Attempted Utopian Society Captain Mission Pirate Utopia Part 2

About the attempted utopian society Captain Mission's Pirate Utopia, history, population, economic and social structure.

Captain Mission's Unique Pirate Utopia

At last, when his company and his riches had grown excessively large, and his dreams had inflated with them, Captain Mission realized that he must anchor his utopia. He remembered a warm, friendly, hidden island, with a broad expanse of white beach and deep harbor. He sailed for it. It was a small island in the Comoro group, between Madagascar and the east coast of Africa. Here Captain Mission and his followers built a bustling pirate paradise. After the miniature amphitheater was constructed--according to Capt. Charles Johnson, a contemporary historian writing in 1726--Mission rose and spoke:

"Here comes into being today the Republic of Libertatia. You, my people, are the Liberi. We dedicate ourselves to the spread of liberty, and the love of liberty, toleration, and the love of humanity under whatever faith and whatever skin. May our fortune equal the greatness of our hope!"

Captain Mission decided that his Libertatia must have democracy and popular law. To this end, the pirates and colonists were divided into groups of 10, and each group elected one of its number as a representative to the Central Assembly. In the newly constructed State House, the representatives elected Captain Mission their 1st lord conservator for a term of 3 years. He, in turn, chose Thomas Tew, of Salem, his admiral, heading a 3-ship fleet, and the expriest, Caraccioli, his Secretary of State. Thus, a Frenchman, an American, and an Italian ruled a polyglot citizenry over 2 centuries before the formation of the UN.

The experiment, the Tom Thumb nation, flourished. A printing press with its fonts of type was captured in a raid, and a newspaper was born. All money went into a common state treasury. Neither walls nor hedges were permitted to divide neighbors' homes from one another. And, since the colonists were of many nationalities and spoke French, English, Portuguese, and Dutch, a new official language, a kind of Esperanto, was invented and taught.

Mission and his aides married native royalty, but his subjects complained about the lack of enough women for all. Mission realized that to perpetuate his Perfect State he must find additional mates in order to supply everyone. He led his Navy on a special raid, intercepted a vessel Mecca-bound, kidnapped 100 choice females, brought them back to utopia, and presented them to their waiting grooms.

In the end, while discontent from within was at a minimum, danger from without grew. Portuguese ships tried to enter and crush Mission's colony, and were repulsed. Then neighboring tribes, fearing Mission might grow too powerful and subsequently overwhelm them, united and struck at him. Mission was caught off guard, but he and his people fought back. The pirates cut down wave after wave of Africans, but the sheer numbers finally engulfed the Liberi, and at last, beaten, they withdrew to their ships. From the safety of the main decks, they watched their utopia being pillaged and burned. Then they sailed away. Captain Mission's spirit was broken, and mere weeks later, when a hurricane demolished his vessels, he went down, almost gladly, with his ship.

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