Tune in to my interview with Phil Johnson!

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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Letter of Joseph Doane to Lt. Governor William Dummer - Original Document

With permission of Massachusetts Archives, today I present an electronic copy of this letter, with the text printed below.

Justice Doane captured the pirates who had been shipwrecked on the Mary Anne, plus Thomas Davis and John Julian. He took them on horseback to Boston Gaol.

Several months later he was required to be in Boston for their trial. This is his petition to be reimbursed for his expenses. 


"Letter of Joseph Doane to Lt. Governor William Dummer" Massachusetts Archives Collection, 63:447. SCI/series 45X. June 2, 1717. Massachusetts Archives. Boston, Massachusetts.

            To the Honourable William Dumer Esqr: Lieutt. Governor & Command­er In Chieff In & over His Majts. Province of the Massachusetts Bay in & to the His Majts. Councill & Representa­tives in Genll. Court Assembled--
          The Petition of Joseph Doane of Eastham one of the members of the House of Representatives humbly sheweth that your Petitioner In the Month of April Anno:1717 Being Informed that a number of Men were cast on shoar on the backside of the Town of Eastham the night before who were suspected to be pirates and had that Morn­ing passed through Town inquiring the way to Rhoad Island.
          And your Petitioner being one of his Majts. Justices of the Peace in the County there did Judge it his Duty so to do [He] took with him a Deputy Sheriff persu'd, overtook, seized, exam­ined & [commited?] Seven of the Pirates that belonged to the Ship Whida comanded by Samuel Belleme Capt. of the Pirates which sd. Pirates were cast on shore in a Pink by them taken the day before & two days after he your Petitioner seized, examined & _____ one Man more that got alive ashore out of sd. Ship Whida which was also cast on Shore the same night with the sd. Pink. In Octo­ber next after, being the time when sd. Pirates had their tryall in Boston your Petitioner living one hundred Miles distant was directed by his Excellency Samuel Shute Esqr. Governour & Coman­der in Chief to be present in Boston at the tryall of sd Pirates to Inform & c. which accordingly he attended & notwithstanding he travelled fifty miles a day, yet was necessitated on his Majts. Sarvis  ten days from home, and tho he hath often had Incouragem­ent from his Excellency yet hath not had anything to Respond either for him or expenses, Your Petitioner therefore prays the [?] they be taken into consideration & he be [alowed?] what shall be Judged agreeable to Justice.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Weather prediction in 1700

I put together some articles from various websites that tell about the history of forecasting the weather. I think you might find some of these interesting. 


Weather Forecasting Through the Ages:

History of the National Weather Service:

The Little Ice Age:

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Cyprian Southack’s chart of the New England coast

It never fails: I always come across something else really interesting while researching another thing. In this case, it's a copy of a Cyprian Southack map.
For those enthusiasts looking for real maps of the Golden Age of Piracy, this one is your baby. You need only have a cool $10,00 or so floating around in your pocket!


Saturday, May 27, 2017

Another website about Olivier Levasseur

I always enjoy coming across these websites. They often have an interesting mixture of fact, fiction, and speculation.
This one was brought to my attention by Baylus Brooks. Give it a read, it has some good information. Keep in mind, though, that it is machine translated, so some parts of it are going to come out a bit goofy.


Olivier Levasseur says La Buse

Friday, May 5, 2017

Horse Racing in 1700

In honor of Kentucky Derby weekend, I threw some paragraphs together from different websites to put together a rather brief history of Thoroughbred racing.
The racing of horses has occurred since man discovered he could jump on their backs and ride. Most of these early races were match races, meaning they were contests directly matching one horse against another.

Most were run over much greater distances than what we’re used to in today’s racing. They most likely didn’t have the meticulously groomed courses that we have today, either.
Horse racing first came under royal patronage during the reign of James I, when the monarch had a royal palace built near Newmarket - then an obscure village. Members of the Royal Court, who had developed a passion for horse racing in Scotland, helped to establish Newmarket as the home of organized horse racing in Britain. Public races were soon set up all over England. Many of the events were held at Bell Courses. They got this name because the prize for most races was usually a silver bell.

From 1660, during King Charles II’s reign, match horse racing events began being held at Newmarket. When Queen Anne was in power (1702 to 1714), horse racing advanced to including several horses, with spectators placing bets. Thus the Sport of Kings was born as a professional discipline. 

Charles II was perhaps the most enthusiastic racing royal. He competed in races himself and founded a series of races known as Royal Plates. His connection with Newmarket survives to this day because the Rowley Mile course near the town is derived from his nickname of Old Rowley - in turn after the name of his favourite hack.

As horse racing became all the rage thanks to its royal connections, the breeding of racehorses developed very rapidly too. This was mainly thanks to the import of Arabian stallions, with which British mares were bred to create the forefathers of the Thoroughbred racehorses we see racing today.

The Byerly Turk

I found this part about establishing the Thoroughbred breed from Arabian stallions interesting since it is not entirely true. While the Darley and Godolphin stallions were Arabians, the Byerly Turk was not. As the name implies, he was a Turk horse, a breed that at that time was considered to be amongst the finest of horses on the planet. 

A number of racecourses were established and the Jockey Club was created in 1750 to govern the sport. Along with creating rules, sanctioning racecourses and naming races, the Jockey Club also set up the General Stud Book to record the pedigree of all racing Thoroughbreds.

Around the middle of the 18th century, horse racing became the first regulated sport in Britain, thanks to the formation of the Jockey Club. 

The first racetrack was established in the United States in 1665 and the American Stud Book was put in place in 1868. By 1894 the American Jockey Club was set up. In the early 1900s bookmaking was banned, but pari-mutuel betting saved horse racing in 1908. 

Likely the second-oldest race in history, the Epsom Derby, was established by the 12th Earl of Derby (pronounced darby) and his friend Sir Charles Bunbury. They tossed a coin. The Earl of Derby got to name the race, but Sir Bunbury won the first running in 1780 with his colt, Diomed. The oldest race, the Oaks, was first run in 1779.

Originally run over a distance of one mile, it was increased to a mile and a half in 1784.
The Kentucky Derby is the longest running sporting event in the United States, dating back to 1875.  The race is often referred to as "The Run for the Roses®" and has continuously produced “the most exciting two minutes in sports”; uninterrupted, even when coinciding with profound historical events like The Great Depression and World Wars I & II.

The first Kentucky Derby was won by a horse named Aristides.



Silver, Caroline. Superhorses: The Making of Champions,  Ballantine Books, 1973.

About the Byerly Turk:

About Aristides: