Scotch-Irish-L ArchivesArchiver > Scotch-Irish > 2002-05 > 1022086140
From: Alexander Craghead <>
Subject: [Scotch-Irish] Privaterr vs Pirate
Date: Wed, 22 May 2002 09:49:00 -0700 (PDT)
Okay, altho my post made it to the list apparently my
meaning didn't so here is a very simple and shor
PIRATE and PRIVATEER are NOT interchangeable terms!
PIRATES had no letters of marque, no legal protection.
If they caught you, the odds were they would put you
to sword after taking as much valuables as they could,
and whatever they could not take, such as a ship that
moved too slow to take with them, they burned to the
waterline. Pirates were- forgive me, foir the truth-
considered the scum of the earth, with no honor.
PRIVATEERS had the same goal to capture shipping.
HOWEVER, they had to abide by naval customs and a code
of honor. You could NOT kill your prisoners. You also
could not rob them- that's right, if you were dripping
with gold and captured by a privateer, you got to keep
your baubles. It was only the SHIP's CARGO and the
SHIP that a privateer got, and he always wanted to
take it back to his home port and claim the prize
money from it's auction. THeir captains were generally
men of honor and former naval officers who could be
relied upon to be decent. Prisoners were often paroled
or exchanged at nuetral ports.
(Please relize the above refers to the late 18th &
early 19th centuries.)
If a privateer caught you, you'd be okay. If a pirate
caught you, you were probably dead.
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