The History of the Pyrates, by Daniel Defoe

Of Captain Bowen.

COuld the Reader conceive the Pains we have been at, to collect Matters for the composing a genuine History of the Lives of the pyrates, and the great Care we have taken to deliver nothing but the Truth, he would readily forgive, nay, would be apt to commend our placing those Particulars in the Appendix of the same Book, which we could not possibly obtain (notwithstanding our diligent Enquiries) before the Lives were printed, and the Book in a manner ready for Publication.

What we have said in the foregoing Part of this Volume, of Captain Bowen, may be depended on as Truth; but as we had not that Certainty of his Original we now have, we rather chose to be silent than impose on our Readers with Fables of our own Invention: We have since learn'd (and it is with Reason we can depend on our Account, having it from one who personally knew, and often convers'd with him) that he was born of creditable Parents, in the Island of Bermudas, who took Care to give him a good Education answerable to the Vocation he was design'd for, which was the Sea.

The first Voyage he made was to Carolina, where some Merchants finding him every Way capable, and that he was a sober intelligent Man, gave him the Command of a Ship, and sent him to the West-Indies. He continued in this Employ for several Years, but one Voyage, in his Return, he had the Misfortune to fall in with, and be taken, by a FrenchPyrate, who having no Artist on board, detain'd Captain Bowen to navigate their Vessel; and after cruizing some Time in the West-Indies, shap'd their Course for the Guiney Coast, where they made several Prizes, and took several good Artists; but having Experience of Captain Bowen, he could by no Means prevail on them for a Discharge; tho’ notwithstanding the Service he was to them, they treated him as roughly as they did their other Prisoners, of which I have already taken Notice in Captain White's Life.

They (the pyrates) doubled the Cape of Good Hope, steer'd for, refresh'd at Johanna, and having made their Voyage to the East-Indies, lost their Ship, as is already shewn in the above Life, (and need not be here repeated) on Madagascar: The other Particularities which are not set down in Bowen's own Life, will be found in those of his Companions; as his going with Captain Read; the taking the Grabb; the coming to Mayotta, and from thence in the Grabb to Madagascar; the joining of that Vessel and Fourgette's; the taking the Speaker; his succeeding Booth in the Command, and his Death at Mascarenas.

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