Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day!

The Pirate Captain Kidd with several fashionable ladies and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Captain Kidd in New York Harbor

This is the pirate Captain Kidd. This image was created by the artist Jean Leon Gerome Ferris circa. 1932. The scene is from a remarkable collection of paintings called The Pageant of a Nation created by Ferris. These iconic images are the largest set of single artist paintings of American history and they have also been criticized for being wildly inaccurate. For instance, in his painting of the landing at plymouth rock, the pilgrims are greeted by native Americans wearing clothes from Great Plains tribes. Also, there probably was not a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel on Captain Kidd’s ship in 1695. Did they really keep their nice Oriental rugs exposed on the deck?

A reprint of this particular painting was recently presented to me by my lovely wife on the occasion of our anniversary. Cavaliers and Pirates – two great tastes that taste great together. Since I was a child I have been fascinated by the fantastically romantic swashbuckling adventure stories. The ladies in this painting seem to share my romanticism – and the cavalier king charles spaniel fits right in.

I knew very little about Captain Kidd before finding this painting, but my interest in the pirate has since been peaked. Especially after reading the tales of his treasure maps. There have been four maps found of an island in the China Sea said to hold Captain Kidd’s treasure.

Captain Kidd's treasure map

The actual treasure map of Captain Kidd

All four of the maps are extremely similar, and all four were found hidden in false bottoms of treasure chests, or tucked away in hidden crevices of furniture. This map, for instance, was found tightly rolled, hidden under a wax seal behind a loose brass plate in this writing desk.

Captain Kidd's writing desk

The Captain's writing desk

Shiver me timbers, indeed!

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