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William Kidd: Good Guy, Bad Guy

January 2021

Most overrated:

Capt. William Kidd (c. 1645-1701) of New York City. His reputation as our outstanding pirate is a gross exaggeration, although he did hang for it. Had he been half the pirate his punishment suggested, Kidd would have left some valuable treasure buried somewhere.

 

Most underrated:

My nomination goes to the same William Kidd, the sea captain. As a householder, a family man, and a leading citizen, he was devoted to civic causes. Trinity Church could not have been built without Kidd’s generous contributions.

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