In April of 1717, a fierce storm sank the Whydah, a pirate ship captained by Black Sam Bellamy and his crew of “Robin Hood’s Men.”There were 145 souls on deck: only two survived. Legend has it, Sam Bellamy became a pirate because poor living as a poor sailor wasn’t supporting him enough to want to marry the object of his affection, Maria Hallett of Massachusetts. He started out as a treasure hunter in search of shipwrecks, but soon turned to piracy because the riches from such shipwrecks was elusive. In all, Sam and his crew of Robin Hood’s Men plundered more than fifty ships in the Caribbean.
His unfortunate crew included Thomas Davis, a carpenter by trade, who was commissioned by Black Sam Bellamy because carpenters would be handy on a wooden ship such as The Whydah. He was one of the only two survivors, who only lived long enough to find himself being imprisoned on piracy charges. He was found not guilty.
The rest of the crew included the mysterious Dr. Ferguson,(who was of Scottish descent, and ship’s surgeon who was amputate happy), John Julian (who was part Mosquito Indian and ship’s navigator, and incidentally was the only other person to survive the Whydah’s wreck. John Julian has presidential ties. He was indicted for piracy and sold into slavery and alleged to have been purchased by John Quincy, grandfather to later president John Quincy Adams).
Other pirate crew included John King, (who became a pirate against his mother’s wishes), Richard Noland, (the guardian of the ship’s treasure trove, provisions manager, and munitions babysitter), Quintor, (who was not on the ship when it sank, but Karma caught up to him: he was hanged for the crime of piracy in October of 1717), Joseph Rivers, (the oldest pirate aboard the Whydah), and Palgrave Williams, (who allegedly suffered a midlife crisis at the tender age of 39.) Williams was ship’s quartermaster.
The ship herself is the only known pirate ship ever resurrected from the deep and is on tour to various museums around the country, in a tour titled Real Pirates. National Geographic is in charge of hosting the ship and its treasure. Please visit http://www.whydah.org and http://www.nationalgeographic.com/whydah for more details.