Wednesday, February 8, 2023

17th century English pirates hid in the American colonies

One tarnished silver coin at a time, the land is yielding new evidence that, in the late 17th century, one of the world’s most ruthless pirates roamed the American colonies unafraid.

Newly discovered documents also strengthen the argument that British outlaw Henry Hare – the target of the world’s first manhunt – hid out in New England before heading to Ireland and mysteriously disappearing.

“At this point, the amount of evidence is overwhelming and undeniable,” Jim Bailey, a historian and metal detecting expert who has spent years solving the mystery, told The Associated Press. “No doubt everyone in the colonies was a fugitive.”

In 2014, after unearthing a strange coin engraved with an Arabic inscription in a public garden in Middletown, Rhode Island, Bailey began retracing every step.

An investigation confirmed that the foreign coin was minted in Yemen in 1693. Bailey then found that it matched the millions of dollars in coins and other valuables that each and his men had looted from the Ganj-i-Sawai, an armed royal ship owned by the Indian emperor Aurangzeb, on September 7, 1695.

According to historical accounts, the Hara gang tortured and murdered the passengers aboard the Indian ship and raped several women before fleeing to the Bahamas, a stronghold of pirates. But word soon spread about his crimes, and the English emperor William III—under heavy pressure from a discredited India and the influential East India Company, the trading giant—put a huge bounty on his head.

Since then, metal detecting experts and archaeologists have found 26 similar coins between Maine and the Carolinas. All coins except three appeared in New England, and none can be dated after the capture of the Indian ship.

“When I first heard about it, I was like, ‘Oh, wait, that can’t be true,'” said Steve Album, a rare coin expert based in Santa Rosa, California, who helped identify all the coins. . which appeared in New England.

“But these coins have been found legitimately and in some cases archaeologically; Each one of them predicts a shipwreck,” said Albham, who lives in Iran and travels extensively in the Middle East.

Metal detecting experts have also discovered a gold nugget weighing three grams (one-tenth of an ounce) – slightly heavier than a US penny – located atop a hill in the coastal town of Little Compton, Rhode Island. in a potato field.

There is no documented evidence to show that gold has been found in the wild in the state. Bailey and other experts believe the gold nuggets came from somewhere on the African Gold Coast, which was the center of the slave trade in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Adding to the intrigue, two silver Arab coins were recovered near the nugget, and each is known to have stolen a considerable amount of gold off the coast of West Africa.

The latest evidence to keep everyone on US soil isn’t just metal, it also includes paper and pixels.

Bailey had already found records showing that the Sea Flower, a ship on which Hare and his men sailed after abandoning the ship used in his fatal attack, arrived in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1696. The pirate captain was accompanied by three Rhode Islanders who had come from another pirate ship when it fled India. The three landed in the Bahamas with each on March 30, 1696, and Bailey said that he essentially helped them escape in exchange for loot.

On August 27, 1696, captured pirates William Phillips and Edward Saville testified that one of the two ships that left the Bahamas went to Virginia and New England before reaching Ireland. Importantly, Bailey said, the records clear up a confused chronology that historians have misinterpreted over the years to suggest that each spent two months on the Caribbean island, something he never did as a fugitive. would not have done

“There’s no way you’re going to be sitting on a beach in the Bahamas and working on your tan while waiting to get caught,” Bailey said. “Indeed, everyone had been in New England for over a month weighing their options to resume their lives in the colonies or return to England.”

The exploits of each inspired Steven Johnson’s book “Enemy of All Mankind” and the latest installment in PlayStation’s popular “Uncharted” video game franchise. This year, Sony Pictures released a film adaptation of his story with Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg and Antonio Banderas.

Bailey’s next challenge: finding out what had happened to him when he was lost after arriving in Ireland on June 20, 1696. Solved.

He commented, “We are unearthing the lost history of one of the greatest crimes of the 17th century.”

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.
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