In the early 1700s, the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade swept across the Caribbean and the Americas, enslaved Africans were transported from the west coast of Africa to Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. A man known as Black Caesar was said to be an African chief who was very strong and intelligent. He would often use his strength and intelligence to avoid the capture of slave traders. One day, Black Caesar was engaging in conversation with a slave trader who was showing him a watch and other jewels, the slave trader also told tales of treasures and riches which enticed Caesar. Little did Caesar know; he was being lured onto a slave ship. By the time Caesar noticed what was happening, the ship was at sea and Caesar was being held at gunpoint by the crew of the ship.
Caesar and several other Africans were kidnapped and shipped to the Americas. During the voyage to the Americas, Caesar became friendly with a member of the ship's crew, this is the only person Caesar trusted to take food and water from. During the voyage, the shipwrecked due to being consumed by a hurricane along the southern coast of Florida. Caesar and the sailor he befriended were able to survive the hurricane and shipwreck. The two men found shelter on an island off the coast of Florida. The legend of Black Caesar began to grow as Caesar and his companion robbed ships passing through the Florida Keys. Caesar and his friend would pretend they were shipwrecked to catch the attention of a passing ship. When the ship was in range, they would use a paddle boat to approach the ship, once aboard the ship, they would rob the passengers and often threaten to sink the ships.
According to myths surrounding Black Caesar, he buried a large amount of his treasure in an undisclosed location on Elliot Key, the northernmost Florida Key. Black Caesar eventually killed his friend due to an argument over a woman. Black Caesar took the woman as his own and continued making a living as a pirate. He became a successful pirate during the “golden age” of pirates in the Caribbean. He built his own crew of pirates, started a brothel business, and continued to successfully overtake other pirates and ships passing through the Florida Keys.
As time passed, Black Caesar joined forces with the legendary pirate Blackbeard. Black Caesar was a lieutenant within Blackbeard’s crew upon the flagship Queen Anne’s Revenge. Black Caesar’s time with Blackbeard did not last long. Blackbeard was defeated in a battle by Lieutenant Maynard, at Ocracoke Island, North Carolina. Caesar was attempting to blow up the ship to avoid being captured, but he was stopped before he could ignite a gunpowder magazine. He was eventually captured, taken prisoner, and hung for his actions. This story is interesting because the idea of a black pirate is not common. He was taken into slavery, escaped slavery, and made a living robbing those who were either engaged in the slave trade or benefitted from the slave trade. This is the story of the pirate Black Caesar. I hope you enjoyed it.
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