|Points of interest|
|Behind the scenes|
New Providence was an island in the Bahamas in the Atlantic Ocean. An excellent natural harbor, the island was located close to the all major Caribbean trade routes. Though never officially colonized, the island was claimed by Spain along with the rest of the Bahamas in the early 1500's. It became an anchorage for privateers in the late 17th century but eventually grew into a full-fledged pirate haven by around 1700.
During the Golden Age of Piracy, New Providence was the capital of the British Bahamas. Presence of army was always imminent, but local governors were accepting bribes not to prosecute pirates for their crimes.
Even though the island was still officially under the control of Spain, the shallow inlets attracted many English and Dutch privateers looking to prey on Spanish Galleons during the 1680's (as the Bahamas were a major trade route for the Spanish).
During the long Anglo-Spanish wars, New Providence was attacked numerous times, and from 1703 to 1706, the island was untenable. However, the peace with Spanish, brought inhabitants and pirates back. By the year of 1716, in New Providence lived more than 500 pirates. It was at this point when the shanty town of Nassau, the island's capital, was established on the New Providence. The most famous pirates, who used New Providence as their base of operations, were Edward "Blackbeard" Teach, Henry Jennings, Charles Vane, Calico Jack Rackham and Benjamin Hornigold. The island eventually became the defacto capital of piracy in the Caribbean, however, so much pirate activity could not pass unnoticed.
In July 1718, the newly appointed British governor of New Providence, Woodes Rogers, declared war on piracy. When Woodes Rogers arrived with the three warships and two sloops, a few pirates like Blackbeard fled, but most of them decided to gave up their pirate carriers and started to live honestly. In just a few days, island was entirely pledged from the pirates.
From a pirates den, New Providence became the most important base for anti-piracy operations in the Caribbean. Woodes Rogers appointed many capable captains as privateers to hunt remaining pirates. Some of them, like Benjamin Hornigold, were pirates themselves, but they were forced to become the pirate hunters. As result of their actions, after just three months of active anti-piracy campaign, many pirates were hanged in December 1718. Most of the remaining pirates, left the waters of New Providence, and tried to find new hunting grounds for their pirate activities.
In 1720, during the War of the Quadruple Alliance, the Spanish Royal Navy attempted to capture New Providence, but the attack was repelled by the local militia, composed mainly of former pirates. After the death of Woodes Roger, the British authority in New Providence detoriated.
In the early 1730s, New Providence reclaimed it's popularity among the pirates, becoming a pirate nest once again. On her third voyage as an EITC merchant ship, the Wicked Wench sailed through the Bahamas, where Captain Jack Sparrow saw New Providence in the distance through his spyglass. One of Jack's many legends told of how he allegedly sacked the New Providence port of Nassau "without firing even a single shot".
Behind the scenes
- New Providence appears in the video game Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned. But, since that game was canceled, it is unknown if the island's appearance in the game is canon or not.
- New Providence appears in Tim Powers' novel, On Stranger Tides, which was used as the basis for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned
- The Price of Freedom
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow (First appearance)
Notes and references
- ↑ The Price of Freedom, Chapter 13: "Red Flag...Ho!"
- ↑ Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow