Historical Paintings of Woods Hole and Falmouth by F. L. Gifford

Pursuit and Capture of a Privateer
off Woods Hole, 1689

Pursuit of a Privateer
Capture of a Privateer
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[These pictures illustrate] a story from Nooks and Corners of the New England Coast by A. S. Drake. Drake gives the story as follows.

In the year 1689 two noted buccaneers, Thomas Hawkins and Thomas Pound, cruised the coast of New England, committing many depredations. The bay colony determined on their capture, and dispatched an armed sloop, the “Mary”, Samuel Pease, Commander, which put to sea in October of that year. Hearing the pirates had been cruising at the mouth of Buzzards Bay, Captain Pease made all sail in that direction.

The “Mary” overhauled the outlaw off Woods Hole. Pease ran down to her, hailed, and ordered her to “heave to”.

The freebooter ran up a blood red flag in defiance, when the “Mary” fired a shot athwart her forefoot, and again hailed, with a demand to strike her colors. Pound, who stood upon her quarter-deck, answered the hail with, “Come on, you dogs, and I will strike you”. Waving his sword, his men poured a volley into the ”Mary”, and the action for some time raged fiercely, no quarter being expected.

Captain Pease at length carried his adversary by running up against the privateer’s side and boarding her, receiving wounds of which he died.

The text above, except where noted, is from Historical Paintings of Woods Hole, by Franklin Lewis Gifford (Woods Hole Public Library, 1962).