Posts Tagged ‘pirates’

Arghh again!

Today is Talk Like a Pirate Day. A shout out to my triple great grandfather John Pate, who lived at Cave-in-Rock, Illinois and by my reckoning belong to the Ohio River pirates there. No apologies, he was Lumbee Indian, and people stole North Carolina from Indians.

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Who lives in a pirate ship over the sea?

The old seadog

Who is peg legged and drunk as can be?

The old seadog

Monday, September 19, 2022

The Seven Seas (or so it seems)

Avast Mateys,

Arrgh. Today is Talk Like a Pirate Day. New rules. Them what don’t like a pirate we feeds to me Kraken. Oh, it dearly loves landlubbers. Me boys are already scouting, watching, Listening. Oh, ye who do not heed my words will rue the day of their birth.

Lads, that pesky Navy ship be bothering us again! Fire a round of cannons at them. Where’s me rum? Me saber? Me pistol? Me pegleg? And Polly, you flea-feathered scoundrel, don’t desert the ship!

The Navy is sending manned balloons to thwart us? Next the Navy will have carriers for their aerocraft. Lads, don’t abandon me! Not while I need ye! Blow the balloons out of the sky and sink their shiny ship! Lads?

Me head is reeling. Lads? I’m alone and never learned to swim! Woe is me!

What was I saying? Aye. It’s Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Now be done with it!

The Old Seadog


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Cornwall is famous for Cornish Clotted Cream. Unpasteurized milk is steam heated and left to cool. Clotted Cream forms on the top. It is spread on scones, put over strawberries, or used for cream tea. Nowadays the pirates let landlubbers have some!  My 8th great grandmother, Marie Southwood Suddeth, was Cornish. (I’m certain she made Clotted Cream)

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Cave-In-Rock. Illinois was a base for Ohio River pirates from 1790 to the 1880, including Samuel Mason, the Harpe Brothers, and Potts Inn (a true Bates Motel). I recently learned that John Pate, my triple-great grandfather bought 40 acres of land there in 1860. In 1857, he bought 240 acres as farms for his grown children. He was not wealthy, but he bought a lot of land. I can only wonder.

In the 1920’s my great grandfather, Alonzo Pait, lived on the Cave-In-Rock land. He changed the spelling of his name, so he must have known about his grandfather’s reputation. Alonzo grew up a few miles away in Old Shawneetown, Illinois and was grown before the pirates vanished into history.  Now I know why no one in the family explained the spelling change to me.


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Diamond Island is a 2-square mile island about 10 miles downriver from Henderson Kentucky. It was base of operations for Samuel Mason, River Pirate Captain (former Militia Captain and judge). The Harpe Brothers, 1790’s serial killers, often stayed at his base.

In 1803, it was the site of the Diamond Island Massacre. Ten supposed Native Americans hiding in a canebrake attacked a flatboat, killing the mother and father. 3 children were kidnapped and never seen again. The eldest son, James Barnard, was the only survivor

Desoto may have visited it when he crossed the Ohio River. Nowadays it is farmland.

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