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« on: April 17, 2009, 09:17:25 pm »
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    JOHN HALSEY was a Boston man, of New-England, commanded the Charles,
brigantine, and went out with a commission from the governor, to cruise on
the banks of Newfoundland, where be took a French banker, which he appointed
to meet Min at Fayal; but missing his prize here, he went among the Canary
Islands, where be took a Spanish barclonga, which he plundered and sunk:
from thence he went to the island of Bravo, one of the Cape-de-Verds,where
he wooded and watered, turned ashore his lieutenant, and several of his men
here running away from him, the governor sent them on board again, his
commission being as yet in force. From hence he stood away to the southward,
and doubling the Cape of Good Hope, made for Madagascar and the bay of
Augustin, where he took in wood and water, with some straggling seamen, who
were cast away in the Degrave Indiamen, Capt. Young, commander. After this,
he shaped his course for the Red Sea, and met with a Dutchman of 60 guns,
coming from Mocha, whom he kept company with a week. Though he was resolved
upon turning pirate, he intended to rob only the Moor ships, which
occasioned a dispute between him and his men; they insisting on the ship's
being a Moor, and he asserting she was Dutch, was positive in his resolve of
meddling with no European ships. The men were for boarding, but his
obstinacy not being to be conquered, they broke Halsey and his gunner,
confined both, and were ready to board the Dutchman, when one of the crew
perceiving he was about to run out his lower tier, knocked down the
quarter-master (whose business it is to be at the helm, in time of chase or
engagement, according to the rules of pirates) clapped the helm hard
a-wether, and wore the brigantine. The Dutchman stayed, and fired a shot,
which taking a swivel gun, carried it aft, narrowly missed the man at helm,
and shattered the taffatrel. The men perceiving they had caught a Tartar,
made the best of their way to shake her off, and some were running down
between decks, whom the surgeon pricked up again with his sword, though he
was no way consenting to their designed piracy. The captain and gunner were
again reinstated after they had seen their mistake, and then they steered
for the Nicobar Islands, where they met with a country ship, called the
Buffalo, commanded by Capt. Buckley, an Englishman, coming from Bengal,
which they took after a short engagement there being only three Europeans on
board, the captain and two mates; the rest were Moors. This ship fell
seasonably in their way, she being bound for Achen, with butter, rice, and
cloth, and the pirates, at that time, were in great straits both for
provision and clothing. They took the two maates to sea with them, but left
the captain and the Moors at Cara Nicobar, at an anchor, and then took a
cruise. Capt. Buckley, who was sick, died before their return. In the cruise
they met

    Captain Collins, in a country sloop, bound also to Ashen. He had also
two English mates with him, but the rest of his company consisted of Moors.
Him they carried to the same harbour where they left the Buffalo. Here a
dispute arose among the pirates. Some were for returning to the West-Indies,
others were against it, for they had got no money, and that was what engaged
their search. They parted upon this ; onepart went on board the Buffalo,
made one Rowe captain, and Myers, a Frenchman, master, whom they had picked
up at Madagascar. The sloop's deck they ripped up, and mended with it the
bottom of the brigantine which Halsey still commanded. The ship shaped her
course for Madagascar, and the brigantine made for the straits of Malacca,
to lie in the track of the Manilla ships. I must observe, that Capt.
Buckley's two mates, whom they intended to force with them, were by strength
of entreaty, permitted to go away with a canoe. In these straits, they met
an European built ships, of 26 guns, which they had not the courage to
attack, being soured by the Dutchman. They afterwards stood in shore, and
came to an anchor. A few days after they made a vessel, which they supposed
a China junk, and gave chase, but when they came pretty nigh,
notwithstanding thepilot assured them she was what they supposed, they swore
it was a Dutchman, and would not venture upon him; so leaving off their
chase they stood in shore, and came again to an anchor under the peninsula.
They lay here some days, and then spied a tall vessel, which they chased,
and which proved to be the Albemarle East-I ndiamen, Capt. Bews, commander,
coming from China. They came up with him, but thinking it too warm a ship
after exchanging a few shot, the brigantine made off, and the Albemaris
chased in her turn. They however got clear, having a better share of heels,
and came again to an anchor. Having not above 40 hands, the water growing
scarce, and not daring to venture ashore for fear of the Dutch, a council
was called, and it was resolved to make the best of their way to Madagascar,
to pick up more hands, refresh, and set out on new adventures. Pursuant to
this resolution, they steered for that island, but fell in their way on
Mascarenhas, where, making a small present to the governor, they were
supplied with what they wanted.

    From hence they went to a place on Madagascar, called by the pirates
Hopeful Point; by the natives, Harangby, near the island of St. Mary's in
the lat. of 17, 40, S. where they met with the Buffalo, and the Dorothy, a
prize, made by Capt. Thomas White and his company, being about 90 or 100
men, settled near the same place, inpetty governments of their own, having
some of them 5 or 600, some 1000 negro subjects, who acknowledged their
sovereignty. Here they again repaired their brigantine, took inprovisions
and all necessaries, augmented their company to about 100 men, and set out
for the Red Sea, They touched at Johanna, and there took in a quantity of
goats and cocoa nuts for fresh provisions, and thence in eleven days reached
the Straits of Babelmandel. They had not cruised here many days, when they
spied the Moorish fleet from Mocha and Jufa, consisting of 25 sail, which
they fell in with, and had been taken, if their oars had not helped them
off, it falling a dead calm. They had not apprehended the danger so great,
if they had not judged these ships convoyed by some Portuguese men of war.
Some days after this, they met a one mast vessel, called a grab, coming from
Mocha, which they spied within gun-shot in a thick fog: they fired a shot
which cut her halliards, and then took possession of her with their boats.
She was laden with drugs, but they took only some necessaries and 2000
dollars; and having learned that four English vessels lay at Mocha, of which
one was from Jufa, they let her go.

    Three days after they spied the four ships, which they at first took to
be the trees of Babelmandel. At night they fell in with, and kept them
company till morning, the trumpets sounding on both sides all the time, for
the pirate had two on board as well is the English. When it was clear day,
the four ships drew into a line, for they had hailed the pirate, who made no
ceremony of owning who he was, by an answering according to their manner,
From the seas. The brigantine bore up till she had slung her gaff. One of
the ships perceiving this, advised Capt. Jago, who led the van, in a ship of
24 guns and 70 men, to give chase, for the pirate was on the run ; but a
mate, who was acquainted with the way of working among pirates, answered he
would find his mistake, and said he had seen many a warm day, but feared
this would be the hottest. The brigantine turned up again, and coming
astern, clapped the Rising Eagle aboard, a ship of 16 guns, and the
sternmost. Though they entered their men, the Rising Eagle held them a warm
dispute for three quarters of an hour, in which Capt. Chamberlain's chief
mate and several others were killed, the purser was wounded, jumped
overboard and drowned. In the mean while the other ships called to Capt. Jar
to board the pirate; who hearing away to clap him aboard, the pirate gave
him a shot, which raked him fore and aft, and determined Capt. Jago to get
out of danger; for he run away with all the sail he could pack, though he
was fitted out to protect the coast against pirates. His example was
followed by the rest, every one steering a different coast. Thus they became
masters of the Rising Eagle. I cannot but take notice, that the second mate
of the Rising Eagle, after quarters were called for, fired from out the
forecastle, and killed two of the pirates, one of whom was the gunner's
consort, Who would have revenged his death by shooting the mate, but several
Irish and Scots, together with one Captain Thomas White, once a commander
among the pirates, but then a private man, interposed and saved him, in
regard that he was an Irishman. They examined the prisoners to know which
was the ship from Jufa, that had money on board; and having learned it was
the Essex, they gave chase, came up with her, hoisted the bloody flag at the
main-mast-head, fired one single gun, and she struck, though she was fitted
for close quarters, and there was not on board the brigantine above 20
hands, and the prize was astern so far, that her top-mast scarce appeared
out of the water. In chasing this ship, they passed the other two, who held
the fly of their ensigns in their hands ready to strike. When the ship bad
struck, the captain of her asked, who commanded the brigantine? He was
answered, Capt. Halsey. Asking again, who was quarter-master? He was told
Nathaniel North, to whom he called, as he knew him very well. North,
learning his name was Punt, said, Cape. Punt, I am sorry you are fallen into
our hands.

    He was civilly treated, and nothing belonging to himself or the English
gentlemen, who were passengers, touched, though they made bold to lay hands
on 40,000 in money, belonging to the ship. They had about 10,000 in money
out of the Rising Eagle. They discharged the Essex, and with the other prize
and the brigantine, steered for Madagascar, where they arrived and shared
their booty. Some of the passengers, who had been so well treated, came
afterwards with a small ship from India (with license from the governorof
Madras) called the Greyhound, laden with necessaries, in hopes to barter
with the pirates for the dry goods they had taken, and recover them at an
easy rate. They were received very kindly, an invoice of their goods was
asked, the goods agreed for, shared and paid in money and bale goods. In the
mean while came in a ship from Scotland, called the Neptune, 26 guns, 54
men, commanded by Capt. Miller, with a design to slave, and to go thence to
Batavia to dispose of her negroes (having a supercargo on board, brought up
among the Dutch) and thence to Malacca, to take on board the cargo of a
ship, called the Speedwell, lost on her return from China; but finding here
another ship trading with the pirates, and having many necessaries, French
brandy, Madiera wine, and English stout on board, Capt. Millar thought it
better to trade for money than slaves.

The merchants of the Greyhound, nettled to see any but themselves take
money, for the pirates never haggled about a price, told them, They could not
do the governor of Madras a more grateful piece of service than to make prize
of the Neptune, which was a ship fit for that purpose. To which some of the Scotch
and Irish answered, The had not best put such a design on foot, for if the company
once got it into their heads to lake one, they would go nigh to take both ships. In a
short time after came on a hurricane, which obliged the Neptune to cut away
all her masts, and lost the three ships belonging to the pirates, which was
their whole fleet. They having now no ship, and several of them no Money,
having been stripped at play, their thoughts were bent on the Neptune. The
chief mate of her, Daniel Burgess, who had a spleen to the captain, joining
privately with the pirates (among whom he died) got all the small masts and
yards ashore; and the pirates being requested to find him proper trees for
masting, told Capt. Miller they had found such as would serve his turn,
desiring he would take a number of hands ashore to get them down to the
water, which (he suspecting no harm) accordingly did, and he and his men
were seized, and the long boat detained ashore. The captain was forced to
send for the second mate, and afterwards for the gunner; the mate, who was
the captain's brother, went, but the gunner, suspecting foul play, refused.
In the evening, Burgess came on board, and advised the surrender of the
ship, which, though but sixteen were left on board, they scrupled, and
proposed going under the cover of their own guns to fetch their top-mast and
yards, and with them put to sea ; but the chief mate, Burgess, whose villany
was not then known, persuaded them to give up a ship they could neither
defend nor sail; which was no small satisfaction to the Greyhound, little
thinking how soon they would meet with the same treatment; for two days
after, the pirates manned the Neptune's pinnace, seized the Greyhound, took
away all the money they had paid, and shifting out of the Neptune ten pipes
of Madeira, with two hogsheads of brandy, into the Greyhound, and putting on
board the captain, second mate, boatswain and gunner of the Neptune, and
about fourteen of her hands, ordered her to sea.

The rest of the Neptune's company being young men fit for their purpose, they
detained, most of whom, by bard drinking, fell into distempers and died, As to
Capt. Halsey, while the Scotch ship was fitting, he fell ill of a fever, died and was
buried with great solemnity and ceremony; the prayers of the church of England
was read over him, colours were flying, and his sword and pistol laid on his
coffin, which was covered with a ship's jack; as many minute guns fired as
he was years old, viz. 46, and three English vollies, and one French volley
of small arms. He was brave in his person, courteous to all his prisoners,
lived beloved, and died regretted by his own people. His grave was made in a
garden of water-melons, and fenced in with pallisades to prevent his being
rooted up by the wild hogs, of which there are plenty in those parts.

    P. S. The Neptune seized as above, was the year after Capt. Halsey's,
death, ready to go to sea; but a hurricane happening, she was lost, and
proved the last ship that gang of pirates ever got possession of.


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