Piracy off the Pacific coasts ca. 1848-1900

May 2019
218
Earth
After reading this article about an attempted hijacking of a vessel off the Oregon coast in 1910, I started wondering whether there were any attempted hijackings or pirate attacks on ships sailing the Pacific coasts of North-America during the mid/late 19th century? During this period there would have been some potentially lucrative targets in that region from Alaska all the way down to Panama. For example, the California Gold Rush and the Klondike Gold Rush meant that ships were carrying gold through those waters...

For the purposes of this thread I'll exclude incidents like the CSS Shenandoah's attacks on US whalers or the "Salvador Pirates" plot, since these were done by naval personnel or agents acting on behalf of a government. What I'm asking about is private individuals taking it upon themselves to rob shipping for personal gain. Anyone heard of this sort of thing happening or at least attempted on any scale?
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,568
Las Vegas, NV USA
It was never as common as on other coasts and occurred mostly before the US annexed that region. The one recent capture mentioned was probably off the Somali coast but the victims may have sailed from California.

Pirates in California History of CA Pirates
 
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May 2019
218
Earth
It was never as common as on other coasts and occurred mostly before the US annexed that region.
Yeah, I'm aware of guys like Drake and Bouchard cruising those waters in earlier eras. I was hoping to find something post-Mexican War. I don't know as much about Mexico and Central America, but certainly the west coasts of Canada and the US went through a "wild frontier" phase during the mid-century. With all the stories I've heard of robberies in the gold fields and stagecoach holdups, I was kinda surprised not to find anything about similar attacks at sea...

Edit: Just found this about a confrontation between Mexican pirates and the USN in 1870: Battle of Boca Teacapan - Wikipedia
 
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