when he landed to revel and live at ease, while his black-hulled, rakish craft was discharging her cargo at the wharves, or refitting for another mysterious voyage. The grim-visaged pirate captain, in his laced cap, rich jacket, and short white knee-trunks, with heavy gold chains round his neck, and jewel-hilted dagger in belt, was a striking and characteristic feature of New York life at the close of the seventeenth century. Soon afterward the boldness and the serious nature of the piratical ravages thoroughly roused the home government, which made resolute efforts to stop them. The colonial authorities joined to hunt the rovers from their coasts; and though the men of the black flag continued to ply their trade in tropical seas, they never after that time appeared in the colonial seaports save by stealth.
The favor shown to the pirates brought scandal on the name of more than one royal governor of New YorkThis was especially the case with Gov. Benjamin Fletcher, a stout, florid soldier of fortune, who came over to take control in 1692, the year after the tragic end of Leisler's rebellion. He possessed both energy and courage, but was utterly unfitted for a civil post of such difficulty as that to which he was now appointed. Being a fawning courtier to the king, he naturally took a tone of insolent command in dealing with the colony. Though very strict in religious observances