Pirates Attack on Lake Michigan: Grand Haven, Beaver Island, Manitous Threatened by Marauders Causes Excitement

Pirates on Lake Michigan - www.sailfastchicago.com

Pirates on Lake Michigan have attacked boats and towns during the 1800’s, wreaking havoc and mayhem in their search for booty in regions such as Beaver Island, the Manitous and Grand Haven.

Pirates on Lake Michigan - newspaper article - www.sailfastchicago.com

WBBM Newsradio 780 reports:

CHICAGO (WBBM) – While the world watches the Somali pirate drama, there’s a story to be told of pirates right here on Lake Michigan.

Lake Michigan was home to a few pirates from the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The headline: Wholesale robbery by pirates on Lake Michigan. The date: October 10, 1855, in the New York Times.

The Times reported on people in the area around Saugutuck, Michigan, “thrown into the most intense excitement by the operations of a gang of marauders, who are reported to be Mormons from Beaver Island.”

But it wasn’t other ships that were attacked, it was land-based stores.

Half a century later – and almost 101 years ago – “Roaring” Dan Seavey took control of a Great Lakes cargo ship and sailed it to Chicago.

He reportedly got control of the 40-foot schooner Nellie Johnson in Grand Haven, Michigan, by out-drinking its captain and crew – then stealing it.

The Sun-Times reports that Seavey “found no fortune in his pirating: He was unable to sell the load of cedar posts in Chicago and was captured back near his home in Frankfort, Michigan.”

10 April 2009 | Adventure, Boating Disasters, Great Lakes, History, Lake Michigan, Law, Politics and Government, Safety | Comments

One Response to “Pirates Attack on Lake Michigan: Grand Haven, Beaver Island, Manitous Threatened by Marauders Causes Excitement”

  1. 1 Set Sail on a Lake Michigan Pirate Adventure | Chicago Like a Local 11 June 2012 @ 1:34 pm

    […] The Windy’s┬áReal Pirates of the Inland Seas cruise will take you on a voyage of discovery as you learn more about Lake Michigan’s Pirate History. Though most of the pirates of the Great Lakes smuggled booze and lumber and weren’t as nasty as Blackbeard, they did cause quite a bit of chaos in the 1800′s. […]

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