Pirates off the Somalian Coast–and the N. C. Coast

 Twenty-first century pirates are in the news.  Time magazine’s January 4 issue  lists piracy off  Somalia’s coast as one of the ten “essential stories of 2009.”  Pirates in that region targeted almost 100 ships during 2009.  Read CNN’s account of a recent hijacking here.

The library has many books about the history of piracy in general and about piracy in North Carolina waters in particular. In the late 17th and early 18th centuries, pirates found our state an ideal place to ply their trade.

Our coastline, with its sounds and numerous inlets, was a great place for pirates to hide. The crews of ships chasing the pirates, usually less familiar with the area, ran a good chance of running onto sandbars or getting caught in shallow water.

Also, the residents of coastal North Carolina were happy to get bargains on the goods sold by pirates, and government officials,  at least during Governor Eden’s time in office, were willing to look the other way, allowing piracy to continue.

Books about North Carolina pirates include Pirates of the Carolinas by Terrance Zepke, Blackbeard and Other Pirates of the Atlantic Coast by Nancy Roberts, and The Pirates of Colonial North Carolina by Hugh F. Rankin.  

If you want a book about our most famous pirate, Blackbeard, read The Last Days of Black Beard the Pirate by Kevin Duffus, which gives some recent theories about his life,  Blackbeard the Pirate: A Reappraisal of His Life and Times by Robert E. Lee. For paintings of this infamous pirate, take a look at Blackbeard, the Pirate King by J. Patrick Lewis. 

For information on Blackbeard’s life, on the shipwreck discovered in 1996, which is probably his ship “The Queen Anne’s Revenge,” the artifacts recovered so far, and the ongoing study of the shipwreck and its artifacts, see the website of the North Carolina Maritime Museum.

If your club, organization, or school group would like a presentation on North Carolina pirates, call Helen Snow at 373-2706 or email her. This program is suitable for anyone from nine to ninety-nine years old!


One Response

  1. […] North Carolina’s pirates and Greensboro Public Library’s resources on them in this previous post by our North Carolina Librarian Helen […]

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