Many times pirates would raid some of the slaver ships. They freed the slaves and allowed them to join their crews! The crews of some of the most successful pirates, including Samuel Bellamy and Blackbeard, were largely made up of ex-slaves. Some of these slaves moved up the ranks becoming Captains themselves.
One of the most famous Henri Caesar, also known as Black Caesar, (1791-1830) was a legendary Haitian revolutionary and pirate.
The legend goes that he is one of the only pirates that didn’t spill his guts when captured.
For nearly a decade, he raided shipping from the Florida Keys and later served as one of Captain Blackbeard’s chief lieutenants aboard the Queen Anne’s Revenge. He was one of the surviving members of Blackbeard’s crew following his death at the hands of Lieutenant Robert Maynard in 1718.
Caesar’s Rock, one of three islands located north of Key Largo, was his original headquarters and the island is named in his honor.
Black Caesar assisted in the removal of slave holders alongside L’Ouverture and his followers during the Haitian revolution. Caesar and his men took over a Spanish ship moored offshore, and thus became pirates in the Caribbean. As things became increasingly dangerous in his native waters off Haiti, Caesar took off for the Florida Keys.
Now, legend says Caesar haunts Key Largo and is apparently an honored guest at the Key Largo Piratesfest! For more information go to http://diasporicroots.tumblr.com