Wednesday, January 19, 2011


King of Whydah being crowned
The Whydah goes from slave ship to pirate ship
Sam Bellamy
Around the 18th Century which was perhaps the peak of the African slave trade one of the main slave markets was Whydah on the west coast of Africa. Thousands of Africans were brought here by other Africans and crammed onto ships for markets in Europe, America, and the Caribbean. It was here that the slave ship Whydah got her name. She was commissioned in 1715 and set on her maiden voyage in 1716. After delivering over 300 slaves she sailed back and was boarded by pirates lead by Sam Bellamy (Black Bellamy). Bellamy was so impressed with the ship he commandeered it and made it the flag ship of his pirate fleet. Bellamy's crew was as diverse as they come, including child John King who was so impressed with the pirates raiding the ship he was on he threatened suicide if he wasn't allowed to join! On April 26, 1717, a raging storm hit off Cape Cod and caught the Whydah. Of the 146 crewmembers aboard only 2 survived. The young John King who wanted so badly to be a pirate died that night. The two survivors were captured, tried, one executed and the other sold into slavery. For more information about this go to the Houston Museum of Natural Science's pirate exhibit while it's still here.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Route 66 Trip

For years my mom had been itching to go on trips. Finally my dad felt the same way and once or twice a year my parents get to go on nice little road trips. A few months ago they hopped in the jeep and drove the portion of Route 66 through Texas and into New Mexico. The majority of these pictures were taken in Shamrock, McLean, and Newkirk, NM. Perhaps one day I can go along with this route myself and visit the ghost towns, the ghost houses, the ghost hotels, and the ghost diners that once hosted past generations only remembered through photographs.