William Kidd, AKA Captain Kidd initially (and some maintain always) was a privateer. His early expeditions were done at the request of noble lords to presumably stop pirating. In 1695 Bellomont, who was governing New York, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire asked “the beloved Captain Kidd” to attack Thomas Tew, Thomas Wake, John Ireland William Maze and others who associated themselves with Pirates. It was this request that began the centuries long folklore of William Kidd and searching for his elusive treasures.
Kidd sold his ship and acquired a new one called Adventure Galley. He took pride in selecting his crew. When he sailed off for the voyage, he apparently neglected to salute a Navy yacht as custom dictated. The yacht fired a shot to make Kidd show respect and his crew responded by turning and slapping their behinds as a show of distain toward the yacht. The yacht pressed most of Kidd’s crew into service as retaliation for the insolence. Captain Kidd picked up replacement crew in New York, and most of them were known criminals.
Kidd had several strokes of bad luck and his savagery seemed to increase. He killed a crew member and escaped prisoners told of torture aboard his ship. However, it is reported that most of these acts were committed by Kidd’s mutinous crew.
Once proclaimed a pirate, Kidd knew his ship would be spotted. It is said he deposited treasure on Gardiners Island and hoped to use his knowledge of it’s location as leverage in bargaining. It should be noted that other legends of Kidd burying treasure have also been reported and treasure hunts have ensued in New York, Connecticut and Nova Scotia. Kidd was eventually arrested for Piracy and actually hanged twice. On the first attempt, the rope broke and he had to be strung up a second time.