Black Pirates of the Caribbean that were former Slaves on Sugar Plantations were called Black Caesars.
These Black Caesar Pirates were born out the effects of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade which saw the destruction of Pre-Colonial African Kingdoms followed by the enslavement of Africans from all classes of African Society who would otherwise have pursued their happiness as free men.
It was the opportunity for advancement and independence offered by Pirating that was irresistable to the Black Caesar Pirates of the Caribbean because on Plantations Africans worked as Slaves, but at Sea they were considered equals.
The first Black Caesar Pirate was an African Ruler who was a prominent Slave Trader in Africa.
Black Caesar’s success worked against him however, as European Slave Traders found it increasingly difficult to deal with him financially as equals, and so they tricked Black Caesar into boarding a Slave Ship where Black Caesar was captured and shipped off to the New World.
Luckily, a severe hurricane struck the Ship along the way, and Black Caesar managed to escape with a band of followers who floated along with the wreck until Black Ceasar and the other Ship passemgers found themselves on the Southern Coast of Florida where Black Ceasar established a Pirate community and began attacking Merchant Ships in the area.
Black Caesar was so successful Black Caesar is remembered and credited for first using the phrase “dead men tell no tales”.
Black Caesar subsequently moved his operation to what are now known as the Islands of Sanibel and Captiva where he built a village for his 100 women and established a base, trading actively with the Native American Indians in the area.
In 1718 Black Caesar was captured, taken prisoner, tried and executed in Virginia.
Henry was born in 1767, and he was enslaved with his family on a large Plantation in Haiti where he worked doing household duties.
However, by age 16, due to his enormous build, Henry was assigned to work outside in the lumber yard. He resented the change which was compounded by a cruel Overseer who loved to whip the Slaves and draw blood from them while they were cutting Mahogany Logs.
Henry took part in the Haitian Slave Revolt, and he spent nine years as a leader in the jungles attacking French Patrols and Forts before beginning his career as a Black Caesar Pirate.
In 1804 Haiti gained independence, however Henry was not impressed with the new Revolutionary Government and turned to Pirating marking the start of his days as a Black Caesar Pirate.
His Black Caesar operation centred on attacking Merchant Ships off the Coasts of Cuba and the Bahamas.
Like the first Black Caesar, Henry and his Pirates were successful, and for the next 10 years he adopted the moniker Caesar The Great.
However, following the purchase of Florida by the United States, Black Caesar was forced to abandon his lucrative base, moving into the Gulf of Mexico where he also established a settlement on Sanibel Island.
Black Caesar continued raiding, but in 1829 Henry was eventually captured by the Spanish off the coast of Cuba and he died shortly afterwards.
All in all, the History of Black Caesar Pirates is a story of self-determination, and most of all dignity in a hostile world.
Black Caesar Pirates were a direct product of the Historical conditions of the time with Piracy being one of the few occupations in which Blacks could be treated as equals and also pursue their happiness as free men which explains which some Slaves chose to live outlaw lives as Black Caesar Pirates.
It’s estimated that nearly 50% of Caribbean Pirates were Black Ceasar Piraters during the Golden Age of Piracy between 1680-1725.