed (and I have but little
doubt they do) they deserve the execration of all mankind.

Thursday, 27th.--A gang of the pirates came and stripped our masts of
the green bushes, saying, "she appeared more like a sail than
trees"--took one barrel of bread and one of potatoes, using about one of
each every day. I understood they were waiting for boats to take the
cargo; for the principal merchant had gone to Trinidad.

Sunday, 30th.--The beginning of trouble! This day, which peculiarly
reminds Christians of the high duties of compassion and benevolence, was
never observed by these pirates. This, of course, we might expect, as
they did not often know when the day came, and if they knew it, it was
spent in gambling. The old saying among seamen, "no Sunday off
soundings," was not thought of; and even this poor plea was not theirs,
for they were on soundings and often at anchor.--Early this morning, the
merchant, as they called him, came with a large boat for the cargo. I
was immediately ordered into the boat with my crew, not allowed any
breakfast, and carried about three miles to a small island out of sight
of the Exertion, and left there by the side of a little pond of thick,
muddy water, which proved to be very brackish, with nothing to eat but a
few biscuits. One of the boat's men told us the merchant was afraid of
being recognized, and when he had gone the boat would return for us; but
we had great reason to apprehend they would deceive us, and therefore
passed the day in the utmost anxiety. At night, however, the boats came
and took us again on board the Exertion; when, to our surprise and
astonishment, we found they had broken open the trunks and chests, and
taken all our wearing apparel, not even leaving a shirt or pair of
pantaloons, nor sparing a small miniature of my wife which was in my
trunk. The little money I and my mate had, with some belonging to the
owners, my mate had previously distributed about the cabin in three or
four parcels, while I was on board the pirate, for we dare not keep it
about us; one parcel in a butter pot they did not discover.--Amidst the
hurry with which I was obliged to go to the before-mentioned island, I
fortunately snatched by vessel's papers, and hid them in my bosom, which
the reader will find was a happy circumstance for me. My writing desk,
with papers, accounts, &c., all Mr. Lord's letters (the gentlemen to
whom my cargo was consigned) and several others were taken and
maliciously destroyed. My medicine chest, which I so much wanted, was
kept for their own use. What their motive could be to take my papers I
could not imagine, except they had hopes of finding bills of lading for
some Spaniards, to clear them from piracy. Mr. Bracket had some notes
and papers of consequence to him, which shared the same fate. My
quadrant, charts, books and bedding were not yet taken, but I found it
impossible to hide them, and they were soon gone from my sight.

[Illustration: _A Cave in the Caicos group of the West India Islands._]

Tuesday, January 1st, 1822--A sad new-year's day to me. Before breakfast
orders came for me to cut down the Exertion's railing and bulwarks on
one side, for their vessel to heave out by, and clean her bottom. On my
hesitating a little they observed with anger, "very well, captain,
suppose you no do it quick, we do it for you." Directly afterwards
another boat full of armed men came along side; they jumped on deck with
swords drawn, and ordered all of us into her immediately; I stepped
below, in hopes of getting something which would be of service to us;
but the captain hallooed, "Go into the boat directly or I will fire upon
you." Thus compelled to obey, we were carried, together with four
Spanish prisoners, to a small, low island or key of sand in the shape of
a half moon, and partly covered with mangrove trees; which was about one
mile from and in sight of my vessel. There they left nine of us, with a
little bread, flour, fish, lard, a little coffee and molasses; two or
three kegs of water, which was brackish; an old sail for a covering, and
a pot and some other articles no way fit to cook in. Leaving us these,
which were much less than they appear in the enumeration, they pushed
off, saying, "we will come to see you in a day or two." Selecting the
best place, we spread the old sail for an awning; but no place was free
from flies, moschetoes, snakes, the venomous skinned scorpion, and the
more venomous santipee. Sometimes they were found crawling inside of
our pantaloons, but fortunately no injury was received. This afternoon
the pirates hove their vessel out by the Exertion and cleaned one side,
using her paints, oil, &c. for that purpose. To see my vessel in that
situation and to think of our prospects was a source of the deepest
distress. At night we retired to our tent; but having nothing but the
cold damp ground for a bed, and the heavy dew of night penetrating the
old canvass--the situation of the island being fifty miles from the
usual track of friendly vessels, and one hundred and thirty-five from
Trinidad--seeing my owner's property so unjustly and wantonly
destroyed--considering my condition, the hands at whose mercy I was, and
deprived of all hopes, rendered sleep or rest a stranger to me.

Friday, 4th.--Commenced with light winds and hot sun, saw a boat coming
from the Exertion, apparently loaded; she passed between two small Keys
to northward, supposed to be bound for Cuba. At sunset a boat came and
inquired if we wanted anything, but instead of adding to our provisions,
took away our molasses, and pushed off. We found one of the Exertion's
water casks, and several pieces of plank, which we carefully laid up, in
hopes of getting enough to make a raft.

Saturday, 5th.--Pirates again in sight, coming from the eastward; they
beat up along side their prize, and commenced loading. In the afternoon
Nickola came to us, bringing with him two more prisoners, which they had
taken in a small sail boat coming from Trinidad to Manganeil, one a
Frenchman, the other a Scotchman, with two Spaniards, who remained on
board the pirate, and who afterwards joined them. The back of one of
these poor fellows was extremely sore, having just suffered a cruel
beating from Bolidar, with the broad side of a cutlass. It appeared,
that when the officer asked him "where their money was, and how much,"
he answered, "he was not certain but believed they had only two ounces
of gold"--Bolidar furiously swore he said "ten," and not finding any
more, gave him the beating. Nickola now related to me a singular fact;
which was, that the Spanish part of the crew were determined to shoot
him; that they tied him to the mast, and a man was appointed for the
purpose; but Lion, a Frenchman, his particular friend, stepped up and
told them, if they shot him they must shoot several more; some of the
Spaniards sided with him, and he was released. Nickola told me, the
reason for such treatment was, that he continually objected to their
conduct towards me, and their opinion if he should escape, they would be
discovered, as he declared he would take no prize money. While with us
he gave me a letter written in great haste, which contains some
particulars respecting the cargo;--as follows:--

_January 4th,_ 1822.

Sir,--We arrived here this morning, and before we came to anchor, had
five canoes alongside ready to take your cargo, part of which we had in;
and as I heard you express a wish to know what they took out of her, to
this moment, you may depend upon this account of Jamieson for quality
and quantity; if I have the same opportunity you will have an account of
the whole. The villain who bought your cargo is from the town of
Principe, his name is Dominico, as to that it is all that I can learn;
they have taken your charts aboard the schooner Mexican, and I suppose
mean to keep them, as the other captain has agreed to act the same
infamous part in the tragedy of his life. Your clothes are here on
board, but do not let me flatter you that you will get them back; it may
be so, and it may not. Perhaps in your old age, when you recline with
ease in a corner of your cottage, you will have the goodness to drop a
tear of pleasure to the memory of him, whose highest ambition should
have been to subscribe himself, though devoted to the gallows, your

Excuse haste. NICKOLA MONACRE.

Sunday, 6th.--The pirates were under way at sunrise, with a full load of
the Exertion's cargo, going to Principe again to sell a second freight,
which was done readily for cash. I afterwards heard that the flour only
fetched five dollars per barrel, when it was worth at Trinidad thirteen;
so that the villain who bought my cargo at Principe, made very large
profits by it.

Tuesday, 8th.--Early this morning the pirates in sight again, with fore
top sail and top gallant sail set; beat up along side of the Exertion
and commenced loading; having, as I supposed, sold and discharged her
last freight among some of the inhabitants of Cuba. They appeared to
load in great haste; and the song, "O he oh," which echoed from one
vessel to the other, was distinctly heard by us. How wounding was this
to me! How different was this sound from what it would have been, had I
been permitted to pass unmolested by these lawless plunderers, and been
favored with a safe arrival at the port of my destination, where my
cargo would have found an excellent sale. Then would the "O he oh," on
its discharging, have been a delightful sound to me. In the afternoon
she sailed with the perough in tow, both with a full load, having
chairs, which was part of the cargo, slung at her quarters.

Monday, 14th.--They again hove in sight, and beat up as usual,
along-side their prize. While passing our solitary island, they laughed
at our misery, which was almost insupportable--looking upon us as though
we had committed some heinous crime, and they had not sufficiently
punished us; they hallooed to us, crying out "Captain, Captain,"
accompanied with obscene motions and words, with which I shall not
blacken these pages--yet I heard no check upon such conduct, nor could I
expect it among such a gang, who have no idea of subordination on
board, except when in chase of vessels, and even then but very little.
My resentment was excited at such a malicious outrage, and I felt a
disposition to revenge myself, should fortune ever favor me with an
opportunity. It was beyond human nature not to feel and express some
indignation at such treatment.--Soon after, Bolidar, with five men, well
armed, came to us; he having a blunderbuss, cutlass, a long knife and
pair of pistols--but for what purpose did he come? He took me by the
hand, saying, "Captain, me speak with you, walk this way." I obeyed, and
when at some distance from my fellow prisoners, (his men following) he
said, "the captain send me for your _wash_" I pretended not to
understand what he meant, and replied, "I have no clothes, nor any soap
to wash with--you have taken them all," for I had kept my watch about
me, hoping they would not discover it. He demanded it again as before;
and was answered, "I have nothing to wash;" this raised his anger, and
lifting his blunderbuss, he roared out, "what the d--l you call him that
make clock? give it me." I considered it imprudent to contend any
longer, and submitted to his unlawful demand. As he was going off, he
gave me a small bundle, in which was a pair of linen drawers, sent to me
by Nickola, and also the Rev. Mr. Brooks' "Family Prayer Book." This
gave me great satisfaction. Soon after, he returned with his captain,
who had one arm slung up, yet with as many implements of war, as his
diminutive wicked self could conveniently carry; he told me (through an
interpreter who was his prisoner.) "that on his cruize he had fallen in
with two Spanish privateers, and beat them off; but had three of his men
killed, and himself wounded in the arm"--Bolidar turned to me and said,
"it is a d--n lie"--which words proved to be correct, for his arm was
not wounded, and when I saw him again, which was soon afterwards, he had
forgotten to sling it up. He further told me, "after tomorrow you shall
go with your vessel, and we will accompany you towards Trinidad." This
gave me some new hopes, and why I could not tell. They then left us
without rendering any assistance.--This night we got some rest.

Tuesday, 15th. The words "go after tomorrow," were used among our
Spanish fellow prisoners, as though that happy tomorrow would never
come--in what manner it came will soon be noticed.

Friday, 18th commenced with brighter prospects of liberty than ever. The
pirates were employed in setting up our devoted schooner's shrouds,
stays, &c. My condition now reminded me of the hungry man, chained in
one corner of a room, while at another part was a table loaded with
delicious food and fruits, the smell and sight of which he was
continually to experience, but alas! his chains were never to be loosed
that he might go and partake--at almost the same moment they were thus
employed, the axe was applied with the greatest dexterity to both her
masts and I saw them fall over the side! Here fell my hopes--I looked at
my condition, and then thought of home.--Our Spanish fellow prisoners
were so disappointed and alarmed that they recommended hiding ourselves,
if possible, among the mangrove trees, believing, as they said, we
should now certainly be put to death; or, what was worse, compelled to
serve on board the Mexican as pirates. Little else it is true, seemed
left for us; however, we kept a bright look out for them during the day,
and at night "an anchor watch" as we called it, determined if we
discovered their boats coming towards us, to adopt the plan of hiding,
although starvation stared us in the face--yet preferred that to instant
death. This night was passed in sufficient anxiety--I took the first

Saturday, 19th.--The pirate's largest boat came for us--it being
day-light, and supposing they could see us, determined to stand our
ground and wait the result. They ordered us all into the boat, but left
every thing else; they rowed towards the Exertion--I noticed a
dejection of spirits in one of the pirates, and inquired of him where
they were going to carry us? He shook his head and replied, "I do not
know." I now had some hopes of visiting my vessel again--but the pirates
made sail, ran down, took us in tow and stood out of the harbor. Bolidar
afterwards took me, my mate and two of my men on board and gave us some
coffee. On examination I found they had several additional light sails,
made of the Exertion's. Almost every man, a pair of canvas trousers; and
my colors cut up and made into belts to carry their money about them. My
jolly boat was on deck, and I was informed, all my rigging was disposed
of. Several of the pirates had on some of my clothes, and the captain
one of my best shirts, a cleaner one, than I had ever seen him have on
before.--He kept at a good distance from me, and forbid my friend
Nickola's speaking to me.--I saw from the companion way in the captain's
cabin my quadrant, spy glass and other things which belonged to us, and
observed by the compass, that the course steered was about west by
south,--distance nearly twenty miles, which brought them up with a
cluster of islands called by some "Cayman Keys." Here they anchored and
caught some fish, (one of which was named _guard fish_) of which we had
a taste. I observed that my friend Mr. Bracket was somewhat dejected,
and asked him in a low voice, what his opinion was with respects to our
fate? He answered, "I cannot tell you, but it appears to me the worst is
to come." I told him that I hoped not, but thought they would give us
our small boat and liberate the prisoners. But mercy even in this shape
was not left-for us. Soon after, saw the captain and officers
whispering for some time in private conference. When over, their boat
was manned under the commond of Bolidar, and went to one of those
Islands or Keys before mentioned. On their return, another conference
took place--whether it was a jury upon our lives we could not tell. I
did not think conscience could be entirely extinguished in the human
breast, or that men could become fiends. In the afternoon, while we knew
not the doom which had been fixed for us, the captain was engaged with
several of his men in gambling, in hopes to get back some of the five
hundred dollars, they said, he lost but a few nights before; which had
made his unusually fractious. A little before sunset he ordered all the
prisoners into the large boat, with a supply of provisions and water,
and to be put on shore. While we were getting into her, one of my fellow
prisoners, a Spaniard, attempted with tears in his eyes to speak to the
captain, but was refused with the answer. "I'll have nothing to say to
any prisoner, go into the boat." In the mean time Nickola said to me,
"My friend, I will give you your book," (being Mr. Colman's Sermons,)
"it is the only thing of yours that is in my possession; I dare not
attempt any thing more." But the captain forbid his giving it to me, and
I stepped into the boat--at that moment Nickola said in a low voice,
"never mind, I may see you again before I die." The small boat was well
armed and manned, and both set off together for the island, where they
had agreed to leave us to perish! The scene to us was a funereal scene.
There were no arms in the prisoners boat, and, of course, all attempts
to relieve ourselves would have been throwing our lives away, as Bolidar
was near us, well armed. We were rowed about two miles north-easterly
from the pirates, to a small low island, lonely and desolate. We arrived
about sunset; and for the support of us eleven prisoners, they only left
a ten gallon keg of water, and perhaps a few quarts, in another small
vessel, which was very poor; part of a barrel of flour, a small keg of
lard, one ham and some salt fish; a small kettle and an old broken pot;
an old sail for a covering, and a small mattress and blanket, which was
thrown out as the boats hastened away. One of the prisoners happened to
have a little coffee in his pocket, and these comprehended all our means
of sustaining life, and for what length of time we knew not. We now
felt the need of water, and our supply was comparatively nothing. A man
may live nearly twice as long without food, as without water. Look at us
now, my friends, left benighted on a little spot of sand in the midst of
the ocean, far from the usual track of vessels, and every appearance of
a violent thunder tempest, and a boisterous night. Judge of my feelings,
and the circumstances which our band of sufferers now witnessed. Perhaps
you can and have pitied us. I assure you, we were very wretched; and to
paint the scene, is not within my power. When the boats were moving from
the shore, on recovering myself a little, I asked Bolidar, "If he was
going to leave us so?"--he answered, "no, only two days--we go for water
and wood, then come back, take you." I requested him to give us bread
and other stores, for they had plenty in the boat, and at least one
hundred barrels of flour in the Mexican. "No, no, suppose to-morrow
morning me come, me give you bread," and hurried off to the vessel. This
was the last time I saw him. We then turned our attention upon finding a
spot most convenient for our comfort, and soon discovered a little roof
supported by stakes driven into the sand; it was thatched with leaves of
the cocoa-nut tree, considerable part of which was torn or blown off.
After spreading the old sail over this roof, we placed our little stock
of provisions under it. Soon after came on a heavy shower of rain which
penetrated the canvas, and made it nearly as uncomfortable inside, as it
would have been out. We were not prepared to catch water, having nothing
to put it in. Our next object was to get fire, and after gathering some
of the driest fuel to be found, and having a small piece of cotton
wick-yarn, with flint and steel, we kindled a fire, which was never
afterwards suffered to be extinguished. The night was very dark, but we
found a piece of old rope, which when well lighted served for a candle.
On examining the ground under the roof, we found perhaps thousands of
creeping insects, scorpions, lizards, crickets, &c. After scraping them
out as well as we could, the most of us having nothing but the damp
earth for a bed, laid ourselves down in hopes of some rest; but it being
so wet, gave many of us severe colds, and one of the Spaniards was quite
sick for several days.

Sunday, 20th.--As soon as day-light came on, we proceeded to take a view
of our little island, and found it to measure only one acre, of coarse,
white sand; about two feet, and in some spots perhaps three feet above
the surface of the ocean. On the highest part were growing some bushes
and small mangroves, (the dry part of which was our fuel) and the wild
castor oil beans. We were greatly disappointed in not finding the latter
suitable food; likewise some of the prickly pear bushes, which gave us
only a few pears about the size of our small button pear; the outside
has thorns, which if applied to the fingers or lips, will remain there,
and cause a severe smarting similar to the nettle; the inside a spungy
substance, full of juice and seeds, which are red and a little
tartish--had they been there in abundance, we should not have suffered
so much for water--but alas! even this substitute was not for us. On the
northerly side of the island was a hollow, where the tide penetrated the
sand, leaving stagnant water. We presumed, in hurricanes the island was
nearly overflowed. According to the best calculations I could make, we
were about thirty-five miles from any part of Cuba, one hundred from
Trinidad and forty from the usual track of American vessels, or others
which might pass that way. No vessel of any considerable size, can
safely pass among these Keys (or "Queen's Gardens," as the Spaniards
call them) being a large number extending from Cape Cruz to Trinidad,
one hundred and fifty miles distance; and many more than the charts have
laid down, most of them very low and some covered at high water, which
makes it very dangerous for navigators without a skilful pilot. After
taking this view of our condition, which was very gloomy, we began to
suspect we were left on this desolate island by those merciless
plunderers to perish. Of this I am now fully convinced; still we looked
anxiously for the pirate's boat to come according to promise with more
water and provisions, but looked in vain. We saw them soon after get
under way with all sail set and run directly from us until out of our
sight, and _we never saw them again_! One may partially imagine our
feelings, but they cannot be put into words. Before they were entirely
out of sight of us, we raised the white blanket upon a pole, waving it
in the air, in hopes, that at two miles distance they would see it and
be moved to pity. But pity in such monsters was not to be found. It was
not their interest to save us from the lingering death, which we now saw
before us. We tried to compose ourselves, trusting to God, who had
witnessed our sufferings, would yet make use of some one, as the
instrument of his mercy towards us. Our next care, now, was to try for
water. We dug several holes in the sand and found it, but quite too salt
for use. The tide penetrates probably through the island. We now came on
short allowances for water. Having no means of securing what we had by
lock and key, some one in the night would slyly drink, and it was soon
gone. The next was to bake some bread, which we did by mixing flour with
salt water and frying it in lard, allowing ourselves eight quite small
pancakes to begin with. The ham was reserved for some more important
occasion, and the salt fish was lost for want of fresh water. The
remainder of this day was passed in the most serious conversation and
reflection. At night, I read prayers from the "Prayer Book," before
mentioned, which I most carefully concealed while last on board the
pirates. This plan was pursued morning and evening, during our stay
there. Then retired for rest and sleep, but realized little of either.

Monday, 21st.--In the morning we walked round the beach, in expectation
of finding something useful. On our way picked up a paddle about three
feet long, very similar to the Indian canoe paddle, except the handle,
which was like that of a shovel, the top part being split off; we laid
it by for the present. We likewise found some konchs and roasted them;
they were pretty good shell fish, though rather tough. We discovered at
low water, a bar or spit of sand extending north-easterly from us, about
three miles distant, to a cluster of Keys, which were covered with
mangrove trees, perhaps as high as our quince tree. My friend Mr.
Bracket and George attempted to wade across, being at that time of tide
only up to their armpits; but were pursued by a shark, and returned
without success. The tide rises about four feet.

Tuesday, 22d.--We found several pieces of the palmetto or cabbage tree,
and some pieces of boards, put them together in the form of a raft, and
endeavored to cross, but that proved ineffectual. Being disappointed, we
set down to reflect upon other means of relief, intending to do all in
our power for safety while our strength continued. While setting here,
the sun was so powerful and oppressive, reflecting its rays upon the
sea, which was then calm, and the white sand which dazzled the eye, was
so painful, that we retired under the awning; there the moschetoes and
flies were so numerous, that good rest could not be found. We were,
however, a little cheered, when, in scraping out the top of the ground
to clear out, I may say, thousands of crickets and bugs, we found a
hatchet, which was to us peculiarly serviceable. At night the strong
north-easterly wind, which prevails there at all seasons, was so cold as
to make it equally uncomfortable with the day. Thus day after day, our
sufferings and apprehensions multiplying, we were very generally

Thursday, 24th.--This morning, after taking a little coffee, made of the
water which we thought least salt, and two or three of the little
cakes, we felt somewhat refreshed, and concluded to make another visit
to those Keys, in hopes of finding something more, which might make a
raft for us to escape the pirates, and avoid perishing by thirst.
Accordingly seven of us set off, waded across the bar and searched all
the Keys thereabouts. On one we found a number of sugar-box shooks, two
lashing plank and some pieces of old spars, which were a part of the
Exertion's deck load, that was thrown overboard when she grounded on the
bar, spoken of in the first part of the narrative. It seems they had
drifted fifteen miles, and had accidentally lodged on these very Keys
within our reach. Had the pirates known this, they would undoubtedly
have placed us in another direction. They no doubt thought that they
could not place us on a worse place. The wind at this time was blowing
so strong on shore, as to prevent rafting our stuff round to our island,
and we were obliged to haul it upon the beach for the present; then dug
for water in the highest place, but found it as salt as ever, and then
returned to our habitation. But hunger and thirst began to prey upon us,
and our comforts were as few as our hopes.

Friday, 25th.--Again passed over to those Keys to windward in order to
raft our stuff to our island, it being most convenient for building. But
the surf on the beach was so very rough, that we were again compelled to
postpone it. Our courage, however, did not fail where there was the
slightest hopes of life. Returning without it, we found on our way an
old top timber of some vessel; it had several spikes on it, which we
afterwards found very serviceable. In the hollow of an old tree, we
found two guarnas of small size, one male, the other female. Only one
was caught. After taking off the skin, we judged it weighed a pound and
a half. With some flour and lard, (the only things we had except salt
water,) it made us a fine little mess. We thought it a rare dish, though
a small one for eleven half starved persons. At the same time a small
vessel hove in sight; we made a signal to her with the blanket tied to a
pole and placed it on the highest tree--some took off their white
clothes and waved them in the air, hoping they would come to us; should
they be pirates, they could do no more than kill us, and perhaps would
give us some water, for which we began to suffer most excessively; but,
notwithstanding all our efforts, she took no notice of us.

Saturday, 26th.--This day commenced with moderate weather and smooth
sea; at low tide found some cockles; boiled and eat them, but they were
very painful to the stomach. David Warren had a fit of strangling, with
swelling of the bowels; but soon recovered, and said, "something like
salt rose in his throat and choked him." Most of us then set off for the
Keys, where the plank and shooks were put together in a raft, which we
with pieces of boards paddled over to our island; when we consulted the
best plan, either to build a raft large enough for us all to go on, or a
boat; but the shooks having three or four nails in each, and having a
piece of large reed or bamboo, previously found, of which we made pins,
we concluded to make a boat.

Sunday, 27--Commenced our labor, for which I know we need offer no
apology. We took the two planks, which were about fourteen feet long,
and two and a half wide, and fixed them together for the bottom of the
boat; then with moulds made of palmetto bark, cut timber and knees from
mangrove trees which spread so much as to make the boat four feet wide
at the top, placed them exactly the distance apart of an Havana sugar
box.--Her stern was square and the bows tapered to a peak, making her
form resemble a flat-iron. We proceeded thus far and returned to rest
for the night--but Mr. Bracket was too unwell to get much sleep.

Monday, 28--Went on with the work as fast as possible. Some of the
Spaniards had long knives about them, which proved very useful in
fitting timbers, and a gimblet of mine, accidentally found on board the
pirate, enabled us to use the wooden pins. And now our spirits began to
revive, though _water, water_, was continually in our minds. We now
feared the pirates might possibly come, find out our plan and put us to
death, (although before we had wished to see them, being so much in want
of water.) Our labor was extremely burdensome, and the Spaniards
considerably peevish--but they would often say to me "never mind
captain, by and by, Americana or Spanyola catch them, me go and see 'um
hung." We quitted work for the day, cooked some cakes but found it
necessary to reduce the quantity again, however small before. We found
some herbs on a windward Key, which the Spaniards called Spanish
tea.--This when well boiled we found somewhat palatable, although the
water was very salt. This herb resembles pennyroyal in look and taste,
though not so pungent. In the evening when we were setting round the
fire to keep of the moschetoes, I observed David Warren's eyes shone
like glass. The mate said to him--"David I think you will die before
morning--I think you are struck with death now." I thought so too, and
told him, "I thought it most likely we should all die here soon; but as
some one of us might survive to carry the tidings to our friends, if you
have any thing to say respecting your family, now is the time."--He then
said, "I have a mother in Saco where I belong--she is a second time a
widow--to-morrow if you can spare a scrap of paper and pencil I will
write something." But no tomorrow came to him.--In the course of the
night he had another spell of strangling, and soon after expired,
without much pain and without a groan. He was about twenty-six years
old.--How solemn was this scene to us! Here we beheld the ravages of
death commenced upon us. More than one of us considered death a happy
release. For myself I thought of my wife and children; and wished to
live if God should so order it, though extreme thirst, hunger and
exhaustion had well nigh prostrated my fondest hopes.

Tuesday, 29th.--Part of us recommenced labor on the boat, while myself
and Mr. Bracket went and selected the highest clear spot of sand on the
northern side of the island, where we dug Warren's grave, and boxed it
up with shooks, thinking it would be the most suitable spot for the rest
of us--whose turn would come next, we knew not. At about ten o'clock,
A.M. conveyed the corpse to the grave, followed by us survivers--a
scene, whose awful solemnity can never be painted. We stood around the
grave, and there I read the funeral prayer from the Rev. Mr. Brooks's
Family Prayer Book; and committed the body to the earth; covered it with
some pieces of board and sand, and returned to our labor. One of the
Spaniards, an old man, named Manuel, who was partial to me, and I to
him, made a cross and placed it at the head of the grave saying, "Jesus
Christ hath him now." Although I did not believe in any mysterious
influence of this cross, yet I was perfectly willing it should stand
there. The middle part of the day being very warm, our mouths parched
with thirst, and our spirits so depressed, that we made but little
progress during the remainder of this day, but in the evening were
employed in picking oakum out of the bolt rope taken from the old sail.

Wednesday, 30th.--Returned to labor on the boat with as much vigor as
our weak and debilitated state would admit, but it was a day of trial to
us all; for the Spaniards and we Americans could not well understand
each other's plans, and they being naturally petulant, would not work,
nor listen with any patience for Joseph, our English fellow prisoner, to
explain our views--they would sometimes undo what they had done, and in
a few minutes replace it again; however before night we began to caulk
her seams, by means of pieces of hard mangrove, made in form of a
caulking-iron, and had the satisfaction of seeing her in a form
something like a boat.

Thursday, 31st.--Went on with the work, some at caulking, others at
battening the seams with strips of canvas, and pieces of pine nailed
over, to keep the oakum in. Having found a suitable pole for a mast, the
rest went about making a sail from the one we had used for a covering,
also fitting oars of short pieces of boards, in form of a paddle, tied
on a pole, we having a piece of fishing line brought by one of the
prisoners. Thus, at three P.M. the boat was completed and put
afloat.--We had all this time confidently hoped, that she would be
sufficiently large and strong to carry us all--we made a trial and were
disappointed! This was indeed a severe trial, and the emotions it called
up were not easy to be suppressed. She proved leaky, for we had no
carpenter's yard, or smith's shop to go to.--And now the question was,
"who should go, and how many?" I found it necessary for six; four to
row, one to steer and one to bale. Three of the Spaniards and the
Frenchman claimed the right, as being best acquainted with the nearest
inhabitants; likewise, they had when taken, two boats left at St. Maria,
(about forty miles distant,) which they were confident of finding. They
promised to return within two or three days for the rest of us--I
thought it best to consent--Mr. Bracket it was agreed should go in my
stead, because my papers must accompany me as a necessary protection,
and my men apprehended danger if they were lost. Joseph Baxter (I think
was his name) they wished should go, because he could speak both
languages--leaving Manuel, George, Thomas and myself, to wait their
return. Having thus made all arrangements, and putting up a keg of the
least salt water, with a few pancakes of salt fish, they set off a
little before sunset with our best wishes and prayers for their safety
and return to our relief.--To launch off into the wide ocean, with
strength almost exhausted, and in such a frail boat as this, you will
say was very hazardous, and in truth it was; but what else was left to
us?--Their intention was to touch at the Key where the Exertion was and
if no boat was to be found there, to proceed to St. Maria, and if none
there, to go to Trinidad and send us relief.--But alas! it was the last
time I ever saw them!--Our suffering this day was most acute.

Tuesday, 5th.--About ten o'clock, A.M. discovered a boat drifting by on
the southeastern side of the island about a mile distant. I deemed it a
providential thing to us, and urged Thomas and George trying the raft
for her. They reluctantly consented and set off, but it was nearly three
P.M. when they came up with her--it was the same boat we had built!
Where then was my friend Bracket and those who went with him? Every
appearance was unfavorable.--I hoped that a good Providence had yet
preserved him.--The two men who went for the boat, found it full of
water, without oars, paddle, or sail; being in this condition, and about
three miles to the leeward, the men found it impossible to tow her up,
so left her, and were until eleven o'clock at night getting back with
the raft. They were so exhausted, that had it not been nearly calm, they
could never have returned.

Wednesday, 6th.--This morning was indeed the most gloomy I had ever
experienced.--There appeared hardly a ray of hope that my friend Bracket
could return, seeing the boat was lost. Our provisions nearly gone; our
mouths parched extremely with thirst; our strength wasted; our spirits
broken, and our hopes imprisoned within the circumference of this
desolate island in the midst of an unfrequented ocean; all these things
gave to the scene around us the hue of death. In the midst of this
dreadful despondence, a sail hove in sight bearing the white flag! Our
hopes were raised, of course--but no sooner raised than darkened, by
hearing a gun fired. Here then was another gang of pirates. She soon,
however, came near enough to anchor, and her boat pushed off towards us
with three men in her.--Thinking it now no worse to die by sword than
famine, I walked down immediately to meet them. I knew them not.--A
moment before the boat touched the ground, a man leaped from her bows
and caught me in his arms! _It was Nickola_!--saying, "Do you now
believe Nickola is your friend? yes, said he, _Jamieson_ will yet prove
himself so."--No words can express my emotions at this moment. This was
a friend indeed. The reason of my not recognizing them before, was that
they had cut their beards and whiskers. Turning to my fellow-sufferers,
Nickola asked--"Are these all that are left of you? where are the
others?"--At this moment seeing David's grave--"are they dead then? Ah!
I suspected it, I know what you were put here for." As soon as I could
recover myself, I gave him an account of Mr. Bracket and the
others.--"How unfortunate," he said, "they must be lost, or some pirates
have taken them."--"But," he continued, "we have no time to lose; you
had better embark immediately with us, and go where you please, we are
at your service." The other two in the boat were Frenchmen, one named
Lyon, the other Parrikete. They affectionately embraced each of us; then
holding to my mouth the nose of a teakettle, filled with wine, said
"Drink plenty, no hurt you." I drank as much as I judged prudent. They
then gave it to my fellow sufferers--I experienced almost immediate
relief, not feeling it in my head; they had also brought in the boat for
us, a dish of salt beef and potatoes, of which we took a little. Then
sent the boat on board for the other two men, being five in all; who
came ashore, and rejoiced enough was I to see among them Thomas Young,
one of my crew, who was detained on board the Mexican, but had escaped
through Nickola's means; the other a Frenchman, named John Cadedt. I now
thought again and again, with troubled emotion, of my dear friend
Bracket's fate. I took the last piece of paper I had, and wrote with
pencil a few words, informing him (should he come there) that "I and the
rest were safe; that I was not mistaken in the friend in whom I had
placed so much confidence, that he had accomplished my highest
expectations; and that I should go immediately to Trinidad, and
requested him to go there also, and apply to Mr. Isaac W. Lord, my
consignee, for assistance." I put the paper into a junk bottle,
previously found on the beach, put in a stopper, and left it, together
with what little flour remained, a keg of water brought from Nickola's
vessel, and a few other things which I thought might be of service to
him. We then repaired with our friends on board, where we were kindly
treated. She was a sloop from Jamaica, of about twelve tons, with a
cargo of rum and wine, bound to Trinidad. I asked "which way they
intended to go?" They said "to Jamaica if agreeable to me." As I
preferred Trinidad, I told them, "if they would give me the Exertion's
boat which was along-side (beside their own) some water and provisions,
we would take chance in her."--"For perhaps," said I, "you will fare
better at Jamaica, than at Trinidad." After a few minutes consultation,
they said "you are too much exhausted to row the distance of one hundred
miles, therefore we will go and carry you--we consider ourselves at your
service." I expressed a wish to take a look at the Exertion, possibly we
might hear something of Mr. Bracket. Nickola said "very well," so got
under way, and run for her, having a light westerly wind. He then
related to me the manner of their desertion from the pirates; as nearly
as I can recollect his own words, he said, "A few days since, the
pirates took four small vessels, I believe Spaniards; they having but
two officers for the two first, the third fell to me as prize master,
and having an understanding with the three Frenchmen and Thomas,
selected them for my crew, and went on board with orders to follow the
Mexican; which I obeyed. The fourth, the pirates took out all but one
man and bade him also follow their vessel. Now our schooner leaked so
bad, that we left her and in her stead agreed to take this little sloop
(which we are now in) together with the one man. The night being very
dark we all agreed to desert the pirates--altered our course and touched
at St. Maria, where we landed the one man--saw no boats there, could
hear nothing from you, and agreed one and all at the risk of our lives
to come and liberate you if you were alive; knowing, as we did, that you
were put on this Key to perish. On our way we boarded the Exertion,
thinking possibly you might have been there. On board her we found a
sail and paddle. We took one of the pirate's boats which they had left
along-side of her, which proves how we came by two boats. My friend, the
circumstance I am now about to relate, will somewhat astonish you. When
the pirate's boat with Bolidar was sent to the before mentioned Key, on
the 19th of January, it was their intention to leave you prisoners
there, where was nothing but salt water and mangroves, and no
possibility of escape. This was the plan of Baltizar, their abandoned
pilot; but Bolidar's heart failed him, and he objected to it; then,
after a conference, Captain Jonnia ordered you to be put on the little
island from whence we have now taken you. But after this was done, that
night the French and Portuguese part of the Mexican's crew protested
against it; so that Captain Jonnia to satisfy them, sent his large boat
to take you and your fellow prisoners back again, taking care to select
his confidential Spaniards for this errand. And you will believe me they
set off from the Mexican, and after spending about as much time as would
really have taken them to come to you, they returned, and reported they
had been to your island, and landed, and that none of you were there,
somebody having taken you off! This, all my companions here know to be
true.--I knew it was impossible you could have been liberated, and
therefore we determined among ourselves, that should an opportunity
occur we would come and save your lives, as we now have." He then
expressed, as he hitherto had done (and I believe with sincerity), his
disgust with the bad company which he had been in, and looked forward
with anxiety to the day when he might return to his native country. I
advised him to get on board an American vessel, whenever an opportunity
offered, and come to the United States; and on his arrival direct a
letter to me; repeating my earnest desire to make some return for the
disinterested friendship which he had shown toward me. With the
Frenchman I had but little conversation, being unacquainted with the

Here ended Nickola's account. "And now" said the Frenchman, "our hearts
be easy." Nickola observed he had left all and found us. I gave them my
warmest tribute of gratitude, saying I looked upon them under God as the
preservers of our lives, and promised them all the assistance which my
situation might enable me to afford.--This brings me to,

Thursday evening, 7th, when, at eleven o'clock, we anchored at the
creek's mouth, near the Exertion. I was anxious to board her;
accordingly took with me Nickola, Thomas, George and two others, well
armed, each with a musket and cutlass. I jumped on her deck, saw a fire
in the camboose, but no person there: I called aloud Mr. Bracket's name
several times, saying "it is Captain Lincoln, don't be afraid, but show
yourself," but no answer was given. She had no masts, spars, rigging,
furniture, provisions or any think left, except her bowsprit, and a few
barrels of salt provisions of her cargo. Her ceiling had holes cut in
it, no doubt in their foolish search for money. I left her with peculiar
emotions, such as I hope never again to experience; and returned to the
little sloop where we remained till--

Friday, 8th--When I had disposition to visit the island on which we
were first imprisoned.----Found nothing there--saw a boat among the
mangroves, near the Exertion. Returned, and got under way immediately
for Trinidad. In the night while under full sail, run aground on a
sunken Key, having rocks above the water, resembling old stumps of
trees; we, however, soon got off and anchored. Most of those Keys have
similar rocks about them, which navigators must carefully guard against.

Monday, 11th--Got under way--saw a brig at anchor about five miles below
the mouth of the harbor; we hoped to avoid her speaking us; but when we
opened in sight of her, discovered a boat making towards us, with a
number of armed men in her. This alarmed my friends, and as we did not
see the brig's ensign hoisted, they declared the boat was a pirate, and
looking through the spy-glass, they knew some of them to be the
Mexican's men! This state of things was quite alarming. They said, "we
will not be taken alive by them." Immediately the boat fired a musket;
the ball passed through our mainsail. My friends insisted on beating
them off: I endeavored to dissuade them, believing, as I did, that the
brig was a Spanish man-of-war, who had sent her boat to ascertain who we
were. I thought we had better heave to. Immediately another shot came.
Then they insisted on fighting, and said "if I would not help them, I
was no friend." I reluctantly acquiesced, and handed up the
guns--commenced firing upon them and they upon us. We received several
shot through the sails, but no one was hurt on either side. Our boats
had been cast adrift to make us go the faster, and we gained upon
them--continued firing until they turned from us, and went for our
boats, which they took in tow for the brig. Soon after this, it became
calm: then I saw that the brig had us in her power.--She manned and
armed two more boats for us. We now concluded, since we had scarcely any
ammunition, to surrender; and were towed down along-side the brig on
board, and were asked by the captain, who could speak English, "what for
you fire on the boat?" I told him "we thought her a pirate, and did not
like to be taken by them again, having already suffered too much;"
showing my papers. He said, "Captain Americana, never mind, go and take
some dinner--which are your men?" I pointed them out to him, and he
ordered them the liberty of the decks; but my friend Nickola and his
three associates were immediately put in irons. They were, however,
afterwards taken out of irons and examined; and I understood the
Frenchmen agreed to enlist, as they judged it the surest way to better
their condition. Whether Nickola enlisted, I do not know, but think that
he did, as I understood that offer was made to him: I however endeavored
to explain more distinctly to the captain, the benevolent efforts of
these four men by whom my life had been saved, and used every argument
in my power to procure their discharge. I also applied to the governor,
and exerted myself with peculiar interest, dictated as I trust with
heartfelt gratitude--and I ardently hope ere this, that Nickola is on
his way to this country, where I may have an opportunity of convincing
him that such an act of benevolence will not go unrewarded. Previous to
my leaving Trinidad, I made all the arrangements in my power with my
influential friends, and doubt not, that their laudable efforts will be
accomplished.--The sloop's cargo was then taken on board the brig; after
which the captain requested a certificate that I was politely treated by
him, saying that his name was Captain Candama, of the privateer brig
Prudentee of eighteen guns. This request I complied with. His first
lieutenant told me he had sailed out of Boston, as commander for T.C.
Amory, Esq. during the last war. In the course of the evening my friends
were taken out of irons and examined separately, then put back again.
The captain invited me to supper in his cabin, and a berth for the
night, which was truly acceptable. The next morning after breakfast, I
with my people were set on shore with the few things we had, with the
promise of the Exertion's small boat in a day or two,--but it was never
sent me--the reason, let the reader imagine. On landing at the wharf
Casildar, we were immediately taken by soldiers to the guard house,
which was a very filthy place; thinking I suppose, and even calling us,
pirates. Soon some friends came to see me. Mr. Cotton, who resides there
brought us in some soup. Mr. Isaac W. Lord, of Boston, my merchant, came
with Captain Tate, who sent immediately to the governor; for I would not
show my papers to any one else. He came about sunset, and after
examining Manuel my Spanish fellow prisoner, and my papers, said to be,
giving me the papers, "Captain, you are at liberty." I was kindly
invited by Captain Matthew Rice, of schooner Galaxy, of Boston, to go on
board his vessel, and live with him during my stay there. This generous
offer I accepted, and was treated by him with the greatest hospitality;
for I was hungered and he gave me meat, I was athirst and he gave me
drink, I was naked and he clothed me, a stranger and he took me in. He
likewise took Manuel and my three men for that night. Next day Mr. Lord
rendered me all necessary assistance in making my protest. He had heard
nothing from me until my arrival. I was greatly disappointed in not
finding Mr. Bracket, and requested Mr. Lord to give him all needful aid
if he should come there. To Captain Carnes, of the schooner Hannah, of
Boston, I would tender my sincere thanks, for his kindness in giving me
a passage to Boston, which I gladly accepted. To those gentlemen of
Trinidad, and many captains of American vessels, who gave me sea
clothing, &c., I offer my cordial gratitude.

I am fully of the opinion that these ferocious pirates are linked in
with many inhabitants of Cuba; and the government in many respects
appears covertly to encourage them.

It is with heartfelt delight, that, since the above narrative was
written, I have learned that Mr. Bracket and his companions are safe; he
arrived at Port d'Esprit, about forty leagues east of Trinidad. A letter
has been received from him, stating that he should proceed to Trinidad
the first opportunity.--It appears that after reaching the wreck, they
found a boat from the shore, taking on board some of the Exertion's
cargo, in which they proceeded to the above place. Why it was not in his
power to come to our relief will no doubt be satisfactorily disclosed
when he may be so fortunate as once more to return to his native country
and friends.

I felt great anxiety to learn what became of Jamieson, who, my readers
will recollect, was detained on board the Spanish brig Prudentee near
Trinidad. I heard nothing from him, until I believe eighteen months
after I reached home, when I received a letter from him, from Montego
Bay, Jamaica, informing me that he was then residing in that island. I
immediately wrote to him, and invited him to come on to the United
States. He accordingly came on passenger with Captain Wilson of
Cohasset, and arrived in Boston, in August, 1824. Our meeting was very
affecting. Trying scenes were brought up before us; scenes gone forever,
through which we had passed together, where our acquaintance was formed,
and since which time, we had never met. I beheld once more the preserver
of my life; the instrument, under Providence, of restoring me to my
home, my family, and my friends, and I regarded him with no ordinary
emotion. My family were delighted to see him, and cordially united in
giving him a warm reception. He told me that after we separated in
Trinidad, he remained on board the Spanish brig. The commander asked him
and his companions if they would enlist; the Frenchmen replied that they
would, but he said nothing, being determined to make his escape, the
very first opportunity which should present. The Spanish brig afterwards
fell in with a Columbian Patriot, an armed brig of eighteen guns. Being
of about equal force, they gave battle, and fought between three and
four hours. Both parties were very much injured; and, without any
considerable advantage on either side, both drew off to make repairs.
The Spanish brig Prudentee, put into St. Jago de Cuba. Jamieson was
wounded in the action, by a musket ball, through his arm, and was taken
on shore, with the other wounded, and placed in the hospital of St.
Jago. Here he remained for a considerable time, until he had nearly
recovered, when he found an opportunity of escaping, and embarking for
Jamaica. He arrived in safety at Kingston, and from there, travelled
barefoot over the mountains, until very much exhausted, he reached
Montego Bay, where he had friends, and where one of his brothers
possessed some property. From this place, he afterwards wrote to me. He
told me that before he came to Massachusetts, he saw the villainous
pilot of the Mexican, the infamous Baltizar, with several other pirates,
brought into Montego Bay, from whence they were to be conveyed to
Kingston to be executed. Whether the others were part of the Mexican's
crew, or not, I do not know. Baltizar was an old man, and as Jamieson
said, it was a melancholy and heart-rending sight, to see him borne to
execution with those gray hairs, which might have been venerable in
virtuous old age, now a shame and reproach to this hoary villain, for he
was full of years, and old in iniquity. When Jamieson received the
letter which I wrote him, he immediately embarked with Captain Wilson,
and came to Boston, as I have before observed.

According to his own account he was of a very respectable family in
Greenock, Scotland. His father when living was a rich cloth merchant,
but both his father and mother had been dead many years. He was the
youngest of thirteen children, and being, as he said, of a roving
disposition, had always followed the seas. He had received a polite
education, and was of a very gentlemanly deportment. He spoke several
living languages, and was skilled in drawing and painting. He had
travelled extensively in different countries, and acquired in
consequence an excellent knowledge of their manners and customs. His
varied information (for hardly any subject escaped him) rendered him a
very entertaining companion. His observations on the character of
different nations were very liberal; marking their various traits, their
virtues and vices, with playful humorousness, quite free from bigotry,
or narrow prejudice.

I was in trade, between Boston and Philadelphia, at the time he came to
Massachusetts, and he sailed with me several trips as my mate. He
afterwards went to Cuba, and was subsequently engaged in the mackerel
fishery, out of the port of Hingham, during the warm season, and in the
winter frequently employed himself in teaching navigation to young men,
for which he was eminently qualified. He remained with us, until his
death, which took place in 1829. At this time he had been out at sea two
or three days, when he was taken sick, and was carried into Cape Cod,
where he died, on the first day of May, 1829, and there his remains lie
buried. Peace be to his ashes! They rest in a strange land, far from his
kindred and his native country.

Since his death I have met with Mr. Stewart, of Philadelphia, who was
Commercial Agent in Trinidad at the time of my capture. He informed me
that the piratical schooner Mexican, was afterwards chased by an English
government vessel, from Jamaica, which was cruising in search of it.
Being hotly pursued, the pirates deserted their vessel, and fled to the
mangrove bushes, on an island similar to that on which they had placed
me and my crew to die. The English surrounded them, and thus they were
cut off from all hopes of escape. They remained there, I think fourteen
days, when being almost entirely subdued by famine, eleven surrendered
themselves, and were taken. The others probably perished among the
mangroves. The few who were taken were carried by the government vessel
into Trinidad. Mr. Stewart said that he saw them himself, and such
miserable objects, that had life, he never before beheld. They were in a
state of starvation; their beards had grown to a frightful length, their
bodies, were covered with filth and vermin, and their countenances were
hideous. From Trinidad they were taken to Kingston, Jamaica, and there
hung on Friday, the 7th of February, 1823.

About a quarter of an hour before day dawn, the wretched culprits were
taken from the jail, under a guard of soldiers from the 50th regiment,
and the City Guard. On their arrival at the wherry wharf, the military
retired, and the prisoners, with the Town Guard were put on board two
wherries, in which they proceeded to Port Royal Point, the usual place
of execution in similar cases. They were there met by a strong party of
military, consisting of 50 men, under command of an officer. They formed
themselves into a square round the place of execution, with the sheriff
and his officers with the prisoners in the centre. The gallows was of
considerable length, and contrived with a drop so as to prevent the
unpleasant circumstances which frequently occur.

The unfortunate men had been in continual prayer from the time they were
awakened out of a deep sleep till they arrived at that place, where they
were to close their existence.

They all expressed their gratitude for the attention they had met with
from the sheriff and the inferior officers. Many pressed the hands of
the turnkey to their lips, others to their hearts and on their knees,
prayed that God, Jesus Christ, and the Virgin Mary would bless him and
the other jailors for their goodness. They all then fervently joined
in prayer. To the astonishment of all, no clerical character, of any
persuasion, was present. They repeatedly called out "Adonde esta el
padre," (Where is the holy father).

[Illustration: _The execution of ten pirates._]

Juan Hernandez called on all persons present to hear him--he was
innocent; what they had said about his confessing himself guilty was
untrue. He had admitted himself guilty, because he hoped for pardon; but
that now he was to die, he called God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost, the
Virgin Mary, and the Saints, to witness that he spoke the truth--that he
was no pirate, no murderer--he had been forced. The Lieutenant of the
pirates was a wretch, who did not fear God, and had compelled him to

Juan Gutterez and Francisco de Sayas were loud in their protestations of

Manuel Lima said, for himself, he did not care; he felt for the old man
(Miguel Jose). How could he be a pirate who could not help himself? If
it were a Christian country, they would have pardoned him for his gray
hairs. He was innocent--they had both been forced. Let none of his
friends or relations ever venture to sea--he hoped his death would be a
warning to them, that the innocent might suffer for the guilty. The
language of this young man marked him a superior to the generality of
his companions in misfortune. The seamen of the Whim stated that he was
very kind to them when prisoners on board the piratical vessel. Just
before he was turned off, he addressed the old man--"Adios viejo, para
siempre adios."--(Farewell, old man, forever farewell.)

Several of the prisoners cried out for mercy, pardon, pardon.

Domingo Eucalla, the black man, then addressed them. "Do not look for
mercy here, but pray to God; we are all brought here to die. This is not
built for nothing; here we must end our lives. You know I am innocent,
but I must die the same as you all. There is not any body here who can
do us any good, so let us think only of God Almighty. We are not
children but men, you know that all must die; and in a few years those
who kill us must die too. When I was born, God set the way of my death;
I do not blame any body. I was taken by the pirates and they made me
help them; they would not let me be idle. I could not show that this was
the truth, and therefore they have judged me by the people they have
found me with. I am put to death unjustly, but I blame nobody. It was my
misfortune. Come, let us pray. If we are innocent, so much the less we
have to repent. I do not come here to accuse any one. Death must come
one day or other; better to the innocent than guilty." He then joined in
prayer with the others. He seemed to be much reverenced by his fellow
prisoners. He chose those prayers he thought most adapted to the
occasion. Hundreds were witnesses to the manly firmness of this negro.
Observing a bystander listening attentively to the complaints of one of
his fellow wretches, he translated what had been said into English. With
a steady pace, and a resolute and resigned countenance, he ascended the
fatal scaffold. Observing the executioner unable to untie a knot on the
collar of one of the prisoners, he with his teeth untied it. He then
prayed most fervently till the drop fell.

Miguel Jose protested his innocence.--"No he robado, no he matado
ningune, muero innocente."--(I have robbed no one, I have killed no one,
I die innocent. I am an old man, but my family will feel my disgraceful

Francisco Migul prayed devoutly, but inaudibly.--His soul seemed to have
quitted the body before he was executed.

Breti Gullimillit called on all to witness his innocence; it was of no
use for him to say an untruth, for he was going before the face of God.

Augustus Hernandez repeatedly declared his innocence, requested that no
one would say he had made a confession; he had none to make.

Juan Hernandez was rather obstinate when the execution pulled the cap
over his eyes. He said, rather passionately--"Quita is de mis
ojos."--(Remove it from my eyes.) He then rubbed it up against one of
the posts of the gallows.

Miguel Jose made the same complaint, and drew the covering from his eyes
by rubbing his head against a fellow sufferer.

Pedro Nondre was loud in his ejaculations for mercy. He wept bitterly.
He was covered with marks of deep wounds.

The whole of the ten included in the death warrant, having been placed
on the scaffold, and the ropes suspended, the drop was let down. Nondre
being an immense heavy man, broke the rope, and fell to the ground
alive. Juan Hernandez struggled long. Lima was much convulsed. The old
man Gullimillit, and Migul, were apparently dead before the drop fell.
Eucalla (the black man) gave one convulsion, and all was over.

When Nondre recovered from the fall and saw his nine lifeless companions
stretched in death, he gave an agonizing shriek; he wrung his hands,
screamed "Favor, favor, me matan sin causa. O! buenos Christianos, me
amparen, ampara me, ampara me, no hay Christiano en asta, tiara?"

(Mercy, mercy, they kill me without cause.--Oh, good Christians, protect
me. Oh, protect me. Is there no Christian in this land?)

He then lifted his eyes to Heaven, and prayed long and loud. Upon being
again suspended, he was for a long period convulsed. He was an immense
powerful man, and died hard.

A piratical station was taken in the Island of Cuba by the U.S.
schooners of war, Greyhound and Beagle. They left Thompson's Island
June 7, 1823, under the command of Lieuts. Kearney and Newton, and
cruised within the Key's on the south side of Cuba, as far as Cape Cruz,
touching at all the intermediate ports on the island, to intercept
pirates. On the 21st of July, they came to anchor off Cape Cruz, and
Lieut. Kearney went in his boat to reconnoitre the shore, when he was
fired on by a party of pirates who were concealed among the bushes. A
fire was also opened from several pieces of cannon erected on a hill a
short distance off. The boat returned, and five or six others were
manned from the vessels, and pushed off for the shore, but a very heavy
cannonade being kept up by the pirates on the heights, as well as from
the boats, were compelled to retreat. The two schooners were then warped
in, when they discharged several broadsides, and covered the landing of
the boats. After a short time the pirates retreated to a hill that was
well fortified. A small hamlet, in which the pirates resided, was set
fire to and destroyed. Three guns, one a four pounder, and two large
swivels, with several pistols, cutlasses, and eight large boats, were
captured. A cave, about 150 feet deep, was discovered, near where the
houses were, and after considerable difficulty, a party of seamen got to
the bottom, where was found an immense quantity of plunder, consisting
of broadcloths, dry goods, female dresses, saddlery, &c. Many human
bones were also in the cave, supposed to have been unfortunate persons
who were taken and put to death. A great many of the articles were
brought away, and the rest destroyed. About forty pirates escaped to the
heights, but many were supposed to have been killed from the fire of the
schooners, as well as from the men who landed. The bushes were so thick
that it was impossible to go after them. Several other caves are in the
neighborhood, in which it was conjectured they occasionally take

In 1823, Commodore Porter commanded the United States squadron in these
seas; much good was done in preventing new acts of piracy; but these
wretches kept aloof and did not venture to sea as formerly, but some
were taken.

Almost every day furnished accounts evincing the activity of Commodore
Porter, and the officers and men under his command; but for a long time
their industry and zeal was rather shown in the _suppression_ of piracy
than the _punishment_ of it. At length, however, an opportunity offered
for inflicting the latter, as detailed in the following letter, dated
Matanzas, July 10, 1823.

"I have the pleasure of informing you of a brilliant achievement
obtained against the pirates on the 5th inst. by two barges attached to
Commodore Porter's squadron, the Gallinipper, Lieut. Watson, 18 men, and
the Moscheto, Lieut. Inman, 10 men. The barges were returning from a
cruise to windward; when they were near Jiguapa Bay, 13 leagues to
windward of Matanzas, they entered it--it being a rendezvous for
pirates. They immediately discovered a large schooner under way, which
they supposed to be a Patriot privateer; and as their stores were nearly
exhausted, they hoped to obtain some supplies from her. They therefore
made sail in pursuit. When they were within cannon shot distance, she
rounded to and fired her long gun, at the same time run up the bloody
flag, directing her course towards the shore, and continuing to fire
without effect. When she had got within a short distance of the shore,
she came to, with springs on her cable, continuing to fire; and when the
barges were within 30 yards, they fired their muskets without touching
boat or man; our men gave three cheers, and prepared to board; the
pirates, discovering their intention, jumped into the water, when the
bargemen, calling on the name of 'Allen,' commenced a destructive
slaughter, killing them in the water and as they landed. So exasperated
were our men, that it was impossible for their officers to restrain
them, and many were killed after orders were given to grant quarter.
Twenty-seven dead were counted, some sunk, five taken prisoners by the
bargemen, and eight taken by a party of Spaniards on shore. The officers
calculated that from 30 to 35 were killed. The schooner mounted a long
nine pounder on a pivot, and 4 four pounders, with every other necessary
armament, and a crew of 50 to 60 men, and ought to have blown the barges
to atoms. She was commanded by the notorious Diableto or Little Devil.
This statement I have from Lieut. Watson himself, and it is certainly
the most decisive operation that has been effected against those
murderers, either by the English or American force."

[Illustration: _The Pirates fire into Lieut. Kearney's boat, while
reconnoitering the shore._]

"This affair occurred on the same spot where the brave Allen fell about
one year since. The prize was sent to Thompson's Island."

A British sloop of war, about the same time, captured a pirate schooner
off St. Domingo, with a crew of 60 men. She had 200,000 dollars in
specie, and other valuable articles on board. The brig Vestal sent
another pirate schooner to New-Providence.


This John Rackam, as has been reported in the foregoing pages, was
quarter-master to Vane's company, till the crew were divided, and Vane
turned out of it for refusing to board a French man-of-war, Rackam being
voted captain of the division that remained in the brigantine. The 24th
of November 1718, was the first day of his command; his first cruise was
among the Carribbee Islands, where he took and plundered several

We have already taken notice, that when Captain Woods Rogers went to the
island of Providence with the king's pardon to such of the pirates as
should surrender, this brigantine, which Rackam commanded, made its
escape through another passage, bidding defiance to the mercy that was

To the windward of Jamaica, a Madeira-man fell into the pirate's way,
which they detained two or three days, till they had their market out of
her, and then they gave her back to the master, and permitted one Hosea
Tidsel, a tavern keeper at Jamaica, who had been picked up in one of
their prizes, to depart in her, she being bound for that island.

After this cruise they went into a small island, and cleaned, and spent
their Christmas ashore, drinking and carousing as long as they had any
liquor left, and then went to sea again for more. They succeeded but too
well, though they took no extraordinary prize for above two months,
except a ship laden with convicts from Newgate, bound for the
plantations, which in a few days was retaken, with all her cargo, by an
English man-of-war that was stationed in those seas.

Rackam stood towards the island of Bermuda, and took a ship bound to
England from Carolina, and a small pink from New England, both of which
he brought to the Bahama Islands, where, with the pitch, tar and stores
they cleaned again, and refitted their own vessel; but staying too long
in that neighborhood, Captain Rogers, who was Governor of Providence,
hearing of these ships being taken, sent out a sloop well manned and
armed, which retook both the prizes, though in the mean while the pirate
had the good fortune to escape.

From hence they sailed to the back of Cuba, where Rackam kept a little
kind of a family, at which place they stayed a considerable time, living
ashore with their Delilahs, till their money and provisions were
expended, and they concluded it time to look out for more. They repaired
their vessel, and were making ready to put to sea, when a guarda de
costa came in with a small English sloop, which she had taken as an
interloper on the coast. The Spanish guard-ship attacked the pirate, but
Rackam being close in behind a little island, she could do but little
execution where she lay; the Dons therefore warped into the channel that
evening, in order to make sure of her the next morning. Rackam finding
his case desperate, and that there was hardly any possibility of
escaping, resolved to attempt the following enterprise. The Spanish
prize lying for better security close into the land, between the little
island and the Main, our desperado took his crew into the boat with
their cutlasses, rounded the little island, and fell aboard their prize
silently in the dead of the night without being discovered, telling the
Spaniards that were aboard her, that if they spoke a word, or made the
least noise, they were all dead men; and so they became masters of her.
When this was done he slipped her cable, and drove out to sea. The
Spanish man-of-war was so intent upon their expected prize, that they
minded nothing else, and as soon as day broke, they made a furious fire
upon the empty sloop; but it was not long before they were rightly
apprised of the matter, when they cursed themselves sufficiently for a
company of fools, to be bit out of a good rich prize, as she proved to
be, and to have nothing but an old crazy hull in the room of her.

Rackam and his crew had no occasion to be displeased at the exchange, as
it enabled them to continue some time longer in a way of life that
suited their depraved minds. In August 1720, we find him at sea again,
scouring the harbours and inlets of the north and west parts of Jamaica,
where he took several small crafts, which proved no great booty to the
rovers; but they had but few men, and therefore were obliged to run at
low game till they could increase their company and their strength.

In the beginning of September, they took seven or eight fishing boats in
Harbour Island, stole their nets and other tackle, and then went off to
the French part of Hispaniola, where they landed, and took the cattle
away, with two or three Frenchmen whom they found near the water-side,
hunting wild hogs in the evening. The Frenchmen came on board, whether
by consent or compulsion is not certainly known. They afterwards
plundered two sloops, and returned to Jamaica, on the north coast of
which island, near Porto Maria Bay, they took a schooner, Thomas
Spenlow, master, it being then the 19th of October. The next day Rackam
seeing a sloop in Dry Harbour Bay, stood in and fired a gun; the men all
ran ashore, and he took the sloop and lading; but when those ashore
found that they were pirates, they hailed the sloop, and let them know
they were all willing to come on board of them.

Rackam's coasting the island in this manner proved fatal to him; for
intelligence of his expedition came to the governor by a canoe which he
had surprised ashore in Ocho Bay: upon this a sloop was immediately
fitted out, and sent round the island in quest of him, commanded by
Captain Barnet, and manned with a good number of hands. Rackam, rounding
the island, and drawing round the western point, called Point Negril,
saw a small pettiaga, which, at the sight of the sloop, ran ashore and
landed her men, when one of them hailed her. Answer was made that they
were Englishmen, and begged the pettiaga's men to come on board and
drink a bowl of punch, which they prevailed upon them to do.
Accordingly, the company, in an evil hour, came all aboard of the
pirate, consisting of nine persons; they were armed with muskets and
cutlasses, but what was their real design in so doing we will not
pretend to say. They had no sooner laid down their arms and taken up
their pipes, than Barnet's sloop, which was in pursuit of Rackam's, came
in sight.

The pirates, finding she stood directly towards them, feared the event,
and weighed their anchor, which they had but lately let go, and stood
off. Captain Barnet gave them chase, and, having advantage of little
breezes of wind which blew off the land, came up with her, and brought
her into Port Royal, in Jamaica.

About a fortnight after the prisoners were brought ashore, viz. November
16, 1720, Captain Rackam and eight of his men were condemned and
executed. Captain Rackam and two others were hung in chains.

But what was very surprising, was the conviction of the nine men that
came aboard the sloop on the same day she was taken. They were tried at
an adjournment of the court on the 24th of January, the magistracy
waiting all that time, it is supposed, for evidence to prove the
piratical intention of going aboard the said sloop; for it seems there
was no act or piracy committed by them, as appeared by the witnesses
against them, two Frenchmen, taken by Rackam off the island of
Hispaniola, who merely deposed that the prisoners came on board without
any compulsion.

The court considered the prisoners' cases, and the majority of the
commissioners being of opinion that they were all guilty of the piracy
and felony they were charged with, viz. the going over with a piratical
intent to John Rackam, &c. then notorious pirates, and by them known to
be so, they all received sentence of death, and were executed on the
17th of February at Gallows Point at Port Royal.

Nor holy bell, nor pastoral bleat,
In former days within the vale.
Flapped in the bay the pirate's sheet,
Curses were on the gale;
Rich goods lay on the sand, and murdered men,
Pirate and wreckers kept their revels there.



This female pirate was a native of Cork. Her father was an attorney,
and, by his activity in business, rose to considerable respectability in
that place. Anne was the fruit of an unlawful connexion with his own
servant maid, with whom he afterwards eloped to America, leaving his own
affectionate and lawful wife. He settled at Carolina, and for some time
followed his own profession; but soon commenced merchant, and was so
successful as to purchase a considerable plantation. There he lived with
his servant in the character of his wife; but she dying, his daughter
Anne superintended the domestic affairs of her father.

During her residence with her parent she was supposed to have a
considerable fortune, and was accordingly addressed by young men of
respectable situations in life. It happened with Anne, however, as with
many others of her youth and sex, that her feelings, and not her
interest, determined her choice of a husband. She married a young sailor
without a shilling. The avaricious father was so enraged, that, deaf to
the feelings of a parent, he turned his own child out of doors. Upon
this cruel usage, and the disappointment of her fortune, Anne and her
husband sailed for the island of Providence, in the hope of gaining

Acting a part very different from that of Mary Read, Anne's affections
were soon estranged from her husband by Captain Rackam; and eloping with
him, she went to sea in men's clothes. Proving with child, the captain
put her on shore, and entrusted her to the care of some friends until
her recovery, when she again accompanied him in his expeditions.

Upon the king's proclamation offering a pardon to all pirates, he
surrendered, and went into the privateering business, as we have related
before: he, however, soon embraced an opportunity to return to his
favorite employment. In all his piratical exploits Anne accompanied him;
and, as we have already recorded, displayed such courage and
intrepidity, that she, along with Mary Read and a seaman, were the last
three who remained on board when the vessel was taken.

Anne was known to many of the planters in Jamaica, who remembered to
have seen her in her father's house, and they were disposed to intercede
in her behalf. Her unprincipled conduct, in leaving her own husband and
forming an illicit connexion with Rackam, tended, however, to render her
friends less active. By a special favor, Rackam was permitted to visit
her the day before he was executed; but, instead of condoling with him
on account of his sad fate, she only observed, that she was sorry to see
him there, but if he had fought like a man he needed not have been
hanged like a dog. Being with child, she remained in prison until her
recovery, was reprieved from time to time, and though we cannot
communicate to our readers any particulars of her future life, or the
manner of her death, yet it is certain that she was not executed.


The attention of our readers is now to be directed to the history of two
female pirates,--a history which is chiefly remarkable from the
extraordinary circumstance of the softer sex assuming a character
peculiarly distinguished for every vice that can disgrace humanity, and
at the same time for the exertion of the most daring, though brutal,

Mary Read was a native of England, but at what place she was born is not
recorded. Her mother married a sailor when she was very young, who, soon
after their marriage, went to sea, and never returned. The fruit of that
marriage was a sprightly boy. The husband not returning, she again found
herself with child, and to cover her shame, took leave of her husband's
relations, and went to live in the country, taking her boy along with
her. Her son in a short time died, and she was relieved from the burden
of his maintenance and education. The mother had not resided long in the
country before Mary Read, the subject of the present narrative, was

After the birth of Mary, her mother resided in the country for three or
four years, until her money was all spent, and her ingenuity was set at
work to contrive how to obtain a supply. She knew that her husband's
mother was in good circumstances, and could easily support her child,
provided she could make her pass for a boy, and her son's child. But it
seemed impossible to impose upon an old experienced mother. She,
however, presented Mary in the character of her grandson. The old woman
proposed to take the boy to live with her, but the mother would not on
any account part with her boy; the grandmother, therefore, allowed a
crown per week for his support.

The ingenuity of the mother being successful, she reared the daughter as
a boy. But as she grew up, she informed her of the secret of her birth,
in order that she might conceal her sex. The grandmother, however,
dying, the support from that quarter failed, and she was obliged to hire
her out as a footboy to a French lady. The strength and manly
disposition of this supposed boy increased with her years, and leaving
that servile employment, she engaged on board a man-of-war.

The volatile disposition of the youth did not permit her to remain long
in this station, and she next went into Flanders, and joined a regiment
of foot as a cadet. Though in every action she conducted herself with
the greatest bravery, yet she could not obtain a commission, as they
were in general bought and sold. She accordingly quitted that service,
and enlisted into a regiment of horse; there she behaved herself so
valiantly, that she gained the esteem of all her officers. It, however,
happened, that her comrade was a handsome young Fleming, and she fell
passionately in love with him. The violence of her feelings rendered her
negligent of her duty, and effected such a change in her behaviour as
attracted the attention of all. Both her comrade and the rest of the
regiment deemed her mad. Love, however, is inventive, and as they slept
in the same tent, she found means to discover her sex without any
seeming design. He was both surprised and pleased, supposing that he
would have a mistress to himself; but he was greatly mistaken, and he
found that it was necessary to court her for his wife. A mutual
attachment took place, and, as soon as convenient, women's clothes were
provided for her, and they were publicly married.

The singularity of two troopers marrying caused a general conversation,
and many of the officers honored the ceremony with their presence, and
resolved to make presents to the bride, to provide her with necessaries.
After marriage they were desirous to quit the service, and their
discharge being easily obtained, they set up an ordinary under the sign
of the "Three Shoes," and soon acquired a considerable run of business.

But Mary Read's felicity was of short duration; the husband died, and
peace being concluded, her business diminished. Under these
circumstances she again resumed her man's dress, and going into Holland,
enlisted into a regiment of foot quartered in one of the frontier towns.
But there being no prospect of preferment in time of peace, she went on
board a vessel bound for the West Indies.

During the voyage, the vessel was captured by English pirates, and as
Mary was the only English person on board, they detained her, and having
plundered the vessel of what they chose, allowed it to depart. Mary
continued in that unlawful commerce for some time, but the royal pardon
being tendered to all those in the West Indies, who should, before a
specified day, surrender, the crew to which she was attached, availed
themselves of this, and lived quietly on shore with the fruits of their
adventures. But from the want of their usual supplies, their money
became exhausted; and being informed that Captain Rogers, in the island
of Providence, was fitting out some vessels for privateering, Mary, with
some others, repaired to that island to serve on board his privateers.
We have already heard, that scarcely had the ships sailed, when some of
their crews mutinied, and ran off with the ships, to pursue their former
mode of life. Among these was Mary Read. She indeed, frequently
declared, that the life of a pirate was what she detested, and that she
was constrained to it both on the former and present occasion. It was,
however, sufficiently ascertained, that both Mary Read and Anne Bonney
were among the bravest and most resolute fighters of the whole crew;
that when the vessel was taken, these two heroines, along with another
of the pirates, were the last three upon deck; and that Mary, having in
vain endeavored to rouse the courage of the crew, who had fled below,
discharged a pistol amongst them, killing one and wounding another.

Nor was Mary less modest than brave; for though she had remained many
years in the character of a sailor, yet no one had discovered her sex,
until she was under the necessity of doing so to Anne Bonney. The reason
of this was, that Anne, supposing her to be a handsome fellow, became
greatly enamored of her, and discovered her sex and wishes to Mary, who
was thus constrained to reveal her secret to Anne. Rackam being the
paramour of Bonney, and observing her partiality towards Mary,
threatened to shoot her lover; so that to prevent any mischief, Anne
also informed the captain of the sex of her companion.

Rackam was enjoined to secrecy, and here he behaved honorably; but love
again assailed the conquered Mary. It was usual with the pirates to
retain all the artists who were captured in the trading-vessels; among
these was a very handsome young man, of engaging manners, who vanquished
the heart of Mary. In a short time her love became so violent, that she
took every opportunity of enjoying his company and conversation; and,
after she had gained his friendship, discovered her sex. Esteem and
friendship were speedily converted into the most ardent affection, and a
mutual flame burned in the hearts of these two lovers. An occurrence
soon happened that put the attachment of Mary to a severe trial. Her
lover having quarrelled with one of the crew, they agreed to fight a
duel on shore. Mary was all anxiety for the fate of her lover, and she
manifested a greater concern for the preservation of his life than that
of her own; but she could not entertain the idea that he could refuse to
fight, and so be esteemed a coward. Accordingly she quarrelled with the
man who challenged her lover, and called him to the field two hours
before his appointment with her lover, engaged him with sword and
pistol, and laid him dead at her feet.

Though no esteem or love had formerly existed, this action was
sufficient to have kindled the most violent flame. But this was not
necessary, for the lover's attachment was equal, if not stronger than
her own; they pledged their faith, which was esteemed as binding as if
the ceremony had been performed by a clergyman.

Captain Rackam one day, before he knew that she was a woman, asked her
why she followed a line of life that exposed her to so much danger, and
at last to the certainty of being hanged. She replied, that, "As to
hanging, she thought it no great hardship, for were it not for that,
every cowardly fellow would turn pirate, and so infest the seas; and men
of courage would starve. That if it was put to her choice, she would not
have the punishment less than death, the fear of which kept some
dastardly rogues honest; that many of those who are now cheating the
widows and orphans, and oppressing their poor neighbors who have no
money to obtain justice, would then rob at sea, and the ocean would be
as crowded with rogues as the land: so that no merchants would venture
out, and the trade in a little time would not be worth following."

Being with child at the time of her trial, her execution was delayed;
and it is probable that she would have found favor, but in the mean time
she fell sick and died.

Mary Read was of a strong and robust constitution, capable of enduring
much exertion and fatigue. She was vain and bold in her disposition, but
susceptible of the tenderest emotions, and of the most melting
affections. Her conduct was generally directed by virtuous principles,
while at the same time, she was violent in her attachments. Though she
was inadvertently drawn into that dishonorable mode of life which has
stained her character, and given her a place among the criminals noticed
in this work, yet she possessed a rectitude of principle and of conduct,
far superior to many who have not been exposed to such temptations to
swerve from the path of female virtue and honor.

[Illustration: _Mary Read kills her antagonist._]


_Containing accounts of the cruelties and atrocities of the Barbary
Corsairs, with narratives of the expeditions sent against them, and the
final capture of Algiers by the French in_ 1830.

That former den of pirates, the city of Algiers is situated on the
shores of a pretty deep bay, by which the northern coast of Africa, is
here indented, and may be said to form an irregular triangular figure,
the base line of which abuts on the sea, while the apex is formed by the
Cassaubah, or citadel, which answered the double purpose of a fort to
defend and awe the city, and a palace for the habitation of the Dey and
his court. The hill on which the city is built, slopes rather rapidly
upwards, so that every house is visible from the sea, in consequence of
which it was always sure to suffer severely from a bombardment. The top
of the hill has an elevation of nearly five hundred feet, and exactly at
this point is built the citadel; the whole town lying between it and the
sea. The houses of Algiers have no roofs, but are all terminated by
terraces, which are constantly whitewashed; and as the exterior walls,
the fort, the batteries and the walls are similarly beautified, the
whole city, from a distance, looks not unlike a vast chalk quarry opened
on the side of a hill.

The fortifications towards the sea are of amasing strength, and with the
additions made since Lord Exmouth's attack, may be considered as almost
impregnable. They occupy the entire of a small island, which lies a
short distance in front of the city, to which it is connected at one
end by a magnificent mole of solid masonry, while the other which
commands the entrance of the port, is crowned with a battery, bristling
with cannon of immense calibre, which would instantly sink any vessel
which should now attempt to occupy the station taken by the Queen
Charlotte on that memorable occasion.

On the land side, the defences are by no means of equal strength, as
they were always considered rather as a shelter against an
insurrectionary movement of the natives, than as intended to repulse the
regular attacks of a disciplined army. In fact defences on this side
would be of little use as the city is completely commanded by different
hills, particularly that on which the Emperor's fort is built, and was
obliged instantly to capitulate, as soon as this latter had fallen into
the hands of the French, in 1830.

There are four gates; one opening on the mole, which is thence called
the marine gate, one near the citadel, which is termed the new gate; and
the other two, at the north and south sides of the city, with the
principal street running between them. All these gates are strongly
fortified, and outside the three land gates run the remains of a ditch,
which once surrounded the city, but is now filled up except at these
points. The streets of Algiers are all crooked, and all narrow. The best
are scarcely twelve feet in breadth, and even half of this is occupied
by the projections of the shops, or the props placed to support the
first stories of the houses, which are generally made to advance beyond
the lower, insomuch that in many places a laden mule can scarcely pass.
Of public buildings, the most remarkable is the Cassaubah, or citadel,
the situation of which we have already mentioned. It is a huge, heavy
looking brick building, of a square shape, surrounded by high and
massive walls, and defended by fifty pieces of cannon, and some mortars,
so placed as equally to awe the city and country. The apartments set
apart for the habitation of the Dey and the ladies of his harem, are
described as extremely magnificent, and abundantly supplied with marble
pillars, fountains, mirrors, carpets, ottomans, cushions, and other
articles of oriental luxury; but there are others no less valuable and
curious, such as the armory, furnished with weapons of every kind, of
the finest manufacture, and in the greatest abundance, the treasury,
containing not only a profusion of the precious metals, coined or in
ingots, but also diamonds, pearls, rubies, and other precious stones of
great value; and lastly, the store rooms of immense extent, in which
were piled up the richest silk stuffs, velvets, brocades, together with
wool, wax, sugar, iron, lead, sabre-blades, gun barrels, and all the
different productions of the Algerine territories; for the Dey was not
only the first robber but the first merchant in his own dominions.

Next to the Cassaubah, the mole with the marine forts, presented the
handsomest and most imposing pile of buildings. The mole is no less than
one thousand three hundred feet in length, forming a beautiful terrace
walk, supported by arches, beneath which lay splendid magazines, which
the French found filled with spars, hemp, cordage, cables, and all
manner of marine stores. At the extremity of the mole, lay the barracks
of the Janissaries, entrusted with the defence of the marine forts, and
consisting of several small separate chambers, in which they each slept
on sheepskin mats, while in the centre was a handsome coffee-room. The
Bagnios were the buildings, in which Europeans for a long time felt the
most interest, inasmuch as it was in these that the Christian slaves
taken by the corsairs were confined. For many years previous to the
French invasion, however, the number of prisoners had been so trifling,
that many of these terrific buildings had fallen to decay, and
presented, when the French army entered Algiers, little more than piles
of mouldering ruins. The inmates of the Bagnio when taken by the French
were the crews of two French brigs, which a short time before had been
wrecked off Cape Bingut, a few French prisoners of war made during
their advance, and about twenty Greek, and Genoese sailors, who had been
there for two years; in all about one hundred and twenty. They
represented their condition as bad, though by no means so deplorable as
it would have been in former days. The prison was at first so close,
that there was some danger of suffocation, to avoid which the Turks had
made holes in the walls; but as they neglected to supply these with
windows or shutters of any kind, there was no means of excluding wind or
rain, from which consequently they often suffered.

[Illustration: _On board an Algerine corsair._]

We shall only trace these pirates back to about the year 1500, when
Selim, king of Algiers, being invaded by the Spaniards, at last
entreated the assistance of the famous corsair, Oruj Reis, better known
by his European name, Barbarossa, composed of two Italian words,
signifying _red beard_. Nothing could be more agreeable than the number
and hardihood of his naval exploits, had been such an invitation to this
ambitious robber, who elated by for some time considering how he might
best establish his power by land. Accordingly, attended by five thousand
picked men, he entered Algiers, made himself master of the town,
assassinated Selim, and had himself proclaimed king in his stead; and
thus was established that nest of pirates, fresh swarms from which never
ceased to annoy Christian commerce and enslave Christian mariners, until
its late final destruction, by the French expedition in 1830.

In a piratical career of many centuries, the countless thousands who
have been taken, enslaved, and perished in bondage by these monsters
should long ago have drawn upon them the united vengeance of all
Christendom. Many a youth of family and fortune, of delicate
constitution has been captured and sold in the slave market. His labor
through the long hot days would be to cleanse out the foul bed of some
large empty reservoir, where he would be made to strip, and descending
into the pond, bring up in his arms the black stinking mud, heaped up
and pressed against his bosom; or to labor in drawing huge blocks of
stone to build the mole; or in building and repairing the
fortifications, with numerous other painful and disgusting tasks. The
only food was a scanty supply of black bread, and occasionally a few
decayed olives, or sheep which had died from some disorder. At night
they were crowded into that most horrid of prisons the Bagnio, to sleep
on a little filthy straw, amidst the most noisome stenches. Their limbs
in chains, and often receiving the lash. Occasionally an individual
would be ransomed; when his story would draw tears of pity from all who
heard it. Ladies were frequently taken by these monsters and treated in
the most inhuman manner. And sometimes whole families were enslaved.
Numerous facts, of the most heart-rending description are on record: but
our limits oblige us to be brief.

A Spanish lady, the wife of an officer, with her son, a youth of
fourteen, and her daughter, six years old, were taken in a Spanish
vessel by the Algerines. The barbarians treated her and both her
children with the greatest inhumanity. The eldest they kept in chains;
and the defenceless little one they wantonly treated so ill, that the
unhappy mother was often nearly deprived of her reason at the blows her
infant received from these wretches, who plundered them of every thing.
They kept them many days at sea on hard and scanty fare, covered only
with a few soiled rags; and in this state brought them to Algiers. They
had been long confined in a dreadful dungeon in the Bagnio where the
slaves are kept, when a messenger was sent to the Aga, or Captain of the
Bagnio, for a female slave. It fortunately fell to the lot of the
Spanish lady, but at the instant when she was embracing her son, who was
tearing himself from his mother with haggard and disordered looks, to go
to his imperious drivers; and while in despair she gazed on her little
worn-out infant, she heard herself summoned to attend the guard of the
prison to a family that had sent for a female slave. She obtained
permission to take her little daughter with her. She dreaded being
refused, and sent back to the horrid dungeon she was leaving where no
difference was paid to rank, and slaves of all conditions were huddled
together. She went therefore prepared to accept of anything short of
these sufferings. She was refused, as being in every respect opposite to
the description of the person sent for. At length her entreaties and
tears prevailed; compassion overruled every obstacle; and she, with her
little girl, was accepted. But there remained another difficulty; she
had left her son chained in the midst of that dungeon from which she had
just been rescued. Her kind patrons soon learned the cause of her
distress; but to send for the youth and treat him kindly, or in any way
above that of a common slave, must hazard the demand of so large a
ransom for him and his mother, as would forever preclude the hope of
liberty. He was, however, sent for, and the menial offices they were
both engaged to perform were only nominal. With circumspection the whole
family were sheltered in this manner for three years; when the war with
the Spaniards growing more inveterate, the Algerines demanded the youth
back to the Bagnio, to work in common with the other slaves, in
repairing the damages done to the fortresses by the Spanish cannon. He
was now compelled to go, loaded with heavy stones, through the whole of
the town; and at almost every step he received dreadful blows, not being
able to hasten his pace from the great weight.

Overcome at last with ill usage, the delicacy of his form and
constitution gave way to the excessive labor, and he one morning refused
the orders of his master, or driver, to rise from the straw on which he
was stretched, declaring they might kill him if they chose, for he would
not even try to carry another load of stones. Repeated messages had
been sent from the Venetian consul's, where his mother and sister were
sheltered, to the Aga, to return him; and when the Algerines found that
they had absolutely reduced him so near death, they thought it best to
spare his life for the sake of future ransom. They agreed, therefore, to
let him return to the Christians. His life was for some time despaired
of; but through the kind attention he received, he was rescued from the
threatened dissolution. His recovery was concealed, for fear of his
being demanded back to work; and a few months after, the Spanish peace
of 1784 being concluded, a ransom was accepted by the Algerines for this
suffering family, and they were set at liberty.

These pirates in old times extended their depredations into the Atlantic
as far as the British Channel. They swarmed in the Mediterranean, not
only belonging to Algiers, but Tunis, and other ports on the coast of
Barbary. Their corsairs making descents on the coasts of those countries
which border on the Mediterranean, pillaging the villages and carrying
off the inhabitants into slavery. The corsairs were vessels of different
descriptions; some large armed ships, and latterly frigates; others were
row gallies and the various craft used by the nations which navigate
that sea, and had been taken by them and added to their marine. Upon the
slaves being landed at Algiers they were marched to the Dey's or
Bashaw's palace, when he selected the number which according to law
belonged to him; and the rest were sold in the slave market to the
highest bidder. A moiety of the plunder, cargoes and vessels taken also
belonged to the Dey. Occasionally, a person by pretending to renounce
his religion, and turning Mahometan would have his sufferings mitigated.

The most desperate attempts were sometimes made to effect an escape from
these ruthless monsters, which occasionally succeeded.

In 1644 William Oakley and four companions escaped from Algiers, in a
most miraculous manner, in a canvas boat. There was at this time an
English clergyman, Mr. Sprat, in captivity, and the wretched slaves had
the privilege of meeting in a cellar, where he would pray with them.
Oakley had got into the good graces of his master, and was allowed his
time by giving his master two dollars a month. He traded in tobacco and
a few trifling articles, so that a strict watch was not kept on his
movements. He conceived the project of making a canvas boat. He says I
now first opened my design to my comrades, informing them, that I had
contrived the model of a boat, which, being formed in pieces, and
afterwards put together, might be the means of our deliverance. They
greedily grasped at the prospect; but cooler reflection pointed out
difficulties innumerable: some of them started objections which they
thought insuperable, and these I endeavored to overrule.

We began our work in the cellar which had served for our devotions,
though it was not the sanctity of the place, but its privacy, that
induced us to this selection. We first provided a piece of wood, twelve
feet long, and, that it might escape observation, it was cut in two,
being jointed in the middle. Next we procured the timbers of ribs,
which, to avoid the same hazard, were in three pieces each, and jointed
in two places. The flat side of one of the two pieces was laid over the
other, and two holes bored in every joint to receive nails; so that when
united, each joint would make an obtuse angle, and approach towards a
semicircular figure, as we required. We had, in the formation of an
external covering, to avoid hammering and nailing, which would have made
such a noise in the cellar as to attract the notice of the Algerines,
who are insufferably suspicious about their wives and slaves. Therefore,
we provided as much canvas as would cover the boat twice over, and as
much pitch, tar and tallow, as would make it a kind of tarpaulin; as
also earthen pots in which to melt our materials. The two carpenters and
myself were appointed to this service in the cellar. We stopped up all
chinks and crevices, that the fumes of these substances might not betray
us. But we had not been long at work, when the smell of the melting
materials overcame me, and obligated me to go into the streets gasping
for breath, where meeting with the cool air, I swooned away, and broke
my face in the fall. My companions, finding me in this plight, carried
me back, extremely sick and unserviceable. Before long, I heard one of
them complain of sickness, and thus he could proceed no further;
therefore, I saw if we abandoned our project this night, it might not be
resumed, which made me resolve to set the cellar door wide open, while I
stood sentinel to give notice of approaching danger. In this way we
finished the whole, and then carried it to my shop, which was about a
furlong distant.

Every thing was fitted in the cellar, the timbers to the keel, the
canvas to the timbers, and the seats to the whole, and then all were
taken to pieces again. It was a matter of difficulty, however, to get
the pieces conveyed out of the city; but William Adams carried the keel,
and hid it at the bottom of a hedge: the rest was carried away with
similar precautions. As I was carrying a piece of canvas, which we had
bought for a sail, I looked back, and discovered the same spy, who had
formerly given us much trouble, following behind. This gave me no small
concern; but, observing an Englishman washing clothes by the sea side, I
desired his help in washing the canvas. Just as we were engaged with it,
the spy came up, and stood on a rock exactly over our heads, to watch
us. Therefore, to delude him, I took the canvas and spread it before his
face on the top of the rock to dry; he staid his own time, and then
marched off. Still I was jealous of his intentions, which induced me to
carry the canvas, when dry, straight back to the city, an incident that
greatly discouraged my comrades. We also procured a small quantity of
provisions, and two goat skins full of fresh water.

In the mean time, I paid my patron my wonted visits, kept up a fair
correspondence, and duly gave him his demands; while I secretly turned
all my goods to ready money as fast as I could, and putting it into a
trunk with a false bottom, I committed it to the charge of Mr. Sprat who
faithfully preserved it for me.

The place which we chose for joining the boat together was a hill about
half a mile from the city, thinking by that means the better to descry
the approach of danger. When the pieces were united, and the canvas
drawn on, four of our number carried the boat down to the sea, where,
stripping ourselves naked, and putting our clothes within, we carried it
as far as we could wade, lest it might be injured by the stones or rocks
near the shore. But we soon discovered that our calculations of lading
were erroneous; for no sooner had we embarked, than the water came in
over the sides, and she was like to sink; so that some new device became
necessary. At last, one whose heart most failed him was willing to be
excluded, and wished rather to hazard the uncertain torments of land,
than the certainty of being drowned at sea. However the boat was still
so deeply laden, that we all concluded that it was impossible to venture
to sea. At length another went ashore, and she held her head stoutly,
and seemed sufficiently capable of our voyage.

Taking a solemn farewell of our two companions left behind, and wishing
them as much happiness as could be hoped for in slavery, and they to us
as long life as could be expected by men going to their graves, we
launched out on the 30th of June 1644, a night ever to be remembered.
Our company consisted of John Anthony, William Adams, John Jephs, John
the carpenter and myself. We now put to sea, without helm, tackle, or
compass. Four of us continually labored at the oars; the employment of
the fifth was baling out the water that leaked through the canvas. We
struggled hard the first night to get out of the reach of our old
masters; but when the day broke, we were still within sight of their
ships in the haven and road-stead. Yet, out boat being small, and lying
close and snug upon the sea, either was not discovered at all, or else
seemed something that was not worth taking up.

On all occasions we found our want of foresight, for now the bread which
had lain soaking in the salt water, was quite spoiled, and the tanned
skins imparted a nauseous quality to the fresh water. So long as bread
was bread, we made no complaints; with careful economy it lasted three
days, but then pale famine, which is the most horrible shape in which
death can be painted, began to stare us in the face. The expedients on
which we fell to assuage our thirst rather inflamed it, and several
things added to our distress. For some time the wind was right against
us; our labour was incessant, for, although much rowing did not carry us
forward, still, cessation of it drove us back; and the season was raging
hot, which rendered our toil insupportable. One small alleviation we had
in the man whose province it was to bale the water out of the boat; he
threw it on our bodies to cool them. However, what with the scorching of
the sun and cooling of the water, our skin was blistered all over. By
day we were stark naked; by night we had on shirts or loose coats; for
we had left our clothing ashore, on purpose to lighten the boat.

One of our number had a pocket dial, which supplied the place of a
compass; and, to say the truth, was not ill befitting such a vessel and
such mariners. By its aid we steered our course by day, while the stars
served as a guide by night; and, if they were obscured, we guessed our
way by the motion of the clouds. In this woful plight we continued four
days and nights. On the fifth day we were at the brink of despair, and
abandoned all hopes of safety. Thence we ceased our labor, and laid
aside our oars; for, either we had no strength left to use them, or were
reluctant to waste the little we had to no purpose. Still we kept
emptying the boat, loth to drown, loth to die, yet knowing no means to
avoid death.

They that act least commonly wish the most; and, when we had forsaken
useful labor, we resorted to fruitless wishes--that we might be taken up
by some ship, if it were but a ship, no matter of what country.

While we lay hulling up and down, our hopes at so low an ebb, we
discovered a tortoise, not far from us, asleep in the sea. Had the great
Drake discovered the Spanish plate fleet, he could not have been more
rejoiced. Once again we bethought ourselves of our oars, and silently
rowing to our prey, took it into the boat in great triumph. Having cut
off its head, and let it bleed in a vessel, we drank the blood, ate the
liver, and sucked the flesh. Our strength and spirits were wonderfully
refreshed, and our work was vigorously renewed. Leaving our fears behind
us, we began to gather hope, and, about noon, discovered, or thought
that we discovered, land. It is impossible to describe our joy and
triumph on this occasion. It was new life to us; it brought fresh blood
into our veins, and fresh vigor into our pale cheeks: we looked like
persons raised from the dead. After further exertion, becoming more
confident, we were at last fully satisfied that it was land. Now, like
distracted persons, we all leapt into the sea, and, being good swimmers,
cooled our parched bodies, never considering that we might become a
ready prey to the sharks. But we presently returned to our boat, and
from being wearied with the exertion, and somewhat cooled by the sea,
lay down to sleep with as much security as if it had been in our beds.
It was fortunately of such short duration that the leaking of the boat
occasioned no danger.

Refreshed by sleep, we found new strength for our work, and tugged hard
at the oar, in hopes of reaching a more stable element before night. But
our progress was very slow. Towards evening an island was discovered,
which was Fromentere, having already seen Majorca; at least, some of our
company, who had navigated these seas, declared that it was so. We
debated long to which of the two our course should be directed; and,
because the last discovered was much infested with venomous serpents, we
all resolved to make for Majorca. The whole of that night we rowed very
hard, and also the next, being the sixth from our putting to sea. The
island was in sight all day, and about ten at night we came under the
land, but it consisted of rocks so steep and craggy that we could not
climb up.

Whilst under these rocks a vessel approached very near. Let the reader
conceive our apprehensions, after all our toil and labor, of being
seized by some Turkish privateer, such as are never off the seas. Thus
we were obliged to lie close; and, when the vessel had passed, we crept
gently along the coast, as near as we durst to the shore, until finding
a suitable place to receive our weather-beaten boat.

We were not insensible of our deliverance on reaching land; though, like
men just awakened from a dream, we could not duly appreciate the
greatness of it. Having had no food since we got the tortoise, John
Anthony and myself set out in search of fresh water, and three remained
with the boat. Before proceeding far, we found ourselves in a wood,
which created great embarrassment. My comrade wished to go one way, and
I wished to go another. How frail and impotent a being is man! That we,
whom common dangers by sea had united, should now fall out about our own
inclinations at land. Yet so we did. He gave me reproachful words; and
it is well that we did not come to blows, but I went my way, and he,
seeing me resolute, followed. The path led to one of those watchtowers
which the Spaniards keep on the coast to give timely notice of the
approach of privateers. Afraid of being fired on, we called to the
sentinel, informing him who we were, and earnestly requesting him to
direct us to fresh water, and to give us some bread. He very kindly
threw down an old mouldy cake, and directed us to a well close at hand.
We drank a little water, and ate a bit of the cake, which we had
difficulty in swallowing, and then hastened to return to our companions
in the boat, to acquaint them with our success.

Though now necessary to leave the boat, we did not do it without regret;
but this was lulled by the importunate cravings of hunger and thirst;
therefore, making her fast ashore, we departed. Advancing, or rather
crawling towards the well, another quarrel rose amongst us, the
remembrance of which is so ungrateful that I shall bury it in silence,
the best tomb for controversies. One of our company, William Adams, in
attempting to drink, was unable to swallow the water, and sunk to the
ground, faintly exclaiming, "I am a dead man!" After much straining and
forcing, he, at length, got a little over; and when we were all
refreshed with the cake and water, we lay down by the side of the well

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