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Pirates Own Book, The

Monday, 21st.--In the morning we walked round the beach, in expectation of finding something useful. On our way picked up a paddle about three feet long, very similar to the Indian canoe paddle, except the handle, which was like that of a shovel, the top part being split off; we laid it by for the present. We likewise found some konchs and roasted them; they were pretty good shell fish, though rather tough. We discovered at low water, a bar or spit of sand extending north-easterly from us, about three miles distant, to a cluster of Keys, which were covered with mangrove trees, perhaps as high as our quince tree. My friend Mr. Bracket and George attempted to wade across, being at that time of tide only up to their armpits; but were pursued by a shark, and returned without success. The tide rises about four feet.

Tuesday, 22d.--We found several pieces of the palmetto or cabbage tree, and some pieces of boards, put them together in the form of a raft, and endeavored to cross, but that proved ineffectual. Being disappointed, we set down to reflect upon other means of relief, intending to do all in our power for safety while our strength continued. While setting here, the sun was so powerful and oppressive, reflecting its rays upon the sea, which was then calm, and the white sand which dazzled the eye, was so painful, that we retired under the awning; there the moschetoes and flies were so numerous, that good rest could not be found. We were, however, a little cheered, when, in scraping out the top of the ground to clear out, I may say, thousands of crickets and bugs, we found a hatchet, which was to us peculiarly serviceable. At night the strong north-easterly wind, which prevails there at all seasons, was so cold as to make it equally uncomfortable with the day. Thus day after day, our sufferings and apprehensions multiplying, we were very generally alarmed.

Thursday, 24th.--This morning, after taking a little coffee, made of the water which we thought least salt, and two or three of the little cakes, we felt somewhat refreshed, and concluded to make another visit to those Keys, in hopes of finding something more, which might make a raft for us to escape the pirates, and avoid perishing by thirst. Accordingly seven of us set off, waded across the bar and searched all the Keys thereabouts. On one we found a number of sugar-box shooks, two lashing plank and some pieces of old spars, which were a part of the Exertion's deck load, that was thrown overboard when she grounded on the bar, spoken of in the first part of the narrative. It seems they had drifted fifteen miles, and had accidentally lodged on these very Keys within our reach. Had the pirates known this, they would undoubtedly have placed us in another direction. They no doubt thought that they could not place us on a worse place. The wind at this time was blowing so strong on shore, as to prevent rafting our stuff round to our island, and we were obliged to haul it upon the beach for the present; then dug for water in the highest place, but found it as salt as ever, and then returned to our habitation. But hunger and thirst began to prey upon us, and our comforts were as few as our hopes.

Friday, 25th.--Again passed over to those Keys to windward in order to raft our stuff to our island, it being most convenient for building. But the surf on the beach was so very rough, that we were again compelled to postpone it. Our courage, however, did not fail where there was the slightest hopes of life. Returning without it, we found on our way an old top timber of some vessel; it had several spikes on it, which we afterwards found very serviceable. In the hollow of an old tree, we found two guarnas of small size, one male, the other female. Only one was caught. After taking off the skin, we judged it weighed a pound and a half. With some flour and lard, (the only things we had except salt water,) it made us a fine little mess. We thought it a rare dish, though a small one for eleven half starved persons. At the same time a small vessel hove in sight; we made a signal to her with the blanket tied to a pole and placed it on the highest tree--some took off their white clothes and waved them in the air, hoping they would come to us; should they be pirates, they could do no more than kill us, and perhaps would give us some water, for which we began to suffer most excessively; but, notwithstanding all our efforts, she took no notice of us.

Saturday, 26th.--This day commenced with moderate weather and smooth sea; at low tide found some cockles; boiled and eat them, but they were very painful to the stomach. David Warren had a fit of strangling, with swelling of the bowels; but soon recovered, and said, "something like salt rose in his throat and choked him." Most of us then set off for the Keys, where the plank and shooks were put together in a raft, which we with pieces of boards paddled over to our island; when we consulted the best plan, either to build a raft large enough for us all to go on, or a boat; but the shooks having three or four nails in each, and having a piece of large reed or bamboo, previously found, of which we made pins, we concluded to make a boat.

Sunday, 27--Commenced our labor, for which I know we need offer no apology. We took the two planks, which were about fourteen feet long, and two and a half wide, and fixed them together for the bottom of the boat; then with moulds made of palmetto bark, cut timber and knees from mangrove trees which spread so much as to make the boat four feet wide at the top, placed them exactly the distance apart of an Havana sugar box.--Her stern was square and the bows tapered to a peak, making her form resemble a flat-iron. We proceeded thus far and returned to rest for the night--but Mr. Bracket was too unwell to get much sleep.

Monday, 28--Went on with the work as fast as possible. Some of the Spaniards had long knives about them, which proved very useful in fitting timbers, and a gimblet of mine, accidentally found on board the pirate, enabled us to use the wooden pins. And now our spirits began to revive, though water, water, was continually in our minds. We now feared the pirates might possibly come, find out our plan and put us to death, (although before we had wished to see them, being so much in want of water.) Our labor was extremely burdensome, and the Spaniards considerably peevish--but they would often say to me "never mind captain, by and by, Americana or Spanyola catch them, me go and see 'um hung." We quitted work for the day, cooked some cakes but found it necessary to reduce the quantity again, however small before. We found some herbs on a windward Key, which the Spaniards called Spanish tea.--This when well boiled we found somewhat palatable, although the water was very salt. This herb resembles pennyroyal in look and taste, though not so pungent. In the evening when we were setting round the fire to keep of the moschetoes, I observed David Warren's eyes shone like glass. The mate said to him--"David I think you will die before morning--I think you are struck with death now." I thought so too, and told him, "I thought it most likely we should all die here soon; but as some one of us might survive to carry the tidings to our friends, if you have any thing to say respecting your family, now is the time."--He then said, "I have a mother in Saco where I belong--she is a second time a widow--to-morrow if you can spare a scrap of paper and pencil I will write something." But no tomorrow came to him.--In the course of the night he had another spell of strangling, and soon after expired, without much pain and without a groan. He was about twenty-six years old.--How solemn was this scene to us! Here we beheld the ravages of death commenced upon us. More than one of us considered death a happy release. For myself I thought of my wife and children; and wished to live if God should so order it, though extreme thirst, hunger and exhaustion had well nigh prostrated my fondest hopes.

Tuesday, 29th.--Part of us recommenced labor on the boat, while myself and Mr. Bracket went and selected the highest clear spot of sand on the northern side of the island, where we dug Warren's grave, and boxed it up with shooks, thinking it would be the most suitable spot for the rest of us--whose turn would come next, we knew not. At about ten o'clock, A.M. conveyed the corpse to the grave, followed by us survivers--a scene, whose awful solemnity can never be painted. We stood around the grave, and there I read the funeral prayer from the Rev. Mr. Brooks's Family Prayer Book; and committed the body to the earth; covered it with some pieces of board and sand, and returned to our labor. One of the Spaniards, an old man, named Manuel, who was partial to me, and I to him, made a cross and placed it at the head of the grave saying, "Jesus Christ hath him now." Although I did not believe in any mysterious influence of this cross, yet I was perfectly willing it should stand there. The middle part of the day being very warm, our mouths parched with thirst, and our spirits so depressed, that we made but little progress during the remainder of this day, but in the evening were employed in picking oakum out of the bolt rope taken from the old sail.

Wednesday, 30th.--Returned to labor on the boat with as much vigor as our weak and debilitated state would admit, but it was a day of trial to us all; for the Spaniards and we Americans could not well understand each other's plans, and they being naturally petulant, would not work, nor listen with any patience for Joseph, our English fellow prisoner, to explain our views--they would sometimes undo what they had done, and in a few minutes replace it again; however before night we began to caulk her seams, by means of pieces of hard mangrove, made in form of a caulking-iron, and had the satisfaction of seeing her in a form something like a boat.

Thursday, 31st.--Went on with the work, some at caulking, others at battening the seams with strips of canvas, and pieces of pine nailed over, to keep the oakum in. Having found a suitable pole for a mast, the rest went about making a sail from the one we had used for a covering, also fitting oars of short pieces of boards, in form of a paddle, tied on a pole, we having a piece of fishing line brought by one of the prisoners. Thus, at three P.M. the boat was completed and put afloat.--We had all this time confidently hoped, that she would be sufficiently large and strong to carry us all--we made a trial and were disappointed! This was indeed a severe trial, and the emotions it called up were not easy to be suppressed. She proved leaky, for we had no carpenter's yard, or smith's shop to go to.--And now the question was, "who should go, and how many?" I found it necessary for six; four to row, one to steer and one to bale. Three of the Spaniards and the Frenchman claimed the right, as being best acquainted with the nearest inhabitants; likewise, they had when taken, two boats left at St. Maria, (about forty miles distant,) which they were confident of finding. They promised to return within two or three days for the rest of us--I thought it best to consent--Mr. Bracket it was agreed should go in my stead, because my papers must accompany me as a necessary protection, and my men apprehended danger if they were lost. Joseph Baxter (I think was his name) they wished should go, because he could speak both languages--leaving Manuel, George, Thomas and myself, to wait their return. Having thus made all arrangements, and putting up a keg of the least salt water, with a few pancakes of salt fish, they set off a little before sunset with our best wishes and prayers for their safety and return to our relief.--To launch off into the wide ocean, with strength almost exhausted, and in such a frail boat as this, you will say was very hazardous, and in truth it was; but what else was left to us?--Their intention was to touch at the Key where the Exertion was and if no boat was to be found there, to proceed to St. Maria, and if none there, to go to Trinidad and send us relief.--But alas! it was the last time I ever saw them!--Our suffering this day was most acute.

Tuesday, 5th.--About ten o'clock, A.M. discovered a boat drifting by on the southeastern side of the island about a mile distant. I deemed it a providential thing to us, and urged Thomas and George trying the raft for her. They reluctantly consented and set off, but it was nearly three P.M. when they came up with her--it was the same boat we had built! Where then was my friend Bracket and those who went with him? Every appearance was unfavorable.--I hoped that a good Providence had yet preserved him.--The two men who went for the boat, found it full of water, without oars, paddle, or sail; being in this condition, and about three miles to the leeward, the men found it impossible to tow her up, so left her, and were until eleven o'clock at night getting back with the raft. They were so exhausted, that had it not been nearly calm, they could never have returned.

Wednesday, 6th.--This morning was indeed the most gloomy I had ever experienced.--There appeared hardly a ray of hope that my friend Bracket could return, seeing the boat was lost. Our provisions nearly gone; our mouths parched extremely with thirst; our strength wasted; our spirits broken, and our hopes imprisoned within the circumference of this desolate island in the midst of an unfrequented ocean; all these things gave to the scene around us the hue of death. In the midst of this dreadful despondence, a sail hove in sight bearing the white flag! Our hopes were raised, of course--but no sooner raised than darkened, by hearing a gun fired. Here then was another gang of pirates. She soon, however, came near enough to anchor, and her boat pushed off towards us with three men in her.--Thinking it now no worse to die by sword than famine, I walked down immediately to meet them. I knew them not.--A moment before the boat touched the ground, a man leaped from her bows and caught me in his arms! It was Nickola!--saying, "Do you now believe Nickola is your friend? yes, said he, Jamieson will yet prove himself so."--No words can express my emotions at this moment. This was a friend indeed. The reason of my not recognizing them before, was that they had cut their beards and whiskers. Turning to my fellow-sufferers, Nickola asked--"Are these all that are left of you? where are the others?"--At this moment seeing David's grave--"are they dead then? Ah! I suspected it, I know what you were put here for." As soon as I could recover myself, I gave him an account of Mr. Bracket and the others.--"How unfortunate," he said, "they must be lost, or some pirates have taken them."--"But," he continued, "we have no time to lose; you had better embark immediately with us, and go where you please, we are at your service." The other two in the boat were Frenchmen, one named Lyon, the other Parrikete. They affectionately embraced each of us; then holding to my mouth the nose of a teakettle, filled with wine, said "Drink plenty, no hurt you." I drank as much as I judged prudent. They then gave it to my fellow sufferers--I experienced almost immediate relief, not feeling it in my head; they had also brought in the boat for us, a dish of salt beef and potatoes, of which we took a little. Then sent the boat on board for the other two men, being five in all; who came ashore, and rejoiced enough was I to see among them Thomas Young, one of my crew, who was detained on board the Mexican, but had escaped through Nickola's means; the other a Frenchman, named John Cadedt. I now thought again and again, with troubled emotion, of my dear friend Bracket's fate. I took the last piece of paper I had, and wrote with pencil a few words, informing him (should he come there) that "I and the rest were safe; that I was not mistaken in the friend in whom I had placed so much confidence, that he had accomplished my highest expectations; and that I should go immediately to Trinidad, and requested him to go there also, and apply to Mr. Isaac W. Lord, my consignee, for assistance." I put the paper into a junk bottle, previously found on the beach, put in a stopper, and left it, together with what little flour remained, a keg of water brought from Nickola's vessel, and a few other things which I thought might be of service to him. We then repaired with our friends on board, where we were kindly treated. She was a sloop from Jamaica, of about twelve tons, with a cargo of rum and wine, bound to Trinidad. I asked "which way they intended to go?" They said "to Jamaica if agreeable to me." As I preferred Trinidad, I told them, "if they would give me the Exertion's boat which was along-side (beside their own) some water and provisions, we would take chance in her."--"For perhaps," said I, "you will fare better at Jamaica, than at Trinidad." After a few minutes consultation, they said "you are too much exhausted to row the distance of one hundred miles, therefore we will go and carry you--we consider ourselves at your service." I expressed a wish to take a look at the Exertion, possibly we might hear something of Mr. Bracket. Nickola said "very well," so got under way, and run for her, having a light westerly wind. He then related to me the manner of their desertion from the pirates; as nearly as I can recollect his own words, he said, "A few days since, the pirates took four small vessels, I believe Spaniards; they having but two officers for the two first, the third fell to me as prize master, and having an understanding with the three Frenchmen and Thomas, selected them for my crew, and went on board with orders to follow the Mexican; which I obeyed. The fourth, the pirates took out all but one man and bade him also follow their vessel. Now our schooner leaked so bad, that we left her and in her stead agreed to take this little sloop (which we are now in) together with the one man. The night being very dark we all agreed to desert the pirates--altered our course and touched at St. Maria, where we landed the one man--saw no boats there, could hear nothing from you, and agreed one and all at the risk of our lives to come and liberate you if you were alive; knowing, as we did, that you were put on this Key to perish. On our way we boarded the Exertion, thinking possibly you might have been there. On board her we found a sail and paddle. We took one of the pirate's boats which they had left along-side of her, which proves how we came by two boats. My friend, the circumstance I am now about to relate, will somewhat astonish you. When the pirate's boat with Bolidar was sent to the before mentioned Key, on the 19th of January, it was their intention to leave you prisoners there, where was nothing but salt water and mangroves, and no possibility of escape. This was the plan of Baltizar, their abandoned pilot; but Bolidar's heart failed him, and he objected to it; then, after a conference, Captain Jonnia ordered you to be put on the little island from whence we have now taken you. But after this was done, that night the French and Portuguese part of the Mexican's crew protested against it; so that Captain Jonnia to satisfy them, sent his large boat to take you and your fellow prisoners back again, taking care to select his confidential Spaniards for this errand. And you will believe me they set off from the Mexican, and after spending about as much time as would really have taken them to come to you, they returned, and reported they had been to your island, and landed, and that none of you were there, somebody having taken you off! This, all my companions here know to be true.--I knew it was impossible you could have been liberated, and therefore we determined among ourselves, that should an opportunity occur we would come and save your lives, as we now have." He then expressed, as he hitherto had done (and I believe with sincerity), his disgust with the bad company which he had been in, and looked forward with anxiety to the day when he might return to his native country. I advised him to get on board an American vessel, whenever an opportunity offered, and come to the United States; and on his arrival direct a letter to me; repeating my earnest desire to make some return for the disinterested friendship which he had shown toward me. With the Frenchman I had but little conversation, being unacquainted with the language.

Here ended Nickola's account. "And now" said the Frenchman, "our hearts be easy." Nickola observed he had left all and found us. I gave them my warmest tribute of gratitude, saying I looked upon them under God as the preservers of our lives, and promised them all the assistance which my situation might enable me to afford.--This brings me to,

Thursday evening, 7th, when, at eleven o'clock, we anchored at the creek's mouth, near the Exertion. I was anxious to board her; accordingly took with me Nickola, Thomas, George and two others, well armed, each with a musket and cutlass. I jumped on her deck, saw a fire in the camboose, but no person there: I called aloud Mr. Bracket's name several times, saying "it is Captain Lincoln, don't be afraid, but show yourself," but no answer was given. She had no masts, spars, rigging, furniture, provisions or any think left, except her bowsprit, and a few barrels of salt provisions of her cargo. Her ceiling had holes cut in it, no doubt in their foolish search for money. I left her with peculiar emotions, such as I hope never again to experience; and returned to the little sloop where we remained till--

Friday, 8th--When I had disposition to visit the island on which we were first imprisoned.----Found nothing there--saw a boat among the mangroves, near the Exertion. Returned, and got under way immediately for Trinidad. In the night while under full sail, run aground on a sunken Key, having rocks above the water, resembling old stumps of trees; we, however, soon got off and anchored. Most of those Keys have similar rocks about them, which navigators must carefully guard against.

Monday, 11th--Got under way--saw a brig at anchor about five miles below the mouth of the harbor; we hoped to avoid her speaking us; but when we opened in sight of her, discovered a boat making towards us, with a number of armed men in her. This alarmed my friends, and as we did not see the brig's ensign hoisted, they declared the boat was a pirate, and looking through the spy-glass, they knew some of them to be the Mexican's men! This state of things was quite alarming. They said, "we will not be taken alive by them." Immediately the boat fired a musket; the ball passed through our mainsail. My friends insisted on beating them off: I endeavored to dissuade them, believing, as I did, that the brig was a Spanish man-of-war, who had sent her boat to ascertain who we were. I thought we had better heave to. Immediately another shot came. Then they insisted on fighting, and said "if I would not help them, I was no friend." I reluctantly acquiesced, and handed up the guns--commenced firing upon them and they upon us. We received several shot through the sails, but no one was hurt on either side. Our boats had been cast adrift to make us go the faster, and we gained upon them--continued firing until they turned from us, and went for our boats, which they took in tow for the brig. Soon after this, it became calm: then I saw that the brig had us in her power.--She manned and armed two more boats for us. We now concluded, since we had scarcely any ammunition, to surrender; and were towed down along-side the brig on board, and were asked by the captain, who could speak English, "what for you fire on the boat?" I told him "we thought her a pirate, and did not like to be taken by them again, having already suffered too much;" showing my papers. He said, "Captain Americana, never mind, go and take some dinner--which are your men?" I pointed them out to him, and he ordered them the liberty of the decks; but my friend Nickola and his three associates were immediately put in irons. They were, however, afterwards taken out of irons and examined; and I understood the Frenchmen agreed to enlist, as they judged it the surest way to better their condition. Whether Nickola enlisted, I do not know, but think that he did, as I understood that offer was made to him: I however endeavored to explain more distinctly to the captain, the benevolent efforts of these four men by whom my life had been saved, and used every argument in my power to procure their discharge. I also applied to the governor, and exerted myself with peculiar interest, dictated as I trust with heartfelt gratitude--and I ardently hope ere this, that Nickola is on his way to this country, where I may have an opportunity of convincing him that such an act of benevolence will not go unrewarded. Previous to my leaving Trinidad, I made all the arrangements in my power with my influential friends, and doubt not, that their laudable efforts will be accomplished.--The sloop's cargo was then taken on board the brig; after which the captain requested a certificate that I was politely treated by him, saying that his name was Captain Candama, of the privateer brig Prudentee of eighteen guns. This request I complied with. His first lieutenant told me he had sailed out of Boston, as commander for T.C. Amory, Esq. during the last war. In the course of the evening my friends were taken out of irons and examined separately, then put back again. The captain invited me to supper in his cabin, and a berth for the night, which was truly acceptable. The next morning after breakfast, I with my people were set on shore with the few things we had, with the promise of the Exertion's small boat in a day or two,--but it was never sent me--the reason, let the reader imagine. On landing at the wharf Casildar, we were immediately taken by soldiers to the guard house, which was a very filthy place; thinking I suppose, and even calling us, pirates. Soon some friends came to see me. Mr. Cotton, who resides there brought us in some soup. Mr. Isaac W. Lord, of Boston, my merchant, came with Captain Tate, who sent immediately to the governor; for I would not show my papers to any one else. He came about sunset, and after examining Manuel my Spanish fellow prisoner, and my papers, said to be, giving me the papers, "Captain, you are at liberty." I was kindly invited by Captain Matthew Rice, of schooner Galaxy, of Boston, to go on board his vessel, and live with him during my stay there. This generous offer I accepted, and was treated by him with the greatest hospitality; for I was hungered and he gave me meat, I was athirst and he gave me drink, I was naked and he clothed me, a stranger and he took me in. He likewise took Manuel and my three men for that night. Next day Mr. Lord rendered me all necessary assistance in making my protest. He had heard nothing from me until my arrival. I was greatly disappointed in not finding Mr. Bracket, and requested Mr. Lord to give him all needful aid if he should come there. To Captain Carnes, of the schooner Hannah, of Boston, I would tender my sincere thanks, for his kindness in giving me a passage to Boston, which I gladly accepted. To those gentlemen of Trinidad, and many captains of American vessels, who gave me sea clothing, &c., I offer my cordial gratitude.

I am fully of the opinion that these ferocious pirates are linked in with many inhabitants of Cuba; and the government in many respects appears covertly to encourage them.

It is with heartfelt delight, that, since the above narrative was written, I have learned that Mr. Bracket and his companions are safe; he arrived at Port d'Esprit, about forty leagues east of Trinidad. A letter has been received from him, stating that he should proceed to Trinidad the first opportunity.--It appears that after reaching the wreck, they found a boat from the shore, taking on board some of the Exertion's cargo, in which they proceeded to the above place. Why it was not in his power to come to our relief will no doubt be satisfactorily disclosed when he may be so fortunate as once more to return to his native country and friends.

I felt great anxiety to learn what became of Jamieson, who, my readers will recollect, was detained on board the Spanish brig Prudentee near Trinidad. I heard nothing from him, until I believe eighteen months after I reached home, when I received a letter from him, from Montego Bay, Jamaica, informing me that he was then residing in that island. I immediately wrote to him, and invited him to come on to the United States. He accordingly came on passenger with Captain Wilson of Cohasset, and arrived in Boston, in August, 1824. Our meeting was very affecting. Trying scenes were brought up before us; scenes gone forever, through which we had passed together, where our acquaintance was formed, and since which time, we had never met. I beheld once more the preserver of my life; the instrument, under Providence, of restoring me to my home, my family, and my friends, and I regarded him with no ordinary emotion. My family were delighted to see him, and cordially united in giving him a warm reception. He told me that after we separated in Trinidad, he remained on board the Spanish brig. The commander asked him and his companions if they would enlist; the Frenchmen replied that they would, but he said nothing, being determined to make his escape, the very first opportunity which should present. The Spanish brig afterwards fell in with a Columbian Patriot, an armed brig of eighteen guns. Being of about equal force, they gave battle, and fought between three and four hours. Both parties were very much injured; and, without any considerable advantage on either side, both drew off to make repairs. The Spanish brig Prudentee, put into St. Jago de Cuba. Jamieson was wounded in the action, by a musket ball, through his arm, and was taken on shore, with the other wounded, and placed in the hospital of St. Jago. Here he remained for a considerable time, until he had nearly recovered, when he found an opportunity of escaping, and embarking for Jamaica. He arrived in safety at Kingston, and from there, travelled barefoot over the mountains, until very much exhausted, he reached Montego Bay, where he had friends, and where one of his brothers possessed some property. From this place, he afterwards wrote to me. He told me that before he came to Massachusetts, he saw the villainous pilot of the Mexican, the infamous Baltizar, with several other pirates, brought into Montego Bay, from whence they were to be conveyed to Kingston to be executed. Whether the others were part of the Mexican's crew, or not, I do not know. Baltizar was an old man, and as Jamieson said, it was a melancholy and heart-rending sight, to see him borne to execution with those gray hairs, which might have been venerable in virtuous old age, now a shame and reproach to this hoary villain, for he was full of years, and old in iniquity. When Jamieson received the letter which I wrote him, he immediately embarked with Captain Wilson, and came to Boston, as I have before observed.

According to his own account he was of a very respectable family in Greenock, Scotland. His father when living was a rich cloth merchant, but both his father and mother had been dead many years. He was the youngest of thirteen children, and being, as he said, of a roving disposition, had always followed the seas. He had received a polite education, and was of a very gentlemanly deportment. He spoke several living languages, and was skilled in drawing and painting. He had travelled extensively in different countries, and acquired in consequence an excellent knowledge of their manners and customs. His varied information (for hardly any subject escaped him) rendered him a very entertaining companion. His observations on the character of different nations were very liberal; marking their various traits, their virtues and vices, with playful humorousness, quite free from bigotry, or narrow prejudice.

I was in trade, between Boston and Philadelphia, at the time he came to Massachusetts, and he sailed with me several trips as my mate. He afterwards went to Cuba, and was subsequently engaged in the mackerel fishery, out of the port of Hingham, during the warm season, and in the winter frequently employed himself in teaching navigation to young men, for which he was eminently qualified. He remained with us, until his death, which took place in 1829. At this time he had been out at sea two or three days, when he was taken sick, and was carried into Cape Cod, where he died, on the first day of May, 1829, and there his remains lie buried. Peace be to his ashes! They rest in a strange land, far from his kindred and his native country.

Since his death I have met with Mr. Stewart, of Philadelphia, who was Commercial Agent in Trinidad at the time of my capture. He informed me that the piratical schooner Mexican, was afterwards chased by an English government vessel, from Jamaica, which was cruising in search of it. Being hotly pursued, the pirates deserted their vessel, and fled to the mangrove bushes, on an island similar to that on which they had placed me and my crew to die. The English surrounded them, and thus they were cut off from all hopes of escape. They remained there, I think fourteen days, when being almost entirely subdued by famine, eleven surrendered themselves, and were taken. The others probably perished among the mangroves. The few who were taken were carried by the government vessel into Trinidad. Mr. Stewart said that he saw them himself, and such miserable objects, that had life, he never before beheld. They were in a state of starvation; their beards had grown to a frightful length, their bodies, were covered with filth and vermin, and their countenances were hideous. From Trinidad they were taken to Kingston, Jamaica, and there hung on Friday, the 7th of February, 1823.

About a quarter of an hour before day dawn, the wretched culprits were taken from the jail, under a guard of soldiers from the 50th regiment, and the City Guard. On their arrival at the wherry wharf, the military retired, and the prisoners, with the Town Guard were put on board two wherries, in which they proceeded to Port Royal Point, the usual place of execution in similar cases. They were there met by a strong party of military, consisting of 50 men, under command of an officer. They formed themselves into a square round the place of execution, with the sheriff and his officers with the prisoners in the centre. The gallows was of considerable length, and contrived with a drop so as to prevent the unpleasant circumstances which frequently occur.

The unfortunate men had been in continual prayer from the time they were awakened out of a deep sleep till they arrived at that place, where they were to close their existence.

They all expressed their gratitude for the attention they had met with from the sheriff and the inferior officers. Many pressed the hands of the turnkey to their lips, others to their hearts and on their knees, prayed that God, Jesus Christ, and the Virgin Mary would bless him and the other jailors for their goodness. They all then fervently joined in prayer. To the astonishment of all, no clerical character, of any persuasion, was present. They repeatedly called out "Adonde esta el padre," (Where is the holy father).

The execution of ten pirates.

Juan Hernandez called on all persons present to hear him--he was innocent; what they had said about his confessing himself guilty was untrue. He had admitted himself guilty, because he hoped for pardon; but that now he was to die, he called God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost, the Virgin Mary, and the Saints, to witness that he spoke the truth--that he was no pirate, no murderer--he had been forced. The Lieutenant of the pirates was a wretch, who did not fear God, and had compelled him to act.

Juan Gutterez and Francisco de Sayas were loud in their protestations of innocence.

Manuel Lima said, for himself, he did not care; he felt for the old man (Miguel Jose). How could he be a pirate who could not help himself? If it were a Christian country, they would have pardoned him for his gray hairs. He was innocent--they had both been forced. Let none of his friends or relations ever venture to sea--he hoped his death would be a warning to them, that the innocent might suffer for the guilty. The language of this young man marked him a superior to the generality of his companions in misfortune. The seamen of the Whim stated that he was very kind to them when prisoners on board the piratical vessel. Just before he was turned off, he addressed the old man--"Adios viejo, para siempre adios."--(Farewell, old man, forever farewell.)

Several of the prisoners cried out for mercy, pardon, pardon.

Domingo Eucalla, the black man, then addressed them. "Do not look for mercy here, but pray to God; we are all brought here to die. This is not built for nothing; here we must end our lives. You know I am innocent, but I must die the same as you all. There is not any body here who can do us any good, so let us think only of God Almighty. We are not children but men, you know that all must die; and in a few years those who kill us must die too. When I was born, God set the way of my death; I do not blame any body. I was taken by the pirates and they made me help them; they would not let me be idle. I could not show that this was the truth, and therefore they have judged me by the people they have found me with. I am put to death unjustly, but I blame nobody. It was my misfortune. Come, let us pray. If we are innocent, so much the less we have to repent. I do not come here to accuse any one. Death must come one day or other; better to the innocent than guilty." He then joined in prayer with the others. He seemed to be much reverenced by his fellow prisoners. He chose those prayers he thought most adapted to the occasion. Hundreds were witnesses to the manly firmness of this negro. Observing a bystander listening attentively to the complaints of one of his fellow wretches, he translated what had been said into English. With a steady pace, and a resolute and resigned countenance, he ascended the fatal scaffold. Observing the executioner unable to untie a knot on the collar of one of the prisoners, he with his teeth untied it. He then prayed most fervently till the drop fell.

Miguel Jose protested his innocence.--"No he robado, no he matado ningune, muero innocente."--(I have robbed no one, I have killed no one, I die innocent. I am an old man, but my family will feel my disgraceful death.)

Francisco Migul prayed devoutly, but inaudibly.--His soul seemed to have quitted the body before he was executed.

Breti Gullimillit called on all to witness his innocence; it was of no use for him to say an untruth, for he was going before the face of God.

Augustus Hernandez repeatedly declared his innocence, requested that no one would say he had made a confession; he had none to make.

Juan Hernandez was rather obstinate when the execution pulled the cap over his eyes. He said, rather passionately--"Quita is de mis ojos."--(Remove it from my eyes.) He then rubbed it up against one of the posts of the gallows.

Miguel Jose made the same complaint, and drew the covering from his eyes by rubbing his head against a fellow sufferer.

Pedro Nondre was loud in his ejaculations for mercy. He wept bitterly. He was covered with marks of deep wounds.

The whole of the ten included in the death warrant, having been placed on the scaffold, and the ropes suspended, the drop was let down. Nondre being an immense heavy man, broke the rope, and fell to the ground alive. Juan Hernandez struggled long. Lima was much convulsed. The old man Gullimillit, and Migul, were apparently dead before the drop fell. Eucalla (the black man) gave one convulsion, and all was over.

When Nondre recovered from the fall and saw his nine lifeless companions stretched in death, he gave an agonizing shriek; he wrung his hands, screamed "Favor, favor, me matan sin causa. O! buenos Christianos, me amparen, ampara me, ampara me, no hay Christiano en asta, tiara?"

(Mercy, mercy, they kill me without cause.--Oh, good Christians, protect me. Oh, protect me. Is there no Christian in this land?)

He then lifted his eyes to Heaven, and prayed long and loud. Upon being again suspended, he was for a long period convulsed. He was an immense powerful man, and died hard.

A piratical station was taken in the Island of Cuba by the U.S. schooners of war, Greyhound and Beagle. They left Thompson's Island June 7, 1823, under the command of Lieuts. Kearney and Newton, and cruised within the Key's on the south side of Cuba, as far as Cape Cruz, touching at all the intermediate ports on the island, to intercept pirates. On the 21st of July, they came to anchor off Cape Cruz, and Lieut. Kearney went in his boat to reconnoitre the shore, when he was fired on by a party of pirates who were concealed among the bushes. A fire was also opened from several pieces of cannon erected on a hill a short distance off. The boat returned, and five or six others were manned from the vessels, and pushed off for the shore, but a very heavy cannonade being kept up by the pirates on the heights, as well as from the boats, were compelled to retreat. The two schooners were then warped in, when they discharged several broadsides, and covered the landing of the boats. After a short time the pirates retreated to a hill that was well fortified. A small hamlet, in which the pirates resided, was set fire to and destroyed. Three guns, one a four pounder, and two large swivels, with several pistols, cutlasses, and eight large boats, were captured. A cave, about 150 feet deep, was discovered, near where the houses were, and after considerable difficulty, a party of seamen got to the bottom, where was found an immense quantity of plunder, consisting of broadcloths, dry goods, female dresses, saddlery, &c. Many human bones were also in the cave, supposed to have been unfortunate persons who were taken and put to death. A great many of the articles were brought away, and the rest destroyed. About forty pirates escaped to the heights, but many were supposed to have been killed from the fire of the schooners, as well as from the men who landed. The bushes were so thick that it was impossible to go after them. Several other caves are in the neighborhood, in which it was conjectured they occasionally take shelter.

In 1823, Commodore Porter commanded the United States squadron in these seas; much good was done in preventing new acts of piracy; but these wretches kept aloof and did not venture to sea as formerly, but some were taken.

Almost every day furnished accounts evincing the activity of Commodore Porter, and the officers and men under his command; but for a long time their industry and zeal was rather shown in the suppression of piracy than the punishment of it. At length, however, an opportunity offered for inflicting the latter, as detailed in the following letter, dated Matanzas, July 10, 1823.

"I have the pleasure of informing you of a brilliant achievement obtained against the pirates on the 5th inst. by two barges attached to Commodore Porter's squadron, the Gallinipper, Lieut. Watson, 18 men, and the Moscheto, Lieut. Inman, 10 men. The barges were returning from a cruise to windward; when they were near Jiguapa Bay, 13 leagues to windward of Matanzas, they entered it--it being a rendezvous for pirates. They immediately discovered a large schooner under way, which they supposed to be a Patriot privateer; and as their stores were nearly exhausted, they hoped to obtain some supplies from her. They therefore made sail in pursuit. When they were within cannon shot distance, she rounded to and fired her long gun, at the same time run up the bloody flag, directing her course towards the shore, and continuing to fire without effect. When she had got within a short distance of the shore, she came to, with springs on her cable, continuing to fire; and when the barges were within 30 yards, they fired their muskets without touching boat or man; our men gave three cheers, and prepared to board; the pirates, discovering their intention, jumped into the water, when the bargemen, calling on the name of 'Allen,' commenced a destructive slaughter, killing them in the water and as they landed. So exasperated were our men, that it was impossible for their officers to restrain them, and many were killed after orders were given to grant quarter. Twenty-seven dead were counted, some sunk, five taken prisoners by the bargemen, and eight taken by a party of Spaniards on shore. The officers calculated that from 30 to 35 were killed. The schooner mounted a long nine pounder on a pivot, and 4 four pounders, with every other necessary armament, and a crew of 50 to 60 men, and ought to have blown the barges to atoms. She was commanded by the notorious Diableto or Little Devil. This statement I have from Lieut. Watson himself, and it is certainly the most decisive operation that has been effected against those murderers, either by the English or American force."

The Pirates fire into Lieut. Kearney's boat, while reconnoitering the shore.

"This affair occurred on the same spot where the brave Allen fell about one year since. The prize was sent to Thompson's Island."

A British sloop of war, about the same time, captured a pirate schooner off St. Domingo, with a crew of 60 men. She had 200,000 dollars in specie, and other valuable articles on board. The brig Vestal sent another pirate schooner to New-Providence.



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