Tortuga, a small island off of Haiti, was an important pirate settlement and hideout during the golden age of piracy.
British, French, and Dutch pirates lived together on the island in a loose alliance and formed a pirate government known as "The Brethren of the Coast". Rich from its support of piracy and protected by the Brethren, Tortuga was full of taverns, gambling houses, and prostitutes.
The French and British governments, in an attempt to weaken the mighty Spanish, would often legalize piracy by giving pirates letters of marque. These gave pirates permission to unofficially plunder Spanish ships and towns.
Many of the pirates on Tortuga chose the privateering life over full-blown piracy, which was illegal. Loyalty to country was fleeting, though, and pirates often walked the line between patriotism and rebellion.
The Flying Dutchman & The Jolly Roger
Since the pirate crews in this game are an assembly of All-Star pirates, we decided to give them fictional All-Star ships. The Flying Dutchman is a legendary ghost ship, glowing with eerie light and full of the dead.
For 400 years pirates and sailors have claimed to see it haunting the ocean. The Jolly Roger is actually the name of the famous smiling skull and crossbones that we have come to use to represent pirates. Pirate ships began flying flags using variations of the Jolly Roger in the late 1600s.
Lawrence was a Dutchman active in the Caribbean from 1659-1671 working as a British privateer. After his successful raid of Granada, Lawrence was recruited by Henry Morgan to be an officer in the sacking of Panama. Lawrence later became a wealthy landowner in Jamaica before returning to England in 1715.
Henry Morgan was one of the most successful privateers to ever live, launching many of his attacks out of Tortuga.
Morgan sacked dozens of Spanish towns and ships. Unlike most privateers, Morgan stayed loyal to his British homeland, lived to enjoy his treasure, was knighted by King Charles II, and was even appointed Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica.
Charlotte De Berry
Charlotte was kidnapped and forced to marry a merchant ship captain. She persuaded the crew to mutiny, decapitated her husband, and became captain of the ship.
Some say that she was a fictional character popularized by Edward Lloyd's "History of the Pirates", while others say she was the fiercest female pirate to sail the Caribbean.
Johnson The Terror
Daniel Johnson was a merchant sailor when he was captured by a Spanish warship and sold as a slave. He escaped to Tortuga and enlisted as a privateer, attacking Panama alongside Henry Morgan.
His thirst for revenge on his Spanish enslavers earned him the nickname "Johnson the Terror". The Spanish once offered a hefty reward of $25,000 for his capture.
Francois, perhaps the most famous French buccaneer to sail the Caribbean, based many of his pirate expeditions out of Tortuga. He came to be known as "The Bane of the Spanish" because of his violent raids and fascination with torture.
He once ate the heart of one of his captives. Karma caught up with him when he was eaten by cannibals in Panama in 1667.
Anne was sent to Tortuga from France as a criminal and was widowed twice before famous buccaneer Laurens de Graaf proposed to her at the point of her gun.
Though it was usually bad luck to have a woman onboard, Anne accompanied de Graaf and fought alongside him. It is believed that after years of piracy Anne and Laurens settled in Louisiana with their children.
Bertrand fought in the French navy and grew tobacco in Santo Domingo before being appointed governor of Tortuga from 1665 until 1673. He offered high commissions to privateers to attack Spanish ships and towns.
Tortuga flourished under his governorship as he encouraged cooperation between the French, British, and Dutch against the powerful Spaniards.
Rock grew up in Dutch-controlled Brazil and was active in the Caribbean from 1654 until his disappearance in 1671.
He got his start when he mutinied his captain near Port Royal, and made his living attacking Spanish ships and towns alongside Henry Morgan and Francois L'Ollonais. Rock was known to roast his prisoners alive.
Bartholomew raided the coast of New Spain from 1666 - 1669 and was one of the first pirates to lay down a set of guiding rules known as "The Pirate Code".
After being captured near Cuba, Bartholomew escaped with a knife, floated to shore using wine bottles, crossed 120 miles of jungle, recruited a new crew, and returned to capture the very ship that had held him prisoner.