Born in Devon, England, the infamous pirate Black Sam Bellamy started out as a sailor and family man, but was tempted by the love of money and treasures, so he left his wife and family in Canterbury in the early 1700’s, and went to America to search his fortune. Legend has it that he had all the intentions of becoming a pirate, having heard about the Spanish ships that had plenty of treasures returning to Spain. It is also said that Black Sam Bellamy loved the clothing of Stede Bonnet, a notorious female pirate and contemporary, and fashioned himself in her image, wearing a velvet coat with a sash where he was able to carry his four pistols and tying back his long flowing dark hair with a bow.
Black Sam Bellamy’s pirate ventures first began In 1715, when he was living in Cape Cod. Someone informed him about a Spanish ship with treasures sunk off the Florida coast. He talked to his rich friend, Paul Williams about putting together a salvage team to recover the treasures. However, one day Bellamy grew tired of so much hard work and he fought with the head of the salvage team and left in favor of robbing from them instead, once the divers retrieved the treasures. Along with his friend, Henry Jennings, he made a pretty good fortune from his first act of piracy and a fitting start to his pirate career.
Sam moved to the New Providence a year later, because he wanted to learn all he could from the famous pirate Benjamin Hornigold on board his ship. Edward Teach, alias Blackbeard, another friend of his, joined him. Hornigold was a good pirate as far as pirates go, and was known for being generous to any captives as well as having one patriotic rule; he never looted any English vessels. This was soon to be his downfall when in June of that same year that Black Sam Bellamy joined his ship, the crew voted to attack all vessels, including English ones. Hornigold refused, so the crew disposed of him and elected Sam to be the captain of the ship Mary Anne. Sam let his old friend, Williams, be the quartermaster of the Mary Anne, and in just a few months they had looted over 50 ships in the Caribbean coast. He then acquired his own ship, which was called the Sultana, so he gave Williams the Mary Anne to be the captain of.
Sam Bellamy Presumed Drowned
The end of Black Sam Bellamy is said to have been salty one. He was preparing to head north while sailing on the Atlantic Ocean in 1717. Some historians guess he was trying to avoid being punished and captured, but most assumed he wanted to see his family. Suddenly a storm arose and sent the ship towards New England, so the crew decided to head towards Rhode Island, because they knew they would be safe there as the corrupt governor didn’t mind pirates, because they would always give him gold and treasures in return for a safe haven. Sam’s boat at the time, the Whydah, hit a sandbar on May 17th, because of the fog. The boat sunk off of Cape Cod. Sam drowned. All, but two of his crew also drowned. Another vessel traveling with Black Sam Bellamy sunk too, and seven crewmembers survived who were later hung in Boston for their acts of piracy. The Whydah ship was recovered in 1984, and was the first pirate ship to ever be recovered. The artifacts retrieved are displayed in a museum in Provincetown, Cape Cod. A few of the artifacts that can be seen are cannons, gold, cannons, and the bell from the ship.