Pirates, Privateers and Buccaneers

March 20 - Sept. 19, 2010

Featuring actual artifacts as well as reproductions to illustrate the lives and times of buccaneers during the heyday of piracy (approximately 1600-1718), the exhibit will thrill those who have always been fascinated by these desperadoes of the bounding main.
The exhibit displays a pirate ship’s bell, rigging hook, cannon balls, pewter plates, buckles, ballast stones, cannon aprons and small vials of gold dust. A concretion tank features mineralized artifacts as they would have appeared when found on the ocean’s floor.  See money plundered by pirates, including silver “pieces of eight,” gold doubloons, and Spanish reals (pronounced ray-ahls).  Reproduction cannons from pirate ships give guests the feel of being on the deck of a pirate ship.

Hands-on elements include:
  • reproduction weapons, such as swords, pistols and muskets 
  • learn to tie a variety of sailor’s knots
  • walk off “paces” from a treasure map
  • try on reproduction pirate clothing
  • learn pirate expressions such as “shiver me timbers” and “blow me down”
  • take pictures at a ship’s wheel
  • plus much more!

$5 for adults, $3 for children (ages 3-12) in addition to general admission


Introducing The Palmetto Pearl!


In July the Museum's Facebook fans and Twitter followers submitted names for the pirate ship in the lobby.  Museum members voted and the winner was Jonathon Johnson, who christened the ship The Palmetto Pearl.  Congratulations, Jonathan!

This exhibit was developed by the South Carolina State Museum with research, collaboration and assistance from the North Carolina Museum of History, the Queen Anne’s Revenge Project of the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology, the North Carolina Maritime Museum, and the Institute of Jamaica

Many thanks to our media sponsors: