[Footnote 145: Dampier’s Voyage round the World, and Cowley’s do. both in a Coll. of Voyages in four vols. 8vo, published at London in 1729. Also Harris, I. 77. and Callender, II. 528.]
In the remainder of this introduction, taken from the Collection by Harris, an account is given of the origin of this voyage, together with a sketch of the previous adventures of Dampier, before engaging in this enterprise, in both of which are contained some notices of the lawless, yet famous Buccaneers, respecting whom a more detailed account is proposed to be inserted in a subsequent division of this work. Dampier published an account of this voyage, to be found in a Collection of Voyages, in four volumes 8vo, printed at London in 1729, for James and John Knapton, and which have been used in preparing the present relation of this voyage for the press.—E.
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The adventures of the Buccaneers of America, however blameable, will render these men ever famous by their wonderful exploits. They usually fitted out small vessels in some of our colonies of America, and cruised in these till they were able to make prize of some larger ships. As their designs required the utmost secrecy, they very often took masters and pilots on board under false pretences, and did not explain to them the true nature of their expeditions till out to sea, when they were absolute masters. This was the case with Captain Cowley on the present occasion, a very intelligent man and able navigator, who happened to be in Virginia in 1683, and was prevailed upon to go as master of a privateer, said to be bound for Petit Goave, a French port in the island of St Domingo, where these people used to take commissions. In reality, however, their purpose was to take what prizes they could, without the formality of a commission.
It is proper to state, that this voyage, at least in part, is the same with the first voyage of Captain Dampier round the world. Before proceeding to the incidents of the voyage, we shall give a concise account of the grounds on which it was undertaken, and the commanders who were engaged in it; and this the rather, that the original journal of Captain Cowley, published by Captain Hacke, gives very little information on these subjects, probably because Cowley was ashamed of having engaged in such an expedition.