In 1724 a book was published in Great Britain that marked the vision that since then is had of the pirates. It was titled in English "A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the most notorious Pyrates" that was translated as "General history of the robberies and murders of the most famous pirates". In the two volumes of the work, its author, the mysterious Captain Charles Johnson , which is believed to be a pseudonym of Daniel Defoe, explains in a colorful and embellished way, the lives of many pirates . In the second volume, he mentions Libertalia, the pirate nation . Many historians have wondered if it really existed and where it was. Join us to know what data is shuffling about this mysterious place.
In Supercurioso we talk about a real pirate cemetery that is on Santa Maria Island in Madagascar and some scholars think that this could be one of the clues that confirmed that it really existed in the seventeenth century a pirate nation called Libertalia .
Libertalia, the pirate nation
The book "General history of robberies and murders of the most famous pirates", in its second volume speaks of a man, Captain Misson , that together with a Dominican ex-friar they founded Libertalia, the pirate nation ta. Misson was a French born in Provence in a wealthy family who had studies in mathematics and logic, but with parental permission he enlisted on a boat to learn what he could about navigation. Misson joined the crew of a French warship called "Victoire." In Naples He met the Dominican Caraccioli who explained his ideas of an egalitarian society. Caraccioli hung up his habits and also enrolled in the Victoire. By a series of circumstances Misson became the captain of the ship and turned it into a maritime republic ruled by egalitarian ideals and sailing with a white flag that He wore the motto "For God and Freedom" .
In their acts of piracy they behaved with an unusual humanity since they did not kill their enemies, but they stole the goods but left them the boat and food to reach the land. They freed numerous slaves from the ships they attacked, many of whom enlisted with them. After a few years Misson and Caraccioli decided to find a place to found a pirate nation they called Libertalia . Years later they were joined by the pirate Thomas Tew with his crew.
According to historians believe the place chosen was a bay in the north of the island of Madagascar that had not been claimed by any of the colonial powers of the time. It had abundant water, cultivable lands and native, in principle, friendly and there founded Libertalia. Was the base for your pirate raids in the Indian Ocean , but it was much more than that. Libertalia became a utopian place where money did not exist since everything was communitarian, in which men of all races coexisted in equality and in which a new language was born, similar to Esperanto, which was a mixture of French , Dutch, English, Malagasy and Portuguese. The booty of their pirate attacks was put into a common fund and many of the men stopped going out to sea becoming farmers and shepherds.
According to the story told by Captain Charles Johnson's book, Libertalia lasted 25 years . Disappeared when the natives, taking advantage of the absence of the fleet that was attacking 5 Portuguese ships, attacked the colony. In the confrontation Caraccioli died and Captain Misson managed to escape with 45 men and two ships in which he was apparently able to carry a large part of the booty obtained in those 25 years. Abandoned the pirate colony, Tew returned to America and Captain Misson died in a shipwreck in the Cape area.
"Captain Thomas Tew recounts his voyages to Governor Fletcher", Howard Pyle, 1894
This is the story that tells the book "A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the most notorious Pyrates", but can there be any truth in it or is it all an invention? Is there any proof of the existence of Libertalia, the pirate nation ? Some historians believe that there could be something similar, since in that area of Madagascar there were several pirate settlements that lived according to collectivist principles and in which pirates lived with their families, as shown by the pirate cemetery of Santa María . However, there is only one source that speaks of this community and it is Captain Johnson's book. The supporters of the existence of Libertalia argue that this work contains authentic stories of pirates and buccaneers of the time reported with great accuracy and accepted at the time, so there is no reason to doubt the history of the pirate nation. In addition, the Captain Tew really existed since it is mentioned by the British Navy in its annals.
Pirate Cemetery in Santa María
Detractors believe that the whole story is pure fiction since none of the expeditions that have been made have been able to demonstrate the existence of Libertalia and that in reality it is simply an anarchist utopia that Captain Johnson, whether or not Daniel Defoe, wanted to capture in his writings.
What do you think? Do you think that Libertalia, the pirate nation could really exist ? We await your comments! If you want to meet other famous pirates, we invite you to read the post: The pirate women who terrorized the seas .