( 1 )
R E A S O N S
For Reducing the
Pyrates at Madagascar:
PROPOSALS humbly offered to the Honourable
House of Commons, for effecting the same.
CAPTAINE ROBERT KIDD, WHO WAS HANGED IN CHAINS
AT EXECUTION DOCK, FOR PIRACY AND MURDER ON Ye
You captains brave and bold, hear our cries, hear our cries,
You captains brave and bold, hear our cries,
You captains brave and bold, tho' you seem uncontroll'd,
Don't for the sake of gold lose your souls, lose your souls,
Don't for the sake of gold lose your souls.
My name was Robert Kidd, when I sail'd, when I sail'd,
My name was Robert Kidd, when I sail'd.
My name was Robert Kidd, God's laws I did forbid,
And so wickedly I did, when I sail'd.
My parents taught me well, when I sail'd, when I sail'd,
My parents taught me well, when I sail'd.
My parents taught me well to shun the gates of hell,
But against them I rebell'd when I sail'd.
I cursed my father dear, when I sail'd, when I sail'd,
I cursed my father dear, when I sail'd.
I cursed my father dear and her that did me bear,
And so wickedly did swear, when I sail'd.
I made a solemn vowl, when I sail'd, when I sail'd.
I made a solemn vow, when I sail'd.
I made a solemn vow, to God I would not bow,
Nor myself one prayer allow, as I sail'd.
I'd a bible in my hand when I sail'd, when I sail'd,
I'd a bible in my hand, when I sail'd.
I'd a Bible in my hand by my father's great command,
And I sunk it in the sand, when I sail'd.
I murder'd William Moore, as I sail'd, as I sail'd,
I murder'd William Moore, as I sail'd.
I murder'd William Moore, and I left him in his gore,
Not many a leagues from shore, as I sail'd.
And being cruel still, as I sail'd, as I sail'd,
And being cruel still, as I sail'd.
And being cruel still, my gunner I did kill,
And his precious blood did spill, as I sail'd.
My mate took sick and died, as I sail'd, as I sail'd,
My mate took sick and died, as I sail'd;
My mate took sick and died, which me much terrified,
When he call'd me to his bed-side, as I sail'd.
And unto me did say, see me die, see me die,
And unto me did ray, see me die;
And unto me did say, take warning now, by me,
There comes a reckoning day, you must die.
You can not then withstand, when you die, when you die,
You can not then withstand, when you die;
You can not then withstand the judgments of God's hand,
But bound then in iron bands, you must die.
I was sick and nigh to death, as I sail'd, as I sail'd,
I was sick and nigh to death, as I sail'd;
I was sick and nigh to death, and I vow'd at every breath,
To walk in wisdom's ways, as I sail'd.
I thought I was undone, as I sail'd, as I sail'd,
I thought I was undone, as I sail'd.
I thought I was undone and my wicked glass had run,
But my health did soon return as I sail'd.
My repentance lasted not, as I sail'd, as I sail'd,
My repentance lasted not, as I sail'd.
My repentance lasted not, my vows I soon forgot,
Damnation's my just lot, as I sail'd.
I steer'd from sound to sound, as I sail'd, as I sail'd,
I steer'd from sound to sound, as I sail'd.
I steer'd from sound to sound, and many ships I found,
And most of them I burn'd as I sail'd.
I spy'd three ships from France, as I sail'd, as I sail'd,
I spy'd three ships from France, as I sail'd.
I spy'd three ships from France, to them I did advance,
And I took them all by chance, as I sail'd.
I spy'd three ships of Spain, as I sail'd, as I sail'd,
I spy'd three ships of Spain, as I sail'd.
I spy'd three ships of Spain, I fired on them amain,
Till most of them were slain, as I sail'd.
I'd ninety bars of gold, as I sail'd, as I sail'd,
I'd ninety bars of gold, as I sail'd.
I'd ninety bars of gold, and dollars manifold,
With riches uncontroll'd, as I sailed.
Then fourteen ships I see, as I sail'd, as I sail'd,
Then fourteen ships I see, as I sail'd;
Then fourteen ships I see and all brave they are,
Ah! they were too much for me, as I sail'd.
Thus being o'ertaken at last, I must die, I must die,
Thus being o'ertaken at last, I must die;
Thus being o'ertaken at last, and into prison cast,
And sentence being pass'd, I must die.
Farewell to the raging sea, I must die, I must die,
Farewell to the raging main, I must die;
Farewell to the raging main, to Turkey, France, and Spain,
I ne'er shall see you again, I must die.
To Newgate now I'm cast, and must die, and must die,
To Newgate now I'm cast, and must die;
To Newgate now I'm cast, with sad and heavy heart,
To receive my just desert, I must die.
To Execution Dock I must go, I must go,
To Execution Dock, I must go;
To Execution Dock, will many thousand flock,
But I must bear my shock, I must die.
Come all ye young and old, see me die, see me die,
Come all ye young and old, see me die;
Come all ye young and old, you're welcome to my gold,
For by it I've lost my soul, and must die.
Take warning now by me, for I must die, I must die,
Take warning now by me, for I must die,
Take warning now, by me, and shun bad company,
Lest you come to hell with me, for I must die,
Lest you come to hell with me, for I must die.
Published by Authority. -- Printed by Edw. Jones, in the Savoy.
Vol. I. London, United Kingdom, Thursday, May 22, 1701. No. 3708.
London, May 23. This day Capt. William Kidd, and three other of the Pirates lately condemned at the Admiralty Sessions at Old-Baily, were executed at Execution-Dock.
Criminals hung in chains - early 18th century.
Vol. ? New York City, Wednesday, June 23, 1790. No. 465
For the New-York Daily Gazette.
Vol. XXVII. New London, Conn., Friday, July 2, 1790. No. 1390.
A letter from a gentleman in Southampton, Long Island, dated 28th ult., to the printers hereof, says,
Vol. I. Brattleborough, Vermont, Monday, May 9, 1803. No. 12.
Vol. XV. Utica, New York, August, 5, 1817. No. 767.
FOR THE PATRIOT AND PATROL.
A tradition prevails on the Atlantic coast that the celebrated pirate, Capt. Kidd, buried his treasures on the shore, and consigned them to the care of evil spirits. If discovered they can be obtained only by magical ceremonies.... The treasure is discovered always by dreaming thrice that it may be found in the same place.
Vol. ? Hallowell, Maine, Monday, March 18, 1822. No. ?
Money Diggers. -- In Pittston, about nine miles below Hallowell, on the eastern bank of Kennebec river, a party of about fourteen men are now engaged in digging for money. This extraordinary enterprise was commenced in 1817 and continued without much interruption for nearly a year, during which time a vast excavation was made, 75 feet deep. The enchanted treasure, however, we understand, completely eluded the search. It was afterwards partially abandoned, but in October last was recommenced with unabated vigor. The leader of this visionary gang is a substantial farmer, an inhabitant of a town not more than twelve miles distant from Hallowell, whose sons hold a reputable rank in society. The old man and his associates maintain an obstinate and mysterious silence upon the subject. As the scene of their labour is a resort for all the mischievous wags in the neighbourhood and of others who come to wonder at the infatuated perseverance of the money diggers, their taciturnity may partly be attributed to the unceasing ridicule which their visitants raise at their expense.
Vol. ? New York City, Wednesday, April 24, 1822. No. ?
COMMUNICATED TO THE EVENING POST.
Kidd's money and the devil in the shape of black cat. -- A good deal of amusement was excited by the result of an application which was made to the police office last Saturday afternoon, for a posse of officers to go down to a house in Goldstreet, and explore the cause and object of certain mysterious proceedings which had been sometime going on in the cellar of the same. -- Men were heard digging there in the day time, with the door and windows closed, and lights burning within. The wicked souls would not tell their neighbors what they were doing, and their neighbors, like "poor aunt Charity Cockloft, who died of a Frenchman," were consuming with anxiety "to get at the bottom of it." -- Two resolute and intrepid police marshals were dispatched and soon explored their way down into the sepulchral region of doubt and mystery. Here was first seen a huge mass of new dug earth [losening] up almost to fill the cellar, and a deep broad oblong pit from which it had been evacuated. A closer inspection shewed a bible laid upon upon the margin of the pit with a naked sword laid across it -- In another quarter long shining rods of iron were displayed with bamboo cases for their safe preservation; and one might almost have imagined that he had found his way into the cell of an alchymist of the fourteenth century. The posse however pretty soon discovered a negro fellow glaring through a crevice in the door, and having made bon prize of him were directly in possession of the secret of the whole. He had been set to dig there by a white man whose name he did not disclose, and the object was buried money. The bible and sword were to keep the devil off -- the long shining iron rods were to explore ahead with; but what the use could be of the rods of different lengths, any more than the general singularity of the proceeding he did not explain.
Vol. XIII. Hartford, Conn., Monday, June 3, 1822. No. 50.
FT. BRADDOCK, _____
Vol. XIII. Hartford, Conn., Monday, June 10, 1822. No. 51.
FT. BRADDOCK, _____
Vol. ? Boston, Massachusetts, Friday, June 7, 1822. No. ?
CAPT. ROBERT KIDD.
It is high time that this illustrious Sea Rover should be taken from the vile company, of the plundering, cold and cruel assassins (where for more than a century he has stood, in the vulgar opinion, with Black Beard and Coff and all others, a scape goat for all that was atrocious and bloody) and placed within the royal circle of associates, where his glories first vegetated.
Excerpts From Vol. 2 of James McHenry's 1823 Novel
The Spectre of the Forest
[ 41 ]
To give the youthful mind delight;
But should they chance to be at strife,
Ah! then how terrible is life.
Thaunus the Druid.
"Mr. Parnell," said the ferryman, "I believe that you, and your friend Shelbourne, d'ye see, have agreed to become sick by turns. Now, when you are getting well, he is taken it into his head to get ill, you perceive; but what ails him, whether it be a fever, or a pure fit of madness, no body can tell -- that's the query,"
42 THE SPECTRE OF"I have not heard a word of it before," said George. "Is he confined with his complaint?"
"Confined!" answered the ferryman. "Ay, that he is, absolutely locked up, d'ye see. But it is said to be neither by the doctor's orders, for no doctor dares approach him, nor yet by the effect of sickness, which, d'ye see, I think, would make him some trifle tamer than they talk of. For, you perceive, he'll scarcely either eat or drink, but keeps his chamber, growling like a chained bull-dog. They have strange stories going, d'ye see, about his having lost his wits in love -- that's the query."
"I wonder I should have head nothing of it," said Parnell.
"No wonder at all about that, master," returned the man of the water, "for, d'ye see, it is only this morning I heard it myself; and I have always had a notion that the news of Milford must pass over the water, d'ye see, before it can reach Stratford."
"Do you know any particulars of the case?" inquired Parnell. "Has the lady's name been mentioned to whom he is said to be attached?"
"The lady's name!" answered the other; "ay, ay, every body knows it. But, d'ye see -- excuse me sir, it is said that you too are smitten with her. But there was this difference between you, your sickness was proper, down-right, honest sickness, whereas his is stark madness, you perceive."
"No more; no more on this subject, master ferryman," said Parnell.
THE FOREST 43"No more an' you wish it, young man," replied the Waterman; "only I must say, d'ye see, that these your handsome women are great plagues on the earth; the witches themselves are hardly more mischievous -- that's the query."
"And there have been as irrational queries gravely discussed," thought George. But having now reached the bank of the river, he left the ferryman without a reply, and proceeded to Shelbourne's residence.
That gentleman's house, although built entirely of framework, was one of the most spacious and elegant then in that part of the country. It stood, as the better description of dwelling-houses generally then did, on an elevated portion of ground, enjoying the advantage of not only a dry and comfortable site, but of an extensive and varied prospect. The lowest of its two high and airy stories, had attached to its southern and western fronts a handsome an roomy piazza, above which, on a level with the floor of the upper story, a spacious balcony environed the same fronts. The principal entrance was by a flight of steps leading into the piazza on the southern front. The door was large and high, surmounted with an arched window, and having its architraves and entablatures ornamented with Corinthian architecture. A wide hall, extending across the house, gave admittance to various large and showy rooms, indicating the wealth, and the luxury, not the taste, of the owner. A broad and massy flight of stairs arose from the centre of this hall to the upper parts of the house,
44 THE SPECTRE OFwhich contained‘ several suits of commodious apartments corresponding with those below.
It was in one of these apartments, situated on the south-western angle of the house, that young Shelbourne had secluded himself, in a state mind bordering on distraction, after parting with Miss Devenart, as mentioned in the last chapter. He had armed himself, so as greatly to alarm his parents, and had strictly prohibited any strangers to be admitted into his presence. His parents were not ignorant of his passion for Miss Devenart, and had no doubt but some repulse or mortification which he had received from that lady, was the cause of his present frenzy; and, conceiving that a few days would probably diminish its violence, they concluded, that it would be best to let him take his own course, without offering him any opposition, either by advice, or menaces.
The tempest of his mind had, indeed, abated in its fury, before George Parnell's appearance, but the clouds were far from being removed. Gloomy, dark, and portentous was the seeming calm that had supervened; but, dark as it was, he was enabled to see his way more clearly; at least, he could proceed with less rashness, than during the raging of the storm.
From the window of his apartment, he perceived George approaching, and his first impulse was to meet him face to face, and demand from him a relinquishment of Miss Devenart, or the murderous satisfaction of a duel. But the remembrance of his former tenderness for his earliest and most endeared friend rushed upon his
THE FOREST 45soul, and prevented the adoption of so harsh and bloody a resolution. He threw himself upon his chair to deliberate how he should act. It was then that a conflict between love and friendship, esteem and jealousy, took place in his mind, which had nearly torn it to pieces. He burned to put his rival out of the way of his happiness, but that rival had long been almost as dear to him as his own welfare. He loved him, for he had long participated in his joys and sorrows; but he hated him, for he had won the affections of the mistress of his destiny -- those affections, to possess which, he would willingly part with every other source of happiness.
"Heavens!" he ejaculated, "into what a gulf of wretchedness am I plunged! George Parnell -- the virtuous, the generous, the faithful, the affectionate, as I have ever found him, I must now hate, for, alas! he is loved by her whose love is, to me, more precious than the breath of life! and by all that's holy, I will hate him! for, let her despise me if she choose, I will take care that none else shall enjoy her love with impunity. He who is so happy shall, at least, answer to me for being so! -- But, Oh! God, what right have I to say so? and George Parnell! alas! alas!" --
He here stopt abruptly; and, as if to conceal from the light of day the violent emotions marked on his countenance, he covered it with his hands, and throwing himself upon the bed, groaned deeply. He was in this situation, when he heard a tap at his chamber door. He started up,
46 THE SPECTRE OFand found a servant with a message requesting from Mr. Parnell admission to his presence.
"Dathan, begone!" said he; "annoy me not. I admit no one."
"But -- Mr. Parnell, sir," observed Dathan --
"George Parnell!" returned Shelbourne, "No, no; I cannot see him -- but stop -- I will write to him my wishes."
While the unhappy young man is writing to the object of his jealousy, it may be stated how the latter was received by the elder Mr. Shelbourne, who was well aware of the share which he had in producing his son's malady.
Stephen Shelbourne, Esq. was at this time about sixty years of age; small, active, white-headed, wrinkled, and somewhat shrivelled in his appearance. His features were sharp and keen, his eyes brisk and penetrating, his nose thin, but prominent, and powerfully aquiline; his mouth rather cast to the one side, with an expression; especially when he smiled, strikingly sinister and selfish. He had at one time been a drummer in England, under General Fairfax; and afterwards a collector of excise under well, which situation he lost at the restoration as Charles the Second, and, in consequence, emigrated to America with the tide of Puritans and other malcontents who then left the shores of Britain. On the passage he gained the affections of a handsome and virtuous young woman, named Hannah Newtown, who possessed some property, and whom he married shortly after landing, and settled himself near Milford. Henry was
THE FOREST 47the only fruit of this marriage, and it was often remarked, by the sagacious settlers in the vicinity, among whom old Shelbourne was far from being a favourite, that any good qualities which the young man possessed must have been derived from the virtues of his mother.
We have, on a former occasion, mentioned that Shelbourne was a justice of the peace, which circumstance had, by an unexpected accident, enabled him within the last eight or ten years to add greatly to his wealth. The celebrated Captain Kidd, whose piracies at this time excited great terror along the coast of New-England, and one or two of his men, imprudently exposing themselves on shore, were taken prisoners, and brought before him. The worthy magistrate affected to exercise his authority with the utmost rigour; but understanding that the pirates possessed vast treasures, secreted in some of the islands along the coast, he privately agreed, for a large sum, to send a trusty messenger on board of their ship, which then lay at Fairweather Island, near the entrance of the Housatonic, with orders from Kidd for a strong party of his men to come to his rescue. To give time for executing this enterprise, the magistrate, under some pretence, delayed the commitment of the prisoners, whom he kept confined in his own house. The consequence was the rescue of Kidd, and the establishment between him and Shelbourne of an intercourse, which tended greatly to enrich the latter, and to afford security, and impart audacity to the former.
With this copious source of his father's wealth,
48 THE SPECTRE OFyoung Shelbourne himself had been for a considerable time acquainted. It had, at first, met with his disapprobation; but, the matter being always managed with great secrecy, he had never experienced any disgrace on account of it, and habit, and the advantages it afforded, together with the looseness of his own principles on religious and moral subjects, soon reconciled him to it, so that, on more than one occasion, he had even visited the pirate's ship in disguise, and joined in the obstreperous and impious carousals of Kidd.
"So, so, Mr. Parnell, good morning to you," said the magistrate, as he ushered George into a splendid parlour.
"I am sorry to hear that my friend Henry is indisposed," observed George, seating himself on a settee.
"Ay, ay, Mr. Parnell, indisposed with a vengeance, that he is," said the other. "But, prithee, master, take a glass of wine."
"Can I be permitted to see Henry?" asked Parnell.
"Heh! I doubt not -- but stay -- perhaps it may be -- you were always his favourite; and I suspect that you may know something of the cause of his malady. It is a ridiculous love fit, with a spice of jealousy in it, beyond the reach of the doctor's drugs, master George. But he'll at last, never fear him, get ashamed of it....
222 THE SPECTRE OF... Shelbourne, protected by the victorious sailors soon made his way with his beauteous prize to the river; where he speedily placed her in a boat, into which a number of the sailors instantly leaped, and, in company with another boat, which accommodated the remainder of the victors, they speedily rowed out of the river, and proceeded on board the Hurricane, the formidable piratical ship of Captain Kidd.
[ 223 ]
How Heaven's strict justice always overtakes them,
(For Heaven for ever holds the balance even ;)
Conlama! think, and shun the dangerous course
By which they headlong rush upon destruction.
Persist in virtue though fierce storms should threaten,
And doubt not of a rich reward at last.
Thaunus the Druid.
224 THE SPECTRE OFhimself among the assailants. Ephraim was induced to commit this trespass upon the precious person of the judge, from the very reasonable opinion, that by doing so he would remove from the vicinity a very dangerous individual, and, perhaps, terrify others from following his example.
When Esther discovered that this faithful steward was beside her, which his disguise and her confusion prevented her at first from doing, her feelings became greatly mollified; and she began gradually to recover her tranquillity and self command. Under the plea of indisposition, which, indeed, was real, she was permitted to retire to rest immediately on coming on board. She had been accosted and welcomed on board by the ferocious Kidd, whose very name had long been terrible to her imagination; and she shuddered at his touch, when, on the boat coming alongside of the ship, he caught her hand to help her upon deck.
"She's a damn'd sweet creature that," said he, whispering in Shelbourne's car, as the latter followed her into the ship; "I would not for the lives of half my crew that you had not brought her off safe."
"I knew, Captain, that the issue of the enterprise would please you," replied Shelbourne, while he at the same time internally cursed his stars, for compelling him to bring one so lovely and beloved into the presence of a man who never laid upon himself the least restraint in the gratification of his passions. He was as much
THE FOREST 225rejoiced as Esther herself, when she was permitted to retire from the indelicate gaze of a man of such a lewd and lawless character.
Kidd himself had not accompanied the party which achieved Esther's rescue; nay, he had, at first, appeared rather unwilling to countenance the measure; but Shelbourne, by importunity, at length prevailed on him to permit as many of the crew to follow him as he could persuade to do so. Out of about forty, thirty, on hearing a statement of the case, volunteered on the service, and now when it was so successfully accomplished, Shelbourne did not hesitate liberally to reward them.
Towards the evening of that day, a fair wind, for which Kidd had been several days impatiently waiting to impel them to the eastward, arose, and the ship was immediately got under way for a cruise.
"Damn it, Shelbourne," said the captain, "I am sorry I must part with the lady for a while, for she is a pretty creature, and I have a hawk's eye after her. But I have long meditated this cruise; and blast me! if I will let a woman detain me from it, now when the wind's abaft. We must leave her on Plumb Island. Thou'lt be her cock-robin till my return. Thou'lt have done thy best with her, ay, thou'lt have had thy money's worth of her by that time, and wilt have no objection to share the remaining spoil with a friend. But, hark ye, my hearty fellow, act fairly by her, nor plunder her, without her consent; though it will be damned hard for thee to forbear either.
226 THE SPECTRE OFBut, however thou actest, Shelbourne! mark ye, she must be on the Island, either dead or alive, at my return, in about a month, or, by all the devils in hell, I will make somebody pay for it."
"I will attend to your wishes," said Shelbourne, who knew that it would be the height of imprudeuce at this time to dispute them; and he was in reality much gratified with this opportunity of getting Esther out of the ship.
"But what are we do with this lubberly glutton, Full-of-Faith, that you have stowed into my ship?" said Kidd. "By the sons of thunder! but he appears a downright useless part of the cargo, an incumbrance upon the ship, man. "What am I do with him?"
"Faith," observed Shelbourne, "unless you choose to keep him prisoner, I know not. To let him go on shore would be wrong. I scarcely know what would be right."
"It would be right to hang him, I think," returned Kidd, "for the tender treatment he afforded to our sweet lamb below. What say you, Shelbourne?"
"That might be rather a rash and unjustifiable mode of getting rid of him," said Shelbourne.
"Shiver my mizen! but it shall be adopted, though," returned Kidd. "Jack Harkins! cast the loop of a rope round that old Pharisee's neck, and hoist him to the main-yard, for I hate the phiz of him."
"Ay, ay, sir," said Jack, and with great coolness he proceeded to obey. The terrified
THE FOREST 227Full-of-Faith, perceiving what was intended, fell on his knees trembling and crying --
"Lord of mercy! Oh, in thy goodness, turn the hearts of these men. -- Oh! have pity on me, Captain Kidd. Oh! commit not murder on an innocent and unaccused member of the congregation, an untried and uncondemned communicant."
"Untried and uncondemned are you?" said Kidd. "By the great Neptune, thou shalt soon be both. Lieutenant Oakum, bear a hand; bring the lady upon deck -- we want a witness against the old glutton."
Shelbourne flew to assist the Lieutenant, and Esther was soon brought forward.
Kidd, seating himself upon the binnacle, cried aloud, with the voice of a stentor, "I here proclaim myself both judge and jury, to try and to condemn that son of a strumpet for his misdeeds. Amen, -- Jeremiah! Lady, you are the witness in the case. Question first, Know you, my pretty lamb, that lubber there with the unconscionable belly, and the rope round his neck?"
"Oh, Miss Devenart! who art an angel of light and of tender mercy," cried the distracted Full-of-Faith; "Oh! for the love of Heaven, save me from this cruel death." Esther remembered her own recent feelings in such a situation, and she commiserated the trembling object thus begging for life on his knees before her.
"Captain Kidd," said she, falling also on her knees before the inexorable judge, "if thou hast any regard for pity, for justice, for thy conscience
228 THE SPECTRE OFin this world, and thy salvation in the next, do not, do not, I implore thee, commit this meditated murder. Oh! do not launch that poor shuddering wretch thus violently into eternity."
"Stand up, fair one, and speak to me," said Kidd. "Knowest thou that man? Canst thou tell me his name?"
"I know him," replied Esther; "he is called Philemon Full-of-Faith, and is a magistrate and judge in Stratford."
"Did he not lately adjudge thee to the gallows, lady?" asked Kidd.
"Alas! I must confess it," said she. "But oh, spare him, spare him nevertheless, that he may live to make his peace with his Maker."
"It is enough, my pretty one," cried the captain. "What, thou unwieldy mass of corruption, say, what wouldst thou give for thy life, animal!"
"Let my lord have pity upon me," cried the distracted Full-of-Faith, "for thou seemest to me like one of the sons of God, and I will give thee houses and lands, gold and silver, yea, all that I have will I give for my life. And I will be thy bond-servant, and thy slave. Oh! I will work for thee, I will pray for thee; every thing I have will I give thee; with my whole heart and soul will I serve thee, if thou dost only spare me, spare me the breath of life."
"Hark ye, cuckold!" cried Kidd, "I am the devil's deputy on the high seas. Pray, wilt thou sell thy soul to my master, to purchase thy life?"
"My lord! whatever thou willest, I will do;
THE FOREST 229only spare me, spare me the small boon of the breath that fills my nostrils."
"Avast," cried Kidd, "no more whimpering and chattering of thy teeth like castanets. Thy doom is fixed, thy lands and tenements, thy gold and silver, I value not in comparison with the pleasure of sending filthiness like thee to the devil. Hoist away! lads, to the main-yard with him, and let him merrily dance there upon nothing on his trip to hell!"
"Ay, ay, sir!" cried several of the sailors, and in a moment the shrieks of the distracted Full-of-Faith were stifled, and he swung in the air. In a few moments more, however, the noose upon the rope round his neck, which had been but carelessly fixed, gave way, in consequence of his great weight, and as the ship then leaned to one side beneath the pressure of a brisk breeze, throwing the end of the yard-arm, to which he had been raised, considerably over the sea, he fell into it with a heavy plunge, the sailors raising aloud laugh, and Kidd crying out -- "There; he goes to the sharks, and Davy Jones will conduct him to hell."
This act of violence overpowered Esther's feelings. She had given a scream of horror, and fainted upon the deck, the moment Full-of-Faith had been raised from it; and Shelbourne had reconveyed her to her couch. Plumb Island came in view that evening, and she had scarcely recovered from the first impression of the shock she had sustained, when she was placed in a boat with Shelbourne and six sailors, and carried on
230 THE SPECTRE OFshore. Two of the sailors returned to the ship with the boat, leaving Shelbourne, and the other four with her, on the Island. Ephraim Bradley, much to his own dissatisfaction, and her grief, was compelled to remain on board; and the four seamen had instructions to watch Shelbourne's motions, lest he should attempt to escape with Esther from the place. Shelbourne was not ignorant that he was thus no better than a prisoner in the custody of these men. But there was no help for it. Kidd's will was absolute, and he had to submit with as much apparent good will as he could assume. They had obtained a plentiful supply of necessaries from the ship, so that he had the means of making Esther comfortable, which he resolved should be his first care, and trust to contingencies for both his own and her deliverance from their present disagreeable predicament.
In a long narrow valley, near the southern shore of this then uninhabited Island, Kidd had constructed a number of subterraneous cells, for the concealment of a portion of the booty which he plundered upon the high seas. Here, also, he had erected a large block-house, to which, when he wished to enjoy revelry on shore, he was accustomed to retire, and, sometimes for a week together, indulge in every species of riot and debauchery.
This strong-hold was situated so far up the valley as to be undiscoverable from the coast. It was protected in the rear by an assemblage of impassible rocks, and in front was approachable
THE FOREST 231only by a defile very easily defended. It contained four or five apartments, and when occupied by Kidd was always well garrisoned; but at other times totally deserted, and its furniture removed to one of the adjoining subterraneous cells. It may be also observed, that to this place Kidd frequently carried the unhappy prisoners whom he captured on the seas, in order that he might heighten his revelries by the humour of putting them to a mock trial, and then inflicting upon them real tortures and death.
This slaughter-house, as his seamen usually called it, was now destined to be the residence of Esther Devenart. For the first two or three weeks, Shelbourne conducted himself towards her with much delicacy and propriety. He, indeed, would sometimes address her in rather an impassioned strain, which, however, she always so resolutely repelled, that he had not yet acquired hardihood enough to persist. His passion at length began to grow uncontrollably violent, and, as the time approached, when he dreaded the arrival of Kidd to snatch from his possession the charms for which he so eagerly panted, it arose almost to frenzy. He had not yet communicated to her the pirate's intention towards her. But he now resolved to show her the whole peril of her situation, and to lay before her the alternative of either submitting to his embraces, or being forced to those of Kidd.
"Neither of these events shall ever take place," said she, looking at him with horror at his proposal marked in her countenance. "No, my
232 THE SPECTRE OFheart-strings shall crack, before either of you shall perpetrate such villainy. Ah! barbarous Shelbourne! is this your disinterested affection, for which I felt for you as much gratitude as it is possible. for any heart to feel! Oh! why did you rescue me from death to plunge me into a Misery infinitely deeper and more appalling?"
"Esther Devenart," said he, "thy charms have been long the delight, the torment, the ruin of my youth; and, by Heavens, the sweet reward for which I have endured so much, must sometime be mine. Disinterested in my love, didst thou say! Yes, I protest that I was sincerely so, when thou wert in the hands of those barbarians of Stratford. The worst of torment, perpetual banishment from thee, I could then have submitted to for thy safety. But thou wert not then, as now, within my power. Ah! it is more than my passion can endure, to have thee under the same roof with me, and not attempt to win, and if need be, to force the enjoyment of thy charms. Think of it, enchantress! By Heaven, my resisting such temptation for four long burning weeks, has been a miracle, and at this moment astonishes me!" He here paused for a space, as if uncertain how to act, while she stood shuddering at his vehemence. He then added, "Madam, my determination is fixed, but I shall give thee time to reflect," and he hurried out of the room.
He soon returned with a paper in his hand.
"Read that," he said, "and decide upon your own doom, and mine," so saying he again withdrew.
THE FOREST 233She read the paper as follows:
"When in your presence, passion makes me speak too warmly to reason with you, and show you calmly how we are situated. Kidd's return is daily expected. You will then without ceremony be forced to his bed. I can bribe one of the sailors who watch us, with whose aid the others may be surprised and overcome. These men have a canoe in which they fish along the coast. In this canoe, with the blessing of Providence, we may reach Long-Island, and then fly to New-York, where I shall claim your hand, and we shall be happy. Oppose not this. Oh! say that you will be mine, and all my violence, which is occasioned by my fears of losing you, will subside. If you resist, think what will be our fate. You will be the ravished victim of Kidd, and my dagger shall pierce my own heart.
The alternative thus placed before this unhappy young woman, was almost enough to drive her to distraction. She threw herself on her knees before her Maker, to implore his aid and direction in this trying crisis; and the soothing influence of her pious supplication, although it could not restore hope, restored that fortitude which had for a space forsaken her; and, being undisturbed, for the remainder of that night, by any visit from Shelbourne, she passed it, not tranquilly,
234 THE SPECTRE OFit is true, but less distractedly than she could have expected.
The next morning he visited her. She was much indisposed, and begged him to leave her undisturbed for some hours, that she might, in peace, have an opportunity of recovering. He complied; and, in order to amuse the time, and divert his mind as much as possible, from its agitating contemplations, he wandered to a distant part of the island. Towards the latter part of the day, he perceived, from the top of a hill which he had ascended, a ship approaching the land. In a short time he knew it to be the Hurricane. He hastened to the Block-house in great consternation. On reaching the hill that formed the eastern rampart of the valley in which it was situated, he perceived a boat, with four or five men in her, rowing from the ship, towards the land, and he instantly knew that Kidd was coming on shore. Immediately, forming a desperate resolution, to conquer or die for his beloved, he hastened to arm himself with sword and pistol, and, desiring Will Haulyard, the seaman whom he had gained over to his interest, to be also armed, and at his call, he hastened into Esther's presence.
"We are undone, Miss Devenart! Unfortunate that we are, alas! why did we not fly in time? Now there is no flight for us. The ravenous hawk approaches, and will soon seize the trembling dove!"
"What new affliction is this you would announce, Henry Shelbourne?" said she. "Fear
THE FOREST 235not to speak it plainly. I can hear it without surprise, for I expect nothing but calamity to thicken and gather round me, until my heart breaks. I shall then be relieved, and placed beyond the reach of you, and all my persecutors."
"Oh! rank me not among thy persecutors, sweet saint," said he. "By Heavens! I repent the rudeness of my late addresses to thee. But I will die in protecting thee, ere that ruffian pirate who now approaches, shall molest thee."
"Ruffian pirate! Whom callest thou by so gentle a name, young man?" cried the enraged Kidd, at that moment entering the apartment, with a drawn dagger.
"I scorn to give a false answer," returned Shelbourne. "It was thy savage self that I so designated, for I know what thou dost intend for that lady. But it shall be after my destruction alone that thou wilt succeed. Thank God, I am now armed."
"Hell and fiends!" cried Kidd. "Dost thou defy me? Then die!" and he rushed upon Shelbourne with his dagger. But the point of Shelbourne‘s sword was presented to his heart. He kept off, and shouted for assistance.
"Fly, Miss Devenart!" cried Shelbourne, "while I detain this savage here. Fly with Will Haulyard. He is friendly. He will protect thee, and if he reaches New-York with thee, I have ordered a thousand pounds for his reward."
Haulyard at this moment entered to carry Esther off, according to his engagement. His
236 THE SPECTRE OFplan was, to conceal her in a place known only to him and Shelbourne, until it should be dark, when he should carry her to the canoe, and make the best of his way with her to Long Island, and thence to New-York. But he had scarcely entered the room, when two of his fellow guards, who were nearer hand than he expected, followed him, in consequence of the cries of Kidd.
"Hard fortune, I perceive, Haulyard," cried Shelbourne, "but fight it out, my brave fellow! Better die gloriously, than be hanged!"
While Shelbourne was thus encouraging his confederate, who had gallantly followed his directions, he himself was fully engaged with Kidd. His pistol had missed fire, but his sword was good, and Kidd and he had given each other several wounds, when three other men, one of whom was unarmed, entered.
"Good God!" cried the unarmed man -- "Esther Devenart here!"
"Alas! is George Parnell come here too to be murdered!" exclaimed Esther, whom the sound of George's voice -- for it was he -- had aroused from the stupefaction of terror that had seized her; and with the exclamation she sunk back in total insensibility upon her seat. As George was flying to support her, Shelbourne cried out --
"For Heaven's sake, George Parnell, seize a weapon, and rescue her from the pirate!"
George darted upon one of the men engaged with Haulyard, and in a moment disarmed him,
THE FOREST 237calling out, at the same time, to one of those who had entered with him --
"Ephraim Bradley -- now or never!"
Ephraim soon perceived the right side, and was not slow in seconding it. Kidd was felled to the floor with a blow from his cutlass. Haulyard had given a mortal thrust to one of his opponents, about the time that Parnell had disarmed the other. The disarmed man fled, and the seaman, who had entered as the colleague of Bradley, in guarding Parnell, begged for quarter.
"To the boat!" cried Parnell, seizing Esther in his arms. "We shall easily overcome the two men left at the beach --"
"And thence escape to Long Island," cried Shelbourne -- but he fell that moment on the floor, having fainted from the loss of blood.
"Ben Bowsprit," said Parnell, to the sailor to whom they had given quarter, "your life is safe only on condition that you will carry that man to the boat. If you be faithful, I will reward you liberally."
"Ay, ay, sir," cried Bowsprit, technically, but cheerfully; and, raising Shelbourne on his shoulders, he proceeded, with the victors, towards the beach. George ordered Bradley, and Haulyard, who were unincumbered with any burden, to hasten forward, and secure the boat, by surprising the men who guarded it. They succeeded; and, binding the men with ropes, placed them in the boat, and ordered them to keep silence on pain of instant destruction.
238 THE SPECTRE OFBy the time that George Parnell reached the boat with his beloved Esther, the shades of night shrouded the sky; and the evening star, which had witnessed the plighting of their vows, shone auspiciously upon their constancy, and illumined their course on this eventful occasion, when, after a series of the most acute, and oftentimes hopeless sufferings, the grateful Esther reclined upon the breast of Parnell, and felt a sweet and an indubitable presentiment that the season of her trials had at length closed.
They reached Long Island in safety; and proceeded, attended by their two prisoners, to the nearest habitation. When they arrived there, however, they perceived that Shelbourne was in his last agonies. George and Esther, as they stood oppressed with grief by his bedside.
"My dearest lady, and my best beloved friend, I have done you both much injury; and yet, Heaven is my witness, that for the happiness of no human beings did I ever feel so much interested as for yours. Yes, Parnell, I wished you happy, but l could not bear that you should be so with that lady. Alas! sweet lady, will you grant my last boon, and say that you will forgive me for the numerous and terrible calamities which my unfortunate and ungovernable passion has occasioned you?"
"Willingly, from my heart, Mr. Shelbourne," said she, "do I forgive you. And, oh ! may the great God of Mercy forgive whatever sins erring nature may have caused you to commit against
THE FOREST 239him; and when your soul takes its departure, may it be admitted, a sanctified and welcome guest, into the company of saints and angels!"
"Thank you, sweet maiden," said he; "I die happy, since I see you out of peril, and since I die in your presence, enjoying your sympathy, and your intercession with Heaven in my behalf. And you, George, for whatever may have been my offences against you, do you also forgive me?"
"I do most sincerely," said George, pressing his friend's hand to his breast, and the tender days of their early attachment rushing upon his recollection, his heart filled and he wept bitterly.
"George!" said his dying friend, "grieve not so -- I go to happiness in heaven -- may you be happy on earth. Ah!" said he with an energy unsuited to his present exhausted state, "you will be happy -- for she who stands before me is destined for you. But you are worthy of that happiness. Long, long may you enjoy it. Farewell -- Oh! Esther --"
But the effort he had made overcame his strength. He was unable to say more. Esther caught his cold hand ere sensation was yet extinct, and kissing it, bedewed it with her tears. By a transient smile of pleasure which played on his pale lips, and a momentary flash which sparkled in his languid eyes, he showed that he was conscious of her kindness, and that even in death it gave him pleasure. In a few minutes more, however, all the pleasures and pains of
240 THE SPECTRE OFthis world were to him as nothing, for he had hidden them an eternal adieu.
The fact that Kidd had fallen in with and captured the Princess Anne, the ship in which, it will be remembered, George Parnell had taken his passage for America, will, from the foregoing incidents, be apparent to the reader. Ephraim Bradley, who, it has been seen, was a reluctant seaman on board of the pirate ship, soon recognised his former friend and master, but his seafaring dress, and other circumstances, prevented a recognition on the part of George. Ephraim, however, took the earliest prudent opportunity of making himself known. He did not inform George of Miss Devenart's misfortunes, as he judiciously considered that he had at the time enough of his own to bear. On approaching Plumb Island, as soon as he understood that George was to be sent to the Block-house for the purpose of being there slaughtered, according to the caprice of the tyrant, who had caused the other prisoners, seven in number, to be hanged on board, he had the address to procure his own appointment as one of the guard. After leaving the boat, Kidd having hastened forward before them, Ephraim prevailed upon his fellow guardsmen to permit George to walk forward untied.
It may be here mentioned, with respect to Kidd's fate, that Providence had not destined it to be so honourable, as if he had died by the hands of Henry Shelbourne, or even by those of Ephraim Bradley. He recovered, although but slowly, from the wounds he had received in the combat
THE FOREST 241we have described; but he was afterwards captured, and carried to England, where he was tried, condemned, and executed at Tyburn, a manner of death more suited to the wickedness and infamy of his life.
Parnell and his company waited the next morning only to see Shelbourne decently interred, when they proceeded on their way to Connecticut. They hired a fisherman's smack, from which they landed that very evening at Stratford; and, to the great joy of Mrs. Bradley, her young mistress, Esther, her young master, George, and her own dear husband, Ephraim, were once more under the old roof as unexpectedly and miraculously if as they had arisen from the dead.
George's first care was to wait upon the magistrates of the place,‘ Newbottle and Hornyheart, with the order from the English council to stop the prosecutions for witchcraft; and also with a full and general pardon from their Majesties to all who had been, or should in any manner be accused or condemned for the said crime. Within the express letter of this pardon, therefore, Esther Devenart's case was included, and the magistrates dared not dispute it. Squire Newbottle, who had, indeed, been forced to join in the proceedings against her, took care, the very next day, with his own hands, to cancel and destroy every record and memorial of the affair on which he could lay hold.
The order of council was, without delay, forwarded to the proper authorities; and a general gaol delivery, the most unexampled and triumphant
242 THE SPECTRE OFfor humanity that any country, perhaps, ever witnessed, took place in New-England. A new order of things commenced. Frenzy and terror gave place to confidence and good will; and, having thus recovered their senses, the New-Englanders have continued ever since, perhaps, the most cool, deliberate and rational people in the world.
Sir William Phipps, in obedience to the summons of the British council, sailed for Europe to answer for his conduct; but while commissioners were investigating it, he sickened and died, and thereby relieved them of further trouble.
That William Goffe, the regicide, was "The Spectre of the Forest," has already sufficiently appeared; that he was the father of Esther Devenart must have been suspected, and may now be explicitly declared. The sudden, and rather mysterious disappearance of Mr. Devenart's sister, the beautiful Calvanistic devotee, whose charms had overpowered the senses of the unfortunate Hanbury, will be recollected. The same charms, combined as they were, with so much religious fervour, had made an impression upon the heart of the outlawed Goffe, who had, for a few years before becoming acquainted with her, been a widower. His piety, his gallantry, and the peculiarly interesting nature of his situation, recommended him to Miss Devenart, and the attachment became mutual. She married him, and retiring to his lurking place in the forest, shared with him his exclusion from the world until her death, which, as we have seen, took place when our heroine, the only fruit of their marriage, was about fourteen years of age.
THE FOREST 243The misfortunes of his daughter had overcome that energy of both mind and body for which Goffe had been so long remarkable. When he first heard of her apprehension, he endeavoured by Bradley's means to raise a party of Indian-hunters to rescue her from her guards, but the mania of the times had begun to affect the Indian-hunters themselves, and all Bradley's efforts proved abortive. Goffe sunk into melancholy, and several weeks previous to Esther's trial, was attacked with a low fever, which confined him to his couch, and threatened to terminate his existence. Neither her condemnation nor her rescue was communicated to him, for, as there were no comforting circumstances connected with the latter event, it was considered by Mr. Devenart, who was his constant attendant, as much calculated to shock his already worn-out frame as her death itself.
After his return, however, Parnell lost no time in despatching Ephraim Bradley to the valley with the joyful intelligence of what had taken place. The good clergyman, after first adoring his Maker for these unexpected mercies, proceeded gradually to unfold the whole to his afflicted friend.
"It is enough," said Goffe, "I shall see her before I die." And he did see her, for Parnell and she in a few days visited the cavern. He poured out his heart in thanks to God; he joined their hands, and pronouncing a parental benediction upon their heads, gave his assent to Parnell's request that Mr. Devenart should receive
244 THE SPECTRE OFfrom them the holy vows of matrimony upon the spot.
For several weeks after this happy event, the old man seemed to recover, and, as he had nothing now to dread from the laws, he appeared frequently in the neighbourhood, and even once or twice visited Stratford, without disguise. But his former vigour was for ever gone; and, in one of his perambulations, having overheated himself, his fever returned, and terminated his 'earthly pilgrimage.
The wise Walter Wilkins made his peace with Mr. Devenart, on the latter being restored to his congregation. He continued a bachelor and a clerk until his fiftieth year, when, having overstrained his lungs by loud singing, on a sacramental occasion, he fell into consumption, and was soon mingled with his mother earth.
Hugh Bradley died in the year 1698, as he wished to die, fighting the Indians. His son Ephraim, and his wife, lived many years as the domestics of George Parnell. Their issue was one son, and four daughters. The former, who was their first born, was named Barnabas. He is the humble compiler of these Annals. The cares and perplexities of his unworthy life have been many; but they are of too little consequence to the world to be related.
Vol. IX. Albany, New York, August ?, 1823. No. ?
THE OLDEN TIME.
Captain Kidd (so memorable in history) was a pirate during the reign of king William, has also found his way into our colonial records. According to Smollett, the colonies of North America had grown rich by piracy during the war with Spain. Kidd had offered to suppress these freebooters, provided government would furnish him with a ship of thirty guns; and the Admiralty being either unwilling or unable to afford him the proposed aid, a private subscription was set on foot by the Lord Chancellor, the Duke of Shrewsbury, the Earls of Romney, Oxford, and Bellamont, Sir Edward Harrison, and Colonel Livingston of New York. The king had promised to contribute one half of the expense, reserving to himself one tenth of the profits; but he never advanced the money. Kidd, thus equipped, set sail from Plymouth, and soon after turned pirate himself. -- He divided the booty which he had taken in the East Indies with his crew, burned his own ship, and sailed, in a prize which he had captured, to the West Indies. There he purchased a sloop, in which he steered for North America. -- Arriving on the coast of New-York, he sent one Emmet, to make his peace with Bellamont, the governor of the province, who inveigled him into negociation, and caused him to be arrested. Eventually he was taken to England, and there tried for piracy and murder in 1701, and executed.
Vol. XXVI. New York City, Tuesday, September 9, 1823. No. ?
Capt. Kidd. -- The name and exploits of this piratical hero, are familiar to every one, as the legends concerning him, we believe, are always carefully related to the tender inmates of every nursery in the country. A writer in the Albany Daily Advertiser, who has been amusing himself and the public for some months past, by gleaning curious facts from the ancient records of the state, in the Secretary's office, informs us that the name of Kidd has found its way into our Colonial records. Alter relating various facts concerning him, taken from these records, the writer asks -- "Would not the piratical deeds performed by Kidd -- the treasure he has buried, and the incantation he has performed in those midnight orgies, which were celebrated by him and his kindred spirits, form as good a foundation for an historical novel as any contained in the Waverley novels, so much sought after and admired?" -- We should certainly answer the question affirmatively. And we regret to add, that we have just been informed that the subject has already been seized upon by one who aspires to the rank of a novelist, without the talents to maintain it, and whose work is now in the press in this city. We allude to the author of "The Wilderness," a work exceedingly rich in incident, though so tame and clumsy in execution, as to weary and disappoint the reader. Our friend Cooper could give us a charming book about this famous sea-robber.
Excerpt from Washington Irving's 1824
Tales of a Traveller
(II:4 -- The Money-Diggers)
[ 240 ]
KIDD THE PIRATE.
KIDD THE PIRATE. 241to the pirate; both fight for the love of plunder; only that the latter is the bravest, as he dares both the enemy and the gallows.
But in whatever school they had been taught, the Buccaneers who kept about the English colonies were daring fellows, and made sad work in times of peace among the Spanish settlements and Spanish merchantmen. The easy access to the harbour of the Manhattoes; the number of hiding-places about its waters, and the laxity of its scarcely organized government, made it a great rendezvous of the pirates; where they might dispose of their booty, and concert new depredations. As they brought home with them wealthy lading of all kinds, the luxuries of the tropics, and the sumptuous spoils of the Spanish provinces, and disposed of them with the proverbial carelessness of freebooters, they were welcome visitors to the thrifty traders of the Manhattoes. Crews of these desperadoes, therefore, the runagates of every country and every clime, might be seen swaggering in open day about the streets of the
242 KIDD THE PIRATE.little burgh, elbowing its quiet mynheers; trafficking away their rich outlandish plunder at half or quarter price to the wary merchant, and then squandering their prize-money in taverns; drinking, gambling, singing, swearing, shouting, and astounding the neighbourhood with midnight brawl and ruffian revelry.
At length these excesses rose to such a height as to become a scandal to the provinces, and to call loudly for the interposition of government. Measures were accordingly taken to put a stop to the widely-extended evil, and to ferret this vermin brood out of the colonies.
Among the agents employed to execute this purpose was the notorious Captain Kidd. He had long been an equivocal character; one of those nondescript animals of the ocean that are neither fish, flesh, nor fowl. He was somewhat of a trader, something more of a smuggler, with a considerable dash of the pickaroon. He had traded for many years among the pirates, in a little rakish, musquito-built vessel, that could run into all kinds of waters. He
KIDD THE PIRATE. 243knew all their haunts and lurking-places; was always hooking about on mysterious voyages; and as busy as a Mother Cary's chicken in a storm.
This nondescript personage was pitched upon by government as the very man to hunt the pirates by sea, upon the good old maxim of "setting a rogue to catch a rogue;" or as otters are sometimes used to catch their cousins-german, the fish.
Kidd accordingly sailed for New York, in 1695, in a gallant vessel called the Adventure Galley, well armed and duly commissioned. On arriving at his old haunts, however, he shipped his crew on new terms; enlisted a number of his old comrades, lads of the knife and the pistol, and then set sail for the East. Instead of cruising against pirates, he turned pirate himself; steered to the Madeiras, to Bonavista, and Madagascar, and cruised about the entrance of the Red Sea. Here, among other maritime robberies, he captured a rich Quedah merchantman, manned by Moors, though commanded by
244 KIDD THE PIRATE.an Englishman. Kidd would fain have passed this off for a worthy exploit, as being a kind of crusade against the infidels; but government had long since lost all relish for such Christian triumphs.
After roaming the seas, trafficking his prizes, and changing from ship to ship, Kidd had the hardihood to return to Boston, laden with booty, with a crew of swaggering companions at his heels.
Times, however, had changed. The buccaneers could no longer show a whisker in the colonies with impunity. The new governor, Lord Bellamont, had signalized himself by his zeal in extirpating these offenders; and was doubly exasperated against Kidd, having been instrumental in appointing him to the trust which he had betrayed. No sooner, therefore, did he show himself in Boston, than the alarm was given of his re-appearance, and measures were taken to arrest this cut-purse of the ocean. The daring character which Kidd had acquired, however, and the desperate fellows
KIDD THE PIRATE. 245who followed like bull-dogs at his heels, caused a little delay in his arrest. He took advantage of this, it is said, to bury the greater part of his treasures, and then carried a high head about the streets of Boston. He even attempted to defend himself when, arrested, but was secured and thrown into prison, with his followers. Such was the formidable character of this pirate and his crew, that it was thought advisable to despatch a frigate to bring them to England. Great exertions were made to screen him from justice, but in vain; he and his comrades were tried, condemned, and hanged at Execution Dock, in London. Kidd died hard, for the rope with which he was first tied up broke with his weight, and he tumbled to the ground. He was tied up a second time, and more effectually; from hence came, doubtless, the story of Kidd's having a charmed life, and that he had to be twice hanged.
Such is the main outline of Kidd's history; but it has given birth to an innumerable progeny of traditions. The report of his having
246 KIDD THE PIRATE.buried great treasures of gold and jewels before his arrest set the brains of all the good people along the coast in a ferment. There were rumours on rumours of great sums of money found here and there, sometimes in one part of the country, sometimes in another; of coins with Moorish inscriptions, doubtless the spoils of his eastern prizes, but which the common people looked upon with superstitious awe, regarding the Moorish letters as diabolical or magical characters.
Some reported the treasure to have been buried in solitary, unsettled places about Plymouth and Cape Cod; but by degrees various other parts, not only on the eastern coast, but along the shores of the Sound, and even of Manhattan and Long Island, were gilded by these rumours. In fact, the rigorous measures of Lord Bellamont had spread sudden consternation among the buccaneers in every part of the provinces: they had secreted their money and jewels in lonely out-of-the-way places, about the wild shores of the rivers and sea-coast, and dispersed
KIDD THE PIRATE. 247themselves over the face of the country. The hand of justice prevented many of them from ever returning to regain their buried treasures, which remained, and remain probably to this day, objects of enterprise for the money-digger.
This is the cause of those frequent reports of trees and rocks bearing mysterious marks, supposed to indicate the spots where treasure lay hidden; and many have been the ransackings after the pirates' booty. In all the stories which once abounded of these enterprises, the devil played a conspicuous part. Either he was conciliated by ceremonies and invocations, or some solemn compact was made with him. Still he was ever prone to play the money-diggers some slippery trick. Some would dig so far as to come to an iron chest, when some baffling circumstance was sure to take place. Either the earth would fall in and fill up the pit, or some direful noise or apparition would frighten the party from the place; and sometimes the devil himself would appear, and bear off" the prize when within their very grasp; and if they revisited
248 KIDD THE PIRATE.the place the next day, not a trace would be found of their labours of the preceding night.
All these rumours, however, were extremely vague, and for a long time tantalized without gratifying my curiosity. There is nothing in this world so hard to get at as truth, and there is nothing in this world but truth that I care for. I sought among all my favourite sources of authentic information, the oldest inhabitants, and particularly the old Dutch wives of the province; but though I flatter myself that I am better versed than most men in the curious history of my native province, yet for a long time my inquiries were unattended with any substantial result.
At length it happened that, one calm day in the latter part of summer, I was relaxing myself from the toils of severe study, by a day's amusement in fishing in those waters which had been the favourite resort of my boyhood. I was in company with several worthy burghers of my native city, among whom were more than one illustrious member of the corporation, whose
KIDD THE PIRATE. 249names, did I dare to mention them, would do honour to my humble page. Our sport was indifferent. The fish did not bite freely, and we frequently changed our fishing-ground without bettering our luck. We were at length anchored close under a ledge of rocky coast, on the eastern side of the Island of Manhatta. It was a still, warm day. The stream whirled and dimpled by us, without a wave or even a ripple; and every thing was so calm and quiet, that it was almost startling when the kingfisher would pitch himself from the branch of some dry tree, and after suspending himself for a moment in the air to take his aim, would souse into the smooth water after his prey. While we were lolling in our boat, half drowsy with the warm stillness of the day and the dulness of our sport, one of our party, a worthy alderman, was overtaken by a slumber, and as he dosed, suffered the sinker of his drop-line to lie upon the bottom of the river. On waking, he found he had caught something of importance, from the weight. On drawing it to the surface,
250 KIDD THE PIRATE.we were much surprised to find it a long pistol of very curious and outlandish fashion, which, from its rusted condition, and its stock being worm-eaten and covered with barnacles, appeared to have lain a long time under water. The unexpected appearance of this document of warfare occasioned much speculation among my pacific companions. One supposed it to have fallen there during the revolutionary war; another, from the peculiarity of its fashion, attributed it to the voyagers in the earliest days of the settlement; perchance to the renowned Adrian Block, who explored the Sound, and discovered Block Island, since so noted for its cheefee. But a third, after regarding it for some time, pronounced it to be of veritable Spanish workmanship.
"I'll warrant," said he, "if this pistol could talk, it would tell strange stories of hard fights among the Spanish Dons. I've no doubt but it is a relique of the buccaneers of old times -- who knows but it belonged to Kidd himself?"
"Ah! that Kidd was a resolute fellow,"
KIDD THE PIRATE. 251cried an old iron-faced Cape Cod whaler. -- "There's a fine old song about him, all to the tune of --
As I sailed, as I sailed --
As I sailed, as I sailed,
And I buried it in the sand
As I sailed. --
[ 13 ]
CAPTAIN JOHN [sic] KIDD,
EXECUTED FOR PIRACY.
[ 14 ]Captain John Kidd was born in the town of Greenock, in Scotland, and bred to the sea. Having quitted his native country, he resided at New York, where he became owner of a small vessel, with which he traded among the pirates, obtained a thorough knowledge of their haunts, and could give a better account of them than any other person whatever. He was neither remarkable for the excess of his courage nor for the want of it. In a word, his ruling passion appeared to be avarice; and to this was owing his connexion with the pirates. While in their company he used to converse and act as they did; yet, at other times, he would make singular professions of honesty, and intimate how easy a matter it would be to extirpate these abandoned people, and prevent their future depredations.
His frequent remarks of this kind engaged the notice of several considerable planters, who, forming a more favorable idea of him than his true character would warrant, procured him the patronage with which he was afterwards honoured. For a series of years great complaints had been made of the piracies committed in the West Indies, which had been greatly encouraged by some of the inhabitants of North America, on account of the advantage they derived from purchasing effects thus fraudulently obtained. This coming to the knowledge of King William III. he, in the year 1695, bestowed the government of New England and New York on the Earl of Bellamont, an Irish nobleman, of distinguished character and abilities, who immediately began to consider of the most effectual method to redress the evils complained of, and consulted with Colonel Levingston, a gentleman who had great property in New York, on the most feasible steps to obviate the evils so long complained of. At this juncture Captain Kidd was arrived from New York in a sloop of his own: him, therefore, the colonel mentioned to Lord Bellamont as a bold and daring man, who was very fit to be employed against the pirates, as he was perfectly well acquainted with the places which they resorted to. This plan met "with the fullest approbation of his lordship, who mentioned the affair to his Majesty, and recommended it to the Board of Admiralty: but such were then the hurry and confusion of public affairs, that, though the design was approved, no steps were taken towards carrying it into execution.
Accordingly Colonel Levingston made application to Lord Bellamont, that, as the affair would not well admit of delay, it was worthy of being undertaken by some private persons of rank and distinction, and carried into execution at their own expense, notwithstanding public encouragement was denied it . His lordship approved of this project, but it was attended with considerable difficulty: at length, however, the Lord-Chancellor Somers, the Duke of Shrewsbury, the Earl of Romney, the Earl of Otford, and some other persons, with Colonel Levingston, and Captain Kidd, agreed to raise 6000 pounds for the expense of the voyage; and the colonel and captain were to have a fifth of the profits of the whole undertaking.
Matters being thus fat adjusted, a commission, in the usual form, was granted to Captain Kidd, to take and seize pirates, and bring them to justice; but there was no special clause or proviso to restrain his conduct or regulate the mode of his proceeding. Kidd was known to Lord Bellamont, and another gentleman presented him to Lord
[ 15 ]Romney. With regard to the other parlies concerned, he was wholly unacquainted with them; and, so ill was this affair conducted, that he had no private instructions how to act, but received his sailing orders from Lord Bellamont, the purport of which was, that he should ict agreeably to the letter of his commission.
Accordingly a vessel was purchased and manned, and received the name of the Adventure Galley; and in this Captain Kidd sailed for New York towards the close of the year 1695, and in his passage made prize of a French ship. From New York he sailed to the Madeira Islands, thence to Bonavista and St. Iago, and from this last place to Madagascar. He now began to cruise at the entrance of the Red Sea; but, not being successful in those latitudes, he sailed to Calicut, and there took a ship of one hundred and fifty tons' burden, which he carried to Madagascar, and disposed of there. Having sold this prize he again put to sea, and, at the expiration of five weeks, took the Quedah Merchant, a ship of above four hundred tons' burden, the master of which was an Englishman, named Wright, who had two Dutch mates on board, and a French gunner; but the crew consisted of Moors, natives of Africa, and were about ninety in number. He carried the ship to St. Mary's, near Madagascar, where he burnt the Adventure Galley, belonging to his owners, and divided the lading of the Quedah Merchant with his crow, taking forty shares to himself.
They then went on board the last-mentioned ship, and sailed for the West Indies. It is uncertain whether the inhabitants of the West India Islands knew that Kidd was a pirate, but be was refused refreshments at Anguilla and St. Thomas's, and therefore sailed to Mona, between Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, where, through the management of an Englishman, named Bolton, he obtained a supply of provisions from Curacoa. He now bought a sloop of Bolton, in which he stowed great part of his ill-gotten effects, and left the Quedah Merchant, with eighteen of the ship's company, in Bolton's care. While at St. Mary's, ninety men of Kidd's crew left him, and went on board the Mocha Merchant, an East India ship, which had just then commenced pirate.
Kidd now sailed in the sloop, and touched at several places, where he disposed of a great part of his cargo, and then steered for Boston, in New England. In the interim Bolton sold the Quedah Merchant to the Spaniards, and immediately sailed as a passenger in a ship for Boston, where he arrived a considerable time before Kidd, and gave information of what had happened to Lord Bellamont. Kidd, therefore, on his arrival, was seized by order of His Lordship, when all he had to urge in his defence was, that he thought the Quedah Merchant was a lawful prize, as she was manned with Moors, though there was no kind of proof that this vessel had committed any act of piracy.
Upon this the Earl of Bellamont immediately dispatched an account to England of the circumstances that had arisen, and requested that a ship might be sent for Kidd, who had committed several other notorious acts of pifacy. The ship Rochester was accordingly sent to bring him to England; but this vessel, happening to be disabled, was obliged to return: a circumstance which greatly increased a public clamour which had for a time subsisted respecting this affair, and which, no doubt, took its rise from party prejudice. It was carried to
[ 16 ]such a height, that the members of parliament for several places were instructed to move the House for an inquiry into the affair; and accordingly it was moved, in the House of Commons, that The letter-patent granted to the Earl of Bellamont and others, respecting the goods taken from pirates, were dishonourable to the king, against the law of nations, contrary to the laws and statutes of this realm, an invasion of property, and destructive to commerce. Though a negative was put on this motion, yet the enemies of Lord Somers and the Earl of Otford continued to charge those noblemen with giving countenance to pirates; and it was even insinuated that the Earl of Bellamont was not less culpable than the actual offenders. Another motion was accordingly made in the House of Commons, to address his majesty that 'Kidd might not be tried till the nest session of parliament; and that the Earl of Bellamont might be directed to send home all examinations and other papers relative to the affair.' This motion was carried, and the King complied with the request which was made.
As soon as Kidd arrived in England, he was sent for, and examined at the bar of the House of Commons, with a view to fix part of his guilt on the parties who had been concerned in sending him on the expedition; but nothing arose to criminate any of those distinguished persons. Kidd, who was in some degree intoxicated, made a very contemptible appearance at the bar of the House; on which a member, who had been one of the most earnest to have him examined, violently exclaimed, 'This fellow! I thought he had been only a knave, but unfortunately he happens to be a fool likewise.' Kidd was at length tried at the old Bailey, and was convicted on the clearest evidence; but neither at that time nor afterwards charged any of his employers with being privy to his infamous proceedings.
He suffered, with one of his companions (Darby Mullins), at Execution Dock, on the 23d of May, 1701. After Kidd had been tied up to the gallows, the rope broke, * and he fell to the ground; but being immediately tied up again, the ordinary, who had before exhorted him, desired to speak with him once more; and, on this second application, entreated him to make the most careful use of the few further moments thus providentially allotted him for the final preparation of his soul to meet its important change. These exhortations appeared to have the wished-for effect; and he was left, professing his charity to all the world, and his hopes of salvation through the merits of his Redeemer.
Thus ended the life of Captain Kidd, a man who, if he had entertained a proper regard to the welfare of the public, or even to his own advantage, might have become an useful member of society, instead of a disgrace to it. The opportunities he had obtained of acquiring a complete knowledge of the haunts of the pirates rendered him one of the most proper men in the world to have extirpated this nest of villains; but his own avarice defeated the generous views of some of the
* In cases of this distressing nature, and which hath often happened to the miserable sufferer, the sheriff ought to be punished. It is his duty to carry the sentence of the law into execution, and there can be no plea for not providing a rope of sufficient strength. In such a case as the last, it is in fact a double execution, inflicting unnecessary torments, both of body and mind.
[ 17 ]greatest and most distinguished men of the age in which be lived. Hence we may learn the destructive nature of avarice, which generally counteracts all its own purposes. Captain Kidd might have acquired a fortune, and rendered a capital service to his country, in a point the most essential to its interests; but he appeared to be dead to all those generous sensations which do honour to humanity, and materially injured his country, while he was bringing final disgrace on himself.
The story of this wretched malefactor will effectually impress on the mind of the reader the truth of the old observation, that 'Honesty is the best policy.'
New-York [ ] American.
Vol. VI. New York City, July, 1825. No. ?
All the money-diggers, and believers in Captain Kidd's hidden treasures, in the upper part of the city, were set in motion on Friday evening, ny a report that a vast treasure in gold had been found by some laborers digging the foundation of a house in the vicinity of Chatham Square.
Daniel DeFoe's 1794 General History of the Pirates
(pagination taken from Thomas Carey's 1825 edition)
[ 52 ]
CAPTAIN ROBERT KIDD
In the beginning of king William's war, Capt. Kidd commanded a privateer in the West-Indies, and by several adventurous actions acquired the reputation of a brave man, as well as an experienced seaman. About this time the pirates were very troublesome in those parts: wherefore Capt. Kidd was recommended by the Lord Bellamont, then governor of Barbadoes,
CAPTAIN KIDD. 53as well as by several other persons, to the government here, as a person very fit to be entrusted with the command of a government ship, and to be employed in cruising upon the pirates, as knowing those seas perfectly well, and being acquainted with all their lurking places; but what reasons governed the politics of those times, I cannot tell, but this proposal met with no encouragement here, though it is certain it would have been of great consequence to the subject, our merchants suffering incredible damages by those robbers.
Upon this neglect, the lord Bellamont and some others, who knew what great captures had been made by the pirates, and what a prodigious wealth must be in their possession, were tempted to fit out a ship at their own private charge, and to give the command of her to Capt. Kidd; and to give the thing a greater reputation, as well as to keep their seamen under the better command, they procured the king's commission for the said Capt. Kidd, of which the following is an exact copy :
"William the Third, by the grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, defender of the faith, &c. To our trusty and well beloved Capt. Robert Kidd, commander of the ship the Adventure galley, or to any other the commander of the same for the time being, Greeting: Whereas we are informed, that Capt. Thomas Too, John Ireland, Capt. Thomas Wake, and Capt. William Maze, or Mace, and other subjects, natives or inhabitants of New-York, and elsewhere, in our plantations in America, have associated themselves with divers others, wicked and ill-disposed persons, and do, against the law of nations, commit many and great piracies, robberies, and depredations on the seas upon the parts of America,
54 CAPTAIN KIDD.and in other parts, to the great hindrance and discouragement of trade and navigation, and to the great danger and hurt of our loving subjects, our allies, and all others, navigating the seas upon their lawful occasions. Now know ye, that we being desirous to prevent the aforesaid mischiefs, and as much as in us lies, to bring the said pirates, free-booters and sea-rovers to justice, have thought fit, and do hereby give and grant to the said Robert Kidd (to whom our commissioners for exercising the office of Lord High Admiral of England, have granted a commission as a private man of war, bearing date the 11th day of December, 1695,) and unto the commander of the said ship for the time being, and unto the officers, mariners, and others, which shall be under your command, full power and authority to apprehend, seize, and take into your custody as well the said Capt. Thomas Too, John Ireland, Capt. Thomas Wake, and Capt. William Maze, or Mace, as all such pirates, freebooters, and sea-rovers, being either our subjects, or of other nations associated with them, which you shall meet with upon the seas or coasts of America, or upon any other seas or coasts, with all their ships and vessels, and all such merchandises, money, goods, and wares as shall be found on board, or with them, in case they shall willingly yield themselves; but if they will not yield without fighting, then you are by force to compel them to yield. And we also require you to bring, or cause to be brought, such pirates, free-booters, or sea-rovers, as you shall seize, to a legal trial, to the end they may be proceeded against according to the law in such cases. And we do hereby command all our officers, ministers, and other our loving subjects whatsoever, to be aiding and assisting to you in the premises. And we do hereby enjoin you to keep an exact journal of your proceedings in the execution of the premises, and set down the names of such pirates,
CAPTAIN KIDD. 55and of their officers and company, and the names of such ships and vessels as you shall by virtue of these presents take and seize, and the quantities of arms, ammunition, provision, and lading of such ships, and the true value of the same, as near as you judge. And we do hereby strictly charge and command you, as you will answer the contrary at your peril, that you do not, in any manner, offend or molest our friends or allies, their ships or subjects, by color or pretence of these presents, or the authority thereby granted. In witness whereof, we have caused our great seal of England to be affixed to these presents. Given at our court in Kensington, the 26th day of January, 1695, in the 7th year of our reign."
Capt. Kidd had also another commission, which was called a commission of reprisals; for it being then war time, this commission was to justify him in the taking of French merchant ships, in case he should meet with any; but as this commission is nothing to our present purpose, we shall not burthen the reader with it.
With these two commissions he sailed out of Plymouth in May, 1698, in the Adventure galley, of 30 guns, and 80 men; the place he first designed for was New-York; in his voyage thither he took a French banker, but this was no act of piracy, he having a commission for that purpose, as we have just observed.
When he arrived at New-York, he put up articles for engaging more hands, it being necessary to his ship's crew, since he proposed to deal with a desperate enemy. The terms he offered were, that every man should have a share of what was taken, reserving for himself and owners forty shares. Upon which encouragement he soon increased his company to 155 men.
With this company he sailed first for Madeira, where he took in wine and some other necessaries; from
56 CAPTAIN KIDD.thence he proceeded to Bonavista, one of the Cape-de-Verd islands, to furnish the ship with salt, and from thence went immediately to St. Jago, another of the Cape-de-Verd islands, in order to stock himself with provisions. When all this was done, he bent his course to Madagascar, the known rendezvous of pirates. In his way he fell in with Capt. Warren, commodore of three men of war: he acquainted him with his design, kept them company two or three days, and then leaving them, made the best of his way for Madagascar, where he arrived in February, 1696, just nine months from his departure from Plymouth.
It happened that at this time the pirate ships were most of them out in search of prey; so that according to the best intelligence Capt. Kidd could get, there was not one of them at that time about the island: wherefore, having spent some time in watering his ship and taking in more provisions, he thought of trying his fortune on the coast of Malabar, where he arrived in the month of June following, four months from his reaching Madagascar. Hereabouts he made an unsuccessful cruise, touching sometimes at the island of Mohila, and sometimes at that of Johanna, between Malabar and Madagascar. His provisions were every day wasting, and his ship began to want repair: wherefore, when he was at Johanna, he found means of borrowing a sum of money from some Frenchmen who had lost their ship, but saved their effects, and with this he purchased materials for putting his ship in good repair.
It does not appear all this while that he had the least design of turning pirate; for near Mohila and Johanna both, he met with several Indian ships richly laden, to which he did not offer the least violence, though he was strong enough to have done what he pleased with them; and the first outrage or depredation I find he committed upon mankind, was after his repairing his
CAPTAIN KIDD. 57ship, and leaving Johanna: he touched at a place called Mabbee, upon the Red Sea, where he took some Guinea corn from the natives, by force. After this, he sailed to Bab's Key, a place upon a little island at the entrance of the Red Sea. Here it was that he first began to open himself to his ship's company, and let them understand that he intended to change his measures; for, happening to talk of the Mocha fleet, which was to sail that way, he said, We have been unsuccessful hitherto; but courage, my boys, we'll make our fortunes out of this fleet: and finding that none of them appeared averse to it, he ordered a boat out, well manned, to go upon the coast to make discoveries, commanding them to take a prisoner and bring to him, or get intelligence any way they could. The boat returned in a few days, bringing him word, that they saw fourteen or fifteen ships ready to sail, some with English, some with Dutch, and some with Moorish colors.
We cannot account for this sudden change in his conduct, otherwise than by supposing that he first meant well, while he had hopes of making his fortune by taking of pirates; but now weary of ill success, and fearing lest his owners, out of humor at their great expenses, should dismiss him, and he should want employment, and be marked out for an unlucky man; rather, I say, than run the hazard of poverty, he resolved to do his business one way, since he could not do it another.
He therefore ordered a man continually to watch at the mast head, lest this fleet should go by them; and about four days after, towards evening, it appeared in sight, being convoyed by one English and one Dutch man of war. Kidd soon fell in with them, and getting into the midst of them, fired at a Moorish ship which was next him; but the men of war taking the alarm, bore down upon Kidd, and firing upon him, obliged
58 CAPTAIN KIDD.him to sheer off, he not being strong enough to contend with them. Now he had begun hostilities, he resolved to go on, and therefore he went and cruised along the coast of Malabar. The first prize he met was a small vessel belonging to Aden: the vessel was Moorish, and the owners were Moorish merchants, but the master was an Englishman; his name was Parker. Kidd forced him and a Portuguese that was called Don Antonio, which were all the Europeans on board, to take on with him; the first he designed as a pilot, and the last as an interpreter. He also used the men very cruelly, causing them to be hoisted up by the arms, and drubbed with a naked cutlass, to force them to discover whether they had money on board, and where it lay; but as they had neither gold nor silver on board, he got nothing by his cruelty; however, he took from them a bale of pepper, and a bale of coffee, and so let them go.
A little time after he touched at Carawar, a place upon the same coast, where, before he arrived, the news of what he had done to the Moorish ship had reached them; for some of the English merchants there had received an account of it from the owners, who corresponded with them: wherefore, as soon as Kidd came in, he was suspected to be the person who committed this piracy; and one Mr. Harvey and Mr. Mason, two of the English factory, came on board and asked for Parker, and Antonio, the Portuguese; but Kidd denied that he knew any such persons, having secured them both in a private place in the hold, where they were kept for seven or eight days, that is, till Kidd sailed from thence.
However, the coast was alarmed, and a Portuguese man of war was sent out to cruise. Kidd met with her, and fought her about six hours, gallantly enough; but finding her too strong to be taken, he quitted her; for he was able to run away from her when he would.
CAPTAIN KIDD. 59Then he went to a place called Porca, where he watered the ship, and bought a number of hogs of the natives to victual his company.
Soon after this, he came up with a Moorish ship, the master whereof was a Dutchman, called Schipper Mitchell, and chased her under French colors, which they observing, hoisted French colors too; when he came up with her, he hailed her in French, and they having a Frenchman on board; answered him in the same language; upon which he ordered them to send their boat on board; they were obliged to do so, and having examined who they were, and from whence they came, he asked the Frenchman, who was a passenger, if he had a French pass for himself; the Frenchman gave him to understand that he had. Then he told the Frenchman he must pass for captain, and by ____ says he, you are the captain: the Frenchman durst not refuse doing as he would have him. The meaning of this was, that he would seize the ship as fair prize, and as if she had belonged to French subjects, according to a commission he had for that purpose; though, one would think, after what he had already done, that he need not have recourse to a quibble to give his actions a color.
In short, he took the cargo, and sold it some time after; yet still he seemed to have some fears upon him, lest these proceedings should have a bad end; for, coming up with a Dutch ship some time after, when his men thought of nothing but attacking her, Kidd opposed it; upon which a mutiny arose, and the majority being for taking the said ship, and arming themselves to man the boat to go and seize her, he told them, such as did, never should come on board him again; which put an end to the design, so that he kept company with the said ship some time, without offering her any violence. However, this dispute was the occasion of an accident, upon which an indictment
60 CAPTAIN KIDD.was afterwards grounded against Kidd; for Moor, the gunner, being one day upon deck, and talking with Kidd, about the said Dutch ship, some words arose between them, and Moor told Kidd, that he had ruined them all; upon which, Kidd, calling him a dog, took up a bucket and struck him with it, which breaking his scull, he died the next day.
But Kidd's penitential fit did not last long, for coasting along Malabar, he met with a great number of boats, all which he plundered. Upon the same coast he also fell in with a Portuguese ship, which he kept possession of a week, and then having taken out of her some chests of India goods, thirty jars of butter, with some wax, iron, and a hundred bags of rice, he let her go.
Much about the same time he went to one of the Malabar islands for wood and water, and his cooper being ashore, was murdered by the natives; upon which Kidd himself landed, and burnt and pillaged several of their houses, the people running away; but having taken one, he caused him to be tied to a tree, and commanded one of his men to shoot him; then putting to sea again he took the greatest prize which fell into his hands while he followed this trade; this was a Moorish ship of 400 tons, richly laden, named the Queda Merchant, the master whereof was an Englishman, by the name of Wright; for the Indians often make use of English or Dutchmen to command their ships, their own mariners not being so good artists in navigation. Kidd chased her under French colors, and having come up with her, he ordered her to hoist out her boat, and to send on board of him, which being done, he told Wright he was his prisoner; and informing himself concerning the said ship, he understood there were no Europeans on aboard, except two Dutch, and one Frenchman, all the rest being Indians or Armenians, and that the Armenians
CAPTAIN KIDD. 61were part owners of the cargo. Kidd gave the Armenians to understand, that if they would offer anything that was worth his taking for their ransom, he would hearken to it. Upon which, they proposed to pay him 20,000 rupees, not quite £3000 sterling; but Kidd judged this would be making a bad bargain, wherefore he rejected it, and setting the crew on shore, at different places on the coast, he soon sold as much of the cargo as came to ten thousand pounds. With part of it he also trafficked, receiving in exchange provisions, or such other goods as he wanted; by degrees he disposed of the whole cargo, and when the division was made, it came to about £200 a man; and having reserved forty shares to himself, his dividend amounted to about £8000 sterling.
The Indians along the coast came on board and trafficked with all freedom, and he punctually performed his bargains, till about the time he was ready to sail; and then thinking he should have no further occasion for them, he made no scruple of taking their goods, and setting them on shore without any payment in money or goods, which they little expected; for as they had been used to deal with pirates, they always found them men of honor in the way of trade; "a people, enemies to deceit, and that scorned to rob but in their own way.
Kidd put some of his men on board the Queda Merchant, and with this ship and his own, sailed for Madagascar. As soon as he had arrived and cast anchor, there came on board of him a canoe, in which were several Englishmen, who had formerly been well acquainted with Kidd. As soon as they saw him they saluted him, and told him, they were informed he was come to take them, and hang them, which would be a little unkind in such an old acquaintance. Kidd soon dissipated their doubts, by swearing he had no such design, and that he was now in every respect
62 CAPTAIN KIDD.their brother, and just as bad as they; and calling for a cup of bomboo, drank their captain's health.
These men belonged to a pirate ship, called the Resolution, formerly the Mocha Merchant, whereof one Capt. Culliford was commander, and which lay at an anchor not far from them. Kidd went on board with them, promising them his friendship and assistance, and Culliford in his turn came on board of Kidd; and Kidd, to testify his sincerity in iniquity, finding Culliford in want of some necessaries, made him a present of an anchor and some guns, to fit him out for sea again.
The Adventure galley was now so old and leaky, that they were forced to keep two pumps continually going; wherefore Kidd shifted all the guns and tackle out of her into the Queda Merchant, intending her for his man of war; and as he had divided the money before, he now made a division of the remainder of the cargo: soon after which, the greatest part of the company left him, some going on board Capt. Culliford, and others absconding into the country, so that he had not above 40 men left
He put to sea, and happened to touch at Amboyna, one of the Dutch spice islands, where he was told, that the news of his actions had reached England, and that he was there declared a pirate.
The truth of it is, his piracies so alarmed our merchants, that some motions were made in parliament, to inquire into the commission that was given him, and the persons who fitted him out. These proceedings seemed to lean a little hard upon Lord Bellamont, who thought himself so much touched thereby, that he published a justification of himself in a pamphlet, after Kidd's execution. In the mean time it was thought advisable, in order to stop the course of these piracies, to publish a proclamation, offering the king's free pardon to all such pirates as should voluntarily surrender
CAPTAIN KIDD. 63themselves, whatever piracies they had been guilty of, at any time before the last day of April, 1699 -- that is to say, for all piracies committed eastward of the Cape of Good Hope, to the longitude and meridian of Socatora, and Cape Cormorin; in which proclamation, Avery and Kidd were excepted by name.
When Kidd left Amboyna he knew nothing of this proclamation, for certainly had he had notice of his being excepted in it, he would not have been so infatuated, as to run himself into the very jaws of danger; but relying upon his interest with the lord Bellamont, and fancying that a French pass or two he found on board some of the ships he took, would serve to countenance the matter, and that part of the booty he got would gain him new friends -- I say, all these things made him flatter himself that all would be hushed, and that justice would but wink at him. -- Wherefore he sailed directly for New- York, where he was no sooner arrived, but by the lord Bellamont's orders, he was secured with all his papers and effects. Many of his fellow-adventurers, who had forsook him at Madagascar, came over from thence passengers, some to New-England, and some to Jersey; where hearing of the king's proclamation for pardoning of pirates, they surrendered themselves to the governor of those places. At first they were admitted to bail, but soon after laid in strict confinement, where they were kept for some time, till an opportunity happened of sending them with their captain over to England to be tried.
Accordingly a sessions of admiralty being held at the Old Bailey, in May, 1701, Capt. Kidd, Nicholas Churchill, James How, Robert Lumley, William Jenkins, Gabriel Loff, Hugh Parrot, Richard Barlicorn, Abel Owens, and Darby Mulling, were arraigned for piracy and robbery on the high seas, and all found guilty except three: these were Robert Lumley, William Jenkins, and Richard Barlicorn, who proving
64 CAPTAIN KIDD.themselves to be apprentices to some of the officers of the ship, and producing their indentures in court, were acquitted.
The three above mentioned, though they were proved to be concerned in taking and sharing the ship and goods mentioned in the indictment, yet, as the gentlemen of the long robe rightly distinguished, there was a great difference between their circumstances and the rest; for there must go an intention of the mind and a freedom of the will to the committing an act of felony or piracy. A pirate is not to be understood to be under constraint, but a free agent; for in this case, the bare act will not make a man guilty, unless the will make it so.
Now a servant, it is true, if he go voluntarily, and have his proportion, he must be accounted a pirate, for then he acts upon his own account, and not by compulsion; and these persons, according to the evidence, received their part, but whether they accounted to their masters for their shares afterwards, is the matter in question, and what distinguishes them as free agents or men, that did go under the compulsion of their masters, which being left to the consideration of the jury, they found them not guilty.
Kidd was tried upon an indictment of murder also, viz. for killing Moor, the gunner, and found guilty of the same. Nicholas Churchill, and James How pleaded the king's pardon, as having surrendered themselves within the time limited in the proclamation, and Col. Bass, governor of West Jersey, to whom they surrendered, being in court, and called upon, proved the same. However, this plea was over-ruled by the court, because there being four commissioners named in the proclamation, viz. Capt Thomas Warren, Israel Hayes, Peter Delannoye, and Christopher Pollard, Esquires, who were appointed commissioners, and sent over on purpose to receive the submissions
CAPTAIN KIDD. 65of such pirates as should surrender, it was adjudged no other person was qualified to receive their surrender, and that they could not be entitled to the benefit of the said proclamation, because they had not in all circumstances complied with the conditions of it.
Darby Mullins urged in his defence, that he served under the king's commission, and therefore could not disobey his commander without incurring great punishments; that whenever a ship or ships went out upon any expedition under the king's commission, the men were never allowed to call their officers to an account, why they did this, or why they did that, because such a liberty would destroy all discipline: that if any thing was done which was unlawful, the officers were to answer it, for the men did no more than their duty in obeying orders. He was told by the court, that acting under the commission justified in what was lawful, but not in what was unlawful. He answered, he stood in need of nothing to justify him in what was lawful, but the case of seamen must be very hard, if they must be brought into such danger for obeying the commands of their officers, and punished for not obeying them; and if they were allowed to dispute the orders, there could be no such thing as command kept up at sea.
This seemed to be the best defence the thing could bear; but his taking a share of the plunder, the seamen's mutinying on board several times, and taking upon them to control the captain, showed there was no obedience paid to the commission; and that they acted in all things according to the custom of pirates and free-booters, which weighing with the jury, they brought him in guilty with the rest.
As to Capt. Kidd's defence, he insisted much on his own innocence, and the villainy of his men. He said, he went out in a laudable employment and had no occasion, being then in good circumstances, to go
66 CAPTAIN KIDD.a pirating; that the men often mutinied against him, and did as they pleased; that he was threatened to be shot in the cabin, and that ninety-five left him at one time, and set fire to his boat, so that he was disabled from bringing his ship home, or the prizes he took, to have them regularly condemned, which he said were taken by virtue of a commission under the broad seal, they having French passes. The captain called one Col. Hewson to his reputation, who gave him an extraordinary character, and declared to the court, that he had served under his command, and been in two engagements with him against the French, in which he fought as well as any man he ever saw; that there were only Kidd's ship and his own against Monsieur du Cass, who commanded a squadron of six sail, and they got the better of him. But this being several years before the facts mentioned in the indictment were committed, proved of no manner of service to the prisoner on his trial.
As to the friendship shown to Culliford, a notorious pirate, Kidd denied, and said, he intended to have taken him, but his men being a parcel of rogues and villains refused to stand by him, and several of them ran away from his ship to the said pirate. -- But the evidence being full and particular against him, he was found guilty as before mentioned.
When Kidd was asked what he had to say why sentence should not pass against him, he answered, that he had nothing to say, but that he had been sworn against by perjured and wicked people. And when sentence was pronounced, he said, my Lord, it is a very hard sentence. For my part, I am the most innocent person of them all, only I have been sworn against by perjured persons.
Wherefore about a week after, Capt. Kidd, Nicholas Churchill, James How, Gabriel Loff, Hugh Parrot, Abel Owen, and Darby Mullins, were executed at Execution Dock, and afterwards hung up in chains, at some distance from each other, down the river, where their bodies hung exposed for many years.
Vol. ? New York City, December 2 ?, 1826. No. ?
Money Hunting. -- Nearly every scheme for recovering buried or sunken treasures, from the inhumed coffers of Captain Kidd, to the submerged fortunes of the frigate Hussar at Hell Gate, appear to be attended with some unlucky contingency, which snatched the almost-possessed hoards from mortal hands. The genii of Kidd, and the demon of the Gate, have been exercised and combatted, but all to no purpose, they prove invincible sentiments of their ghostly employers.
Vol. XIX. Hartford, Conn., Monday, July 16, 1827. No. 5.
FOR THE MIRROR.
THE MONEY DIGGERS. *
AND ALBANY SATURDAY MAGAZINE.
Vol. I. Albany, New York, Saturday, October 6, 1827. No. ?
THE BUCCANEERS. The new Romanic under the title of "The Buccaneers," A Romance of our own country in its ancient day, which was announced some weeks past as in press, will it is understood, make its appearance in about a week in the city of New-York, and will be published in London during the middle of this month, October. The scene of its action lies principally on the Island of Manhattan, or Newfork, though partly at the city of Albany, and its immediate neighbourhood, during the latter end of the 17th century, and at an interesting period of the colonial history, as the work portrays the fierce struggle for supremacy between the factions of the Bayard and Leister families (the provincial houses of York and Lancaster) whose terrible controversies for power, as represented by Smith in his excellent history of New-York, convulsed the province almost to its ruin, giving advantage of annoyance to foreign and intestine enemies, as was proved by the successful inroads in the colony by the French from Canada, and the burning and massacre at Schenectady by the Indians. The celebrated freebooter Capt Kidd is also an important personage in the Romance, and although the fame of this daring robber who was once the terror of the ocean, will most probably be handed down to an hundred succeeding generations, by the old ballad "As I sailed, &c." and the numerous fireside traditions, the coinage of fear and superstition with which our country abounds; there are few but will be gratified at the perusal of a work which describes among its character a rover so savage and relentless: indeed the name of Kidd is in part intimately interwoven with our Colonial Records. He was a pirate during the reign of King William the Third; for according to Smollett, the colonies of North America having grown rich by piracy, Kidd was despatched with a vessel fitted out for the purpose to suppress the maruaders, but he turned pirate himself, and during his career had a notion and fully justified all the anticipations of secret place of retirement on or near a hill about two miles south of the city of Albany, (and which still bears the name of Kiddenhoogten, as it is improperly called Kettenhoogten,) that hill according to tradition he adopted as a place of rendezvous, for those infernal spirits, to whose care he entrusted the enormous sums of money which he buried in the earth, ami there it is said also, he made a cave which is hidden from all human observation in which he buried 50 boxes of gold, and laid upon them 13 human bodies of those whom he had murdered, in order to serve as a talisman against the prying curiosity of such as were in search of hidden treasure. At Coeymans also, it is affirmed, that Kidd remained during part of two seasons, secreted in a barn belonging to one of the name of Coeyman's, and afterwards in a mill called Livingston's mill, the property of Col. Livingston, and ancestor of the present family of that name, who by many was supposed (possibly without foundation) to have protected and encouraged the dangerous marauder. Eventually, Kidd was taken and sent to England, and there tried for murder and piracy, and executed in 1701. Besides an interesting story which the stirring events of the period so easily admits, it is presumed that the Romance of "The Buccaneers" will afford considerable entertainment from a humorous though faithful portraiture of the manners, customs and fashions of the honest Dutch settlers of the New Netherlands, as many of the "Mynheers and frawes," the progenitors of many of our citizens whose names are familiar from their extraction, and as connected from the first settlement with New-York, are said to figure in the pages of this forthcoming work -- and doubtless the simple manners of the olden day have given opportunitiess for many ludicrous though just comparisons with the fashions, luxuries, and follies of our own times.
Vol. ? New York City, Friday, January 25, 1867. No. ?
Captain Kidd and his Treasure.
Every year or two we hear of some new attempt to discover the hidden treasure of Captain Kidd. Now it is in Nova Scotia, now at Lynn, Mass., then at Coventry, Conn., and often at points near New Haven harbor. And yet very few know the story of Captain Kidd's wanderings. We present below an authentic sketch which is almost as good as romance: