In honor of the Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival in Fort Walton Beach, Florida and Drake’s Raid in St. Augustine, we’ve dubbed this Pirate Week on RSM. First, we delved into the mystery of why the Billy Bowlegs Festival claims William Augustus Bowles as its patron pirate … despite the fact that he was never called Billy […]Read more
Captain Jack Sparrow is once again buckling his swash across the world’s cinema screens, this time tangling with a fictional version of the very real Blackbeard. This weekend, locals and tourists in Fort Walton Beach, Florida will don their eyepatches and bandanas, and brandish their cutlasses and muskets in mock battle. The season of pirates be upon us.
But why is the Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival named for a pirate whose name wasn’t even Billy Bowlegs? Time to dig for a little historical buried treasure…Read more
His legend led Theodore Roosevelt to describe him as “the most gifted man ever born on Alabama soil.” Born in the Creek village of Little Tallassee near present-day Montgomery, McGillivray was raised in both the Creek culture of his mother and the colonial lifestyle of his father. Though it made him a controversial figure in traditional Creek society, his blending of the power of his mother’s clan with the wealth and privilege of his father’s world made him a consummate politician.Read more