means of subsistence being gone, many of the Buccaneers joined their fellowcountrymen in the other islands, but the greater number, scorning peaceful pursuits and animated with intense hatred of their enemies the Spaniards, sought, and speedily obtained, a means of prosecuting their projects of vengeance.

For some years previously the West Indian seas had been infested by numerous sea-robbers or pirates, who lurked about the bays and lagoons of the numerous islands, from which they sallied forth in their boats and canoes, attacking indiscriminately all vessels they could come across. They called themselves Filibusters or Freebooters, and with these the Buccaneers now joined themselves and formed that terrible scourge of Spain, "The Brethren of the Coast." This society, small as it was in its beginning, proved so attractive to the lawless spirits of nearly every European country, that its numbers rapidly increased, and it grew into such importance as to merit the title of a veritable "Floating Republic."

A regular code of laws and regulations was instituted, and every Buccaneer had to swear obedience to them on his joining the association. It may be of interest to quote a few of these rules to show the nature of this remarkable brotherhood.

Perfect equality was established, and every one had an equal vote in all questions affecting the society. To prevent discord, no female was allowed on board ship, and if any one broke this rule, the punishment was death. Deserting one's ship, or one's post during an engagement, was also a capital offence. Stealing was punished with great severity, generally by "marooning" ie., abandonment on a desert isle, with a little powder and shot and a flask of water. In doubtful cases, the accused was tried by jury. If any dispute arose on shipboard, its settlement was deferred until their return to port, when the pistol or cutlass decided. Every man was compelled to keep his arms in efficient order, and, indeed, most of them took great pride in their weapons, £20 or £30 being sometimes given for a pair of pistols.

All lights were to be put out on board ship at eight o'clock, and no gambling was permitted on board. This last law, however, was little observed latterly, and scenes of gambling and debauchery were common. A regular scale of indemnities was allowed for various disablements in action. For the loss of the right arm, six hundred piastres or six slaves; left arm A piastre was worth about 35. 3d.


or right leg, five hundred piastres or five slaves; left leg, four hundred piastres; an eye or finger, one hundred piastres or one slave. All booty was divided into proper shares; the captain got six shares; the other officers, three or two, according to rank; and all others, one share each. Besides these, there was a scale of rewards for meritorious actions, such as hauling down an enemy's flag, obtaining news of a valuable prize or of an enemy's movements, etc. Before proceeding on an expedition, each man swore on the Bible or the crucifix not to conceal the smallest portion of spoil, and he who broke his oath was banished from the brotherhood. Although constantly occupied in deeds of bloodshed and rapine, they had a great respect for the outward forms of religion; and, unlikely though it looks, it is no less a well-substantiated fact, that, before an engagement, these lawless men actually were in the habit of praying to God to grant them the victory and a rich prize!

At this period England and France were almost constantly at war with Spain; consequently, at first, a sort of legality was accorded to their depredations. Letters of marque were easily obtained, though the truth is, the Buccaneers did not trouble themselves much about the lawfulness of their proceedings. Many men of good family joined them, attracted by the excitement of a roving life, coupled with hatred of the Spanish nation, whose atrocious conduct to the native inhabitants of their American colonies was beginning to be known, and aroused an almost universal feeling of horror and indignation.

The first Freebooters were comparatively insignificant in numbers, but after their union with the Buccaneers, they soon grew in importance. The open boats with which their first successes were achieved were soon abandoned for the larger vessels they captured, and as they increased in strength they became more enterprising. They scoured the seas in all directions, and the Spanish commerce in these parts was in danger of total annihilation. Several large war-ships were sent out from Spain to protect its merchantmen, but all their efforts had little effect in putting down the ravages of the Buccaneers. Favored as the latter were by other nations, they had no difficulty in disposing of their prizes and obtaining fresh supplies for further expeditions. As their prey in the West Indian seas became scarcer and more cautious, they ventured forth on voyages of longer

they had to reckon with; instead of being discouraged, they were only spurred to still greater and more daring enterprises. Seeing their prey was no longer to be found on the seas, they resolved not to confine their expeditions to maritime ones, but boldly conceived the idea of following their enemies on shore.

duration. The West Coast of Africa, Spaniards comforted themselves with the Brazil, and even the East Indies, were idea that, if no booty was afforded the visited by some of the more adventurous Buccaneers, they would gradually become spirits amongst them. The West Indian extinct through want of plunder and inacislands, however, continued their head- tivity. They little knew the sort of men quarters and favorite recruiting ground. The islands of Tortugas, St. Christopher, and Jamaica being their principal resorts. Among their numerous chieftains, a native of Dieppe, Pierre-le-Grand (as he was called) was one of the first Buccaneers to make a name for himself by his brilliant actions and conspicuous bravery. Embarking with a crew of twenty-eight men in an open boat, Pierre cruised about for some time without success. At last, while off the western coast of St. Domingo, a Spanish barque hove in sight. She was well armed with several guns, and had a crew of two hundred men; but the Buccaneers, rendered desperate by their hitherto want of success, resolved to attack. They all swore to conquer or die, and, rapidly running their frail bark along. side, swarmed on board the Spaniard with pistol and cutlass as their sole weapons. Before boarding, they took the precaution of scuttling their boat, so that retreat was impossible. The Spaniards were completely taken by surprise. The few armed sailors on deck were speedily killed or driven below. Pierre himself and some of his crew made for the cabin, where they found the captain and officers, and speedily made them prisoners. The ship was richly laden with treasure, and Pierre and his men found themselves enriched at one lucky stroke.

Successes like this speedily roused other Buccaneers to similar deeds. Pierre François, a native of Dunkirk, Barthelemy Portugues, Roche the Brazilian, and Monbars "the Destroyer," were some of their more famous leaders. The latter was a young French gentleman of good family. Animated by intense hatred of the Spaniards and their atrocious cruelties, he resolved to spend his life in punishing their enormities. Selling his patrimony he fitted out a ship and joined the Buccaneers, and became one of their boldest and most resolute captains. He spared no Spaniard whom he found in arms, and so earned his sobriquet of " the Destroyer." Many others professed like principles, but the love of a roving career and the prospect of rapid enrichment was the great cause of attraction to the numerous desperadoes who now flocked to join the brotherhood from all parts. Things grew to such a pass that the Spanish flag was almost driven from these seas, but the

Lewis Scott, an Englishman, was the first to plan and carry out successfully one of these remarkable enterprises. The city of St. Francis in Campeachy was the object of his attack. Making a sudden descent, he surprised the town and pillaged it; then, before leaving, he threatened to reduce it to ashes unless a heavy contribution was paid him. This the inhabitants did, and, re-embarking with his treasure, he set sail and arrived safely at Jamaica, where he had no difficulty in disposing of it.


He was followed by another famous corsair, John Davis, a native of Jamaica, who succeeded in an action which is certainly almost unrivalled in audacity. With one ship and ninety men he sailed to the coast of Nicaragua, and landed not far from the opulent city of Grenada. left his ship in the care of ten men, and embarking the rest in three canoes, rowed up the river towards the town, under the guidance of an Indian who bore no good. will to the Spaniards. Passing themselves off as fishermen they were allowed to land, and at once cut down the few soldiers who opposed them. It was night when they reached the city, and their guide conducted them to the houses of the richest inhabitants, which they broke into and pillaged. Other parties plundered the churches, which were exceedingly rich, and before the townspeople were thoroughly aroused and recovered from their surprise and alarm, the Buccaneers had their booty safe on board their canoes. Being too few in number to risk an engagement, they took to their oars and regained their ship in safety. They had secured an immense treasure of gold, silver, and other valuables, which they disposed of at Jamaica for a very large sum.

To give even a short account of the various Buccaneer chieftains who signalized themselves above their fellows is not within the scope of a paper like this. We will therefore confine ourselves to recording the actions of one or two who stand

out conspicuously in the annals of the freebooters.

One of the most distinguished leaders of the Buccaneers in their more extensive enterprises was a Frenchman known as "Olonnois." He came from Sables d'Olonne in Poictou, hence the origin of the only name by which he seems to have been known.

disgust, the Buccaneers found the most important townspeople had absconded with their most valuable treasures. Parties were sent out in pursuit, and several of the fugitives were taken and put to the torture to make them confess where their treasures were hid. These barbarous measures had little effect, and after a stay of fifteen days at Maracaibo, Olonnois resolved to proceed to Gibraltar. This city, however, being forewarned, was better prepared for resistance, and several earthworks were thrown up and other preparations made to give the plunderers a warm reception.

ties. The enemy have had time to put themselves on the defensive; they have many soldiers, numerous cannon, and doubtless plenty of ammunition. But never mind, comrades, this is of little consequence. We must conduct ourselves like brave men. A rich booty is awaiting us; fix your eyes on your chieftains and follow their examples. Many a time with inferior forces we have conquered far more numerous enemies than those in this town; and, after all, remember the more they are the greater will be our glory and the richer our reward."

This renowned captain was originally one of the hunters of wild cattle in St. Domingo, but his boldness and personal courage attracting the notice of the governor of Tortugas, he was induced to embark on a cruising adventure. After several minor enterprises, all characterized In three days after leaving Maracaibo by great daring and success, Olonnois de- the fleet arrived off Gibraltar, but, on seetermined to embark upon a more extensive ing the strong defences, the Buccaneers sphere of operations. He associated him- were disheartened and refused to attack. self with an army officer of the name of Olonnois called a council of war and adDe Basco, who had considerable experi-dressed his men as follows: "We cannot ence in military affairs. These two cap- dissemble," said he, "that the success of tains succeeded in collecting about six our project is opposed by many difficulhundred and fifty of the wildest characters in the West Indies. Then they embarked in eight small ships armed with a few light guns. Shortly after setting out they attacked and captured a Spanish vessel, heavily laden with valuable merchandise, besides silver and precious stones to a large amount. Emboldened by success, and having ample confidence in their commander, the adventurers were ready to follow him anywhere. Olonnois accordingly disclosed the vast project he contemplated. This was no less than a descent on the province of Venezuela and the pillage of its principal cities. Maracaibo was the first object of attack. This city was situated on the shores of a large lake, and the approach to it was defended by a strong fort, armed with seventeen cannon, and garrisoned by a force of two hundred and fifty men. The commandant of the fort having notice of the Buccaneers' approach, sent out a large detachment to reconnoitre. The freebooters landed at some distance below the fort, and meeting with the detachment they utterly routed it, and at once attacked the fort itself.

This address had the desired effect of arousing their lagging enthusiasm, and all swore to follow wherever he should lead them.

Olonnois replied: "Then prepare to follow me; but remember what you have to do. Whoever from this moment displays the least fear dies by my own hand!"

Next morning before sunrise four hundred men disembarked, each armed with a short sabre or cutlass, brace of pistols, and thirty rounds of ammunition. Solemnly shaking each other by the hand, the devoted band began their advance upon In four hours it was taken, notwithstand the city. Getting entangled in a marshy ing the facts of its strong position and the wood, they were in danger of being deciassailants only being armed with swords mated by the Spanish artillery, but at and pistols. The capture of the fort hav-last extricated themselves by cutting down ing cleared the passage of the river, the fleet sailed up to the city, where the greatest consternation prevailed. Many of the principal inhabitants escaped in boats to the town of Gibraltar, forty leagues dis tant, while others sought refuge in the neighboring woods. To their unbounded

branches of trees and advancing upon these. Many fell, exhorting their comrades to press on to victory, and when they at length reached the solid ground, they hoped to advance with less difficulty. To their dismay they were at once exposed to the fire from another battery of twenty

guns. This played fell havoc in their ranks, and they were obliged most reluctantly to retreat. Olonnois himself succeeded in advancing as far as the walls of the first fort, but without ladders it was impossible to scale the bastions. All seemed lost; but their intrepid chieftain retained his wits and resorted to stratagem. Sounding a general retreat he retired to the adjoining wood, and was successful in drawing the Spaniards out of the fort in pursuit. The scene now changed; turning on their pursuers, the Buccaneers furiously attacked the Spaniards. Hand to hand on firm ground, the latter had no chance with the exasperated freebooters. In this bloody engagement upwards of five hundred Spaniards were killed, while the Buccaneers lost forty dead and sixty-eight wounded. The other fort was surrendered on condition of the lives of the garrison being spared, and the city was at the mercy of the rovers. Neither Olonnois nor De Basco was wounded, but nearly all the Spanish officers, including their commander, met an honorable death.

The city was now given up to indiscriminate plunder, and everything that was valuable and capable of being carried off was collected together in one vast heap.

For four weeks the dreadful work went on. Scenes of brutal violence were of daily, ay, hourly occurrence, and numbers were subjected to the most atrocious tortures to wring from them the knowledge of the hiding-places of their own or their neighbors' riches. Many poor wretches succumbed to the torture, and others perished of privation, as their ferocious conquerors appropriated all the provisions that remained in the town.

At last, owing to the great amount of sickness caused by their excesses and the disease bred by the immense number of dead bodies allowed to remain unburied, the Buccaneers resolved to depart. Olonnois, insatiable in his desire for plunder, wanted to march forty leagues inland to the city of Merida, but his men positively refused to proceed on such a reckless enterprise. They agreed to return to Maracaibo, to which city the inhabitants had returned. Before leaving Gibraltar, however, Olonnois sent messengers into the woods to the Spaniards who had taken refuge there, to inform them that, unless they provided a ransom of ten thousand piastres within two days, he would reduce the town to ashes. The money not arriving, the city was set on fire and the greater portion of it consumed. The Spaniards then made an effort to raise the sum de

manded, and the flames were extinguished, and on obtaining possession of the money the Buccaneers departed.

The dismay of the people of Maracaibo at the return of the plunderers may be imagined. A ransom of thirty thousand piastres was demanded, under the penalty, in case of refusal, of a fresh plunder of the town and afterwards its total destruction. The Spaniards made an offer of twenty thousand piastres and five hundred head of cattle, which was accepted, and while the sum was being raised the Buccaneers amused themselves in plundering the various churches, carrying off everything of the least value, even to the bells. Their object, they said, was not pillage, but piety, as they intended founding a chapel on the island of Tortugas! In a few days the ransom was forthcoming, and they set sail for the small island of Avache, off the south coast of St. Domingo, where they proceeded to divide their booty; the shares of the dead being carefully set aside for their relatives or friends.

Not including the value of the church plate, etc., the whole plunder amounted to the enormous sum of two hundred and sixty thousand piastres. They then proceeded to their favorite headquarters, Tortugas, where they found two French vessels laden with brandy, and in a few weeks the produce of their great dangers and bloodshed was spent in revelry.

Unable to rest, Olonnois was soon again preparing another expedition, and set out once more with a fleet of six ships, with crews numbering in all seven hundred men, three hundred of whom were on board his own vessel. His plan was to return to Nicaragua, but contrary winds drove him into the Bay of Honduras. Running short of provisions, they pillaged several villages, but failed to supply their needs. Arriving at Puerto Cavello, a town with a large trade in various kinds of produce, they landed, and having sacked the town, they set it on fire, and as usual tortured the principal inhabitants to make them confess where their valuables were to be found. Olonnois then took three hundred men and set out for the town of San Pedro, twelve leagues distant. He arrived there after encountering great hardships and severe fighting, and found the town strongly fortified, one of the principal defences being a prickly hedge, which (as the Buccaneers were mostly barefooted and clad only in shirt and trousers) proved a formidable obstacle. Nothing daunted, however, they proceeded to the assault with all their usual determi

nation, and after four hours' fighting the defenders agreed to capitulate in two hours' time. This truce the Buccaneers honorably observed, although they could see the Spaniards occupying the time in making off with their most valuable effects. No sooner had the two hours elapsed than Olonnois ordered a pursuit, and numbers were secured and brought back.

Again Olonnois attempted to engage his forces in an exceedingly rash expedition. He proposed to send for the rest of his men and march to Guatemala, a large and opulent city with a garrison of four thousand men. Much to his mortification his comrades refused to listen to him, and after sixteen days' sojourn in San Pedro they departed and regained their ships. Being still short of provisions, Olonnois was forced to spend a considerable time cruising about supplying his wants at the various islands. When off the coast of Yucatan he got news of a ship from Spain with a very valuable cargo. Olonnois had got separated from his other vessels when he came up with the Spanish galleon, but, with his usual intrepidity, at once prepared for action. The Spaniard this time proved too hard a nut to crack for the Buccaneers. She carried fifty-six guns to his twentytwo, and had three hundred soldiers on board, and after a stubborn fight succeeded in beating off the pirates. Olonnois was not a man to be easily deprived of his prey, however, and a fog coming on he filled four boats with his most desperate fighters and took the command in person. Coming up unperceived, they quickly clambered on board the galleon, and took her after a stubborn resistance.

The Buccaneers' disgust may be imagined when it was found that the most valuable part of the cargo had been already landed.

Discontentment was now apparent in the ranks of the freebooters, their voyage having hitherto been a comparative failure in point of plunder. Hard fighting they had had in plenty, but unless this was accompanied by lots of piastres they soon got tired of it.

Olonnois again proposed the expedition to Guatemala, but the others refused, and two of his chief captains, Moses Van Vien and Peter the Picard, sailed off on their own account, the former coolly appropriating the fifty-six gun ship his chief had lately captured.

Olonnois, left to his own resources, was reduced to great hardships from want of food, and while cruising in the Bay of

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Honduras his ship ran on a sand-bank near Cape Gracias-a-dios. After a vain attempt to get her off they were compelled to abandon their ship, and all reached the land in safety. Five months were occupied in constructing a large pinnace out of the wreck, during which time they subsisted by fishing, hunting, and raising certain crops certainly a marked change to their customary mode of living.

The boat completed, Olonnois and his companions (as many as it would hold with safety) sailed to the St. John River, where they hoped to capture a larger ship and return for the rest of the Buccaneers. Illfortune still pursued the hitherto victori. ous freebooters, and on their arrival in the river they were attacked by a large force of Spaniards and Indian braves. Reduced in strength by their privations, and short of serviceable weapons and ammunition, nearly the whole of the party were killed or taken prisoners. Olonnois and a few others escaped, and, still hoping to obtain a ship to return for the rest of his men, he set sail for the coast of Carthagena.

Landing near Darien for provisions, he was attacked by the Indians and taken prisoner, with most of his men. These savages were ferocious cannibals, and Olonnois and nearly all his comrades were flayed alive, roasted, and devoured; a few escaped to tell the fate of this celebrated leader of the Buccaneers, whose end might have been mourned had he not tarnished the brightness of his valor by the disgrace of his detestable cruelties.

The Buccaneers left at Cape Gracias-adios, after long waiting for the return of their chief, attempted to escape along the coast, but all, nearly without exception, fell victims to starvation, or were massacred in a hopeless condition by the natives or Spanish colonists.

Among the more famous of the freebooters was a native of Ostend, Van Horn by name, who, in conjunction with two other captains, carried out one of the most successful enterprises of the famous broth. erhood. Van Horn was at first a pri. vateersman or semi-pirate in the employ of France, but when legitimate prey was scarce, he did not hesitate to turn his attentions to French vessels; consequently, being threatened with arrest, he took his departure for the West Indies and joined the Buccaneers.

One of his colleagues was a French gentleman named Grammont, who had already commanded several Buccaneer expeditions. The other was a Dutchman, Laurent de Gratt, who had been in the

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