Real Pirates: The Untold Story of the Whydah from Slave Ship to Pirate Ship

Overview

There’s mystery in her history; there’s gold within her hold…

This vivid picture book takes readers through the swashbuckling tale of the Whydah. One of the most advanced sailing ships of the early 18th-century when she first set sail from London in late 1716, this vessel brought adventure, wealth, and doom to all who sailed on her.

The Whydah was christened after the West African trading post of Ouidah. Commissioned as a slave ship, the Whydah...

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Overview

There’s mystery in her history; there’s gold within her hold…

This vivid picture book takes readers through the swashbuckling tale of the Whydah. One of the most advanced sailing ships of the early 18th-century when she first set sail from London in late 1716, this vessel brought adventure, wealth, and doom to all who sailed on her.

The Whydah was christened after the West African trading post of Ouidah. Commissioned as a slave ship, the Whydah was built with a deep cargo hold to pack in her human cargo, African captives bound for sale to Caribbean planters. The Whydah would make only one such voyage, before being captured by pirates off the Bahamas in February 1717. She fell into the hands of captain Sam Bellamy who soon replaced the English flag with the Jolly Roger.

Fate had still more in store for the Whydah. During one of the worst nor’easters ever recorded, she sank off Cape Cod on April 26, 1717. Packed with plunder, she was lashed to pieces by the storm and sank rapidly. There were few survivors.

The sea swallowed the Whydah along with her treasure, yet the fascinating saga of this storied ship was far from over. Centuries later, underwater explorer Barry Clifford, raised on legends of the sea around Cape Cod, set out to find the wreck. His quest literally led him into the history books, and he located the first authenticated pirate ship ever in 1984. Illustrated with dramatic color artwork by Greg Manchess, and awash with Ken Garrett’s dazzling photographs of the artifacts raised by Barry Clifford, this book captures the golden age of piracy in all its glory. Real Pirates will delight rambunctious pirates-at-heart and armchair treasure hunters alike.

Thanks to Barry Clifford, the multifaceted story of the ship that lay hidden in a watery grave for more than 250 years can now be told. Driven by a lively narrative and illustrated with such stunning photography, this book is pure gold.

National Geographic supports K-12 educators with ELA Common Core Resources.
Visit www.natgeoed.org/commoncore for more information. 

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Adult/High School -The Whydah had a short life. Built in 1715, she made a single voyage to Africa, where her hold was loaded with a cargo of slaves, and she sailed to the Caribbean. She was captured there and became the flagship of "Black Sam" Bellamy, one of the most successful pirate captains of the time. Two months later, the treasure-laden Whydah sank off Cape Cod during a violent storm. The wreckage was discovered in 1984, and the artifacts brought to the surface and restored are now the basis of a touring exhibit, to which this book is a companion. The first and last chapters succinctly discuss the slave trade and the recovery efforts respectively, but the majority of the volume is devoted to describing the life and culture of 18th-century pirates. Common myths are debunked: pirates did not bury their loot, and there is only one recorded instance of anyone "walking the plank." The authors' main argument, however, is that the pirate subculture was both multiethnic and democratic, and thus was an attractive alternative to a life of hard manual labor or slavery. Amply illustrated with black-and-white and color drawings, photographs, and maps, this is a lively and informative look at the real pirates of the Caribbean.-Sandy Schmitz, Berkeley Public Library, CA

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426202629
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 9/18/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 956,878
  • Product dimensions: 7.95 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 0.45 (d)

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