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for Read, Mary, c.1695-1721
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History contains many stories of pirates. Mostly, they were men who led crews in plundering ships. There were a few women, however, who chose the life of a pirate. Anne Bonny and Mary Read were two who gained infamous renown on the high seas. Smith recounts their stories.
Ann Bonney and Mary Read are the subjects of this article about famous female North Carolinians. Each of these women gained their reputations for being pirates in an age when women were rarely onboard ships, let alone active, ruthless individuals. The author provides a brief biographical sketch of each lady and her career on the high seas.
Women aboard ships were often considered bad luck but, despite the stereotype, women were often found roles on board. The earliest pioneers were some famous female pirates known as Mary Read and Anne Bonny. Women later took up roles as nurses or as labor for processing fish caught by men.
Pirates found a profitable place in Eastern North Carolina because of shoals creating treacherous sailing conditions and inlets providing multiple traveling routes. Pirates also found a welcoming living environment due to the citizenry’s relatively relaxed attitudes about their lifestyle and authorities condoning activities like smuggling and wrecking. Additional proof the presence of pirates was not confined to Blackbeard were profiles of Stede Bonnet, Calico Jack Rackham, Anne Bonny, Mary Read, Charles Vane, Edward Low, George Lowther, and Richard Worley.
; Pirates--North Carolina, Eastern
; Barrier islands
; Inlets--North Carolina
; Blackbeard, d. 1718
; Bonnet, Stede, 1688-1718
; Rackham, John, 1682-1720
; Bonny, Anne, 1697-1782
; Read, Mary, c.1695-1721
; Vane, Charles
; Low, Edward
; Lowther, George
; Worley, Richard