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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.

THAT certain Pyrates having some years since found the Island of Madagascar to be the most proper, if not the only Place in the World for their Abode, and carrying on their Destructive Trade with Security, betook themselves thither; and being since increased to a formidable Body, are become a manifest Obstruction to Trade, and Scandal to our Nation and Religion, being most of them English, at least four Fifths.

That Madagascar is one of the Largest islands in the World, and very Fruitful, lies near the Entrance into the East-Indies, and is divided into a great many petty Kingdoms independant of each other, so that there is no making Application to any Supream Monarch (or indeed any else) to Expel or Destroy the Pyrates there.

That upon a general Peace, when Multitudes of Soldiers and Seamen will want Employment; or by length of Time, and the Pyrates generating with the Women of the Country, their Numbers should be increased, they may form themselves into a Settlement of Robbers, as Prejudicial to Trade as any on the Coast of Affrica.

For it's natural to consider, That all Persons owe by Instinct a Love to the Place of their Birth: Therefore the present Pyrates must desire to return to their Native Country; and if this present Generation should be once Extinct, their Children will have the same Inclination to Madagascar as these have to England, and will not have any such Affection for England, altho' they will retain the Name of English; and consequently all those succeeding Depredations committed by them will be charged to the Account of England. Notwithstanding they were not born of us, so that this seems the only Time for Reducing them to their Obedience, and preventing all those evil Consequences.

It must therefore be allow'd to be a very desirable an necessary Thing, that they should be suppressed in Time; and that if it ever be effected, it must be either by Force or Perswasion.

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[And as] to the Former, it seems morally Impossible to reduce them by force, for the pyrates have, by their liberality in bestowing part of their booties on the inhabitants, so gain'd their love and esteem that, should any superior force be sent to reduce them, they might readily march up far into the country and be safe.

Fair means is the only way to reclaim them; and in order to it endeavours of that nature have been used, but so ill managed that several of the Pyrates who relied upon promises (and even Proclamations) and thereupon surrender'd themselves, having lost some their lives, all their effects, and been treated in a most inhumane manner, it is not to be expected the rest should come in without more ample security for the safety both of their lives and treasure, but have declared they are still willing to come in, on condition they were rendered secure to their satisfaction.

And though their treasure has been all got by robbery, yet since it can never be restored to the owners, having been taken (mostly, if not wholly) from the subjects of the Great Mogull, etc., and now lies buried or useless in or near Madagascar, it's much better they should be permitted to bring it to England with safety, where it may do good, &c., and the Pyrates be reclaimed and become bold and skilful mariners and subjects of H.M. &c.

... Proposes that a person of considerable quality, well known to them, be sent with a pardon and conditions of surrender; and escort them to England with a squadron of 4 or 5 H. M. ships.... [2 more pages follow -- Printed, 1707.]

(click here for high resolution image of 1700s Madagascar map)



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.

The London Gazette.

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.

New-York Daily Gazette.

Vol. ?                       New York City, Wednesday, June 23, 1790.                       No. 465

For the New-York Daily Gazette.

Mr. M'Lean:
      In sending the anecdote, published in your Gazette of Friday, and commented upon in the Advertiser of Saturday last, I had not even the most distant thought or design of depreciating the very respectable character of the Earl of Bellamont, formerly Governor both of New-York and Massachusetts. To tread lightly, upon the ashes of the dead, hath ever been a rule from which I have not intentionally deviated, even where great failings have been manifest. The anecdote was fairly related, as it was mentioned to me by an ancestor, a sincere disciple of truth and justice, and therefore incapable od misrepresenting intentionally; and notwithstanding what Smith and Hutchinson may have said (for I have not their histories by me) I am inclined still to think the story to be substantially as you have related it...
H O M O.        
N. B. ... "Richard Coote, Lord Coloony, of the kingdom of Ireland, was in 1695 advanced to the dignity of Earl of Bellamont, and in the beginning of the same year his Lordship was named by the King, to be his Majesty's Governor of New-York, a place then remarkably infected with the two dangerous diseases of an unlawful trade, and of the practice of piracy; which employment he was chiefly induced to accept... with those qualifications more likely than any other... to put a stop to that illegal trade, and to the growth of piracy..."

"The Earl, after accepting the post, in a discourse with Colonel Robert Levingston, a person of considerable estate and fair reputation, and who had several employments in that province, took occasion to mention the scandal that lay upon New-York on those accounts, and expressing a zeal to put a stop to that pyratical trade, the Colonel proposed the employing of Captain William Kid, lately arrived thence in a trading sloop of his own, who knew the principal pyrates, and their usual resorts, and who would undertake to seize most of them, in case he might be employed in one of the King's ships, a good sailor, of about thirty guns and 150 men. His Lordship acquainted the King with the proposal, and his Majesty consulted the Admiralty; but the war employing all his ships, and the great want of seamen, together with the remoteness of the voyage, and the uncertainty of meeting with, or taking the pyrates, occasioned the laying aside of this project as impracticable at that time."

"Colonel Levingston finding no hopes of succeeding this way, proposed to his Lordship, that if persons of consideration might be induced to join in the expence of fitting out a proper ship, he had such an opinion of Kid's capacity and integrity, that himself and Kid would be at the fifth part of the charge, offering to become bound with him for his faithful execution of the commission, and safe bringing back of the vessel. His Lordship imparted this second overture to the King, who approved highly of the design, and declared, as an encouragement to the undertakers, that they should have a grant of Kid's captures, so far as they might belong to his Majesty, except a certain reservation, chiefly to shew that he was a partner in the undertaking."

"Upon this encouragement, the Earl engaged the Lord Chancellor Somers, the Lords Shrewsbury, Romney, and Orford, with others, to advance near £6000 in fitting out the Adventure-galley, and 10 December 1695 Kid had a commission from the Admiralty as a private man of war, and (that empowering him only to act against the French) another under the great seal 26 January, with full power to apprehend all pyrates he should meet with, and bring them to a legal trial, in order to suffer the punishment os the law."

He sailed from London in February, and the first news of him (contrary to the expectation and intention of the adventurers) was about August 1698, that the East-India Company informed the Lords Justices, they had received intelligence from their factors, that Kid had committed several acts of pyracy, particularly in seizing a Moor's ship, called the Quedah Merchant; and the first news of his return into the American seas, was by a letter from the President and Council of Nevis to the Secretary of State, dated 18 May 1699; after which he sailed to Rhode Island, and thence sent one Emmot to the Earl of Bellamont at Boston, who informed him, that Kid had left the Quedah Merchant, which he took in India, in a creek on the coast of Hispaniola, with goods in her to a great value: that he was come thither to make his terms in a sloop, which had on board goods to the value of ten thousand pounds, and was able to make his innocence appear by many witnesses."

"His Lordship, overjoyed at the news, concerted to see him brought to justice, communicated his intention of seizing him to the Council, and with their approbation wrote him a letter, assuring him, that if he would make his innocence appear, he might safely come to Boston. In a few days Kid returned an answer, filled with protestations of his innocence, and 1 June 1699 landing at Boston, was examined before the Earl, and the council of that province; when his answers being very trifling and evasive, and Levingston demanding the delivery of the bond to him, wherein he stood engaged for Kid's honest performance of the expedition; his Lordship, 6 June, had Kid and some of his crew committed close prisoners, and the cargo entrusted with persons appointed by the council; being determined to touch none of the effects himself, nor take one step but in concurrence with the council."

"When this was done, his Lordsoip, with great dexterity and diligence, regained a considerable part of the goods, Kid had concealed in several places; and by letters, 8 July, transmitted the whole transactions to the Secretary of State and Council of Trade, pressing, that immediate care might be taken to send for them in order to their trial, as there was no law in New England to punish pyracy with death. Accordingly 12 April, 1700, he was brought to London, and on his examination before the Admiralty committed close prisoner to Newgate, where he remained till about the beginning of March following, when the House of Commons examined into the matter, and on the 28th March 1701, after a very long debate upon the question, that a grant passed under the great seal of England to Richard, Earl of Bellamont and others, of all the goods and other things, which should be taken by Kid from Thomas Too, John Ireland, and others in the said grant mentioned, as pirates, before their conviction, is illegal and void, it passed in the negative..."

Note: The history cited above by "H.O.M.O." was copied from John Lodge's 1789 book, The Peerage of Ireland... Vol. 3, pp. 210-212.


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,

"Inclosed is an inscription that was taken off a stone which was dug up in this town last week. The circumstances attending the affair is this: -- a young man belonging here dug up the stone, and under it he saith was a pot full of dollars. -- He divulged the secret to two more young men, who last Monday night took, as we conclude, one if not two pots of money. -- The stone and the inscription on it I have seen: it appears to be a ballast stone, and the engraving on it much blur'd. We think it was buried by Robert [sic] Kidd the pirate. The inscription I send you is as exact as can be taken. -- If any further discovery is made respecting the money, &c., I will give you information. -- The stone and inscription is a curiosity. -- It was dug up within a quarter mile of our south shore, on a flat piece of ground. -- The pot was about three feet under ground. The person who engraved the inscription on the stone apepars to have been a very illiterate character, as you will see by the spelling, poetry, letters, &c.
this       [where] pot       under this       this pot [stood]       there lies       another twice as good.       R. K. 158
N. B. The original cannot be exactly imitated with common printing types.

Note 1: Compare the above report with this excerpt from William Grainge's 1859 The Vale of Mowbray, pp. 277-78: "Many years ago there resided in the village of Upsall a man who dreamed three nights successively that if he went to London Bridge he would hear of something greatly to his advantage. He went traveling the whole distance from Upsall to London... [where] he was accosted by a Quaker who... told him that he had had that night a very curious dream himself, which was, that if he went and dug under a certain bush in Upsall Castle in Yorkshire, he would find a pot of gold... [the Upsall man] returned immediately home dug beneath the bush, and there he found a pot filled with gold and on the cover an inscription... which was 'Look lower where this stood, Is another twice as good' --- The man of Upsall hearing this resumed his spade returned to the bush dug deeper and found another pot filled with gold far more valuable than the first..."

Note 2: An article published in the Springfield Daily Illinois State Register of May 23, 1920, under the heading "Dreaming and Digging," included this summary: "There is a legend of an Englishman who dreamed three nights in succession that if he dug under an alder tree on a field of York, he would find something. --- After digging for awhile the digger found a pot filled with copper coin. On the cover of the pot was written these words: 'Look lower; where this one stands is one twice as good.' Digging lower, he found a chest full of silver, and on the lid of the chest was written: 'Look lower, where this stood is another twice as good.' He kept on digging, and finally found a treasure of gold..."


Vol. I.                     Brattleborough, Vermont, Monday, May 9, 1803.                     No. 12.

New-York, April 25....        


The old story of treasure buried in the vicinity of this city, by Kidd, the pirate, and also by different inhabitants who were driven from their homes in the commencement of the war, are, we understand, revived.

A gentleman who lives near the state prison has discovered that several persons have lately been digging for money during the night time, in different parts of his ground.

It appears that these stories have been put in circulation by a few individuals, and that they have deluded a much greater number of people than would be imagined. They sell shares in their contemplated discoveries, at five and ten dollars, or such sums as they can procure, according to the credulity of their dupes, and then prescribe a number of superstitious and complicated ceremonials, with which the search must be made; so that they can always avail themselves of the breach of some one or another of these ceremonies, as the cause of failure in their attempts.

It is proper that people should be put on their guard against the designs of these men, who, whether knaves or fools, will lead them into expenses, in pursuit of visionary schemes.
Morn. Chron.        

Note: For an example of an early document alloting "shares in their contemplated discoveries," see the Articles of Agreement entered into by Joseph Smith and his money-digger associates, at Harmony, Pennsylvania in 1825.


Vol. XV.                                Utica, New York, August, 5, 1817.                                No. 767.


NO. 10.

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.
I dreamt it twice, and I dreamt it thrice,
And we went to the far sea shore;
And spades we took and the holy book,
And merrily went we four....

Adieu, adieu, ye flames so blue,
For I see ye no more for aye,
God grant I may dig for the money of Kidd,
Ne again till my dying day.

(view entire 1817 article)

Notes: (forthcoming)

Hallowell  Gazette

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.

The tradition is, that vast quantities of money were deposited in various places in the earth, by the Buccaniers who infested our coast in the early settlement of the country. On these occasions one of the marauders, who had previously bound himself by an oath to guard the deposit, was killed and buried on the spot.

The work at present is going on with much rapidity, and another excavation about [50] feet deep, has been made but a short distance from the first.

"I conversed," says a gentleman who recently visited the spot, "with the old man who superintended the work, and found him tolerably intelligent upon other subjects. He uniformly evaded my questions which were put to him respecting the motives and expected results of this extraordinary enterprise. His son, however, a lad of 13, who shrewdly suspects they will have their labour for their pains, is more communicative. Having bribed him with a few coppers, he informed us that his father was first induced to undertake the business by a remarkable dream, which was repeated three nights in succession. After consulting an old woman in the neighbourhood, celebrated for her skill in the mystic art, an idiot, generally known by the appellation of "Greely's Fool," who, by the way, although he knows nothing of the material world, is reputed wise in all that relates to the invisible, he was confirmed in the belief of the existence of a subterranean treasure in this spot. Our young informant stated that many of the original partners in the concern had sold out their shares at an advance upon the first cost, and that others who are now concerned, have spent nearly all that they possessed."

Note: This article was widely reprinted in 1822. Editorial remarks attached to an excerpt published in the Vermont Woodstock Gazette of April 2, 1822 included "Captain Kidd and his band" among "the Buccaniers who formerly infested our coast," leaving deposits of buried treasure. The Woodstock article goes on to say: "The passion for digging money has shown itself in many parts of the country. It is but a few years since it was common in this vicinity. The ground in and near this village was frequently found excavated by these wiseacres, who came around with their witch-hazel rods, as if they were to 'call up spirits from the vasty deep.' None, however, were ever able to find the hidden treasure, and we have never heard of any money-digger who was successdul, save old 'John Gray of Middlholm,' whose story in Hogg's Winter Evening Tales may be recommended to all who wish to find treasure in the earth." The Woodstock editor may have been referring to the nearby money-digging efforts of the Nathaniel Wood cult's "rodsmen" around Middleton, Vermont -- but a slightly more plausible location for buried Captain Kidd treasure would have been several miles to the east, along the shores of the Connecticut River.


Vol. ?                     New York City, Wednesday, April 24, 1822.                    No. ?


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.

The devil had hitherto kindly let them alone it appeared till within about two days past when the poor fellow saw him spring up out of the bottom of the pit, in length, size and colour like a large black cat, and their digging had in consequence been suspended since; but they were just agoing to renew it again with fresh resolution, but the charm had now been broken by one of the police officers getting down into the pit, and any further labor would be all in vain -- The negro was examined by a magistrate and severely threatened that if he dug another shovel full the devil should carry him off through an underground passage; all which he faithfully swallowed with eyes bursting from their sockets with wonder and terror, and his recent experience of the frightful black creature coming up out of the bottom of the pit, had well prepared him to believe it. The pit has also been filled up.

This infatuation of digging for Kidd's money has continued now for near a century and sticks as deeply into the mind as ever.

One tradition respecting it, may, perhaps, amuse. Whenever Kidd and his bloody band buried a quantity of money, their usage was to cut off the head of one of the band, and lay it on the boxes of treasure, by which a compact was formed with the devil to guard the deposit forever; and if thereafter any meddling mortal should dare to disturb it, that bloody head would send up spouts of blood from its arteries, and all the power of the infernal would be roused to protect it.

Notes: (forthcoming)

John Gardiner Calkins Brainard's Fort Braddock Letters, 1822


Vol. XIII.                             Hartford, Conn., Monday, June 3, 1822.                             No. 50.

FT.  BRADDOCK, _____

"My name was Robert Kidd,
And God's laws I did forbid,
And thus wickedly I did -- as I sail'd."
The appearance of the sky indicated one of those autumnal storms which render navigation dangerous on the coast of New England, when a ship of a size and appearance more large and imposing than was usually seen in those waters, was crossing Long Island Sound, and making for Gardiner's Bay, She came round the point, and anchored under the land, as near the shore as was safe, in a place so sheltered by the woods, and the projection of land towards the sand bar, as not to be readily seen from the sound. Two boats put off from the vessel, one of which steered towards the southern part of the bay, and the other directly for the shore. This last was filled with men, who repaired to a rude cabin, which stood in the edge of the wood, not far from the water. Here they made preparations for spending the night, by kindling a fire, and bringing into the hut refreshments, and several other articles from the boat.

The night, which had now set in, soon became pitchy dark, and the storm, which had been foreseen, began with violence. The hut was dry, and derived an air of comfort from the tempest without, and the fire which blazed within. A light was kept burning at a small window, to direct the return of the other boat thro' the darkness, and a guard placed at the door; while the rest of the men reposed themselves round the sides of the room, except one -- who appeared to exercise unlimited authority. He sometimes seated himself -- sometimes stood alone by the fire, and sometimes walked back and forth in the room. He was a muscular and strong built man, of a morose look, and foreign air. His dress was rich with lace, and somewhat resembled a British naval uniform. He had a pair of large silver mounted pistols, and a heavy Eastern sabre at his side. He listened now and then till he could distinguish the dash of oars in the pauses of the storm.

"Douse the glim there, Darby Mullens. Off with these cutter's men to the ship, and back by day-light. Tell Watson to keep his eye on the prisoner, for we are close on shore; look out, for if anybody deserts, you shall walk the plank."

At this moment the door opened, and a man entered armed like the other, except that instead of pistols, he wore a carbine or arquebuss, with a spring bayonet. The water was pouring from the spout of his three cornered hat, and his black beard grew so high on his face, and so near the fell of uncombed hair above, that his eyes looked like those of a Newfoundland dog -- though far less prepossessing. He was followed by six or seven of a very motley and weather-beaten appearance.

"Bolton," continued the first speaker, "what does he say? Can I have provision enough for another cruise?"

"Wait till I get the water out of my eyes, and I'll tell you."

So saying, he poured a liberal allowance of brandy into a tumbler, and drank it undiluted. The commander seconded the motion, as he called it, and then handed it to the sailors, who drank extempore from the neck of the bottle. Their conversation, though it throws some light on after circumstances, was not such as should be published in the Fort Braddock MS. We learn from it, however, that Lord Bellamont was about entering on the duties of Governour, both of Massachusetts and New-York that Gardiner's Bay was the commander's only place of safety -- that he had a commission from the Board of Admiralty, and sailing orders from Lord Bellamont himself.

"Strain every nerve to get to sea again," said Kidd, "and immediately, with provisions for a long voyage. Kill Gardiner's cattle and pay him -- one day, rain or shine, is all I ask -- the Earl of Bellamont is himself suspected of assisting us, and his enemies have urged the colonies to prove their suspected loyalty by bringing my head. There is a provincial sloop of war under Dudley, that may suspect our haunt, and seek in this very storm, this infernal tempting harbor."

"Why then," said Bolton, "did you come here."

"Did you never know why I often come here? This island belongs to no state or province, and is embraced in no patent, but is holden directly from King William, like the Isle of Wight; and it belongs to the family of the Gardiners, in which it is entailed, with no law or responsibility except to the King, who doesn't know whether it is in the East Indies or the West. There is on it but a single family and its laborers, and we have them always under our control. They can send for no militia, and claim no assistance; the dead peace of the spot is disturbed only by us. Here are woods, water, and provisions, at our own price, and more security in these regions, than is to be found elsewhere."

"Then why not stay," said Bolton, "the very expense of pursuit will sicken the plantation; and they have Indians enough on shore to look out for, without chasing pirates at sea."

"Do you not notice," said the captain, "among the prisoners we took in the Quedah, a Frenchman, that seemed a passenger from the East Indies? I seldom see a man but I remember him again. 'Tis more than twenty years ago that I knew that man in New-York, as they call it now. He was an officer in the French service, when I traded from that port with the Bucaneers. He had a wife with him, I think; any how, he was much respected; his connections are everywhere, and if he should escape, then Robert Kidd sails no more. Depend on't there's danger. Fifty of my men deserted at St. Mary's, when we burnt the Adventurer, and went on board the Mocha Pirate. Do you see, Bolton?"

Bolton looked him full in the face, and laying his hand on the hilt of his Turkish scimetar, said, a Moore lies quiet on Black Point, and though his money is within the reach of his arm, he can't mutter where it is."

"I know," was the reply, "but this man can pay a ransom; he shall neither die here or escape."

"Then," said Bolton, "I agree we must put to sea. Hark! how high the wind blows! how the arms of these, old oak trees swing and creak -- blow high or low, we'll be ready tomorrow night. It is now W. N. W. -- it will clear off in the S. W. in a day or two -- let's see, the moon changes tomorrow. -- What's become of that bottle? The eastern nations understand weather better than we do; no wonder, with their monsoons and tornadoes. Thunder and lightning! here an't half a drink! -- Molucca," said he to a short brown colored fellow, "Arrack!" The boy looked for another bottle. "And put some straw near the fire -- there, that will not do -- not so close, if I burn up I'll torment you forever."

So saying, he took his laudanum, as he called it, -- unbelted his sword which he drew, and placed it at his head, and then threw himself on the straw.

"Thank Heaven, I am tired," said he, looking at Captain Kidd, more in earnest than in jest, "how much hard labor it takes to supply the little place of a quiet conscience. I shall sleep, though, whatever I may dream."

There is not in the whole compass of nature's music, a sound more soothing, than the rushing of a heavy rain upon a drowsy head. It seems to force upon the mind a strong conviction of comfort, and to excite feelings of gratitude for the shelter we enjoy, mixed with a slight and painful touch of pity, for the unknown, but the possible exposure of others. When this lullaby is joined by the chorus of waters lashed by the wind, and dashed at intervals on the shore, the sense of personal safety, and the contrasted images of peril by sea, serve only to heighten this pensive pleasure. But to enjoy the beauties or the music of nature, innocence is necessary. Eden faded from the eyes of our first parents, and though the spot be left, it will never be found again by their short sighted and sinful posterity. Capt. Kidd put his head out of the door, cursed the storm and said it would last a fortnight.

The next morning the storm continued, as was expected; the boats put off from the ship to the shore, and the Captain set out in his barge for the south part of the island, where the mansion house has always stood. He landed, notwithstanding the rain, in a sort of naval style, left a trusty man with the boat, and sent another to announce his approach. The rest followed him at a respectful distance, fully armed, and with military precision. They paraded before the door till they had leave to retire to the kitchen, and Kidd himself entered the house.

This was by no means his first visit. Mr. Gardiner, commonly called Lord Gardiner, from his being an immediate tenant of the crown, and having a separate charter or patent, which granted him certain royal privileges on his own territory, received him very civilly, though with some embarrassment. He knew that he sailed at first with a commission from the British Admiralty, and more than suspected the use he had made of it. Kidd knew all this, but acted as if he wore King William's commission, and would resent any suspicion to the contrary. He mentioned the urgency of the service on which he was sent, and spoke of recent orders from the Admiralty. He brought some presents for Mrs. Gardiner and children, and politely requested her to retire, that he might have a moment's conversation with her husband.

In this private interview he made a memorandum of the provision he wanted, which he carried out at his own prices; and after footing it up, paid the money down, and added that it must be delivered by sunrise the next morning at the Fisher's hut, for he dared not trust his men on the island, for fear of desertion. He regretted that the weather was such that he could not entertain his friends on board, dropped a word or two about his men and guns, and politely took his leave. No military contribution was ever levied with more particularity. The Quedah was watered and supplied with provisions for a cruise; the plan of which Kidd had contrived, but the success of which he could not foresee.

The weather on the third day was fair, and the wind favorable. The ship was under weigh, and the spars were whitened with canvass at a single order. The proprietor of the island saw her with pleasure, when she doubled the point to get out of the bay, and put before the wind in the direction of Montaug.

The infant trade of our colonies, and indeed, all the navigation, on the coast had been endangered by other pirates besides this noted freebooter. Barbarous cruelties, and some shocking and unprovoked murders upon the neighboring seas, had been committed, and the colonies, particularly Massachusetts, had fitted out a few vessels to protect their trade, and if possible, capture the pirates. Dudley who was considered an officer of much promise, had been lately promoted to the command of the Martyr sloop of War, and sent on this service. He had obtained an accurate description of the Quedah, and overhauled every sail he saw, in hopes of falling in with this noted pirate. Kidd was still in sight of land, when he made out the Martyr, and bore down for her, in expectation of finding a merchant vessel. He was soon undeceived by her size and appearance, and most of all, by her standing directly for him, though the wind was in the wrong quarter. He called to Bolton. -- "What say -- shall we fight for the fun of it, when there's nothing to get? There's nothing but Spartan coin by the looks -- there's no glory to be got. That fellow now," pointing to the vessel, "would he afraid to run. -- D__n it, Bolton, I dare do anything, fight or run; -- what say?"

"Just as your stomach is," said Bolton, shipping a large quid of pigtail aboard his month, "but in three hours sailing you'll be overhauled."

"Quarters then -- beat to quarters; but pack all sail, put her before the wind. Helm a-port -- steady -- there, hold her at that." A few gratuitous curses, by way of emphasis, garnished the order.

Discipline was Kidd's creed, and he supposed it was brought about only in one method. The cat-o-nine tails had been freely used that very morning; the yard arm was handy, and the plank lay in the gangway, ready at word to be run out from the vessel's side. At every springing of thisdreadful trap, a living corpse was heard to plunge, and cries for help to come with the wind, till the speed of the ship left them far behind.

Kidd now put his crew to every various and rapid service, which is suddenly required in preparing for flight and battle at the same time. Different orders were given in the same breath, which were sometimes misunderstood, and sometimes, to his critical eye, too slightly and negligently executed. His orders had at first some few words of intelligible English, mixed here and there among his oaths; but he soon confined himself to his vocabulary of profanity, which he fairly exhausted more than once, in French, Dutch, and English. He soon saw that a battle was inevitable: for the Quedah, from a long voyage, was not in so good sailing order as the vessel in pursuit, which was fast coming up.

"I did not care enough whether I fought or run, to make up my mind about it," said he to Bolton, as he suddenly assumed an air of perfect composure, "but I think we shall be saved the trouble of a council of war on that point. We must take in sail, and clear for action, after the men have had their fighting rations. -- Let the Quarter Master bring some this way, that I may have a word over a social glass with you, Mr. Bolton. I like this chance of a battle, if it was only as an apology for drinking; though you may say I'm not difficult about excuses. But Bolton, to be serious, we must be prepared, you know, for the worst; and be the chance of our being taken what it may, there shall be none of our being betrayed."

A conversation succeeded in a tone low, but earnest, in which nothing could be distinguished, except at intervals, such words -- the prisoner -- the plank he knows all, and it can't be helped -- dead men tell no tales, &c.

The result was not known. Without ceremony, or even a public declaration of the design, a few men were despatched for the unhappy object of Kidd's suspicions, who brought the victim upon the deck, struggling and reluctant, with his eyes bound, though his hands were free. He was led along the plank, which projected over the side at the gangway, and which was cut from its slight lashing, so that he dropped in the water, and was left in the wake of the vessel.

There was carelessly seated on the deck of the Martyr, a young, and what ladies would call a handsome looking man, with a spy-glass in his hand, which he happened at that moment to apply to his eye. I cannot stop as the manner of some is, to tell how he looked, how his hat had fallen from his head, and left it with no other covering than thick dark curls of chestnut hair, which the wind stirred from his high, fair forehead, nor of the form that graced the rude ground work of the quarter deck. I must be, if possible, as rapid in my narration, as he was in action, when his accidental glance, assisted by the spy glass, rested on that sight of horror, which I have just described. The fair readers of this time-worn manuscript, must pardon me, if I leave them to conjecture how he looked when he sprang on his feet, and with a freedom of language, which in those pure days, even the profession of a seaman did not allow, exclaimed, "Good God! they've murdered a man -- away there to his help!"

The hoarse voice of the boatswain was heard above the busy hum of the ship's crew, "away there -- you first cutters, away!" and the hint was taken by a boat's crew, who, headed by an officer, were over the vessel's side and seated at their oars, with the activity of a flock of mother Cary's chickens.

The speed of manual exertion is no where shown to more advantage than on board a vessel of war.

"Pull, pull," said the officer, as he stood in the stern with the tiller in his hand. A shot from the Quedah went so near his head, that he could tell from the scream that there was a flaw in the bullet. "Ah, we shall engage in a minute, -- pull, pull away."

The men sprung to their oars for the floating victim. The long ridges of the ocean wave were dashing over him, and in his drowning ears, "deep answered unto deep." He had pulled the bandage from his eyes, and it now hung loose about his neck, so that he saw the effort for his relief, and was struggling with the exertion of a spent swimmer, to whom hope had given preternatural power, when the barge was sweeping by him, and the man in the bow caught the handkerchief round his neck, with a boat-hook. The oars stopped, the boat with the body alongside, drove through the water with the headway already acquired. The man was exhausted, and lifeless, to all appearance, when they took him on board, and put about for the ship. By this time the vessels were so near, that some shots had already been exchanged, and an engagement was certain.

It is said that the silent moment, before the "grim ridges of war" join in the conflict, is dreadful; and the occasion has been taken by the great captains of antiquity, to address their armies in speeches

      "On the rough edge of battle ere it join'd;"

and this practise, as to the length of the speeches, has been improved upon in modern times, as indeed all sorts of speech-making has been.

Upon this occasion, the prefatory words were few and unpremeditated.

"Bolton," said Kidd, "we must fight, but he'll be sorry, for d__n him, if he had been worth taking, I'd have done it an hour ago. Haul up the courses, and bring her to. My boys, we must sink her directly. -- We can't be taken, that's out of the question. Those of you who'd rather die here like heroes, than be hung for pirates at Execution Dock, let's know by three cheers." The three cheers were given, and the ship was ready for action.

The Martyr, not certain of bringing her adversary to action, was holding on under full sail. The commander had directed a shot or two, to ascertain the distance, till he saw the move of the Quedah for action, when he gave orders to call all hands. At the shrill whistle of the boatswain, the deck was filled with men, who came, some from, aloft, and some from below. The officer stepped forward, and inclined his head, -- every hat was off, and every eye on him.

"My lads," said he, "I shall keep you but a moment from your duty. See that in human wretch, -- 'tis Robert Kidd, the devil has deserted him at last, and Providence has delivered him into our hands -- the victory is ours, now to your quarters, and wait the word."

"Where shall I lay her," said the sailing-master.

"O, Mr. Conklin," said Dudley, "I forgot that; lay her along side, at pistol shot. Mr. Endicott, be ready to lead away the boarders."

The sides of the Quedah had smoked and blazed with repeated discharges of her guns, which did some damage before Dudley neared his distance, and gave the word to fire. Both ships were instantly involved in smoke. The distance was so small, that musketry was used from the tops, and the decks of both vessels. Few battles have been more desperately fought. Dudley was resolved to capture, and Kidd, not to be taken. The Martyr was constantly nearing the Quedab, till the fluke of her anchor caught in one of the Quedah's port holes, and Dudley sprang forward, calling on the boarders and heading them himself. To gain the Quedah's deck, would have been no easy matter; but it happened that Kidd had been stunned by a splinter, and Bolton was killed outright.

The boarders cleared the decks of the pirate. They were found slippery with blood, and strewed with the dead and the dying. The men ceased to fight when Kidd fell, for they apprehended little danger from capture, as many of them had been compelled into the pirate's service, and wished an opportunity to leave it. This was understood, and they experienced as kind treatment as they hoped for. The Martyr was dreadfully injured, and lost many of her men; but the Quedah was sinking.

The prisoners, with everything valuable which could be removed, were immediately conveyed to the other ship, which lay along side. Dudley gave orders to fall off, leaving a boat's crew to set fire to the prize and leave her. Kidd, who had been brought too, was conveyed with the survivors of the crew on board the Martyr; strict attention was paid to the wounded of both parties; the sloop of war repaired as well as possible, for immediate sailing; and the sad service of burying the dead, at which the captain is always present. Dudley deferred to the next day, in hope that he might possible arrive in port before that mournful office would be necessary.


Vol. XIII.                             Hartford, Conn., Monday, June 10, 1822.                             No. 51.

FT.  BRADDOCK, _____

"By skeleton shapes her sails are furl'd,
And the hand that steers is not of this world."
We resume that part of the tale which relates to Dudley and Kidd.

The last boat had now left the Quedah, in haste, after setting her on fire, and leaving none on board but the dead. They had scarcely joined the Martyr, when a fresh breeze sprung up from the southward, and drove the Quedah before the wind, wrapped in deep red flames, in the same direction with the victor ship, and apparently in pursuit. A current of air was raised by the heat, which made her gain in this singular chase. Her sails and rigging which had not been shot away, were all set and standing, and the quick flames fed by tar and pitch, ran along her cordage and leaped to the very top gallant head, while the ship was yet above water, and under full way, as though the dead men on board of her had awakened with new life, and sprung to their duty.

This appearance, as she held onward wrapped in smoke and blaze, added to her character as a pirate, was a spectacle to the crowded deck of the Martyr, where some viewed it as sublime, and some as portentous and supernatural.

The spectacle was long after recorded among the marvels, and gave rise to the tale of the Ghost ship, or flying Dutchman, which was manned by spectres, and with all her canvass spread, sailed rapidly in a gale against the wind. It was necessary for the Martyr to bear away for fear of being run down by this dreadful fire-ship.

The prisoner of Kidd, who had been so providentially saved from drowning, excited very strongly the sympathy of Captain Dudley.

"Were it not for the war with France," said he, addressing the stranger, "you should, on our arrival at Boston, be set immediately at liberty; but under existing circumstances, though the rescued prisoner of a pirate, you are still in my hands a prisoner of war, and your parole of honor is the only indulgence I can give you."

Du Bourg, for that was his name, thanked his deliverer with a deep feeling of gratitude, and expressed a desire to continue under his protection.

"I fear," said Dudley, "we shall find it impossible. My services on the water, after the capture of Kidd, will be no longer required. My character in this new settlement," said he with a smile, "is rather amphibious; and I shall soon after my arrival, be despatched on a long and fatiguing land service, to the borders of Lake Champlain. where the French and Indians, on the frontier, threaten to disturb and destroy the New England settlements."

"If that be your destination," said the stranger, "I will gladly follow you; strange as it may seem, my business is to visit that very spot. There, in younger life, on the western shore of that lake, was I stationed as an officer in Le Gendre's regiment, before I was ordered on other service. There I lost my wife, and left my only daughter. She was then an infant; and now if living, a woman. I know where, and with whom I left her. I have regularly heard from her, and I can find the very spot of her abode, after an absence of twenty years. I am," added he, "a man of property, and if I find my daughter, shall become a citizen of that country where I spent my happiest days."

Dudley made the proposal that Du Bourg should be his company across the country, and march with the troops which were to be in readiness at Tautinsque, near the northern line of the colony, to which place Dudley would repair with him, after representing his case to the Governor of the Massachusetts colony, discharging his crew, and settling his concerns as commander of the Martyr.

On their arrival at Boston, the news of the capture of the pirate was soon spread; witnesses were summoned, Dudley among the rest and even the peaceful inhabitants of Gardiner's Island to attend the public examination of Kidd, who was on this preliminary proof, sent home to England for trial, where, after an examination by the House of Commons, he terminated his voyages, as recorded in the New Gate calendar, and in the ballad, of which he was the hero --

       "At Execution Dock, as he sailed."

Meanwhile the provincial troops, in this instance, principally from Massachusetts, though aided by Connecticut and Rhode Island, had taken up their line of march, and with their military "furnishments," accomplished a journey of difficulty, through a country unsettled, and but little known, and encamped in safety on the eastern shore of Champlain. They were strongly posted to defend the country against an unexpected inroad from the French and hostile Indians....

Note: Brainard's ship battle encounter between Captain Dudley and Captain William Kidd was, of course, entirely fictional. Kidd's ship was sunk off the coast of the Dominican Republic, far from New York's coastal waters.


Vol. ?                             Boston, Massachusetts, Friday, June 7, 1822.                             No. ?


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.

To those who are in any degree read in English history, it is well known that during the war, which raged between them and the Franch prior to the year 1697, and which was terminated by the treaty of Ryswick, the West India commerce was greatly annoyed by Pirates, men influenced by all the diabolical passions, which chatacterize the present race at Cuba and elsewhere, but much more powerful, more daring, and every way more adventurous. They visited our coast from the Bay of Mexico to the St. Lawrence -- made descents wherever they pleased, and plundered and captured at their will -- but as all our settlements within the reach of their depredations were miserably poor, these rovers generally chose to visit them as friends, and were uniformly treated as such with little or no enquiry, and by this well judged management, they were enabled to refit in our ports without molestation, and to obtain supplies for their more important expeditions on the Spanish main.

I have a geography now open before me, printed in 1709, just after the period of Kidd's enterprizes, in which Charleston in South Carolina is described as having 13 or 14 good houses, and as many miserable huts packed into streets as sheltered 250 families. In Virginia, Jamestown had 70 scattered buildings, Williamsburgh 30. In Maryland, Annapolis had 40 houses, and Baltimore "a parcel of scattered houses not fit to be called a town." In Pennsylvania, Bristol, the capital of the state, had 50 houses, Philadelphia, "dignified with the title of a city, 1200, built of brick, 2 or 3 stories high, with many warehouses and wharves." -- In Jersey, Elizabethtown contained 250 families, "Newark a little town of 100 families" -- Perth Amboy 48 families, "called a city, by which it appears what small places they dignify with such names." New-York city is also said to contain about 800 houses, and four churches, of which Trinity was one, described as "a great church, lately built," (it was built in 1698.) The county of Duchess had 20 families, and if we are allowed to erect a census from the assessment rolls, and take the city as a data, the whole state had a population less than 20,000. In Connecticut "there is no town of any note, all the country beyond ten miles back from the sea, is barren hills and morasses, and uninhabited; here are bears, wolves, deer, otter, muskrat, &c. and a strange creature called a Moos, 12 feet high, and the tip of his horns 12 feet asunder." In Massachusetts, "Reading is a good town, having one mill to grind corn, and another to saw timber." Boston is the only place in all the British dominions in America, which can be called a city, as well by reason of its opulency as for the several handsome buildings in it, noth public and private, as the court house, market house, and Sir William Phipps' house, several spacious streets, and is said to contain from 1000 to 1200 inhabitants -- 300 or 400 ships load here in a year;" so that we may rationally conclude that the Pirates finding no temptation to plunder, adopted the expedient of a peaceful intercourse, for purposes as I have observed, much more important. Those pirates under a pretended commission as privateers, cruising for the public enemy (like the Artegans now fitting from our Southern ports,) were not examined very strictly by our authority, as they behaved themselves very quietly, and paid cash and round prices for their supplies, and in many instances they were allowed (in New York particularly) to sell the fruits of their thieveries openly in the town, under protection obtained from the Governor, and Mr. Nicholl one of the Council became himself an agent for the Pirates, of whom he received and justified the receipt of $800 for his services.

Col. Fletcher at this time, that is from 1692 to 1696, was the Provincial Governor, a man whose ideas of government were learned under a drill rattan, rapid, headlong, ignorant, self-sufficient, and withal of the most unchaste and adventurous avarice -- a man whom it is said that for the posy on the hymeneal ring of cedamus amori, he substituted the better wearer of, Rem, si possis recte, si non quocunque rem.

Talents like these, united to a boldness of transgressions which seemed to challenge scrutiny, and was equalled only by the frontless villainy of the Pirates themselves, it may well be supposed were as little calculated to conciliate friends as to insure impunity. Complaints of his maladministration, denouncing him at the same time as the protector and partner of the sea-robbers, very soon reached the throne; but a remissness in the ministry, which seemed rather to countenance than censure the conduct of the Governor, secured the latter four years in his office, when the clamour being too great to be resisted, he was superseded by the Earl of Bellmont. It was between this latter appointment and the spring of 1696, that the Earl became acquainted with Mr. Robert Livingston, the rich and common ancestor of the present family in New-York, who happened to be in London at that time. The Earl, probably anxious to know all things relating to the object of his new appointment, and finding Mr. Livingston very competent to inform him in this respect, had frequent and long consultations with him, in one of which he took occasion to introduce the dishonourable conduct of his predecessor relating to the pirates. In this conference expedients for checking their depredations were conversed upon. Mr. Livingston then informed the Governor, that he was personally acquainted with a Capt. Robert Kidd, a gentleman of much personal bravery and great nautical knowledge, and was moreover acquainted with the haunts and rendezvous of the pirates, and every way qualified to command an enterprise of such importance. Kidd was afterwards consulted upon the aubject, and was introduced to the Earl by Mr. Livingston, when it was agreed, that if a frigate of 30 guns and 150 men could be obtained from the King, that he (Kidd) would undertake the enterprise and sail immediately. This was suggested to his Majesty, who consulted the admiralty on the subject, but as the war with France was then in its full rage and fury, they reported against the application, and it dropped for that time. Soon after Mr. Livingston proposed to the Earl to make a private adventure of it, in which he (Mr. L.) offered to be concerned with Kid one fifth in vessel and outfits, and moreover become surety for Kidd's faithful execution of the trust. On a communication of this new arrangement to the King, he very readily gave his sanction to it, and aided its popularity by taking himself one tenth of the joint fund which was now agreed to extend as far as the fross sum of $26,640, to which, with others, Lord Somers, the Earl of Romney, Sir Edmund Harrison, the Duke of Shrewsbury and the Earl of Oxford, Bellmont, Livingston and Kidd were subscribers, the whole being under the direction of Bellmont. Kidd saided from Plymouth for New York, in April of 1696. How long he cruised on the American coast in execution of his comission is not known. Mr. Livingston was however the only one of the concern in America, until the arrival of the Earl 2 years afterwards, that is, in April, 1697. Kidd, in the meanwhile, went to the Indian ocean, and establishing himself somewhere on the island of Madagascar, lay like a shark in those remote seas, pillaging and plundering with impunity the commerce of all nations at his pleasure. It was here, that, having captured a ship better suited to his purposes, he is said to have burned the one belonging to the Company, and in the course of some few months to have united other captures to his main enterprise, and thus rendered himself formidable to the greater force that ordinarily traversed those seas. His depredations extended not only through the Eastern ocean, but he traversed the whole coast of South America to the Equator, and through the Islands to the Bahamas; and if in those mighty sweeps he should have found it convenient to have come north for the purpose of depositing his treasures on the Long Island coast, or its vicinity, it is probable that such marks of locality were taken and communicated to the concern, as to enable them to put their hands upon it at pleasure, and therefore that it would not remain as the spoil of dreamers, at the distance of a century. It is generally understood that Kidd plundered none of his own nation; the Spanish commerce was the principal object, which was never unpopular with the English, from Sir Walter Raleigh's time to the present moment; but 120 years ago the moral sense from habit had become as bronzed in all that related to depredations on the Spanish commerce, as that of any priveteersman of the South a few years past under a commission of Artegus. The known and avowed practices of Gov. Fletcher, and of Nichols, and the very circumstance of Mr. Livingston's giving bonds that Kidd should not turn pirate, but above all that the king himself, a man of the most inveterate hostility to the Spaniards, should take so paltry a concern as 2600 dollars, merely to give the thing a bastard character of nationality to screen his favorites, is enough to raise a presumption that Kidd did not sail without a cabinet compass. The amount which this immoral plunderer amassed is not known, but with the public, from that time to the present, it is and has been counted as immense; but that the posterity of the original concern are yet affluent is more certain. It is not generally known, that Kidd having accomplished his first project, by some means or other got quit of his comrades and concern altogether, and was taken while walking the streets of Boston dressed like a gentleman, in all the haughty tranquility of Cleveland at Kirkwall, by Gov. Bellmont himself, who probably was the only man in town who knew him; this was about three years and a half from the time he (Kidd) sailed from Plymouth.

The Earl wrote to the secretary of state to send for Kidd, with a view to his trial in England, and a vessel was accordingly dispatched upon that errand, but having met with some accident, she put back, and her voyage was not renewed; this circumstance tended much to inflame and fortify the parlimentary opposition, and a motion was actually made in the house of Commons for the expulsion from office of all the lords that composed the original concern, and who were now boldly and publicly accused of being concerned with Kidd; this motion, however, did not prevail. Impeachments were afterwards substituted, which were managed by the first talent and eloquence of the opposition, who were at the hazard of a retaliation, not over cheering to those who had little fondness for the Tower and Tyburn, charged the delinquents, the Lord Chancellor being one, of a piratical conspiracy from the beginning, and of sharing the stupendous treasures of this fortunate rover, acquired upon the ocean, during three years of the most lucky and desperate robberies. What proofs then existed, to justify this bold and desperate attack upon the whigs, is not known; they must however have been numerous, and at least plausibly to have warranted a measure so rash and hazardous. Gov. Bellmont & Mr. Livingston in the meanwhile, intrenched beyond the range of this political hurricane, escaped without notice: they lay not within the range of the object, neither was it ever proved, that either of these gentlemen, or any of the English concern shared the treasures hidden or remitted by Kidd; it is better known that the latter went afterwards to England, but was never brought to trial, and the opposition still said it was for fear of disclosures more terrible to the ministry than the matter was to him; that he was soon set at liberty for want of proof, and he lived in London to a good old age, in very independent if not affluent circumstances.

This acquital, or voluntary escape, of Kidd, saved of course the bonds of Mr. Livingston, and he was never prosecuted on them, altho' he had at the time provincial enemies enough to have seized on this as a pretext for his ruin, had Kidd been condemned and hung, as is now generally believed, in which case the destiny of this affluent and respectable family, might have been beyond the reach of envy. In the MSS anals of this family, commenced by the father of Robert, and continued by him and his successors, perhaps to the present moment, this mysterious business of Kidd's (never yer cleared up) may undoubtedly be found, and it would be very amusing to the public, if some of Robert's posterity would publish it, if for no other reason, yet as a specific against this Auri sacra fames, which with its witcheries in an Ethiop's brain, seems to have roused the Devil from his slumbers in Gold to the great scandal of Wall-street.

Note 1: The exact date and full content of the above clipping have yet to be determined. It may have appeared in the June 14th issue. The purported writer was evidently supposed to be Sampson Broughton, jr., who served very briefly as the New York colonial Attorney-General in 1705-06 and who died long after Captain Kidd's 1701 death (but decades before the early 1820s, when the privateer Arraganta was sailing the Caribbean -- as briefly mentioned in the article). Broughton's only known connection with Captain Kidd occurred in 1701, when his father (also briefly Attorney-General) attempted to occupy Kidd's home on Manhattan Island. However it is possible that either the father or the son gained access to local information concerning the parties who sponsored Kidd's sailing excursions (as outlined in the article).

Note 2: Although the writer appeared to know a good deal about Kidd's 1695 syndicate partners, both in New York and London, he made the strange blunder of referring to the pirate as "Robert." That name was mistakenly included in the King's 1696 royal commission and was carried ober into the title of a popular popular ballad, but most people no doubt knew that the pirate's actual name was William. The writer also made the strange claim, that Captain Kidd escaped the King's justice and "lived in London to a good old age." This was a unique assertion and was most certainly wrong. Such historical blunders (along with what appeared to be defamations of some prominent New York families) caused the editor of the New York Spectator to decline the opportunity to reprint this Kidd article, although he mentioned it in his paper's issue of Sept. 9, 1823.

Excerpts From Vol. 2 of James McHenry's 1823 Novel

The Spectre of the Forest

[ 41 ]

True: love and friendship may unite,
To give the youthful mind delight;
But should they chance to be at strife,
Ah! then how terrible is life.
                    Thaunus the Druid.
Shelbourne no more visited Mr. Devenart's, a circumstance of which Parnell, who was now in a state of convalescence, soon began to take notice. He was much puzzled to account for it, as he knew of nothing having taken place to give him displeasure. He esteem Shelbourne, and felt somewhat uneasy on count of his absence. The attention of his friend during his recent sickness, also called for an acknowledgement. He, therefore, determined to visit Milford, and discover whether or not any estrangement had taken place, and if so, what was its cause.

"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,"

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"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.

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"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,

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which 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

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soul, 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,

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and 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

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the 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,

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young 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....

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... 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 ]


Think of the final fate of evil doers,
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.
The preceding transactions had passed with astonishing rapidity; and during their continuance, it may well be imagined that the agitation of Esther's feelings was excessive. When Shelbourne seized her she fainted away; but had recovered about the time she was carried into the boat, although her ideas continued so confused during the passage down the river, that she could scarcely be made to comprehend what had taken place. This confusion of ideas was increased by her eyes happening, just as she returned to her senses, to alight upon one whom she justly considered the chief of her persecutors. This was her judge, Philemon Full-of-Faith, who had been seized during the skirmish, and carried off as a prisoner by Ephraim Bradley, who, we should, perhaps, have sooner informed the reader, had assumed the garb of a sailor, and enrolled

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himself 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

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rejoiced 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.

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But, 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

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Full-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

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in 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;

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only 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

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shore. 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

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only 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

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heart-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.

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She read the paper as follows:

"Dearest Esther,

"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.
"H. Shelbourne."          

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,

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it 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

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not 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

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plan 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,

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calling 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.

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By 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

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him; 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

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this 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                                                    241

we 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  OF                                                 

for 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.

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The 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

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from 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.


Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IX.                             Albany, New York, August ?, 1823.                             No. ?

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.

During his piratical career, he visited Coeymans [south Albany Co., on the Hudson R.] and Albany, and had a secret place of retirement on or near a hill about two miles south of Albany, (and which still bears his name, viz. Kiddenhooghten, or, as it is improperly called, Kittenhooghten.) That hill, according to tradition, he adopted as a place of rendezevous for those infernal spirits, to whose care he entrusted the enormous sums of money which he buried in the earth; and there it is said also that he made a cave, which is hidden from human observation, in which he buried 30 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.

Mrs. Goeway, the wife of Gerrit Goeway, a grave and elderly matron, affirms, that her mother, who lived at a very advanced age, has frequently stated to her while a mere girl, that Kidd remained at Coeymans during part of two seasons, secreted in a barn belonging to one of the name of Coeymans; and afterwards in a mill, called Livingston's mill. Whether these stories can be relied on for their accuracy, I will not undertake to say; but this much can be said with truth, it is appears from the records, that on the 24th of March, 1691, capt. Kidd complained to the governor and council of New-York, that one of his men had been pressed from the vessel by Capt. Hicks, and the governor and council ordered, "upon the consideration of the good service performed by the said Capt. Kidd, not only to their majesty's forces, but others, their majesty's good subjects," that the man be restored to him. On the 17th of Aug. 1691, he brought a prize into the port of New-York, and the governor and council resolved, that "paying the king's tenths, and the governor's fifteenths," no other duty to be paid for the prize.

Would not the piratical deeds performed by Kidd -- the treasure he has buried, and the incantations 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?

Notes: (forthcoming)


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.

We last year saw a long article, we believe, in one of the New-Haven papers, in relation to Kidd and his exploits, which was quite interesting, and we should have published it, had not the names of some families in this state been used as having been in some respects concerned with the sea-robber. The Albany article now before us corresponds in several particulars with the Connecticut statement. 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 the 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 Shrewbury, the Earls of Romney, Oxford and Bellamont, Sir Edward Harrison, and Col. 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 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 a negotiation, and caused him to be arrested. Eventually he was taken to England and there tried for piracy and murder in 1701, and executed. During his piratical career be visited Coeymans and Albany, and had a secret place of retirement on or near a hill about two miles south of Albany, (and which still bears his name, viz. Kiddenhooghten, or, as it is improperly called, Kittenhooghten.) That hill, according to tradition he adopted as a place of rendezvous for those infernal spirits to whose care he entrusted enormous sums of money which he buried in the earth; and then it is said also, that he made a cave, which is now hidden from human observation, in which he buried 30 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. lt is a fact well ascertained, that Kidd remained at Coeymans during part of two seasons, secreted in a barn belonging to a man of the name of Coeymans; and afterwards in a mill called Livingston's mill. Whether these stories can be relied upon for their accuracy, the writer cannot say; but it appears from the records that on the 24th of March, 1691, Capt. Kidd complained to the governor and council of New York, that one of his men had been pressed from the vessel by Capt. Hicks; and the governor and council ordered, "upon the consideration of the good service performed by the said Capt. Kidd, not only to their majesties' forces, but others, their majesties' good subjects," that the man be restored to him. On the 17th August, 1691, he brought a prize into the port of New York, and the governor and council resolved that "paying the king's tenths, and the governor's fifteenths," no other duty to be paid for the prize.

Notes: (forthcoming)

Excerpt from Washington Irving's 1824
Tales of a Traveller
(II:4 -- The Money-Diggers)

[ 240 ]


In old times, just after the territory of the New Netherlands had been wrested from the hands of their High Mightinesses, the Lords States General of Holland, by King Charles the Second, and while it was as yet in an unquiet state, the province was a great resort of random adventurers, loose livers, and all that class of haphazard fellows who live by their wits, and dislike the old-fashioned restraint of law and gospel. Among these, the foremost were the Buccaneers. These were rovers of the deep, who, perhaps, in time of war had been educated in those schools of piracy, the privateers; but having once tasted the sweets of plunder, had ever retained a hankering after it. There is but a slight step from the privateersman

                                              KIDD THE PIRATE.                                                241

to 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

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knew 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

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who 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.                                                247

themselves 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

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names, 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.                                                251

cried an old iron-faced Cape Cod whaler. -- "There's a fine old song about him, all to the tune of --

My name is Captain Kidd,
As I sailed, as I sailed --
And then it tells all about how he gained the Devil's good graces by burying the Bible:
I had the Bible in my hand,
As I sailed, as I sailed,
And I buried it in the sand
As I sailed. --
"Odsfish, if I thought this pistol had belonged to Kidd, I should set great store by it, for curiosity's sake. By the way, I recollect a story about a fellow who once dug up Kidd's buried money, which was written by a neighbour of mine, and which I learnt by heart. As the fish don't bite just now, I'll tell it to you, by way of passing away the time." -- And so saying, he gave us the following narration.

(London, 1824)

[ 13 ]


Piracy is an offence committed on the high seas, by villains who man and arm a vessel for the purpose of robbing fair traders. It is also piracy to rob a vessel lying in shore at anchor, or at a wharf. The river Thames, until the excellent establishment of a marine police, was infested by gangs of freshwater pirates, who were continually towing about, watching the homeward-bound vessels; which, whenever an opportunity offered, they boarded, and stole whatever part of their cargo they could hoist into their boats. But, of late years, the shipping there, collected from every part of the habitable globe, have lain in tolerable security against such disgraceful depredations, and the introduction of the dock system has further increased this security.

[ 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.

The facts upon which fame has already raised so many a superstructure, we believe to be simply these: In digging for the foundation of a new building on the site of the old brewery, in Chatham square, near the Tradesmen's Bank, the workmen suddenly came upon a brick vault, about three feet long, and two feet wide, and one foot deep, securely and handsomely made. This vault was fourteen feet below the surface, and all around it the earth was solid. Those who discovered it say that nothing was contained in it; others, upon what foundation we know not, say it contained a box, which was secretly carried away by the finders. A hundred rumours are afloat, which it would be idle to repeat, or attempt to trace. The facts are as above stated -- for what purpose, at what time, and by whom, such a receptacle, in such a place, was constructed, we shall not attempt to conjecture.

Captain Kidd excerpt from
Daniel DeFoe's 1794 General History of the Pirates

(pagination taken from Thomas Carey's 1825 edition)

[ 52 ]


We are now going to give an account of one whose name is well known in England. The person we mean is Capt. Kidd, whose public trial and execution here, rendered him the subject of all conversation, so that his actions have been chanted about in ballads. However, it is now a considerable time since these things passed, and though the people knew in general that Capt. Kidd was hanged, and that his crime was piracy, yet there were scarce any, even at that time, who were acquainted with his life or actions, or could account for his turning pirate.

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,

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as 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 Rex,
"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,

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and 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.                                                   57

ship, 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.                                                   59

Then 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.                                                   61

were 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.                                                   63

themselves, 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.                                                   65

of 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.

New-York Times.

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.

A passage in Smollett's History of England originated one enterprise, which is just abandoned, and leaves the Vigo Bay Company at least contributors to the Neptonian mines, which they have in vain explored. The information stated, that when a Spanish fleet was destroyed in this bay, on the coast of Spain, by the combined English and Dutch fleets, six galleons were sunk, with fourteen million pieces of eight. Other authorities were found who confirmed the statement, and a company was instantly formed in England, who obtained a contract from the Spanish Ambassador, stipulating to give one-half of the recovered treasure to the government of Spain. They concluded their labours in August last, after having, at great expense, searched twelve sunken wrecks, and finding nothing in them save mud, to reward their toils. After all, there are few who can reverse the decree, that man's bread is to be obtained by the sweat of his brow, and whatever be the temporary success of grand speculations, or of financial chicanery -- they generally prove to be but dreams of gold, and ill-judged abberrations from the proper and natural course of a busy life.


Vol. XIX.                             Hartford, Conn., Monday, July 16, 1827.                             No. 5.



Thus saith the book -- 'Permit no witch to live;'
Hence Massachusetts hath expell'd the race,
Connecticut, where swap and dicker thrive,
Allow'd not to their foot a resting place.
With more of hardihood and less of grace,
Vermont receives the sisters grey and lean,
Allows each witch her airy broomstick race,
O'er mighty rocks and mountains dark with green,
Where tempests wake their voice, and torrents roar between.

And one there was among that wicked crew
To whom the enemy a pebble gave,
Through which, at long-off distance, she might view
All treasures of the fathomable wave,
And where the Thames' bright billows gently lave,
The grass-grown piles that flank the ruin'd wharf,
She sent them forth, those two adventurers brave,
Where greasy citizens their bev'rage quaff,
Jeering at enterprize -- aye ready with a laugh.

They came -- those straight-hair'd honest meaning men,
Nor question ask'd they, nor reply did make,
Albeit their locks were lifted like as when
Young Hamlet saw his father. And the shake
Of knocking knees and jaws that seem'd to break,
Told a wild tale of undertaking bold,
While as the oyster-tongs the chiels did take
Dim grew the sight, and every blood drop cold,
As knights in scarce romaunt sung by the bards of old.

For not in daylight were their rites perform'd,
-- When night-cap'd heads were on their pillow laid,
Sleep-freed from biting care, by thought unharm'd.
Snoring e'er word was spoke, or prayer was said --
'Twas then the mattock and the busy spade,
The pump, the bucket and the windlass rope,
In busy silence plied the mystic trade,
While resolution, beckon'd on by hope,
Did sweat and agonize the sought for chest to ope'

Beneath the wave, the iron chest is hot,
Deep growls are heard and read'ning eyes are seen,
Yet of the Black Dog she had told them not,
Nor of the grey wild geese with eyes of green,
That scream'd and yell'd and hover'd close between
The buried gold and the rapacious hand.
Here should she be, tho' mountains intervene,
To scatter, with her crook'd witch-hazle wand,
The wave-born sprites that keep their treasure from the land.

She cannot, may not come, the rotten wharf
Of mould'ring planks and rusty spikes is there,
And he who own'd a quarter or an half
Is disappointed, and the witch is -- where?
Vermont still harbors her -- go seek her there,
The Grand dame of Joe Strickland -- find her nest,
Where summer icicles and snowballs are,
Where black swans paddle and where Petrils rest,
Symmes be your trusty guide and Robert Kid your guest.
* Note. It is a fact that two men from Vermont are now, (July 11th) working by the side of one of the wharves in New-London for buried money, by the advice and recommendation of an old woman of that state, who assured them, that she could distinctly see a box of dollars packed edge-wise. The locality was pointed out to an inch, and her only way of discovering the treasure was by looking through a stone, which to ordinary optics was hardly translucent. For the story of the Spanish Galleon, that left so much bullion in and about New London, see Trumbull's History of Connecticut, and for Kidd, inquire of the oldest lady you can find.

Note: This poem was later extensively reprinted, as being the creation of Connecticut Mirror editor John G. C. Brainard, who was a poet in his own right.


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.

Note: The full title of Samuel Benjamin Helbert Judah's 1827 book was: The Buccaneers: A Romance of Our Own Country, in Its Ancient Day; Illustrated with Divers Marvelous Histories, and Antique and Facetious Episodes; Gathered from the Most Authentic Chronicles & Affirmed Records Extant from the Settlement of the Nieuw Nederlandts, Until the Time of the Famous Richard Kid

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:

The slave trade being a legitimate pursuit and followed as a regular branch of foreign trade for many years, both previous and subsequent to 1690, was exceedingly profitable, though somewhat hazardous, owing to piratical adventurers who followed them into their remote trading places, and often robbed them of their stores and money used in the purchase of negroes. This practice became so great a pest to the mercantile interests that efforts were made by influential merchants of New York to induce the English ministry to assist them in fitting out a cruising vessel, properly armed, to act against privateers.

Col. Robert Livingston, of New York, an active and influential citizen, brought this matter before the English Government and introduced Captain William Kidd, of New York, as an efficient and well known commander, whose fitness for such service was well understood in New York. He was a man of family, and had resided in this city for several years. It was proposed to engage in this enterprise on the footing of a private adventure, although it was also desirable, for some purposes, that the scheme should receive the official countenance of the government The King, Lord Somers, the Earl of Romney, the Duke of Shrewsbury, the Earl of Oxford, and Lord Bellemont joined in making up the necessary expenses of a proper vessel, Col. Livingston also contributing a proportion.

The profits were to be divided among the owners of the ship, allowing a liberal share to Kidd. A commission was issued, December 11, 1695, under the great Seal of England, directed "to the trusty and well beloved Captain William Kidd, commander of the ship Adventure galley." He set sail from Plymouth in April, 1696, and arrived on the American coast where he continued for some time, occasionally entering the harbor of New York and visiting his family in the city. He was considered useful in protecting commerce, for which he received much applause, and the Assembly of the province voted him the sum of two hundred and fifty pounds as a complimentary return for his services.

Soon after this he left this vicinity for more active operations on the coast of Africa, and it was not long ere the astounding news arrived that Kidd had commenced the trade which he had been engaged to subvert, and had committed several piracies. The report of these facts coming to the public knowledge in England, the circumstance was made the subject of a violent attack upon the government by the opposition party, and in the excess of party zeal it was alleged that the king himself, and those concerned in the expedition, were privy to the piratical adventure and sharers in its profits. This charge having some color of foundation, from the actual circumstances of the case, made the question a subject of State inquiry, and thus the name of Kidd, though perhaps personally less obnoxious to the odious characteristics of his profession than many others in history, became, from its associations with a partisan warfare between the great men of the state, the most famous among the pirates in the world. The noblemen engaged in the enterprise underwent the form of a trial for their lives but were acquitted.

The principal scenes of Kidd's piracies were on the eastern coast of Africa, at Madagascar and the vicinity, where he captured and rifled several vessels, without however, so far as we have been informed by history, committing extreme cruelties on his captives, the only person proven to have been killed by him, being a seaman, of his own, named William Moore, whom he accidentally slew by hitting him with a bucket for insubordination. Kidd having amassed a fortune by this cruise shaped his course homeward, seeming, with a strange fatuity, to have supposed that no information of his depredations in those remote parts of the world had reached the scenes of his home.

He brought his vessel into Long Island Sound, in the year 1699, and went ashore at Gardiner's Island, then owned and occupied by Mr. John Gardiner, to whom, from some undiscoverable motive, he made known his desire to bury a quantity of treasure on the island, and did accordingly deposit in the ground a considerable quantity of gold, silver and precious stones, in the presence of Mr. Gardiner, but under strict injunctions of secrecy. This deposit consisted of eleven hundred and twelve ounces of coined gold, two thousand three hundred and fifty ounces of silver, seventeen ounces of jewels and precious stones, sixty-nine precious stones, fifty-seven bags of sugar, forty-one bales of merchandise, seventeen pieces of canvass, one large loadstone, etc.

Having thus disburdened his ship he departed for Boston, with the design, it is supposed, of selling his vessel. While there, however, he was recognized in the street, and apprehended. He was sent to England for trial and indicted for the murder of William Moore, before spoken of, and being convicted, was hanged in chains at Execution dock, May 12, 1701. The wife of Kidd continued her residence in this city after his death, herself and daughter living in seclusion in a habitation on the east side of the town.

Notes: (forthcoming)

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