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May 8, 2007

CW offers swashbuckling lecture on 18th-century pirates

Colin Woodard, author of “The Republic of Pirates: Being the True and Surprising Story of the Caribbean Pirates and the Man Who Brought Them Down,” will give a lecture at 6 p.m. Monday, May 14 at Colonial Williamsburg’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.

The lecture focuses on the great pirate captains of the early 18th century, including Edward “Blackbeard” Teach and “Black Sam” Bellamy, who joined forces and formed the infamous “Flying Gang.” This group was more than a thieving band of brothers because it consisted of many men who’d come to piracy as a revolt against conditions in the merchant fleet and in the cities and plantations of the Old and New Worlds.

Inspired by the idea of self-government, they established a rudimentary form of democracy in the Bahamas, creating their own zone of freedom in which indentured servants were released and leaders chosen or deposed by a vote. These pirates were ultimately overcome by their nemesis, Capt. Woodes Rogers, a merchant fleet owner and former privateer. With this defeat, the brief but glorious moment of the Republic of Pirates came to an end.

This program is included in museum admission.

The Museums of Colonial Williamsburg include the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Admission is included in any Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket or by separate museums ticket. For information call (757) 220-7724.

Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture — stories of our journey to become Americans. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution for its guests, it also invites them to interact with history. Williamsburg is located 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information or reservations, call toll-free 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg on the Internet at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121