BEFORE THE “WAR ON PIRATES”. Hanna ‘s article is based on his book PIRATE NESTS AND THE RISE OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE, 1570-1740. Hanna’s world of pirates seeking to get enough money to retire to an honorable place in society lasted from the early 1600’s until the period from 1716 to 1726, when there was a “War on Pirates” (and Hanna says this is the only period when pirates behaved like the popular image of pirates.) Hanna finds the beginnings of this “War” in the struggles between royal officials and colonial leaders which had begun in about 1700.
During the period before 1715, Hanna says that “…most pirates sought one large prize and hoped to use their plunder to join the middling to upper echelons of colonial society.” He cites a pirate who married the daughter of the governor of Pennsylvania and was appointed to the Pennsylvania House of Assembly; and another who bought land in Newport in the 1690’s and became a customs official.