Friday, April 21, 2006

Origins of Silver and Black Forever

Back in November of last year, I decided to start this blog to share information and express my unfiltered views on the Raiders. One of the first things I needed to do before putting my fingers to the keys was come up with a name for the blog.

The original blog name was going to be 'Silver and Black Forever. Til Death Do Us Part' to capture the true essence of my passion for the Raiders. For practical purposes the name was shortened to 'Silver and Black Forever'. Of course the colors are synonymous with the Raiders. The word 'Forever' was a way of flagging this site for die-hard Raider fans. After all, forever means to the end of time. It was a way of marking a line in the sand. To the left of the line are the casual fans. On the line (or the fence) are the fair weather fans. To the right of the line are the loyal, dedicated, no quarter given, die-hard fans. My intentions are to create a webpage that can be a voice for the folks on the right side of the line. The Raider Nation.

After coming up with the name of the blog, I decided to come up with a pen name. While scouring the net for historical pirates, I came across a page that had a bunch of pirates' flags. When I saw Calico Jack's black flag with the skull and cross swords, I knew I hit my mark. Was the Raiders logo modeled after Calico Jack's flag of the early 1700's? You be the judge. Below is a brief historical bio on the colorful and infamous pirate named Calico Jack.

(from Wikipedia)
Jack Rackham (died 1720), commonly known as Calico Jack, was a pirate captain during the 18th century. He earned his name from the colourful Calico clothes he wore, but is now most famous for having the two most notorious female pirates in his crew, Anne Bonny and Mary Read.

Rackham had been the quartermaster on an English warship called the Neptune under the command of Captain Vane. When Vane subsequently refused to engage a French vessel in battle, the crew were so disgusted that they mutinied and appointed Rackham as leader. Rackham immediately turned, engaged the French vessel and defeated it.

Following this victory and spurred on by the riches aboard the captured ship, Rackham suggested to the crew that they should turn to piracy. Perhaps in part due to the spectre of mutiny already hanging over their heads, the crew readily agreed.

Later Rackham decided to take an offer of the King's Pardon and sailed to the shore of New Providence. During this time Rackham met and fell in love with a married woman called Anne Bonny. Rackham was infatuated by Anne and lavished much of his plunder on her. He then joined the crew of Captain Burgess, who was himself a former pirate turned privateer roaming the Caribbean in search of Spanish ships.

When the affair between Rackham and Anne Bonny became public, the Governor of New Providence threatened to have Anne whipped for her adultery. Rather than leave Anne behind to be flogged, the pair resolved to assemble a crew and steal a sloop. Fearing that the crew would refuse to sail alongside a woman, Anne dressed up as a man and took the name Adam Bonny. She became a respected member of the crew and fought alongside her male counterparts in numerous successful engagements.

After several of the Bahamas sent out a heavily armed ship to capture them, Rackham and a few of his crew were forced to flee. They were subsequently captured by a Spanish ship but managed to escape sailing around Jamaica and taking possession of several fishing vessels and a sloop. The governor resolved to capture Rackham and despatched the pirate-hunter Captain Barnet who pursued and captured them.

It is reputed that Rackham had earlier tried to strike a deal with the governor under which he would surrender himself if clemency was given to Anne and another female pirate called Mary Read. Whether or not this is true, the two women actually escaped the noose by claiming to be pregnant.

Rackham and his crew were finally brought to trial at St. Jago De La Vega in Jamaica on November 16, 1720. He and the remaining members of his crew were found guilty of piracy and hanged the next day.


Blogger Mitch said...

Unrelated. . .my college (Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado) mascot used to be the Raiders. . .but as it was named after a military fort and established as land grant school. . .there was always the politics because of the Native Americans in the region. A few years back, after a lot of fights, they changed the mascot to the "Skyhawks." Well. . .okay. . .I get the history issue. . but Raiders is so damn TOUGH! And. .skyhawks. . not as much.

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Heidi said...

Hi Calico, Great site and as usual lots of great info
Cheers LadysRaiders

2:15 PM  

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