War Makes Thieves, Peace Hangs Them

In an era that condoned smuggling and lawbreaking the transition from privateer to pirate was easy

Piracy along the American coast began with legalized plunder. Sea warfare in colonial times was only partly an affair of navies. The rest was free private enterprise. If an individual adventurer could reap a fortune from a war, he had the satisfaction of knowing that his riches were patriotically gained.