The Journal of Caribbean History: Volume 45, Issue 2

Article 1
Pirates, Black Sailors and Seafaring Slaves in the Anglo-American Maritime World, 1716–1726

Arne Bialuschewski


This article investigates the relationships of pirates with slaves and free black mariners in the early eighteenth century. Contrary to recent claims, marauders did not treat slaves any differently than colonial society did. In general, pirates used men of African descent for various subordinate tasks on their vessels. Some black men were even mistreated or killed. Pirates were by no means multiracial pioneers, and the proportion of black men among their crews was not higher than that in merchant shipping.