If you think of pirates, you may immediately picture the Caribbean with its warm waters and sandy beaches. However, did you know that there were also pirates off the coast of Cape Cod?
It’s true! The area was a hotspot for piracy in the 17th and 18th centuries.
The Golden Age of Piracy
The Golden Age of Piracy, roughly from the 1650s to the 1730s, was a time when piracy flourished. During this period, pirates were attacking ships all around the world.
Cape Cod was no exception. In fact, its location made it an ideal place for pirates to prey on merchant ships.
Pirates in Cape Cod
One infamous pirate who operated in Cape Cod was Samuel Bellamy, also known as “Black Sam.” He was active during the early 18th century and his ship, the Whydah Gally, wrecked off the coast of Cape Cod in 1717.
The ship was carrying treasures from over 50 captured vessels before it sank. Bellamy’s crew reportedly buried their loot along the shore before being captured by authorities.
The Pirate Museum
Today, visitors can learn more about pirate history at the Whydah Pirate Museum located in West Yarmouth on Cape Cod. The museum features artifacts recovered from Bellamy’s sunken ship as well as interactive exhibits that give visitors a glimpse into life on a pirate ship.
Pirate Lore and Legend
Pirates have long been a source of fascination for many people. From books to movies and even Halloween costumes, they continue to captivate our imaginations. While piracy isn’t romanticized or glorified today as it once was, it’s still a fascinating part of history that has left its mark on places like Cape Cod.
- Did You Know? Cape Cod was also home to many legitimate sea captains during the Golden Age of Piracy who were often mistaken for pirates by other seafarers due to their aggressive tactics.
- Fun Fact: The Jolly Roger, a black flag with a skull and crossbones, is one of the most iconic symbols of piracy. However, not all pirates used it. Some had their own unique flags with different designs.
So, were there pirates off the coast of Cape Cod? Absolutely!
While piracy was eventually suppressed by authorities, it remains an interesting part of the area’s history. If you’re ever in Cape Cod, be sure to check out the Whydah Pirate Museum and learn more about this fascinating era.