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La Buse
Olivier La Buse -- also known as Louis Labous, La Bouse, La Bouche, La Buze, and Olivier Levasseur -- was the
leading French captain of
the pirate republic in the Bahamas, and one of the most successful pirates of the
Golden Age of Piracy. He is often said to have been born in Calais, although I was unable to find corroborating
evidence for this assertion while researching
The Republic of Pirates,

La Buse first appears in English records in early 1716, when he was the captain of the pirate sloop
Postillion and
operating in consort with
Benjamin Hornigold and Sam Bellamy. Most of the crew of the Postillion and La Buse's
subsequent commands were French, but this did not prevent him from assisting and collaborating with
English-domianted pirate crews. After weeks of successful cruising in the vicinity of Cuba, La Buse and Bellamy
had a falling out with Hornigold, abandoning him to embark on a successful cruise to the Eastern Caribbean
together in the fall and early winter of 1716. The two appear to have remained close partners and allies.

In January 1717, off the coast of South America, La Buse's company decided to go solo, apparently intending to
capture a large "ship of force." He appeared seven months later off the New England coast in command of a
26-gun ship crewed by some 200 men, making La Buse one of the most formidable pirates at the time. He
captured several small vessels crossing the Gulf of Maine before vanishing for several months. It is possible that
he was the pirate who built a fortified base in Machias, Maine and raided vessels off Newfoundland, actions
falsely attributed to Sam Bellamy by Captain Charles Johnson, the author of the
General History of the Pyrates, a
hypothesis I put forward in an
August 2007 article in Down East magazine.

In June 1718, La Bous lost his ship and barely avoided being captured by Captain Francis Hume of the HMS
Scarborough at La Blanquilla in the Eastern Caribbean. Escaping with 60 men in a small sloop, he eventually
migrated to West Africa, where, in early 1719, he was voted captain of large pirate ship. Another refugee from the
Paulsgrave Williams, served as his quartermaster in this period. La Bous outlived most of his
colleagues and had a long and generally prosperous career in West Africa and the Indian Ocean until his capture,
in 1730, by French authorities on the island of Reunion. His grave is a popular tourist site there.
R.L. Stevenson
Charles Johnson
William Kidd
Henry Morgan
Henry Avery
Daniel Defoe
Cape Cod
The Bahamas
New York
North Carolina
Pirates in...
Olivier La Buse
Henry Jennings
Ben Hornigold
Paul Williams
Sam Bellamy
Charles Vane
Stede Bonnet
Anne Bonny
Mary Read
Jack Rackham
James Stuart
King George I
Thomas Walker
Gov. Hamilton
Gov. Eden
Gov. Spotswood
Woodes Rogers
Gov. Torres
Lt. Maynard
Capt. Hume
Capt. Pearse
The Authorities
The Republic of Pirates: Being the True and Surprising Story of the Caribbean Pirates and the Man who Brought
them Down
by Colin Woodard. The Official Homepage. (c) 2008 Colin Woodard.