Posters & Pamphlets

blackbeard reward 1718 gr 300w

Blackbeard’s Reward Poster 1718

The Governor of Virginia offers £500 for Teach “Blackbeard”, £100 for officers, £15 for crew.
This poster is dated Nov 24, 1718 – however, Blackbeard died Nov 22, 1718 at Okracoke Inlet, North Carolina two days earlier. Evidently the printer took too long filling the order. Did Spotswood issue this reward not yet knowing of his death? The November 22 date is taken from the original reward poster. It took Maynard time to sail back to Virginia with Blackbeard’s head to claim the reward and for the news of his death to spread and the for poster to be taken down. The date on this poster is probably correct.

Jane Ann & the Pirate 1845

This historic document was printed and used as a handout for help by William Edwards. He was taken prisoner when the ship he was on, the Jane Ann, was captured by pirates. They tortured him and and cut out his tongue and set him adrift to die. William Edwards was lucky to survive at all. With the help of others he was able to have this flyer printed to explain his plight–no family, no education, no trade, no tongue and no hope.

Prize Money 1668

The only way a sailor could ever hope to get rich was to sign on as a privateer or to become an outright pirate. These ads would appear in local newspapers only when the British warships were no where about because the British would send press gangs ashore looking for men to replace crew members who either died or deserted. There was no hope of reward on a naval ship only harsh discipline and misery. This is an advertisement for a crew for the privateer Seraph sailing under letters of marque to seek out the enemies of His Majesty in the Ocean of the Indies.

Riches & Honor 1779

This is by far the most popular Pirate Document we offer. This recruitment advertisement is for a privateering crew aboard the Revenge as it appeared in the Nova Scotia Gazette on January 12, 1779. At that time Nova Scotia, Canada was a territory of the British Crown and a major port where the powerful British fleet was stationed.

Slave Prince for Sale 1691

Giolo of Miangas was a well tattooed prince from the royal family of Miangas, a small island off New Guinea. He was captured and taken to London to be sold as a slave by the William Dampier expedition in the Defense. He was advertised for sale in this printed broadsheet.

Tryals of Captain John Rackam 1720

See also Admiralty Report of Ann Bonny & Mary Read’s Trial John Rackman “Calico Jack” was the captain and Ann Bonny & Mary Read were part of his pirate crew. They were all tried and condemned to hang. This poster gave notice of that trial.