Midnight backwater rendezvous, desperate sea chases, smuggler’s coves and cathouses, press gangs and waterfront riots: it's 1770 and rebellion smolders. Once a gentleman's sport, smuggling has become a necessity. The stakes are high: capture by the Royal Navy means forfeiture of ship and fortune. Smuggling Captain Nathaniel Harte joins high-spirited Anne Easton for a daring rescue attempt in Jamaica, where the pirate Deadlight Helms, heroic Windward Maroons, a foul-mouthed parrot, Obeah magic, a corrupt governor, and the relentless Royal Navy make for swashbuckling adventure.
The first shots of the American Revolution were fired by the British Navy at colonial smugglers, long before the skirmishes at Lexington and Concord.
In 1763 the instructions to Captain Walter Stirling of the Royal Navy frigate Rainbow, on station from Cape Henlopen to Cape Henry, were to guard the coast and secure trade against "pirates and others." The Royal Navy had open season on colonial smugglers.
"This insurrection is composed of great numbers of Sailors headed by Captains of Privateers, and other Ships; Inhabitants of the Town joined by many who come in from the Neighboring Country and Provinces..."
– General Gage, dispatch to London from New York, November 4, 1765
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