Pointe-à-Callière was presenting Pirates, Privateers and Freebooters from May 20, 2009 to January 10, 2010. Visitors to the exhibition had the chance to learn about the 16th- to 19th-century seafaring adventurers who prowled the eastern seaboard of North America and the Caribbean. It's a captivating opportunity to discover the amazing stories of these terrors of the high seas.
While most pirates, privateers and freebooters were outlaws and adventurers, some of them were also on the right side of the law, members of the Navy with letters of marque from the King or Governor that authorized them to attack the nation's enemies in wartime. The names of some pirates, men and women as well, have gone down in history. The exhibition will introduce a few of them, including Blackbeard, Sir Francis Drake, John Rackam, Sir Henry Morgan, Edward Low, Captain William Kidd, Jean Lafitte, to name only a few.
More than 165 fascinating objects used by pirates from the 16th to 19th centuries will be displayed, from pewter tableware to navigation instruments, firearms and sabres, figureheads, sea chests and other prized personal possessions, along with some rare objects linked to Canadian piracy. Visitors may be surprised to learn that pirates and privateers once plied Canadian waters, too. The most famous case was Canada's last piracy trial, the Saladin mutiny, in 1844.
All aboard the Pointe-à-Corsaire...
A delightful surprise awaits visitors, as they will be invited to set sail on the high seas aboard the fearsome Pointe-à-Corsaire. That's right! The Museum is taking on the tremendous challenge of building a ship's deck in the temporary exhibition room. Everyone is welcome to climb aboard and learn about the origins and history of piracy in America.
As visitors explore the exhibition, they will move through the different parts of a ship. The adventure starts on the wharf, at the recruiting station. Then the kitchen, followed by the forecastle (or crew's quarters), apothecary-surgeon's quarters (chills guaranteed) and armoury. Farther on, they will come to the ship's prow and, villains be warned, the gibbet. Then the captain will throw open the doors of his cabin to proudly show off his booty.