Boy's Book of Pirates

Boy's Book of Pirates

By: S.G.W. Benjamin, Reginald Gourlay, Owen Hall, Paul Hull, Howard Patterson, Howard Pyle Complete Authored Works, John H. Upshur
Published by: Harper and Brothers
Publication Date: 1908
Series: The Boys' Library

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Description

When we read of the millions of gold which are carried across the Atlantic in the specie-rooms of great steamships, some of us have very likely thought of the lively interest which would have been taken in such treasure-ships by the seventeenth-century buccaneers of the Spanish Main or the Kidds, Blackbeards, Stede Bonnets, and other colonial highwaymen of the sea. But the treasure-ships of today fortunately make their voyages under very different conditions from the Spanish plate-ships which were once filled at Carthagena with gold and silver brought across the Isthmus from South America by way of Panama, which was sacked by that hard-fighting freebooter Henry Morgan.

In this volume of tales from history the wild life of the buccaneers is pictured most vividly by Mr. Howard Pyle. How vast the riches were that were wrested from the New World for the Old is suggested in his graphic sketch of golden galleons hunted by the wolves of the Spanish Main, and in countless legends of buried treasure. How the French, in 1697, aided by buccaneers, assailed and sacked Carthagena, the eastern treasure-town, is one of the most wonderful tales of that dramatic time. Those wild scenes live again in the thrilling pages of Mr. Pyle. How Panama, the Pacific reservoir of riches, was looted he has told us in his dramatic volume, Stolen Treasure. It has a golden history, that Isthmus of Panama, the route for a ceaseless flow of treasure in the palmy days of Spain, and once the highway for the gold of California. In a few years the commerce of Pacific and Atlantic will pass in the great waterway of the Panama Canal near the paths where Spanish soldiers once guarded mule trains loaded down with gold and jewels.

The stories which follow, of New England colonial pirates and a treasure-hunt, are founded upon fact, while the tales of Blackbeard and Misson, the latter a pirate possessed of unexpected virtue, are historic. It is a strange glimpse of colonial conditions along our Atlantic seaboard from New England to Carthagena that one gains from these moving tales of plunderers of the sea.

The second part of this volume offers a series of vivid pictures of the great sea-rovers in the stirring times of Queen Elizabeth and the first James. It is sometimes hard to say where regular warfare ended and freebooting began, but the wonder of the desperate ventures and reckless bravery of the Elizabethan seamen must stir the blood of every one who reads. In these pages one may follow the swords of Monson, Hawkins, and Drake, and see the destruction of the great Armada. The adventures sketched in this book, therefore, are largely deeds which have shaped the course of history.

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