BLACK CAESAR…..KEYS PIRATE

 

In 1718, the notorious pirate Black Caesar was hung in Williamsburg, Virginia. A man of color. As were 5,000 other pirates who worked the Florida straits and Gulf of Mexico. The colored pirates constituting 25 percent of the overall pirate population between 1700 and 1725.

History places Caesar in the top echelon of pirate leaders. Color not an issue in the then pirate world.

Caesar’s life began in Africa. He was a respected and feared tribal chieftain. He was aware slavers were constantly capturing blacks to sell into slavery. He and his men were careful to avoid capture.

Caesar was a party man. Enjoyed women and drink. His downfall.

A ship captain had taken a small boat to shore. He was showing off that which he had to sell. Jewelry, colorful scarves and liquor. He brought with him a young woman. Caesar and his men were assured there were more on the ship.

Caesar and his men went out to the ship. Began partying. They were not aware the boat had lifted anchor and was slowly drifting out to sea. A small fight ensued. Caesar and his men were overcome.

Caesar was on his way to being slave in the new world.

He was chained and thrown below. Difficult to control. Constantly ranting and raving. Refusing to eat.

A white sailor befriended him. Caesar began accepting food and water only from the sailor.

Nearing the Florida coast, a hurricane arose. Caesar’s sailor friend freed Caesar so he would not go down with the ship. Caesar freed his men. Topside was in chaos. Everyone fearing death. Caesar and his sailor friend opted to leave the ship. No one wanted to join them. Caesar felt a smaller vessel was safer.

Caesar commanded a long boat. Took some guns and supplies. The storm pushed the long boat to shore. They survived. The ship went down, with no survivors.

Caesar and his friend pirated for several years by taking the long boat out when they saw a passing ship. Just the two of them. They made like they had survived a wreck. When close, they showed their guns and threatened to sink the ship. Every ship provided them with supplies, guns and treasure.

The two amassed a fortune playing this ruse. They were operating out of Elliott Key. Lore has it their treasure is buried on Elliott Key. No one has found it to this day.

Elliott Key is just north of Key Largo and to the east of what is now Homestead.

Caesar’s sailor friend had taken a young lady as booty off one of the ships. She became his girl friend. Caesar’s also. The two fought a duel over her. Caesar won. The sailor was killed.

Caesar expanded his piracy efforts. Took on men and began attacking ships on the high seas. When U.S. or European military vessels sought him out, he hid in the mangroves.

Elliott Key became quite the place. Caesar lived like a Caesar. He kept a harem of 100 women.

He wanted more booty quicker. He joined up with Blackbeard. He became Blackbeard’s Lieutenant on the Queen Anne’s Revenge.

Joining Blackbeard was a mistake. Everyone wanted to capture Blackbeard. U.S. Navy Lt. Robert Maynard killed Blackbeard in a battle.

Caesar was captured in the same battle.

It was all over for Black Caesar. He was transported to Williamsburg, tried, convicted and hung.

 

LUNCHED AT NAVIGATOR

Wes is a relatively new friend. We met through this blog. Wes a retired U.S. Navy Captain. An Annapolis graduate. He and his wife snowbirds. There Key West home at 1800. Home other times is Annapolis.

I was Wes’ guest at lunch yesterday. At the Navigator on Boca Chica. Boca Chica is a Naval Air Station. Wes was stationed at Boca Chica early in his career for submarine duty. Returned in later years in another capacity.

Wes loved his Key West time. He lived in Key West during his high school years. When the Navy stationed him at Boca, it was going home time for him.

Boca Chica is a huge facility. Never appreciated the size. I had only been on base two times previously. For bowling parties.

The Navigator is a bar/restaurant facility at one of the far ends of the base. Sits on open water. Could see and hear the planes flying over low to land.

Boca Chica sits four miles up U.S. 1. A state of the art training facility for air to air combat. Homeland Security on the base. Drug interdiction offices also. In addition to other governmental stations.

A U.S. Naval presence has existed at Boca Chica since 1814. The pirates Blackbeard and Captain William Kidd were raising havoc with commercial shipping. The U.S. stationed Navy vessels at Boca Chica to ward the pirates off.

The base was technically opened December 15, 1940. A busy place during World War II. A huge German submarine presence existed off the Florida shores.

Another major time in the base’s existence was the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Boca Chica is not in full use today. Appears desolate. Activity minimal. I closed my eyes and could envision the base when fully operational. Had to be exciting!

Spent my afternoon yesterday doing some further research re Wright Langley. Author of the History of the Rotary Club of Key West. I plan on doing installments re the work. I will deviate on occasion to write about matters connected to Rotary, but outside the purview of Langley’s work itself.

Guaranteed. Will be interesting!

The author Wright Langley a person of consequence. I have been fortunate to make connection with his wife Joan and son Mark in preparation for the Langley portion.

In recent years, I have generally avoided Fantasy Fest. Parking the major problem. My car was towed three times. Plus, Fantasy Fest does not excite me as it once did..

With one exception. I love seeing the bare breasted and otherwise nude women. The pleasure has never left me.

I got a fill last night.

On my way to Berlin’s and then back home, I had to pass through 3-4 blocks of party goers. It was all there for me. Breasts and bodies. One problem. The lighting was not good. I was lucky not to have run into someone.

Shaun bartending at Berlin’s. Met a number of interesting people.

Cecci and John from Naples. Plus, a lady visitor from England with them. Cecci and John looking to buy a home in the Keys. Interested in Cudjoe.

Two guys sat next to me at the bar to eat. From the Morristown area in New Jersey. Their tenth Fantasy Fest. Staying at the Pier House. Never been to the Chart Room. Sent them over to see John.

I was not that hungry. A wedge salad and bowl of lobster bisque. The bisque to die for!

Tonight, the parade! A big event! About 40 floats this year. The lighting will be good. The scanty clothed women on the floats easy to see.

The floats themselves magnificent.

I will not be there for the same reasons I have not been attending other Fantasy Fest events.

Liz is watching the parade. She purchased tickets for seating in front of St. Paul’s Church. Invited me to join here. I begged off.

Watched about five innings of the Cleveland/Chicago game last night. Great pitching. Either team could have won.

Enjoy your day!