Pirate Den: New Providence

Place of many pirates

New Providence was located close to the all major American and Caribbean 17th and 18th century trade routes. The island is excellent natural harbor, but it was difficult for large warships to enter. There have never been much people on the island, although there is a lot of fresh water, timber and wild animals.

During the Golden Age of Piracy, New Providence was the capital of the British Bahamas. Presence of army was always imminent, but local governors were accepting bribes not to prosecute pirates for their crimes.

During the long wars with Spain, New Providence was attacked numerous times, and from 1703 to 1706, the island was untenable. However, the peace with Spanish, brought inhabitants and pirates back. By the year of 1716, in New Providence lived more than 500 pirates. The most famous pirates, who used New Providence as their base of operations, certainly were Edward Teach, Charles Vane, Jack Rackham and Benjamin Hornigold. However, so much pirate activity could not pass unnoticed.

Picture Of New Providence Island

In July 1718, the newly appointed governor of New Providence, Woodes Rogers, declared war on piracy. When Woodes Rogers arrived with the three warships and two sloops, a few pirates fled, but most of them decided to gave up their pirate carriers and started to live honestly. In just a few days, island was entirely pledged from the pirates.

From a pirates den, New Providence became the most important base for anti-piracy operations in the Caribbean. Woodes Rogers appointed many capable captains to hunt remaining pirates. Some of them, like Benjamin Harnigold, were pirates themselves, but they were forced to become the pirate hunters. As result of their actions, after just three months of active anti-piracy campaign, many pirates were hanged in December 1718. Most of the remaining pirates, left the waters of New Providence, and tried to find new hunting grounds for their pirate activities.

Woodes Rogers was the capable governor, but he has never succeeded to return New Providence to its previous state. The sugar trade and other legitimate trades made of New Providence a prosperous city, but the gold and fame from pirates' days have never returned.

Picture Of New Providence Island
Picture Of Battle Of Nassau New Providence Raid 1776