Dixie Bull

a.k.a. Dixey Bull

 American Pirate
   

Born: Unknown

Died: Unknown


Dixie Bull (Real name unknown) was an English sea captain who became one of the first pirates to be recorded as preying on shipping off the New England coast.

Originally a native of London, Dixie Bull made the voyage to Boston in 1631 and began sailing the Maine coast and trading with the Indians. It was in 1632, while traveling in the Penobscot Bay area, that his ship was captured and all his trade goods and provisions taken by French forces.

Returnign to Boston, Dixie Bull attempted to reacquire his property legally, but quickly became enraged at the failure of the court systems to accomplish this. Filled with a need for revenge, he assembled a crew of 20-25 men and entered upon a career of piracy. Possibly due to the frustration Dixie Bull suffered trying to work through the English court system, or because English Shipping was more lucrative to prey upon, he chose to target both French and English shipping.

His fame as "The Dread Pirate" came as a result of his attack on the prosperous settlement of Pemaquid in 1632. Few pirates of the time would ever dare to attack a defended town, but Dixie Bull brazenly sailed into the harbor with three ships and opened fire on the stockade. His men sacked the town, reportedly seizing over $2500 in plunder.

Soon afterward, Dixie Bull sailed out of recorded history. Some colorful accounts have him he joining the French forces in order to continue his attacks on the English. Others contend that, having avenged his losses, Dixie Bull returned to England, and still others insist that he was hanged in Tyburn once having arrived there. I feel obligated to point out that absolutely no Admiralty Court records exist to support any of these theories.

Lastly, there are many local North Eastern legends laying claim that Dixie Bull buried some or all of his treasure on Damariscove Island or Cushing Island in Casco Bay.

The legend of Dixie Bull was written into many ballads, the most famous of them being "The Story of Dixie Bull" and "The Slaying of Dixie Bull". The second, and most famous, of these ballads describe an elaborate sword duel between Dixie Bull and a fisherman from Pemaquid, Daniel Curtis, on an island near that town, in which Dixie Bull was eventually killed, but not before first saving the town.


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