Pirates!

When its time to take a break from the ole ship, get a cup of coffee, or whatever your favorite drink is, and talk about whatever is on your mind, or things such as other Interest, Hobbies, or Pastimes that you enjoy.
shipwright101
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Re: Pirates!

Postby shipwright101 » Sun Apr 16, 2017 9:25 am

over at the MSB forum is a build log of the Alvin Clark it is interesting talking about pirates and the ship they used. Francis Higgie was a pirate not the swashbuckling, cutlass swinging pirate like in the movies, but a pirate non the less. This is a great topic because it brings back to life true accounts in maritime history, ships and adventures of those who sailed them. A model of a "pirate ship" is a noun a thing but it is also a verb it is a dynamic living thing a way of life.



The Alvin clark's history was pieces together by using logbooks, enrollment papers, newspaper accounts and harbor master and business records. The brigantine was built at the Bates and Davis shipyard in Trenton Michigan in 1846 for the Detroit businessman, fisherman, and ship builder John Clark, the ship was named after his son Alvin Clark. The Clark was a relatively large vessel designed as a Great Lakes cargo vessel measuring 105 feet in length 25 foot beam and a displacement of 220 tons. Very little information was found for the first five years, she never apperaed in harbor master records or any journal records. This is actually logical as the ship was owned by John Clark a successful commercial fisherman out of Detroit so the ship sailed privately for Clarks business and business associates carrying fish to the north and salt on the return trip. In 1850 the Alvin Clark was sold as a cargo vessel to G.W. Bissell and in 1851 she appeared in harbor records all over the upper Great Lakes. Records indicate the Clark carried huge cargos of coal, grain, salt and lumber, journal records of Bissell and harbor records show the Clark continued to haul cargo until she was sold in 1856 to William Higgie of Racine Wisconsin. From this point, official records of the Alvin Clark are almost nonexistent. Activities of the Alvin Clark can be traced because she made quite a reputation for herself on Lake Michigan as a pirate ship. Information is quite sketchy, but a big business had grown around the lumbering of timber from government land without payment then sold in ports like Chicago without question and at a hight profit. There are numerous references to the Higgie family's involvement in the transporting of contraband cargo of Federal timber. In Grand Haven it is reoprted Francis Higgie captain of the Alvin Clark was arrested and jailed on charges of untaxed lumber. His crew broke him out of jail, restole a cargo of confiscated lumber and excaped to Chicago where it was sold. Higgie was again arrested in Manistee where he bribed his way off a jail ship and ecaped. The priate lumber trade went unchecked until 1877 and the Alvin Clark was in the thick of it until her sinking in 1864.
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GemmaJF
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Re: Pirates!

Postby GemmaJF » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:28 am

Interesting story Dave. That is what is for me, it is more than seeing a movie, more than the models, I've ended up immersed in a whole history of the times thanks to the initial interest in Pirates.

I do not really know my link with ships. Aircraft, easy, I was born interested in aircraft and I really mean that from the earliest age I can remember I was totally and utterly fascinated by them. Learnt all I could, ended up with a Masters Degree in Aerospace Engineering and a Pilot's licence. Ships though were kind of a latent interest, fascinated by them on school trips I never had much exposure to them other than occasional trips on cross channel ferries and handful of school trips to see specific famous ships. There has been 'something' there just waiting to come out and I really needed a new challenge in modeling and it all just came together in the last few months.

Just going back to the Jolly Roger, I discussed it over on MSW, the argument is there is no 'evidence' as in physical proof that pirates used them. Despite plenty of contemporary written descriptions.

Then I read something very interesting. I had thought they perhaps threw them overboard to pretend they were not pirates when captured, hence none survive to this day.

Not quite the story, they actually threw them overboard to avoid the SHAME of the colors being paraded in front of the public if they were captured.

Now that is an insight to the pirate mind that fascinates me and it also explains why there is no physical evidence of the jolly roger, they all went in the ocean. Honor among thieves, lots of old sayings have some element of truth in them.
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GemmaJF
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Re: Pirates!

Postby GemmaJF » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:41 am

Getting on the trail of Pirates!

A quick list of the books well worth reading if you have just a little interest in Pirates!

The Pirates themselves:

Pirates: A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pirates

Captain Charles Johnson

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pirates-Genera ... 0851779190

This was at one time credited to Daniel Defoe, this is now heavily disputed. It seems much more likely 'Captain Johnson' was either an avid visitor of pirate trials and collector of newspaper articles on the topic, or as I like to think, a pirate himself! The fascinating thing about this book is figuring how much is fact and how much is fiction. Currently some of the content is thought to be entirely made-up. However a great deal of the content is now being proven as factually entirely correct. How did Captain Johnson know so much about the secretive pirates one wonders? It is typical too that Johnson himself is a figure of mystery, data searches reveal no known 'Captain Johnson' at the time.

I have a 'theory' that the couple of characters that appear 'made-up' was a literary vehicle to include content Johnson knew about, but could not attribute to any actual named pirate of the time. Certainly much of the material on well known pirates keeps being confirmed as accurate by modern research.

Sorting fact from Fiction:

Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates

David Cordingly

https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/Under- ... 081297722X

David is one of the premier pirate researchers and a great author. He explores in depth how fact and fiction got entwined. It is a great read after Johnson's general history, to put the work into the context of the time.


The Pirate Ships:

The Pirate Ship 1660-1730

Angus Konstam

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pirate-Ship-16 ... rate+ships

Another top researcher, Angus finally gives us an insight to the ships pirates used. A small book, the information is clear and the illustrations excellent. Any pirate ship researcher would do well to start with this book.
Current Build: ZHL Black Pearl 1:50

Next Up: Billing Boats Bounty 1:50

Researching for POB scratch build : HMS Ferret 1:48 (1711)

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shipwright101
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Re: Pirates!

Postby shipwright101 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:43 am

I found this interesting event

http://goldenhind.co.uk/pages/pirates!/101

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