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This webpage reproduces part of

The Pirates of
Colonial North Carolina

by
Hugh F. Rankin
North Carolina
Department of Cultural Resources
Raleigh, 1993

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!

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This site is not affiliated with the US Naval Academy.

[p. iii] Foreword

This pamphlet on pirates was first published in the spring of 1960 by what was then known as the State Department of Archives and History. Over the years it has proved to be the most popular pamphlet that the Historical Publications Section has issued. This eighteenth printing attests the continuing demand for it from schoolchildren as well as adults.

The late Hugh F. Rankin, a Ph. D. graduate of the Universe of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and longtime member of the faculty at Tulane University, wrote the pamphlet. He was also the author of three pamphlets on various aspects of North Carolina's role in the Revolutionary War that the Division of Archives and History has published.

John D. Ellington, now administrator of the North Carolina Museum of History, sketched the drawings used in this publication. Mrs. Madlin Futrell, a former member of the many south, copied the pictures and made prints used in this pamphlet. The late Elizabeth W. Wilborn, formerly a member of the staff of the Historical Publications Section, assisted in preparing copy for the printer and in selecting and arranging the illustrations.

Prior to the eighth printing of this pamphlet in 1979, Dr. Rankin allowed Dr. Jerry C. Cashion and Dr. Jeffrey J. Crow of the division's staff to make a number of emendations to reflect Dr. Rankin's account of Blackbeard in The Golden Age of Piracy (New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1969), 118‑123.

Jeffrey J. Crow
Historical Publications Administrator

December 1993

[p. iv] Acknowledgments

The Division of Archives and History wishes to make proper acknowledgments to the publishers listed below and to express to them its appreciation for the privilege of reproducing certain pictures included in this booklet.a These publishers and their publications are as follows: Roy Publishers, New York City, for a picture facing page 74 in The Book of Pirates, by Arthur L. Hayward (see page 47); Dial Press, Inc., New York City, for a picture used as a frontispiece in Under the Black Flag, by Don C. Seitz (see page 44); the Devin-Adair Company, New York City, for pictures on pages 109 and 113 of Dig for Pirate Treasure, by Robert I. Nesmith (see pages  57 and 59); Dodd, Mead and Company, New York City, for pictures facing pages 80, 130, and 468 in A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pirates, by Charles Johnson and edited by Arthur L. Hayward (see pages 22, 25, and 41); Sanborn, Carter and Bazin, Boston, for pictures facing pages 309 and 470 in The History of the Buccaneers of America; containing detailed accounts of those Bold and Daring Freebooters; chiefly along the Spanish Main, in the West Indies, and in the Great South Sea . . . (see pages 11 and 18); and Empire State Book Company, New York City, for pictures facing the title page and page 282 of The History of the Lives and Bloody Exploits of the Most Noted Pirates; Their Trials and Executions . . . (see pages 2 and 9).


Thayer's Note:

a The illustrations in this pamphlet fall into four categories. They are of varying relevance and quality.

1. Contemporaneous images — engravings — of specific subjects actually mentioned in the text, e.g., the depiction of Anne Bonny and Mary Read on p22.

2. Modern line drawings of various types of sailing ships, e.g., the brigantine on p35.

3. Images, contemporaneous or not, of generic subjects, e.g., a 19c engraving of "Pirates boarding a ship" on p11.

4. Small decorative vignettes: on the cover, the title page, and three silhouettes on pp4, 6, and 37.

I've reproduced the images in the first two groups, since they add to the information content of the book, and set aside the others, which do not. Due no doubt to multiple reprinting, the engravings, especially those in the third group, are pasty; whenever possible then, I went and found better reproductions elsewhere online (only of the same identical images) and substituted them. A line drawing on the back cover is also not reproduced, since it provides no information, being uncaptioned.

Not mentioned in the acknowledgments, oddly, is the following image, which appears in the Foreword & Acknowledgments section itself:

[p. ii] 
[image ALT: An engraving of a man standing zzz. It is a contemporaneous depiction of the pirate Blackbeard.]

Blackbeard (Edward Teach),
the most commonly used illustration


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Page updated: 26 May 13