Adventure and Fame

Hear ye, hear ye, show your colours! Enemies I will capture; friends I will let pass.What figure best represents the activities of the privateers? That would be the privateer captain-but don't confuse him with the stereotypical pirate with a parrot on his shoulder. Instead, picture a seaman dressed in woollen trousers and a linen shirt. The captain was the most important person during a privateering expedition, and he stood to gain a financial reward if a raid was successful. On the other hand, he was also held responsible if it was a failure. He would garner a large share of any potential prize, but risked his life to do so.

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So, as you can see, the life of a privateer captain involved adventure, risk and the possibility of great riches. But even though some privateer captains are considered heroes, few people know that they were privateers! History books recount Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville's military exploits on Hudson Bay and in Newfoundland, but they do not mention that he accomplished some of them while serving as a privateer.