Pirates and Privateers

Edith McCall (Author) · Christopher Tice (Illustrator)

Order Code: 4878
Class sets 10 or more paperback books: $12.00 each
Class set order code: 4878S

The fun stories in this book bring to life the tales of some of the most notorious pirates and bravest privateersmen to sail the open seas around the eastern seaboard of the United States.


For centuries, pirates roved the seas, terrorizing honest ship captains and their crews with their thieving and murderous ways. By the seventeenth century, pirates began working their way along the eastern coast of the Americas, first in the West Indies and then up to the colonies in the new country that would soon become the United States. But the pirates of the Americas were of a special kind, and they called themselves buccaneers.

The story of the pirates of early America is one of both lawlessness and also of corruption, for many of the pirates were quietly and privately sanctioned by governors and other officials who received stolen goods or kickbacks from the sale of those goods in exchange for leaving the pirates alone. Later, the King of England thought that by pardoning pirates who agreed to give up piracy, he could transform them into privateersmen. A privateer was a ship whose owner had been given papers from his country’s government giving him permission to attack ships from enemy countries, much as a pirate might do. Some of the pirates went on to become privateersmen, but others used the king’s pardon as a way of escaping punishment and went right on robbing and killing.

But privateersmen were not always ex-pirates. Many captains who commanded privateers were law-abiding citizens who wanted to protect their countries when their governments’ own militaries were insufficient and incapable of doing so. In fact, without the help of privateersmen, the United States might never have won its sovereignty from England because it had not yet organized a navy that was able to guard and defend all of its shores.

This swashbuckling book explores some of the pirates who sailed the open seas around America, as well as the privateersmen who defended their country when it could not defend itself, often changing history in the process.

This book is also available as a series of dyslexia-friendly books. (See below.)


Adventures on the American Frontier Series
8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
History, Novels
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