Object of the Month January 2023 - Benjamin Colman Sermon to Pirates

January 2023

Benjamin Colman Sermon to Pirates
July 10, 1726
VAULT BV 4262 .C64

To kick things off, we have this sermon pamphlet, one of many from the eighteenth century in the Rev Spaces collection. Sermons were often written down and pamphlets of the transcriptions produced after the fact, so that churchgoers could experience their favorite sermons again, or discover new ones to aid in their religious education. This particular example was given by Benjamin Colman, on the occasion of the execution of pirate William Fly. Fly was an English pirate who was convicted of raiding New England merchant ships in 1726. He was put to death and his body hung in chains (gibbeted) on Nix’s Island in Boston Harbor, as a warning to other lawbreakers. Many consider Fly’s death to be the end of what came to be known as the “Golden Age of Piracy.”

Click here to view this object in our collection.