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Pirate Imagery in the Rare Book Collection – Day 4

We are all gearing up for Pirates Pack the Park this weekend at The Mariners’ Museum and so I thought I’d share some of the Pirate treasures we have in the Library for each day leading up to the big event.

In The Pirates Own Book or authentic narratives of the lives, exploits, and executions of the most celebrated sea robbers, I’ll be sharing some of the illustrations and bits of history that still make the pirates from long ago so intriguing.

Here’s two for today:

Captain Mackra and the Pirate with a Wooden leg

An honorable pirate? That’s not the first adjective that comes to mind when thinking about them, but Captain Mackra did meet a crew of honorable pirates in 1720. In service to the East India Company, Mackra sought out to kill a group of pirates when he found out that they were rebuilding a vessel for their captain and 40 other mates. As the fight went on, he soon found himself outnumbered, exhausted and wounded as more and more pirate adversaries arrived. After hiding out for a few days, he learned of a $10,000 ransom offered by the pirates so he quickly spread rumors of his death. Upon realizing his increasingly dismal situation, Mackra accepted the assurance that he would be safe if he boarded their pirate ship to negotiate. He soon realized that he had sailed with many of the pirates in the past (which goes to show that connections matter if you happen to kill 90-100 pirates like Mackra).
This quote was also an interesting :
“A singular incident was also very favorable to the unfortunate captain. It happened that a pirate, with a prodigious pair of whiskers, a wooden leg , and stuck round with pistols, came blustering and swearing upon the quarterdeck, inquiring, “Where was Captain Mackra”. He naturally supposed that this barbarous-looking fellow would be his executioner; but, as he approached, he took the captain by the hand, swearing “that he was an honest fellow, and that he had formerly sailed with him, and would stand by him; and let him see the man that would touch him”.
The even funnier part?
“England now pressed Mackra to hasten away, lest the ruffian, upon his becoming sober, should not only retract his word, but give liberty to the crew to cut him and his men to pieces”.

The Algerians in the act of firing off the French consul from a mortar at the French fleet
This resource states that Algerian history features a constant stream of piracy.
In one example, the Algerians made their way along the coast of Province and committed the most dreadful ravages, killing, burning and destroying all that came in their way. In a flurry of bombs and fires that were destroying the city, Father Vacher, the French President, is shown above being bound by his hands and feet to a mortar as it is about to be fired off like a bomb against a French fleet.
Once you take in the examples of a good pirate vs. bad pirate, take a close look at the clothing and accessories that they are wearing. At The Mariners’ Museum Pirates Pack the Park event on Saturday, September 21, 2013 from 10am – 5pm, we are attempting to break the world record for the largest gathering of pirates but it’s not enough to talk like one, or feel like one… You have to dress like one.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Wear a pirate hat or bandana
2. Wear a plain white t-shirt
3. Roll up your pant legs
4. Adorn yourself with an accessory (eye patch, jewelry, toy sword, etc.)
5. Be counted and in the park by 2PM-2:10 to be included in the count!
The current record is held by Hastings, England at 14,231.
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