Many people know about Kidd as the fearsome pirate who roamed the seas and searched for innocent victims to kill. But did he really kill so many people and steal that much treasure? Maybe he was just an innocent victim of the English and all he did was either an attempt to save his own life or to keep his crew. Maybe he was a pirate who deserved what he got.
Its unclear where Kidd was born. One theory states that he was born in 1645, in Greenock, Scotland, to a family of good reputation. The other is that he was born in Dundee to the poor family of a fisherman. But does it even really matter that much? One thing that might interest you is the fact that when Kidd was on death row he claimed to be from Greenock.
At five years of age Kidd's father died and he was moved to New York. There he got to know the prominent citizens and three governors. Kidd disappeared for a while until the war of the Grand Alliance where he captured an enemy privateer off the coast of New England. His career rapidly moved forward when he received money for privateering in the Caribbean.
In 1695, the governor of New York, Massachusetts, asked Captain Kidd to attack various people who associated themselves with pirates. This is the voyage before Kidd became associated with pirates and probably the one that really set him for the life of a privateer.
Kidd's expenses were paid for by noble lords and the king of England himself helped pay for the ship. Captain Kidd sold his old ship for a new one much more suitable to the task of catching pirates. He picked 150 crew members, but soon lost most of them when a captain got mad for not saluting him properly and took over half of Captain Kidd's crew.
The bad luck did not stop there because cholera took about a third of his crew and then no matter where he went, he couldn't find any pirates. It is obvious that he would become quite desperate. Later on, Kidd accidentally killed one of his crew members when the man accused Kidd of turning him into a lousy dog.
There were numerous reports of prisoners being tortured when they were aboard Captain Kidd's ship. It wasn't the only thing that his crew members did. They also looted and tortured the crew members of a friendly ship while Kidd was with the captain, talking. Things were just getting out of control.
It was not long before Captain Kidd realized he was wanted for piracy. He went on the run but was betrayed by a trusted friend into the hands of the English.
Captain Kidd received a bogus trial and the people who hired him to privateer never came to his defense. Rather they hid the only evidence that would have given him a chance to live. They hung Kidd and set his hanging corpse on display for two years as a warning to all pirates.
So was he a pirate or wasn't he? Well, judge for yourself.