Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pirate Exhibit in Montreal

Near the end of the 17th century, Montreal-born Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville conducted a series of raids against the English in what is now Newfoundland. With the consent and blessing of the French government, he conducted a land campaign against English settlements. There was some plunder going on, but not at sea. In this case, I'd say he was a mercenary.

Then, in 1697, d'Iberville sailed to France and was given a commission by the French Navy to retake the mouth of the Mississippi river and resettle Louisiana. Sounds like a straight ahead Naval operation. At best we could call him a privateer...

But at the Pointe-a-Calliere museum in Old Montreal, they're calling him a pirate. They have a floor set up like a ship's deck, and they're displaying cutlasses, canon, sea chests, and other 17th-18th century seafaring goodies. The exhibit is called "Pirates, Privateers and Freebooters," and they're probably just promoting d'Iberville because he's a local boy and a loyal Frenchie (not that there's anything wrong with that). We say it's worth checking out if you're in the area.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the details on the exhibit. I was told about this in passing by someone unable to sustain a hail, and the details were helpful.

    I just discovered your blog, and am looking forward to reading it regularly.