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~Daniel DeFoe~

Daniel DeFoe was an English trader, writer, journalist, pamphleteer, and at times, spy.  He is best know for his novel, Robinson Crusoe, and according to works like Raiders and Rebels: A History of the Golden Age of Piracy, much of what we know about the Caribbean at this time is because of his personal and public writings.  He knew much about the famous pirates of the time and wrote his observations on the likes of Blackbeard, Charles Vane, Captain Kidd, and, yes, John Rackham.

In January of 1709 two ships under the command of Woodes Rogers (another character from Pirate Queens whom you will be introduced to later) sailed around the Horn and set their sails north along the coast of South America.  They made landfall at the uninhabited islands of Juan Fernandez, six hundred miles west of what is now Santiago, Chile.  Here, Captain Rogers rescued a man with long wild hair and an untamed beard, who spoke English but was clothed in skins like a savage.

The Wild man turned out to be Alexander Selkirk, a Scottish sailor who had been marooned on these desolate islands four years earlier.  The expedition's pilot recognized Selkirk as an old shipmate, and Captain Roger's made the former castaway an officer of one of the two ships.  This, and Selkirk's stories of what happened while he was stranded, was DeFoe's inspiration for Robinson Crusoe.

Although remembered mostly for being a writer and the author of his most famous piece, Daniel DeFoe was so much more than that.  Having worked as a spy for the English crown, DeFoe was no stranger to adventure and danger, having even spent time in Newgate Prison (the same prison in London where Captain William Kidd was held before his execution).

In Pirate Queens Daniel DeFoe takes on the role of Woodes Rogers's aide, and is well acquainted with John "Calico Jack" Rackham.  He is there when Jack and Anne meet for the first time and he is there with them in the end.


Raiders and Rebels features many of DeFoe's writings and observations on pirates and the Caribbean during the Golden Age of Piracy.

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