Stede Bonnet was an early 18th-century Barbadian pirate, sometimes
called "the gentleman pirate". Because of marital problems, Bonnet
turned to piracy in the summer of 1717. He bought a sailing vessel,
named it Revenge, and traveled with his paid crew along the American
eastern seaboard, capturing other vessels and burning down Barbadian
ships. After arriving in Nassau, Bonnet met the infamous pirate
Blackbeard. Incapable of leading his crew, Bonnet temporarily ceded
his ship's command to Blackbeard. Before separating in December 1717,
Blackbeard and Bonnet plundered and captured merchant ships along the
East Coast. After Bonnet failed to capture the Protestant Caesar, his
crew abandoned him to join Blackbeard on the Queen Anne's Revenge.
Bonnet stayed on Blackbeard's ship as a guest, and did not command a
crew again until summer 1718, when he was pardoned by North Carolina
governor Charles Eden and received clearance to go privateering
against Spanish shipping. By July 1718, he had returned to piracy. In
late August and September of that year, Colonel William Rhett led a
naval expedition against pirates on the Cape Fear River. Rhett and
Bonnet's men fought each other for hours, but the outnumbered pirates
ultimately surrendered. Rhett arrested the pirates and brought them to
Charleston in early October. Bonnet was brought to trial, and
sentenced to death. After his request for clemency was turned down,
Bonnet was hanged in Charleston on December 10, 1718.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Zhu Yuanzhang ascended to the throne of China as the Hongwu Emperor,
initiating Ming Dynasty rule over China that would last for three
Under the pseudonym Louis de Montalte, French mathematician,
physicist, and religious philosopher Blaise Pascal published the first
of his Lettres provinciales, attacking the Jesuits and their use of
Twelve nations signed the International Opium Convention, the first
international drug control treaty, to regulate the production and
distribution of opiates.
USS Pueblo was seized by North Korean forces, who claimed that it
had violated their territorial waters while spying.
Tiananmen Square self-immolation incident: Seven people attempted to
set themselves on fire in Tiananmen Square on the eve of Chinese New
Year, an act that many people claim was staged by the Communist Party
of China to frame Falun Gong and escalate the persecution.
Wiktionary's Word of the day:
crwth: (historic, UK) An archaic stringed instrument associated
particularly with Wales.
Wikiquote of the day:
Almost all our misfortunes in life come from the wrong
notions we have about the things that happen to us. To know men
thoroughly, to judge events sanely is, therefore, a great step towards
happiness. -- Stendhal