While I hate to admit it, I was scared for absolutely no reason. But I am happy that I managed to sucker my boyfriend along for the ride. I was really curious to see if this guy actually had proof that he was related to Edward Owens. I mean I was convinced he was just some whack job who had it out for me, but deep down I was hoping that it actually came to something. Of course he gave me his information over the phone, but many people are hesitant to share their information over the internet, also I did not want to give out his name if it turned out to be a dead end. After speaking to him we decided that it would be best to refrain from using his last name. Therefore I will refer to him as George.
When I got there a man about my parents age answered the door. His sandy brown hair was streaked with gray and his big 70’s style spectacles were perched halfway down his nose has he squinted at us. He had on worn blue jeans and a blue plaid button down shirt. After I introduced myself, his face lit up and he boomed, “Well hello there, you can call me George, please do come in.” He beckoned us through the door to a small kitchen, in which the counters were littered with paper and the sink was overflowing with dishes. From the looks of it, it seemed to be a typical bachelor pad. He apologized for the mess, before saying he had been busy with work lately and had not been able to clean. Though I am still not quite sure what he does for a living.
George told us to hold on a minute before disappearing into another room. He re-entered the room with a briefcase. He sat down and opened the briefcase. From inside of it he pulled out a worn, browning document. “This,” he said, “is the last will and testament of Edward Owens.” He then proceeded to tell me the tale of his great-great-grandfather.
According to George, Owens lost his job as an oysterman, during the 1870s, (which ties into the Financial Crisis of 1873 that I wrote about earlier) and turned to piracy to support his wife and children. He had operated out of Watt’s Island after hearing about it’s past of harboring pirates. Since he targeted non-commercial ships he was never caught and was able to return to his former occupation once pirating was no longer necessary. He left behind no treasure to speak of, it was all spent on his family. Instead he left his land to his family, which was sold from the family years ago, however George let me know where I could find Owens old house.
Ashamed of his past he hid his identity as the pirate from his family by changing his name. His double life as a pirate remained a secret until his last will and testament. Suffering from guilt he decided to share his dark past with the rest of his family. Therefore, George was adament about keeping the identity of his family name a secret and asked me out of respect to refrain from mentioning his last name. Since the will was a piece of his own family history, I was unable to take it with me to get a scan of it. However, George let me take a photograph of it. I’ll upload it later along with my transcriptions so you can view it.
I’m so excited about this document because it is final proof my pirate really existed!