Bones found off Cape Cod, believed to be those of an infamous pirate are headed to a museum for a new exhibition.
Black Sam Bellamy is known as the wealthiest pirate in history, according to the New England Historical Society.
“After his early death in 1717 he left a legacy of folklore on Cape Cod and a ship loaded with treasure off its coast. He ran his pirate operation democratically. His men were slaves and Indians and sailors pressed into service. Bellamy treated them equally and let them vote on important decisions,” the society said.
“In a famous speech attributed to Bellamy, he scorned the wealthy merchants he plundered: ‘They rob the poor under the cover of law, forsooth, and we plunder the rich under the protection of our own courage.'”
Bellamy had a short but prolific pirating career, capturing 53 ships before he died at age 28 in a shipwreck.
The Whydah Pirate Museum in Yarmouth, Massachusetts, said that it will publicly display the bones found off Cape Cod in a shipwreck along with what they believe to be Bellamy’s pistol, starting on Monday.
The objects were encased in a hardened mass of sand and stone, found in the Whydah Gally shipwreck several years ago, reported The Associated Press.
Forensic scientists from the University of New Haven in Connecticut have been enlisted to compare DNA from the bones to a DNA sample given by one of Bellamy’s living descendants.
The former slave ship, commanded by Bellamy, went down off Wellfleet, Massachusetts, in 1717, killing nearly all of the 150-person crew.
It’s believed that the ship contained the treasure of 53 other vessels, reported New England Today.
Barry Clifford, a 71-year-old explorer, located the bones and other objects.