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March 31, 2009

Pirates of the Turks & Caicos

Gage cover.jpg

I've been in the Turks & Caicos Islands, a British Overseas Territory, where I gave a talk on the history of the golden age pirates at this private resort island.

As told in my book, The Republic of Pirates, Blackbeard, Sam Bellamy, Calico Jack Rackham, and other members of the infamous Nassau-based pirate gang operated throughout the Bahaman archipelago, including the Turks & Caicos (where they enjoyed ambushing Bermuda vessels that came here to rake salt.) I also had an opportunity to compare colonial history notes with my fellow presenters: antique book and map dealer Graham Arader (who let me peruse an original copy of a famous 1655 account of the West Indies) and the erstwhile cocktail aficionado Patrick Costigan (who introduced me to The Hemingway.)

I also had a chance to speak with Turks & Caicos television and newspaper reporters about the island chain's ties to the real Caribbean pirates -- my first opportunity to talk to bring the pirates' story to the people of the greater Bahamian archipelago.

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