we founded dems on dis webby page http://www.beaglebay.com/pirate_facts.htm
Did you know:
Pirates were the first democratic organization in the "New World"
Each pirate was allowed to vote on where the ship was to go or if a colonial ship should be attacked.
Each pirate received an equal share of the booty, with a double share going to the captain, the pilot, the carpenter, the cook, and a share set aside for the maintenance of the ship. Most pirates were paid four times as much as they had ever received as merchant or naval men. However, if no plunder was captured, no one would be paid.
- Each pirate signed an agreement—called "articles"—before they "joined" (many were forced to become pirates when the buccaneers captured their ships). This paper detailed how much they would be paid, behavior expected (no gambling, no fighting except on land, no stealing) and punishments for breaking rules.
For breaking the rules spelled out in the articles, a pirate would be marooned with a flagon of water and a pistol, to survive or die. Because most of the Caribbean islands are mere spits of sand, most of the men died.
Articles of clothing were acquired from plundering ships. Pirates often wore some very odd costumes because of this. But no pirate would be caught wearing "slops" – the striped shirt worn by British sailors.
Pirate ships had unusually large crews
There were up to eighty pirates per ship. In contrast, most English ships had only thirty men. Work was evenly distributed among the pirate crew, and so jobs got done faster with less strain than on traditional colonial ships. Many considered a berth on a pirate ship easy pay for little work.
In many cases, pirates wouldn’t have to fire a shot. The mere approach of a pirate ship would cause most colonial captains to surrender. Then the captured captain would try to make some sort of deal that would result in the least amount of death and injuries. This often worked — but not always! There were many pirates–Blackbeard for one–who engaged in ruthless, bloody brigandage for the sheer sport of it
Pirates had the New World’s first insurance compensation plan
A typical document might award money ("specie") or slaves in the following way:
loss of right arm 600 pieces of eight
loss of left arm 500 pieces of eight
loss of right leg 500 pieces of eight
loss of left leg 400 pieces of eight
loss of eye or finger 100 pieces of eight
loss of both legs or arms 800 pieces of eight and a slave
(Source: David Cordingly, Under the Black Flag)
The captain of a pirate ship wasn’t the ship’s master
The captain (like Blackbeard or Henry Morgan) was, in fact, a battle leader for boarding ships and leading land raids. The ship’s pilot, the person who actually steered the ship, was the real captain. He received a share of booty equal to the captain.
If the pirate crew felt the captain was not succeeding (getting the men enough plunder), they would vote him out and elect a new captain from among their number.
The captain’s cabin was open for anyone to use — a sort of "den" if you will.