Colonial Virginia’s War Against Piracy – Jeremy Moss Interview

Piracy became quite a serious issue for Colonial Virginia during the late 17th Century. Many leading figures were split regarding how to handle the situation. Some didn’t want to handle it at all, as they saw piracy as useful outlet circumventing the hated Navigation Acts.

Governor Francis Nicholson chose to fight. His choice affected the colony in profound ways, as our guest for this episode argues in his newest book Colonial Virginia’s War Against Piracy: The Governor and the Buccaneer. Jeremy illustrates a battle that took place between the Virginia Capes, at the inlet of the Lynnhaven Bay.

Nicholson, the oft-beleaguered governor, won the day. His victory helped future governors in their fight against piracy, most famously Alexander Spottswood’s involvement with Blackbeard. It also aided in bolstering rule of law in such a way that later influenced the American War for Independence.

Tune in to this episode to learn more about Nicholson’s fight with Louis Guittar, and then click the links below to purchase Mr. Moss’s books, as well as follow his work.

Capture of Pirate Blackbeard, 1718 (Wikipedia)



All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted. The Featured Image is Mr. Moss’s newest book – Colonial Virginia’s War Against Piracy: The Governor and the Buccaneer, from The History Press.

Music used for this episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on Apple Music, and “Sailor’s Waltz” by Josh Garrels, also available on Apple Music.

Shipwreck in Bermuda!

The third resupply mission to be sent to Jamestown was different than the previous expeditions. This was to be a lager scale colonizing attempt as 9 total ships with more than 500 people and new provisions along for the ride.

Political posturing saw the three leaders decide to venture together aboard the mission’s flagship, the Sea Venture. If that ship went down, then John Smith would have never received official word that he had lost his position.

A hurricane struck the fleet, and almost inflicted the worst casualty of all upon the Sea Venture, but just before the ship and crew were doomed to defeat, Admiral George Somers spotted land. The 150 souls aboard the beleaguered ship were saved. But they were in Bermuda, the nefarious “Isle of Devils.”



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  5. Doherty, Kieran. Sea Venture: Shipwreck, Survival, and the Salvation of Jamestown. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2008.
  6. Firstbrook, Peter. A Man Most Driven: Captain John Smith, Pocahontas, and the Founding of America. London: Oneworld Publications, 2014.
  7. Glover, Lorri and Smith, Daniel Blake. The Shipwreck that Saved Jamestown: The Sea Venture Castaways and the Fate of America.
  8. Horn, James. A Land as God Made It: Jamestown and the Birth of America. New York: Basic Books, 2005.
  9. Hume, Ivor Noel. Here Lies Virginia. New York: Alfred Knopf, 1963.
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  11. Kelso, William M. Jamestown: The Buried Truth. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2006.
  12. Kupperman, Karen Ordhal. Apathy and Death in Early Jamestown The Journal of American History, Vol. 66, No. 1 (Jun., 1979), pp. 24-40
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  15. Mapp, Alfred J. Virginia Experiment: The Old Dominion’s Role in the Making of America, 1607-1781Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, Inc., 2006.
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  1. Historic Jamestowne
  2. Virtual Jamestown
  3. Virginia History Podcast Store
  4. Go To Bermuda!




All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted. The featured image is an artistic rendition of the Sea Venture suffering through the untimely July 1609 hurricane.

Music used for this episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on iTunes, and Gustav Holst’s St. Paul Suite Opus 29, Number 2. Movement 1, Jig. available on Soundcloud.