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Arabian Coins and Pirates in Rhode Island

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  • Arabian Coins and Pirates in Rhode Island

    Interesting story....


    Henry Every is the most successful pirate in history, terrorizing the Red Sea. But after pulling off arguably the greatest heist in piracy, he vanished.

    Could the seemingly innocuous discovery of a handful of old coins in New England be the clue to finding the whereabouts of the most successful pirate in history?That may be the case, according to amateur historian Jim Bailey, who believes he may just have found the biggest lead in centuries to solving history's first worldwide manhunt.

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    Somebody on one of the Rhode Island Facebook groups posted the following info, which seems like a reasonable question. Middletown is one town north of Newport, and both are located on Aquidneck Island, aka Rhode Island, from whence the state’s name. In the 18th century, Newport was one point of the infamous Triangular Trade in slaves, and it was the largest slave trading port in North America:

    “Just thinking out loud, if Thomas Tew the pirate captain who lived a few miles away in Newport and who was involved in the attacks on various maghul treasures ships a year earlier than Every in the same area and obviously he and his crew would have been in possession of the type of booty described in the article. I don’t recall if Every is known to have visited Newport. I am curious why Tew wasn’t considered the source of the coins found in Middletown. Just curious”.
    Last edited by CMD; 04-02-2021, 09:10 AM.
    Rhode Island

  • #2
    They look awful new, but I’m used to seeing Spanish stuff from in the ground and under water...interesting...never saw that kind of wear pattern on that one with the x... looks like someone took a file to it, , looking forward to comments, ..


    • CMD
      CMD commented
      Editing a comment
      I wish I saw both sides of the Ma shilling. Likely either a pine tree or oak tree shilling. That’s the holy grail of coins for metal detectorists in the Northeast. In good condition, worth huge $$$. No wonder he keeps this stuff in a safety deposit box. They are all very real, the guy is very well known in the hobby, and like McBride stated, this guy’s research on the subject is impeccable, both his research of primary documents, and his experience with early coins. No seeding the field in this case. I do question why it could not have been related to Thomas Tew, as easily as Henry Every. They did both raid vessels in the Red Sea in the late 1600’s.

      Rhode Island was derisively referred to as Rogue Island by our neighbors in Ma.and Ct. Not only did the colony welcome all faiths, not only did Roger Williams believe in treating natives fairly, but we also warmly welcomed pirates, lol. Later, during the War of 1812, we launched more privateers( in other words, legal piracy) than any other state. And we, sadly, led the slave trade in the Americas, even after it was outlawed. First Newport, and later, Bristol, RI in the early 1800’s, were both the leading slave trading ports in the Western Hemisphere.

  • #3
    With the heat being on, it seems as though it would have been quicker/safer to just melt the Arabic coins down.
    Interesting story Charlie!
    If the women don\'t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.


    • #4
      Arrgh! You get your metal detector out? Pirates and Rhode Island, who'd have thought?
      Searching the fields of Northwest Indiana and Southwestern Michigan


      • #5
        Originally posted by gregszybala View Post
        Arrgh! You get your metal detector out? Pirates and Rhode Island, who'd have thought?
        The neighboring colonies called us Rogue Island for good reason, at least in some respects.

        Rhode Island