The Scourge Of The Indies – Maurice Besson

Maurice Besson

Published by Random House, New York, in 1929.

Limited Edition

In stock



The Scourge of the Indies: Buccaneers, Corsairs, and Filibusters. From original texts and contemporary engravings. By Maurice Besson, the author of Filibusters and Financiers. Translated by Everard Thornton. This edition limited to 1,040 copies for the U.S. Published by Random House, New York, 1929. With 5 color and 140 halftone plates. Dust jacket unclipped, chipping with loss at top edge and head, rubbing. Blue cloth covered boards.

It is open to question whether we in America are aware of the debt which we may owe to the West Indian freebooters of the seventeenth century. They were a polyglot herd-English, French, and Flemings-but they had one trait in common, and that was hatred of the Spaniard. Expert blood-letters in a blood-letting age, they neither gave nor asked for quarter, and their savage forays upon Spanish shipping and upon the rich Spanish settlements along the Caribbean lowered the Spaniard’s morale in the New World and kept him so busily occupied with defensive measures that he had little time to devote to the swarming English on the mainland. These wild Brothers of the Coast unwittingly served as a buffer between the Spanish dominions and the English settlements to the North, which were made on lands claimed by the Spanish Crown and confirmed to it by the Holy See. Had the buccaneers been less rapacious, less easy of conscience, the history of North America might have been different. Who knows?

Besson has collected the tales of ten of the more famous of these desperadoes, relying chiefly upon the chronicle of the Flemish surgeon Oexmelin (known to the English as Esquemeling), and he has enriched the volume with scores of reproductions of contemporary wood engravings and of ancient maps in their original colors. The illustrations alone make the book a storehouse of treasures. The tales of the individual freebooters are preceded by a brief account of the origin, manners, and modes of warfare of these ungentlemanly adventurers, so that the reader may have a background for the stories that follow. The American edition of the work is limited to 1,000 copies.

(Scroggs, W. O., The Saturday Review of Literature, March 29, 1930, p.866.)


Published by: Random House

Location published: New York

Year published: 1929

Edition: Limited Edition

Illustrated by: R. Grosser


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