John Julian

John Julian (c.1701March 26, 1733) was the first recorded mixed-blood pirate to operate in the New World, as the pilot of the ship Whydah.

John Julian
Bornc.1701 (1701)
likely Nicaragua
DiedMarch 22, 1733 (1733-03-23) (aged 31)
Piratical career
Allegiance"Black Sam" Bellamy
Years active1716 – April 26, 1717
Rankpilot of the Whydah Gally

Julian was a half-blood Miskito Indian who joined Samuel Bellamy early in his brief career. He eventually piloted the Whydah, which was the leading ship of Bellamy's fleet, when he was only 16 years old.[1] Julian was one of 30 to 50 people of African descent in the pirate crew all were treated as equals.

Julian's life became more difficult after he survived the Whydah wreck in 1717. He was jailed in Boston but apparently never indicted. He was likely sold into slavery, the "Julian the Indian" bought by John Quincy — whose great grandson, President John Quincy Adams, became a staunch abolitionist.

A purported "unruly slave", Julian the Indian was sold to another owner and tried often to escape. During one attempt, he killed a bounty hunter who was trying to catch him. He was captured by a group of bandits and was hung on March 22, 1733.


  1. "Life aboard the Whydah: A Motley Crew". "Real Pirates" museum exhibit website. Chicago, Illinois: The Field Museum. 2009. Retrieved 21 January 2013.

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