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James Misson

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James Misson
Biographical information
Gender

Male

Ethnic group

French

Title(s)

Captain

Statistics
Ship(s) captained or crewed

Victoire

Affiliation

Brethren Court

Behind the scenes
First appearance

Wild Waters

Latest appearance

Wild Waters

.


"Libertalia is a pirate utopia. A place where pirates live in harmony and safety after they've retired from their lives of plunder. It was founded by the infamous Captain Misson many years ago."
Jean Magliore[src]

James Misson was a pirate captain during the Age of Piracy, best known as the founder of the utopian pirate community, Libertalia.

Biography

Misson was French, born in Provence in the late 17th century, and it was while in Rome on leave from the French warship Victoire that he lost his faith, disgusted by the decadence of the Papal Court. In Rome he ran into Caraccioli - a "lewd Priest" who over the course of long voyages with little to do but talk, gradually converted Misson and a sizeable portion of the rest of the crew to his way of thinking:

...he fell upon Government, and shew'd, that every Man was born free, and had as much Right to what would support him, as to the Air he respired... that the vast Difference betwixt Man and Man, the one wallowing in Luxury, and the other in the most pinching Necessity, was owing only to Avarice and Ambition on the one Hand, and a pusillanimous Subjection on the other.

Embarking on a career of piracy, the 200 strong crew of the Victoire called upon Misson to be their captain. They shared the wealth of the ship, deciding "all should be in common." All decisions were to be put to "the Vote of the whole Company." Thus they set out on their new "Life of Liberty." Off the west coast of Africa they captured a Dutch slave ship. The slaves were freed and brought aboard the Victoire, Misson declaring that "the Trading for those of our own Species, cou'd never be agreeable to the Eyes of divine Justice: That no Man had Power of Liberty of another" and that "he had not exempted his Neck from the galling Yoak of Slavery, and asserted his own Liberty, to enslave others." At every engagement they added to their numbers with new French, English and Dutch recruits, and freed African slaves.

While cruising round the coast of Madagascar, Misson found a perfect bay in an area with fertile soil, fresh water and friendly natives. Here the pirates built Libertalia, which became one of the safest places for pirates in the Indian Ocean. Misson's final fate is unknown.

Behind the scenes

Appearances

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