Featured article

Pirates of the North Atlantic

The case of the ‘Codfather’ and how it highlights a fishing industry prone to fraud

The Golden Age of Piracy was short-lived — lasting just 75 years, between 1650 and decreasing rapidly by the late 1720s. (See “The Golden Age of Piracy,” Royal Museums Greenwich.) Some historians consider the last pirate of the North Atlantic to be the ruthless Spaniard Don Pedro. He would hide his fast Baltimore clipper, Panda, in coves along the North Atlantic coast and lure larger, slower merchant vessels closer with phony distress signals. The Panda crew would then overpower the ships.

However, Pedro’s hasty and ill-conceived maneuver in the Panda against a brig — a type of sailing vessel — in open waters off Florida eventually led to his being caught, tried and hanged in Boston in 1835. (See “Don Pedro: The Last True Pirate to Raid the Atlantic,” New England Historical Society.)

But perhaps Don Pedro wasn’t the last pirate of the North Atlantic. 

For full access to story, members may sign in here.

Not a member? Click here to Join Now. Or Click here to sign up for a FREE TRIAL.