Pirate Flags#1 Colico jack LbNA # 54824
|Placed Date||Jul 25 2010|
John Largay memorial preserve.
From the junction of Rt 63 and 64 Proceed west on 64. At traffic light go right on Rt64 toward Quassy, and take your first left on Long Meadow Rd. The preserve will be on your right andyou would have to park across the stree next to the Cemetery.
I will be doing a series on Pirate flags so keep a watch out!
John Rackam, also known as Calico Jack because of his clothing preferences, was only a moderately successful pirate who is mainly remembered for his association with two women pirates. Rather than attacking plump rich targets, Rackam preferred using a small sloop to attack local merchants and fishing vessels.
In 1718, Rackam served as quartermaster on Charles Vane's pirate ship. On November 23, Vane's ship encountered a French man-of-war in the Windward Passage and he decided to retreat from the battle rather than try to board the warship. Many of the crew felt differently on this matter, including Rackam. The next day, Rackam and crew confronted Vane and stated he was a coward. The crew elected Calico Jack as the new captain and Vane and his fellow supporters were set off on a small sloop. And within the day, Calico Jack was able to plunder several small vessels and continued to plunder more around Jamaica. One vessel taken had a Jamaican tavernkeeper, Hosea Tisdale, onboard that Rackam and the crew were acquinted with and after plundering the vessel, he released the captive crew and made sure the tavernkeeper had a safe voyage home.
In May 1719 Rackam sailed to the Bahamas for a pardon and settled down there soon after. While in a local tavern he met Anne Bonny whom he soon started to court. When she became pregnant he took her to some friends he had in Cuba to take care of her during her preganancy. Once their money began to run out, Rackam returned to piracy and convinced Bonny to come with him, which she did, only disguised as a man. He again went back to plundering his standard small local merchants in the West Indies. On one of the vessels was Mary Read who would also join Rackam's crew without anyone knowing (yet) her true sexuality.
On August 20, 1720 Rackam and eleven others stole the anchored sloop William in Nassau harbor during the night. Governor Woodes Rogers learnt of this and soon issued a proclamation stating who was responsible for the piracy. In addtion to this, he sent two sloops with 45 men out to find Rackam. At this time, Calico Jack was attacking fishing vessels in Jamaica and continued to plunder small vessels for about the next month along the West Indies.
Captain Jonathan Barret's privateer sloop caught up with Calico Jack's stolen William anchored near Nigril Bay in early October. Rackam immediately set sail to escape the well-armed sloop but at about ten o'clock at night Barret caught up to Rackam. Barret ordered him to surrender and in response Rackam and his crew sent him a shot from a swivel gun along with a few words. The nighttime duel did not last too long though, soon Barret's sloop had damaged William's boom and effectively knocked her out of commision. When Barret's crew boarded William, only Anne Bonny and Mary Read defended the attackers while the rest of the pirates, including Rackam, simply surrendered without a fight.
On November 16, 1720, Rackam and 11 of his male crewmen were convicted and sentenced to death in St. Jago de la Vega, Jamaica (the two women were tried later.) Rackam was able to see his lover Anne Bonny once before his execution and she stated to him "that she was sorry to see him there, but if he had fought like a man, he need not have been hanged like a dog." On November 19-20, Rackam and his crewmen were hanged and their bodies were placed in chains and hung at various locations on the islands as a deterant and message to fellow pirates. Rackam's was hung on an island near Port Royal called Deadman's Cay, now fittingly named Rackam's Cay. Thus ended the life of the pirate Calico Jack. While he only plundered mainly local small vessels in the Caribbean, he is unique in having had not one, but two, women pirates disguised as men in his crew.
When entering preserve take the grassy bridge on left heading around the lake. Follow around the lake halfway till you get to a Y. take the left small trail and just after you take it there is a Rock wall on the left. Go to the fallen tree thats on the rock wall on right with a standingtall dead tree next to it look in between there under rocks for the Flag. Go back to the beginning of the Y and follow it around the lake and back to your car!