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Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Two Depositions Relating to the Capture of La Concorde by Edward Thache - the Vessel Renamed Queen Anne's Revenge


Presumed to resemble La Concorde or Queen Anne's Revenge

APPENDIX VI: April 27, 1718. The Concorde of Names taken and plundered by pirates. ADLA 5 4578 P 56v&s. (3 photocopied sheets).

Nantes Concorde. plundered and taken by the pirates.

From April 27 (1718). 

Appeared the sieur François Ernaud, former lieutenant on the ship named La Concorde de Nantes from this port of 200 tons or thereabouts. Said vessel commanded by Pierre Dosset, first captain and which had Charles Baudin as second captain. Said ship armed with 16 guns and 75 crew, belonging to Mr. René Montaudouin and others and of which says Mr. Ernaud the oath taken, he promised and swore to tell the truth.

He told us that his said ship had been loaded with the goods permitted for the coast of Guinea and other French ships and that his said captain took all the expeditions necessary to accomplish their said voyage.

Carte de l'Eveshe de Nantes, 1695

Location of Groix

He left from the bottom of this river [Loire] on March 24, 1717 and by bad weather they were forced to release under Groix [see map to left] on the 28th of the said month where they anchored around 8 o'clock in the evening and on the 29th following around 9 o'clock in the morning the heavy weather compelled them to slip out their cable at the end and abandon their second anchor weighing about 14 to 1500 pounds and the said cable 12 to 13 inches thick, brand new, never having wetted and 120 fathoms in length. They were thrown onto the Banc des Ecarts where the aforesaid vessel touched with three strokes of its heel. 

From there they headed out to sea and came to anchor on the island of Houëdic [Ile d'Hoëdic on map below], on the 29th, where they anchored their large anchor and their brand new 12 to 13 inch cable. On the 30th of the said month they were forced to return to anchor in Mindin. Then what by the diligence they did they covered the cable and anchor above that they had spun under Groix. At Mindin [map below] they repaired there a new cable of 12 to 13 inches from theirs which was damaged. They took food and refreshments to replace those they had consumed. Then they sailed from the said Mindin on the following April 12.

On the 24th of the said month, the named Jean Morel, Provençal sailor [died] without being able to save him...

On June 6, they arrived at Mesurade [Cape Mesurado, aka Cape Montserrado - a headland on the coast of Liberia] to get wood and water from where they left on the 18th of the said month to go to Judah [Whydah or Ouidah] where they anchored on July 8 and at which place they traded and loaded on the said ship the number of 516 heads of blacks of all sexes and ages and fourteen ounces of powdered gold.

Plan of Cape Mesurado on Coast of Modern Liberia

Ouidah, Whydah, or Judah on Gold Coast of Africa

After which they left the said place on the 9th day of October following to go to Martinique and the French islands of America.

Map by Baylus C. Brooks

The following November 28, finding themselves 30 or 40 leagues from Martinique, in the latitude of 14° 30' North, they encountered around 8 o'clock in the morning in foggy weather two pirate boats, one of which was armed with 12 guns and equipped with 120 men of crew and the other armed with 8 guns and equipped with 30 men. The declarant said he had at that time 16 men dead of disease including the one who had drowned and in addition 36 men of their said crew sick with scurvy and blood flow so that they were only 21 men to do the maneuver and steer said vessel. So much so that the said two pirate boats having fired two volleys of cannon and musketry at them and shouted at them to put their boat in the sea. The said captain and officers and members of the crew seeing themselves unable to defend themselves from the said pirates , there came on board the said pirates who took them to Bicoya, Grenadine Islands where the declarant and all the other members of his crew were searched and visited and pillaged and taken from them the elite of their cargo and put the remainder on said Island ashore.

And by the declaration of a servant of his crew who declared to the said pirates that his captain and his officers had gold dust. Seeing this, the said pirates threatened the declarant and his crew to cut off their necks if they did not return the said gold powder. However, as the said waiter belonging to Mr. Martin, clerk on the said ship had declared to them. Which said waiter was named Louis Arrot de Nantes aged 15 or so who voluntarily surrendered with them. This obliged the declarant jointly with the others to deliver to them the said gold powder which everyone had a little in his without understanding the one that was freight and seized all the clothes and clothes having stripped them as well as their said ship with all its guns and gear that said pirates have retained Declares further that the said pirates have retained by force ten men of their crew, namely:

Charles Duval, native of Port-Louis, pilot.

Jean Dubois, Gascon, major surgeon.

Marc Bourgneuf, second surgeon, from Rochelle.

Claude Deshaies, 3rd surgeon.

Esprit Perrin, Master Carpenter, native of Pellerin.

René Duval, 2nd carpenter, native of Nantes.

Jean Puloin, caulker.

Guillaume Creuzet, sailor, native of Brest.

Georges Bardeau, 2nd cook.

Jean Jacques, gunsmith

Moreover a negro who was a trumpet passenger and married at Saint-Malo whose name the declarant does not know further said that four of their said crew, including the waiter mentioned above, voluntarily surrendered to the pirates, to to know:

Nicolas Pommeraye, from Saint-Malo, skipper.

François Derouet from La Rochelle, sailor.

Joseph Mortepan known as La Mornaje, volunteer, from Saint-Père en Retz.

After which the said pirates gave the declarer and the rest of his crew, both sick and healthy, one of their boats to take them to Martinique with the blacks whom the pirates abandoned on the said Ile Bicoya where thirty-two whites and two hundred and forty-six blacks embarked in their boat to pass them to La Martinique where the declarant arrived the following October 7th. Having put the blacks on the ground and given orders for their subsistence and guard. He returned from Martinique on the tenth of this month to the said island of Bicoya to take back there the rest of the blacks that the pirates had abandoned there and where they arrived on the 13th of the said month and at which place they still unloaded in the said pirate boat twelve whites and fifty two blacks to return with the others to La Martinique where they arrived on ... the said month when the captain of the said ship La Concorde, by order of justice, dismissed and paid all his crew from the said blacks. Said more than the boat that the robbers had given them, the justice of Martinique seized it and had it sold at auction for the sum of three thousand nine hundred and fifty pounds or approximately, the justice of which seized until ownership of said boat is claimed by someone.

Said said boat was of Bermudian construction, port of 40 tons or thereabouts. 

After which the declarant entered as a passenger together with Pierre Sagory, second pilot, and Pierre Perré, cooper on the ship the Saint-Esprit de Canada which passed them to La Rochelle where they disembarked on the 5th of the present month and we has requested, wishing to have this declaration verified by the above-named gentlemen On the said vessel Concorde whom he has summoned and to whom, having read this declaration.

The number of 15 men, not including the drowned man above Pierre Fortier, 2nd lieutenant, native of Audierne, who died on the crossing[:] 

Joseph Dupuy, des Sables, ensign,

Louis Despiose. pilot,

Jean Coupard, cooper,

Pierre Perron, rooster,

François Nestier, baker,

Jacques Carré, sailor,

Pierre Lemoyne, cooper

Guillaume Guillonet, sailor.

Francois Lombard, bosun [bossman, a ship's officer in charge of equipment and the crew]

Jacques Gauthier, sailor.

Peter Lambert,

Jacques Bosseau

Fleury. ...

René Roulet, cook. 


APPENDIX VII: April 27, 1718. Verification La Concorde. ADLA B 4578 f° 90v & s.. (2 photocopied sheets).

Verification and addition of the declaration of Ernaut lieutenant for La Concorde looted and taken by pirates.

Appeared the Sieur Pierre Dosset of Nantes, former master and commander of the ship named La Concorde de Nantes, of the port of 200 tons or approximately, armed with 14 guns and equipped with 72 men all included by the Sieur René Montaudouin, bourgeois and owner of that vessel.

From which said captain the oath taken with a raised hand he swore to tell the truth and to which after having read to him the declaration made by Mr. François Ernaud, his first lieutenant on his said ship La Concorde dated April 27, he recognized this sincere and true.

He only wishes to add that when he had the misfortune to be captured by the pirate ships mentioned in the above dated statement, the declarant said he had then on board the number of 455 heads of blacks of all sexes and ages, 61 blacks having died during the crossing Which together make 516 heads that he had in the said place of Judah.

Said to have ordered Charles Baudin, his second lieutenant on the said vessel, to take five pounds of gold powder from Mr. Turgot, lieutenant on the vessel Le Ruby de Saint-Malo, which the said Bardieu handed over to him declaring and that the said gold powder was taken and looted by the pirates together with thirteen pounds six ounces belonging half and half to the Dosset and Martin sirs and friends.

In addition fourteen ounces belonging to the cargo of the said ship and another eight ounces belonging to Pierre Sagory, 2nd pilot, plus three ounces belonging to Mr. Moret for 3 ounces of brandy he had entrusted to him, plus two ounces belonging to Pierre Fauquéres, first ensign on the said ship that he had found in his trunk after his death, while making the inventory and sale of his clothes, the said death preceding the said actions of the pirates.

Said further that the said pirates would have embarked sixty blacks in the boat of Henri St Amour which was found in La Grenade stranded on the quay. Which declaring to him declared to send fifteen blacks that he claimed in Martinique having recognized them by the mark of the ship. All of which blacks joined together have produced according to the account provided by the declarant to his citizens and shipowners the sum of one hundred and sixteen thousand nine hundred and sixty five pounds ten sols.

In addition said to have received only the sum of 3600 pounds for the sale of the pirate boat which was sold at auction by the Ministry of Justice whatever it is by the declaration of Mr. Ernaud. that it had been sold 3950 pounds having been reduced by judicial authority by the sum of 350 pounds for a cable purchased by court order from Mr. Estyefore, merchant in Saint-Pierre de La Martinique. In addition, he was found for the sum of 737 pounds of cocoa, and for 62 pounds of casks and a copper cauldron sold for 212 pounds, plus 600 pounds for two negroes who had been stolen from them by Spaniards and who declared her recovered. All the sums joined are that of one hundred and nineteen thousand and twenty-six livres ten sols. Out of which sum he was compelled to pay 8926 livres 17 sols for commission, and besides for wages of the crew eleven thousand three hundred and ninety eight livres, ten sols and for other expenses made by him declaring the sum of 7554 livres. Said furthermore to have left the net from the said boat in hard cash in the hands of Mr. Georges Prevost, merchant in Martinique, who granted a receipt to the declarant in the event of a claim from the said boat.

This is the declaration which he read to him, he swore to be sincere, persisted in it and signed


In margins:

The 61 negroes sold in Grenada produced 12,200 pounds, that of the number of blacks who were brought to Martinique, there are 56 exhausted (?) at 125 pounds each The total of blacks .... Claimed se rises to 376, of which six belong to the officers of the said vessel and 20 who died en route from Bicoya and to Martinique during the sale. 350 blacks remain which have been sold Deduct from 455 There is a loss of 105 blacks since the capture of the said vessel.


Saturday, January 15, 2022

Introduction to "Defining North Carolina" or How Historians Have Often Failed Us!


[In the Galaxy Magazine]: I shall not often meddle with politics, because we have a political Editor who is already excellent and only needs to serve a term or two in the penitentiary to be perfect.

- Mark Twain, a Biography

Also check out: B.C. Brooks: A Writer's Hiding Place: "Quest for Blackbeard" and the "Counterfactual" Politics of the South (

Mark Twain’s quote above might well have described the modern Republican Party, which far outnumbers the Democrat Party in criminal indictments and convictions. North Carolina has always suffered from a dominant criminal political conservatism. You might be surprised to learn it began over 300 years ago, first with Barbadians who settled Carolina, and then with Edward Moseley’s criminal “Family” syndicate. Twain was not alone in his assessment. The development of our American democracy in 1776 often brought conservatives and liberals to loggerheads in the attempt to finally realize the “American dream” proposed in the Constitution. We still haven’t reached that point and past historians, enamored with the "Great Men" who dominated our history, have often failed us all!

Carolina politics was an early example into this uniquely American warfare from within that helped shape the Civil War. Many battles have been waged within the colony and state – and, most historians have viewed these conflicts as growing pains – a perhaps divine push towards progress. Still, social progress has stagnated and truly, North Carolina politics has not changed a great deal since Carolina’s founding in 1671. Journalist Rob Christensen viewed North Carolina as “nuanced, multi-layered, and at times contradictory.”[1] He may have envisioned Jesse Helms when he wrote the title for A Paradox of Tar Heel Politics. Still, his thoughts may have drifted farther back in North Carolina’s history to another man who had as much influence on Tarheel politics in the eighteenth century as Helms did in the twentieth.  Christ’s Hospital’s “Old Blue,” Edward Moseley easily defined Christensen’s notions of the Carolina “big boys,” or powerful Carolina conservatives! He came to Carolina from London, an educated member of an elite family fallen on ill fortunes. English Moseleys encountered uncomfortable religious discord and liberalizing political changes in their Tory empire of Stuart England. Edward left to escape these changes and to seek financial redemption… to build his own empire in a faraway frontier land of massive real potential!

He was a rare element of Carolina’s “Family” political syndicate that did not come directly from a “bedeviled” Caribbean world – a land “beyond the lines of amity” – most originating in Barbados. Excusing crude methods found unacceptable at home in England, America offered outcast conservative gentlemen like Moseley the greatest asset that islanders could only dream about: LAND and massive tracts of it! America was Edward Moseley’s chance to realize the riches that God had divinely ordained for all gentleman of his fiscal ideology after England’s so-called “Glorious Revolution” of 1688 chastised them for their Stuart impudence.

You see, that year, Protestant Dutchman William of Orange replaced the Stuart king James II, dispelling almost forever the Tory or conservative notion of a divine monarch on the throne – Stuarts had one last hurrah under Queen Anne (1702-1713). Yes, she was the last Stuart, but it cannot be ignored that her family influenced America the most, for more than 100 years. Edward Moseley attempted to emulate the habits of his ancestors as they followed Charles I and II and attempted to follow James III in the Jacobite Rebellions – as any Stuart-loving pirate in America! Moseley would carry on his own crude capitalist monarchy in North Carolina and helpd create the political “Paradox” that Christensen saw. 

These “land pirates” – took advantage of a crude swampy wilderness in America from which they might build their own unique – often aggressive – version of a mercantile Utopic kingdom. It must have offered everything of which Moseley dreamed because once he arrived, he never left.

Owing to his duplicitous self-serving methods, Moseley’s controversial actions were barely remembered for a century, but his posthumous reputation encountered a renaissance in the defeated anger of other conservative North Carolinians after the Civil War – searching for icons, heroes of their own martial political caste. Since this bloody conflict, North Carolinians have regarded him as a great champion for the state:


Of all the men who watched and guided the tottering footsteps of our infant State, there was not one who in intellectual ability, in solid and polite learning, in scholarly cultivation and refinement, in courage and endurance, in high Christian morality, in generous consideration for the welfare of others, in all true merit in fine, which makes a man among men, who could equal Edward Moseley.

---- Hon. George Davis[2]


While reading this quote, we must keep in mind that the “Hon. George Davis” of Wilmington was once the Attorney-General of the Confederacy. He was not referring to the United States in totality, but to his own “State” (or, perhaps, “country” is the more apt word for Davis’ thinking) of North Carolina.

Most likely, Davis never believed that North Carolina belonged in the United States, even after the war – in fact, he surely did not. This same anti-government Christianized ideology and the veneration of such unlikely heroes dominated Southern Democrats through that war, the cold war of the Janus-faced“Progressive Era,” right up through the 1960s and Civil Rights. For these “Great Men” – compared to John Wayne by one author – “the heroes who best embodied militant Christian masculinity were those unencumbered by radtional Christian virtues.”[3] Militant masculinity linked religion with secular conservatism. In 1968, these early Southern Democrats joined the more comfortably fascist Republican Party. The Republican Party then adopted a similar white evangelist approach in the “Moral Majority” and truly devolved as these conservatives attempted to “Rise Again” and defeat the scourge of Black Power that threatened the master race![4]

The Deep South’s martial – essentially feudal – ideology was recognized quite early by many British writers, one who called America the “Commonwealth of Pyrates” in his book as early as 1724. Englishmen of the eighteenth century and perhaps some today considered “provincials” or Americans to be as “notorious” as Golden-Age pirates. British antiquarian Captain J. H. Lawrence-Archer in the nineteenth century wrote that the young, rebellious, provincial upstart of America was still a pirate or rogue nation and it was apparent in their Civil War. He offered that the king’s pardon of pirates in September 1717 “gave an abiding salvo to the consciences of English desperadoes, (similar to those under the belligerent Federals and Confederates, in the piratical Alabamas, Georgias, and Floridas lately sweeping the high seas).”[5]

Like many ex-Confederates, George Davis elevated a controversial kinsman he then believed was a “Great Man,” or hero to his “State” or “Country.” The man responsible for this early fallacious method of inquiry, Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle, called them “someone who was ‘unmistakably’ sent to earth by God.”[6] The state’s twentieth-century Southern “redeemer” historiography asserted that the byzantine Edward Moseley was, as D.H. Hill said in 1906, “always on the side of the people.”[7] Hill’s reference did not actually say “against a secular United States Government,” but most of his ilk intended just that sentiment.

Although redeemer narratives still hold great sway among popular history in the state, Edward Moseley’s deeds did not survive as well as others before the Civil War. Then, he enjoyed a brief resurgence. Afterwards, he was again quickly forgotten and we must pose the question as to why that happened. What made Moseley such a difficult subject to explore? What happened to Edward Moseley’s reputation in North Carolina historiography?

Owing to a lingering revolutionary fervor that followed 1776, early American historians tended to elevate their own questionable souls – of course, I’m also thinking of Samuel Adams and his “Sons of Liberty” – to hero status. Essentially a terrorist – but, one for our side – Adams’ pro-American crimes were forgotten. Moseley’s Family also contributed their penchant for conflict to the Revolution. Understandably, American scholars were enamored with their shiny new country and all of its founding members – even the proudly felonious ones.

Dr. Hugh Williamson is considered North Carolina’s first official state historian. One should, however, hesitate to call him a true “historian.” In reality, Williamson was trained as a physician, became a soldier, and then a politician. Arguably, he was not trained for and had little time for history – for truly examining and studying the past in an objective, meaningful way. He was not taught the critical discipline of historical inquiry – the proper methods and theories. Most of these early antiquarians of past recorders and commentators had not, either – especially those of the American South following the Civil War. Williamson possessed similar biases to his friends in the Deep South. “Historians” of the Antebellum Era honed their political polemicism like their Barbadians ancestors before them – upon the blood and sweat of African and Indian slaves. They learned to use the stories of the past as a warrior’s tool to buy and sell people, get someone elected, pass a bill, or destroy an opponent. Like his adopted Family in North Carolina, Williamson served as a U.S. Congressman and House delegate to the Constitutional Convention. These types of men demonstrated perhaps the best fit for Mark Twain’s later impression of the “criminal” politician. As a political polemicist with a flair for the written word, Williamson wrote many “histories” of the state that the more astute professional later regarded as “fake news” – however, most North Carolinians were proud to call him “historian.” He’s still much quoted today – again – mostly within the state!

The physician, lawyer, and politician wrote History of North Carolina, Volumes I and II in 1812, establishing him as the new state’s official authority on history. Winners write history they say and this is absolutely true, though the “history” that they generate is artificial, biased, and invalid. History is supposed to be the scholarly struggle to seek truth – although it has rarely been used in so pure a fashion, especially by politicians with an agenda. Williamson’s writing was carefully sculpted by such agendas and needs of his friends – those in political power at the time – most of whom were members of Edward Moseley’s Family.

Williamson typified the “Great Man” “historian” or antiquarian, as most of those trained in the historical method will recognize the word. Wealthy and educated – again like his Carolina gentlemen friends – Williamson came to the state from Philadelphia to practice medicine in the midst of rebellion and revolution, late in his career. The rest of this state’s history he had to discern or recreate from scattered records and friendly tales of blustering hubris he learned over glasses of brandy with his fellow warriors.  He learned grandiose stories of family pride from conversations in officer’s tents at the battle for Charleston in the American Revolution. Perhaps he heard a few in the halls of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

North Carolina’s history has relied upon Hugh Williamson like the history of Golden Age pirates has relied upon an early eighteenth-century cheap dime novel written by a suspicious author, sold on docks and street corners in port cities to the few who could read, and craved a “plucky” tale to pass the time on the Atlantic crossing. I refer, of course, to “Capt. Charles Johnson’s” A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pyrates, published in 1724. This book is essentially historical fiction; it makes for great reading, but contains little if any valid opinions or analysis – simply regurgitated bravado. Eminent professor of literature Dr. Manushag Powell’s term for this book is “counterfactual.” Moreover, its author was actually a Jacobite polemicist newspaper publisher in London named Nathaniel Mist, a man who had been jailed repeatedly by government authorities – and who needed money to pay his fines. In other words, Mist was no reputable historical source. As every writer of fiction, he never used citations to support his tales – to demonstrate objectivity – to invite critical inquiry.

Like pirate populists with “Charles Johnson,” we North Carolinians have copied Williamson over and over and over. We spin it a little this way and that, referring to it as a valid historical source. Though more cautious today, we have rarely condemned it in the past, considering it established “truth” on which to build. Remarkably, his tales have essentially survived unscathed – perhaps we are yet reticent to give up the “Great Men” of our history?

Gen. Hugh Williamson’s associations with Edward Moseley’s Family tell the tale. He befriended Gen. John Baptiste Ashe, Jr. of Wilmington, a nephew of Edward Moseley and son of a man who once bailed Moseley out of jail. He served in the American Revolution with Ashe in South Carolina and again in the first two terms as U.S. Congressmen from North Carolina. He knew Ashe’s family well and should have regarded his uncle Moseley at least as well as Gen. Ashe, but even he barely mentions this “incidental” Edward Moseley in his two-volume History of North Carolina.[8] Even an antiquarian like Williamson regarded the accomplished statesman Moseley with suspicion. What he dares to say is brief. Moseley’s reputation must have been “too hot to handle” – even for a conservative gentleman polemicist! Still, his conservative friends had not yet lost a major war and popular refutation of their martial slaving ideology!

Perhaps a bit of light peeked through a few decades later, under a more determined examiner. Reverend and perhaps more astute and honest historian Francis Lister Hawks declared in 1858 that Moseley was "friend of Carey in his rebellion, the opponent of Governor Hyde while he lived, and of Colonel Pollock during the [Tuscarora] Indian war."[9] The good Reverend Hawks goes on to praise Moseley’s devotion to church affairs and “patriotic” sense of duty, but intuitively questions his motives.

Hawks was not a revisionist, a redeemer, or even sympathetic with the Confederacy. He wrote his history before the Civil War. Even though he was from New Bern, he lived most of his life in Connecticut and New York. He was not inclined toward the latter Southern redeemer polemics or “fake news.” And, he was certainly no friend of Gen. Hugh Williamson.

Hawks accurately accused Williamson of being an amateurish historian, often giving “no reference at all” for his arguments “as was his habit.”[10] Hawks appeared to admirably rely upon primary evidence for his conclusions – colonial records he studied on his trips home. Hawks saw Moseley much differently than North Carolina’s traditional historians: Hugh Williamson, George Davis, or James Franklin Shinn, the first to brave a short essay on Edward Moseley in 1899. Hawks accurately regarded Moseley as “Hasty in his temperament and resolute in his purposes, he unquestionably, in his moments of excitement, sometimes overstepped the limits prescribed by a sound discretion, and made himself more vulnerable than became a man of his talents and attainments.”[11] He also averred that the records showed “no better impression than that he was a factious man of acknowledged ability, who could find little use for his talents save that of stirring up strife and encouraging contention for ends purely selfish.”[12] Still, the kind and forgiving reverend yet added, “We do not think this was his true character.”[13]

Hawks’ publication, again, preceded the civil struggle.  Two years later, the defeated state grew hardened and bitter. History became an even more pointed weapon, an acrimonious and spiteful tool of political revenge. The political cyclic nature of North Carolina history during the post-war era almost never strayed from the right side of the political spectrum. Its ahistoric monarch – defeated, but not forgotten – remained seated upon a battered throne, patched back together and re-gilt with “Lost Cause” revisionism and more blatant lies. During this time of Southern conservative political dominion, the academic discipline of history well-represented by men like Francis Hawks faded. It was replaced by Williamson’s original state-glorifying brand, like that of John Baptiste Ashe’s descendent Samuel A’Court Ashe, or Waddell, or of many others whose biased rhetoric demanded no argument or criticism, much like today’s Fox News. In this vengeful martial atmosphere, historical truths became malleable objects of stubborn opinion – not fact, but “alternative fact,” or Dr. Powell’s “counterfactual.”

Researchers found that they had to be cautious with Moseley. He did not attain such “Great Man” status until well after 1865 and even then, his reign during the post-war Progressive Era was short. This caution was a complex thing to understand. Moseley reached “Great Man” status artificially; his misdeeds, greed, and war-profiteering left a bad taste in the mouths of even American historians before the War Between the States. His careful criminal methods, however, were not considered quite so distasteful for the losers of the South after that Civil War. These men were eager to redeem their heritage and for “Great Men” and other heroes to defend their “Lost Cause.”

The Carolinas adopted their uniquely Stuart/West-Indian conservative style well from their Barbadian ancestors. This autocratic style later transmitted across the Deep South. Indeed, Carolina was the heart and cradle of the Confederacy. One might expect anyone associated with Carolina’s early growth to figure prominently in Confederate redeemer history as well.

In confident contrast before and after the Civil War, the ex-Confederate George Davis of Wilmington – lately, the Attorney General of the Confederate States – suddenly crowned the forgotten Edward Moseley as a man of “scholarly cultivation and refinement.”[14] William L. Saunders, alleged leader of the Ku Klux Klan – first man to take the fifth-amendment in a Congressional hearing and editor of the North Carolina Colonial Records – declared Moseley’s “undying love of free government, and his indomitable maintenance of the rights of the people.”[15] One might wonder to which “government” Saunders had referred: the Union or his formerly defeated Confederacy. Saunders had read the colonial documents. He knew the details in them; the former Confederate soldier-turned politician simply used their words to formulate his own redeemer narratives. Secretary of the Historical Commission, Robert Diggs Wimberly Connor’s Makers of North Carolina History agrees with Saunders and flatters Moseley to the point of incredulity.[16] Conner, in his History, elevated Moseley to North Carolina’s historical “Swamp Majesty,” writing “For forty years Moseley’s biography is practically the history of North Carolina.”[17] He also said that few could deny this fact. “Those who did not hate him adored him,” continued Conner in the arguably Fox News fascistic tone of Tucker Carlson, “An aristocrat by nature, he was a [Southern] democrat by convictions and in practice.”[18]

Historian James Franklin Shinn wrote “Edward Moseley: A North Carolina Colonial Patriot and Statesman” in the Publications of the Southern History Association in 1899. This was largely another revisionist version of Edward Moseley’s life, again depending strongly upon George Davis, who erroneously believed the British Moseley hailed from Princess Anne County, Virginia – in the old capital of the American Deep South – not Britain! Shinn also erroneously argued that Moseley must have lived in Barbados – the original origins of Carolina – for a while before coming to North Carolina. Overall, Shinn defended Moseley, as did Davis, asserting “his good name is seriously damaged only by the obscurity which has lasted too long.”[19] Davis, in this line, spoke directly to historian Francis Lister Hawks, who famously described Moseley’s aberrant behavior in 1858.

All this sudden praise for Edward Moseley! Still, no one then, or even later, bothered to write a full biography of the man. Odd, isn’t it?

Here, we encounter a twisted, confusing anomaly of our political language. This “democrat” to whom Conner refers was no Democrat of today. Ex-slaving “Southern Democrats” share nothing in common with the South’s disdainfully-viewed “party of African Americans” of today. Southern Democrats were highly socially conservative people of the early twentieth century. They had once enslaved the African, yet wanted “God” written into their Confederate Constitution. Their anti-government Republican cousins of today wanted the federal government “drowned in the bathtub,” as Republican lobbyist Grover Norquist so ineloquently phrased it. They were certainly not the “party of African Americans” of today with whom Democrats are presently associated – indeed, quite the opposite. Their glorified yet defeated Confederacy defiantly resisted social amalgamation into the Union like Republicans today threaten democracy. Their anti-government rhetoric then more ideologically reflected the recent so-called “Moral Majority” evangelicals of Jerry Falwell or today’s anti-democratic Ku Klux Klan, Tea-Party, America First, or MAGA (Make America Great Again) seditionist Republicans who attacked the Capitol on January 6, 2021! Politicians in North Carolina seem to have always hidden their fascist, undemocratic ways behind contradictory labels – again, Christensen’s Paradox.

Republicans of today – like Southern Democrats of yesterday – would have been quite fond of the controversial Edward Moseley. Still, not quite fond enough of Moseley to admit it openly and embarrass themselves. “Possessed of vast estates, of many slaves, and of great wealth,” again continued Conner of Moseley, as if describing a venerated scion of the Mint-Julip-drinking anti-government Confederacy, “a devoted Churchman,” like Falwells “Moral Majority,” he “espoused the cause of dissenters in their fight against the establishment.”[20]

Segregationists – advocates of keeping blacks and whites apart – in North Carolina usually spoke fondly both of God and slavery – often in the same breath, as though their god would approve of their inhumane and unchristian practices. Arguably, this is the way Conner envisioned his defeated Confederacy. Conner poured out “Lost Cause” veneration for Moseley’s wealth and power that literally dripped with worship. And, he asserted States-Rights ideology in his praise. He compared Moseley to great leaders, with “the boldness of thought and of action that people admire,” and “common sense and self-poise… and the honesty of purpose which, regardless of his own interests, made it impossible for him to wink at the usurpations of authority.”[21] Conner glorified Moseley’s wealth, rebellion, anti-government ideas, and slavery in a full page and a half of lionized worship – some 40-50 years after Robert E. Lee’s surrender! Indeed, Moseley and his Family wholly embodied the Southern Democrat’s political point of view with the unspoken caveat of the desire to “rise again.” And, with the establishment of segregation in Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896, the paradoxically-named “Progressive Era” began. The second iteration of the Ku Klux Klan came about in 1915 and numerous statues were erected on courthouse grounds and other government property across the entire South and beyond!

Undeniably, Southern Democrats had given rebirth to their Confederacy – it had, indeed, “risen again.” Historian Heather Cox Richardson even declares as much in her book How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy, and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of America! And, Edward Moseley finally became recognized as a hero – still, no biographies. The only thing that North Carolinians remember of his accomplishments is his famous map of 1733! We all love the map![22]

Moseley’s reputational resurrection continued to encounter difficulties. Most historians and even those who knew him best – his Family – always remained cautious and slack on detail. Williamson, Davis, and Conner, like Republican propagandists today, spouted praise, veneration, and sickly-sweet rhetoric – few words of actual substance. Even his own family tended to ignore him or mentioned him only in passing. Confederate captain Samuel A’Court Ashe, grandson of Governor Samuel Ashe and a great-nephew of Edward Moseley, in editing the Biographical History of North Carolina, included three generations of the Moore side of the family. Yet, he neglected to include his great-uncle, Edward Moseley in his list of one hundred prominent men of North Carolina. Still, Moseley literally drew the geographical boundaries of Ashe’s home state! Assuredly, his contemporaries would have placed the capable surveyor and statesman Moseley high on that same list – but, these men had been politically and militarily beaten and relied solely upon polemics to get beyond that defeat. They dare not elevate Moseley too highly or risk someone rereading Francis Hawks’ History, thereby losing their base![23] 

Cape Fear author James Sprunt, writing in 1906, speaks of Moseley’s famous map, but diverts around his significantly criminal contributions to the development of Lower Cape Fear. Why, certainly, did even James Sprunt not speak of him? Was it because Sprunt also understood the criminal methods used by Moseley and his Family to gain prominence and steal massive tracts of land in the Lower Cape Fear?

After the Progressive Era, the political landscape changed once again – through economic destruction and utter despair. Excessive capitalistic cycles broke down through three consecutive Republican administrations. Finally, with Republican President Herbert Hoover’s attacks on World-War I “Bonus Army” veterans and Robber Barons’ abuse of the Federal Reserve and the gold standard brought on the resulting Great Depression of 1929. Modern Democratic President Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office after Hoover and dealt the “New Deal,” restoring public confidence. This was despite another rebellion – an oligarchic and fascist attempt to overthrow his presidency in the “Business Plot of 1933” – even before Nazis came to power in Germany![24] After the failure of wealthy capitalists in this first fascist insurrection, they then preferred the former, long-established status quo and Congress helped them by letting this history quietly fade into oblivion. Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “New Deal” established social programs to help the majority of Americans and the country breathed a sigh of relief. This compares to President Joseph R. Biden’s work to fight the Covid Pandemic and once again save America from the second fascist attempt by Donald Trump to overthrow the United States’ government on January 6th, 2021! Also comparable to FDR’s democratic work were the more egalitarian “Society” of the Quakers in the Albemarle during the Cary Rebellion, or the establishment of British royal control through the duke of Newcastle in the Brunswick Settlement in the Lower Cape Fear.  

Federal Socialism didn’t stop with Roosevelt, for the people enjoyed their Social Security – the constitutional effort of “promoting the general welfare” of the people. Surprisingly, a Southerner, Lyndon Baines Johnson – though perhaps not a true “Southern Democrat” – accelerated it forward with Civil Rights in 1964, Voting Rights and Medicare in 1965. Johnson has incurred conservative’s verbal wrath ever since. Civil Rights dealt yet another blow against the “Old South’s” formerly segregationist fascist regime and the Wealthy Industrialists of the North who liked cheap labor and their old factory towns. For the old Southern Democrats, however, this betrayal of Johnson’s resulted in great political realignments and more “paradoxical” behavior.

Confederates, or Southern Democrats, traded that now-despised name for one that better reflected their ideology and mood, the rhetorically cleaner – and much more conservative (after Civil Rights) – “Republican.”  “Democrat” remained with those who championed egalitarianism, democracy, socialism, or the rights of all the people. African Americans – with the new rights of a finally-growing democracy – then gained the same power as their former masters! This later term “Democrat” this time better fit the proponents of democracy, don’t you think?

We then elected our first African-American president to two terms. In this fresh cycle of progress, the revived democracy and their truly progressive social views rose to the top again. Again, working Americans nearly triumphed over the wealthy and powerful “Great Men” who once suppressed our democracy and ruled our history from their gilt political thrones.

Still, the old Stuart-Tory-conservative regime did not quietly acquiesce under a progressive pounding. Redeemers were again determined to “rise again” and they fought back in the next administration. They flared their nostrils like the Family did on the west shores of the Cape Fear River in 1733. Again, white-supremacists had just another racist reaction to our first African-American president. This time, however, they are essentially destroying what remains of their political reputation. MAGA and Q-Anon use blatantly ridiculous rhetoric, insanely waiting for the rising of the dead to come back and lead them against the oppressive government! Ironically, these conservatives trashed the reputation of their new designation of “Republican” as they had their old “Southern Democrat.” They exhibited no less than a childish tantrum and attempted another fascist insurrection, 2021 is 1933 like 1733, like 1708! The hits just keep coming!

Thus, stories of this nature can be told once again – social and economic progress and equality may be advanced once again. North Carolina enters that older, nascent realm once again – before the Anglicans came – before the rich slaving Barbadians came – before the Confederates came – before their ideological friend Edward Moseley came. 

This is the history of our struggle as a democratic people, North Carolinians and all Americans – the cyclic high-low process of reflection and repression. The parodoxical politics have a great deal to do with changing demographics – the descent from “white-dominated” or master-slave power dynamics. Truly inspirational, “Moral Mondays” has become a new phrase in our daily vocabulary, like “Me Too” or “Black Lives Matters (BLM).” North Carolinians of the 99% are again rising up and revolting against their wealthy capitalist “betters.” Truly inspirational! It can happen, even here, in the merciless Stuart conservative Paradox of the “Old North State.”

Conservatives like Edward Moseley may now be critically examined once again.  “Great Man” historical bias can be pushed aside once again. We can openly examine Moseley’s crimes – learn why he was ignored before – and, why the reticence to write his biography! “Quakers” are his judges this time! There’s a reason why Donald Trump’s insane MAGA movement is so large: because social historians are beginning to reach the truth and a lot of hateful and embarrassed people don’t want it told.

If history serves any profound purpose, it is this – to inform and reveal humanity’s weaknesses, faults, passions, and potentials. History should never be used to support fascist, anti-democratic attributes – indeed, Nazi Germany’s Adolph Hitler’s book-burning tactics gave us a clue. History repeats itself only because we fail to learn from it – we miss its lessons. It very often becomes the tool of the politician, especially in early paradoxical North Carolina, as journalist Rob Christensen viewed it when he wrote the often humorous and yet, revolting A Paradox of Tar Heel Politics.

Aside from conservative redeemer politics, part of the state’s Moseley problem lay in his completely befuddled origins. Again, no definitive work to date – until now – has ever been produced about the controversial treasurer, surveyor-general, proprietor’s deputy, member of the governor’s council, even briefly acting-governor Edward Moseley. Nineteenth-century political rhetoric forced reality into near intellectual oblivion![25]

Such an important historical figure as Edward Moseley, having held numerous offices and producing maps of such value, forming the shape of the state we know today, one should expect numerous historical works devoted to him.  Still, none have emerged, certainly none of any length.

Few historians dare to enter this miry, murky, and mysterious political swamp of North Carolina’s early history. Voluminous extant primary records still reveal Hawks’ “factious man of acknowledged ability” quite unlike the man described by politician Davis, or historians Hill and Conner.[26] This book follows that deeply-explorative new direction despite whatever actual or imaginary dangers may be lurking in the swampy conservative political waters. Hopefully, there’ll be no flying flagpoles or fire extinguishers.

Moseley was not the glorified figure presented by revisionists and redeemers and it must be said! Myth must be dispelled! John F. Kennedy Jr. will not come back to life, no matter how many Q-Anon cultists march in the streets of Dallas, Texas!

Unquestionably, almost the day young Edward Moseley arrived in North Carolina, he began irritating his colleagues, presuming undeserved authority, and catalyzing rebellion. He was young and perhaps impetuous – but also a privileged narcissist who fled to America to find treasure – to rebuild his formerly-wealthy family’s failed finances. He was an educated, but inexperienced opportunistic London youth that, at first, was outmaneuvered by his betters – yet, he enjoyed the opulent gilt trappings of his Anglican church. Truly, Moseley was a talented and opportunistic politician. He played both sides when it gave him advantage. He left few writings of a personal nature. His will of 1749 and several maps and sketches are all that survive of an intelligent, yet greedy, careless, and socially-irresponsible man.

Moseley’s contemporary hometown bard, John Milton described “Satan” in Paradise Lost as a fallen angel who values earthly treasure over all other things.[27] Of course, posterity seldom looks favorably upon a follower of Mammon, greed, or… “earthly treasures.” It could be that in the wilds of early North Carolina, such a conservative gentleman and Mammon devotee from London might capitalize upon resources so effectively and attain such regal status so quickly – as well as the condemnation and reserve of many an historian.

At first, Edward Moseley’s career stalled in the Albemarle’s early colonial backwater politics; however, he did grow and learn. His intellect and fine education aided him to overcome his defeats on the early dividing line determination with Virginia. He may then have successfully sought revenge against a rival – perhaps even had this man killed. He secured coveted positions of power, started an Indian war, and developed two maps of extraordinary value to the colony and state. He also helped to end the life of his brief business partner-turned rival – the pirate Edward “Blackbeard” Thache – retaking control of North Carolina’s colonial markets from rival pirates who would disable his profits. Later, he helped blind British officials from his Family’s illegal actions to usurp the Lower Cape Fear as a separate colony – under their own private authority – as “kings of Cape Fear.” And, by default, he became the most important part of the beginnings of the lucrative port of Wilmington, Brunswick Town’s rival. Through his numerous profiteering ventures, he literally defined the shape of North Carolina, top to bottom. His motives were economic – not morally pure, despite what he might tell his fellow church deacons in Edenton. He truly was a “factious” man of personal profit – a follower of “Mammon” or greed and perhaps helped set the crude capitalist tone for America itself![28]

[1] Rob Christensen, The Paradox of Tar Heel politics: the Personalities, Elections, and Events that Shaped Modern North Carolina (Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 2008), 4.

[2] D. H. Hill, “Edward Moseley: Character Sketch,” The North Carolina Booklet, Vol. V, No. 3 (Raleigh, N.C.: North Carolina Society - Daughters of the Revolution, July 1905), 202.

[3] Kristen Kobes du Mez, Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation (Kindle version) (Liveright Publishing, 2020), 10.

[4] Oh, they warned us. They did. I’m sure you’ve seen the bumper stickers, t-shirts, and patches. As a young boy growing up with family in the Lower Cape Fear, I possessed some of these prideful paraphernalia myself – even had a Confederate flag once! But, I grew up, studied my family’s history, and discovered Christensen’s “Paradox” on my own. I always felt when driving from Fayettevile, where I was born, to Pender County where my mother’s family lived, that there was a subtle, but definite difference to that region.

[5] Captain J. H. Lawrence-Archer, Monumental Inscriptions of the British West Indies (London: Chatto and Windus, 1875), 6; Nathaniel Mist, writing as “Capt. Charles Johnson” in A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pyrates (London: 1724).

[6]; According to the early-twentieth century and now-defunct “Great Man Theory,” great leaders are born, not made. Leadership traits are inherent and cannot be learned. Great leaders come forward when they’re most needed, in order to become the foundation upon which history is built. Essentially, according to the Great Man Theory, people in positions of power deserve to lead because of characteristics granted to them at birth, which ultimately help them become heroes.

[7] Hill, “Edward Moseley,” 204.

[8] Hugh Williamson, The History of North Carolina, Vol. 1 and 2 (Philadelphia: Thomas Dobson, 1812).

[9] Francis Lister Hawks, History of North Carolina: with maps and illustrations, Volume 2 (Fayetteville, N.C.: E. J. Hale & son, 1858),  556.

[10] Francis Lister Hawks, History of North Carolina: With Maps and Illustrations, Vol. I (Fayetteville: E. J. Hale and Son, 1858), 143.

[11] Hawks, History of North Carolina, Vol. 2, 358.

[12] Ibid., 359.

[13] Ibid.

[14] George Davis, Address Delivered Before the Two Literary Societies of the University of North Carolina, June 6, 1855  (Raleigh: Holden and Wilson, “Standard Office,” 1855), 18; D. H. Hill, “Edward Moseley: Character Sketch,” The North Carolina Booklet, Vol. V, No. 3 (Raleigh, N.C.: North Carolina Society - Daughters of the Revolution, July 1905), 202.

[15] American Historical Association, “Annual report” (U. S. Government Printing Office, 1896), 197.

[16] R.D.W. Connor, Makers of North Carolina History (Raleigh, N.C.: The Thompson Publishing Company, 1911),  38-50.

[17] Robert Diggs Wimberly Conner, History of North Carolina, Vol. I (), 94.

[18] Ibid.; This hinted at Fox News’ fascist tendency to elevate nationalism while quelching criticism.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Heather Cox Richardson, How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy, and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of America (Oxford University Press, 2020).

[23] Biographical History of North Carolina: From Colonial Times to the Present, ed. Samuel A’Court Ashe, Stephen B. Weeks, and Charles L. Van Noppen (Greensboro, N.C.: Charles L. Van Noppen, 1905).

[24] See… Jules Archer, The Plot to Seize the White House (New York: Hawthorn Books, 1973).

[25] James Sprunt, Chronicles of the Cape Fear River (Raleigh, N.C.: Edwards & Broughton Printing Company, 1916); Noeleen McIlvenna, A Very Mutinous People: The Struggle for North Carolina, 1660-1713 (Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 2009); Stephen Feeley, Tuscarora Trails: Indian Migrations, War, and Constructions of Colonial Frontiers, Volume 1, Doctoral Dissertation, College of William and Mary, Department of History (May, 2007).

[26] Francis Lister Hawks, History of North Carolina, Vol. 1: Embracing the period of the proprietary government, from 1663 to 1729 (Fayetteville: E. J. Hale & son, 1859), 359.

[27] C. G. Herbermann, E. A. Pace, C. B. Pallen, T. J. Shahan, and J. J. Wynne, editors, The Catholic Encyclopedia: An International Work of Reference on the Constitution, Discipline, Doctrine, and History of the Catholic Church, pg. 580; "Mammon" by Hugh Pope. The Encyclopedia Press, New York, 1913.

[28] See “Mammon” and its importance to early 18th century capitalism in John Francis, "Chronicles and Characters of the Stock Exchange" (1849), in The Church of England Quarterly Review, Vol. XXVII (London: William Edward Painter in the Strand, 1850), 130-131.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Bahamas Shipping Records 1721-1725

In fishing about the Bahamas shipping records 1721-1725 - did you catch the pun, there? - I came across some familiar names of characters in Virginia, North Carolina, or Bahamian pirate history. 

Of course, the Bahamas are just across the Florida Channel from the Carolinas. It's not far away. And, the Lords Proprietors in England owned both properties by 1671, so... anyway, anyone familiar with pirate history should recognize these names.

There's John Vickers, formerly of York River, Virginia, now sailing from Carolina in John Lovick's 22/29-ton sloop Carolina Adventure. Vicker's made a famous deposition concerning pirates Benjamin Hornigold and Henry Jennings at the Bahamas. Lovick was a commissioner, secretary, later vice-admiralty court judge, and naval collector in Carolina; he also was the first Englishman granted Ocracoke Island, where Edward "Blackbeard" Thache was killed in 1718. Small world, right? It actually was in the early 18th century.

John Vickers in 22/29-ton sloop Carolina Adventure

There's also three former pirates who had surrendered to Capt. Vincent Pearse of HMS Phoenix in 1718. 

One, John Cockram, sometimes with his brother Joseph Cockram, mastered the jointly-owned 30-ton sloop of New Providence Richard & John, not surprisingly owned with Richard Thompson, a trader so infamous as a pirate loot dealer or fence that he was represented on Stars! series Black Sails as Richard Guthrie:

Sean Cameron Michael is a South African actor best known for his role as pirate-fence Richard Guthrie

John Cockram, of course, was the real-life pirate doctor aboard Bermudan-transplant of Kingston Henry Jennings' sloop Barsheba. Jennings was the nut crazy enough to raid Spanish La Florida to steal their gold & silver salvaged from 11 Spanish vessels wrecked in the hurricane of July 30, 1715. Jennings also stole a French prize originally taken by Benjamin Hornigold from Bahia Honda, Cuba! Mentioned earlier, John Vicker's deposition talked about this.

John Cockram, master of 30-ton sloop of New Providence Richard & John

But, before Jennings, Cockram sailed with Hornigold in 1714 to steal Spanish goods off Cuba! Newpapers said "said Cockrum fitted out of Providence with 20 Men upon the Coast of Florida" to steal 2,000 pieces of eight from the Spanish. 

The records in CO 27/12, Bahamian Shipping Lists, 1721-1725 also show former pirate Daniel Stillwell as master of his own 5-ton sloop Happy Return, formerly owned by his father in law.

Daniel Stillwell as master of his own 5-ton sloop Happy Return

Hailing from Jamaica, Stillwell married the daughter of Jonathan Darvill before settling on Eleuthera. Borrowing Darvill’s shallop, he and a small crew (including Darvill’s son) captured a Spanish ship off of Cuba which carried over 11,000 pieces of eight around 1714.

Deputy Governor Thomas Walker of Nassau heard about the attack and as Spain and England had recently concluded a peace treaty, had Stillwell and his crew seized. Lacking authority to try Stillwell locally, he had Stillwell sent to Jamaica for trial. Hornigold had been using Darvill’s sloop Happy Return for his own piracy (and some sources indicate Hornigold had been with Stillwell off of Cuba), and had declared that all the Bahamas pirates were under his protection. He intercepted the ship carrying Stillwell and freed him, returning to Nassau to threaten Walker for interfering.

Incidentally, Thomas Walker and his sons are in these shipping records as well. The Walkers owned and operated the 15-ton New Providence-built sloop Industry. Neal Walker mastered the 20-gun Dover of New Providence. Charles Walker mastered the 10-gun Two Brothers of New Providence.

Thomas Walker operated the 15-ton New Providence-built sloop Industry

Stillwell later sailed as a crewmember aboard Hornigold’s ship. When King George offered a general pardon to all pirates who surrendered before September 1718, Stillwell accepted. He later became a ship owner, purchasing several vessels that operated out of the islands, including his father-in-law Jonathan Darvill’s old Happy Return. He sailed to Jamaica with Braziletto wood to trade for 100s of gallons of Rum to fuel Nassau's many taverns. 

Thomas Terrill also appears as master and owner of 12-ton condemned Spanish sloop Endeavor, which probably carries an interesting story of its own, seeing as how the Bahamas had been raided a couple of times by the Spanish. 

Thomas Terrill as master and owner of 12-ton condemned Spanish sloop Endeavor

Two very interesting ship masters hold great meaning for North Carolina's history. One, for 29 June 1721 was for 50-ton sloop Diamond of London, master Matthew "Higgingbotham." Diamond's owner was Samuel Buck, one of several merchants who negotiated with the Lords Proprietors of Carolina and the Bahamas for a 7-year lease of the Bahamas, beginning in 1717. James Gohier was another one who appears as shipowner in these records.

Matthew "Higgingbotham" of 50-ton sloop Diamond of London

An interesting note on the cargo in Diamond states "European goods as p[er] cocquete." Now, 
Merriam-Webster's Definition of coquette shows:

1: a woman who endeavors without sincere affection to gain the attention and admiration of men

2: any of several small, tropical American hummingbirds (genus Lophornis) with the males typically having a colorful or ornate tuft of feathers on the head

The first definition would ironically be appropriate, considering the notorious reputation of Nassau with ladies of the night! Still, I hardly think that the women would be listed as "cargo." The 2nd definition of the exotic birds... well, that, too is doubtful. But, birds can be found there, sure.

No, there's another explanation:

19th cent. "cocquet" or order certificate 

These "European goods" probably were men's powdered wigs, or ladies' fancy corsettes and ordered like on Amazon. Diamond simply delivered the order like an 18th century UPS, "p[er] cocquete."

Another name on these shipping records important to North Carolina is master James Wimble of 5-ton sloop Hardtimes, built in South Carolina and later master of Bermudan-built 5 -ton Bonetta. Wimble had been born in Hastings, Sussex, England and came to the Bahamas when it became free of pirates in 1718. 

This man was essentially the prime motivator in the development of the town of Wilmington in North Carolina's Lower Cape Fear. Several mariners had been involved in conceiving the town, including this same surveyor and mapmaker Capt. Matthew Higginbotham, who lived for a while in Brunswick Town, across the Cape Fear River from New Town, Newton, New Liverpoole, New Carthage, or as it was finally known in 1740, Wilmington. 

1733 James Wimble Map of Wilmington area

1738 James Wimble Map of North Carolina