My friend, JP Noel, sent me the image above as a point of information. The partial map is from the early eighteenth century and was produced during the “Golden Age of Piracy.” It shows that St. Croix was an abandoned island during that era and serves as proof that there was no pirate republic on St. Croix or eighth flag for the island. JP is an artist, author, and medieval scholar with a deep interest in St. Croix. His book, “The Ark of St. Croix.” describes the journey of the Arc of the Covenant from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem to St. Croix. It was based on detailed research into the medieval period from the twelfth century until the Danish era of St. Croix.
On the Map from JP, the French possession of St. Croix is described as “Isle Sainte Croix abandonnée,” which declared the island as an abandoned or deserted place. As pointed out by Arnold Highfield in his many books, the French Navy under Louis XIV enforced the French right to their possession by occasional raids to purge the island of wood cutters and squatters, which were the only residents they ever found on the island.
This map discovery by JP Noel has absolutely no impact on either his book, “The St. Croix Arc” or my first pirate book, the “Lost Pirate Treasures of St. Croix (2013)” as the history in both books occurs before the period of French abandonment. The biggest impact would be on my second book, the “Memoirs of Captain Sam Bellamy,(2015)” which describe in detail a pirate colony with support groups running plantations, operating taverns and restaurants, gathering wood and water and running warehouses and merchant operations.
The “Memoirs of Captain Sam Bellamy,” was the first book by any author to describe a pirate colony on St. Croix. Other books and records, many over 300 yeas old, document pirate activity or ships captured by pirates in the vicinity of the island, but the same could be said for almost every sand bar and reef in the Caribbean.
Offshore pirate activity or a band of pirates careening their ship is simply not proof of a pirate colony. I made no claim of a pirate community in my first book(2013), but the discussion of a vibrant and complex pirate community in the “Memoirs of Captain Sam Bellamy (2015)” brought historians, scholars and literary critics to the forefront challenging my story of the vibrant pirate community on St. Croix during the Golden Age of Piracy.
Whenever I am challenged on anything in my books, I always strive to find out if the document is authentic and whether it comes from a credible source. As mentioned above there is no impact on the story in my first Pirate book, “The Lost Pirate Treasures Of St. Croix” or JP’s book, “The St. Croix Arc.” However, if the Map is authentic and from a credible source, it would prove the island was abandoned and there could be no pirate colony or eighth flag.
A future post will discuss source credibility anh the authenticity of the Map segment shown above.