JACKMAN, Captain. Buccaneer.
In 1665 took part with Morris and Morgan in a very successful raid on Central America, ascending the river Tabasco in the province of Campeachy with only 107 men. Led by Indians by a detour of 300 miles, they surprised and sacked the town of Villa de Mosa. Dampier describes this small town as "standing on the starboard side of the river, inhabited chiefly by Indians, with some Spaniards." On their return to the mouth of the river, Jackman's party found the Spaniards had seized their ship, and some three hundred of them attacked the pirates, but the Spaniards were easily beaten off.
The freebooters next attacked Rio Garta, and took it with only thirty men, crossed the Gulf of Honduras to rest on the Island of Roatan, and then proceeded to the Port of Truxillo, which they plundered. They next sailed down the Mosquito coast, burning and pillaging as they went.
Anchoring in Monkey Bay, they ascended the San Juan River in canoes one hundred miles to Lake Nicaragua. The pirates described the Lake of Nicaragua as being a veritable paradise, which, indeed, it must have been prior to their visit. Hiding by day amongst the many islands and rowing by night, on the fifth night they landed near the city of Granada, just one year after Mansfield's visit. The buccaneers marched right into the central square of the city without being observed by the Spaniards, who were taken completely by surprise, so that the English were soon masters of the city, and for sixteen hours they plundered it. Some 1,000 Indians, driven to rebellion by the cruelty and oppression of the Spaniards, accompanied the marauders and wanted to massacre the prisoners, particularly "the religious," but when they understood that the buccaneers were not remaining in Granada, they thought better of it, having, no doubt, a shrewd inkling of what to expect in the future when their rescuers had left.
JACKSON, Captain William. Buccaneer.
In 1642 he gathered together a crew of more than a thousand buccaneers in the Islands of St. Kitts and Barbadoes, and sailed with these in three ships to the Spanish Main, plundering Maracaibo and Truxillo.
On March 25th, 1643, Jackson's little fleet dropped anchor in the harbour, what was afterwards to be known as Kingston, in the Island of Jamaica, which was then still in the possession of Spain. Landing 500 of his men, he attacked the town of St. Jago de la Vega, which he took after a hard fight and with the loss of some forty of his men. For sparing the town from fire he received ransom from the Spaniards of 200 beeves, 10,000 pounds of cassava bread, and 7,000 pieces of eight. The English sailors were so delighted by the beauty of the island that in one night twenty-three of them deserted to the Spaniards.
JAMES, Captain. Buccaneer.
Belonged to Jamaica and Tortuga. In 1663 was in command of a frigate, the American (six guns, crew of seventy men).
A buccaneer captain who was in 1640 temporarily appointed "President" of Tortuga Island by the Providence Company, while their regular Governor, Captain Flood, was in London, clearing himself of charges preferred against him by the planters.
This Welsh pirate had been a man of good position, education, and property before he took to piracy, which he did for the love of the life and not from necessity. He was held in high esteem by his fellow-pirates at their stronghold in the Bahamas. When notice was brought of King George's pardon in 1717, a meeting was held of all the pirates at which Jennings presided. After much discussion, Jennings boldly gave out that he himself meant to surrender, whereupon some hundred and fifty other pirates declared their intention of doing likewise. On the new Governor's arrival from England they received their certificates, though the greater part of them soon went back to piracy, or, to quote the expressive Captain Johnson, "returned again like the Dog to the Vomit."
JOCARD, Le Capitaine.
A French filibuster who in 1684 had his headquarters in San Domingo.
He commanded the Irondelle, a ship armed with eighteen guns and a crew of 120 men.
JOHNSON, Captain. A successful and very bloody pirate.
Immediately after the publication of peace by Sir Thomas Lynch, Governor of Jamaica in 1670, which included a general pardon to all privateers, Johnson fled from Port Royal with some ten followers, and shortly after, meeting with a Spanish ship of eighteen guns, managed to take her and kill the captain and fourteen of the crew. Gradually collecting together a party of a hundred or more English and French desperadoes he plundered many ships round the Cuban coast. Tiring of his quarrelsome French companions he sailed to Jamaica to make terms with the Governor, and anchored in Morant Bay, but his ship was blown ashore by a hurricane. Johnson was immediately arrested by Governor Lynch, who ordered Colonel Modyford to assemble the justices and to proceed to trial and immediate execution. Lynch had had bitter experiences of trying pirates, and knew that the sooner they were hanged the better. But Modyford, like many other Jamaicans, felt a strong sympathy for the pirates, and he managed to get Johnson acquitted in spite of the fact that Johnson "confessed enough to hang a hundred honester persons." It is interesting to read that half an hour after the dismissal of the court Johnson "came to drink with his judges." Governor Lynch, now thoroughly roused, took the matter into his own hands. He again placed Johnson under arrest, called a meeting of the council, from which he dismissed Colonel Modyford, and managed to have the former judgment reversed. The pirate was again tried, and in order that no mistake might happen, Lynch himself presided over the court. Johnson, as before, made a full confession, but was condemned and immediately executed, and was, writes Lynch, "as much regretted as if he had been as pious and as innocent as one of the primitive martyrs." This second trial was absolutely illegal, and Lynch was reproved by the King for his rash and high-handed conduct.
JOHNSON, Captain Henry, alias "Henriques the Englishman."
A West Indian pirate, born in the North of Ireland.
Commanded the Two Brothers, a Rhode Island-built sloop, eighteen guns, crew of ninety, mostly Spaniards. On March 20th, 1730, he took the John and Jane (Edward Burt, master), from Jamaica, off Swan Island. The John and Jane was armed with eight carriage and ten swivel guns, and a crew of only twenty-five men. After a gallant resistance for five hours the pirates boarded and took the English ship. The few survivors were stripped naked, and preparations made to hang them in pairs. This was prevented by Captain Johnson and an English pirate called Echlin. There was a Mrs. Groves, a passenger, in the John and Jane, whose husband and the English surgeon had both been killed at the first onslaught of the pirates. This poor lady was hidden in the hold of the ship during the action, and was only informed afterwards of the death of her husband. The pirates now dragged her on deck, "stript her in a manner naked," and carried her as a prize to the Spanish captain, Pedro Poleas, who immediately took her to the "great cabin and there with horrible oaths and curses insolently assaulted her Chastity." Her loud cries of distress brought Captain Johnson into the cabin, who, seeing what was on hand, drew his pistol and threatened to blow out the brains of any man who attempted the least violence upon her. He next commanded everything belonging to Mrs. Groves to be returned to her, which was done—including her clothing. The gallant conduct of Johnson is the more surprising and pleasing since he had the reputation of being as bloody and ruthless a pirate as ever took a ship or cut an innocent throat. He only had one hand, and used to fire his piece with great skill, laying the barrel on his stump, and drawing the trigger with his right hand.
In all the American "plantations" there were rewards offered for him alive or dead.
The end of this "penny-dreadful" pirate is unrecorded, but was probably a violent one, as this type of pirate seldom, if ever, died in his bed.
JONES, Captain Paul.
Probably few persons, even in Great Britain, would to-day call Paul Jones a pirate, but this was not always the case. In all books on pirates written shortly after the American war, Paul Jones figured as a notorious character.
This famous privateer, let us call him, was born at Kirkcudbright in Scotland in 1728, the son of Mr. Paul, head gardener to Lord Selkirk, and was christened John Paul. So much has been written about this man in books, easily procurable for reference, that little need be said about him here.
Starting life as a sailor before the mast, he quickly showed abilities which led to his promotion to the rank of mate in an English ship trading in the West India Islands, and later he was made master. On the declaration of war with America, Jones joined the rebels, and was given command of a privateer, and from 1777 he became a terror to English shipping around the British Isles.
One of his most startling exploits was his surprise visit in his ship, the Ranger, to his old home with the object of kidnapping his former employer, Lord Selkirk.
On September 23rd, 1779, he fought his famous action off Scarborough against a British convoy from the Baltic under the command of Captain Pearson, in the Serapis, and Captain Piercy in the Countess of Scarborough. Jones had left the Ranger for a frigate called the Bonne Homme Richard of forty guns and a crew of three hundred and seventy men, and had also under his command four other ships of war. A furious engagement took place, the utmost bravery being shown on either side; the English ships at last being compelled to surrender, but not until the enemy had themselves suffered fearful damage to both their crews and ships. After the conclusion of peace, Paul Jones, once the darling of two continents, faded into obscurity and even poverty, and died in Paris in the year 1792 at the age of 64.
Commanded in 1821 a fast schooner, carrying a crew of forty men, armed with muskets, cutlasses, blunderbusses, long knives, dirks, two carronades—one a twelve, the other a six-pounder. They had aboard with them three Mexican negresses. The pirates took and plundered the Boston schooner Exertion, on December 17th, 1821, the crew being considerably drunk at the time. The plunder they took to Principe in the Island of Cuba. The pirates took everything from their prisoners, even their clothes, but as a parting gift sent the captain a copy of the "Family Prayer Book" by the Rev. Mr. Brooks. The prisoners were marooned on a small mangrove quay, but they eventually escaped. Jonnia and some of his crew were afterwards captured by an English ship and taken to Kingston, Jamaica, and there hanged.
Hanged at Kingston, Jamaica, in February, 1823. This old man's last words on the scaffold were: "No he robado, no he matado ningune, muero innocente."